100 books like Peyote

By Beatriz Caiuby Labate (editor), Clancy Cavnar (editor),

Here are 100 books that Peyote fans have personally recommended if you like Peyote. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of The Doors of Perception

Ran Barkai Author Of They Were Here Before Us: Stories from Our First Million Years

From my list on altered states of consciousness and shamanism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an archaeologist dealing with prehistoric societies for the last 30 years. For many hundreds of thousands of years, our ancestors worldwide practiced shamanism and altered states of consciousness. I think this is what makes us human and what allows the persistence and success of our genus. The more I learn about these two subjects, the more I understand their importance and relevance to us today. There is a lesson sent to us by past societies: Pay respect to the world. Respectful behavior is assisted by shamanism and altered states of consciousness. We can be better, feel better, and do better, and the books I recommended are the beginning of this wonderful way. 

Ran's book list on altered states of consciousness and shamanism

Ran Barkai Why did Ran love this book?

It just blows my mind any time I read it, the same way it did the first time. Huxley was way ahead of his time when he wrote this influential book, and he was one of the first prophets of the New Age and the Age of Consciousness.

I was deeply touched by his intimate descriptions of his own experiences with LSD and Mescaline and the way it opened his mind to understanding the complexities of our consciousness beyond our regular and daily way of perceiving the world.

One of my favorite rock bands, The Doors, is named after this book, and it gives me ultimate pleasure to listen to Jim Morrison while reading it. What an experience! 

By Aldous Huxley,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Doors of Perception as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Discover this profound account of Huxley's famous experimentation with mescalin that has influenced writers and artists for decades.

'Concise, evocative, wise and, above all, humane, The Doors of Perception is a masterpiece' Sunday Times

In 1953, in the presence of an investigator, Aldous Huxley took four-tenths of a gram of mescalin, sat down and waited to see what would happen. When he opened his eyes everything, from the flowers in a vase to the creases in his trousers, was transformed. Huxley described his experience with breathtaking immediacy in The Doors of Perception.

In its sequel Heaven and Hell, he goes…


Book cover of Inside the Mental: Silence, Stigma, Psychiatry, and LSD

Erika Dyck Author Of Psychedelic Psychiatry: LSD from Clinic to Campus

From my list on the history of psychedelics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been researching and writing about the history of psychedelics for two decades. I am a professor of History and Canada Research Chair in the History of Health and Social Justice at the University of Saskatchewan. I became utterly inspired by the many different psychedelic projects that fascinated researchers across disciplines, regions, and world views. These psychoactive substances have been fodder for deep studies of consciousness, dying, mysticism, rituals, birthing practices, drug policy, Indigenous rites, mental illness, nursing, how to measure and give meaning to experience… the list goes on. To study psychedelics is to surrender yourself to endless curiosity about why things are the way they seem to be. The books on this list are just the tip of the iceberg in a diverse conversation that is erupting on this topic. 

Erika's book list on the history of psychedelics

Erika Dyck Why did Erika love this book?

Kay Parley is a remarkable woman. Her book takes readers through her amazing life and the diverse experiences she encountered in an effort to make sense of her family history of psychiatric illness, her own institutionalization, and later her role as a psychiatric nurse and psychedelic guide. Against contemporary medical advice, Parley took LSD in Saskatchewan with Frances Huxley (Aldous’ nephew), and in this book, she explains how it gave her insights into her own excursions into madness and how to be a gentle guiding force for others who experienced disorientation, whether through illness or through mind-altering drugs.

By Kay Parley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Inside the Mental as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A revelatory account of the importance that psychiatric treatment and research from the 1950s has for mental health today." Jean Freeman, author of Fists upon a Star Before she became a psychiatric nurse at "The Mental" in the 1950s, Kay Parley was a patient there, as were the father she barely remembered and the grandfather she'd never met. Part memoir, part history, and beautifully written, Inside The Mental offers an episodic journey into the stigma, horror, and redemption that she found within the institution's walls. Now in her nineties, Parley looks back at the emerging use of group therapy, the…


Book cover of The Nature of Drugs: History, Pharmacology, and Social Impact

Erika Dyck Author Of Psychedelic Psychiatry: LSD from Clinic to Campus

From my list on the history of psychedelics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been researching and writing about the history of psychedelics for two decades. I am a professor of History and Canada Research Chair in the History of Health and Social Justice at the University of Saskatchewan. I became utterly inspired by the many different psychedelic projects that fascinated researchers across disciplines, regions, and world views. These psychoactive substances have been fodder for deep studies of consciousness, dying, mysticism, rituals, birthing practices, drug policy, Indigenous rites, mental illness, nursing, how to measure and give meaning to experience… the list goes on. To study psychedelics is to surrender yourself to endless curiosity about why things are the way they seem to be. The books on this list are just the tip of the iceberg in a diverse conversation that is erupting on this topic. 

Erika's book list on the history of psychedelics

Erika Dyck Why did Erika love this book?

This is the first volume of lecture notes from the infamous Alexander (Sasha) Shulgin, “inventor” of MDMA “ecstasy or molly”. Sasha and his wife Ann are well known in the world of psychedelics for their publications based on Sasha’s incredible knowledge of chemistry, Ann’s capacity to integrate experiences, and their shared contributions to the world of psychedelia. This new book, with an introduction from Mariavittoria Mangini, is a ‘warts and all’ introduction to the chemistry of mind alteration. It is highly accessible, at times comical, and a fascinating opportunity to voyeuristically sit in on a series of Shulgin lectures that promises to pique your curiosity about our chemical lives.

By Alexander Shulgin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Nature of Drugs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Nature of Drugs presents Sasha Shulgin's popular San Francisco State University course on what drugs are, how they work, how they are processed by the body, and how they affect our society. The course also delves into social issues and reactions involving drugs, and discussions of governmental attempts at controlling them and features Sasha's engaging lecture style peppered with illuminating anecdotes and amusing asides.


Book cover of Neuropsychedelia: The Revival of Hallucinogen Research Since the Decade of the Brain

Marc Wittmann Author Of Altered States of Consciousness: Experiences Out of Time and Self

From my list on the frontier areas of time in psychology and physics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a research fellow at the Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health in Freiburg, Germany. I studied Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) and Munich (Germany) and have a Ph.D. in Medical Psychology from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. Between 2004 and 2009 I was Research Fellow at the Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego. My research in the field of Cognitive Neuroscience is focused on the perception of time in ordinary and altered states of consciousness. The investigation concerning the riddle of subjective time as based on the embodied self leads me to answers of what matters most, the nature of our existence as self-conscious beings.

Marc's book list on the frontier areas of time in psychology and physics

Marc Wittmann Why did Marc love this book?

Anthropological fieldwork is not restricted to isolated indigenous people in remote areas. Anthropologists study scientists in university research labs. Langlitz did a remarkable feat: He immersed himself in the research activities of two laboratories studying psychedelic effects on humans and animals. Through this participation in everyday work, he delineated contextual sociological and psychological factors of what made it possible for researchers to be allowed to give healthy human subjects and patients with psychiatric problems mind-altering drugs in the lab and what motivates researchers to go into these frontier areas of research. LSD, psilocybin, and ayahuasca are studied again scientifically. What made that possible? Langlitz gives answers.

By Nicolas Langlitz,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Neuropsychedelia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Neuropsychedelia" examines the revival of psychedelic science since the "Decade of the Brain." After the breakdown of this previously prospering area of psychopharmacology, and in the wake of clashes between counterculture and establishment in the late 1960s, a new generation of hallucinogen researchers used the hype around the neurosciences in the 1990s to bring psychedelics back into the mainstream of science and society. This book is based on anthropological fieldwork and philosophical reflections on life and work in two laboratories that have played key roles in this development: a human lab in Switzerland and an animal lab in California. It…


Book cover of PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story

Graham St John Author Of Mystery School in Hyperspace: A Cultural History of DMT

From my list on psychedelics and culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

The subject of psychedelics and, more generally, altered states of consciousness, has enthralled me personally and professionally since my teens. The subject grows fascinating as prohibition lifts in an era regarded as a “psychedelic renaissance.” My training as a cultural anthropologist, my interest in religion and ritual, and research focus on transformational events, movements, and figures colours this focus. Past research has included longitudinal ethnography of global psychedelic trance and festival culture. My current book project, an intellectual biography – Terence McKenna: The Strange Attractor (MIT Press, 2023) – is shaped by my interests in this area. 

Graham's book list on psychedelics and culture

Graham St John Why did Graham love this book?

This indispensable pair of companion volumes created by the Shulgins and known by their acronyms represent a literary and alchemical “gold mine.” Committed to the synthesis and assaying of hundreds of new compounds, chemist Alexander Shulgin dedicated his life to the public dissemination of potential psychotherapeutic aids, most notably MDMA (which he synthesized). A collaboration with his wife, Ann, these books represent Shulgins’ life achievement. They include detailed and precise reports by the Shulgins and the psychonautical group of friend-volunteers who bioassayed newly discovered molecules. PiHKAL ("Phenethylamines I Have Known and Loved”) focuses on psychoactive phenethylamine chemical derivatives, and TiHKAL ("Tryptamines I Have Known and Loved”) focuses on tryptamines. The books are arranged into two parts. The first part of both volumes is fictionalized autobiography. In PiHKAL, the couple shares their accounts of their chemically augmented romance, including thoroughly endearing portraits of their experience with mescaline in Golden Gate…

By Alexander Shulgin, Ann Shulgin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked PiHKAL as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Phenethylamines I Have Known And Loved A unique document written by renowned psychopharmo -gist Shulgin and his partner which gives details of his research and investigations into the use of psychedelic drugs for the study of the human mind. Also describes in detail a wealth of phenet- hlyamines, their physical properties, dosages used and duration of effects observed, and commentary.


Book cover of The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness

Cody Johnson Author Of Magic Medicine: A Trip Through the Intoxicating History and Modern-Day Use of Psychedelic Plants and Substances

From my list on exploring psychedelics without taking any.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been fascinated by strange and “forbidden” states of consciousness. My first taste of psychedelia came in the form of cannabis—more potent and otherworldly than it gets credit for—and quickly graduated to MDMA, which blew me away. I dove head first into this new world, experimenting with psychedelics new and ancient while reading about all things psychedelic: their history, emerging science, and therapeutic and spiritual possibilities. My other great passion is books, so it was only natural that I would try to encapsulate all that I had learned in book form.

Cody's book list on exploring psychedelics without taking any

Cody Johnson Why did Cody love this book?

When I first dipped my toes in the psychedelic pool, I was motivated by curiosity—I just wanted to experience new “flavors” of consciousness. I had no need of healing (or so I thought), and as a science-minded skeptic I certainly was not hunting spiritual experiences.

Two things changed my mind. The first was psychedelics themselves, which upon the first dose proved to be powerful agents of transformation. The second was this insightful gem of a book, which made me realize that “spirituality” need not conflict with science or rationality. Indeed, one of the great values of psychedelics is to provide irrational experiences that transcend our limited notions of what is true, possible, or real.

Alan Watts was a brilliant speaker and philosophical entertainer whose talks about spiritual topics have inspired millions. In The Joyous Cosmology, published at the beginning of the psychedelic Sixties, he distilled the psychedelic experience down to…

By Alan Watts,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Joyous Cosmology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A classic account of the psychedelic experience

The Joyous Cosmology is Alan Watts’s exploration of the insight that the consciousness-changing drugs LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin can facilitate “when accompanied with sustained philosophical reflection by a person who is in search, not of kicks, but of understanding.” More than an artifact, it is both a riveting memoir of Watts’s personal experiments and a profound meditation on our perennial questions about the nature of existence and the existence of the sacred.

Includes Watts’s article “Psychedelics and Religious Experience”


Book cover of Plant Spirit Medicine: A Journey Into the Healing Wisdom of Plants

Heidi Wedd Author Of Wild Flower Walker: A Pilgrimage to Nature on the Bibbulmun Track

From my list on nature spirits.

Why am I passionate about this?

Following a herbal and homeopathic pathway for 20 years has taken me on many insightful and inspiring tangents. One of those being the passion to commune with nature spirits and learn directly from herbs.  This practice has led me on many a fine adventure (one of which Wild Flower Walker contains) and continues to be a rich source of teachings and growth. I have been teaching these practices for the last 11 years and offer courses in Shamanic Herbalism; Herbal Alchemy; & Plant Spirit Communication. These books have been treasures and catalysts for me and I hope they will open your heart further to the rich world of nature spirits.

Heidi's book list on nature spirits

Heidi Wedd Why did Heidi love this book?

I read this book back in the late '90s when I was just beginning to study herbalism (with a teacher very aligned with plant spirit wisdom). It was a highly significant book in expanding my version of what herbalism can be when practiced in union and cocreation with plants. When I flick back through it now, I see so many aspects of my current shamanic herbalism practice reflected back at me and realise how formative it was to my learning. Highly recommended.  

By Eliot Cowan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Plant Spirit Medicine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Whether you live in a mountain cabin or a city loft, plant spirits present themselves to us everywhere. Since its first printing in 1995, Plant Spirit Medicine has passed hand-to-hand among countless readers drawn to indigenous spirituality and all things alive and green. In this updated edition, Eliot Cowan invites us to discover the healing power of plants-not merely their physical medicinal properties, but the deeper wisdom and gifts that they offer.
Enriched by many new insights, this guide unfolds as a series of chapters on how plant spirit medicine helped Cowan resolve specific challenges in his own healing journey…


Book cover of The Museum Dose: 12 Experiments in Pharmacologically Mediated Aesthetics

Cody Johnson Author Of Magic Medicine: A Trip Through the Intoxicating History and Modern-Day Use of Psychedelic Plants and Substances

From my list on exploring psychedelics without taking any.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been fascinated by strange and “forbidden” states of consciousness. My first taste of psychedelia came in the form of cannabis—more potent and otherworldly than it gets credit for—and quickly graduated to MDMA, which blew me away. I dove head first into this new world, experimenting with psychedelics new and ancient while reading about all things psychedelic: their history, emerging science, and therapeutic and spiritual possibilities. My other great passion is books, so it was only natural that I would try to encapsulate all that I had learned in book form.

Cody's book list on exploring psychedelics without taking any

Cody Johnson Why did Cody love this book?

This little-known paperback journals the psychedelic exploits of its pseudonymous author, a young bookkeeper who is equally adept at traversing far-out realms of consciousness and, crucially, writing about them.

Each of the twelve short chapters focuses on a unique combination of an obscure “research chemical”—a designer hallucinogen that has not gone mainstream—and a public art exhibit or concert. The result is outstanding. This little volume offers a peek into the life and mind of an avid psychonaut who, thanks to his insightful, relatable tone and strong writing, should appeal equally to trippers and teetotalers alike.

By Daniel Tumbleweed,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Museum Dose as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Daniel, during the stage of his life described herein, is a young, discrete, mild-mannered bookkeeper by day but an intrepid explorer of consciousness by night and on weekends. He also possesses a highly refined sensibility and an abiding passion for art and music. In this collection of true tales, akin to prose poems, he recounts a series of experiments he undertook over a two-year period that combined his aesthetic and consciousness-modulation interests: twelve psychedelically mediated visits to a range of New York museums, galleries and concert halls to encounter specific collections, shows, installations, and musical performances. Drawing from his substantial…


Book cover of High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies

Graham St John Author Of Mystery School in Hyperspace: A Cultural History of DMT

From my list on psychedelics and culture.

Why am I passionate about this?

The subject of psychedelics and, more generally, altered states of consciousness, has enthralled me personally and professionally since my teens. The subject grows fascinating as prohibition lifts in an era regarded as a “psychedelic renaissance.” My training as a cultural anthropologist, my interest in religion and ritual, and research focus on transformational events, movements, and figures colours this focus. Past research has included longitudinal ethnography of global psychedelic trance and festival culture. My current book project, an intellectual biography – Terence McKenna: The Strange Attractor (MIT Press, 2023) – is shaped by my interests in this area. 

Graham's book list on psychedelics and culture

Graham St John Why did Graham love this book?

Davis’ style is analytical swank and this excavation of the 1970s is his odyssean opus. High Weirdness is a fascinating trip of a book in which the psychedelic epiphanies and freak experiences of Terence McKenna, Robert Anton Wilson, and Philip K. Dick are each explored and compared for their extraordinary contributions to “consciousness culture,” and for their entrees on the radical form of realism Davis calls “weird naturalism.” The book serves as a remarkable introduction to each of the trio upon whom Davis has made extensive study, from the epicenter of the weird that was the 1971 Experiment at La Chorrera, to the origins and impact of the Discordian “mindfuck,” to Dick’s “perturbations in the reality field,” notably the 1974 events he named “2-3-74.” In the literature, philosophy, and practice of each we see “freak bricoleurs cobbling together their own technologies of the self.” Across this extensive freakography, we have…

By Erik Davis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked High Weirdness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An exploration of the emergence of a new psychedelic spirituality in the work of Philip K. Dick, Terence McKenna, and Robert Anton Wilson.

A study of the spiritual provocations to be found in the work of Philip K. Dick, Terence McKenna, and Robert Anton Wilson, High Weirdness charts the emergence of a new psychedelic spirituality that arose from the American counterculture of the 1970s. These three authors changed the way millions of readers thought, dreamed, and experienced reality―but how did their writings reflect, as well as shape, the seismic cultural shifts taking place in America?

In High Weirdness, Erik Davis―America's…


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

Cody Johnson Author Of Magic Medicine: A Trip Through the Intoxicating History and Modern-Day Use of Psychedelic Plants and Substances

From my list on exploring psychedelics without taking any.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been fascinated by strange and “forbidden” states of consciousness. My first taste of psychedelia came in the form of cannabis—more potent and otherworldly than it gets credit for—and quickly graduated to MDMA, which blew me away. I dove head first into this new world, experimenting with psychedelics new and ancient while reading about all things psychedelic: their history, emerging science, and therapeutic and spiritual possibilities. My other great passion is books, so it was only natural that I would try to encapsulate all that I had learned in book form.

Cody's book list on exploring psychedelics without taking any

Cody Johnson Why did Cody love this book?

When I was conducting research for my own book, Plants of the Gods never left my desk and accrued an alarming number of bookmarks and footnotes. This is the reference book on nature’s extensive pharmacy of psychedelics. But don’t expect a dry textbook—this is immensely readable and bursting with color illustrations.

All three of the authors were giants in various fields psychedelic research. Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann discovered LSD and was the first to identify the active compounds in magic mushrooms. Richard Evans Schultes, a biologist and the father of ethnobotany, was the first Westerner to study ayahuasca in the Amazon. Christian Rätsch was a world-renowned anthropologist and writer.

Their iconic collaboration transcends the genre of reference book, and brings the exciting world of natural psychedelics to life.

By Richard Evans Schultes, Albert Hofmann, Christian Ratsch

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Plants of the Gods as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Three scientific titans join forces to completely revise the classic text on the ritual uses of psychoactive plants. They provide a fascinating testimony of these ""plants of the gods,"" tracing their uses throughout the world and their significance in shaping culture and history. In the traditions of every culture, plants have been highly valued for their nourishing, healing, and transformative properties. The most powerful of those plants, which are known to transport the human mind into other dimensions of consciousness, have always been regarded as sacred. The authors detail the uses of hallucinogens in sacred shamanic rites while providing lucid…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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