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How Cannabis Is Applied in Pagan and Shamanic Rituals

October 27, 2021 08:30 am ET
How Cannabis Is Applied in Pagan and Shamanic Rituals

We’ve all heard that cannabis has been around for thousands of years and used as an entheogen—a psychoactive substance used in a religious or spiritual context—in the past. While we have already looked at world religions and groups that embrace the entheogenic use of cannabis, there are questions still unanswered, such as how one can use and benefit from ancient practices in modern days, especially when they may not prescribe to those groups.

According to the journal NeuroQuantology, shamanic and pagan cultures incorporate cannabis spiritually to ponder religious and philosophical subjects relevant to them, enter a state of enlightenment, make discoveries of the mind and subconscious, and even use cannabis as an aphrodisiac. These uses all point to the efficacy of cannabis as a holistic remedy rather than just a recreational or medicinal substance.

Cannabis and Witchcraft

Stacey B., who goes by Stasya, is the creator of Tarot Pugs—a blog about tarot, witchcraft, spirit work, and magick—as well as a psychic tarot reader, energy healer, and witch. She practices Slavic folk magick and has over 25 years’ worth of relevant experience and knowledge. As a modern-day witch who includes cannabis in her rituals, Stasya is an excellent example of how cannabis spiritual practices are being used today.

In her article “Cannabis & Witchcraft,” Stasya explains, “Working with plants and herbs is often more than simply adding the herbs or plant materials to a candle or spell bag.” In her practice, Stasya draws from shamanism, which involves communicating with the plant spirits. This communication involves entering a meditative state while possessing the plant in order to connect with the essence of the plant’s spirit.

Communicating with the cannabis plant spirit should occur before or while using the cannabis in order to allow “any visions, insights, impressions or words to come to mind.” Stasya then recommends recording these in a journal. One can even take things a step further and work with the terpenes in the cannabis to explore different aromatherapeutic and psychological effects.

Dr. Wayne Dyer, a renowned self-development author, emphasizes the importance of letting go in spiritual growth:

“You have to just be. You have to let go. You have to allow. You have to be free and make this your consciousness. Basically, what you would see is a frequency (of energy) that manifests itself through the process of giving, of allowing, of offering and of serving. It asks nothing back.”

If you wish to use cannabis for enlightenment, healing, or access to the subconscious, using the power of intention to connect and communicate with the spirit of the plant is crucial. For a successful ritual, you should set positive and open-minded intentions before beginning meditation and consumption.

Cannabis, Astrology, and Deities

Stasya dives deeper into the magickal properties of cannabis by explaining that cannabis, like any other plant, has associations with astrology and deities. Cannabis is associated with the elements of water and earth, as well as with the planet Saturn. This combination, she says, creates a balance of death and love.

This love and death relationship is explained as the cycle of life in which the cannabis plant has to “die” (be burned) in order to bring about beauty and love. One can also connect with the deities associated with cannabis—Hestia, Venus, Freyja, Osiris, Bastet, Isis, Dionysus, Pan, and Santa Muerte—in order to invoke or channel messages from the deities.

Just like the experience of cannabis consumption varies from one consumer to the next, Stasya explains that those who wish to engage in rituals such as these should understand that “the use of cannabis for magickal purposes and in witchcraft is always a personal experience and can vary from practitioner to practitioner.”

Modern Cannabis Rituals

Reign Rituals, a community wellness studio located in Denver, Colorado, specializes in spiritual cannabis rituals. In her article outlining the process for working with cannabis spiritually, Reign Rituals writer Sade Preston explains, “To get an understanding of how plants affect us in our spiritual practices, it’s important to first understand the plant as a whole.” As a devotee of the deity Santa Muerte, Preston views cannabis as a sacred offering. The ritual process includes:

  • Doing research on cannabis to Gain a better understanding of “your plant ally”
  • Asking for the plant’s permission to work with it
  • Trying different strains in order to identify what works best for you
  • Setting a clear intention of what you wish to accomplish while working with the spirit of cannabis
  • Consuming small quantities to avoid a hazy state of mind
  • Taking note of how you feel and what you experience during the ritual

Cannabis can be a unique spiritual tool when used purposefully. With intention and an open heart, you don’t have to be a witch like Stasya to experience the rejuvenating energy surrounding the cannabis plant.

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