Substances that affect the mind and create altered perceptions of reality are among the most potent known to humanity. Cultures ascribed these substances with great religious and ceremonial power. Marijuana is one of these substances, and it was, and still is, revered and celebrated by many faithful groups to this day.
Because of changing mindsets, you can legally buy cannabis and CBD oil in shops. Marijuana is recreational or medical, but it has deep roots in religious communities all over the world. Faiths in China, India, and North America have seen the plant as a conduit to divine energies and beings.
Magu, the Chinese Goddess of Hemp
Magu is either a goddess or a priestess of an unknown healing deity, according to Taoist sources. Religions in Japan, China, and Korea include her in their pantheons. Magu’s powers, and her divine status, differ in each country. Korean myth gives her the mantle of a Creator Deity, akin in power to Amaterasu of Japan. She is always a young and beautiful maiden, and her powers always revolve around the purity, healing, and the earth.
According to Taoist texts, she shared a spiritual connection with hemp. Ancient scholars claimed that the consumption of hemp seeds conferred second sight and the ability to resist demonic possession. They also burned hemp seeds during purification rituals. They invoked Magu’s power during these ceremonies, further deepening her connection with the plant.
The Five Sacred Plants
In India, the Vedas are among the holiest texts of Hinduism. The Atharvaveda is one of these texts, and its history goes back thousands of years. The author described five plants as possessing celestial power; these include barley, soma, and cannabis.
The Veda says that cannabis is a source of liberation, joy, and happiness. Hindus often associate the great god Shiva with cannabis. One of the sacred rites of Shiva involves the imbibing of a liquid known as bhang. Priests make this drink by combining cannabis, milk, rosewater, and almonds. Believers consumed bhang to cleanse their sins and meet Shiva, sometimes called the Lord of Bhang. It ensures a peaceful transition between death and rebirth.
Today, Indians still drink bhang on the holy days of Shiva, such as Holi and Shivrati. Laborers can buy the drink as a refreshing beverage from government-licensed street stands.
The Weed Nuns
The Sisters of the Valley are a sect of women based in the Merced Valley of California. These women do not affiliate with the Catholic Church, but instead identify with the Beguine sisterhoods. These were communities of women in 13th century Netherlands who had sworn to live ascetic lives.
The Sisters of the Valley, sometimes called “The Weed Nuns,” believe that marijuana, specifically hemp, has healing and rejuvenating properties. These seven women grow their own hemp and marijuana and seek to use this industry to help free other women. Although not a religious organization, the Sisters of the Valley still have faith in the power of cannabis, as a drug and as a source of income.
Humanity has revered many things across many centuries: the sun, the sea, and mountains, among other things. People do not respect and revere objects that have not exhibited great power. Perhaps people could view the experience of consuming cannabis and similar substances like the gift of the heavens that it is.