Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Wonders of Datura

Sometimes we overlook the simple joys around us. One example is the magic plant datura, also known as jimsonweed. It is not to be fooled with lightly. I can be deadly when taken unsupervised. But Shamans have used it for centuries in both the old and new world.
Such an example would be the early Celtic religions, such as the Druids. The Druids made use of several drugs, mainly used as incense, for certain festivals or rituals. They used jimsonweed (datura), belladonna (atropa), mandrake root (mandragora) and hemp (possibly marijuana).[1] Also important to the Druid priests were the use of music. It was of such importance that a separate order was formed to promote its study. The music was steeped in symbolism. The Celtic tribes used certain melodies to play a key role in the various festivals, which marked important turning points in the seasons. Their scale has seven basic notes, which corresponded to the seven known celestrial bodies.[2]
In The Teachings Of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way Of Knowledge, by Carlos Castaneda. There is a chapter in which Castaneda experimented with devil’s weed, also known as jimsonweed or datura. He smoked it several times, with the aid of Don Juan. He described distorted visions that seem to make no sense. Don Juan instructed him to be a crow so that he can fly. He guided the visions as a spiritual journey in which he learned to navigate as a crow and interpret what he saw along the way.
[1] Douglas Monroe, The 21 Lessons of Merlyn, A Study in Druid Magic & Lore, (Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1993), pp. 91 - 93, 130 - 135, 292 - 294, 306 - 309, 354 - 357.
[2] Monroe, pp. 198 - 199.


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