Away from the hustle and bustle of the major urban centers, in the relative peace and serenity of the countryside or in the wretched shacks that housed the unskilled city dwellers, where superstition passed for truth, where magic and sorcery were a way of life, where witches revelled with the devil in hallucinatory stupor, hemp was appreciated for marvelous powers.
The Church of Evil was the church of the discontented and the ungratified, men and women who looked upon the glories to God—his splendid churches, his powerful clergy, the pomp and ceremony dedicated to his worship with awe and envy. Condemned to poverty and destitution through no fault of their own, they questioned the fairness of their plight and decided that if God were not on their side, then maybe they would be better off serving Satan. After all, Satan was the renowned master of mortal wealth. Serving him could lead to no worse adversity than that which they were already experiencing.
Many were content simply to worship the devil. Others aspired to higher satanic office and proclaimed themselves sorcerers and witches. The main duties of these servants of the devil was to cast spells on those whose misfortune they desired. In so doing, they called upon the Prince of Darkness to do their bidding.
Invariably, whenever medieval artists turned to the subject of the Witches' Sabbath, they depicted a group of women, who were usually naked, compounding a mysterious drug in a large cauldron. As early as the fifteenth century, demonologists declared that one of the main constituents that the witches compounded for their heinous ceremony was hemp.
Hemp, along with opium, belladonna, henbane, and hem-lock, the demonologists believed, were commonly resorted to during the Witches' Sabbath to produce the hunger, ecstasy, intoxication, and aphrodisia responsible for banquets, the frenzied dancing, and the orgies that characterized the celebration of the Black Mass.
Hemp seed oil was also an ingredient in the ointments witches allegedly used to enable them to fly.
Cannabis still retained its importance as a key ingredient in magical potions well into the nineteenth century. An occult French publication, The Prophet's Almanac, in its 1849 edition, for example, shows a crowd of people standing in front of a wizard who is gazing through a telescope into the future.
Sorcerers and witches were not the only people to attribute magical properties to the marihuana plant.
In the Ukraine, peasant farmers used to pluck marihuana flowers on St. John's Eve in the belief that this would keep the evil eye from hurting their farm animals. Ukrainian girls of marriageable age used to carry hemp seeds in their pockets when they whispered magical spells designed to hasten their wedding day. After they pronounced these spells, they stripped naked and scampered around their homes to complete the magic.
In Ireland, young maidens sowed hemp seed during Halloween, believing that if they looked behind them while sowing, they would see the ghost of their future husbands. In other parts of Great Britain, this rite was not confined to Halloween alone. For example, a love poem of bygone days states the following words and chants on this very special occasion:
A eve last Midsummer no sleep I sought,
But to the field a bag of hemp-seed brought;
I scatter'd round the seed on ev'ry side,
And three times, in a trembling accent, cried
This hemp-seed with my virgin hand I sow.
Who shall my true love be, the crop shall mow.
This Hemp Blog Article was written using bits & crumbles from
“Marihuana The First Twelve Thousand Years”, by Ernest L. Abel