Cannabis Spiritual Use Around the Globe
Cannabis spiritual use can be observed in most of the ancient cultures . The plant is widely applied all over the world as sacred medicine and incense . As with most of the sacred plants , if applied and used properly , she can provide many benefits both for the body and the soul .
Here are some of the cultures that honored the weed for her spiritual and health benefits …
Cannabis spiritual use in ancient Europe
According to the historical records , the cannabis has a long history all over the old continent . Evidences are showing that the peasants chewed and smoked weed , as medicine or as a part of religious rituals .
Herodotus writes about the ancient Scythian culture and their appreciation for the sacred plant . Cannabis found in Scythian tomb together with a special burning stand , has been dated 500-300 B.C. According to Herodotus the marijuana played a key role in a special ritual for honoring the death , which was of major importance for the Scythian culture .
Cannabis spiritual use in the Islam
The alcohol has always been prohibited in the Islamic tradition , but this does not apply for the cannabis . Only in later ages the Muslims has prohibited the use of cannabis , despite the fact that the prophet Mohammed has never disallowed the use of the plant .
However the historical facts are pointing that throughout the ages many of the Muslim groups considered the cannabis to be holy plant . In the medieval times the Arab doctors and healers were prescribing cannabis for a variety of problems and deceases . They considered the weed sacred plant and called her “Kannab”.
The Sufis use hashish as a part of their rituals for honoring Allah and also for achieving an altered states of consciousness
They believe that hashish grants them the ability to seek for answers on places deep inside them . Places otherwise unreachable . Also according to their beliefs the cannabis makes people happier and decreases anxiety .
According Arab belief , Haydar – the Persian founder of the Sufism stumbled on cannabis plant while roaming around the Persian mountains . Haydar was quiet man , but when he returned to the temple , his pupils were fascinated with the transformation they’ve witnessed . Haydar was full of life and energy . When they asked him what has happened , he told them for his encounter with the miraculous plant and its effects when consumed . On the very next day his students went to the mountain and tried the plant on their own . And this is how according to the legends , the Sufis met the sacred plant and learned to produced hashish .
Cannabis spiritual use in ancient Iran
Ancient Iran is the cradle of the Persian empire . According to the Romanian historian Mircea Eliade : “Shamanistic ecstasy induced by hemp smoke was known to ancient Iran” . In the ancient texts of Zend-Avesta , the sacred plant of cannabis is placed on the first place among more than 10 000 such.
Cannabis spiritual use in ancient China
The cannabis is part of the ancient Chinese culture as well . The plant was so highly valued that the rulers called their lands “The land of mulberry and hemp” . The cannabis was considered a symbol of power and a source of protection against evil . In the medicinal encyclopedia of emperor Shen Nung , the weed is called “liberator of sins” . The Chinese people believe that the first cultivator of cannabis is Shen Nung who has grown the sacred herb in 28th century B.C. . Emperor Shen Nung is considered the founding father of the Chinese medicine and also the first who developed the science of the plant medicine and the cultivation of beneficial herbal and plant species .
Taoist priests from China describes how the weed was used in a combination with Ginseng . This combination helped the priests to see in to the future and to foretell future events . The cannabis is also used as additive to incenses , and is believed to grant longevity and even immortality .
Cannabis spiritual use in ancient Japan
The cannabis has its place in the ancient Japan shamanic practice . The plant was used as a tool for inner cleansing and purification and for protection against evil spirits . The Shinto priests use gohei sticks made of hemp fibers . These sticks are used in special purification rituals . According to the Shinto tradition the evil and the purity cannot exist on the same place and in the same time , so they wave the gohei sticks over the person or the place in order to purify it and respectively to drive the evil away . The hemp clothes are used for religious and spiritual rituals , as they symbolize purity .
Cannabis spiritual use in India
The marijuana has a major role in the ancient Indian medicine . The plant is used for centuries for treating a vast variety of illnesses and health issues . The sacred herb is prescribed in cases of nausea, digestion problems and in general for good health and longevity .
The weed is part of almost all of the religious and spiritual practices in Asia . The sacred plant is used for achieving Samadhi - a deep stats of meditation, by Buddhists , Naths and Shaivites .
Tantrics in India , Nepal and Tibet highly value this special plant . In Mahayana Buddhist tradition , there is a story about how Buddha survived for six years by only eating marijuana seeds . Many of the sacred texts refer to the hemp as a herb of major importance for the medicinal and spiritual practices .
Even the Indian myth for the creation mentions the weed . There she is referred to as one of the five nectars of the Gods and described as suffering reliever . In the sacred Vedic texts the cannabis is referred to as a source of happiness .
The cannabis is also considered the favorite herb of Shiva . Because of that her followers regularly use cannabis in their worshiping rituals . In Benaras , the city with the most Shiva followers , the cannabis is sold in government controlled shops and is used with spiritual and ritualistic purposes . The Sadhus followers also use marijuana in their rituals . They smoke it in dedicated clay pipes . The Indian doctors still prescribe cannabis for variety of deceases and health problems .
Cannabis spiritual use in Africa
In most of Africa the cannabis is considered sacred and is used in many spiritual and social events . The plant is symbol of peace , and is believed to possess magical powers that protect form illnesses and injuries .
Cannabis is a vital part of the Rastafarian culture too . According to their belief this sacred plant is the legendary “tree of life” mentioned in the Bible . The use of cannabis , smoked with special pipes called chalices is in the base of the Rastafarian culture and a ritual called “reasoning sessions ” . They believe that the cannabis is a mean for self-study , understanding of God and a tool for cleansing the corruption in the human soul .
The cannabis is prohibited in most of the countries in the so called modern society . In the last few years however a twist can be observed . Medical and scientific researches prove how beneficial the cannabis is for the human body and consciousness . The hemp oil has proven its potential in treating one of the deadliest deceases of our time – the cancer . Slowly but steadily we are rediscovering the ancient traditions and long lost knowledge of the benefits of the cannabis .
As Bob Marley said : “The herb ganja is the healing of the nation”