I make no bones about the fact that I’m not a huge fan of Occulture. I was summoned into this shit via astral projection and while I can’t officially prove this (like I can with quite a few of my other weird experiences), it is in fact a bit odd that a dude who has zero affinity for almost anything associated with the Occult culturally just so happened to start writing about summoning daemons and channeling shit onto social media. How did that happen exactly? I just told you but you probably still don’t believe me.
The older I’ve gotten the more it actually makes perfect sense though. Psychedelics blew my mind when I was quite young then I almost instantly started experimenting with astral projection and became psychologically addicted to marijuana at roughly the same time. Not many people start toying with that specific combination of mind alteration in their late teens, but as it turns out, the idea that weed can enhance astral projection has been around forever in Occult circles. Yet (as I’ve probably mentioned before), I seem to be the only one writing about it these days, or so I thought. Now, this book is about the history of marijuana use among wizards which is quite a bit different from what I do, but still. Finally. I’d actually heard this from other writers like Robert Anton Wilson and Gary Lachman but hadn’t really fact checked it heavily, then in trots Chris Bennett. Apparently he’s been doing this for a while. Score. (from Reality Sandwich):
“Bringing a new meaning to the term High Priest, Chris Bennett’s Liber 420: Cannabis, Magical Herbs and the Occult reveals a world of lost knowledge about the origins and practices of mainstream religions and underground spirituality. Bennett makes great use of the massive migration of books and manuscripts online. The words for cannabis in Latin, Greek and other languages have remained remarkably consistent. For instance, the ancient Greek κάνναβις would be transliterated into English as kannabis. That makes the search much easier. As a result, a vast treasury of previously forgotten or ignored primary sources reveal a history more familiar than most might suspect.
Bennett reminds us this territory is not new. Madame Blavatsky could be the logo for hash in esoterically inclined circles. Manly Palmer Hall wrote about the use of mind altering substances in the mysteries in his classic The Secret Teachings of All Ages. Zanoni author and Rosicrucian mythologist Lord Bulwer-Lytton, no stranger to opium, was notorious for smoking from a six or seven foot pipe. The tragic lovers in the history of European alchemy, Thomas and Rebecca Vaughn, left a few recipes that seemed to have more to do with altered states of consciousness then making gold. Had the infamous Paschal Beverly Randolph lived now instead of then, he would most likely have been a prosperous business man providing his formulas to dispensaries in states where weed is now legal.
With legalization of cannabis a central theme in politics today, the timing could not be better for this information to reach the public. This book should be sold in every dispensary. The abundant proof from a wide variety of sources, and the internal consistency of the patterns revealed, leave little doubt that even the most illustrious among our spiritual ancestors knew not only the usefulness of hemp, and the healing qualities of cannabis, but also the entheogenic properties of THC.
Ronnie Pontiac: A lifetime of exhaustive research went into this detailed survey of the apparently worldwide relationship between cannabis and religious experience, even in some of the most orthodox religions and sects. Were you looking for such connections all along, or were you surprised when you discovered so many of them? How did you first begin studying this subject?
Chris Bennett: This is my 4th book on the role of cannabis as an entheogen. I have been researching the historical role of cannabis in the spiritual life of humanity for more than a quarter century. I am the co-author of Green Gold the Tree of Life: Marijuana in Magic and Religion (1995); Sex, Drugs, Violence and the Bible (2001); and the author of Cannabis and the Soma Solution (2010); and now Liber 420: Cannabis, Magickal herbs and the Occult (2018). I have contributed chapters on the the historical role of cannabis in spiritual practices in books such as The Pot Book (2010), Entheogens and the Development of Culture (2013), Seeking the Sacred with Psychoactive Substances (2014), One Toke Closer to God (2017), Cannabis and Spirituality (2016) and Psychedelics Reimagined (1999).
Oh, and check this wizard shit out.
To answer the headline question, weed makes you feel good and take yourself less seriously. Modern Occultists want to be all dark and spooky. You want bleak spooky shit? Drink heavily and get gacked out on pills. Been there. You’re on the right track with that, I’m not sure why you’d want to go that route but if you do, godspeed. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.