The Discovery of LSD and its First Explorer, Albert Hofmann

** FILE ** In this undated file photo, Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann is seen in his garden in Burg, Switzerland. Hofmann, the discoverer of LSD, has died aged 102, officials of the town of Burg, Switzerland, confirmed. (AP Photo/Keystone, Niklaus Stauss) ** NO SALES NO ARCHIVES ONE TIME USE ONLY **

Albert ahoffmanHofmann was a Swiss chemist and the original source of the substance that fueled the hippie generation with LSD in the United States, Subsequently, he expressed that its irresponsible and unregulated use was dangerous and that its primary purpose was in the field of psychiatry and spirituality and not in the hands of the common citizen.

Hofmann accidentally ingested a small amount of the chemical on November 16, 1938, when he was employed by Sandoz laboratory in Switzerland. The green line in the chart shows Hofmann’s progressed Uranus was making an opposition aspect to his natal Neptune at the time. Neptune is associated with the imagination in its normal conscious activity as well as when the imagination is stimulated through the catalyst of a chemical substance such as Lysergic acid diethylamide. The unusual experience that resulted from the accidental dose was similar to the subconscious journeys encountered through natural psychotropic plants found worldwide and used for exploratory purposes by shamans in a diversity of “primitive” cultures.

hoffman02450Through experiments with LSD by Stanislav Grof(1) in Europe, Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert at Harvard University in the US, and the Merry Pranksters led by Ken Kesey, LSD was introduced to the world. The so-called hallucinogenic was unleashed on the public at large and caused a movement and advancement in consciousness that was to bring new-age practices into a world hitherto unprepared. There was a schism produced between the establishment in general and the hippies who were en-mass being “enlightened” if only superficially.

Some, however, paved the way toward the advancement of many industries now completely accepted by the public. Those who experimented with LSD developed the idea of popularizing communal farming with produce distribution to independent health food stores. Yoga, meditation, astrology, and myriad forms of psychological, self-help modalities became accessible to the general public.

At the time of Hofmann’s first encounter with the effects of LSD there were several corresponding transits of import. The red lines in the chart show that the progressed Sun and Venus were just passing over the Moon’s South Node. The blue line shows that transit Jupiter was also involved in the same configuration from a real-time perspective. Jupiter and Venus being involved in the aspect through both types of dynamic aspects enhanced the benefits for Hofmann. Its discovery and meaningful use would bring many rewards for him, as well as to all others, in search of a deeper journey into the realm of the human psyche that the Moon’s Nodes represent.


  1. psychiatric patients through a program that Stanoslof Grof would participate in many years after the substance’s discovery. Because of LSD’s illegality, Grof would eventually launch an LSD-free therapy known throughout the world as Holotropic Breathwork.


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