Throughout human history, man has always had a very tight bond with plants of all sorts, weaving them into all sorts of spells, performances, and ceremonies. This behaviour is known in different cultures worldwide, from the cannabis-smoking holy men of India to the peyote-eating shamans of South and Central America. Some herbs are used for religious purposes. Others are used for personal gain. Examples of this are that some herbs are used to attract love while others are believed to give you good financial fortune. A binary options trader might use ginger root to try to attract good luck. Someone who is desperately in love might use lavender to try to attract their desired partner.
The common trait of many of these sacred plants is their ability to alter the consumer’s consciousness of any such plant. In these altered states, the shamans, priests or whoever is conducting the ritual claims to be able to do a wide range of spiritual tasks. These tasks include astral projection, divination, healing the sick, calling for blessings, communicating with gods and deities and peering into the future.
How was they discovered?
It can seem almost unfathomable how our ancestors discovered these plants, given there is an almost infinite variety of plants on this earth. Something deep inside must have led those first shamans and priests to scour nature for help in their spiritual quest. As you look into the world of sacred plants and their ceremonial uses, you can truly appreciate how deep the bond to nature runs in both the ancient and contemporary human spirit. One of the obvious things is that man has always found spiritual guidance in nature and has used nature’s different ethnogenic plants to live up to their spiritual potential.
Admiration is in place for these first movers and internal explorers because they charge courageously into an uncharted headspace and kept track of the plants they were using. The richness of the wilderness is great, but sometimes the differences are subtle and minute. The art and science of telling plants from each other is one that is hard to learn and requires time and discipline, even in this day and age. What the ancient healers, priests, and like-minded folks did can be seen as the start of pharmacology and botany. By collecting, inspecting and describing the appearances of different plants they started traditions which later would develop into modern medicine, morphological biology, and herbology.
To write these articles I have scoured the web for information on the topic, and it quickly became clear that the contemporary community around ethnogenic plants is soaring to new heights. It seemed I was not the only one looking into the old ways, to find inspiration for a new future. As we move further and further away from the nature that binds us all together, some truths become less and less apparent, and that is where the sacred plants enter the floor. These plants and the ceremonies and rituals that often comes with them, possess old knowledge and wisdom, knowledge and wisdom which have proved itself important enough to be kept alive for decades.
As you will discover, the geographical spread of these plants can only be described as worldwide. Some plants require specific conditions to flourish, but all parts of the world have their own sacred plants which live in their specific environment. But there are plants that transcend their native habitats and have spread far and wide, Cannabis being a good example of that.
The following small articles are about some of the most important plants from around the world. The list includes:
- San Pedro
- Salvia divinorum
- Datura stramonium
- Morning Glory
All of these have immense significance in their respective cultures and communities and by understanding them better, you will gain insight into the people who use them and maybe ultimately yourself.