11″ X 17″ CANNABIS Art print on Parchment from Maxine Miller’s Magical Botanicals Plant Series.
This print depicts CANNABIS from this series.
Print is unframed and signed by Maxine Miller.
Cannabis has been used in an entheogenic context – a chemical substance used in a religious, shamanic, or spiritual context- in India and Nepal since the Vedic period dating back to approximately 1500 BCE, but perhaps as far back as 2000 BCE. There are several references in Greek mythology to a powerful drug that eliminated anguish and sorrow. Herodotus wrote about early ceremonial practices by the Scythians, thought to have occurred from the 5th to 2nd century BCE.
In the Santo Daime syncretic ayahuasca-using religion, it’s known as Santa Maria, i.e. Saint Mary, and also Mother Mary, Mother Earth, and Pachamama. They say it comes from her sacred garden and will best reveal its gifts when honored and beseeched with humble respect.
In modern culture the spiritual use of cannabis has been spread by the disciples of the Rastafari movement who use cannabis as a sacrament and as an aid to meditation.
It is not known when Rastafari first claimed cannabis to be sacred, but it is clear that by the late 1940s Rastafari was associated with cannabis smoking at the Pinnacle community of Leonard Howell. Rastafari see cannabis as a sacramental and deeply beneficial plant that is the Tree of Life mentioned in the Bible. Peter Tosh, among many others, has quoted Revelation 22:2, “… the herb is the healing of the nations.”
The use of cannabis, and particularly of long-stemmed water-pipes called chalices, is an integral part of what Rastafari call “reasoning sessions” where members join together to discuss life according to the Rasta perspective. They see the use of cannabis as bringing them closer to God (Jah), allowing the user to penetrate the truth of things more clearly.
While it is not necessary to use cannabis to be a Rastafari, many use it regularly as a part of their faith, and pipes of cannabis are dedicated to His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I before being smoked. According to the anti-cult group the Watchman Fellowship “The herb is the key to new understanding of the self, the universe, and God. It is the vehicle to cosmic consciousness” and is believed to burn the corruption out of the human heart. Rubbing the ashes into the skin from smoked cannabis is also considered a healthy practice.
Part of the Rastafari movement, elders of the 20th-century religious movement known as the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church, consider cannabis to be the “eucharist”, claiming it as an oral tradition from Ethiopia dating back to the time of Christ.
Artist: Maxine Miller
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