Forbidden Fruit Publishing

Green Gold the Tree of Life Marijuana in Magic and Religion

By Chris Bennett, Lynn Osburn and Judy Osburn

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Excerpt(s): Hemp has played a prominent role in the development of the religions and civilizations of Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa. The insights gained from the marijuana high by the ancient worshippers were considered to be of divine origin and the plant itself an "angel" or messenger of the gods. The sacramental use of marijuana predates written history and this tradition continues with diverse tribes in Africa, certain Hindu sects, Moslem fakirs and Rastafarians, as well as modern Occultists and Pagans. Indeed, marijuana has been employed for insights and ecstasy by members of virtually every major religion in history. (page 4)

Knowledge and use of the sacred cannabis Tree of Life predates the oldest deciphered written records. The Hindus of India took this knowledge with them when they left the Hindu Kush mountains. The traditions continued with the ancient Egyptians, the Zoroastrians ( Persia revered cannabis, the white Haoma, along with the Tree of All Seed. The Scythians, enigmatic Magi of the North, and their trading partners the Thracians, spread this information throughout Europe and the Mediterranean. (page 422)

Perhaps, as Dr. Aldrich seems to suggest, our quest to partake in the cannabis Tree of Life unmolested, is the same story that has been told since Gilgamesh found and lost the flower of eternity over five thousand years ago. Perhaps it is the same story depicted on the Scythian carpet found with two censers containing burnt cannabis residues, which has the repeated design of a horseman approaching the Great goddess who holds the Tree of Life in one hand. Perhaps it is the same story as that of Parzifal's Quest for the Holy Grail.

The collective desire to obtain the Tree of Life is an expression of our deepest yearnings to know the Great Mystery beyond beginnings and endings, compounded with the desire to escape the endless cycle of titillations and antagonisms of the senses teasing us in the Great Mysterious Cosmos of Existence. (pages 422-423)

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