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"Entheogen" Defined

The word “entheogen” literally means “generating the divine within.” The word was created in 1979 by a group of ethnobotanical scholars, and in its strictest sense refers to a psychoactive plant or chemical substance taken to occasion spiritual or mystical experience.

In a looser sense, the word refers to non-addictive artificial and natural substances that induce alterations of consciousness similar to those documented for ritual ingestion of traditional shamanic inebriants. “Entheogen” replaces the judgment-laden misnomer “hallucinogen,” and the culturally freighted term “psychedelic.”