Podcast 451 – “Toad Venom & Other Things”


Guest speaker: Daniel Pinchbeck

Daniel Pi9nchbeck speaking at Palenque Norte


Today’s podcast features the 2014 Palenque Norte Lecture delivered by Daniel Pinchbeck. Beginning with a discussion of his experimentation with toad venom (primary active ingredient 5MEO-DMT), his interaction with the audience leads down many of the different roads that Daniel has traveled as he was gathering information for his books Breaking Open the Head, and 2012 The Return of Quetzalcoatl. Daniel is also the co-founder of RealitySandwich.com, The Evolver Network, and the Center for Planetary Culture.


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Daniel Pinchbeck’s Website

Reality Sandwich

The Evolver Network

The Center for Planetary Culture

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

2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl
By Daniel Pinchbeck

Posted in Burning Man, Daniel Pinchbeck, Kambo / Sapo, Palenque Norte, Psychedelics.


  1. Daniel is and will 4ever be 1 of the greatest. Critics, back up and make a really tight you know argument before you say such bad words. Please why Lozo you publish stupid kid comment

  2. As much as I have respect for Mr. Pinchbeck and his mission to spread the good psychedelic word, I feel like tearing off my headphones and then tearing out my hair anytime I hear him speak.

    The constant use of qualifiers (kind of, maybe, you know) and repeated stuttering entirely distracts from the otherwise interesting message he offers. You would think someone who has been a public figure on the talk circuit for as long as he has would have taken steps to mitigate these foibles but alas, nothing changes.

    I get it…he’s speaking in abstract terms. But to dilute every concept with qualifying language feels like placation to forestall criticism from “the establishment” that doesn’t recognize these concepts.

    I’d like to think that my psychedelic journey has gone hand in hand with an expansion of awareness of my own faults and inner workings, so it confounds me when Mr. Pinchbeck hasn’t used the knowledge conferred from his experiences to remedy his speech.

    I only offer this in hopes that he will somehow take positive steps towards fixing it. Maybe a toastmasters membership?

  3. I’ve tended towards the same shift that Hux mentions, after 7 or 8 years the myth of Daniel Pinchbeck seems to be crystallizing and getting in the way of some of the genuinely good information he is spreading. I also don’t jive with the wild conjectures of fantasy that pepper the talk, but I too was partially initiated into this world by some earlier Pinchbeck works and talks.

    The psychedelic mind is flexible and learns just as much -and perhaps more- from what rubs it the wrong way as from being lit up a syrupy sweet McKenna drone.

    Childish? Perhaps… but I was a psychedelic “child” once. 🙂

    @Jin – I agree with the last sentence of your post to a degree, but I think perhaps the fascination with these irrational experiences stems from a lack of myth (or story of sense of place and direction). Myth held a lot of ancient societies together, as it has ours.

  4. his topics are meandering, not unlike McKenna. That said he is the mckenna of my experience, hearing him on coast to coast 11 years ago was what first interested me in this experience… Culty stuff seems inevitable in organized neo shamanic endeavors and fresh batteries are highly recommended for your bullshit detector. Essentially these irrational experiences and myths are just guilty pleasures for most modern humans and are ultimately irreconcilable with science, due to empirical elusiveness.

  5. Some years ago I found him fascinating but now it seems like tired childish religious fantasy. I don’t much understand the point of the talk other than Daniel seems to want to convince me that his psychic-power / gaian mind worldview is logically supported by obscure thinkers and fringe science. Is that the rap? Also he needs to drop the bio bit about himself as it isn’t important to the topic and he always makes everyone sit through it.

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