Marijuana and Mexican Shamanism

What I've Been Taught

I've written a number of books and articles on the subject of marijuana syndromes and treating the effects and side effects of marijuana with Traditional Chinese Medicine. Here I would like to focus on what I've been taught about marijuana and Mexican shamanism.

The Shamanic Nature Of Marijuana

When you first start taking marijuana, its nature connects you with your dreams, aspirations and creativity. It reprioritizes your sense of values to become more humane and authentic. It takes you through the first stages and tests of changing your perceptions of reality by transporting you from the superficial, mundane world into other realms. As I was taught, its main purpose is to help you detach from the material plane, cleanse yourself of cultural poisoning and open doors into other dimensions of possibility.

If You Don’t Balance It...

Marijuana can help you let go of appearances and materialism. But if you let it take you too far and you don't do something to balance it in your life, marijuana can also turn you into a slob that can't get anything done. It's the same energy, taken to an extreme. This is a good example of the progression of effects of a drug. If you go overboard, or get infatuated with the high of the drug, its effects will first exaggerate and then turn into their opposites.

This effect is one level of the shamanic testing arena. It's where many of the lessons of plant medicines reside. These tests are built in mechanisms, or proving grounds, that only allow those that make it through in a good way to progress further on the path. The ones who don't make it are left to the demons and psychotherapists.

Skunk Medicine

When a young child smells marijuana for the first time, they often share a simple but profound insight: Marijuana smoke smells like a skunk. Many Mexican shamans agree. Marijuana shares two main qualities with the skunk at levels of what the shamans call Skunk Medicine.

Sexual Betrayal

The first quality is sexual betrayal. This relates not only to sexual infidelity as we commonly see it on TV Novelas, or soap operas, but also has the property of betraying or trading our noble goals or ideals for sexuality and sensuality. People who are deeply involved with unbalanced marijuana use frequently seem to be somewhere in this experience.

The Black and White Energy

Another expression of skunk medicine is what the shamans call the black and white energy. This plays out as a battle of opposing ideals, usually with one side oppressing the other. This can happen both physically and on the level of values. A great example of this effect is how the police and policing relate to a definite stage of marijuana's progression through any system. The police are a social projection of the black and white energy. This stage deepens over time into a perception and projection of an oppressor, the Down Presser Man. Any survey of marijuana-influenced culture and art will provide many examples of The Man.

On a personal level, the initial phases of black and white energy help us to clarify our sense of authenticity. Over time, if the infatuation with marijuana deepens, the black and white energy plays out as polarity on every level. This polarization even happens physically as marijuana influences the user's hormones and depolarizes his/her jing sexual essence over time.

A Feminine Energetic Quality

Even though the influence of marijuana causes a depolarization of sexual essence and charge in both sexes, the Mexican shamans I've known consider the nature of marijuana to be female. This kind of female has very specific qualities. Let me explain:

Have you ever wondered where in the world the name marijuana comes from? It's not a botanical title. The word comes from Mexican shamans. We first started hearing the term marijuana here in El Norte at the end of the 1800s, when Gringo soldiers first had continuing contact with freedom fighters from Mexico, who were mostly Pancho Villa's supporters in Sonora.

So what does marijuana mean, anyway? Mari means Mary. It means Virgin in the Christian sense and all that goes along with that icon. But a Juana is a whore. (If you’re deeply aching to verify the truth of this statement, click

here. ) This leads us into a dichotomy that is the essence of what marijuana's medicine is all about.

Marijuana and Malinche

Sexual betrayal issues can get stimulated with repeated and unbalanced contact with marijuana. We've discussed that above. They are a part of marijuana's nature. On a magical level, marijuana reflects the betrayal of materialism. She's La Chingada, she who both comforts and destroys you. She's the source of your everyday enjoyment, your array of small, but meaningful, satisfactions and the generatrix of your wretched condition. She initiates you into the tradition of Mexican goddesses who infect you with the very illnesses that they cure. She's the Virgin of Guadalupe, whose indigenous identity is linked with Malinche, the Betrayess.

Malinche's original name comes from the word Malinalli, which means weed. She was the Sun's younger sister who came to Earth many centuries ago as a powerful, wise, crazy and socially unacceptable teenage witch.

Malinalli wanted to be acknowledged and revered for who she was: a goddess. The only problem was that people couldn't deal with being around her. She challenged their values and constantly called them out on their contradictions. Because they couldn't handle her, the Aztecs abandoned her in the wilderness. They acknowledged her, but only at a distance. They went on to create their empire without directly integrating her power. But they remembered and respected her, and they knew that some day she would return.

When Malinche came back two hundred years later, she came with powerful reinforcements from outside of the realm of the Aztec imagination and worldview. She commanded a battalion of six- legged warriors, who under her skillful guidance completely destroyed the Aztec social order. Those warriors were the Spanish 'Christians' and their horses.

It took many years and over twenty million Aztec lives to play that polarity out. Aztec society ultimately resurrected itself only under Malinche's original terms. She was finally revered as a goddess. That worship continues to this day.

Malinche is teenage power. She's rebellion. She breaks through the prevailing social order and speaks what's in her heart and mind. Malinche is the essence of revolution. She's a powerful antidote for our painful journey of socialization and domestication. Her power comes from outside the box. Malinche is the Black Swan. She's evolution.

That's a lot to keep in mind if you're considering recreational experimentation with marijuana. But it's worth keeping in mind.

An Illustrative Case History Involving Millions of Test Subjects Over a Fifty-Plus Year Time Span

What hypothesis is complete without a research study that examines a very large number of random test subjects? For a very accurate illustration of what the shamans have observed regarding the nature of marijuana, I offer a cross-sectional example: Let's observe and review the general effects of marijuana on the Hippie movement in the 1960s.

Reordering Values

Marijuana 'Turned On' an entire generation. It pushed those who became most besotted with its effects to reorder their sense of values. They did this to the point that they dropped out of contemporary society.

The Hippies created their own communities based on ideals that they felt were closer to what was real for them. Spontaneity, peace and love were the buzzwords of the day. They eschewed materialism and all of its trappings. It's hard for us to understand today how radical it was for the Hippies to do what they did. That was a very conservative and dangerous time. The status quo wasn't questioned, and the U.S. was at war. Back then you could get killed for being a Hippie. It wasn't a fashion statement. It was a serious revolutionary act.

From Love to Sensuality to Sexuality

Before long, the Hippies came to a place where their idealism of love took a dark turn. Their collective principle of love wiped out in the magnetism that descends into sensuality and sexuality.

Immaturity, lack of spiritual guidance and the absence of a clan of wise elders left the Hippies rudderless in a world of energy they didn't rightfully belong in. They played out a perverted betrayal of their aspiring collective dream for the basest sensuality. Hippie dress got loose. They stopped bathing. They let themselves get all hairy as they connected with their own foul, dissociated projection of the Earth. They traveled west to Haight Ashbury, tripping out on their skin, their pores and an infinity of tiny details while their dreams slowly separated from reality step by step.

Paying the Price

In the parlance of the shamans, the Hippie movement was devoured by denizens of the underworld. This generation of castaway souls traveled into places that they shouldn't have been without being granted the proper permission or protection. They paid the price.

Hippie ideals of peace and love twisted and hardened as the young and innocent children of the Summer of Love explored and clashed with the Black and White energy of the collective. Conflict became the keynote of the times, ultimately ending with the Manson family and the proclamation of the Black and White War. Peace and love went full circle to become its opposite.

From a Mexican Shaman's point of view, none of this comes as a surprise. In the absence of the guiding light of wisdom and spiritual tradition, any foray into the other worlds assisted by plant medicines will lead to a disaster.

It's All About the Nature of Marijuana

The outcomes of this particular disaster could have been foretold from the get go with any basic familiarity with the nature of the marijuana. Moreover, this catastrophe could have been avoided altogether if the Hippies would have taken traditional measures to balance their use of marijuana. They could have done it by taking marijuana along with other medicinal herbs and performing specific rituals whenever they used it. Who knows where we would all be right now if they had taken those simple steps.

The Story Continues...

But the shamanic nature of marijuana tells us the story of the Hippies isn't over yet. Those who were cast out, marginalized, left behind and abandoned are due for a return some time soon. They've gone the long way through the proving ground. They've been living in the outlands for nearly fifty years now, gathering reinforcements, learning a thing or two about balance and getting back their dreams. They're making plans that come from outside of conventional thinking. When they return, they're going to be much, much stronger than any of our puny attempts to preserve what has been. The outcasts are like weeds. They are evolution. They are the next cycle that will topple the stagnant order, this time on a global level.

When the revolution happens this time, one way or another, everybody's going to be involved. The time to get back your dream is now.

This article was some of the original material that went on to become

Marijuana Syndromes
How to Balance and Optimize
the Effects of Cannabis
With Traditional Chinese Medicine

Marijuana Shamanism Index