Danny Nemu is a writer, activist and ayahuasca researcher with an academic background in the history and philosophy of medicine. He spent three years in Brazil exploring the Santo Daime tradition in context, and part of that journey involved an eight month ayahuasca cure for a leishmaniasis infection. His book ‘Science Revealed’, and his forthcoming ‘Neuro-apocalypse’ are out on Psychedelic Press UK, and he is a regular contributor to the Psypress journal, as well as Reality Sandwich and Bia Labate’s blog.
TITLE: Entheogens in The Bible
“Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with spikenard, spikenard and saffron; cane and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and agarwood, with all the chief spices.” – Song of Songs. Leaving aside ‘cane’, which some linguists and rabbis believe is cannabis, all the other plants described here are known, and all but one have effects of the receptors of the brain. Some were combined into a ‘holy anointing/massage oil’ used in the tabernacle to impart knowledge of Yahweh, and pharmacological analysis of the constituents suggests that the ancient Hebrews were adept at working with synergies and enzyme inhibition to unlock the psychedelic potential of some powerful allylbenzenes.
Another combination used in the tabernacle was a holy incense containing at least 11 psychoactive compounds, burned on coals by the handful in a tiny and well-sealed chamber to facilitate a conversation with God. The tabernacle also contained the shewbread, consumed in doses far more suitable for a hit than a snack, and the tabernacle itself was constructed of Acacia seyal, which has the highest concentration of DMT of any plant in the region.
“And all the people are seeing the voices, and the flames, and the sound of the trumpet” is the only example of synaesthesia in the Bible, and one of the only collective visions in world scripture. It happens when the entire tribe is eating manna, which is a plant secretion whose physical description – including its method of preparation – suggests that it could be ergot.
Reverend Nemu will draw back the veil of the Tabernacle to explore the mind-bending techniques of some of the most esteemed psychedelic wizards of the Western tradition. He will also be tickling your opioid system by handing out doses of frankincense.