written by Sade Preston
The Beginning of a New Relationship:
Every plant has a spirit, every herb, every flower. We take our tinctures, drink our teas, use our flower essences, as if it is second nature. But do you realize that with every way we ingest our plant allies there’s an energy exchange? In the same way we use the spirit of lavender and skullcap to calm us, or rose to connect us with our heart space, we use cannabis in various forms to calm us, still our mind, or even shift our perspectives on life. Cannabis is a spiritual tool like every other plant ally we work with. This work can be tricky though, as there is balance needed in using your own power mixed with the power of cannabis. The way you would approach any magical item, any ritual space is the same way you should approach cannabis when working with it in your practice. Setting intentions, clearing your mind, making it known why you want to work with it, and what you want to get out of the experience are all important factors when integrating it into your work. (You wouldn’t go into ritual not having a clear intention of what you want out of it, so when using cannabis in your work make sure you have clear intentions of what you need from it. Clearing headspace for deep meditation? Gaining a sense of community to further conversations and gain new perspectives? Become a clear channel for messages from spirit to come through? Whatever it may be, respecting the plant and knowing what you need from it is ESSENTIAL.) Working with it in your practice takes time and practice to master, and sometimes, it’s not even something everyone should work with. Use a pendulum, call on your guides, or trust your intuition and ask if the plant wants to work with you in your practice if it says no, don’t fret, that could just mean there are better alternatives for your practice and you work better with a clear mind. Some plant allies work better with different people, cannabis is no different.
With most plant allies I look at the physical and medicinal properties in order to understand the metaphysical or spiritual properties. To get an understanding of how plants affect us in our spiritual practices, it’s important to first understand the plant as a whole. Cannabis has psychotropic effects so of course this can help us in our practice when we need a new perspective or a new way of thinking.
People who work with marijuana in an intentional way tend to have a good understanding of how different strains affect different workings. I personally tend to use indica before dreamwork to calm my mind before slipping into the realm of the subconscious. This of course doesn’t work for everyone because a lot of people report they don’t dream when they smoke. Paired with other plant allies, I tend to have very vivid dreams. On the other hand, I’ll work with sativa when I’m doing energetic ritual workings because I can still have the benefit of the mind-altering effects while not being a zombie. Understanding the way different strains work with your body before using them in your work is also key in working with it as a whole. Some strains won’t agree with you, will make you paranoid or antsy and when your mind is occupied in that way, it could make it difficult for you to use it in your practice, other strains might make you so tired that you won’t have the energy to do any work while you’re high and will ultimately ruin the experience for you. When you get to know the plant, get to know it in all its forms that way you build a strong relationship before using the spirit of it in your practice. This same practice should be implemented when using any plant ally.
I personally do a lot of various workings with cannabis in my practice. As a devotee of Santa Muerte, I use it specifically as an offering first as marijuana is a plant sacred to Her. When smoking, I’ll blow some into Her statue’s face as a way to include her in the practice and to smoke “with” her. This is something I’ll do either before ritual or just to honor her and give thanks.
Self-acceptance work is another practice that can be done while under the influence of cannabis. When I’m under the influence it’s easy for me to gain new perspectives buried down deep that my everyday brain doesn’t think to acknowledge. It’s almost as if cannabis sparks my voice of reason because of its ability to quiet the mind of harmful thought patterns when working with the right strain that agrees with you. Sometimes I’ll add other herbs in with cannabis depending on what specifically I need. If I’m emotionally distressed and need some reassurance, I can use motherwort and hawthorn, which are both heart healing and strengthening, and damiana, which I find to be a very empowering herb, that way the plants can work together and aid me in very specific ways.
A lot of ‘shadow work’ or self-acceptance work used to transform parts of self that can be harmful to us with compassion and understanding, can be done under the influence of cannabis because of its ability to go beyond the surface level experience and clearly help us work through the parts of ourselves that we would much rather bury. Gifting us with new perspectives of how we react to situations, what we will allow to bother or hurt us, or even retraining the brain surrounding triggers can all be done when you begin working with the plant as a spiritual ally. It helps to dissolve illusions that our everyday minds fill us with and heighten our mindfulness which can aid us in our own personal work and how we treat those around us. Cannabis is also an aphrodisiac and can be used in sex magic and orgasm ritual. ”Physical energy must be mastered and grounded for spiritual energy to move, because physical energy transforms the spirit.” –Teilhard de Chardin The orgasm is an extremely powerful energy source for manifestation. Using cannabis in sex magic can help you get into your power on a more intense level which can help with all manifestation. Even doing orgasm ritual, not under the influence can be a powerful addition to any practice. After working with cannabis in your practice, I believe it’s important to take notes during and afterward of what feelings, experiences, and thoughts come up. After working with it, it’s easy to forget some things once the high fades away, including the feelings of reassurance you may have encountered. Writing notes can help give you something to revisit once you’re in a clear state of mind and can help you in your everyday waking life.
- Do research on your plant ally, get to know it first, treat it as a potential life partner, you would want to know a bit about them before putting a ring on it.
- Asking the plant’s permission to work with it, through pendulum, through spirit, whatever it may be.
- Try different strains and see which ones agree with you best, not every strain is for everyone. You could also experiment with ways to work with it. Do topicals work best for you? Smoking? Edibles?
- Have a clear intention of what you want to accomplish when working with the spirit of cannabis. (what you would like to find out within, shadow work, new perspectives, dreamwork, etc.)
- Start off small: Don’t get so stoney bologna you can’t function. Work with the plant in increments and add more as you get more comfortable working with it in an intentional way. You could be very familiar with how cannabis affects you because of how often you work with it in your day-to-day, but remember, you’re treating the plant with a different respect when you work with it intentionally.
- Take notes of your feelings, experiences and thoughts during and afterwards so you have something to reference when the high wears off.