Early Spiritual Uses of Cannabis

Early Spiritual Uses of Cannabis – Despite the growing volume of literature on the subject of hemp, the historical routes of its diffusion remain obscure, and there is scant reference to its ubiquitous role in early spiritual uses such as folk ritual, magic and medicine among European peasantry…

So begins Chapter 27 in my new book, One Toke To God; 30 Essays by Noted Researchers into The Entheogenic Spirituality of Cannabis.

I promised to post another excerpt and I apologize that it took me so long to get it done. What can I say, I am a really busy guy.

Spiritual use of Cannabis
Cannabis Leaf from Creative Commons

The origin of the term cannabis is a derivative from the nomadic Scythians by peoples of the Near East, diffused among the people with whom they came in contact…

This essay reconsiders the origin of the term cannabis to demonstrate that it is derived from Semitic languages and that both its name and forms of its use were borrowed by the Scythians from the peoples of the Near East. We will thus discover that the use of cannabis predates by at least 1000 years its first mention by Herodotus…

There was barely any history of cannabis before the Greek historian Herodotus, in the fifth century B.C.E., observed that the Scythians used the plant to purge themselves after funerals by throwing hemp seeds on heated stones to create a thick vapor, inhaling the smoke and becoming intoxicated…

Each tribesman was required to participate in the cult of Riamba and show his devotion by smoking as frequently as possible. They attributed universal magical powers to hemp, which was thought to combat all kinds of evil, and they took it when they went to war and when they traveled. There were initiation rites for new members, which usually took place before a war or long journey. The hemp pipe assumed a symbolic meaning for the Bashilenge somewhat analogous to the significance which the peace pipe had for American Indians…..

If you enjoy the brief excerpts, I am sure you will enjoy reading the book.

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