The Mom Plant of the Goddess – Hashish
CANNABIS CULTURE – Like us, cannabis is differentiated in both males and females, marking higher forms of both botanical and animal species. "The spread of female species … is the primary concern of cultivation interested in the plant's stupefaction. It is thus a happy coincidence that the subjective effects of cannabis and the care and attention required to produce a good variety of resin merge and emphasize values aimed at the respect and preservation of the feminine are. "(McKenna 1992). Given this view, it is not surprising that various devotees often noticed something feminine about marijuana or Mary Jane, and this goes back to antiquity. Nearly two millennia ago, the Chinese Taoist sage noted this distinction and defined that it was the yin (female vs. male yang) that contained the magical and euphoric features of the plants.
Interestingly, cannabis was identified with a number of ancient goddesses. In their groundbreaking historical studies on cannabis, Polish anthropologist Sula Benet, now known for her identification of the ancient Hebrew term "Kaneh-Bosm" with the plant cannabis, wrote:
Considering the matriarchal element of Semitic culture, it is believed that Asia Minor was the initial point of expansion for society on the basis of the matriarchal circle as well as for the mass use of hashish. (Benetowa, [Benet] 1936)
The Matriarchal Circle refers to the Age of the Goddess, and what Benet identifies is her belief that it was among the goddess's oriental worshipers that the cultic use of cannabis could have its source.
The matriarchal theory states that the transition of humanity from a nomadic hunter-gatherer to a pastoral farmer only took much of the earlier focus on animal totems (the oldest religious symbols of the humanities used to symbolically attract the game) later the focus shifted to the image of the great goddess, Mother Earth, and the right worship of her, so that the earth would bear fruit. As the evolving spirit of humanity struggled to understand the patterns of order in the seemingly chaotic world around them, they realized that all new life was born of the feminine. "At birth, they doubted not only the identity of the father but also his existence. Sexual relationships occurred without pregnancy; Why should not a pregnancy take place without sexual relationships? The woman alone was the visible life giver. "(Ashe 1976).
In the Paleolithic, it was natural for a woman to be pregnant, and there was no particular reason to wonder how it came about. The role of man in procreation was not easily deduced from the pattern of Paeolithic everyday life when sexual intercourse was frequent and pregnancy was the order of the day when the only calendar was the moon and nine months in terms of life expectancy nearly two years today …. In all the long millennia of the Paleolithic, there is no evidence that … [man] knew about … [his role in procreation]. "(Tannahill 1982)
As Erich Neumann wrote in The Great Mother: An Analysis of the Archetype:
"In the early situation of human culture, the group psyche was predominant. There was a participatory mysticism between the individual and his group and their environment, especially the world of plants and animals. Pregnancy and sexuality were separated both in the inner and in the outer experience of the woman. This is easy to understand when you consider that these early societies were characterized by a promiscuous sex life that began well before sexual maturity … In the original phase, therefore, the woman was always received by an extra-human, transpersonal force … "(Neumann) 1955 1974)
Out of this ancient concept of the feminine as the only creator of life, the cult of the Great Mother emerged, and so many of the oldest surviving religious artifacts are images of the female form. Their millennia of worship and worship lasted until the biblical times.
The numerous small female statuettes with highlighted sexual features found by archeologists show that the worship of the goddess occupies an important place in her feminine aspect in Canaan and Syria. It is clear that the worship of the goddess fits in well with the fertility cult of the Canaanites, and the number of these figures testifies to the high popularity that she enjoyed. "(Ringgren 1973)
In the majority of hunter-gatherer societies, women generally compensated for the supply of males with game with the harvest collected from the surrounding wilderness. It is believed that women who became collectors in the early nomadic clan were the first to recognize how the collected plants themselves proliferated and this led to the development of agriculture. "Since plant cultivation was first run by women, their importance in social structure has increased dramatically, which in turn has led to a cult of Mother Earth and a mythology of the female moon." (Patai 1967) Agriculture and a rich harvest led to more sedentary communities, and it is not surprising, therefore, that most of the earliest civilizations were both matriarchally structured and agricultural, ie Mohenjo-Daro. where evidence for ancient cannabis tissue was found
The relationship of cannabis to feminine things is probably due to its original discovery in the hunter-gatherer period of prehistory. Current archeological findings confirm the use of hemp fibers 25,000 years ago.
These early agricultural communities had a relationship and knowledge of nature around them that was likely to be comparable to the few non-Christianized aboriginal communities that have survived to our present day – groups that have survived so intense are knowledge of the properties of the surrounding plants that astonish many academically educated botanists and chemists. As an anthropologist, Richard Rudgley has commented on the early matriarchal situation;
"While animal protiens are highly valued, most of the staple foods are usually the result of female labor. This division of labor might suggest that the role of women in plants in prehistoric times was not confined to the culinary or even medical field, but extended to the discovery of psychoactive plants (this has had a distant echo among the dominated women) European Witchcraft tradition …). Collectors have a very detailed knowledge of their land and their natural resources, and after considering the technical and intellectual achievements of hunter-gatherer communities in the past and present, we should not wonder that they were able to identify, collect and process a variety of species … "(Rudgley 1993)
Given the evolving psychic power and magic of women, many of the attributes were acquired by the goddesses who represented them.
"As the goddess of foodborne plants, herbs and fruits, she transforms these elements into intoxications and poisons. It is quite obvious that the preparation and storage of food taught women the process of fermentation and the production of intoxicants, and that she was the inventor and Gaurdian of a collector and later a preparer of herbs, plants and fruits first healing potions, medicines and poisons …. The goddess is therefore not only the firebird-cbdoil of the refined fruits of the soil, but also of the spiritual matter of transformation, which is emodified in … wine [and other intoxicants] …. "
"In the stone-age stilt houses we already find evidence of poppy cultivation, the typical plant of the Cretan goddess, Demeter, Ceres and Spes …. The effectiveness of the poppy as a magic potion …. is a secret of the woman … (Neumann 1955/1974)
The Minoan poppy goddess
In its original association with the magic poppy, it is not surprising to associate the goddess with other sacred plants. As already mentioned, the development of agriculture first took place in the so-called matriarchal period of human culture, when the image of the mother goddess was the most widespread and widespread motive. Carl Sagan has proposed that cannabis was the first agricultural crop of the humanities (196 ??), and more recently the entheogen and aphrodisiac researcher Christian Ratsch has pointed this out; "No other plant has been as human as hemp for so long. It is certainly one of the oldest cultural objects of humanity "(Ratsch 1997). Considering the views of these eminent scholars and the goddess's historically popular popularity at this time, it seems only to be conclusive that there must have been a deep-seated relationship between the Old Hanfarte and the worshiped Great Mother of the People who originally planted it. A hypothesis immediately strengthened by a look at historical records.
"Consider the factors that could have contributed to the onset of mass consumption of hashish in the matriarchal circle. An important factor is that when producing fibers from plants and during harvest, the strong odor intoxicates workers. According to ancient customs, which still exist in modern times, all work with hemp in masses are carried out. Since antiquity, the Hanfernte has been considered a holiday, especially for the youth. In many countries, the harvest is a kind of reunion, with guests coming in or out of the masks and giving gifts to the workers. Here we see an obvious connection with the masculine secret societies in the matriarchal circle, in which hashish is used in large quantities. "-" Following a Word Through Different Languages ", Sara Benetowa, (1936), in The Book of Grass Andrews, 1967.
Benet tells of a time in the Old World when one of the most commonly found artifacts was various artifacts related to the worship of the Great Goddess. A theory postulated by some anthropologists, supported by these artefacts, suggests that in the Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and / or Neolithic periods in Europe, as well as in West Asia and North Africa, before the development of polytheistic pagan religions, a single monotheistic female deity was worshiped the Bronze and Iron Age.
Variations of the figures of the Great Goddess found at various archaeological sites.
Sitting Mother Goddess of Çatal Höyük: (the head is a restoration), Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. Remains of hemp tissue were recovered from the same ancient site.
In light of this, it is interesting to note that over the millennia, cannabis has been associated with a number of goddesses on Mother Earth.
China's Ma Ku
Ma Ku, literally " hemp lady", was a Taoist "immortal" who had close ties to the "elixir of life" and recalled that cannabis was considered one of the supreme elders of the immortality of Shen Nung millennia ago before, and it seemed like it had enjoyed that reputation in the intervening centuries. "… the Taoist dreamed of ascending to heaven after so many years of asceticism and of taking an elixir of life from various rare herbs" (Suzuki, 1961).
Something could be achieved by following the mythological connection with hemp lady Ma Ku, goddess of the slopes of Thai Shan, where the plant should be collected on the seventh day of the seventh month, a day of sitting, and banquets in Taoist communities. (Needham, 1974)
In this regard, the Taoist philosopher told Wang Yuan (146-168 AD) to invite Ma Ku to a festival on the day of the seventh-day seventh-day hemp collection boundless on gold plates and stacked in jade cups. There were rare delicacies, many of which were made of flowers and fruits and whose scent permeated the air inside and out. "Wang served the guests a strong liqueur from the" heavenly kitchen "and warned that he was" unfit for ordinary drinking habits ". " According to the old account, everyone was drunk and wished for more, even after they diluted the liquor with water. Some sources believe that the said elixir was a special wine made from cannabis. A Chinese poem on Ma ku by Ts & # 39; ao T & ang; clearly recalls the beauty of burgeoning cannabis:
Blue Lad transmits the word and demands that they return:
His report reports that Miss Hemp's "jade dust leaves" have opened.
The Guard [Blue-grey] Sea has become dust –
All other matters can be disregarded:
They board the kite and crane and come to watch the flowers.
The "Blue Boy" is a Taoist deity, and the poem describes him summoning all the fairies and immortals to witness the blossoming of Ma Ku's flowers. "Apparently, the writers of literature argued about the identity of this 'Jade Stamen and Stamp' flower, suggesting that the truth was only understood by a few who knew how to use hemp flowers cultivated until they exercise (as described). " Whiskers such as ice threads with sewn-on golden grains "(Bey et al., 2004). Perhaps this may suggest that Taoist gardeners rediscovered the secrets of separating male and female cannabis plants for the production of resinous seedless cannabis, called sinsemillia. This cultivation technique was probably developed much later.
Although Shiva is the ruler of Bhang, cannabis appears to be offered to a number of other deities, such as those dedicated to Shiva's wife Kali, goddess of life and death. Kali's cannabis mantra reads: "Om, Hrim Ambrosia, who springs from Ambrosia, you should take a shower of Ambrosia, keep drawing Ambrosia for me. Take Kalika into my control. Give success; Svaha "(Avalon, 1913). In tantric rites, cannabis retained its old Vedic epithet "Vijaya" (victory). As Arthur Avalon (aka Sir John Woodroffe) explained, "Vijaya (victory) used in ceremonies for potash: this is the narcotic bhang (hemp) … used in all ceremonies" (Avalon, 1913).
In medieval India and Tibet, magicians glorified the use of a marijuana drink (Bhang) in search of magical powers … in tantric sex ceremonies from the ancient Soma cult. A circle of naked men and women is performing a central nervous system experiment. They consecrate Kali, the goddess of terror and delight, a bowl of bang. As the blow begins to work, the worshipers excite the serpent at the foot of the spine and send waves of energy into the cortex. (Aldrich, 1978)
Cannabis also played an important role in Durga Puja, the annual Hindu Six-Day Festival that celebrates the worship of the Hindu Goddess Durga . Until the 19th century, at the end of the Durga Puja, it was common to drink bowls of bhang and offer them to others. As the report of the Indian Hemp Drug Commission notes:
The custom of offering each guest and family member an infusion of the leaves of the hemp plant on the last day of Durga Puja is widespread in Bengal and can almost be described as universal. It is mentioned by many witnesses who refer to its use on this occasion and on other days of the Durga Puja festival. Although there can be no doubt about the existence of the custom, there is considerable disagreement about the true nature of the custom. The custom itself is simple. On the last day of this big festival, the male family members move out to take the picture into the waters, and on their return, the whole family exchanges greetings with their guests and embraces each other. During this delight, a cup is infused with an infusion of the leaves of the hemp plant, and everyone is expected to attend or at least put it on the lips as a token of acceptance. Hemp-containing sweets are also distributed. Opinions about whether the custom is a mere social observance or an integral part of the religious ceremony of the festival are almost equally shared. There is a difference whether there is a preliminary injunction in the opinion of the witnesses according to which Shastras makes the consumption of hemp mandatory; but tantric religious works sanction use, and the custom, whatever its origin, may now be said from the unpremeditated use that many people regard as part of their religious observance. Evidence from the witnesses indicates that there is no specific direction in the Shastras for the way in which the drug should be used, but it is clear from the references cited that the use of the Bhang in the form of is an infusion. (IHDCR, 1894)
It has been said that agriculture has led to culture, and perhaps the plant has somehow cultivated mankind in our cannabis cultivation? Archaeological evidence from the year 3,500 BC Chr. clearly show that the European man used cannabis very early as incense and intoxicants.
Cannabis seeds, which could be identified as cannabis seeds of Cannabis sativa, were obtained in the ceramic layers of the Neolithic of Eisenberg in Thuringia, Germany. The layers were around 5500 BC. Dated. Hemp seeds were also found in excavations of other, more recent Neolithic strata, eg. In … of Switzerland, … Austria, … and … Romania … time of peaceful, horticultural, preindo-European cultures that worshiped the great goddess. The linear band ceramics, which give their name to this era of the Stone Age, are decorated with graphics depicting archetypal motifs and patterns of hallucinatory or psychedelic themes … (Ratsch, 2005)
Referring to German authorities, Christian Ratsch states that cannabis was used in ancient Germanic culture in honor of the goddess Freya both as a ritual inebriate and as an aphrodisiac, and that the harvest of the plant was associated with an erotic high celebration. "Hemp that is sacred to her was used to promote the desire, fertility and health of man" (Ratsch, 2001). It was assumed that Freya lives as a fertile force in the female flowers of the plant and its absorption is influenced by this divine power "(Ratsch 2001, 2005). This view is supported by the archaeological discovery of cannabis in a prehistoric German tomb.
Remains of hemp from prehistoric times were discovered in northern Europe in 1896, when the German archaeologist Hermann Busse opened a grave with a funeral urn in Wilmersdorf (Brandenburg). The ship in question contained sand, in which plant remains were mixed. It dates from the 5th century BC. The botanist Ludwig Wittmaack (1839-1929) found fragments of the seed and the pericarp of Cannabis sativa L. among these plant remains. At the conference of the Berlin Society for Anthropology, Ethnology and Prehistory on May 15, 1897, Busse laid one Report on his discovery and concluded that hemp was already known in prehistoric times in Northern Europe … one must agree with C. Hartwich that hemp was already used in northern Europe at the same time as it was used by the Chinese and the Scythians was used for eating and enjoying. (Reininger, 1941)
Interestingly, the Scythian goddess used the scythe as a weapon, a tool used in the harvest of cannabis and named after the culture from which it is supposed to originate, the Scythians.
The only deity shown in Scythian art was the Great Goddess, whom the Greeks called Artemis or Hestia or Gaea (The Earth). The Scythians were ruled by Priest-Queens, who were usually buried alone in richly-endowed Kurgans (royal tombs). The crescent moon used in mythical castrations of God was a Scythian weapon. A long-treated form was therefore called a scythe and assigned to the Grim Reaper, who was originally Rhea Kronia in the guise of Mother's time or death – the earth devouring her own children. Scythian women apparently used such weapons in battle, religious ceremonies, and agriculture. (Walker, 1986)
Walker's remarks on the use of the scythe and on agriculture are particularly applicable to the most popular and versatile harvest of the Scythians, the cannabis cannabis, because the long-handled scythe with its curved blade is specially designed for harvesting hemp and allows harvesters to do so Cut the hemp along the bottom line, preserving its long, fibrous stems. With regard to the Scythian goddess, it is interesting to note that in addition to the cannabis burning braziers found in Pazyryk, two extraordinary carpets were also found in the frozen Scythian tomb. A rug had an edge frieze with a repeated composition of a horseman approaching the great goddess Tabiti-Hestia, the patroness of fire and beasts, who holds the "tree of life" in one hand and the other hand welcomes you. Professors Schultes and Hoffman refer to this carpet in a chapter on cannabis (Schultes & Hoffman, 1979). "Like the Aryans … who composed the Rig Veda, the Scythians may have ground the plant and thrown it into their mead and possibly sold it to the Aryans south of them in the Indus Valley" (Copeland, 2007)]
A horseman approaches the Great Goddess holding the tree of life in one hand on the frieze of a Scythian rug. Carpets like these were often draped over a tipi-like structure and cannabis flowers used as a hot box over a glowing brazier.
The Scythian Queen
Given the strong elements of goddess worship in Scythian culture, it is not surprising to find a matriarchal hierarchy, and we know from surviving artifacts that Scythian women held a powerful leadership role in the tribe. Also "Both men and women have probably smoked [hemp] since we found two sets of smoking devices at the funeral of a man and a woman" (Rudenko, 1970). Indeed, later finds of cannabis seeds in the place of a "Scythian firebird-cbdoil" prove this.
In 1993 a female Scythian mummy was discovered. The Chinese daily reported on the find: "The mummy was buried next to six horses in full harness, crockery, a mirror, a brush and even a small pot of cannabis to facilitate her journey to the afterlife." Explorer, The Frozen Siberian Tombs, introduced an excavation revolving around a recently discovered Kurgan, and the program translated things like a hemp shirt over 2,000 years old, woven as fine as silk. A beautifully embroidered and decorated bag that holds cannabis. And an exotic Persian carpet, testifying to wide old trade routes. This find was located in the Altai Mountains in Siberia, an area where the borders between Russia, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan converge. The story of the New York Times reports on the find; `
… [S] elegant in white silk blouse, red skirt and white stockings. She had been buried in a hollowed-out tree trunk next to horse harnesses, a mirror, dishes, and a small container of cannabis that archaeologists believe he smoked for pleasure and used for pagan rituals. That and the intricate tattoos on her left arm led the archaeologists to conclude that she was a Scythian princess and a priestess. (Stanley, 1994)
Cannabis was not only used by the Scythians for relaxation and ceremonies for the dead. These ancient nomads had a class of shaman magicians, the Enaries, old transvestites, who pronounced prophecies with high voices as they twined fibers in their fingers. This technique was taught to them by Aphrodite. That sounds bizarre at first, but in fact homosexuality was a common feature among shaman tribesmen around the world who believed that these people, who had characteristics of both sexes, somehow lived in both worlds and could travel in between the two. It was reported that the Scythians believed that the shaman's feminine traits were the punishment of the great goddess for the desecration of her shrine in Ashkelon. The messages "channeled" by these ancient fortune-tellers were taken as authoritative advice by the chiefs and the tribe. In this sense, the shamans acted as the conscience or the mind of the entire group.
Another potential foreign channel for Greek cannabis use could come from the cult of Cybelle. Originally a Phrygrian and Hittite goddess, it is believed that Cybelle's worship goes back to the Neolithic period in Anatolia, where it probably originated as the Annunciation of Mother Earth. Their Roman counterpart was "Magna Mater" or "Great Mother". Cybelle's cult was built around the 5th century BC. Made popular in Greece, where it was associated with the later cult of Dionysus, allegedly both initiated and cured of Hera's madness. Cybelle later became a divinity through the connection with her son / husband Attis, who has reborn life and death.
Cybelle's original Phrygian priests, known as Gallus or Galli, adopted women's clothing after sacrificial castration, with gender conversion as a form of worship of the goddess through identification. "We know that the Phrygian tribes … in the 1st millennium BC. Hemp weavers (and possibly also drinkers of intoxicating hemp preparations) were "(Merlin, 1973). References to some Gallibei, who have awakened to this form of worship through the ingestion of a certain type of "herb growing on the banks of the Maeander River" (Conner 1993), as well as the acknowledged use of mysterious Sacraments in the cult, clearly indicate that this is the case of practicing the common feature of the mystery religions of the time – the inclusion of entheogenic sacraments. Randy P. Conner referred to the visionary dream that would awaken the Gallus to their new identification with the goddess. "It is possible to view the … drinking or eating of special substances as a fateful event that has raised awareness of one's destiny. Such experiences should cause a person to experience sophrenics in order to regain the senses (Conner 1993).
Recent finds indicate that Cybelle was revered among the Thracian tribes (Camphausen 1991), who were known to use cannabis to achieve mystical states, especially among their own transvestite shamans. Interestingly, certain male officials of the Cybelle and Attis cult were known as Cannophori, which was usually translated as a "reed bearer." Linguistically, however, this may have "canno" effects on "cannabis bearer". "The Latin name of cannabis, maybe Rectius Cannevas, as the Italian name is Cannevacchio (our English canvas was made of it), would connect him with … the Cannephoroi …" (Bell, 1852)
Archaeological finds confirm the Phrygian culture that gave rise to religion and use hemp (Abel 1980).
Cannabis and Aphrodite
David Hillman schlug vor, dass „die Hauptkomponente der Rituale, die von archaischen, klassischen und hellenistischen Priesterkollegien durchgeführt werden, mit Tempeln von Dionysos und Aphrodite in Verbindung gebracht werden. Marihuana war seit den frühesten Assoziationen von Orakelpriestertümern auf Zypern ein wesentlicher Bestandteil von Kultopfern. "
„Die Tempel von Aphrodite-Urania im östlichen Mittelmeer waren die frühesten griechischen Orte, an denen Tag und Nacht zu jeder Zeit Weihrauch mit Cannabis verbrannt wurde. Reisende und Anhänger der dreieinigen Gottheiten von Dionysos, Aphrodite und den Musen, die sich mit Marihuana begnügen, um theurgische Operationen auszulösen. Kultanhänger inhalierten die Dämpfe von brennendem Marihuana, um die „Motivierung von Statuen“ und die Produktion von orakelhaften Visionen zu unterstützen. (Hillman, 2012)
In seinem 2012 gehaltenen Vortrag zu „Cannabiswurzeln: Die verborgene Geschichte von Marihuana“ mit dem Titel „Befriedigung der Flamme des Verlangens mit Marihuana: Priesterinnen, Drogen und der Kreislauf des Lebens“ behauptet Hillman:
Mit Aphrodite-Urania-Tempeln assoziierte Priesterinnen gründeten private Vereinigungen, die junge Frauen im Umgang mit Medikamenten zur Veränderung der Menstruation und dem Einsatz von Giften als Mittel zur Verteidigung und Durchsetzung der orakulären Aussprache schulten. Diese Colleges stammen aus den ersten Vereinigungen von Orakelpriesterinnen, die den Tempeln der Schwarzen Nacht dienten, einem Gott, dessen Kult mit der Verwaltung der archaischen Gerechtigkeit unter der Schirmherrschaft der Erinyes, Nemesis und Dike in Verbindung gebracht wurde. Diese Colleges bezeichneten ihre Mitglieder als „Wölfe“ und die Kultgottheit als die große „Wölfin“.
Marihuana wurde von Mitgliedern der "Wölfe" als Medikament und Aphrodisiakum verwendet. In der Tat scheint Cannabis eines der frühesten in Griechenland verwendeten Aphrodisiaka zu sein. Dr. Hillman wird zeigen, dass der Konsum von Marihuana mit einem spezifischen umgangssprachlichen Drogenvokabular verbunden war, das in Griechenland und Rom entwickelt wurde. Marijuana was referred to originally as “star” and was the drug responsible for inducing “the quenching of the flame,” a cult term used to express the achievement of female sexual satisfaction by priestesses of Aphrodite involved in both oracular pronouncements and temple prostitution. (Hillman, 2012)
Hera’s Garlands of Asterion
In the first century CE, Dioscorides, referred to a number of names that had been applied to cannabis, notably asterion which means “little star”, and is related to the shape of the leaves spreading out from the centre. Under the name “asterion” cannabis was used as an offering to the Goddess Hera, wife of Zeus. Pausanias’ Description of Greece Book 2. 17.2, reads: “On its banks grows a plant, which also is called asterion. They offer the plant itself to Hera, and from its leaves weave her garlands.”
“I contend that the proper altered state of consciousness may have generated through the use of psychotropic compounds (mentioned by Iamblichus as one method for inducing ecstasy). I find evidence of the use of such sacred medicines by the oracular priestesses of Delphi and the priestesses of Hera at Argos, where asterion, which is cannabis, was a plant associated with the mysteries.”
Marguerite Rigoglioso, ‘Matriarchal Spirituality and Virgin Birth’, Matriarchal Politics Conference, May 2011 St Gallen, Switzerland
in her book The Cult of Divine Birth in Ancient Greece, Dr Marguerite Rigoglioso has suggested that cannabis under the name asterion was in use in the Greek Cult of Hera, wife of Zeaus and supreme Goddess of the Greek pantheon, .
The idea that the priestess of Hera may have used asterion… may find support in the identification between the plant name asterion and the original name of Delos, Asteria. …the entheogen cannabis… may have facilitated priestesses’ “astral” trance journeys…
Pausanias (2. 17.1-7) provides a description of the environs of Argive Heraion and its cult practices that further points to priestesses’ intimate involvement with the mysteries associated with the goddess…. above the Argive Heraion flowed the river Asterion, on whose banks grew the asterion plant. The vines and leaves were woven into garlands for the statue of Hera, and the plant was made as an offering to her…. The plants use of an offering to the goddess suggests it was considered particularly sacred: I contend this was precisely due to its psychotropic properties… Hera’s priestesses used asterion/cannabis as a means of conjoining with their Goddess in a state of entheos . The plants name, asterion, “little star,” suggests that it was thought to bring users in contact with the astral realms, in particular with Hera’s aspect as a Goddess of the heavens. (Rigoglioso, 2009)
This same star symbolism has been suggested in the cannabis leaf shaped image over the head of the Egyptian Goddess Seshat.
A Rope Ladder to the Heavens and the Goddess Seshat
In the pyramid text of Unas, which seems to concern the king’s ascension into the heavens through the northern passageway of his pyramid, hemp ropes, here under the name shemshemet or the SmSm.t-plant and this was the means for climbing into the starry sky.
There is general agreement with the view of Dawson (1934a) that shemshemet means cannabis, and the identification was strongly supported by the use of hempen rope making. As a drug, it has remained in active use since pharaonic times. It… was administered by mouth, rectum, vagina, bandaged the skin, applied to the eyes, and by fumigation. However, these applications provide no clear evidence of awareness of the effects of cannabis on the central nervous system. (Nunn, 2002)
In the ancient inscription, the devotee is commanded to say the following words in praise of Unas a celestial Bull, who is the guide of the dead to the heavens:
This Unas is the bull of double brilliance in the midst of his Eye. Safe is the mouth of Unas through the fiery breath, the head of Unas through the horns of the lord of the South. Unas leads the god… Unas has twisted the SmSm.t-plant into ropes. Unas has united (zmA) the heavens…
Or as Budge translates it: “He raises up the cords (fibres?) of the shemshemet plant, he unites the heavens” (Budge, 1911). A similar indication regarding hemp ropes may be found in the mythology of the Goddess Seshat, who appears to be holding a rope and a stalk in the below depiction. More interesting is the image that appears above the head of the ancient Goddess.
Indication regarding hemp ropes may be found in the mythology of the Goddess Seshat, who appears to be holding a rope and a stalk in the below depiction. More interesting is the image that appears above the head of the ancient Goddess.
Fig 2: Seshat holding rope to the heavens, cannabis stalk, with cannabis leaf above?
A number of different researchers have noted the similarity between a cannabis leaf and the symbol attached to the head of the Goddess Seshat in Egyptian images. Seshat was the Egyptian Goddess of temple architecture and mistress of scribes, presiding over the “House of Life,” also known as the “House of Books.” This temple was a sort of library and school of knowledge, and served as a store place of texts regarding tradition and rituals. Since very early Egyptian times, Seshat’s main function was to assist the king in “stretching the cord” for the layout of temples and royal buildings, and in this one is reminded of the Ur depictions discussed in Chapter 10.
Author and researcher H. Peter Aleff has put forth an intriguing theory that this symbol is associated with the use of hemp cords. “It was… consistent with the ancient Egyptian visual canon that the artists who portrayed Seshat the rope-stretching goddess of measuring and geometry would have labeled her with pictures of her principal tools, or with easily recognizable symbols for these. Indeed, they combined evocations of these tools ingeniously in her emblem”:
Many Egyptologists have long speculated about the emblem which Seshat wore as her head dress.Sir Alan Gardiner described it in his still category-leading “Egyptian Grammar” as a “conventionalized flower (?) surmounted by horns.” His question mark after “flower” reflects the fact that there is no likely flower which resembles this design.Others have called it a “star surmounted by a bow,” but stars in the ancient Egyptian convention had five points, not seven like the one in Seshat’s emblem. This number was so important that it caused king Tuthmosis III (1479 to 1425 BCE) to give her the name Sefkhet-Abwy, or “She of the seven points.”
There is no need for such groping speculations because the various elements in Seshat’s emblem simply depict the tools of her geometer’s trade in the hieroglyphic manner.
Her seven-pointed “flower” or “star” is an accurate image of a hemp leaf. This leaf is made up of seven pointed leaf parts that are arranged in the same pattern as the most prominent sign in Seshat’s emblem.Hemp is, and has long been, an excellent material for making ropes with the low-stretch quality required for measuring cords, particularly when these are greased to reduce variations in their moisture content which would influence elongation.
The characteristic leaf of the plant used in making these ropes was thus a logical choice for the emblem designer who wanted an easily recognized reference to Seshat’s job. This leaf is so unique that its picture allows no confusion with other items…. the hemp leaf in Seshat’s emblem is unmistakable evidence that the ancient Egyptian rope- stretchers used hemp for their measuring cords, and that Seshat cannot deny her now illegal patronage and ownership of this psycho-active plant.
Add to this flagrant evidence that in Coffin Texts Spell 10, “Seshat opens the door of heaven for you” (7), and the case against her is solid enough to get her busted if she still plied her trade today. (Aleff, 1982/2008).
The Maat Plant
As noted in my book Cannabis and the Soma Solution (2010), Egyptian use of cannabis may be indicated in inscriptions regarding the Maat Plant, depicted in the lower parts of the following stele being tended by devotees and eyed by a waiting harvester with the traditional Scythian hemp harvesting tool the Scythe in hand. Generally this stele has been interpreted as identifying the activities of the dead in the after-world, but often such myths were acted out by devotees on the material plane, so indications of some sort of sacred rite involving earthly offerings of the Maat Plant cannot be easily dismissed.
attached image: Egyptian Stela with the Soma like Maat Plant
The Egyptians associated the Maat plant with Osiris, as we see here from the scenes and texts which are here reproduced from the alabaster coffin of Seti I… In the middle register we see the wicked tied to the jackal headed standards… In the register below we see figures of men engaged in tending a plant… and one figure has a scythe, which indicates he was the reaper of the plant. In the register above we some men carrying on their heads a loaf, and others a feather, symbolic of Maat, the goddess of Truth. The former group of beings (Second Register) are the blessed whose ‘Kau (i.e. dispositions) have been washed clean,’ and who have been chosen by Osiris to live with him in the house of ‘holy souls’. The latter group of beings (Third Register) are the ‘labourers in the wheat field of the Tuat’ (i.e. Other World), and the plants they tended and reaped are said to be ‘the members of Osiris’. The plant was Osiris, and Osiris was the plant, and the blessed in eating ‘the bread of everlastingness’ which was made from the grain of the plant ate Osiris. But Osiris was Maat, i.e. Truth, therefore in eating the bread they ate Truth. In eating his body they became one with him and therefore eternal… (Budge, 1925)
Curiously, Budge interpreted the plant image in the lower part of the Egyptian stele, along with similar depiction in Mesopotamian art (Chapter 10, Fig 16) as a “colossal ear of wheat.” More likely it represents some other plant, one that was harvested with the Scythian tool the Scythe, one which held divine properties and an association with immortality as well as rites for the dead. In relation to this depiction and the suggestion that the Maat plant was prepared into some sort of sacramental loaf, the body of the lord Osiris, it is important to note that in Persia cannabis was also known by the name Sahdanag – Royal Grain; or King’s Grain, and was prepared in a number of confections (Low, 1926).
In the account of the Maat Plant and its association with the dead, one is again reminded of the role of cannabis in Scythian funerary rites, as does the Eucharistic elements involving it invoke the mythology of the Soma and Haoma, the original Eucharistic sacrament. It should also be noted that Maat’s symbol was a green feather, and this symbolism has also been used to identify the Soma. “In RV X.89.5 the Soma is called simivat. In the context it should be translated as feathered, literally it means ‘like simi or sami’… The pinnate leaves of the sami… look like a feather…The feather in relation to the Soma-Plant is mentioned in RV IV.27.4” (Richter-Ushanas, 1997). As Homer Smith noted in Man and his Gods:
“Those who lived by the laws of Maat took a sacramental drink, comparable to the Hindus’ Soma or its Persian counterpart Haoma, which conferred ritual purity… Egyptian scribes writing in the third millenium B.C. wrote: “My inward parts have been washed in the liquor of Maat.” (Smith, 1952)
interestingly ancient wine amphora have been recovered in Egypt that contained evidence of cannabis. it is interesting to note the nepenthe, a drug which the Egyptians were said to have used to ease the grieving of mourners for the dead. The Odyssey of Homer (9th-8th century BC) describes the Nepenthes which came to the Greeks from Egyptian Thebes:
“Then Helen, daughter of Zeus… cast a drug into the wine whereof they drank, a drug to lull all pain and anger, and bring forgetfullness of every sorrow. Whoso should drink a draught thereof, when it is mingled in the bowl, on that day he would let no tear fall down his cheeks, not though his mother and his father died, not though men slew his brother or dear son with the sword before his face, and his own eyes beheld it. Medicines of such virtue and so helpful had the daughter of Zeus, which Polydamna, the wife of Thon, had given her, a woman of Egypt, where earth the grain-giver yields herbs in greatest plenty, many that are healing in the cup, and many baneful. There each man is a leech skilled beyond all human kind…”
The historian Diodorus Siculus, who lived in the 1st century B.C., noted that still in his time, more than 7 centuries after the composition of Homer’s Iliad, “people say that the Egyptian women make use of the powder (of this plant, scil. the nepenthes) and they say from ancient times only those women who lived in the ‘Town-of-Zeus’ [i.e. Thebes, which was also known as Diospolis] had found medicines which cure wrath and grief” (1, 97, 1-9; Eus. PE 10, 8, 9-12; cf. also Ps.Iustinus, Cohort. ad gent. 26e).
Numerous scholars have noted on the identity of nepenthe:“It is generally assumed that the drug, which Helen is supposed to have learned in Egypt, was opium, but the effects as described in the poem are much more like Cannabis, which was also widely employed in Egypt and throughout the Near East” (Ruck, et al., 2007). An idea first put forth by the French Pharmacist Joseph Virey (1775—1846) who suggested in 1813 that hasheesh was Homer’s nepenthe (Bulletin de Pharmacie). Many others have since concurred: “The opinions entertained by the learned, on the nature of the Nepenthe of the ancients have been various. By Th. Zwinger, and… by Sprengel, in his history of botany, it is supposed to be opium… But the best authorities, with whom our author coincides, are of opinion that the Nepenthe was derived from the Cannabis sativa of Linnaeus” (Christen, 1822); “the famous nepenthe of the ancients is said to have been prepared by decocting the hemp leaves” (Watt, 1853); “nepenthe which may reasonably be surmised was bhang from the far east” (Benjamin, 1880). As the authors of The Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians also concluded: “Nepenthes… Perhaps the Bust or Hasheesh, a preparation of the Cannabis sativa” (Wilkinson & Birch, 1878). See also (Walton, 1938; Burton, 1894; Lewin, 1931; Singer and Underwood, 1962; Oursler, 1968; Wills, 1998). It is clearly the Nepenthe that Prof Richard Evans Schultes and Prof. Albert Hofmann are referring to when they wrote in a chapter on cannabis “In ancient Thebes the plant was made into a drink with opium like effects” (Schultes & Hofmann, 1979).
In A Glossary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian Words and Phrases, Yule and Crooke note an interesting connection between a Coptic (Greek-Egyptian) term and the nepenthe; “Bhang is usually derived from Skt. Bhanga, ‘breaking,’ but [Sir Richard] Burton derives both it and the Ar. Banj from the old Coptic Nibanj, ‘meaning a preparation of hemp; and here it is easy to recognize the Homeric Nepenthe’” (Yule, et al., 1903/1996). As Abram Smythe Palmer also notes in Folk-etymology: “Nepenthe, the drug which Helen brought from Egypt, is without doubt the Coptic nibendj, which is the plural of bendj, or benj, hemp, ‘bang,’ used as an intoxicant” (Palmer, 1882). When one returns to the contemporary Avestan term for cannabis, b’aŋ’ha, the similarity in this context, ne- b’aŋ’ha, brings us to an even closer to the cognate pronunciation ‘nepenthe.’
One can also note a similarity to the Indian term ‘panga,’ which refers to a paste made from pounded cannabis leaves mixed with water (Watt, 1908). (It should be noted that by the time the pyramids were built, there had already been large cities in India’s Mohenjodaran-Harappan in India, [geographically close to Mesopotamia and Scythian southwest Asia]for some centuries). The Hebrew term ‘pannag,’ which Dr. Raphael Mechoulam believes identifies a preparation of cannabis (Mechoulam, et al., 1991) is also similar. Interestingly, as nepenthe was a powder it is notable that both of these terms are believed to identify prepared forms of cannabis as well.
As the Nepenthe was infused in wine, it is important to note that ancient Amphorae, clay wine vessels from an Egyptian site, from the time period in question, revealed evidence of cannabis. In the 2004 paper, Pollen analysis of the contents of excavated vessels—direct archaeobotanical evidence of beverages, Manfred Rosch refers to vessels collected from a site in ˇSaruma/Al-Kom Al-Ahmar in Middle Egypt on the Nile:
“At this place the Institute of Egyptology of the University of Tubingen is excavating a graveyard which was used from the 6th Dynasty until the Roman period… Here some wine amphorae were excavated, from the bottom of which we obtained samples of organic material for pollen analytical investigations…. The useful plants, Cerealia and Humulus/Cannabis were present.” (Rosch, 2004)
attached image: Coptic wine amphora from ˇSaruma. Scale size 70 cm.. Broken bottoms of Coptic amphorae from ˇSaruma, showing black organic residues inside containing pollen. Scale size 20 cm. (Photos: B. Huber)
Ashera and the Tree of Life
The ancient Canaanites and Hebrews paid particular reverence to a Near Eastern Goddess known by the name Ashera, whose cult was particularly focused around the cultic use of hemp. According to the Bible itself, the ancient worshippers of Ashera, and the Great Goddess under her various manifestations, included wise Solomon and other Biblical kings as well as their wives and the daughters of Jerusalem.
“There is a classic Greek term, cannabeizen, which means to smoke Cannabis. Cannabeizen frequently took the form of inhaling vapors from an incense burner in which these resins were mixed with other resins, such as myrrh, balsam, frankincense, and perfumes; this is the manner of the shamanistic Ashera priestesses of pre-reformation Jerusalem, who anointed their skins with the mixture as well as burned it.”(Emboden 1972)
Icons dedicated to her have depictions of a ‘sacred-tree’, or plant, most likely made as a visual reference to the hemp that her followers grew and revered, utilizing it as an entheogen but also as a food and oil source, along with using the fibers in ritual weavings. Sula Benet believed that it may have been here amongst the worshippers of the goddess that the cultic use of cannabis may have originated: “Taking into account the matriarchal element of Semetic culture, one is led to believe that Asia Minor was the original point of expansion for both the society based on the matriarchal circle and the mass use of hashish.”(Benetowa,[Benet]1936).
An ancient ivory cosmetic casket lid from the 14th century site of Minet al-Beida, depicts the goddess herself in the role of the Tree of life, offering two caprids, holding vegetation which clearly resembles buds of cannabis, but has been erroneously described as both ears of wheat or corn. “This [depiction]seems to indicate finally the explanation of the Biblical references to the ‘asherah as a natural or stylized tree in the fertility cult. This was the symbol of the mother-goddess, now known from the Ras Shamra texts as Ashera, the counterpart of Mesopotamian Ishtar, or Inanna…. The tree of life…is called the asherah in the Old Testament. (In the Authorized Version, it is called ‘the grove’.)”(Gray 1969).
The word that the Bible, with evident distaste, translates ‘grove’ was not really a grove at all, but an Asherah: the stylized multibranched tree symbolizing the Great Goddess of Canaan….Asherah’s… tree symbol was alternately the ‘tree of knowledge’ or ‘tree of life.’ In northern Babylon she was known as the Goddess of the Tree of Life, or the Divine Lady of Eden.(Walker 1988)
Barbara Walker further connects Ashera, with the ancient symbol for the tree of life, by noting that the Eagle headed figures shown in the Assyrian reliefs, are “in the act of fecundating sacred trees, such as the goddess Asherah as the Tree of Life”(Walker 1988). (The identification of this particular symbol is surrounded in scholarly controversy, and in the forthcomming Sex, Drugs, Violenence and the Bible, myself and co-author Niel McQueen add to this debate by identifying as an ancint world symbol for cannabis)
Like the tree of life, the tree of knowledge was… a symbol associated with the Goddess in earlier mythology…. Groves of sacred trees were an intergal part of the old religion. So were rites designed to induce in worshippers a consciousness receptive to the revelation of divine or mystical truths–rites in which women officiated as priestesses of the Goddess,(Eisler 1987).
In light of Ashera’s recognition as a symbol of the sacred tree and her cults use of cannabis(Emboden 1972), it is of interest to note that in medieval times, certain Moslem groups, referred to cannabis by the name ashirah, seen by them as an endearing term for their hempen girlfriend, (Rosenthal 1971), a tradition likely carried on from the earlier association of the ancient goddess and the Tree of Life, in the form of cannabis hemp. (That the use of the word in this context, can be correlated to the ancient world usage, is very probable, as the Moslem language developed out of pre-existing Arabic dialects, and numbers of ancient words are still present its vocabulary, a fine example is the more commonly used name for cannabis qunubu).
In the Patriarchal Hebrew view, that came to dominate much of the religious world, we can see from Jeremiah 44 in the Old Testament that both incense and drink offerings, likely entheogenic, played a big role with the Goddess worship that competed so much with the worship of Yahweh, and here in Jeremiah we see the sacred kaneh bosm, associated with cannabis, that was used in earlier times, demonized… “What do I care about incense from Sheba or good sweet smelling cane [kaneh -cannabis] from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable; your sacrifices do not please me” (Jeremiah 6:20).
The ties between cannabis and the Queen of Heaven are probably most apparent in Jeremiah 44, where the ancient patriarch seems to be concerned by the people’s continuing worship of the Queen of Heaven, especially by the burning of incense in her honour, and pouring out drink offerings:
This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel says: “You saw the great disaster I brought on Jerusalem and on all the towns of Judah. Today they lie deserted and in ruins because of the evil they have done. They provoked me to anger by burning incense and by worshipping other gods… Again and again I sent my servants the prophets, who said, ‘Do not do the detestable things I hate!’ But they did not listen or pay attention; they did not turn from their wickedness or stop burning incense to other gods. Therefore my fierce anger was poured out; it raged against the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem and made them the desolate ruins they are today.”
….Then all the men which knew that their wives had burned incense unto other gods, and all the women that stood by, a great multitude, even all the people that dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying, “As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee. But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the firebird-cbdoil of heaven, and to pour drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the city of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then we had plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil. But since we left off to burn incense to the firebird-cbdoil of heaven, and poured out drink offerings to herwe have wanted all things, and have been consumed by sword and by famine.”
The women added “When we burned incense to the firebird-cbdoil of heaven, and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour our drink offerings to herwithout our men?”
Then Jeremiah said unto all the people, to the men, and to the women, and to all the people which had given him that answer saying, The incense that ye burned in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, ye, and your fathers, your kings, and your princes, and the people of the land, did not the Lord remember them, and came it not into his mind? So that the Lord could no longer bear, because of the evil of your doings, and because of the abominations which ye have committed; therefore is your land a desolation, and astonishment, and a curse, without an inhabitant, as at this day. Because ye have burned incense and because ye have sinned against the Lord, and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord, not walked in his law, nor in his statutes, not in his testimonies; therefore this evil has happened to you, as at this day. (Jeremiah 44:1-23)
Jeremiah’s reference to the previous kings and princes that burned incense and poured out drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven can be seen as referring to King Solomon, and the vast majority of other Biblical kings up to that time, who worshipped the Goddess alongside Jehovah and other deities in a polytheistic pantheon that was the norm for the time and place.
Ashera has been connected with the origins of other Near Eastern Goddesses such as Ishtar and Ishara, and these Mother Goddesses have likewise been connected with cannabis as well.Referring to the difficulties in deciphering plant identification from the vague and long forgotten names found in the ancient texts, respected Assyriologist Erica Reiner reveals an interesting connection with the ancient world Goddess and “qunnabu” a term identified with cannabis, that few other Assyriologists have noted:
“Sometimes the etymology of the name is transparent, While ‘sunflower’ (u.UTU sammi samas) probably describes any heliotrope, that is a flower that always looks at the sun: ‘the flower of Samas that faces the setting sun,’ other names composed with the name of a god or goddess are more suggestive. We do not know to what botanical species for example the herb called ‘Ninurta’s aromatic’ (Summerian sim. Ninurta, equated in Akkadian with nikiptu) refers, both varieties of which, masculine and feminine, are mentioned in recipes; however, the name of the herb called Sim.Ishara’armoatic of the Goddess Ishtar,’ which is equated with the Akkadian qunnabu, ‘cannabis’, may indeed conjure up an aphrodisiac through the association with Ishara, goddess of love, and also calls to mind the plant called ki.na Istar.” (Reiner, 1995)
This is a valuable piece of information when trying to understand the ritual practices and beliefs of ancient Mesopotamia, especially regarding the considerably widespread worship of Goddesses such as Ishtar, Ishara, Ninurta. Curiously few Assyriologists discuss the qunubu references in the ancient cuneiform tablets, and when they do, it is usually just in a passing reference, such as Reiner’s citation above. Until serious research is done explaining such passages in the context of the ancient documents in which they originally appear, their full implications will not be understood.
“…[T]he multifaceted goddess Ishara. She does not appear to be a native Mesopotamian deity, but was worshipped by many people throughout the ancient Near East, which has led to a confusing array of attributions – she is known as a great goddess to the Hurrians, the wife of Dagon among the West Semites, and to the Akkadians she was a goddess of love with close affinities to Istar, whose sacred plant cannabis (qunnabu) was known as the aromatic of Ishara… from her widespread worship she is also known as the firebird-cbdoil of the inhabited world.” (White, 2008)
This association was likely widespread and considerably ancient, as the continuous worship of the Goddess, under a variety of evolving and related names, and images, can be traced back far into the Stone Age. “The worship… of the ‘Syrian Goddess,’ be she Astarte, or known by whatever other name… was full of… rites, in which the effects on the mind could only have been produced by narcotic stimulants” (Brown, 1868).
Ishara being offered plants…..
In the case of Ishara, she is thought to have been Indo European in origin, and although the use of cannabis in patriarchal cults such as Zoroastrianism has long been identified, even this cultic use is thought to have originated with Goddess worship.
In Irans forntida religioner (Leipzig, 1938) Henrik Nyberg noted that a “very interesting list of demons exists…It includes the following female demons: Budhi with the parallel form Budhiza, Kundi with the parallel form Kundiza and finally the old goddess of ecstasy Busyansta, ‘things to come’, the demon of somnolence in Zoroastrianism” (Nyberg, 1938). Apparently these deities were important figures in the early use of cannabis, and may give us some insights into the more ancient pre-Zoroastrian cultic use of cannabis amongst the Aryans:
In Budhiza, true Budhiza, and Kundiza, true Kundiza, one can again recognise the word ‘iza’, which serves as a synonym for Armaiti, the godly tribe, in oldest Zoroastrianism; Budhiza therefore actually means ‘tribe and cult congregation of the goddess Budhi’ and Kundiza ‘tribe and cult congregation of the goddess Kundi’.…
Alongside the goddess Kundi there is also a masculine Kunda, who needless to say is now a demon. Vend. 19,41 deals with him as follows “the Sraosa accompanied by Asi would like to slay the demon Kunda, the one with the hemp, so that he no longer has hemp.” Kunda and indeed also Kundi were therefore very closely linked with the old ecstatic substance of hemp, which was used since ancient times by the Aryans in the North and East. Kundiza was a body or guild of ecstatics, who reached the ecstatic state through narcotization with hemp. If, as I believe, the Median town Kunduru, mentioned in the Behistun Inscription and written Kuntarrus = Kundaru in the Elamite version, is linked with this pair of gods, then it must have been an old West Iranian hashish nest….
The goddess Busyansta is probably regarded as the common oracle deity of the West, which views oracle as a divine strength. As she represents the demon of somnolence, then we must assume that she began to function in trance. She [the goddess Busyansta]receives the epithet ‘zairina’, that in my opinion should not be translated as ‘exhausting, flagging’ rather ‘golden’; that is an epithet in the same style as Zairica. It alludes presumably to the ingested ecstasy potion. Maybe it was hemp extract in wine,… (Nyberg, 1938)
Science meets Religion?
Clearly cannabis has long held a relationship with the divine feminine, but interestingly, their seems to be some sort of biologicial connection as well. “The active compounds of marijuana have some molecular resemblance to certain female hormones (estrogens)”(Weil 1980). This is interesting considering what we now know about the human endocannabinoids system and may as Jack Herer noted, indicate some sort of symbiotic pre cultural relationship with cannabis.
New United States government funded studies at St. Louis Medical University in 1989 and the National Institute of Mental Health in 1990, moved cannabis research into a new realm by confirming that the human brain has receptor sites for THC and its natural cannabis cousins to which no other known compounds thus far will bind…. On the molecular level THC fits into receptor sites in the upper brain that seem to be uniquely designed to accommodate THC. This points to an ancient symbiosis between the plant and people…. Perhaps these neuronal pathways are the product of a pre-cultural relationship between man and cannabis. (Herer 1995).
These curious biological connections between man and marijuana continue: the hemp seed contains the most complete protein in the vegetable world, and is the highest source of essential fatty acids. Besides being responsible for the luster of hair, skin, eyes, lubricating arteries, and even the thought process, the “essential oils support the immune system and guard against viral and other insults to the immune system”(Eidlman, M.D., & Hamilton Eh.D., Ph.D.) The globulin edistin found in the seeds protein closely resemble those found in human plasma(Osburn 1993, Herer 1995, Robinson 1996). Even more interesting is that cannabis seeds contain rare gamma linoleic acid, found only in spirulina, two other rare seed oils, and human mother’s milk, which also contains naturally occurring endocannabinoids. “According to the findings of several major scientific studies, human breast milk naturally contains of the same cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, which are vital for proper human development.”
Terrence McKenna has also pointed too the feminine qualities of this most holy herb;
“Outpourings of style and esthetically managed personal display are usually anathema to the nuts-and-bolts mentality of dominator cultures. In dominator cultures without any living traditions of use of plants that dissolve social conditioning, such displays are usually felt to be the prerogative of women. Men who focus on such concerns are often assumed to be homosexual–that is, they are not following the accepted canons of male behavior within the dominator model. The longer hair lengths for men seen with the rise of marijuana use in the united States in the 1960’s were a textbook case of an influx of apparently feminine values accompanying the use of a boundary-dissolving plant. The hysterical reaction to such a minor adjustment in folkways revealed the insecurity and sense of danger felt by the male ego in the presence of any factor that might tend to restore the importance of a partnership in human affairs.
In this context it is interesting to note that cannabis occurs in both male and female form…..propagation of the female species…is the total concern of the grower interested in the narcotic power of the plant. It is thus a kind of happy coincidence that the subjective effects of cannabis and the care and attention needed to produce a good resin strain both conspire to accentuate values that are oriented toward honoring and preserving the feminine.
…..Because of its subliminally psychedelic effect, cannabis when pursued as a lifestyle, places a person in intuitive contact with less competitive behavior patterns. For these reasons marijuana is unwelcome in the modern office environment, while a drug such as coffee, which reinforces the values of industrial culture, is both welcomed and encouraged. Cannabis use is correctly sensed as heretical and deeply disloyal to the values of male dominance and stratified hierarchy.’ (McKenna, 1992)
In this Age, when women have been liberated and their power can be celebrated, to see the prominent role they have played in bringing back is another testament to the divine relationship shared by queens of both the plant and human world. Moreover, just has the prohibition of cannabis been a crime against humanity and through a loss of access to hemp, even a threat to the world we live in, so has the suppression of the divine feminine been a crime against all women, who have been treated as second class citizens through the same oppressive patriarchal religions which have suppressed the Goddess and her sacred plants, the Messengers of Gaia, who have returned now in our own time, to once again lead us back to the Garden of Mother Nature and off of this Highway to Hell we have been forced to travel.