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The Holiness of Marijuana

MC Mystic is down with everyone. A friend, Yasa from West Coast Musicians Online, wanted to share a few words about some of earth's healing nature.

Cannabis Sativa: the Spiritual Healer
of Planet and Humanity
by Yasa Henson, 1998 - 99

"...early man experimented with all plant materials that he could chew and could not have avoided discovering the properties of cannabis (marijuana), for in his quest for seeds and oil, he certainly ate the sticky tops of the plant. Upon eating hemp the euphoric, ecstatic and hallucinatory aspects may have introduced man to an other-worldly plane from which emerged religious beliefs, perhaps even the concept of deity. The plant became accepted as a special gift of the gods, a sacred medium for communion with the spiritual world and as such it has remained in some cultures to the present."
---- Richard E. Schultes - "Man and Marijuana"

It was Beltaine festival time and with my brown face lifted toward the May afternoon sun, I saw golden, green-blue smoke of cannabis incense rising toward the Springtime sky. With curiosity, love and light, I marveled at the dance of the smoke. "How beautiful," I thought. It was as if my soul was rising toward spirit, within the very center of this billowing silky cloud.

Once again I had come along with others, to commune with the Earth's life force. We had come to dance and drum in thanks to Gaia with the help of our smoldering "lady of hemp." In appreciation of Mother Earth, we had gathered in dance to take an essential magical part of her into our bodies for universal healing.

Our impromptu and informal twentieth century practice was not unlike some of the traditions of various religious cultures of Africa, the Middle East, India and China. These cultures sought out this green goddess for truth and used cannabis as a heavenly guide. According to WIlliam A. Embolden's book Ritual Use of Cannabis Sativa L., "Shamanistic traditions of great antiquity in Asia and the Near East" understood cannabis as being a major vehicle to find God "without a vale of tears" Whereas, according to Embolden, Western religious traditions generally stressed sin, repentance, and mortification of the flesh." It was our quest that afternoon to do away with all counterproductive guilt, to dispel negative energy, to find our magical path to being one with God and each other, and most of all, to bring in love and healing.

We were not the only souls familiar with the spiritual qualities of cannabis. According to "Marijuana: Shamanic Tool of Ancient Cultures" by Suzanne Taylor, "In addition to medical benefits, marijuana can be a valuable tool in that most essential journey of soul that human beings are here to make... For some, life is a power struggle and acquisition is the goal. For others, who are further along in the psycho/spiritual development, it is a divine dance with the source of everything. Feeling aligned with that fundamental force, commonly called God, is a very different life experience than feeling separate from it, and people who have that perspective handle marijuana differently from people imprisoned in separation. This ancient tool of shamanic cultures affords them insights rather than escape -- a blueprint to another level of reality beyond the small self, where we are connected to everyone and everything.
Marijuana gives insight into whatever fears and other reactive emotions that blind us to this unity, helping us to be the authors of our lives and not its victims."

Guided by our own individual intuition and respect for the herb, It was time for us to partake in her sacrament of harvested hemp leaves and flowers. Though we had been dancing and twirling amongst the pungent incense of cannabis, sage and myrrh emanating from tiny brass cauldrons all afternoon, a deeper process of transformation and sight was about to begin for us...

Ganja it is called by Rastafarians, "produces psycho-spiritual effects and has socio-religious functions especially for people under stress. It produces visions, heightens unity and communal feelings, dispels gloom and fear and brings tranquillity to the mind of the dispossessed," stated Leonard E. Barrett Sr. in his writings called "The Rastafarians." Rastafarians say cannabis is known as the "wisdom weed" or the "holy herb." They say that God who created all things made the herb for human use. "...thou shalt eat the herb of the field (Genesis 3:18), "...eat every herb of the land (Exodus 10:12) "... He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man (Psalm 104:14) these passages are often recited and referred to by the Rastafarians and by those of us who know the deeper aspects of Cannabis.

As the hot sun began to set in the west and the evening came as a soothing friend, soft cakes made from concentrated cannabis oils and wheat flour were shared and eaten. A pipe made of polished stone was passed through our drum circle and had graciously come to rest in my hands. In the pipe lay a fragrant plump green unopened cannabis flower, a supple verdant blossom laden with shiny crystallized dew that glowed in the fading sunlight. Its fiery red hairs twisted in spirals from between its compact sticky leaves, showing itself to be unlike any other living plant. It seemed to emanate female energies from it. "In light of the Goddess early connection with the Tree of Life (Hemp), it is not at all surprising to find that the Goddess can also be connected with the star of the holy hemp plant: There are many legends which tell how the Goddess was born of a star. Sirius (Sept.) was regarded as the sacred star of Isis (Aug-Sept), it is called the 'grandmother' by Bush (wo)men and it is of great and sacred importance to the Dogon people of Mali," stated Chris Bennett in his writings "The Goddess and the Tree of Life" and Monica Sjoo, in "New Age and Armageddon. " Wrote Bennett, "The Dogon people recognized Sirius as the planet from which their holy cannabis came from."

Moreover, the actual name of cannabis is said to be of Scythian origin. Sula Benet states in "Cannabis and Culture" that the matriarchal Semitic culture and Hebrew translation of the word kaneh bosm, found in the passage of Exodus 30:23 -- that God commanded Moses to make a holy anointing oil of myrrh, sweet cinnamon, kaneh bosm and kassia, "kan" meaning "reed" or "hemp" and "bosm" meaning "aromatic," is actually known as "kannabos" in traditional Hebrew.

Inspired by this deep historical cosmic lore, I came to understand why the cannabis plant looked and smelled so different and why it was revered by so many religions as a sacred herb. It is interesting to note that though cannabis comes in male and female form, "Propagation of the female species is the total concern of the grower interested in the narcotic power of the plant," Said Terence McKenna, in "Food of the Gods."

So in ritual thanks I respectfully took the smoke of this "female" into my empty lungs, entering the realm of expanded consciousness and I remembered the writings of Guy Mount, Spiritual Leader of the New American Church, as wine is "God's blood" to Christians, so is Cannabis smoke to be "God's Breath." Like a time stopping truth serum, my mind began opening up and was flooded with a variety of cosmic questions and answers. I was in trance and it was time to heal my conventional thoughts, as well free my mind. According to Rastafarian tradition, in order to rid your mind of these societal programmed ways or avoid being "brainwashed by colonialism," your head must be "loosened up" so you can see "one's true self." "The herb is key to new understanding of the self, the universe, and God. It is the vehicle to cosmic consciousness," explained in "Where Go the Rastafarians?" by Leonard E. Barrett Sr..

There was more to this magical plant I thought, and while in my induced trance state, my inner mind was inspired to seek more amazing truths about the plant and its benefits toward humanity's spiritual progression.

My eyes were opened to see that the respectful use of sacred cannabis is indeed redeveloping. Humanity is slowly learning the medicine path again. We simply need to establish our constitutional right to utilize this naturally growing, free to humanity plant. 'We're not fighting for the freedom or the legalization... We're declaring that it is and always has been free," said Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church Leader, Bother Louv in his interview with Dan Rather in 1979.

To Indians from the Mexican states of Veracrus, Hidalgo, and Pueblo cannabis it is known as Santa Rosa, to Hindus it is a sacred drink from cannabis called bhang, in Christianity cannabis is known as the Tree of Life, and to others as kali-weed, our lady of hemp and the green goddess.

Spiritual leaders including myself are reclaiming natural truths about the plant from conventional truths. We are rediscovering the ancient healing powers of these plants and their role in the balance and preservation of the Earth's ecosystem. Our awareness of ourselves along with the respect and love of the earth, is our spiritual link. Many shaman and spiritual leaders say Cannabis Sativa enhances our spirituality and closeness with god energy. Rastafarians say it transcends time and space. I agree with all of the above and add that it can lead to opening your mind to love and living in harmony with Gaia Earth and its people.

Cannabis is not only transformational for humans, it itself is a transformational plant. It is because it comes, and can be used in many forms such as hemp cloth, seeds, oils and "vegetable matter." Each genus has been said by religious leaders to enhance ones medical health and overall spirituality, while providing true wisdom and a natural link to the world around them.

This holistic plant provides an abundant infusion of well-being. All of its plant parts have been used in religious practices and healing. Its hempseed oil and leaves are often used as food, ritual drinks, and healing elixirs, providing the human body with the highest percent of certain essential fatty acids both linoleic (LN) and linolenic (LNA). LN and LNA are both life sustaining components for the body. Moreover the body must have these acids to survive, but cannot produce them itself. The Complete Guide to Fats and Oils in Health and Nutrition by Udo Erasmus, states that deficiency in LA and LNA can cause serious health deficiencies. These fatty acids are involved with the production of life energy in the body from food substances and are vital to our growth, vitality and metal state. When the plant is used in ritual practices, its health enhancing qualities become an essential part of ones spiritual progression.

Scientists and healers alike say in addition to the plant's hempseed oil fatty acids they have found that cannabis not only heals the body and ones spirituality, it is essential to our earth's environmental well being. By using and growing beneficial hemp plant leaves, stalks and flowers for medicine, paper, food and fuel, we can lessen our dependence on polluting fossil fuels and we can save more trees, protect the air we breath and can promote a healthy and ecologically balanced Earth. This outlawed and banished plant is ultimately beneficial in a variety of ways. Our natural use of hemp is part of our innate common sense, and is key to our basic survival. Reexamining and teaching about cannabis extensively, as a sacred plant may just help the masses embrace it, instead of fear it.

Rastafarians say it is part of the heart of god, "Gods Breath." It is known as honey-wood, and angel's food. It is a plant for guidance and truth visions. Its resin, leaves, flowered tops, buds, seeds are all for our use. Despite its ludicrous illegal status, many people continue hold on to the Earth's truths, and have proven that man's laws regarding hemp or cannabis, cannot hold water when it comes to the health of the planet and human survival. Because of the past and present use of Cannabis Sativa, humanity has gained great wisdom and healing from it. One must ask the question why is cannabis and hemp continuously ridiculed and labeled as dangerous by modern law makers? Modern prophets say it will be more dangerous to humanity in the long run, if we do not embrace cannabis as an essential spiritual food and natural resource. It may be time for us to embrace our past spiritual lineage and ancestors who used cannabis, we can learn a lot from them.

The next time you encounter the pungent odor of cannabis and see dancing and drumming during festival time, understand that great healing is taking place for all who dwell spiritually in harmony with the Earth.

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The Holiness of Marijuana

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