Salamander brandy an apocryphal tale
Type of Spiritual Experience
Note that this is all hearsay - the key sentence is "Ogorevc says it definitely has hallucinogenic effects which I would compare, according to his description, more to the reactions elicited by muscimole, or strychnine!" [which is not exactly a stunning recommendation]
So he doesn't know, has never tried it himself and is going on third party stories.
I must admit I find the cruelty to these poor little creatures to be totally unforgivable, but then that’s me, or maybe it isn't......
'an adept in psychedelic movement avers that salamander brandy is a bad drug, because it contains, along with psychoactive substances, also spiritually negative emanation caused by the suffering of salamanders in mortal agony'.
A description of the experience
Rätsch, C. & Baker, J.R. (Eds.): Yearbook for Ethnomedicine and the Study of Consciousness, Issue 5, 1996. SALAMANDER BRANDY: A PSYCHEDELIC DRINK MADE IN SLOVENIA - Ivan Valenčič
In a hilly region northwest of the Slovenian capital Ljubljana, a most curious event starts every autumn: salamander hunting. Salamanders (Salamandra salamandra) abound in rainy forested glens, and at some places hunters must be careful not to tread upon them. …..
Salamander brandy production is an endeavour that, according to oral tradition, originated in the Middle Ages. The salamander was an emblem of alchemists, as well as an indispensable ingredient of many witches’ brews. Its representation can be found on medieval reliefs and quite often in illuminated codices, and the range of symbolic meanings ascribed to it has been vast since the time of antiquity (Canestrini, 1985). …… the art of brewing salamander brandy is thought to be at least a few centuries old on Slovenian territory.
According to Ogorevc there exist three recipes for the production of salamander brandy. …
The third, the most complicated method is thought by distillers and connoisseurs to produce the best salamander brandy. Freshly distilled and still hot brandy is trickled over a salamander, which is suspended by a rope, and washes its exudates down in a vessel. When the poor animal dies it has to be replaced with a living one and so on until the process of distillation is completed.
When the brandy has been aged with wormwood [sic] for a couple of weeks it is ready for consumption. Bottled brandy must contain some lees, which is thought to have a considerable importance in eliciting the effects in drinkers. The dosage varies between 50 and 200 ml of pure brandy, which can be mixed with other beverages, depending on its strength as well as on the physical and personality traits of the consumer. The bottle should be thoroughly shaken before the beverage is poured into glasses so that the lees is evenly mixed with the brandy. If the brandy is of good quality then it must elicit not only pleasant inebriation but also all those things that had been seen by the master Hieronymus Bosch, as one of the connoisseurs has recently declared. In his opinion, toad-licking fans, when compared with salamander brandy drinkers, are just unsophisticated backward boors.
What action does salamander brandy have on human consciousness? Ogorevc says it definitely has hallucinogenic effects which I would compare, according to his description, more to the reactions elicited by muscimole, ibogaine or strychnine than to the effects of classic psychedelics like LSD, mescaline and psilocybin. Under its influence visual reality starts to be illuminated by colourful flashes and is contorted in a specific way. Auditory phenomena may accompany visual changes, but the subject is not sure if they are real or not.
The consumer can fall asleep from time to time and lose his or her sense for how much time has elapsed in between as well as from the beginning of the trip. It is possible to have partial amnesia. After-effects have not been reported, yet an adept in psychedelic movement avers that salamander brandy is a bad drug, because it contains, along with psychoactive substances, also spiritually negative emanation caused by the suffering of salamanders in mortal agony.