Cannabis Roots: Feed Your Head, a supplement

While the focus of this series has been mainly on legal to semi-legal substances that can be used in ritual, I thought that some of you may enjoy Cannabis Roots: The Hidden History of Marijuana, which will air tomorrow live from 11 am-6 pm Pacific time on Pot TV.  Cannabis Roots is a ticketed event being held in Vancouver, Canada that will feature scholars of all sorts whose presentations will explore the important role that pot has played in world history, particularly the histories of many world religions.  Make sure to check out Dr. David Hillman’s lecture at 3 pm which will be about Bacchus, Aphrodite, sex, and drugs–you know, all the good things.  Of interest too will be Professor Carl Ruck’s lecture, also on Ancient Greek themes.

To watch the conference (and remember it’s live, so don’t mess up on the time): http://www.cannabisculture.com/cannabisroots

For a summary of Dr. Hillman’s lecture: http://www.cannabisculture.com/content/2012/09/28/Satisfying-Flame-Desire-Marijuana-Priestesses-Drugs-and-Cycle-

For a summary of Professor Ruck’s lecture: http://www.cannabisculture.com/content/2012/09/28/High-Thoughts-Aristophanes-Parody-Socrates-Pot-Head

************************************************************************************************* November 2013 update:  Dr. David Hillman’s lecture: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVjT3Wwbb0k

These folks know their cannabis roots:

The Geeky Kink Event http://thegeekykinkevent.com/

Passion And Soul: http://passionandsoul.com/

Knotjokin Rope Floggers: http://www.knotjokin.etsy.com

Tonia Brown www.thebackseatwriter.com

Just Smack Me!: http://barbedpentacle.com/just-smack-me-a-wooden-spoon-decorating-contest/

 

Samhain Invitation Tea: Feed Your Head, Part 4

My first experience with hallucinogens (besides the lovely trips I’d take as a little kid huffing nitrous oxide at the dentist’s office) was with eating nutmeg before bed to induce vivid dreams.  I had come across some reference to sailors getting trippy on nutmeg, and I decided that it would be fun to experiment with the spice.  Once you get past the initial nausea, it’s not too bad.

Nutmeg fruits want to be sexually alluring, but they just don’t quite pull it off.

 

This tea is good to serve at Samhain because it helps to open you up to the different possibilities of the thinning of the veil.  If you’re doing divination, it will help with that.  If you’re doing ancestor work, it will help with that.  If you’re looking for spirits, it will help with that.  If you’re just drinking away the night, add booze to the tea–preferable tequila or absinthe.

The recipe:  Serves 4 to 6 people or one really adventurous person with a strong stomach.

2 liters boiling water (or a kettle full), 1 cup honey, 3 grated nutmegs, 3 cinnamon sticks, 2 teaspoons dried yarrow, 1/4 cup rosehips (fresh or dried), 2 tablespoons dried mugwort (or wormwood), and 2 tablespoons dried hops

Steep concoction for 10 minutes and strain.  Serve chilled 10 minutes before ritual.

I’ve always been a little creeped out by how half a nutmeg looks. The little dark lines look like chicken veins or something. Of course, I suppose, you could divine things from the veins.

Do not use this tea if you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or trying to conceive.  Some of the herbs can cause pre-menstrual bleeding.  So keep a panty liner handy a day or two after ritual.

 

These folks are nutmeg eaters:

The Geeky Kink Event http://thegeekykinkevent.com/

Tonia Brown www.thebackseatwriter.com

Erotic Sensations http://eroticsensations.us/

Passion And Soul: http://passionandsoul.com/

 

If you only buy one book this year…buy this one!, Feed Your Head, Part 3

If your interest has been ignited by this series and you’re looking for a good resource to add to your library, let me suggest The Magical and Ritual Use of Herbs by Richard Alan Miller. http://richardalanmiller.com/http://www.amazon.com/The-Magical-Ritual-Use-Herbs/dp/0892814012

Richard Alan Miller is an old hippie who was smart enough to go to college and become a physicist, a bio-chemist, and an herbalist before he fried his brain (unlike other old hippies that I know).  He is also a Pagan who feels that it’s ridiculous for the American government to allow Native Americans the legal use of peyote in religious ritual but not Wiccans and other “legal” nature based religions.  This is a stance that I strongly agree with.  While there’s not an unbroken lineage between the Earth-based religions of today and the religions of history, our modern Pagan paths are based on the practices of the ancients, and they used drugs as part of their religious ceremonies.  If I want to have a good time I’ll get drunk or stoned, not spend an hour or more preparing peyote and then spending several more hours trying to force myself not to vomit as I hallucinate and commune with the Lord and Lady, wondering if the ants I feel on my skin are real or fake.  Despite the ants and the nausea, the other experiences that I get from taking a substance like peyote are meaningful to me and my religious path and should be legal for anyone who wants to experience it.

Miller also views these plants and substances used in ritual as “sacraments,” which is similar to the way that many Central and South American native groups view them.  These groups often view the plant’s spirit as a deity that you are taking into your body and asking to become one with you.  It’s a whole other form of aspecting.  Miller is also cool because he is very prompt about returning emailed questions from readers about dosage and recipe substitution.  He replied to me within 24 hours with out having ever met me.  He’s that dedicated.

The book is very easy to use.  If you don’t want to read the whole work, you don’t have to.  The book starts off with an intro into ritual and magic for new Pagans or non-Pagans who are reading the book (I have a feeling that a lot of anthropology classes probably assign this book as a companion reference to Castaneda’s questionable Don Juan series (beware of brujas, sparkling crows, and dogs that want to piss on you)).

The book is then divided into sections: stimulants, depressants, narcotics, and hallucinogens.  There is also a quick reference chart at the end of the book which is really handy because we all know that Pagans are too lazy now to actually learn and memorize stuff (or as my partner claims “too busy”).  Each plant entry contains an excellent line drawing of the plant that is good enough to identify a majority of the entries from nature, sacrament type, Latin and common names for the plant, the location where the plant grows wild, the habitat where you can find the plant, a botanical description, the history of use, the chemical make-up with diagrams, the primary effects, how to prepare the sacrament, ideas for ritual use, and any precautions that the user should keep in mind.  Miller’s prose is not boring or overly scholarly.

Most of the plants that Miller covers in his book are legal (more or less) in most states in the US.  Some of the plants do fall into gray areas, so do your homework.  ”I didn’t know” never seems to work as a legal defense.  Some of the plants are exotics that can easily be ordered online or found in local herb and health food stores, but many of them can be found for free in wild places or cultivated.  Passion Flowers, lobelia, scullcap, Mormon Tea, valerian, wild lettuce, wormwood, calamus, morning glories, psilocyben, and datura (thorn apple or jimson weed) are all often found in gardens, pastures, and roadsides.  Check out from the library a field guide for wild plants in your area and have fun harvesting.

I use my copy of The Magical and Ritual Use of Herbs all the time.  If you’re willing to shell out $15 for some book from Llewellyn, then you should definitely spring for this book.  If you’re too poor or cheap to buy it, well there’s always Tortuga.

These folks enjoy ingesting plant deities from time to time:

The Geeky Kink Event http://thegeekykinkevent.com/

Tonia Brown www.thebackseatwriter.com

Chris Eagle Music http://chriseaglemusic.weebly.com/

Erotic Sensations http://eroticsensations.us/

Passion And Soul: http://passionandsoul.com/

 

 

Feed Your Head, Part 2: Divining the Smoke

Salvia divinorum, or Diviner’s Sage, is the next stop on our fairly legal herbal journey. Many of you will be familiar with the small packages of the dried green leaves at smoke shops and metaphysical stores, or having it passed around a bale fire at a Pagan event–which is not quite as wonderful as getting multiple pipes and joints passed to you at a Dead concert. The smoke blend is relatively cheap and easy to obtain, and it is a good “gateway” ritual substance.

Like many mildly hallucinogenic plants, Diviner’s Sage is originally from Mexico. In most areas of the *United States, Diviner’s Sage is legal. However, the state of Delaware has made it completely illegal due to Brett’s Law, which is a stupid law right out of “Reefer Madness.”

While most people who take Diviner’s Sage smoke it in a pipe, the herb can be chewed fresh and held in the cheek like snuff. It can also be made into a tea or tincture. Www.sagewidom.org/usersguide.com is a good place to go for free information on everything Diviner’s Sage. It has some particularly helpful tips on propagation and storage. The two main points of the guide are use the sage in private–never in public–and to always have a babysitter. I’m not sure I fully agree with those points, but they are good things to keep in mind.

In my own experience with Diviner’s Sage, I felt somewhere between mildly stoned and extremely tipsy after smoking several bowls. I used it in a sweat lodge ritual, and it worked really well for that. It’s also good for trances, meditations, oracle work, ecstatic dances, and aspecting deities. As with all substances of this nature, all participants should be of legal age and no one should operate a vehicle while under the influence.

If you’d like to add an extra divinatory dimension to your smoking experience, you can try out the ancient art of libanomancy.  Libanomancy is divining the future through incense smoke.  If it blows one way, it means something.  If it blows another way, it means something else.  Even though this practice traditionally uses incense resin dropped on hot charcoal, it’s very easily adaptable to smoke rising from a pipe.  Check out http://www.angelfire.com/tx/tintirbabylon/libano.html for the meanings that the ancient Babylonians gave to smoke’s behavior.

 *THE UNITED STATES: Salvia divinorum is classified as a controlled substance in the states of Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Virginia. Salvia divinorum is also illegal in the states of Louisiana and Tennessee, but only if intended for human consumption. A local law prohibits possession of Salvia divinorum in Suffolk County, New York. Salvia divinorum is entirely legal in all other states.

These folks give sage advice:

The Geeky Kink Event http://thegeekykinkevent.com/

Tonia Brown www.thebackseatwriter.com

Chris Eagle Music http://chriseaglemusic.weebly.com/

Erotic Sensations http://eroticsensations.us/

Passion And Soul: http://passionandsoul.com/

Feed Your Head, part 1: Gift of the Magi

Mind-altering drugs. When I hear that phrase, I immediately think of the 1960′s, as do many other people in America. However, the use of mind-altering drugs can be traced much farther back, as I’m sure you learned from the above documentary. They were originally used by ancient man in religious ceremonies. Although mind-altering drugs are a lot of fun to take recreationally, the main focus of this new series will be to explore easily gotten, relatively legal, substances that can be used in group or solitary ritual. Most of the substances that will be discussed can best be described as good old-fashioned gateway drugs. Most of them won’t leave you so inebriated that you can’t drive home from ritual, but they’ll work well enough to remove the inhibitions that may be keeping you from directly interacting with your deities in a ritual. That, in nutshell, is the whole reason why people started taking mind-altering substances.

“And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.”  Matthew 2:11

Frankincense is a tree resin from the genus Boswellia.

When sold in its resin from (often called “tears”), it’s a white to yellow color.

It’s also sold as a powder, oil, and in incense sticks and cones. It’s an ancient substance of Middle Eastern origin. It has been used for healing and embalming. It’s what often fills the censers at a Catholic church service.

Magically, frankincense is used for protection, cleansing, meditation, and purification.  Evidently, the boswellia trees are in some trouble.  So, buy your frankincense while you can!  http://econews.com.au/news-to-sustain-our-world/wise-men-warn-frankincense-trees-in-decline/

I had never really considered using frankincense as a mind altering substance until I was up very late one night chugging spiked coffee working on some Pagan project. I had the History Channel or its sister station (I don’t really remember) on as back ground noise. I really wasn’t paying attention to the noise until a cool show came on about how the Ancients used different chemicals in ritual and every day life. Unfortunately, it’s not the show at the beginning of the entry. Dr. Weil is not anywhere near as dynamic a host as this show’s host had been. If I find a link to the correct show, I’ll post it. Anyway, besides the normal stuff about magic mushrooms, tobacco, and different cousins of peyote, the show discussed how supposedly the Ancient Greeks would hotbox frankincense before making important political decisions.

At first, I laughed out loud about this. It sounded like something the really lame kids did in Middle School because they didn’t have any High School connections. When my partner came into the room to ask if I was planning on coming to bed sometime in the next couple of days, I shared the frankincense information. Instead of laughing with me, he thought it made perfect sense. “That’s probably why everyone claimed to have such deep religious experiences at the ritual I conducted last year. The only incense I used was frankincense, and I used a lot of it.” It was true.

The ritual was conducted outside, but my partner used a huge cauldron full of hot charcoal and frankincense as a censer. After thinking about it for a while, I realized that the people who reported, in some cases life-altering, religious experiences were the ones who got blasted for several minutes by the frankincense smoke when the wind shifted in their direction. As it turned out, the Greeks were on to something.

Hotboxing frankincense is a very easy way to start exploring the use of mind altering substances in ritual. Chances are that you already have frankincense in your magical supplies. The term “hotboxing” (for those that don’t know) refers to smoking a substance in an enclosed area, like a car or bathroom.  Hotboxing shouldn’t be done by people with allergies, asthma, or other breathing, lung, or respiratory/sinus ailments. For using frankincense in this manner in ritual, you need a space where the ventilation can be adjusted. The ancient Greeks used a closet, but I wouldn’t suggest that. I would suggest a small room with a window or a fan.

Before ritual, light a large amount of frankincense (I prefer the resin on charcoal) in a fire safe container (which is what your censer should be). Leave it burning in the closed area for a few minutes while you finish other preparations in a different room. When you enter, the room should be smokey. Close the door and inhale. After three minutes, open a window a small amount or turn a fan on low. This is so that the smoke still stays in the room, but fresh air is introduced or at least the air remaining in the room is circulated. If you don’t introduce some fresh air or air circulation, asphyxiation will occur, which will lead to a close encounter with your deities of a different kind. Now conduct ritual as you normally would. After your ritual is over, open the window wide or turn the fan on high to clear the room of smoke. FYI, beware of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors when using frankincense in this manner.

Hotboxing frankincense is a very gentle and relatively safe way to start exploring legal, mind altering substances. It’s not going to make you high or cause hallucinations, but your brain will react to the frankincense. Just be aware, and reflect on the ritual later to see what how this ritual differed from well ventilated rituals.

Hotbox these folks:

Erotic Sensations http://eroticsensations.us/

Quadrivium Supplies  http://www.quadrivium-supplies.com

Tonia Brown www.thebackseatwriter.com

Chris Eagle Music http://chriseaglemusic.weebly.com/

The Geeky Kink Event http://thegeekykinkevent.com/
Passion And Soul: http://passionandsoul.com/