What is an entheogen?
This episode is intended for adults over 21+. Peace & Blessings. Welcome to episode 23 of Real Shift Happens. In this episode, we’re going to dive deep into the connection between spirituality & cannabis and talk about the many cultures that have revered cannabis as a sacred divine feminine plant.
That and much more but first, on the podcast, we get into our 5-minute Focused Shift, so go ahead and listen to the podcast episode and keep reading.
And if possible be sure you take at least 5 or 10 minutes every day to sit quietly with yourself. You’re going to notice a difference in your day and you’ll be building upon making shifts in your life for the better.
I can say from experience that meditating has made a major positive impact in my life through the good and bad. And I’m very serious about my meditation practice in that I do not miss my twice daily, which is 20 mins twice a day. It’s really about making time for yourself.
Now the topic at hand, spirituality and cannabis which is very relevant now that the prohibition of marijuana is lifting in many states and will most likely be lifted federally soon. For so many people these days cannabis is a lifestyle, whether it’s for recreational or medicinal use.
One thing, I have to say is this is not for children. We are speaking of adult use only in this talk.
In this discussion, we’re more specifically talking about cannabis as an entheogenic plant and its relationship with spirituality in the past and present times. We’ll also touch on the history and politics of cannabis. Plus, some major benefits and pitfalls of cannabis use in your spiritual awakening journey.
So what is an entheogen? Wikipedia defines the word the way:
An entheogen is a psychoactive substance that induces alterations in perception, mood, consciousness, cognition, or behavior for the purposes of engendering spiritual development in sacred contexts.”
Most people don’t connect spirituality and cannabis. We all know cannabis as the stoner, get-high recreational drug that kids do in college for kicks, however, we are now finding the breadth of cannabis to be much more than once thought. More and more people have reported cures and relief from various ailments and the stigma is beginning to lift.
As prohibition is beginning to also lift around the US, I think it’s important to openly discuss the history of how the prohibition came to be and the implications it’s had on our society.
Cannabis is actually an ancient plant that has been used as a sacrament for centuries. So it was not always illegal and demonized, in fact, it has been a mainstay in human history since probably the beginning of the creation of the earth.
But by the 1930s smear campaigns and propaganda against marijuana began to appear. Which prompted President Franklin D. Roosevelt to make marijuana illegal by signing into law the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. This started a more public government regulation over cannabis and its use by US citizens.
During this time, recreational use was on the rise and industrial hemp was beginning to bloom. And since hemp fiber can be used to make just about anything, many high ranking businessmen were said to have interests in seeing cannabis as a whole regulated to protect their businesses.
The takedown by both political and financial motivation produced racist fear-mongering campaigns about how Mexican and Black men would rape white women while high on marijuana to scare the public into going along with the tax acts.
There are two implications here. The first is obviously greed. Hemp is one of the strongest natural fibers on the planet and has more use and efficacy than any other plant and fiber. During that time, Andrew Mellon, William Randolph Hearst, and the DuPont family are said to have feared competition from the up and coming hemp industry which probably would have taken their businesses out.
Secondly, the government feared the rise of recreational use with the people. But why did they fear people using marijuana too much? It wasn’t really because Mexican and Black men were running around rampant raping white women. Anyone who has tried marijuana at any point in their life will attest to the fact that it does not make you aggressive.
In fact, it has more of the opposite effect as it generally gives most people a soothing, calming feeling. Some may experience paranoia but aggression, no. And that is what I want to go deeper into here. The question is why would our governments place bans and regulations on a plant with a history of only aiding humans?
In her book, The Yoga of Marijuana, the author Joan Bello speaks to that point,
Psychologically speaking, Marijuana fosters the higher emotions of caring, sharing, and tolerance. There is less emphasis placed on personal acquisition and achievement and more on inner understanding and righteousness.
Competition is eased out and recognized as an inhumane ethic, especially in these dire times when the need for compassion is so obvious” she adds, “But the materialistic ethic runs on a separatist mentality and is weakened by anything that encourages cooperating rather than competing.”
The connection goes much deeper than the control and regulation of a substance, that is the surface of it. On the surface, we can say “drugs are bad, get rid of them.” But when you actually do a little research as to why they push the drugs are bad agenda, we can see that it’s not about the public protection at all. Because they create synthetic versions of natural healing plants via big pharma and push that to the public.
In my opinion, it’s spiritual warfare. The war on drugs is really a cover for the war against our spirits and against higher consciousness. And the prohibition on cannabis is a microcosm of the suppression of the divine feminine as a whole.
It’s an obvious concerted effort to keep the collective consciousness vibrating at lower frequencies and it’s about fear and control. And the majority of people buy into this because they believe whatever they are told.
In truth, many cultures past and present, have revered cannabis as a sacred divine feminine plant and sages have used the plant in sacred ceremonies and rituals.
The book, Cannabis and Spirituality: An Explorer’s Guide to an Ancient Plant Spirit Ally by Stephen Gray, is a great read that breaks down the history of marijuana as an entheogen in many religions such as Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Rastafarians, many indigenous tribes of Africa and America and more.
Also, according to The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, there are five paths to self-realization, meditation, Oshadhi, Mantra, Sacrifice, and Birth. Oshadhi is the lesser-known path of herbs, plants, and elixirs. The interpretations have been thought to be plant medicines such as ayahuasca and cannabis.
Herbal and plant medicine healing has been a long-standing practice in the ancient world and is slowly re-emerging in our modern world. There’s an awesome excerpt from the book Yoga of Marijuana that says,
Plants Transmit the Vital-Emotional Impulses, The Life Force that is Hidden in Light. That is the Gift, the Grace, the Power of Plants …Plants bring the Nourishing Power of the Sun. Plants exist to Transmute Light into Life. Humans exist to Transmute Life into Consciousness …Plants Transmute Light into Life Through Photosynthesis. Humans Transmute Life into Consciousness Through Perception.”
So that’s what we’re talking about here, consciousness and the awakening of higher levels of consciousness. The ancients and mystical sages in the past knew that cannabis helps awaken consciousness. And, let’s just say, the powers that be, know this too. This is why all the knowledge was hidden and hoarded from everyone except those deemed adepts in secret societies.
I wanted to talk about this topic because my first spiritual awakening began while I was high. Thus the word high, higher consciousness, I was spontaneously tapping into my own higher consciousness and didn’t realize it. I talk more about my entire awakening experience in episode 2: The Great Awakening, so check that out when you get a chance.
And I am not alone in this occurrence, it’s happened and is happening to people all over the world who use marijuana in any form. And no wonder since cannabis has been used for this very purpose for centuries.
Besides the obvious growing recreational use among people from all walks of life. It was actually prescribed by doctors up until the early 20th century when all the tomfoolery started taking it over. it’s also being used for therapy sessions, spiritual ceremonies as a sacrament, and there’s the brand name Ganja yoga classes and lots of other marijuana yoga classes in states where it’s legal.
Get this, here is the science. In 1992, scientists discovered the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the human body. Yes! What does that sound like? Endo canna, yes. Ok, I’m no medical doctor so I can’t really break down how it all works. I’m going to give you the layman term of what this system does, it helps keeps your body in balance.
So definitely do a quick search on Youtube. You’ll find some quick breakdowns that talk about the receptors and the molecules that exist in our ECS system naturally in the body and how they bind with THC and other cannabinoids found in cannabis which helps bring your body to homeostasis and balance.
Basically, they’ve known this for years and that the ECS is the major system that controls all of the systems in the body; the circulatory, pulmonary, skeletal, muscular and nervous system. It is literally driving the bus, it’s the leader of the squad. Yet, this is not something even in the medical books used in traditional medical schools. Wait, what?
Let me say it again for the people in the back. The ECS, the main system in our body that controls all the other 5 major systems of our body is not being taught in medical schools. Why? Once again due to greed and political self-interest, when money and power take precedence over human lives.
The problem with marijuana for those powerful businessmen who have continually suppressed “the people’s plant” is that since it is a living plant, it can’t be patented. But they can shelve the plant and try to duplicate its properties to create synthetic prescription drugs and get the patents. And we haven’t even touched on the criminalization part of this. That’s another discussion. Man, it’s a dirty game. And there are so many levels to it.
I’m not saying all prescription drugs are harmful because some have saved people’s lives. But we also have to look at the bigger picture and the root causes of dis-ease and how it ties into self-care. Where is preventative care?
There is something inherently wrong with a medical system that steals from and then demonizes holistic approaches to healing that have been in place for centuries. “In holistic medicine – symptoms are not denied, repressed, drugged or ignored.”, says Joan Bello, in her book The Benefits of Marijuana Physical, Psychological and Spiritual.
I live in the US and there are cities in certain states that are known to be more health-conscious places but in general, I don’t think the US is known for its citizens’ health and self-care routines. It’s all about the money here, self-care sounds too much like slowing down to the average person who has no time to be thinking about these things.
Of course, this is something ancient already knew intuitively because they were in touch with themselves and they didn’t have fast food. No, but seriously, ancient wisdom seems way more advanced than we were taught in school.
So yes, for some people, a little marijuana is not a bad thing. It’s not addictive, it will help lower your stress and balance your body which is why the CBD craze is in full effect. And that is just one cannabinoid in the plant, there are hundreds more that are being proven to have health benefits. It’s helping people with epilepsy, Parkinson’s, cancer, IBS, depression and more.
However, it is not a cure-all, per se. Well, it kinda is but not if you continue with an unhealthy lifestyle. The ECS responds well with a healthy lifestyle, eating right, exercise, getting sleep, yoga, meditation, all the shit that people don’t want to hear. You have to know that if you’re not taking care of yourself, the plant is not going to take care of you either.
Another thing I want to point out is that marijuana is not for everyone. Some people have extreme paranoia or they just feel uncomfortable and don’t like the feeling.
Again, Joan Bello breaks it down in her books, so definitely do your own research and check out her books. By the way, she has been studying Marijuana since the sixties and has a Master’s in Eastern Studies and Psychology and has clinical experience as a drug abuse counselor.
She talks about who marijuana is NOT recommended for:
- For those disinterested and/or overly dismayed by personal self-centered motives beneath the surface and the fear that drives those motives, greater awareness of unconscious issues cannot be integrated.
- For those well-defended in their fears, without yearning for states of being beyond the mundane, Marijuana Therapy will not awaken the spiritual realm. The physical and psychological release that usually accompanies marijuana, may prove disorienting, without appreciable health advantages since the person will actually ward off the liberating and unfamiliar and therefore dangerous aspects of marijuana. For this character-types marijuana is frightening in the intensity of its clarity.
- For those who are propagandized by the misinformation concerning Marijuana Therapy and feel secure in their ignorance, there is little hope to plumb the depths of their prejudice. They too will not be able to receive the energetic charge of marijuana for at first hint of deep breathing and therefore a “reality check,” the body and mind will contract, rather than allow for expansion.
That pretty much says it all. Everyone is not ready for the plant and some should not even attempt it. But for those who are open-minded and willing to see past societal stigmas might actually get some relief and benefits from marijuana.
Like with anything, before you try it, you’ll want to do your own research and take it slow. This is not something to jump into and think you’ll be cured of all your ailments though it can really help, especially pain and sleep. Do your research, don’t let other people tell you what is right for your spirit, mind, and body.
If you live in a state where it’s illegal, I’m sorry but I’m not sure what you can do except maybe vote to have the law passed to legalize medicinal marijuana. And this is really just a snippet of what is happening with this plant. It goes super deep.
And on that note, I think I will wrap it up here. And until next time, what do we do? We must do the inner work and create a shift in our own consciousness which will create a shift in the collective consciousness. That is the goal.
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Until next week, Real Shifters, go within and make real shift happen.