It may not surprise you to hear that weed has a rich history in the witch department. Since the spookiest of days is fast approaching I thought it would be fun to delve into the concept of weedcraft. This has been around for thousands of years and women were thought to have a sacred bond with this mystical herb. Of course, cannabis was not always used as a recreational drug but was rather used in medicine and rituals. Cannabis was often used by women to reduce period pain and to help them through childbirth. It is also true that in many societies the men would hunt while the women gathered herbs and plants. This means they learned herbalism and unlocked the secrets of the plants. Today, in honour of the coming Samhain, let’s have a look at how witches have been using cannabis for aeons in rituals and spells. First, let’s have a look at the Goddesses associated with weed.
If you know much about paganism then you’ll know that Freya is the ancient Goddess of love and death. Cannabis is often used in her honour for several reasons. Both as an aphrodisiac and to plain get high. This is to celebrate Freya’s fertility and femininity in an erotic festival. During this erotic festival is also when the harvest happens, which is why now weed witches will harvest during Samhain. It is believed that Freya is present in the plant’s flowers and consuming the buds would imbue you with her feminine spirit.
The much spicier version of Freya is the Indian Goddess Kali-Ma, the mother of life and death. She is the most ancient Goddess to still be worshipped today, and probably because she’s a complete badass. Well, I think she’s a badass, I guess she’s meant to be terrifying. Her multiple arms and necklace of skulls and belt made of human arms. Cannabis is used in a number of rituals created to praise Kali-Ma the all mother, and yes a few of them involve orgies.
So you can see why cannabis found its way into witchcraft with its association with female power and the Goddesses of life and death. Sometimes maybe a little more death.
Let’s start having a look at witches and where in history cannabis became connected with these mystical women. Women in medicine wasn’t a thing, unsurprisingly, and were all but banned from legitimate medicine. This meant that women tended to practice herbalism rather than mainstream medicine. For those who didn’t trust medicine or could not afford it the herbalists were a far better option. However, this did mean that they were technically practising illegally. So what did the men do when they realised these poor women were helping to heal the sick to feed their families? Called them witches obviously, women aren’t going to have a good time when men and Catholicism come together. It got to the point where practising herbalism could have you burned or hung.
My research shows that there was even a connection between cannabis and the idea of witches riding brooms. There was a cream available called the “flying ointment” that was a hallucinogenic cream that people said witches rubbed on their bodies and brooms to fly. Hilariously even if this is true it is just one reason we think witches ride brooms. The other has to do with the banning of marital aid manufacturing which caused ladies to find an alternative in the form of broom handles. However, these two stories come together. It turns out that women would rub the cream on the broom handles before inserting them so that they could internally absorb the cream. So anyway, these herbalists knew the medicinal applications of cannabis which scared the mainstream doctors and had them marked as witches.
Of course, the threat of burning and hanging could never keep the witches down. Cannabis rituals continued to be a huge part of witchcraft right up until the modern-day. It is used in many ways and it is extremely easy to do your own weed rituals.
I suggest that on the evening of Samhain you burn sage to cleanse yourself and the space around you. You can do this ritual alone or with your coven. You can set up your altar and spend a few moments breathing to centre yourself. If you like you can also burn incense, I would recommend jasmine personally but whatever you find the most calming. Once you are centred get your joint or vaporiser and just take a couple of hits. If you are doing this as a group the act of passing the joint around to your sisters gives a comforting feeling of bonding. As it goes around the circle or once you have toked then focus on your mindfulness again before taking another couple of tokes. It is important not to expect anything specific from the ritual, it’s all about opening your mind and allowing the weed to alter your reality. Perhaps you’ll experience visions like the oracles or you’ll feel the vibrations of the universe and let your mind expand into the ether.
This is just a very basic ritual that is more similar to meditative smoking in a spiritually clear space. There are all sorts of ways that you can integrate cannabis into your normal practice.
If you want something more advanced you can also create a circle with your coven. Then create your altar as before and decide on energies that you want to summon before you start the ritual. You can use the elements or personal emotional energies, whatever you like. If you have a blessing you like to use then it can be nice to bless your weed as you grind it. Take your skins and write an intention on them, whatever you want to get from the ritual.
Light a candle, the colour depending on what type of spell you’re casting, and only use that to light your joint. Since it’s Samhain I’d recommend using a black candle to banish evil and negativity.
Have a wonderful Samhain, my witches!
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