Cannabis Allies

There’s no doubt that cannabis is a plant on a mission. It’s growing acceptance both culturally and legally is taking hold for the first time in the modern world and its ease of acquisition is at an all-time high.

Forgiving the pun, this brings up an interesting question. What does it look like when someone is actually spiritual allies with cannabis rather than simply dependent on a substance for its “medicinal properties?” In the stoned-ape theory sense, wouldn’t any idiot ape or idiot-of-ape-qualities incidentally ingesting, say, psilocybin mushrooms and various other entheogenic plants such as, say, cannabis be forming bonds with these fungi and photosynthesizers with-or-without the intent to do so? 

This case could be made, certainly. But what about the lazy stoners out there clutching xbox controllers for dear life with Dorito-stained hands? There’s no doubt they are under the influence and thus technically communing, but the same could be said for the opium addict nodding out mid sentence. It appears there is an important difference between communion and symbiosis.

Those who commune with cannabis regularly for health conditions, physiological and psychological alike, are certainly allied with the plant in some way, but this seems to be a different relationship dynamic than the kind a magician or witch forms with a plant spirit through the intentions of exploration and the expansion of both wisdom and power. This strikes me as akin to the difference between a dry work relationship and the intimacy of a close confidante.

I would argue that the particular personality of cannabis is one of subtle ferocity, rather than a snacky-sleepy one. Even when a hearty indica pulls your eyes half-mast as you become one with the couch cushions, the spirit you submerge into is tenacious and somewhat sneaky. In plunging the depths of my relationship with her (as well as my couch cushions) in tandem with my spiritual/magical practice I have found a spirit that makes one work really quite hard to unlock her true gifts. In her I have found a spirit just as capable as other entheogens of opening up my direct-perception / spirit-vision and with her own whole set of boons and traps to-boot. She is a powerful plant covered profusely in intoxicating pollen and hardy enough to adapt to an uncanny array of conditions and locales across the planet. This a plant that has been tested by time and elements mercilessly and survived. She’s a fighter. Did you think she was just going to give you the goods without rigorously testing you first?

So what’s the point in ranting about this? Well, hopefully many years of sharing headspace with her, many of those while magically operant, has hopefully left me with at least a helpful word on how to improve this most damaged relationship. After all, un-learning a previously patterned and socially reinforced dynamic in favor of a healthier one which is against the norm is no minor task.

I should also note that when I was actively and heavily addicted to both crack and heroin I would intentionally avoid smoking cannabis when offered because every time I partook my desire to acquire the bad, trap drugs would simply melt away. Even at my truly very worst she was extending a hand and offering a way out of my nightmare. It was only in my total commitment to remaining trapped that I avoided her help. Everyone is obviously entirely their own person and creature especially when it comes to synthesis with plant spirits, I simply aim to offer this as perspective.


Praxis

The number one advice I can give to aid in forging a healthier relationship with cannabis is to say thank you. For gods’ sake, mind your manners when you’re burning someone’s flesh and entwining your awareness with theirs. It’s very easy. Think about all the good things she has done for you, the good times, the inspirations, the giggles, and then feel that warm glow as you hold in your hit. In your mind, reach down and out with the roots in your feet, find a nice healthy weed plant in your imagination. Connect to that plant and release all that grattitute. Say thank you. Out loud, for a while. Remember you just started minding manners with a being you have been consuming for years. A little extra courtesy would not go amiss.

Try getting around twenty to thirty minutes deep into a creative or constructive project while stone-cold sober. Just when the momentum gets rolling, then take a break and partake and immediately return to your task. Note any difference in focus or productivity. This is especially effective for creatives but anyone who regularly partakes should see a difference with this strategy.

One of her “tests” in my opinion is in overcoming the overly chatty influence she can have on the inner monologue. I see an ancient intelligence throwing out distractions to prevent the less evolved of mind from accessing what she offers. Any repetitive saying works well for this in the raja yoga sense, but I find hail marys and mantras to be particularly effective. Of these options, and considering the goal, either a Kali mantra or Ganesha’s path opening mantra would be ideal. This combination has vastly improved my ability to see the invisible, so-to-speak. If you are catholic or have a rosary, there is something very special and interesting about the presence a round of 50 Hail Mary’s can bring into a space, physical and mental.

I would recommend this formal greeting to Kali for anyone new to her presence:

Om Sri Maha Kalikayai Namah

(aum shri maha kalika-yea namaha)

If you are skilled in the imaginal realm, I highly recommend planting an astral cannabis plant in your immediate vicinity. I do this with all my allies in my astral garden. It’s similar to constructing anything astrally in that a suitable form can be a warm invitation for a spirit to inhabit a designated part of your imaginal realm. Eventually interaction with the spirit can become possible without their physical matter even being present.

I hope this helps someone out there to rediscover this glorious plant; materialistically revered but spiritually taken for granted.

She has so much to give, so much more than she gets credit for.

Liber Kali

As much as my feelings on old Al Crowley seem to rest at a comfortable love/hate, the bastard sure could write. He also came up with many useful templates for crafting one’s own spells and incantations, although it sometimes seems these truly profound accomplishments of his get ignored in favor of the more extreme sensory experiences of elaborate ritual pageantry.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just that a few well chosen words well-mastered can be just as powerful and without all the expenses and planning. That said, getting comfortable with your own expressions is a hell of a challenge and in hopes of inspiring some of you out there to write your own magic (or use someone else’s template,) I am sharing my own dedication to Kali Ma modeled after Crowley’s instructions in Liber Astarte for crafting a dedication to align oneself with a deity.

This practice is not necessarily devotionalism. It can be, but it can also simply be something akin to tuning an instrument. Once you really have a grasp on the personality you are tuning in to it becomes easy to dial that force back up again from then on. Rinse and repeat until the ability to differentiate one subtle force from another has been developed.

Without further adieu, Liber Kali by Reverend Janglebones.

I plead unto to thee, most terrible Kali

Lend me thy grace and shine thy bright darkness

That I may dissolve at thy lotus feet

OM MA (x3

_______

Hail demonslayer, great Goddess of black

My skull and my sword, they are yours to your service

Until your great tongue takes them back

OM KRIM KALI (x3)

_______

Grandmother weaver, from whom all is born

You could blink but your eye and erase every form

You could cease but your laughter and freeze time in stone

And in you, not ever, has a soul been alone

OM KALI MA (x3)

_______

Oh mighty and merciful Kali, 

Without whose darkness there could be not the stars

Without whose thirst for destroying illusions

Without whose ecstatic emancipation I would be

Forever bound and found-less 

OM KLIM KALIKAYAI NAMAHA (x3)

_______

Did you not confer to me a compact 

When I thought none I could accept, surely?

Until the shape of fate laid prone before me

From birth unto death

Shone the one single thing I’d regret if my breath 

Shortened early

OM SRI MAHA KALIKAYAI NAMAHA (x3)

_______

Always do you see me, never falling for my charms

Reflecting as a confidante the profundity of my folly

Marking out ahead of me the tripwires of desire

And chivalrously sounding the alarms

OM HRIM SHRIM KLIM ADYA 

KALIKA PARAM ESHWARI SWAHA (x3)

_______

Hail She of shameless night, bare-breasted in Her glory

Whose nectar from the deepest rose bestows memento mori

I would drink of your sap and collapse in your Shakti

I would nap in the lap of the Goddess Kali

OM MAHA KALYAI

CA VIDMAHE SMASANA

VASINYAI CA DHIMAHI

TANNO KALI PRACHODAYAT (x3)

Quick Change

Sometimes we think or behave in ways that are downright disturbing. Some of us more often than others. Our own destructive behaviors can be a mystery to us no matter how we strive to get a glimpse of our self-sabotaging strategies before the damage is dealt. We may be able to see their effect on our loved ones and our surroundings but there are times when, despite our best efforts, the motivations for our trash actions remain as of yet out of our sight. The following is a simple original remedy for such malaise requiring only privacy and spare change. That is what we’re going for, isn’t it; change? (Come down off your pun high-horse.)

MATERIALS: Bowl or jar of pocket change, privacy, a fierce desire to change your actions.

  1. Choose two types of common coin. Do your best to find a reason to prefer one and dislike the other. If you like a gold color and think quarters weigh too much then use pennies as your “good” coins and quarters as your bad. As always, creativity and emotion are key. 
  2. Get yourself into a magical mindframe and be in a comfortable space because the next step is to get uncomfortable.
  3. Get uncomfortable by taking one of your “bad” coins and holding it in your hand as a point of meditation. Begin to guide your mind to the negative behaviors as the “bad” coin burns into your mind. Think of the people you’ve hurt or embarrassed. The opportunities sabotaged. The ripples of negativity that you helped perpetuate somehow. Get angry at the why of it all. Get sad and beg yourself. It doesn’t matter as long as you mean it. When you’ve had enough, throw the coin back into the jar with the rest. 
  4. Take a minute to center, then do the same with a “good” coin. Focus on all the joy and charm and insight you’ve brought the world. All the things you have been and are, but also those future potentials, too! Imagine the best parts of your ideal self radiating into that silly pretty coin. Love it. Then put it back in the jar with the mixed masses.
  5. Now every kind of coin is sloshing around in there, much like in you. Now dump that motherfucker all on the floor in a pile and pretend it’s your only chance to get that bad shit sorted out. Do it steadily and deliberately. Separate all the bad as you imagine the same happening within. When you have them in your hand say a prayer of cleansing and either bury them or, my personal preference, scream bloody murder as you chuck them as hard and as far as you can into a body of water. Bonus points if it’s a river.
  6. Now, take a moment to wide angle the remaining coins on the floor. Let the “good” coins start to stand out. Almost glow. Smile, because you know which ones they are. Put the coins back in whatever container they were in, but as you do be sure to feel those good things whenever you pick up the corresponding type of coin. You’re putting everything except the bad back inside you, but now you know the good when you see it. It’s a good idea to go and go buy yourself something tasty with the rest to positively reinforce your self-improvement efforts, assuming you didn’t pick the most valuable denomination as your “bad” coin.
  7. Keep the very last “good” coin you pick up separate from the rest. You just made a power object. Treat it well.

Zen Cohens

So what exactly does a mantra or a zen koan sound like in the age of terminal late-stage materialism, electromagnetic and sensory bombardment, and productivity maximization? Damn right if you said it sounds like whatever works! 

One of the first significant times I found this magically working for me was at the end of a relationship that dragged out far longer than it should have as I allowed myself to sink into the complacency of creature comforts and subsequently the neglect of those things that really mattered most in the world. The next logical step was for everything to fall apart.

A friend of mine had covered this song in his band and just one single line from the chorus resonated in such a way as to echo between the walls of my skull for weeks to come. Rolling over and over itself as it gained and lost momentum, ebbed and flowed. It became a rotary engine of my will to proceed. My driving, beating war drum of soldiering on toward the healing and growth that would inevitably follow. This particular mantra was from Leonard Cohen’s “Iodine.”

You let me love you

Till I was a failure,

Yeah, you let me love you

Till I was a failure

I have also been wont to use southern style hymns such as “Down to the river to pray” or Tom Waits’ “Cold Water.” Thom Yorke lyrics also work really well since they’re almost entirely pre-existing popular sayings framed sonically to alter the usual meaning by changing their context. Let me be clear: This kind of poetry, rearranging the current resources available to your benefit is magic.

Use what works for you. If you get a song stuck in your head, stop and listen to it. What are the lyrics telling you about your right now? Do not underestimate the Unconscious, or your team of helpful spirits feeding seemingly random thoughts into your inner dialog like easter eggs in a stock ticker. The sooner you learn to listen for these moments and acknowledge them (to yourself and to your guides,) the sooner magic begins to fill in all the cracks and in-betweens and opens up your life to high adventure and high strangeness. Upgrading the mundane to fantastic offers a self-perpetuating and infinitely gratifying worldview. Once it gets off the ground it can fly you around on its own steam for the rest of your life, at the very least.

Keep going. We’re all dying to live.

A Prayer to our Wizard Ancestors

Ancestors and honored dead are invaluable allies who truly care about our well-being, but we usually encounter the most willing the most easily. What about the less willing? What about when you follow your line back, do you have any saints? Any kings, mages, or witches? When you consider the web of genetics widening as we travel back through time, we can all safely assume we have wizards and witches in our blood. So how do we access those ancestors for help and learning? This is my experimental answer to that very thought. Why not ask the closer ones to go back for us? After all, magic is all about petitions.

All you need is some incense (frankincense is holy enough to land a default position for me, but if you have a “home” feeling scent, by all means go nuts,) a candle, and a cool glass of fresh water in a clean glass. Try this in the morning or at night before bed for a couple weeks and keep a log of any changes in dreamscapes and coincidences.

I call out to my honored ancestors, whether human, spirit, god, rock, plant, mountain, river, insect, star, planet, moon, fungus, virus, bacteria, or any other form of person unbeknownst to me. I call out to any and all who are invested in my path to be here now. Be here and hear me. 

Arrive and partake of this cool, clear water. May it quench your thirst. Partake of this smoke, that it may comfort you. Partake of this candle flame, that it may bring you warmth and light, now and forever.

I am your descendent who carries your warm blood upon this earth with his bones. It is I who carries the light which was born of your toil. Your tears and your laughter are as songs in my heart. I am the torchbearer of our line. I remember you who came before. I remember you and I honor your efforts. I honor you in the life that I now live and to this beating heart I am true. 

I call out to you who lived well and died well and made it through the veil. I call out to you who have a stake in the fate of your family line and I ask for your guidance and protection. I call out to you and ask for your assistance in delivering the following message so that it is heard. Carry it up our family lines and as far back as possible so that all of the honored dead may hear:

I call out to you who came long ago. I call out to my ancestors, to those who came before me, who understood secret things in their lifetimes, who joined in the sabbat, who recited scripture to make things happen, who healed with herbs, who told fortunes, who took up the cloth, met Jesus, spoke with saints, communed with angels, pacted with demons, spirits, or crossed the hedge on moonlit nights, I call out to you and I ask you for connection, for your knowledge and your wisdom. You are needed in these times. I need your guidance and wisdom here and now, ever and always. 

Reveal yourselves to me in dreams or show me a sign through the day. I ask you for closer contact and more direct communication. I ask you for protection. I ask you for abundance. And I ask you for all of the secret knowledge of our bloodlines. I ask you, honored ancestors, to entrust me with the task of setting our ship straight and passing on the torch before it is time for me to join you. I ask you for your secrets.

I am the magician, the priest, the mystic of our line. Please show me the ways of my birthrights, that our legacy may be bright and beautiful, just and serene.

If you haven’t seen some changes in your dreams or strange synchs within a week or two and you’re determined, consider hosting a dumbsupper. Food might do the trick.

If there is static, negative or malicious goings on, or if your general mood and mindframe suffers, do an ancestral elevation rite as soon as you can (Chiron Armand’s instructions are simple and effective.) After clearing some of that up, return to this prayer. The idea of asking for “honored” ancestors is to differentiate those that have crossed over and chose to return here to help, between those who may be stuck or actively problematic for the family so this prayer alone shouldn’t draw anything nasty out, but I feel better offering some recourse in the unlikely event of the wyrd getting worrisome.