CANNABIS CULTURE. References to hashish seem in each alchemical and magical manuscripts tied to Jewish tradition, and this use was possible an extension of the Hebrew’s far more historical relationship with the plant. Excerpted from Liber 420.

Hashish Magic in Historical Israel?

The potential position of hashish within the origins of the Jewish faith, is one thing I’ve proposed for near 30 years, increasing on the work of the Polish Jewish etymologist and anthropologist Sula Benet’s work identifying the Hebrew ‘kaneh bosm’ with cannabis’. When understood within the context if the Biblical narrative, these references clearly point out magical, or not less than shamanic use of hashish. The current archeological proof of cannabis resins found to have been burnt on an altar in 8th century BCE Jerusalem, take these references past the realm of pure hypothesis, and are rewriting our understanding of the strategies of spiritual worship within the historical world.

In Exodus 30:23 Moses is commanded to make a holy oil that contained hashish below the title kaneh bosm, and is suggested to each anoint his physique with it and burn it on the altar of incense. The ensuing pillar of smoke that arose earlier than Moses within the ‘Tent of the Assembly’, is known as the ‘Shekinah’ and is recognized because the bodily proof of the Lord’s presence. Not one of the different Hebrews within the Exodus account both see or hear the Lord, they solely know that Moses is speaking to the Lord when the smoke is pouring forth from the Tent of the Assembly. It’s exhausting to not see all of the classical parts of shamanism at play on this description of Moses’ encounter with God, and like Zoroaster, Moses may be seen as a ecstatic shamanic determine who used hashish as a a way of searching for celestial recommendation. Such strategies of invocation definitely happen in later magic.

Placing some dabs of holy oil on the altar of incense.

The Magician Moses scryed his messages from the Lord in an act of Biblical capnomancy, and this was a conventional use of hashish in magical rituals that has been carried on in occult circles into trendy instances. As Ernest Bosc De Veze, who additionally wrote a Treatise on Hashish, famous in Petite Encyclopedie Synthetique des Sciences Occultes, in reference to “capnomancy… for divination… the smoke obtained from psychic vegetation corresponding to verbena, cannabis or Indian hemp… [are]used” (Bosc, 1904). In instances like this, not solely was there the psychoactive results of the smoke used, however the smoke supplied the partially materials  foundation during which the invoked entity or imaginative and prescient is likely to be considered. “The magician… burned fragrant substances and anointed his/her physique with perfumed ointments. The entire set-up for an epiphany was there: now all that was mandatory was for the deity to look” (Brashear, 1991).

The Magus Moses invoking the ‘spirit’ of the Lord right into a pillar of smoke, infused with hashish and different herbs.

As Prof. Georg Luck has famous: “The concept that Moses himself and the clergymen who succeeded him relied on ‘chemical aids’ with the intention to contact with the Lord have to be disturbing or repugnant to many. It appears to degrade faith—any faith—when one associates it with shamanic practices…” (Luck, 1985/2006). Luck skilled these reactions himself, when his a long time of analysis into magic rites within the historical world, drew him to such a speculation. “As I used to be doing analysis on psychoactive substances utilized in magic and faith and magic in antiquity, I occurred to come back throughout chapter 30 within the E book of Exodus the place Moses prescribes the composition of sacred incense and anointing oil. It occurred to me, judging from the components, that… [these]substances may act as ‘entheogens,’ the incense extra highly effective than the oil. …” (Luck, 1985/2006)

…[T]he smoke itself was the epiphany. The smoke was inhaled by the magician and his shopper, and the imaginative and prescient got here in trance. The odor of psychoactive substances… acts on the human mind in a really fast, very predictable means.

…[T]he inhalation of the sacred incense may create a robust imaginative and prescient of the deity within the priest. Different components had been in all probability concerned too, the odor of the holy oil with which the priest, the altar, and different sacred objects throughout the temple had been anointed, the golden floor of the altar that mirrored the shine of lamps…. The shiny surfaces, reflecting the sacral lamps close by, may assist induce trance within the priest as he was respiration smoke. (Luck, 1985/2006)

We see this similar method with hashish resins, within the later twelfth century  Picatrix, where cannabis resin are used to invoke the ‘servant of the moon’ in a pillar of smoke that was fuelled by a mix that included over a pound of hashish resin blended with stag’s blood and different components.

Simply as Moses acquired his solutions in a billowing cloud of hashish resin infused smoke, we are able to see from a reference in Isaiah, that when the hashish was missing, the scryed solutions had been harder to carry forth! the Lord complains he has been shortchanged his providing of hashish. When the prophet seeks recommendation the Lord complains:“Thou hast purchased me no candy [smelling]cane (kaneh) with cash, neither hast thou crammed me with the fats of thy sacrifices: however thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities.”

The results of psychoactive incense was usually interpreted as a divine possession or visitation, with the entity invoked usually noticed within the plumes of smoke from the psychoactive herbs being burnt.

Different textual proof from Isaiah, offers clear indications that at instances the Lord’s starvation for his favorite smoke was being appeased by way of a shamanic incense contained in the precincts of the temple, in elaborate shamanic ceremonies:

And the posts of the door moved on the voice of him that cried, and the temple was crammed with smoke.

Then stated I, “Woe is me, for I’m undone; as a result of I’m a person of unclean lips, and I dwell within the midst of a folks of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”

Then flew one of many seraphims unto me, having a stay coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar, And he laid it upon my mouth and stated, “”Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.” (Isaiah 6:4-7)

Isaiah takes a success of temple ‘incense’ from the tongs for inspiration.

Apart from these indications of topical and inhaled use of hashish, others have recommended that the Necessary Biblical and Apocrypha determine Ezra, consumed a cannabis infused wine.  Ezra was a key determine of the Jewish monotheistic reformation after the Persians had returned them to their homeland. Curiously, not less than two researchers, residing greater than a century aside and from totally different components of the world, have concluded that Ezra acquired his inspiration for this act, from the identical supply of inspiration as his Zoroastrian overlords did…..  a hashish infused wine! Right here is Ezra’s personal account of this. Ezra informed the folks to not search him for forty days, and he left for the desert, taking with him 5 individuals who had been to behave as his scribes:

“The subsequent day, behold a voice cried to me saying. Esdras open thy mouth, and drink what I offer you thee to drink! Then opened I my mouth, and behold, he reached me a full cup, which is full because it had been with water, however the shade of it was like fireplace. I took it, and drank: and after I had drunk of it, my coronary heart uttered understanding, and knowledge grew in my breast, for my spirit strengthened and my reminiscence; and my mouth was opened and shut no extra: they usually sat forty days, they usually wrote within the day, and at night time they ate bread. As for me, I spake by the day, and I held not my tongue by the night time. In forty days they wrote 2 hundred and 4 books” 2 Esdras 14:38 to 44.

As Georg W Brown recorded of this greater than a century in the past:

“A voice bid him open his mouth, he—the voice, after all—reached Esdras a full cup.  It might be attention-grabbing to know whose voice it was which possessed such unnatural powers; but we apprehend the reader is far more anxious to know the contents of the cup… which possessed such wondrous capacity, in all probability the identical possessed by the ‘fruit of the tree’ which grew ‘within the midst of the backyard,’ the consuming of which opened the eyes of our first dad and mom, and enabled them to see ‘as Gods understanding good and evil.’ We predict we are able to furnish this desired data, to do which we’re compelled to anticipate some details present amongst Zoroastrian worshippers; many centuries earlier than the date religionists ascribe to Abraham, and which was practiced in Persia, Assyria and Babylonia on the very time Ezra was writing Jewish historical past below the affect of the ‘fiery cup.’

Amongst different duties required on occasional sacrifices of animals to Ahura-Mazda, extra to prayers, praises, thanksgiving, and the recitation of hymns, was the efficiency…of a curious ceremony often called that of the Haoma or Homa. This consisted of the extraction of the juice of the Homa plant by the clergymen in the course of the recitation of prayers, the formal presentation of the liquid extracted to the sacrificial fireplace,… the consumption of a small portion of it by one of many officiating ministers, and the division of the rest among the many worshippers…

What was the Haoma or Homa, the manufacturing of the moon-plant, rising in these areas of  Asia to far north for the profitable rising of the grape, and but yielding such intoxicating properties? It’s recognized within the medical books as Apocynum Cannabinum, and belongs to the Indian Hemp household, Hashish Indica being an official preparation from it. It’s now recognized in India as bhang, and is popularly recognized with us as cannabis, the stimulating and intoxicating results of that are well-known to physicians.(Brown, 1890)

I’ve mentioned the case for cannabis as haoma at length in another article. Greater than a century after Brown,  Vicente Dobroruka additionally famous a comparability between the Persian strategy of shamanic ecstasy and that of Ezra in his essay Preparation for Visions in Second Temple Jewish Apocalyptic Literature,: “Comparable drinks seem in Persian literature…Vishtapa has an expertise fairly equal within the Dinkard   the place point out is made to a mix of wine (or haoma) and hemp with henbane… The E book of Artay Viraz additionally mentions visions obtained from wine blended with hemp, and for the preparations of the seer…”(Dobroruka, 2002). I’ve mentioned these Zoroastrian accounts elsewhere.

Dobroruka revisited this theme in additional element in his later 2006 article, Chemically-induced visions within the Fourth E book of Ezra in mild of comparative Persian materials, and once more attracts direct comparisons between Ezra’s cup of fireside, and the mang blended infused drinks of the Zoroastrian psychonauts.  Curiously, Rabbi Immanuel Löw, referred to a later Jewish recipe (Sabb. 14. 3 ed. Urbach, Ninth-Eleventh century)  that known as for wine to be blended with floor up saffron, Arabic gum and hasisat surur, “I do know ‘surur’ solely as a alias for the resin the Hashish sativa” (Low, 1924).

Low made no touch upon the phrase “hasisat” which could be very harking back to the title for hashish resins within the medieval Arabic world  hasis” (cannabis), and the time period is usually thought to have been derived at in that interval. Nevertheless, the 19th century scholar John Kitto additionally put forth two totally different potential Hebrew phrase candidates for the origins of the time period “cannabis” in A Cyclopaedia of Biblical Literature. Kitto pointed to the Hebrew phrases Shesh, which originates in reference to some form of “fibre plant”, and the presumably associated phrase,  Eshishah (E-shesh-ah?) which holds all kinds of considerably contradictory translations corresponding to “flagon” “candy truffles”, “syrup”, and in addition “unguent.” This final reference is attention-grabbing in relation to what we have now already seen regarding the hashish infused Holy Oil, which was mainly an unguent.  Based on Kitto, this Eshishah was blended with wine. “Hebrew eshishah… is by others known as cannabis. this substance, in course of time, was transformed right into a medium of intoxication via medication” (Kitto 1845:1856). With the cognate pronunciation similarities discovered between the Hebrew Shesh and Eshishah one can solely speculate on the potential for two historical Hebrew references to 1 plant that held each fibrous and intoxicating properties. It appears possible that what’s referred to is cannabis resin, with the addition of the phrase “surur” indicating the potential for cannabis oil, (which the Arabs ready by boiling the tops of the plant, and accumulating the drops of oil that shaped on prime of the water). A really potent preparation. “The palm wine of the East… is made intoxicating… by an admixture of stupefying components, of which there was an abundance… Such a follow appears to have existed amongst the traditional Jews…” (Kitto, 1861)

Talmudic reference point out this use as nicely: “The one on his approach to execution was given a bit of incense in a cup of wine, to assist him go to sleep” (Sanh. 43a). Such preparations had been utilized by the traditional Jews, for ritual intoxication, and for alleviating ache. A Reverend E. A Lawrence, in an essay on ‘The wine of the Bible’ in a nineteenth century version of The Princeton Evaluation famous that:

It seems to have been an historical customized to offer medicated or drugged wine to criminals condemned to loss of life, to blunt their senses, and so reduce the pains of execution. To this practice there’s speculated to be an allusion, Prov. xxxi. 6, ‘Give sturdy drink unto him that is able to perish,’ …To the identical customized some suppose there’s a reference in Amos 8, the place the ‘ wine of the condemned’  is spoken of… The depraved right here described, along with different evil practices, imposed unjust fines upon the harmless, and spent the cash thus unjustly obtained upon wine, which they quaffed in the home of their gods…

Blended wine is commonly spoken of in Scripture. This was of various varieties… generally, by lovers of sturdy drink, with spices of varied varieties, to offer it a richer taste and better efficiency (ls. v. 22; Ps. lxxv. 8). The ‘ royal wine,’ actually wine of the dominion… Esther i. 7), denotes likely one of the best wine, such because the king of Persia himself was accustomed to drink. (Lawrence, 1871)

Thus, this infused wine, not solely had ache numbing qualities, however was additionally “quaffed in the home of their gods” giving clear indication it was wanted for entheogenic results as nicely. That it’s in comparison with the wines of the Type of persia, additionally brings us again to the hashish infused wines of the Zoroastrian interval, corresponding to that taken by King Vishtaspa. In reference to “unguents” such because the Holy oil, putting “incense” into wine, we’re reminded of the hashish infused incenses and anointing oils referred to earlier, indicating these substances might have come to have been positioned instantly into wine.  In  regards to  myrrhed wine, it’s value noting that Dr. David Hillman, who holds mixed levels in Classics and Bacteriology, has recommended that historical myrrh was usually doctored with hashish resins “The [ancient]Arabs… will take the rub, mainly the cannabis… they adulterate it with myrrh, so you find yourself with these combos of vegetation that truly find yourself collectively… myrrh and hashish, you see them related… usually” (Hillman, 2015).

In The A to Z of Prophets in Islam and JudaismScott B. Noegel, Brannon M. Wheeler “The usage of medication, particularly alcohol… as a way of inducing or enhancing the prophetic expertise is attested periodically all through the traditional Close to East, and might be associated to the mantic’s position as an herbalist and medical practitioner” (Noegel & Wheeler, 2010). 

Proof for opium use has been discovered all through the traditional Close to East, particularly on Cyprus, thought its connection to Cypriot cults has been questioned. The follow of inhaling intoxicating substances like hashish and incense additionally seem… Texts from Mari reveal that not less than some prophets partook in extreme wine ingesting as a way of accessing the divine. Ugartic tablets additionally element the occasions of the marzeah feast, a repast during which… useless kings had been summoned to wine and dine with the residing… (Noegel & Wheeler, 2010)

Like Amos’ condemnation of those that quaffed such mixtures within the Home of the gods, Isaiah condemned those that search oracles from the useless  via inebriation (Isaiah 28:7-22).

And these additionally stagger from wine
and reel from beer:
Monks and prophets stagger from beer
and are befuddled with wine;
they reel from beer,
they stagger when seeing visions,
they stumble when rendering choices.

All of the tables are lined with vomit
and there’s not a spot with out filth.

You boast, “Now we have entered right into a covenant with loss of life,
with the realm of the useless we have now made an settlement.
When an amazing scourge sweeps by,
it can not contact us,
for we have now made a lie our refuge
and falsehood[b]our hiding place.”

These references present, despite the fact that in a damaging mild, that such cultic practices had been each recognized and happening within the area. Certainly, using infused wines for ecstatic functions appears to have been so prevalent that at instances there was an overlap between the worship of Yahweh and the Greek God of Intoxication, Dionysus, as i have noted elsewhere.

Hashish in later Jewish Magic

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan has famous of early Kabbalistic faculties who used magic and different technique of communion for mystic exploration, that “some practices embody using ‘grasses,’ which had been presumably psychedelic medication” (Kaplan, 1982). Kaplan’s The Residing Torah consists of hashish as a potential candidate for the Hebrew kaneh bosem, “due to cognate pronunciation” (Kaplan, 1981). The Kabbalistic textual content the Zohar data:

“There isn’t a grass or herb that grows during which G-d’s knowledge is just not drastically manifested and which can not exert nice affect in heaven” and “If males however knew the knowledge of all of the Holy One, blessed be He, has planted within the earth, and the facility of all that’s to be discovered on the planet, they’d proclaim the facility of their L-rd in His nice knowledge.” (Zohar.2,80B)

Prof. Benny Shannon, who has speculated about historical jewish use of psychoactive substances, felt considerably vindicated when he was directed by the works of the medieval Kabbalist and scholar Rabbi Jacob Ben Asher (Rabbeinu Be’cha’yei ben Asher),(1255–1340). “Rabbeinu Be’cha’yei writes that the purest of meals had been created on the very starting of Creation with the intention to permit for the attainment of upper data. He explicitly relates this to the biblical tree of data, and feedback additional that such greater data may also be gained via using medication and medicines out there at his time. As well as he notes that the Manna had such qualities as nicely” (Shannon, 2008). Clearly hashish and its varied preparations, together with opium and different psychoactives, had been well-known for its mystical properties at Ben Asher’s time.

In his De Occulta Philosophia (1651) Agrippa refers to how “Rabbi Israel made sure truffles, writ upon with sure divine and angelicall names, and so consecrated, which they that did eat with religion, hope, and charitie [charity], did presently break forth with a spirit of prophecie [prophecy]. We learn in the identical place that Rabbi Johena the son of Jochahad, did after that method enlighten a sure impolite countryman, known as Eleazar, being altogether illiterate, that being compassed about with a sudden brightness, did unexpectedly preach such excessive mysteries of the Legislation to an meeting of sensible males, that he did even astonish all that had been neer him” (Agrippa, 1651). An outline that signifies greater than sigils on truffles in use, though the components of stated truffles should not included.

Just like the Zoroastrian royalty and priesthood, in addition to the Levites, there are indications that early Kabbalists loved using the herb, however prevented its consumption by the frequent folks. Within the P’sachim, “Rav Yehudah says it’s good to eat… the essence of hemp seed in Babylonian broth; however it’s not lawful to say this within the presence of an illiterate man, as a result of he may derive a profit from the data not meant for him.- Nedarim, fol. 49, col. 1” (Harris, et al., 2004). Different sources have famous a Kabbalistic comparability to the results of hashish with divine notion, noting an “intriguing reference to hashish within the context of a fleeting data of God: Zohar Hadash, Bereshit, 16a (Midrash ha-Ne’elam)” (Matt, 1983).

This brings us into the period of Merkavah Mysticism, (100-1000 AD), which is centred on the form of visionary expertise of Ezekiel, who as we noticed earlier, got here to his expertise via consuming a “scroll”. Fashionable magician Aaron Leitch believes Merkavah Mysticism held a powerful affect over the later western magical custom. “The Merkavah’s use of formality medication, its focus upon talismans and seals, the summoning forth of Angelic gatekeepers, and the gaining of mystical visions are parts that run all through the grimoiric spells” (Leitch, 2005).

That hashish may need performed a task in such types of Jewish mysticism, is indicated by references to it nicely into the late medieval interval. in  One other attention-grabbing reference may be discovered with Rabbi Berel Wein, who has written and lectured extensively on Jewish historical past, has related using cannabis with the Kabbalistic impressed Jewish messianic motion of the Seventeenth century. Wein refers back to the Morrocan Jew, Joseph ben Zur, who was popularly recognized with the prophesied messianic determine Messiah ben Joseph, a declare that was propped up by Rabbi Elisha Ashkenazi and hundreds of Jews in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia believed this and adopted Joseph ben Zur because of this.  Based on Wein:

Joseph ben Zur was in all probability mentally unstable. On the very least, although, he was responsible of a really prevalent behavior within the Center East: smoking cannabis. Now, smoking cannabis within the Seventeenth century was not seen in the identical damaging mild as the fashionable world views it. However, Joseph ben Zur was each barely touched and often excessive, which collectively is a deadly mixture. He claimed he noticed a imaginative and prescient when an angel got here to him and stated that he was the Messiah ben Joseph… (Wein, 2013).

This situation of scrying below the affect of hashish, matches with each the suggestion of hashish within the Kabbalistic writing referred too, in addition to the confirmed use of hashish for scrying within the Kabbalistic impressed  Sepher Raziel, Liber Salomonis, which was composed on this similar time interval.

With regard to Solomonic magic, and the position of the Kabbalah, there might have been some survival of the traditional hashish use amongst later Jewish Kabbalists and Alchemists. The Kabbalah is a system of mysticism thought-about by many to be the key teachings of the Jews, and which holds a lot of parallels with the Jewish and Christian Gnostic sects of the 1st-4th century AD, in addition to with the form of astral magic contained within the Ghayat AlHakim and the Picatrix, which additionally survives in Hebrew translations, some taken instantly from the unique Arabic.

The Kabbablistic ‘tree of life’

In reference to what we have now said about historical and medieval use of topical preparations of hashish and different medication for magical and spiritual functions, one of the attention-grabbing references happens within the sixteenth century Grimoire, Sepher Raziel: Liber Salomonis, the place it’s used for seeing spirits and devils in a magic mirror. Typically “known as  “Sepher Raziel”, and also called “Liber Salomonis”, this grimoire has 7 recognized surviving variations in manuscript kind. It ought to be famous that Sepher Raziel: Liber Salomonis, can be referred to below its library catalog names, Sloane MS 3846, and Sloane MS 3826 had been significantly checked out for this examine, and these catalog names are used to tell apart it from quite a lot of equally named grimoires. Sepher Raziel: Liber Salomonis was transcribed in 1564, by a  William Parry of London on the bequest of 1  John Gwyne. It’s seen as a “Christian product, although one which borrowed from Jewish, Arabic, and Græco-Roman scholastic and people sources” (Karr, 2007).


Solomon has usually been related to magic, and that is significantly true of medieval European magical traditions the place grimoires like, Clavicula Salomonis, ‘The Key of Solomon’ (14th-Fifteenth century) and the Seventeenth-century Clavicula Salomonis Regis, ‘The Lesser Key of Solomon’ each of which represents a typical instance of Renaissance magic.

Nevertheless, Solomon’s status for magic, goes again a lot additional than this.  The Testomony of Solomon, thought so far from someday between the primary and third century AD, is among the oldest magical texts in regards to the historical Jewish king. This textual content is pseudepigraphic catalog of demons summoned by  King Solomon, and the way they are often countered by invoking angels and different magical strategies.  The Testomony of Solomon refers to a narrative the place the magician-king forces a demon to spin hemp!  “So I commanded her to spin the hemp for the ropes used within the constructing of the home of God; and accordingly, after I had sealed and sure her, she was so overcome and delivered to naught as to face night time and day spinning the hemp” (The Testomony of Solomon, 100-300 AD). On this regard, it ought to be famous that it was claimed by the etymologist Sula Benet that Solomon’s Music of Songs’4.14 made reference to hashish together with different ‘incense bushes’.

Sepher Raziel: Liber Salomonis was written within the Solomonic custom, which additionally introduced us the nonetheless fashionable The Keys of Solomon, and each texts, which come from the identical interval, have been attributed to the traditional Hebrew King, in an try to offer them extra authority. Even within the historical world, Solomon was extremely regarded for his data of magic. In his glorious overview of the topic, Secrets and techniques of the Magical Grimoires (2005) Aaron Leitch identifies a lot of potent fumigations, and recipes that contained quite a lot of psychoactive vegetation. He famous are passages from The Key of Solomon that give directions for a “Magic Carpet” that’s “correct for interrogation.” As The Key of Solomon (14th-Fifteenth century) describes: “Taking thy carpet, thou shalt cowl they head and physique therewith” after which hovering over a bowl of burning incense. Via this methodology “thou shalt hear distinctly the reply which although shalt have sought.” Though the components for the incense fumigated in The Key of Solomon should not clear, the recipes of the Sepher Raziel: Liber Salomonis are extra clear.

Pictures from Jewish Magical texts.

Because the Sepher Raziel: Liber Salomonis data “I Salomon put such a data & such a distinction, & clarification on this booke to evry man that readeth or studieth it, that he know whereof he was and from whence he got here” (Sepher Raziel, 1564)

“Most sixteenth-century manuscripts of magic stay unedited and unpublished, maybe as a result of nearly all of them… are dominated by liturgical conjuration. It is a model of magic that has attracted much less educational consideration than Solomonic magic and Renaissance theurgy, maybe as a result of it’s perceived as a hangover of the medieval interval. Nevertheless, liturgical demon conjuring is each bit as typical of early trendy magic. Copiers of Solomonic magical texts just like the Sepher Raziel sought to return to purified type of conjuration drawn from Kabbalistic Jewish traditions supposedly handed down from Solomon himself, at a time when Renaissance humanists had been interested by recovering the Kabbalistic custom” (Foreman, 2015).

Because the occult author A. E Waite defined of Sepher Raziel, Liber Salomonis: “It’s an English translation of a Latin unique… and purports to have been despatched to Solomon by a prince of Babylon, who was better and extra worshipful than all males of his time… The Latin title of the the treatise is alleged to be Angelus Magnus Secreti Creatoris; it was the primary e book after Adam, was written within the language of Chaldea and afterwards translated into Hebrew” (Waite, 1911). (There are not any recognized surviving copies of the Latin unique refried too.) Stephen Skinner, in a current printed translation of Sepher Raziel: Liber Salomonis suggests the roots “had been in all probability a Hebrew unique, filtered although a Latin middleman, to the current Center English model” (Karr & Skinner, 2013).

Julia Cresswell, who has written extensively on British delusion and magic, recommend “that though the manuscript could also be sixteenth century, among the language is quite old style for that date, besides maybe for an outdated individual writing within the early sixteenth century. I’d guess that the textual content is a remodeling if an earlier one, pushing the origin of the fabric again into the Center Ages” (Cresswell, 2006). Occult author Damon Lycourinos, agrees with this, suggesting Sepher Raziel, Liber Salomonis is “derived from thirteenth century Latin sources” (Lycourinos, 2012).

The textual content itself tells us, that previous to this, it had been handed down via the palms of figures like Adam and Solomon, and it reveals the last word writer because the Angel Raziel. A variety of different medieval magical texts, declare this authorship as nicely, and this appears to have been away as describing  a doc that was partially scryed or channelled. “Essentially the most specific transmission of Jewish magical materials into the Christian Latin custom of magic was the interpretation of works related to the title ―Raziel an angel current in Jewish angelology and Arabic astrological texts who was stated to have revealed a e book of secrets and techniques to Adam” (Web page, 2012). The title Raziel itself means ‘secrets and techniques of God’ , and  it is a becoming title for the Promethium transmitter of secrets and techniques that the determine represents within the magical custom.

The Judeo-Christian mystic origins are apparent, as Sepher Raziel, Liber Salomonis, is clearly harking back to the planetary accession based mostly magic of Gnosticism, Merkavah and the Kabbalah. “The textual content is split into seven sections, protecting totally different subjects together with using astrology, incense, timings, purity, and the seven heavens and their angels. As may be seen from the sevenfold emphasis, that is one other basically planetary grimoire” (Lycourinos, 2012).

The realm of curiosity in relation to this examine, lays within the second e book, which particulars the virtues of stones, herbs and beasts. Crops play an necessary position within the magic of Sepher Raziel, Liber Salomonis. For because the grimoire explains, it was by Adam and Eve’s sin of consuming the forbidden fruit that they had been expelled from Eden and the corporate of God. The Angel Raziel, feeling empathy for misplaced humanity, in a way performed the position of Prometheus, and shares the key data of vegetation in order that the descendants of the primary couple, is likely to be restored to their former place of Glory. Because the Grimoire data of this:

“Know thou that in herbs is vertue of essentially the most which may be… Know thou that amongst herbs there be some with which thou might do good & euill. As to heale & make sicke. And so perceive thou in these that shall be stated moreover. And Adam stated by a tree got here wretchednes into the world that’s by the tree I sinned in it. And Raziel stated, An herbe shall be thy life. And Salomon stated, A tree shall be & shall wexe of which the leaues shall not fall. And it shall be medicyne of males.” (Sepher Raziel, 1564)

Apparently hashish was held in excessive regard within the seek for data. Within the Sepher Raziel, hashish is mixed with artemisia, also called wormwood, an ingredient within the well-known nineteenth century liqueur of the poets. Wormwood incorporates thujone, a psychoactive chemical, that attaches itself to the identical receptor websites. within the mind that THC, the lively chemical of hashish, does. Because the Sepher Raziel instructs of using these mixed vegetation for magical invocation:

The third herbe is Canabus [cannabis]& it’s lengthy in shafte & garments be product of it. The vertue of the Juse [juice]of it’s to anoynt thee with it & with the juse of arthemesy & ordyne thee earlier than a mirrour of stele [steel]& clepe thou spiritts & thou shallt see them & thou shalt haue may of binding & of loosing deuills [devils]& different issues.” (Sepher Raziel, 1564).

There are two act of magic taking being mixed right here, katapharmakeuo  which suggests “to dose (or anoint) with medication” and katoptromanteria, “divination via mirrors”. *

*definition from  Vocabula Magica, (Luck, 2006).

With regard to katoptromanteria, additionally known as captromany it has lengthy been recognized that trance states “may very well be induced by gazing at polished or shiny surfaces illuminated by lamps, via a type of self-hypnosis” (Luck, 2006). “Mirrors… [have]lengthy been a part of shamanic paraphernalia. As a receptacle of for souls, the mirror usually served as a way for getting into the trance state” (Flaherty, 1992). This after all is the magic “mirror, mirror on the wall” that survives in fairy tales. “All historical civilizations had such issues (crystals, swimming pools of water or ink, silver or glass mirrors) and the magical literature abounds in instructions for his or her manufacture and use” (Deveney, 1997).

One might get some concept of the affect of the Sepher Raziel‘s methodology of drug induced mirror scrying on magic, by wanting on the modern accounts of Dr John Dee and Edward Kelly. After we contemplate the position of the hashish anointing oil on the time of Moses to invoke the ‘spirit of the Lord’ to the recipe for a hashish ointment to scry visions of spirits within the mirror, one can solely surprise if this was some form of steady custom among the many extra esoterically minded Jews.

Solomon’s “legend figures into late traditions of Freemasons. Rumours which recommend the sensible king left secret books of magic appear by no means to have died — nor have slumbered —since historical instances” (Karr, 2013). And certainly, as I’ve famous a lot of well-known Freemasons were in possession of Sepher Raziel, Liber Salomonis.

One other necessary determine within the rituals of Freemasonry, is a personality named Hiram Abiff, stated to be the  architect and builder of Solomon’s Temple. Often known as the Widow’s son, Hiram Abiff is the central character of an allegory offered to all candidates in the course of the third diploma in Freemasonry. Within the mythology of the story Abiff is murdered by three ruffians, who need him to disclose the key indicators and passwords of the upper levels of masonry, which had been utilized in receiving fee for work on the temple. A few of the central initiations of Masonry, are loss of life and rebirth ceremonies based mostly on this explicit story.

Curiously, the primary public retelling of this mythos, had the story tied up with the occult use of cannabis, in addition to the primary Western reference to its use within the Bible. The French poet, Gérard De Nerval (1808 – 1855) included what has been recommended as the primary printed account of the Masonic story of Hiram Abiff.  Because the authors of The Temple and the Lodge famous of this:

Nerval not solely recited the fundamental narrative.  He additionally divulged — for the primary time, to our data — a skein of eerie mystical traditions related in Freemasonry with Hiram’s background and pedigree. What is especially curious is that Nerval makes no point out of Freemasonry in anyway. Pretending that his narrative is a species of regional folk-tale, by no means recognized within the West earlier than, he claims to have heard it orally recited by a Persian raconteur, in a Constantinople coffee-house. (Baigent &  Leigh, 1988).

Within the story there’s an account of an asylum being paid a go to by the nice Arab alchemist Ebn-Sina (Avicenna), and he’s overheard saying “The phrase hachichot seems within the Music of Songs, and the inebriating properties of this combination….” (Nerval, 1851/1972). The narration  breaks on that time, however it’s value noting that Nerval’s account is the primary recognized written reference which refers brazenly to hashish within the Bible that I’m conscious of, and apparently it additionally ties it with a famous alchemist.

Hashish in Jewish Alchemy

The usage of hashish infused wines goes again to historical instances within the Mid East. References from the 3-4th century alchemist, Zosimos to hashish infused wines, who was closely influenced by Jewish sources in his writing on alchemy,  in addition to the saffron and hashish resin mixture utilized in wine referred to by Rabbi Immanuel Low within the Ninth century [(Sabb. 14. 3 ed. Urbach; Low, 1924)] point out Jewish use on this context. This use continued into the medieval interval and such  infusions of hashish and different substances had been utilized in Quintessences and different varieties by Jewish alchemists and mystics.

A web page from a treatise on alchemy written by Zosimus of Panapolitus. Zosimus was a notable fourth century apologist for alchemy. He believed that data of the artwork originated in an occasion described in Genesis when angels got here into the world and taught girls to make use of gems and metals in ornamental arts. Alchemy concerned using a life-giving substance known as Thinker’s Stone to transmute base metals into silver and gold. It additionally encompassed a system of philosophy together with concepts from varied religions, magic, and chemistry, and it flourished in Europe within the Center Ages.

Zosimos and Theosebia, his sister who was additionally an alchemist.

With regard to alchemy, there might have been some cross pollination between medieval Jews and Arabs. The Eleventh-century Byzantine Jewish Physician, Simeon Sethus wrote “the dried leaf, when drunk, as meal, or rath- er [as dried meal for a drink]produces a hospitable drunkenness and lack of sensation by the eater. For it’s crushed or kneaded among the many Arabs for wine, and it inebriates.” As Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, has famous, a lot of medieval Kabbalists, consult with a way of philosophical meditation, that included ingesting a cup of “sturdy wine of Avicenna”, that induced a trance with the intention to assist the adept in pondering troublesome philosophical questions (Kaplan, 1985). Sadly no recipe for this stays, however the medieval Islamic alchemist and doctor, Avicenna,  refers in his works to the effects of hashish, opium and datura extracts, and he was conversant in the infusion of those medication into wine. Furthermore, it has lengthy been recommended that cannabis infused wines were used by the Ismai’li with whom Avicenna has lengthy been related. Simeon Sethus, an Eleventh century Byzantine Jewish physician wrote of  “hashish as follows: Arabs will squeeze [the oils?]into wine to intoxicate’” (Gruner, 1814). Charles Dickens annual nineteenth weekly journal, ‘All of the 12 months Spherical’, famous such combos, in use nicely into the nineteenth century by Jews and Moslems alike. “Pure wine, nonetheless, is just not for the topers of Ispahan and Teheran, the Jewish and Armenian sellers ministering to that fondness for narcotics which have a tendency so drastically to enervate the East, by mixing myrrh, incense, and the juice of the Indian hemp with the best growths.” (Dickens, 1862)

On this regard, some references to alchemical recipes that decision for hashish and different psychoactive vegetation to be infused into wine or different stronger alcoholic preparations, come to thoughts. In an earlier article I mentioned references from the 4th century alchemist Zosimos, to cannabis and darnel infused in wines or beers for magical functions, and Zosimos himself was stated to have gathered a lot of his personal data from a feminine Alchemist often called ‘Mary the Jewess’ (Mary Hebraea). “The primary nonfictious alchemists of the Western world, lived… in Hellensitic Egypt. And the earliest amongst them was Maria… the Jewess, for whom are chief supply was Zosimos…” (Patai, 1994).

Mary the Jewess is credited with the invention of a number of sorts of chemical equipment and is taken into account to be the primary true alchemist of the Western world. Her works are sometimes referred to by later alchemists. Carl jung, who studied each alchemy and Gnosticism, believed her work “might return to very early instances and thus to Gnostic societies” (Jung, 1970). Crops appear to have been concerned in her alchemical processes as nicely. “Maria the Jewess was stated to have recognized the philosophers’s stone with a mysterious ‘white herb of the mountain’” (Patai, 1994).

Engraving depicting Maria Prophetissima from Michael Maier’s e book Symbola Aurea Mensae Duodecim Nationum (1617). “She knew the hidden mysteries of the nice stone. Sage that she is she taught us together with her phrases, Smoke loves smoke, and is liked by it in return: However the white herb rising upon the excessive mountain captures each” (Maier, 1617).

In Higher Residing Via Alchemy Vol. I: Origins of Alchemy, Lynn Osburn, who has been researching alchemical texts for many years, and who has written about quintessences, means that Mary the Jewess might have additionally made a veiled reference to hashish, (Osburn appears to have been unaware of the direct references to hashish is the surviving writings attributed to Zosimos):

Sadly the alchemical writings of Maria Prophetissa are incomplete, surviving solely in fragments  copied by later writers. In a single treatise ascribed to her, ―Practica Mariae Prophetissae in artem alchemicam,… she discusses matrimonium alchymicum (alchemical wedding ceremony) with the thinker  Aros. From it comes the oft repeated alchemical dictum “Marry gum with gum in true marriage.” …, C. G. Jung, wrote in regards to the nature of that alchemical gum, “Initially it was ‘gum arabic’, and it’s used right here as a secret title for the remodeling substance, on account of its adhesive high quality.Thus Kunrath declares that the ‘purple’ gum is the ‘resin of the sensible’—a synonym for the remodeling substance.” Had Jung been an provoke of  alchemy he would have recognized that gum arabic was itself a pseudonym for the  true reworking substance—the purple resin of the sensible—a gum gathered from the resinous flower clusters of feminine Hashish sativa vegetation.That extremely aromatic reddish resin has been produced in India since time immemorial and carried to the west by Arab merchants. (Osburn, 2008)

Zosimos testified that the “true teachings in regards to the Nice Artwork” had been to be discovered… in “the writings and books of the Jews” (Encylopedia Judaica, 2008). “Azulai speaks of the thinker’s stone in his Midbar Kedemot (Lemberg, 1869, fol. 19), and calls it esev (‘weed’) because it was additionally known as by the alchemists (and as it’s known as in different kabbalistic writings in addition to in Hebrew manuscripts coping with alchemy)” (Encylopedia Judaica, 2008). The Hebrew time period ‘esev’ “weed”, has in trendy instances been used to designate hashish and its merchandise (Ben Israel, 2011), nonetheless it’s not clear how far again this affiliation may be dated. Though,  as ‘cannabis’, that means ‘herb’ goes again to the early islamic interval, that such an affiliation might have been utilized in medieval instances with ‘esev’ deserves not less than some consideration.

Because of this Jewish affect, numbers of Previous Testomony figures, corresponding to Moses, Isaiah, Ezra, and most notably Isaiah, had been deemed medieval practitioneers of alchemy, by later medieval and renaissance alchemists. “A number of of the biblical prophets had been thought-about adepts in alchemy. The prophet Elijah was usually referred to by Christian alchemists, a number of of whose work carry the title Elijah of their title. In a few of these treatises Jewish affect is clear…” (Patai, 1994)*.

Elijah, on this respect, is an attention-grabbing alternative, for within the Islamic world Elijah, has been recognized with the Green one, Khidr, seen as the patron saint of cannabis. And in that respect, you will need to notice of the Jewish and Gnostic influences, all of this got here to European alchemists after it had been filtered by Islamic ones.

The strategies of preparation of illness preventing, life preserving elixirs was the core of alchemy for a lot of medieval and renaissance alchemists, and this once more was an adaption from center jap influences that got here into Europe following the Crusades. In references to figures corresponding to “Lully, Paracelsus, Jerome Cardan, and so on” Albert G. Mackey in his Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, wrote that these  figures weren’t “occultists…That they had been physicians and chemists; the ‘alchemy’ they studied was chemistry, they usually studied it for medical makes use of… (together with botany, and so on.)” (Mackey, 1873). Curiously, as mentioned in Liber 420, all 3 of the figures talked about by title have associations with hashish elixirs, Cardano and Paracelsus each left recipes for hashish preparations, and hashish seems in a lot of Llullian texts.

These makes an attempt to assuage human bodily struggling had been manifested  within the utilization of the sacred narcotic herbs; the extraction of the sedative qualities of mandragora and Indian hemp; the concoctions of the alchemist; the magical powers of assuaging ache by a resignation transcending even the powers of potentates or clergymen. (Gies, 1948)

These preparations got here below varied names corresponding to arcanums, tinctures, and quintessences (fifth essence), and all had been equated with having the identical form of life preserving results and qualities because the Thinker’s stone by their adherents. From the very starting “quintessence turned linked to the Arab elixir—a substance that would extend life” (Ball, 2006)

The elixir holds an analogous place within the alchemical custom to the thinker’s stone; certainly, the 2 are generally interchangeable. Zoismos… wrote a… encyclopedia of alchemy,  the Cheirokmeta, during which he talked about a potent alchemical preparation known as the Xerion, a phrase derived from the Greek for “dry.” It appears to allude to a dry powder, however in its Arabic type of al-iksir it turned later recognized as a miraculous potion. (Ball, 2006)

It’s within the department of alchemy often called Spagyrics from Historical Greek σπάω spao “I accumulate” and ἀγείρω ageiro “I extract”, a reputation thought to have been coined by the European alchemist Paracelsus. And refers to extraction processes involving fermentation, distillation, tincturing, in addition to  extraction of important oils with vapours and extraction of mineral parts from the ash of vegetation via calcination.

Tincturing, was one of many main arts of alchemy, because the time of Zosimos, and this included tinctures of vegetation, animals, stones and metals. Certainly one of Zosimos’ personal surviving works, the Ultimate Quittance, is dedicated to this artwork. and he discusses the “variations between ‘opportune tinctures’, that are astrologic and daimonic in origin, and ‘pure tinctures’, that are grounded in a extra empirical methodology and method” (Fraser, 2004). Feedback which reveal the mixture of magic and science at work in alchemy.

It was in his glorious essay and accompanying translation,  An Unknown Hebrew Medical Alchemist: A Medeival Treatise on the Qunita Essentia (1984) that the revered scholar of Jewish historical past, Raphael Patai first mentioned a lot of alchemical texts dedicated to the Quintessence, and significantly identifies preparations containing hashish, opium and different psychoactive vegetation. Patai returned to this subject in his pivotal work The Jewish Alchemists (Patai, 1994). He famous that “among the many many Latin writings printed by Ramon Lull there are a number of that take care of the fabulous quinta essentia. the purest of essences, which was speculated to rejuvenate the outdated and treatment every kind of ailments together with psychological aberrations” (Patai, 1994).

Of such texts, Patai’s work was directed at a Hebrew alchemical textual content dedicated to the Quintessence, attributed to an nameless writer who claimed it was a duplicate of a  textual content written by “an excellent sage whose title is Raimon”, a reputation believed to have been utilized in hopes of of associating it with the works of Ramon Llull. This centuries outdated textual content, written in Hebrew, appeared in a medieval manuscript alongside alternatives from the works of Avicenna.  It was possible a duplicate of a fair earlier misplaced Latin manuscript that didn’t survive, and will have been destroyed within the Church’s 14th century purge of such paperwork.

The 14th-Fifteenth century Hebrew manuscript opens with the phrases “And now I shall copy for you an excellent secret of the fifth essence, which known as of their language [Spanish] qinta esensia…. It was written by an excellent sage whose title Raimon…” Raphael Patai notes that as “for the id of the writer, all that may be stated was that he was a Jewish doctor whom lived in Spain within the fourteenth or fifteenth century, and knew, along with Hebrew, Latin, Spanish, Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Sanskrit” (Patai, 1984). Just like the English The E book of Quintessence, with which it holds some sturdy comparisons, the writer “influenced by the alchemical teachings of his time during which the quinta essentia occupied a distinguished place. He repeats many times that the admixture of the quinta essentia will enhance the effectiveness of medication” (Patai, 1984).  Because the Hebrew textual content data:

…if you wish to put together a potion for a illness… place these medication that are applicable for that potion into our Fifth Essence, and it’ll turn into just like the potion, and it will likely be simpler, one a part of it to 100. And likewise… the aromatic medication, and thus all issues of this sort, and thus all of the cordial medication have to be pounded to utter thinness, till one can not really feel it by palpitation…

The writer of the 14th century Hebrew textual content, goes onto give quite a lot of medicinal vegetation to be infused into the Fifth Essence and prescribes them for varied illnesses and situations. Preparations of poppy, belladonna had been additionally famous, by way of an infusion of ‘popillion ointment’, ready opium, wolfsbane, henbane, monkshood, mandrake, and quite a lot of vegetation below overseas names which aren’t all the time clearly identifiable,  in addition to a preparation of  “Tablets… from India” so it’s clear unique imported components had been additionally in use. Because the writer of the tractate writer states of such vegetation and preparations “apply these items to our heaven [quintessence]”. Patai notes of this in The Jewish Alchemists, the place he additionally discusses this Hebrew alchemical textual content, “It ought to be famous that his directions all through the lists of his medicaments is so as to add them to ‘our heaven, that’s, the fifth essence, whereby the unique medicinal property and effectiveness of the substances in query might be maximized” (Patai, 1994/2014).  It’s clear, that the time period ‘heaven’ was utilized in reference to this ethanol like preparation, the quintessence, that would take up the ‘essence’ or ‘soul’ of the plant, and go away the fabric physique behind, as with the idea of  the human soul leaving the mortal physique and ascending to Heaven.

Like Lull, he considers that the quinta essentia can treatment virtually something, from melancholy, to pestilential fever, and from poisoning to demoniac possession… it might probably rejuvenate outdated males, renew the spirit of life, and endow girls with magnificence. But regardless of these clearly alchemical options, one positive factors the impression that the writer depends extra on the healing powers of the medication themselves than on the quinta essentia added to them. Nowhere does he advocate the appliance of the quinta essentia by itself; he all the time suggests its use as an agent intensifying or augmenting the healing powers of medication. (Patai, 1984)

I believe Patai has it incorrect of his understanding of what has taken place. The quinta essentia was not “added” to the vegetation, the alchemical view was that the essence of the plant itself was extracted into the elixir, and the potion turned the Quintessence of the plant or vegetation used. The nameless writer of the Hebrew treatise additionally refers to a mix used each internally and topically that features “chaff of hemp” for the remedy of “dropsy” and “Persian fireplace” which is assumed to have been a type of venereal illness, and quite a lot of different illnesses. Noting that the combination is “additionally totally efficient towards the sickness of most cancers whether it is imbibed with sabar [aloe]” (Patai, 1994/2014). Based on the nameless Hebrew writer of this 14th century tractate on the quintessence: “This medication was invented by an excellent sage, and many aged ailments stumbled on him, and he noticed this in a dream, and made it, and was cured, and he put it in writing in order to assist many individuals . And it helps inner [diseases]by ingesting and exterior [diseases]by means of a plaster chaff of qanavos (hemp). And we have now tried this medication many instances, and all those that take the above talked about combination might be saved kind leprosy and perselia [palsy?], and from unhealthy ailments which don’t have any [other]treatment.” Miraculous cures harking back to the tales of the Holy Grail.

For a fuller understanding of the Hebrew affect on alchemy, learn Patai’s The Jewish Alchemists.

On this respect, it ought to be remembered that even issues like curing maladies, was thought-about miraculous, and the maladies themselves, as in historical instances, had been usually thought-about demonic in nature. As Raymond de Tarrega, recorded in De secrets and techniques naturae sive quinta essentia:

…The demons are hooked up to human our bodies due to unhealthy inclinations and corrupt humour, or due to melancholic an infection which generates evil, black, and horrible pictures in fantasy, and disturbs the mind, for the demons habitually tackle such varieties, and customarily dwell in obscure and solitary locations. When by advantage of the fifth essence [quintessence] and different issues this humor, which is the rationale they enter such a physique, is expelled from it, then on the similar time additionally the demons vanish without delay altogether with the humor.

…And due to this there exists a revelation of how the sensate medicines have the impact of expelling demons from any physique. Use, subsequently that aforementioned medication, and you’ll treatment any demoniac…

This act of natural therapeutic is in contrast by de Tarrega to “Solomon’s act of necromancy, with which demons had been compelled to carry out good works; or with evil advantage of phrases, stones, and vegetation. It’s subsequently clear how the demons are topic to the motion of senate issues.”  Thus, to treatment somebody of illness, was equal to, management over demons, and even an exorcism, and herein might have laid the problems the Church had with the alchemists who had been getting ready the quintessence and writing about its varied manifestations from totally different plant preparations. Certainly, the specter of persecution by the Church, was the drive behind the necessity to hold their internal lives secretive was a actuality shared by  Jews, Alchemists and Magicians alike, so little surprise these avenues at instances crossed paths.