Have you ever heard of the term Entheogen? It’s a concatenation of the Greek words Entheos and Genesis, meaning “creating the divine within” — and it defines “a consciousness altering substance used in a religious, shamanic, or spiritual context”. Specifically, it refers to the spiritual use of a psychoactive substance to induce an altered state of consciousness and to bring a person closer to their own perspective of the Divine. Cannabis Sativa, the high THC form of the plant, is known to be entheogenic.
The religious use of entheogens has been around for thousands of years and can be originally traced back to ancient Egypt. Virtually every religion on Earth can find its roots in altered states, and the quest for these mystical experiences is one of the quintessential expressions of human existence. Since the beginning of time people have used meditation, fasting, sensory deprivation, ecstatic dance — and entheogens, to create states of profound connectedness and spiritual transcendence. In fact, the ancient Greeks hosted the largest entheogenic ceremonies in the world with the Eleusinian Mysteries — and did so for nearly two thousand years.
Today, most people have no knowledge of this history — they simply view entheogens either as dangerous “drugs” or as an opportunity for a recreational “high” This is especially true for Cannabis, since eighty years of government prohibition and propaganda have created an intense social stigma around “weed” Yet, of all the entheogens, it is the common Cannabis bud which can provide the most unique state of metacognition and expanded spiritual awareness. In the proper setting this humble plant can offer deep spiritual insights, emotional healing, comfort to the dying, and create an unparalleled state of communion with the Divine.
Without a doubt, the social implications of the legalization of Cannabis go far beyond its medical or recreational use. Lifting the prohibition on Cannabis is the de facto recognition of an individual’s right to altered states of consciousness, and it will not be long before other entheogens like Psilocybin mushrooms will also become legalized. In fact, this entheogenic revolution may actually be the gateway to the quantum shift so many spiritual teachers have been predicting. Entheogens, and the mystical experience they provide, have been given to humanity to enlighten, to heal, and to enrich our lives on Earth. It’s time they were restored to their proper place as the sacred instruments for our mental, emotional, and spiritual growth.
- Rev Aryshta Dean