Terence McKenna Birthday Raffle Acquisitions (2017)

For Terence McKenna’s birthday this past year (Nov. 16, 2017), the Terence McKenna Archives held a raffle for a set of photos of Terence. The first-prize winner, Graham St. John, won the full set of photos, and runner-up Jeff Lerue won a single photo of his choice. Everyone else who participated received an email thanking them for their contributions, which included a unique document compiled by the archivist with details about the locations of copies of a rare art book which Terence collaborated on.

I had also promised that I would make a blog post detailing which items I was able to add to the collection with the profits from the raffle. This is that blog post. Thanks, again, to everyone who contributed! You’ll be glad to know that we were able to make bargains with some of the sellers, which allowed us to save $70 on the total cost of the items.

Here is what you helped to add to the Terence McKenna Archives:

1. All 4 issues of ‘Towards 2012’ magazine (edited by Gyrus)

Towards 2012 was a magazine produced in the late 1990s that was partly inspired by the work of Terence McKenna. From 1995 to 1998, the series editor, Gyrus, created five well-produced, and now very difficult to find, issues (the final two issues were housed in a single magazine, making four volumes in all). Within the volumes there are several articles which refer to, comment on, or reconsider Terence’s ideas, a transcribed version of Terence’s Tryptamine Hallucinogens & Consciousness talk (his first-ever talk at the Esalen Institute), an interview with Sasha & Ann Shulgin where some differences with Terence come up, some interesting Terence-related art (I particularly like the ‘stoned ape’), and several ads for Terence-related material, including his website. Of particular note for the archive is an advertisement for a “hefty zine” called Heads and Tales, which lists “Terence McKenna” under the contents for Issue #1. If anyone reading this has any further information about this zine or if you have a copy that you would like to scan, send, or sell, please contact terencemckennaarchives@gmail.com. This is a publication that is not represented in our physical or digital archives.

This is a finite project, created to take a close look at the transmutational possibilities that lay before homo sapiens as we approach the millennium… At the heart of the project is the intuition that the human race is fast approaching a catastrophe cusp point – a phase transition period… 2012 CE is a date that may as well have been singled out arbitrarily for the title of this journal. As it happens, it is the date that ethnopharmacologist Terence McKenna points to as the precise location of the ‘catastrophe cusp’ in the temporal dimension; it is the date beyond which futurologist Robert Anton Wilson has stated that he is unable to project possible futures; and it is the end of a Great Cycle of the ancient Mayan calendar system. We are facing the end of the world as we know it, because it has outlived its viability.

March Forth!

Now, perhaps, the ‘archaic revival’ proposed by Terence McKenna, and the term ‘modern primitives’ popularized by the Re/search body art manual, can be seen in an evolutionary context. The prime characteristics of rave culture – the use of psychedelics, the utilisation of percussive music for altering consciousness, its neo-tribal structure, the rise in nomadic lifestyles, the popularity of body-piercing and tattooing – may be seen as a cultural return to a more primitive model. From this point, having regressed back beyond the cultural and social blind alleys of recent human history, a “creative leap forward” may be made to escape WoMan’s over-specialization.” -Samuel Lawson

Sasha Shulgin: I was listening to Terence McKenna years ago at Esalen. He was talking about how if a drug comes from nature it’s okay, but if it comes from a lab it’s suspect. Suddenly he realized that I was sittin gin the audiences (laughter). In essence, I said, “Terence, I’m as natural as they come…”

It is interesting, then, that around Dionysus…we find so much debate about whether his worshippers’ sacrament was wine or mushrooms… Most scholars…conclude that Dionysus’ rites involved both intoxicants. Astoundingly, McKenna does not pick up on this symbolic psychoactive cross-over, but clearly recognizes the importances of Dionysus as a transitional one. -Gyrus

Psychedelic experiences and dreams are chemical cousins, they are only different in degree. -Terence McKenna


2. 5 issues of ‘TRP: The Resonance Project’ and 1 issue of TRIP magazines (edited by James Kent–it can’t be said that the editorial staff didn’t have a sense of humor), including relevant interviews with Terence McKenna, Dennis McKenna, Rick Strassman, and D.M. Turner, articles mentioning TM, reviews of books that have contributions by TM, and more.

3. ‘Bookways’ magazine #8 (1993)

This journal which is dedicated to the art of bookmaking includes a review, by Barbara Tetenbaum, of the 1992 collaboration of Terence McKenna with artist and bookmaker Timothy Ely. The Terence McKenna Archives will be holding a major crowdfund campaign early in 2018, in part in order to acquire a copy of this book, called Synesthesia, from a private owner who is making a copy of this rare item for the archives if I can raise the funds by early March. Tetenbaum has kindly donated her review to the crowdfund effort for a document that I am creating to offer to donors. Here is just enough to give a hint…


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4. ‘boing boing’ magazine #10 (1994)

This is a volume that has long been on the list of items to acquire for the archive but has usually been unavailable. Fortunately, a reasonably-priced copy became available at the same time as the raffle. I knew that there was both an interview with Terence and a review of his Timewave Zero software, both of which made it a high-priority item. So, it was a pleasant surprise to also find references to Terence in two other places in the magazine: in Thomas Lyttle‘s interview with Peter Stafford and in D’Artemis Hart(wo)mann’s article reflecting on the role of prostitutes in religious history. There was also an unexpected review of the Experiment at Petaluma video project produced by Terence’s friends at Rose X Media and an ad (one I’ve never seen before) for a company, Fringeware, selling Terence’s Timewave software.


5. ‘High Times’ magazine #385 (July 2001)

This is another item that has been on the acquisitions list for some time. It is an issue of High Times magazine from July 2001 containing a letter from Dennis McKenna offering some words on Terence’s passing and making readers aware of the Journey Through the Spheres tribute album produced by The Novelty Project.

Terence was a complex person, blessed with a restless mind and curiosity that led him down many little-traveled pathways of thought and speculation. As his brother…I can testify from experience, it was a long, strange trip indeed. -Dennis McKenna (via Internet)

6. ‘Utne Reader’ magazine #53 (1992)

This issue of the Utne Reader from 1992 contains an excerpt from Terence’s book Food of the Gods, which had just been published by Bantam. The excerpt in the magazine appears under the heading ‘Just Say Yes: Rethinking our Relationship to Psychoactive Plants’.

The time has come to rethink our fascination with the use of psychoactive drugs and physioactive plants… [W]e cannot simply advocate “Just say no” any more than we can advocate “Try it, you’ll like it.” Nor can we support a view that wishes to divide society into users and non-users… The suppression of the natural human fascination with altered states of consciousness and the present perilous situation of all life are intimately and causally connected… As a consequence, the maladaptive social styles that encourage overpopulation, resource mismanagement, and environmental toxification develop and maintain themselves… We pursue a business-as-usual attitude in a surreal atmosphere of mounting crises and irreconcilable contradictions… The government not only restricts research on psychedelics that could conceivably yield valuable psychological and medical insights, it presumes to prevent religious and spiritual use of them as well… [E]ncounters with psychedelic plants throw into question the entire worldview of Western culture… We are killing the planet in order to keep intact wrongheaded assumptions.

It is time for change.

-Terence McKenna

7. The Shamen – Hystericool: The Best of the Alternative Mixes CD (2002)

Terence’s hit song with the British band the Shamen is remixed here by the geniuses of psychedelic electronica, Future Sound of London. Listen here.


8. Psiconautas: Exploradores de la Conciencia (edited by Juanjo Pineiro) (2000)

This book contains Spanish-language interviews with an exciting swath of the psychedelic community, including a 20-page interview with Terence McKenna. Anyone who wants to volunteer to translate this interview into English, please contact terencemckennaarchives@gmail.com.


9. Bang Pudding by Steve Taylor (1995)

Terence read this book and, “at several points,” “burst into real laughter” at this work that is “steeped in the unutterably Other” and “alarms, even as it amuses.”

10. Bright Colors Falsely Seen: Synaesthesia and the Search for Transcendental Knowledge by Kevin T. Dann (1998)

In his analysis of the phenomenon of synesthesia, Kevin Tyler Dann, touches down on Terence’s ideas at several points.


11. Lucid Waking: Mindfulness and the Spiritual Potential of Humanity by Georg Feuerstein (1997)

George Feuerstein is notably disdainful of Terence and the ‘chemical path to ecstasy’.

12. The True Light of Darkness by James Jesso (2015)

Jesso’s autiobiographical account includes his encounters with the ideas of Terence McKenna.

13. Sacred Mushroom of Visions, Teonanacatl: A Sourcebook on the Psilocybin Mushroom by Ralph Metzner (2005)

Ralph Metzner’s sourcebook on psilocybin mushrooms includes several passing references to Terence, mostly showing his major linguistic influence on how people interpret their psychedelic experiences.

14. The Evolutionary Mind: Conversations on Science, Imagination, and Spirit by Ralph Abraham, Rupert Sheldrake, and Terence McKenna (2005)

An edition of this book that I’ve hoped to add to the archive for some time but has simply not taken priority up until now over other, harder-to-come-by, items. A very welcome addition, though. Eventually, we’d like to have copies of all editions (and translations) of Terence’s books represented.


15. Heavenly Highs: Ayahuasca, Kava-Kava, DMT, and Other Plants of the Gods by Peter Stafford (

Peter Stafford’s book mentions and quotes Terence throughout, including a couple of brief comments by Susan Blackmore in her Afterword.

16. 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect: A Revolutionary Spiritual and Physical Survival Guide for 2012 – 2020 (Discovered by Bob Thiel, Ph.D.) (2009)

This one I actually just randomly found at a thrift shop and thought I’d include it here. The Timewave is invoked here (via Robert Bast) among a string of expectations for 2012. At some point, I have plans to make a whole extended blog post about the occurrence of Terence’s name and ideas in the rise of 2012 literature after his death. You’ll notice quite a few ‘2012’ books in the physical holdings of the TM Archives.

17. The 99th Monkey: A Spiritual Journalists Misadventures with Gurus, Messiahs, Sex, Psychedelics, and Other Consciousness-Raising Experiments by Eliezer Sobel (2008) (Paperback)

….a few mentions of Terence here, too.


Terence McKenna Archives – Random Item #15 – The Evolutionary Mind Reviewed by David Jay Brown

In 2005, a new edition of The Evolutionary Mind was published, consisting of transcribed selections from the trialogues between chaos mathematician Ralph Abraham, renegade biologist Rupert Sheldrake, and explorer of the “ontological foundations of shamanism and the ethnopharmacology of spiritual transformation” Terence McKenna, which took place at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. David Jay Brown, whose own interviews with Terence will come up in future blog posts, reviewed the new volume for Shift: At the Frontiers of Consciousness, the (former) quarterly magazine of The Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS).

“The deep thinking and imaginative speculation in this book cover an incredible range of topics from the nature of time to the end of reality. Each participant takes a turn initiating a discussion, and then the other two join in, almost like circus jugglers adding layers of complexity to their performance. A rare alchemy is created when these three scholars and close friends begin exchanging ideas, provoking and challenging one another into new dimensions of thought…

What emerges from these conversations is a kind of collective intelligence that appears to transcend each thinker’s individual limitations. The combined perspectives form a single mind that is more imaginative and intellectually balanced than one might expect examining their ideas separately. It’s as though each holds a piece to the cosmic puzzle, and the pieces begin to fit when they explore the frontiers of thought creatively together.”


Terence McKenna Archives – Random Item #7 – Terence’s Published Books

Today’s item comes along with something of an apparent synchronicity that seems, intuitively, to be statistically unlikely: the item that was selected by the random number generator was an item that I had only just pulled out of the mailbox not fifteen minutes previously. [If you’re interested in a reflection on why this apparent synchronicity is, perhaps, less unlikely than it at first seems, I’ll say a bit more about that at the end of the post]

The item in question today is the first edition (1998) of The Evolutionary Mind: Trialogues at the Edge of the Unthinkable by Trialogue Press, a book made up of a selection of transcripts from the series of ‘trialogue’ workshops at the Esalen Institute, which featured more-or-less freeform discussions among the triad of Terence McKenna, Ralph Abraham, and Rupert Sheldrake. You can get access to all of the recordings through Rupert’s website (and the Evolutionary Mind recordings are on Ralph’s website, too, just so as not to appear to be lopsided in my hyperlinking). However, I figured, rather than posting Terence’s books, one at a time, as they come up in the random number generator, it would be better to just post a photo of all of the books for which Terence is either an author or a co-author that are currently held in the TM Archives. I’ll follow that with a written list of those books as well as a list of those (editions of) Terence’s books that are not yet represented in the archive. Here’s what is in the archive at present:


The following are the books shown in the photo above (those that exist in the archive):

  • (1975) – The Invisible Landscape: Mind, Hallucinogens, and the I Ching (Seabury Press) (1st edition, hardcover)
  • (1976) – Psilocybin: Magic Mushroom Grower’s Guide (And/Or Press) (1st edition, paperback)
  • (1991) – Psilocybin: Magic Mushroom Grower’s Guide (Quick American Publishing) (4th edition, paperback)
  • (1991) – The Archaic Revival: Speculations on Psychedelic Mushrooms, The Amazon, Virtual Reality, UFOs, Evolution, Shamanism, The Rebirth of the Goddess, and the End of History (HarperSanFrancisco) (1st edition, paperback)
  • (1992) – Trialogues at the Edge of the West: Chaos, Creativity, and the Resacralization of the World (Bear & Company) (1st edition, paperback)
  • (1992) – Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge: A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution (Bantam Books) (1st edition, paperback)
  • (1993) – True Hallucinations: Being an Account of the Author’s Extraordinary Adventures in the Devil’s Paradise (HarperSanFrancisco) (1st edition, hardcover)
  • (1993) – The Invisible Landscape: Mind, Hallucinogens, and the I Ching (HarperSanFrancisco) (2nd edition, paperback)
  • (1998) – The Evolutionary Mind: Trialogues at the Edge of the Unthinkable (Trialogue Press) (1st edition, paperback)
  • (1998) – True Hallucinations & The Archaic Revival (2-books-in-1) (Fine Communications) (1st edition, hardcover)
  • (1999) – Illuminatus (Art by Robert Venosa, Text by Terence McKenna) (Craftsman House) (1st edition, hardcover)
  • (2001) – Chaos, Creativity, and Cosmic Consciousness (Park Street Press) (Revised edition of Trialogues at the Edge of the West, paperback)

The following are other editions of Terence’s books that the TM Archives does not currently own hard copies of…if you would like to donate to help the acquisition process, you can use the “Donate” button at the top of the Terence McKenna Transcription Project website, or if you would like to send a copy of any the following books (or any foreign language translations of TM’s books) for us to add to the archive’s holdings, please send an email to terencemckennaarchives@gmail.com.

  • (1983) – Psilocybin: Magic Mushroom Grower’s Guide (And/Or Press) (2nd edition, paperback)
  • (1986) – Psilocybin: Magic Mushroom Grower’s Guide (Lux Natura) (3rd edition, paperback)
  • (1992) – Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge: A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution (Bantam) (1st edition, hardcover)
  • (1993) – Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge: A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution (Random Century–British edition) (paperback)
  • (1994) – True Hallucinations: Being an Account of the Author’s Extraordinary Adventures in the Devil’s Paradise (HarperOne) (1st edition, paperback)
  • (1994) – True Hallucinations: Being an Account of the Author’s Extraordinary Adventures in the Devil’s Paradise (Rider–British edition) (hardcover)
  • (1997) – The Evolutionary Mind: Trialogues at the Edge of the Unthinkable (Dakota Books)
  • (1998) – The Evolutionary Mind: Trialogues at the Edge of the Unthinkable (Aerial Press, Inc.)
  • (1999) – Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge: A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution (Rider–British edition)
  • (2005) – The Evolutionary Mind: Conversations on Science, Imagination, and Spirit (Monkfish Book Publishing) (Revised edition of The Evolutionary Mind, paperback)

If there is anything that you think I’m missing on either list, let me know.

[And, here’s that final note on apparent statistical unlikelihood, for those who were waiting in eager anticipation for me to finally stop talking about Terence McKenna and get on to a cognitive readings of our (typical) intuitive statistical naivete–Why does it seem so uncanny that I opened a package containing a book, added the book to the archive’s catalog, and immediately derived a number from a random number generator which corresponded to that very book which I had just received? There’s no doubt that, in gambling terms, it’s a somewhat unlikely happening. The odds of any single item being selected by the random number generator are (to use a round number) 1 in 600. Those odds, of course, don’t change just because the item is new to the archive. The new item has a 1 in 600 chance, just like every other item in the archive. In fact, narrowing it down by date makes it potentially even more likely that a particular item will be called. In other words, I actually received three items for the archive in the mail that day–that means that the odds that one of the items that I had received in the mail that day would be selected by the random number generator was actual 3 in 600 (or 1 in 200). So, the odds suggest that it was actually much more likely that one of the items I received in the mail that day would be selected as compared with the odds for any other single item in the archive being selected. Don’t get me wrong — hitting a 1 in 200 chance is nothing to scoff at, and, perhaps more importantly, the psychological effect is certainly still potent. Nonetheless, it’s interesting to consider that the potency of the psychological effect doesn’t necessarily always match the statistical significance of the event itself–or, at least, that’s one way to tell the story.]