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Scythians Sacred Use of Cannabis

Kelleen Peters

Scythians Sacred Medicine

Scythians, Cannabis as a sacred plant :

The Scythians, an ancient nomadic warrior culture residing in present-day Central Asia, were known to use cannabis in their religious and burial practices. Historical accounts suggest that they would throw cannabis seeds onto heated stones in a tent, creating a form of early vaporization. The resulting smoke was inhaled during religious rituals to induce a state of altered consciousness and spiritual connection. Additionally, remnants of cannabis have been found in Scythian burial mounds, indicating its importance in their funerary practices and beliefs regarding the afterlife. A nomadic warrior culture that thrived in the vast Eurasian steppes from around the 9th century BCE to the 4th century CE. Cannabis played a notable role in their religious and burial customs, showcasing the plant's historical and cultural significance in their society.

Use of Cannabis in Religious Rituals:

  • The Scythians are known to have utilized cannabis as a sacred plant in their religious ceremonies. Historical accounts describe a method of early vaporization where they would throw cannabis seeds onto hot stones within their tents. The resulting smoke was inhaled as a means to achieve altered states of consciousness and enhance their spiritual connection during rituals.

Cannabis in Burial Practices:

  • Archaeological evidence, particularly from Scythian burial mounds, indicates the cultural importance of cannabis. Remnants of cannabis have been discovered in these mounds, suggesting that the Scythians used cannabis in funerary practices. It is believed that they may have used cannabis to aid the deceased in their journey to the afterlife or to achieve a state of spiritual readiness for the afterlife.

Symbolism and Beliefs Regarding Cannabis:

  • Cannabis was likely revered by the Scythians for its psychoactive and potentially spiritual effects. It held symbolic significance and was integrated into their belief systems, rituals, and ceremonies. The plant's association with altered consciousness and a deeper spiritual connection aligned with their spiritual beliefs and practices.

The use of cannabis by the Scythians reflects a broader historical and cross-cultural trend where various ancient civilizations recognized and valued the psychoactive and potential spiritual properties of the plant. Cannabis was not only a part of their religious and spiritual practices but also held importance in their societal rituals, reinforcing its significance in their way of life.

It's important to acknowledge that the historical context of cannabis use varies across different ancient cultures, and understanding its role in specific societies provides valuable insights into the historical and cultural fabric of those civilizations.

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