CANNABIS CULTURE. Within the nineteenth and early twentieth century, cannabis performed a outstanding function within the occult scene, and was utilized in initiatory rites by sure secret societies, reminiscent of the Airtight Brotherhood of Luxor.
The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor was an initiatory occult group that first turned recognized to the general public in late 1894, though in line with an official doc of the order it started its work in 1870. Previous to the rise of the extra well-known Hermetic Order of the Golden Daybreak in 1888 the HBoL was the one order that taught sensible occultism within the Western Thriller Custom. Curiously numbers of members of the Airtight Order of the Golden Daybreak will be tied to medication, one thing that I’ll deal with in a future article. The Airtight Brotherhood of Luxor’s teachings drew closely from the magico-sexual theories of Paschal Beverly Randolph, who influenced teams such because the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) (later headed by Aleister Crowley) though Randolph himself was by no means really part of the Order.
Of their glorious ebook on this order, ‘The Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, (Godwin, Chanel, Deveny, 1995), the authors discuss with the mail order directions for initiation of the H.B. of L. “An important a part of the initiation ceremony appears to have been the taking of a capsule that was despatched together with directions. Most likely this contained a concentrated dose of cannabis and/or opium, to make sure a memorable expertise and maybe even a communication with the entities of the ‘Inside Circle’” (Godwin, 1994). The Inside Circle, being a bunch of hidden initiates that secretly information mankind, deriving from the ideas of Karl von Eckartshausen (1752-1803), Helena Blavatsky (1831-1891), (each of whom are recognized for their very own occult use of medicine). The thought of such ‘Hidden Masters’ is a well-liked theme nonetheless with occultists, and the suggestion of use of cannabis to contact these mysterious figures happens various occasions within the historical past of the occult, at occasions from critics who write off such encounters as ‘pipe goals’.
The co-authors provide an outline from the Mason and so-called Alchemist of the Golden Daybreak, of which he was additionally a member, Rev. William Alexander Ayton, relating to his initiation into the H.B.L.. In his initiation into the group, Ayton was required to drink “what presupposed to be the actual soma juice drunk at a sure stage. …I hesitated very a lot to drink this drug…& I considered omitting it. Nonetheless, I opened the bottle & smelt of it. All my life, I’ve been used to medication, & I directly recognised [sic]this. I knew its results have been strongest, however I made a decision to take it. Whether or not it was hallucination produced by this drug I do know not, however I used to be acutely aware of one other presence… I used to be absolutely 3 hours at it from midnight. When over, I felt my pulse, & discovered simply what I anticipated, that it was intermittent, which was what I knew to be the impact of the drug I assumed it was.” The authors, who’re a number of the most educated historians of this era in occult historical past, observe that “cannabis… actually performed a task within the initiation of the H.B. of L. [and of]the Rev. Ayton…” (Godwin, Chanel & Deveny, 1995).
There appears to have been an total curiosity within the occult use of medicine shared by key members of the group. In “The Occult Journal 1, no. 1 (February, 1885)… the editor… Peter Davidson” an essential determine within the The Airtight Brotherhood of Luxor “quotes Eckertshausen on the narcotic properties of substances which is able to exalt the nervous susceptibility, in addition to help in clarifying the veil of atmospheric density, inducing trance, and so forth., and rising the ability of illustration, and consequently of the Astral Visions” (Deveney, 1997). H.B.L. was significantly recognized for his or her fascination with magic mirrors, which like different elements, seemingly got here via the affect of P.B.Randolph
The Airtight Brotherhood of Luxor, drew closely on the teachings of Paschal Beverly Randolph, (1815-1875) the mulatto mystic, and importer of cannabis, who, as i have noted in earlier articles, bought a wide range of hashish infused elixirs in the US, promoting them, in addition to writing articles about cannabis for the favored American spiritualist journal, Banner of Light and detailing it in his personal works, such because the essay ‘Hashish, Its Uses, Abuses, and Dangers, Its Extasia, Fantasia and Illuminati’ (1867).
For extra on the function of hashish within the occult try Liber 420: Cannabis, Magickal Herbs and the Occult.