Entheogen – (noun) – a chemical substance, typically of plant origin, that is ingested to produce a non-ordinary state of consciousness for religious or spiritual purposes.
While this topic hasn’t been a hotbed of late (not like it used to be, anyhow), it is still a relevant topic. This day in age, there are all sorts of scenarios where spiritual usage of drugs is commonplace – we just don’t think of them as such. The use of E at a rave, for example, can be a method of inducing an altered state of consciousness for the purpose of attaining a sense of oneness and love with everyone and everything around us – even if we don’t realize it.
All too often, people have problems with ritual drug use. Historically, the Shaman, Cunningfolk, Wise Person, Healer or whatever else you want to call them, who was the center of spirituality in a tribal village, used entheogens. Today, mostly due to our being brainwashed that “all drugs are bad,” we don’t even consider the use of entheogens as a possibility.
Part of the issue with people who are against the use of entheogens is that they believe that the physical sensations are not “spiritual.” Many still cling to the notion – no matter how much they purport otherwise – that the body is separate from Spirit. Believe it or not, this is a notion that comes to us directly from the mentality of Christianity that says humans are separate from nature, and should be above it, not part of it. In that particular path, we’re taught that the body is bad, sinful, and that we will be separated from God should we succumb to “the evil temptations of the flesh.” But failing to realize how ingrained within each cell of our physical bodies is Spirit, we fail to realize the true Oneness of All Things.
If you choose not to use entheogens as part of your practice for any reason, that’s absolutely your prerogative. It’s also the prerogative of others to use them.
It is precisely the unity of Body and Spirit that many of us who may use drugs ritually are reaching for. We humans often feel that drugs and alcohol inhibit our ability to be spiritual, when, in fact, we are always Spirit and it is outside of our ability to be anything else at any time.
You already are spiritual. Because your entire being is Spirit, including your physical body.
Denying the physical makes us less spiritual. It’s the same thing with sex … we’ve been taught that it’s bad, that it is sinful, that it harms us, that these sensations we feel are “evil,” when it is exactly the opposite.
It is precisely this sensation of unity that drugs/alcohol can release in us. But its hard to explain, and I’m not doing the best of jobs at it right now. I don’t use drugs and alcohol in ritual all the time, nor must I have it to “feel spiritual” or to realize the Oneness of All Things. But sometimes, it is precisely the uninhibited lusty desire that drugs/alcohol cause that IS the Divine Touch. These sensations are not separate, just as we are not separate from Spirit.
Dionysus, for example, had absolutely no qualms with the use of drugs or alcohol in ritual practice. He might be thought of in our modern times as the God of Sex, Drugs and Rock-n-Roll … like a beatified Jim Morrison.
God is. We are. We are God Herself. Separating the feeling of being uninhibited, the loss of control, from God Herself is both impossible and futile. (Yah, I’m a whacked out Witch like that. LOL)
It’s been a long, long journey, but I’ve finally come to realize that my body is God, as much as my mind and spirit and soul are God, and that denying God Her will is … (a term I’ve often despised and refused to use over the years) sin, in a sense.
At some point, perhaps it’s best if you, yourself, experiment with such Shamanic undertakings. Obviously, don’t go out and try to find yourself some illegal Peyote and mix it up with Wiccan ritual where you call down Cthulhu. That might be a bit too dangerous at the outset. Instead, perhaps stay safely at home, cast a circle, call the Gods and smoke a joint. Then just sit quietly in meditation. See what you see. Hear what you hear. Feel what you feel. And then tomorrow morning, write about it from memory. You might do nothing more than fall asleep mid-thought, but at least you’ve experimented. Perhaps next time, try something different – Absinthe, for example.
I’m not recommending that you do something unsafe to “expand your consciousness.” I’m telling you to experiment safely and see what happens. You might be surprised at the results.