***Entheogens, Consciousness and Magick***
I’ve been meaning to write for awhile now about the use of Ethenogens and Magick. Entheogens have been used since the Dawn of time by so many different cultures. Such as the American Indians and their Shamans using peyote and mescaline for their “Vision quests” and Shamanic pathways and so many many other cultures as I shall explain more about below.
Other cultures and I mean so many including ours prefer to use marijuana in all her glory to connect to the universal consciousness so that they can truly connect to the Divine Consciousness much easier. Daytura has been used by many cultures as well but sometimes sadly if taken in too high a dose can either cause blindness and sometimes permanently. Daytura can also even cause death in some people which is tragic. These are the types of entheogens to stay clear of at all costs.
Then there are Magick Mushrooms have been used since the earliest of times also for vision quests and also helps people to connect with the Divine Consciousness as well. Even in the Celtic Lands magic mushrooms grow in abundance and I’m pretty sure that a Druid or two or many more used them to help them connect and practice their “natural Magick”. These plant familiars are where the ideas of
fairies, devas, elves and other magickal creatures come from. Somebody way back in the mists of time found these creatures through their own mystic travels and luckily for the rest of us recorded them either with images or writing so that they are now part of our collective consciousness as humans beings.
The Africans have their own entheogenic “plants” (which are too many and varied to list here), which that are still used by their Witchdoctors to either cure, curse or help those in their tribe. As well as helping their young men when they are forced to survive on their own without their tribe or any shelter or food. Quite often certain ethenogens are given to them so that they can experience as well as endure things that normally they could not out in the African jungle of their own. Then when these young men return after a given time say around a week or so. Their tribe (village) usually has a big ceremony to celebrate them becoming a “man and a warrior” of their tribe. Who are we in the west to say they are wrong.
Also entheogens are quite often given to African women so that they can endure long and dangerous childbirth out in the African bush without any Doctors or nurses. Without using ethenogens as painkillers for these women a lot of them would surely die without any pain relief especially when a labor out in the bush can go for days as there are no modern hospitals or doctors to make their birthing any easier with modern technology. When thinking of entheogens and the use thereof we need to think of them in context to where they are being used and why?
There are also the Indian Mystics and Sages throughout the centuries like today’s “Sadhu’s” for instance that use entheogens most days so they can be transported to another place or plane and experience Godhead in that manner. Usually they tend to use marijuana or hasish everyday if they can. As it is part of their spiritual practice. Now just because most western people don’t “believe in it” doesn’t make it wrong. Most of these Sadhus (Indian Holy Men) usually live on the banks of the Ganges at various locations throughout India at the Cremation sites for most of India’s dead.
As Hindus believe in reincarnation and they believe that cremation releases the soul. The Saddhu’s literally emerge themselves in death. They wear bones as well as covering their bodies and faces in the ashes of the dead in a ritualistic manner. As they have no income they live on either the charity from other’s for giving them blessings and praying for their recently deceased loved one’s soul so that they will have a good incarnation in their next life. The Saddhus live on whatever they can find in the trash a lot and the use of Entheogens apparently helps them get through normal human wants and needs like hunger. Like all Hindus in India they believe in reincarnation so strongly that they live in this way in the hope it will be their last incarnation on this plane.
Our own belief systems are just a product of our society, the religion of our family and our peers. Basically what we were brought up to believe is what’s deemed acceptable or not. So for many people their faith is predetermined by an accident of birth as well as our upbringing and duration or lack thereof. Yet these same people are usually the first to point the finger at anyone else who is different than them. Whom may choose to use an entheogen safely and wisely.
Yet when you think about it alcohol and tobacco are legal and it’s been proven that they both cause far more deaths, violence (alcohol) and illness than marijuana or anything else natural put together ever has. We must all wake up and realise that we are all products of our upbringing and our culture and country of birth “nothing more and nothing less”, (apart from those of us who’ve had a Spiritual awakening), so who are we to judge other cultures in what they use as part of their spiritual practices or as part of their medicinal care”? We are nobody that’s who!
Then of course there is African Voodoo and Haitians Houdou and even in America today such as in New Orleans they quite often practice either Traditional Voodoo and/or Hoodoo or “Houdou”. Hoodoo is a mixture of the religion of Voodoo from the African Diaspora, as well as Voodoo as practiced in Haiti which is then mixed and bastardized with Christianity. As when they were taken as slaves from Africa and Haiti they had to hide from their slave masters what they were actually practising. So that is how Christian Saints like Saint Michael for instance has become part of their practice as well as their traditional “Orishas” and “Loas”. So gradually over the centuries Voodoo and Christianity the most unlikely of bedfellows ended up morphing together and becoming one and they’ve stayed that way right up until today. There are also what are called Rootworkers such as practiced firstly in the Appalachians of the U.S. As well as Palo Mayombe such as practiced in Cuba. However Palo is actually an ATR (African Traditional Religion). I am no expert on this but can refer you to someone whom I know, who really understands it.
Then there is Santeria which is quite well known to many in the U.S. now as well. In Mexico after the Spanish invadors forced the indigenous people of their land to convert to Christianity that is how their own kind of religion was born. Then there is The cult of “Saint Death”, “The White Bony Lady” or “Santa Muerte” etc. She seems to have morphed with the Catholic Faith which of course the Vatican does not accept. However she is getting a bigger and bigger following there every single day. As people struggle with survival, life and death in the only way that they know how. She is widely accepted with many people there especially by the Criminal Underworld where they pray and make offerings to her for protection etc. All the belief systems above all use Entheogens of some kind whether it be cannabis, mescaline and DMT. We can all sit back and be judgemental of their use. However if the Entheogens in Mexico for instance were controlled? Just imagine how much criminal activity would be stopped if they were managed by their Government? Wake up world……..it’s about harm minimization. Surely it would curb the high mortality rate there that is caused by crime.
Then of course there are the Buddhists of many different types from the Zen Buddhists of Japan with their “koans” to the Tibetan Buddhists like the Dalai Lama himself. Whom since the Chinese Occupation of Tibet back in 1959 when the Dalai Lama was smuggled out of Tibet in his youth on the back of a donkey across the mountains to the border at the top of India and thankfully as we all know he got across safely. Then he and many other Buddhist Lama’s, monks and nuns were able to escape the totalitarian regime of the then Chinese Communist Leader Moatze Tung. Even today there is still a price on his head if he even so much steps into Tibet where there are now sadly far more Chinese living there than Tibetans.
Tibetan Buddhism is a beautiful belief system with an incredible philosophy. Especially living for the good of all sentient beings (meaning from fish and animals etc right through to us human beings), which is a tenant of all Buddhists, and if a person can accomplish this in their lifetime they either become a “Bodhisattva” an enlightened one or they can choose to become one with the universe (Nirvana). There is quite a difference between say Mayahana Buddhism compared to Thai Buddhism. Buddhism is a wonderful belief system in general which I studied for three years with a Tibetan Lama. The Dalai Lama’s Residence is in Dharmasala, India where there is now a huge Tibetan Buddhist Temple where many Lamas, Monks, Nuns and laypeople can live in peace and without fear.
There are so many examples I could give from around the world such as the use of Opium by the Chinese which when used responsibly wasn’t too much of a problem for some. Say once a month a Chinese person would smoke it and that was it. But eventually this practice led to Opium Dens especially in the New World (America) where many Chinese people emigrated to start a new and more prosperous life. Opium Dens eventually spread to the western world like wildfire especially France where people in the west would pay very good money just to have a “taste of universal bliss” for a few hours to escape the dreary doldrums of their everyday real lives.
Sadly for some though they became true addicts and sometimes ruined their lives but that was the minority and not the majority as some people would have you believe. But as in all things whether it be opium, alcohol or cannabis moderation is always the key. It doesn’t matter what the entheogen is, “if you abuse it you will lose it”. By this analogy I mean that “you could lose your life” due to addiction which leads to malnutrition and not looking after themselves. It’s not the entheogen itself that will kill you but the lifestyle itself. Being an addict of anything can and quite often does destroy people’s lives as we all know right!
Hookahs and opium use in places such as Afghanistan where opium poppies grow freely in their country is a huge part of their culture. Opium pipes are quite often smoked together for special occasions such as when two different Tribal Leaders meet to discuss things. The opium of course would and could possibly open their eyes to issues and things that in normal consciousness they wouldn’t usually have even thought of. Very similar to the American Indian’s traditional “peace pipes” that they would share with the Leader from another tribe to either negotiate peace and/or make trading deals with each other with things that were unique to their tribe from mats to headdresses etc.’It really seems to be a tradition that is as old as humanity itself. Although. I am not an “anthropologist” the use of ethenegens seems to go back to very early mankind long, long before they could write or record anything about it anywhere in the world.
Opium is also the base for the earliest painkillers used in the west like morphine for pain being the first and the most well known today. Now there are many, many different drugs where opium is the base thereof as well as man made laboratory made versions of drugs that “mimic opium” as well. These are all drugs that we here in the west all rely on every single day whilst thinking nothing of its historical or cultural background or usages in the past.
Most westerners also don’t understand the “sacred use of entheogens” in any way whatsoever. They are natures gift especially “marijuana or cannabis” on its own, which has never ever caused the death of anybody ever. It’s a medical fact that you can’t overdose on cannabis to a fatal level. The worse anyone can do is to have too much and end up stoned for a quite a long period of time compared to the usual 2-4 hours. It’s not the drug itself but the criminal efforts and affects of those who either sell and/or abuse it and their death’s are caused by being part of the Criminal Underworld and getting addicts addicted to harder drugs like Ice or Heroin. It’s not, I repeat not the Cannabis itself.
Sadly most tend to believe and live by either one extreme to another. Either they are totally against it (cannabis) or they are all for it. For example people who like getting stoned and doing absolutely nothing everyday think it is great and use it as an escape from real life just like any other addiction from alcohol to methamphetamines. However there are a few enlightened souls from some “doctors and other professionals” who remain and stay underground as they believe in the good that cannabis can be used for. However because they fear arrest and or being shunned by other not so enlightened and educated people in their own professions. Also chronic pain sufferers and people with terminal illness realise that cannabis actually.”works” when it comes to controlling chronic pain. It truly is one of the best kept secrets from most westerners. It’s the best kept secret which is sadly kept from most who are the most vulnerable in our society such as those in chronic pain as well as the terminally ill.
More enlightened countries such as Canada, The Netherlands and some states in the US like California and Oregon etc. where it is legal for medicinal use only. These are places where they truly have good leaders who actually care about the health and treatment of their citizens rather than worrying about any stigma attached to its use. How I wish that our government was as enlightened. As all as it does it put law abiding good citizens into the category of criminals. It is truly wrong and is destroying people’s lives. Imagine here in Australia that if you suffered from chronic pain, cancer or any other painful disease that you could just get a script from your Doctor. Then go to the Chemist and get your subscriptions filled just like any other pharmaceutical. Just imagine the money from tax alone that the Government would make? Just imagine how many criminal gangs would no longer exist? How many drug dealers would be out of business? Imagine people growing cannabis legitimately for medicinal use only? It would not only create jobs, stop a lot of crime, help fill the governments coffers, as well as helping to bring our country’s deficit down as well.
How and why you may ask? Because it needs to be legalized for medicinal use for those of us who suffer from some type of chronic pain very single day of our lives. Doctors can’t cure everything and sometimes people just can’t take it anymore. I will also tell you what happens, some of us chronic pain sufferers end up “committing suicide”! As that is the only permanent way for us to get pain relief. Thereby just becoming another statistic that nobody cares about apart from our own family and friends. Pretty darn “permanent solution” to what could easily be a solve able problem. When you really analyse it, it is truly a tragic state of affairs and the average person here in Australia has no idea that these kind of tragedies are happening everyday in our so called “Lucky Country” Australia. These draconian laws don’t make any of us “feel any better” that’s for sure!
Now back to Magick. I personally feel that most people who do “connect” with Divine Consciousness (which some call God, Allah, Jehovah, Shiva, Goddess, The Creator, Buddha and Nirvana, The Word, The One or the White Light etcetera ad infinitum). Could do so far easier by using an entheogen like cannabis in a controlled and non abusive manner and are also far better people for doing so. As entheogens actually open up “neural pathways” in our brains that we as human beings can’t usually access.
However whilst using certain entheogens “responsibly” with emphasis on “responsible usage and dosage” of whatever people use, can quite often see, feel and experience things that normally human beings cannot. I realise that the use of enthogens is quite a controversial topic and it’s definitely not spoken about or studied by scientists and doctors as much as they deserve to be. But believe me that those in the “know” realise that when we experience certain phenomena and understand things about the Universe or should I say “multiverse” that we live in are far more responsible manner in our lives than those who don’t.
I can only really speak for myself although I’ve read and heard about the experiences of others of course that when using an entheogen like “marijuana” as I do at times for my “chronic pain” can sometimes take my soul to a completely different reality. I’m not talking about being totally “stoned” or out of your mind like a teenage stoner would. I am talking about those of us who are mature adults who use it responsibly in much smaller doses in a controlled environment where we don’t drive or use any heavy machinery etcetera and where usually we are home or with family or friends and we don’t do anyone any harm whatsoever.
I have found as a chronic pain sufferer as well as a Witch, spiritualist and occultist that the entheogen “marijuana” can sometimes open up my mind to such incredible possibilities not only about myself but for the whole of humanity! In Magick circles it’s quite often called “being on the astral or Akashic plane” or “another dimension” or being part of the “collective Consciousness” of either humanity or the entire universe just like the Buddhist concept of “Nirvana”. When I have experienced true “connection” with Divine Consciousness and the Creator of everything well before the Big Bang ever happened, I feel such incredible bliss, total knowledge and wisdom as well as the most beautiful unconditional love.
The reason that humans can’t remember all of this afterwards is because our brains don’t have the capacity to understand and then process the data within our own brains to bring back and share our knowledge with others. At times I have remembered some important truths that I’ve been able to share with others but more often than not the wisdom that the “Spirit of the Plant” gives us at the time is usually so difficult and complicated to recall that quite often it’s impossible for us with our limited brain capacity to record. To try and explain what I mean here’s an analogy; “It’s like expecting a dog to be able to read Shakespeare”. This is not possible as a dog’s smaller brain does not have the capacity and neural pathways for it do so. Well basically that’s how it is when we as human beings try and explain what we’ve seen and experienced once the effect of the entheogen wears off.
As a Witch I sometimes have incorporated my use of the one entheogen “marijuana” as part of my magickal rituals and path workings all with much success so far. Quite often it makes it easier for me to “connect” with not only the Creator (Divine Consciousness)as well as other entities from Daemons (not demons), ArchAngels, Spirit Guides, my Power Animals and even the great Goddess Hekate my Matron Goddess. I must add here that I only very occasionally use cannabis for my Magick as those of you who practice “The Craft” would know that there is a time and a place for its use and others where it’s not so useful. I find the entheogen cannabis also very useful for either connecting with the “Elementals” or Elements which are; Earth, Air, Fire and Water. With Spirit being the “Alchemical” Fifth Element which is the hardest to connect with and understand.
However I first experienced the “multiverse” out there as well as going through a wormhole at the speed of light was when I had a Near Death Experience back in 2011 where I was actually dead for around a minute. Yet the time over on the “other side” was more like an hour or more. It was truly a life changing experience not only to me as a person and my soul’s journey but also to other’s who know me as well. If your interested in reading more? Please check one of my blog’s it’s: http://enchantedspiritualawakenings.blogspot.com
Where I have written about my NDE in a lot more detail than I have room for here.
I have also contacted many Goddess’s and God’s with ethenegens but more often without them. By that I mean they are real contacts as the “Archetypes” that they are within the framework of Carl Jung the famous analyst that came after Freud. So I am what they call an “Eclectic Jungian Witch” as I don’t see any Goddess or God as actually being real in any dimension or frame work but they are powerful as they have been part of the “Jungian Collective Unconsciousness of humanity” for hundreds and some for many thousands of years.
When I started to really practice Witchcraft, after years of studying it first before deciding that I truly wanted to be a Witch and to dedicate myself to it and helping others as much as I am able to in this lifetime, I then performed the ritual of Self Dedication as written in “Scott Cunningham’s, Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner” . I chose his because it was and still is for other’s such a beautifully written ritual of dedication and for me it was an incredibly beautiful, breathtaking and spiritual experience.
I performed it Skyclad (naked) just the same as most Coven witches do and it was so intimate and incredibly empowering not only for the human “me as a woman” but even more so for my immortal soul and for that Mr. Cunningham “May You Rest in Peace in the Summerlands! For my Dedication Ritual it wasn’t appropriate for me to use any ethenogen as it wouldn’t have been right to do so as I was only a brand new Witch and it takes years of experience to learn how to use entheogens and magick together.
I didn’t use any entheogen until years later until I had far more experience in Witchcraft. I wouldn’t suggest the use of any entheogens until one has been practicing witchcraft for at least a few years. I’ wasn’t taking anything at all back then but I didn’t need to either as “magick” was truly there surrounding me and then within me.
My use of and decision to use the entheogen cannabis was not made lightly. It only came about from living with chronic pain that was only getting worse for nearly 12 years! I was sadly becoming too desperate and wasn’t coping with my pain at all that I was actually starting to organize being “euthanised” in Zurich. All because I couldn’t take the chronic pain anymore and on some days it was truly like hell, if there was a hell. As well as being “under prescribed” more powerful painkillers as most Drs here are afraid to prescribe medication like morphine for instance because of their fear of our Federal and State Health Commissions. Which leaves many people like me in a dreadful place so in the end I found because of this the decision was made for me. Every chronic pain sufferer that has the misfortune to have to see a new Dr. Whom doesn’t know their medical history at all, is treated like a “drug addict” as soon as they try and tell he Dr. That they aren’t coping with their pain anymore and need some help..Then there ihe never ending merry go round or referrals to new specialists with big gaps to pay to even see them. Many Doctors here like to pass the buck, not make a decision to help someone in chronic pain because they don’t want to sign their name on all the Federal and State paperwork.
It’s wrong that Doctors here fear the Government so much when it comes to treating chronic pain patients. So what happens is that most of us don’t usually get properly treated at all. We are ignored as we are silent minority whom the Government know don’t have the voting power to make any difference to their politics. If more of us banded together? Then maybe, just maybe there is hope for us? Since I first wrote this last year there are now medical trials for cannabis going on in New South Wales and Queensland. I sincerely hope that the powers that be here see that proper pain relief changes a chronic pain patients entire quality of life. I truly does! Unless you have suffered yourself with chronic pain with any condition that can’t be currently helped by medical science with no proper relief ever? You really can’t know what it’s like to live like a shadow because of severe pain! So don’t judge because I know that if anyone here treated any animal like chronic pain patients are treated, they would be up on charges and in court in no time. Why not the same consideration for those people who suffer from chronic pain every single day of their lives? I used to sleep as much as I could. Not only because pain is so fatiguing but being asleep was the only time I wasn’t suffering from pain. The impact it’s had on my family I can’t begin to explain to you apart from saying that it’s been so unfair and upsetting for all of them.
Believe it or not? The use of the entheogen cannabis was originally suggested to me by an old Doctor as he knew how desperate I was and how my life was detiorating badly at the time. So in the end I started to use it because of my chronic pain sometime back in 2012 on a semi-irregular but sometimes more as needed on a regular basis. It’s kept me alive and has given me some much needed and valued quality of life at last. Most of you would have no idea what it’s been like for me to actually start to “live again”. To do what others take for granted every single day. Just having a shower use to be such a painful ordeal but with the responsible use of the enthonegen cannabis, I am able to do so now without suffering for it, I am at risk just by blogging about this now. However I am a responsible adult who used to irk for the a government myself. I’ve always been a law abiding citizen and I still am. Remember all of this please people before you judge. Think, write to your local MP about it. Help to give so many that are suffering whom are just so worn down by pain that they’ve given up all hope of ever really living again. That was me up until recent times and it should never have been allowe to happen. I also resent the fact that because of our laws here that a I basically lost most of my life for the last 12 years. If not for the Internet, family and those whom stood by me…….I wouldn’t be here at all.
Now back to magick I have seen and felt the energy of the archetypes of quite a few of the more well known Goddesses and some not so well known. I do find the use of an ethenogen helpful for me to “connect with their energies” which helps me to not only understand them but more importantly my own inner landscape within my own psyche.
Baphomet by Eliphas Levi which sadly has been misinterpreted by so many as Satan. In Witchcraft we don’t even believe in the mythology which is the so called Christian Devil, Satan or Lucifer etc. Baphomet is a hermaphrodite as she/he has the characteristics of both female and male which breasts and a phallus standing totally erect. Baphomet is just one of the many archetypes that humanity has created to help us understand not only our inner world but our outer world too.
Back to the Goddess archetypes. Firstly it was Isis the Goddess of 1000 names then Aprhodite (Love Goddess), Cerridwen (Crone Goddes), Sekhmet (Lion Goddess), Bast or Bastet (Cat Goddess), Freyer (Norse), Kali Ma (Indian Goddess), Astarte (Early Sumerian and others), Diana (Greek and Roman Goddess), Lilith (Early Sumerian Goddess & in some writings known as the 1st wife of Adam who became a Demon Goddess), Gaia (Earth Goddess). As well as the two horned Gods Cernunnos (Celtic) and Pan (Greek and Roman). As well as Baphomet the hermaphrodite God and Goddess who’s polarity is a paradox to many. However with the use of my ethenogen I have been able to connect and understand Baphomet in a way that I never could before.
I could go on and on about the positive and responsible use of the ethenogen “cannabis”. It can change lives for the better like it has mine. I will mention too that I only take very small amounts of it. Usually only one cone but occasionally I need to use two cones to cover my pain when it’s very severe. That’s all I need for one day and it’s not alway every day as finally the Government have put Lyrica on the PBS. Lyrica can help some chronic pain patients but not all of them as it depends on their type of pain problem and also their individual genetic makeup. I find it so tragic that so many people think that cannabis is soo bad for everyone when it is less addictive and far less harmful than alcohol or cigarettes. Yet that are legal, go figure? I believe in harm minimalisation and that those if us with chronic pain especially should be able to use it when needed for medicinal reasons. Sadly the war against prohibition is far, far from over.
Of course the best thing of all would be to Decriminalize Cannabis thus taking criminals out of the equation. Therefore the Government would have control of it, who buys it and just like drinking and driving it would be unacceptable for anyone to drive when they have just use it. Look how “Prohibition worked on alcohol in the 20s”? Didn’t work to well did it? That’s when all the criminal gangsters started out and it caused more problems than good. Thus alcohol is legal but as adults it is our responsibility to use it wisely and not “abuse it”.
i know that I’ve rambled on a bit. However I hope that you can understand that this is a subject that I am passionate about because my very life depends on it!
Copyright: C. Lowe 2015
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