Carlos M. Quirce Balma

Universidad de Costa Rica



This article presents some of the most current and widespread theories on shamanism. Both traditional and modern theories which lean towards neurophysiologic interpretations of altered and higher states of consciousness are dealt with. The generalized and central use of psychedelics and plants containing altering substances by the different preColumbian cultures are discussed. Moreover, work by psychedelic anthropologists has been contrasted with the schools of thought influenced by Mircea Eliade. Keywords: shamanism, psychedelic plants, witchcraft, neurophysiology of consciousness



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