A GUIDE TO SMOKING HERBS AS RITUAL
Usha Anandi. 2 | JUN | 2020
Long before cigarette companies perverted the sacred plant of tobacco and way before smoking was considered ‘cool’, wise people smoked herbs.
Smoking is a ritual that can be used to connect you with your ancestors, your inner wisdom, and the healing power of plants… and what if I told you, you could smoke and it could actually be good for you?
This month in our Inner Circle Virtual Monthly Membership, I’m teaching all about practical uses of plant medicine for common feminine ailments and states of dis-ease.
If you desire to learn more about plant allies that grow around you and ways you can bring ritual into your life, join us in circle.
Much of what we know about smoking is heavily influenced by our view of cigarettes and the physical determinants of smoking them.
But what if we took cigarettes out of the picture and added in some organic, dried, highly medicinal herbs? Then perhaps, we could return to a sacred act that ancient cultures have used throughout time.
Today, I invite you to lean into the call, the desire, the craving to smoke – to take off your judgement glasses and see smoking as what it is – a ceremony, a blessing, a ritual.
I’ve been smoking herbs for a long time. Many of the social spaces I frequented when I was younger and traveling involved smoking cigarettes. My mother’s sister died of lung cancer, so I rarely felt called to participate… but I was fascinated by the way people seemed to bond while smoking – so I wanted to find a way to join them in my own witchy way.
My answer? Medicinal herbs.
But it’s not just the medicinal herbs that are so healing, it’s the ritual.
Ritual is a profoundly healing way to reconnect with the cyclical and create an anchor for yourself. When life outside continues to change, your ritual is your tie to reality, your anchor to the present moment.
Many coming from traumatic religious experience often have to reframe the idea of religion, as it’s commonly associated within the context of organized religion.
Even Oxford dictionary’s definition of ritual reflects this:
“a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order.”
The ritual that I speak of here is tied to no religion, dogma, or rigorous demanding practice.
If you look around you, everything in the natural world takes part in ritual.
The seasons, the phases of the moon, the fall of rain; ritual is a fundamental part of being alive, which is why when we return to practicing it, it feels so right.
One of the ways you transform a seemingly mundane action (i.e. smoking) into ritual is by creating an intention.
Smoke amplifies intention. So we want to be sure that when we’re coming to the practice of smoking, we’re not anxious, overwhelmed, or hurt as the smoke can amplify those feelings – another reason why intention is so important.
I feel that often in the new-age community when we talk about intention, we’re missing the mark.
Intention isn’t just an affirmation created and held within the mind; intention is a frequency, an EMBODIED state of being that we can actually infuse into our cellular experience.
Embodiment is a key piece in actualizing intentions that many of us forget.
As you sit with yourself and create an intention for your ritual… you can use these different questions to guide you…
- How and what do I need to feel supported right now?
- What is an energy that I would more like to embody?
- What do I need to invoke to be more fully myself?
As the answer arises for you, consider breathing with it for a while. Rather than just thinking and contemplating it, imagine that you’ve already embodied it. Feel it.
For example, if my intention was to more fully embody LOVE, I could sit with myself for a few minutes and feel love in my body.
I could spend time softening areas of tension and attempting to open my body to the possibility that perhaps there’s more love available to me, more than I’d ever thought existed.
The purpose of this practice is to develop a felt sense of what the frequency of this intention feels like in our body. Slowly but surely as we do this, we are chiseling and crafting an instrument so the special music of this specific energy can flow through us.
Intention isn’t realized through solely the mind; it’s realized through all aspects of our being moving in the same direction.
Once you’ve embodied your intention, you use this feeling state to choose the medicine you’ll be working with in your smoking blend.
What matches your current energy? What feels like it would be of support? You are highly intuitive, allow your body to be your guide.
And if you need extra support in choosing your herbs, I’ve got your back.
Below you can find 5 of my favorite herbs to smoke. Please remember to consult an experienced herbalist or naturopath before you smoke and always avoid smoking while pregnant.
This sexy yellow flower has been a huge catalyst in teaching me how to embody my own sensual power. A strong aphrodisiac, damiana helps us to alchemize the desire of the womb with the compassion and unconditional love held within the heart. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, damiana is prescribed as a yang tonic specifically targeting phlegm and grief held in the lungs.
Mugwort is one of the most powerful herbs to cultivate a stronger connection to your intuition and ability to see beyond the veil of illusion. Used for thousands of years in wise woman traditions to enhance lucid dreams and visions. Smoke her sugary, spicy flavor while to enjoy a mild psychotropic feeling and access to a greater spiritual site.
This fragrant teacher has much more to share than she’s often given credit for. Most of us know chamomile for her relaxing, sleep inducing effects but few know of her ability to calm anxiety, aid in digestion, and even sweeten the quality of dreams.
One of my favorite plant teachers to add to every blend I make, rose is an ancient symbol of the feminine essence and radiance. She reminds us that our sensuality is inherently innocent and supports us in reclaiming parts of our feminine expression that have been oppressed and shamed.
I love adding small amounts of this medicine to blends to make the flavor more refreshing. Not only does spearmint support you in feeling renewed, but she also relaxes the bronchial passageways in the lungs to help you breathe deeper and maintain better respiratory health.
Learning how to work with the medicine of herbs through ritual was one of the most powerful catalysts for my own healing journey.
That’s why this month in our Inner Circle Virtual Monthly Membership, we’re diving deep into the practical application of herbalism and plant ritual so you can feel empowered when choosing herbs to support you in caring for your feminine body and radiance.