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
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
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
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
) 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
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.
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.
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
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
This article was some of the original material that went on to become
How to Balance and Optimize
the Effects of Cannabis
With Traditional Chinese Medicine
Marijuana Shamanism Index