Recommended Reading:  Best Psychedelic Books

Having a hard time researching psychedelics? For most psychonauts, reading about psychedelics takes up most of their time. Luckily, lots of information about psychedelics can be found online, in movies, and even various podcasts. However, reading books will always be one of the best and most reliable methods to expand one’s knowledge about psychedelics.

Where should you start your journey of psychedelic wisdom? This article lists the best psychedelic books. They range in content from giving in-depth information to anecdotal reports about the psychedelic experience.

Here is the essential list for psychonauts who wants to expand their education on psychedelics.

It’s All about Magic, Mushrooms, and Truffles

It’s All about Magic, Mushrooms, and Truffles

Probably one of the most in-depth resources about tripping on magic mushrooms and magic truffles, this book, written by Peter de Boer contains 30 years of knowledge about psychedelic fungi in 70 easy-to-read pages.

This book will teach you everything there is worth knowing about magic mushrooms and magic truffles. By the end of the book, you’d be an expert on how to use them in the best possible way. The contents of this book will prepare you for the psychedelic journey awaiting to be unlocked within the realms of your brain.

The best part? You can download the free psychedelic book from the Truffle Magic website.

Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge – A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution

Food of the Gods

Terence McKenna wrote this book which hypothesizes North African jungles gave way to grasslands years ago. The wide open spaces became home to the early humans where they experimented with new types of food. Among the new food types were psilocybin-containing mushrooms which grow on the dung of cows who feed on grass.

An interesting read, this book went on to reference the research of Roland L. Fisher, proposing how ingestion of psilocybin mushrooms eventually gave humans evolutionary advantages. It also explores the role magic mushrooms had in social structures.

The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys

The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide

This is an essential book for anyone who wants to learn more about psychedelics. James Fadiman, also known as “America’s wisest and most respected authority on psychedelics,” has been a driving force behind psychedelic research since the 1960s.

Fadiman wrote this book as a guide to the short-term and long-term effects of psychedelics for spiritual, therapeutic, and problem-solving use. He also drew from his 40 years of knowledge to outline the best practices to make the most out of one’s psychedelic experiences.

This guide also delves into other lesser-known research such as using psychedelics for personal awareness and using psychedelics for a wide array of medical conditions.

He also endorses other, new uses for psychedelics, including microdosing, to balance emotions, and to improve brain power. Finally, this guide dispels the myths and wrong perceptions about psychedelics.

The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss: My Life with Terence McKenna

The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss

Terence McKenna gained infamy as a philosopher, futurist, and cultural critic. Because of McKenna’s unconventional ideas about the cultural impact of psychedelic drugs on human history, his younger brother was prompted to travel with him on an expedition to the Amazon to uncover the mystery behind psychedelics.

This book, written by McKenna’s younger brother, talks about growing up with Terence McKenna and his musings based on his background on the different disciplines ranging from ethnopharmacology, ethnobotany, to neuroscience.

Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred, Healing, and Hallucinogenic Powers

Plants of the Gods

This book is a photographic encyclopedia of psychedelic plants. The stunning images are accompanied by the latest scientific updates in the world of psychedelics written by world-renowned anthropologist and ethnopharmacologist Christian Ratsch.

Plants of the Gods is filled with fascinating testimonies. It also informs the readers about the uses, and cultural significance of different psychedelic plants. The accounts of using hallucinogens in sacred shamanic rites are highly detailed and includes explanations about biochemistry and cultural prayers, songs, and dances associated with them.

Exploring the world’s psychoactive flora has never been this informative and artful.

True Hallucinations: Being an Account of the Author’s Extraordinary Adventures in the Devil’s Paradise

True Hallucinations

Food of the Gods may be McKenna’s most popular book but True Hallucinations is a cult favorite.

After the death of their mother, Terence, his brother Dennis, and three other friends went to the Colombian Amazon in 1971 in search of a psychoactive plant. The group found themselves in a psychedelic experiment with the goal of achieving transcendence.

The experiment involved using magic mushrooms and a vocal technique developed by Dennis to alter DNA during a psychedelic experience. This book is a clear assessment of what happened to the travelers in the Amazon and it’s certainly worth a read.

Psychedelic Healing: The Promise of Entheogens for Psychotherapy and Spiritual Development

Psychedelic Healing

Psychotherapist Neal Goldsmith advocates taking the psycho-spiritual approach to personal development, healing, and change. His book explores his personal experiences with psychedelics and their potential for true healing.

Neal Goldsmith uncovers that the healing effect of psychedelics does not come from a chemical reaction in the body but from the spiritual experiences they trigger. His book also provides guidelines on how to work with psychedelics, and groundbreaking analyses of how they can improve psychotherapy.

Goldsmith believes emotional, mental, and spiritual healing powers can be unlocked through the combination of ancient practices and modern research.

The Doors of Perception: Heaven and Hell

The Doors of Perception

In 1952, Aldous Huxley became part of an experiment which aimed to discover the physiological and psychological effects of a psychedelic used by Mexican and Native American elders. This book details the results and applications of the experiment.

It also gives a vivid account by Huxley himself. He recalls his immediate experience and the prolonged effects of the psychedelic on his subsequent cognition.

This book will draw you in with a mix of its naiveté, Huxley’s wit, modesty, and his ability to narrate his story with such accurate detail.

The Long Trip: A Prehistory of Psychedelia

The Long Trip

People think experimenting with psychedelics started in the 1960s during the psychedelic movement led by Timothy Leary. While this decade did bring psychedelics to the forefront of the masses’ attention, The Long Trip reveals psychedelic have long been used by humans in every part of the world for spiritual purposes.

Paul Devereux reveals new evidence in different fields – biology, ethnobotany, linguistics – which prove the psychedelic experiences of various cultures. He also ponders the effects of psychedelic visions on modern society, linking them to memory, dreaming, and even near-death experiences.

DMT: The Spirit Molecule


DMT (Dimethyltryptamine) is a potent psychedelic produced by the human brain. It’s also found in some plants. In the early 1990s, Rick Strassman performed a series of biomedical assays on DMT at the University of New Mexico.

Among other topics such as the history of psychedelics and his career, Strassman narrates the experience of volunteers during their participation in DMT studies. Another surprising element to this book is the impressive quality of Strassman’s writing. He may have a scientific background but Strassman’s ability to turn a phrase and keep readers interested is astounding.

Overall, this book will give you a better perspective of the first psychedelic studies conducted in the recent psychedelic renaissance.

The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead

The Psychedelic Experience

After almost 50 years of hibernation, the world is on the brink of a new psychedelic renaissance. Once again, people are revisiting the promise of the 60s – mind-altering psychedelics will help people achieve deeper self-awareness. This also sparked a renewed interest in the work of men like Dr. Timothy Leary.

The Psychedelic Experience was written by shamanic professors including Leary. This book is an introductory text that serves as a guide for all questions regarding the mind-expanding properties of psychedelics.

It is a roadmap to the wilderness of the wild, and an important resource written by the founding fathers of psychedelia.

The Ayahuasca Test Pilots Handbook: The Essential Guide to Ayahuasca Journeying

The Ayahuasca Test Pilots Handbook

This handbook is a simple and practical guide to using ayahuasca. It revolves around the premise that seekers should make the right, and safe decisions about where to go, and what to expect.

This book was written with the rising popularity of Ayahuasca, an Amazonian psychoactive plant brew. As it becomes more well-known, what used to be a ritual drink of indigenous people in the Amazon rainforest has turned into a magnet that attracts foreigners from all over the world just to access its healing and spiritual-awakening effects. Since the 80s, the trickle of visitors turned into huge tidal waves of spiritual seekers.

Clear and well-researched, The Ayahuasca Test Pilots Handbook is indispensable in any psychedelic library.

Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics

Zig Zag Zen

This book is a collection of articles and interviews conducted by personalities from the communities of Buddhism and psychedelics. The pieces published in this book explore the similarities between Buddhism and psychedelics. This book also opens up the dialogue of whether psychedelics have a place in Buddhism and vice versa.

Articles published here also explore topics such as The Tibetan Book of the Dead, psychedelic-inspired art, and harm reduction. This is the best book which explores psychedelics in the context of Buddhism.

Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal

Acid Test

This work of literature is a fascinating, transformative look at the healing powers of psychedelics.

Over the years, scientific evidence point to psychedelic drugs’ ability unlock the human psyche. Psychedelics play a crucial role in understanding the relationship between the mind and the physical world. But what events helped form this idea?

Tom Schroder’s Acid Test is based on detailed research about the history and controversy surrounding psychedelics. It also offers a striking perspective on the healing properties these drugs have even when they were mislabeled as “dangerous.”

Schroder’s work covers the first years of experimentation in the 50s and 60s, and the PR nightmare that made therapeutic use of psychedelics near-impossible. Acid Test is a fascinating look at the political and legal controversy caused by psychedelics.

DMT and the Soul of Prophecy: A New Science of Spiritual Revelation in the Hebrew Bible

DMT and the Soul of Prophecy

After successfully completing his groundbreaking work titled “DMT: The Spirit Molecule,” Rick Strassman searched for a spiritual model to answer what it means for DMT to open up an interactive spiritual world.

Strassman discovered the visions of Hebrew prophets were strikingly similar to hallucinations experienced by participants who took part in DMT studies. By looking at commentaries on the Hebrew Bible, Strassman reveals how Jewish metaphysics provides a similar model for the prophetic and DMT states.

Singing to the Plants: A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon

Singing to the Plants

The Spanish-speaking descendants of Hispanic colonizers who live in the Upper Amazon have created an eclectic culture that melds shamanism into traditional Catholicism.

Singing to the Plants reveals what happens during an Ayahuasca healing ceremony and how the apprentice shaman forms a relationship with the spirits governing the healing plant. It also looks at the different ways the plans are used in healing, love potions, and sorcery.

LSD: My Problem Child


This is the story of LSD narrated by a concerned, yet hopeful father, organic chemist Albert Hofmann. This book follows Dr. Hofmann’s trek across Mexico to learn of sacred plants related to psychedelics. In the end, Dr. Hofmann concluded that mystical experience may be humanity’s best hope for survival.

Psychedelic Information Theory: Shamanism in the Age of Reason

Psychedelic Information Theory

If you’re looking for an intellectual reading before going to bed, the Psychedelic Information Theory may be the book for you. It offers formal explanations of the powers at play behind hallucinations, shamanic ritual, and consciousness expansion.

With texts by James L. Kent, this book stems from over 20 years of research and includes over 200 references and 31 images related to the latest science in the diverse fields of pharmacology, shamanism, and perception.

This book analyses and dissects the dynamics of shamanic rituals, and hallucinations. Psychedelic Information Theory is guaranteed to become the modern resource on psychedelic phenomena.

Aya Awakenings: A Shamanic Odyssey

Aya Awakenings

Rak Razam, an experiential journalist, documented the thriving business that is 21st century hallucinogenic shamanism by attending the annual Amazonian Shaman Conference in Peru where he rubbed elbows with spiritual tourists, Western healers, and rogue scientists. They were all in town to take part in an Ayahuasca ritual.

Combined with his own story of shamanism in the Amazon, Razam will take readers on an amusing adventure.

Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism

Breaking Open the Head

This book is a stunning work. Part personal travelogue and cultural criticism, Breaking Open the Head is a work of passion. On one level, Daniel Pinchbeck talks about the modern West encountering natural psychedelic substances. On another level, it is a recording of the writer’s investigation of these compounds. It even includes a story of a night spent with master shamans in the South American rainforest, and a report about the Burning Man Festival, the psychedelic utopia in the Black Rock Desert.

Breaking Open the Head is a hands-on approach – experiencing then telling the stories of psyching and intellectual events. Read and witness the author’s metamorphosis from a Manhattan journalist to a shamanic initiate.

Tryptamine Palace: 5-MeO-DMT and the Sonoran Desert Toad

Tryptamine Palace

In Tryptamine Palace, author James Oroc shares his personal experiences with 5-MeO-DMT. This follows his transformation of his self-concept and his understanding of reality. Driven by the need to understand the transformational properties of this substance, Oroc merged physics and philosophy with the transcendence he gained from his time at Burning Man.

Through his self-experiments, he discovered his capacity for higher knowledge can be unlocked by ingesting tryptamines.

Expand your mind with these psychedelic books! In between chapters, try ingesting psychedelic truffles to fully understand what these books are saying. Order magic truffles online today!

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