Last week, Aradia and I conjured the spirit of Cannabis Sativa. No that is not a euphemism for smoking weed. Y’all should know by now that I only use euphemisms when they’re more entertaining and obscene than what I’m actually trying to say. We literally conjured the spirit who rules over marijuana.
The idea came to me somewhat at random: a way of similtaneously linking my study of ceremonial magic with my study of Chaos Magick and with the process of getting back to the witchcraft that has kept me sane. Building on my experiments with Triangles of the Art, I scribed a triangle just for the task:
Such an endeavor could not, of course, be complete without an invocation. A little bit of creativity, a couple rough drafts, and finally a bit of trial and error produced this:
We call upon you, oh spirit: You who preside over the sacred plant cannabis sativa. Oh spirit – Mercurial, Jovian, Saturnal, and Venusian by turns – We call uponyou to appear before us.
We call upon you by your various names: marijuana, ganja, grass, mota, reefer, endo. You are the diggity dank! You are the beloved mary jane!
We call upon you, oh spirit: we offer you fumigation of frankinsence and libation of blood-red wine. I evoke you, oh spirit, to appear before us in our circle that we may converse in friendship and that you may instruct us in your nature.
Aradia and I performed the conjurations jointly, first Wednesday night and then Friday. Aradia performed the incantation for the first conjuration because I was having difficulty articulating what, precisely, I had planned for the rite, itself. (The problem with listening to your Genius instead of writing out the plan.) The cats went ballistic as we cast the circle. Smoke from the fumigation curled thickly in front of the mirror. I could feel the spirit appear and caught glimpses of it moving around the room, but otherwise I experienced none of the sensations that I expected from my planetary evocations. The more magical of my two cats flopped down behind us. I retrospect, I think that my sense of time must have been distorted: I can usually sit and wait for quite a while for a spirit to answer, but that night it only took a few minutes (possibly only a few moments) before I started getting impatient. I felt that the ritual had been a failure, and dismissed the spirit (prematurely, as it turns out).
Aradia started acting very strangely almost immediately: grinning strangely, playing with the cat. Somehow I failed to imagine that her strange behavior might have been the effect of the spirit. I’ll leave her to tell her half of the story in her won time, but she gleaned a great deal of useful information, most notably that the spirit is not particularly impressed by frankincense.
We speculated that the mixed results may have been in part because the original invocation, which Aradia read, employed first person singular verbs. For the second round, we changed the number to plural and substituted patchouli for frankincense, thinking that the spirit might like it better. Also based on Aradia’s reports, we shared the libation we offered.
One or all of those changes worked wonders. Conjuring her—which we did stone sober—had a physical effect much like smoking some high-quality creeper. I never saw the spirit, or heard her the way Aradia had the previous evening, but her presence was powerfully felt. We shared the libations again, thanked and dismissed her, and went to bed.
By my reckoning, the experiment is a mixed success. I never really saw her, and never received a seal or sigil with which to summon her again. On the other hand, I strongly suspect that such formalities are a little bit funny to her. Aradia described her as a trickster spirit. She certainly has a sense of humor, and a strong interest in being in the presence of humans. We amuse her immensely, and I think there’s a relationship to be developed here.