With Hemp being on the list of Magical Plants across the world, it is only fitting to talk a little about Myths, Legends and Rituals that people from different countries used to perform in order to ensure their Hemp Crops would be tall, healthy and amazing, right?
In order to keep up with hemp's importance as a major agricultural crop, various customs and ceremonies based on the homeopathic magical principle were performed during the Middle Ages expressly to influence the growth of the hemp plant in the forthcoming year.
In many parts of Europe, for instance, peasant farmers kindled huge bonfires and danced around or leaped over the flames. The idea was that as the flames and dancers soared into the air, so too would the hemp crop grow high into the sky. So seriously did the peasants regard these hemp dances, writes the noted anthropologist Sir James G. Frazer, that anyone not contributing to the fire could look forward to a bad crop next year.
In some parts of France, to make sure that the hemp harvest would be good, the women dancers performed their leaps while slightly drunk. Unfortunately, we do not know if this drunkenness was just another effect of the psychoactive plant. Another French custom designed to influence the hemp growth was for the farmer to hitch up his trousers as high as possible while he sowed his hemp seeds in the hope that the hemp plants would grow to the height he had raised his pants.
Toulouse - Chemin de Tournefeuille
Various other customs were followed to coax hemp into growing tall.
In some countries, the hemp dances were performed on rooftops. In Germany, hemp seeds were flung high into the air in the hope that the stalks of these seeds would be able to find their way back into the air one day.
Yet another quaint custom related to hemp growing involved the election of a King and Queen of the Bean on the Twelfth Day (the Epiphany, January 6). As part of this custom, which began in the sixteen century, a huge cake was baked on the eve of the Twelfth Day. Two beans were then inserted into the cake. Pieces of cake were then distributed and whoever got the beans became the King and Queen of the Bean. As soon as the King and Queen were chosen, they were saluted and hoisted onto the shoulders of their subjects so that they could make crosses on the beams of the houses. These crosses were supposed to protect the houses during the coming year against evil spirits. But the real point of the selection was an attempt to peer into the future to determine what the next year's hemp crop would be like. If the King were taller than the Queen, then the male plant would be taller than the female (and the fiber would therefore be better). If the Queen were taller, then the female hemp plants would be taller and the fiber would not be as good.
"This legend derived from medieval & Tudor England, the Twelfth Night marked the end of a winter festival that started on All Hallows Eve — now more commonly known as Halloween. The Lord of Misrule symbolized the world turning upside down. On this day the King & all those who were high would become the peasants & vice versa. At the beginning of the Twelfth Night festival, a cake that contained a bean & perhaps a pea was eaten. The male who found the bean would rule the feast as a king. Midnight signaled the end of his rule, & the world would return to normal. The common theme was that the normal order of things was reversed."
In the Balkans, an ancient folk ritual (still practiced in the early part of the twentieth century) involved not so much dancing as running through a circle of burning hemp. As the peasants scampered through the flames, they chanted in unison: "We have been in the fire and not been burnt, we have been in the midst of illness and not caught it." Behind this ceremony is the idea that fire has a cleansing action and can thus protect people from disease. The reason the fires were made of hemp is unknown, but no doubt it was because of hemp's connection with magic.
This Hemp Blog Article was written using bits & crumbles from “Marihuana The First Twelve Thousand Years”, by Ernest L. Abel