Unless you have good self-control or a non-addictive personality, you shouldn’t use entheogens. It is far too easy to become reliant on a substance for one’s spiritual experiences and abilities, but the bigger danger is becoming addicted to entheogens because of the ecstatic experiences and highs they give. I’m not just talking about controlled substances here, I’m also talking about alcohol as well as legal herbs like damiana, lobelia, wild lettuce, wormwood and my beloved Solanaceae.
I’ve decided I need to stop using one of my favourite entheogens regularly. It has a bad habit of shutting me off almost completely from the physical world and I don’t get much done in the cooking, cleaning, crafting and wild harvesting departments when I’m in full mystic mode. The effects just last too long for me as it can take 1-3 days to wear off. I went a month without it while still having mystical experiences, so it’s time to relegate it for specific rituals and offerings only.
It’s time to start using the others calling me that aren’t nearly as strong and overpowering – wormwood, mugwort, tobacco, and, of course, mead. I’ve never had an addictive personality, but if you do then I would recommend staying far away from tobacco and alcohol all together and only use a habit-forming herb like wormwood a couple of times a month. One shouldn’t use entheogenic herbs at all if they don’t have a purpose in mind for them such as facilitating divination, lucid dreaming, hedgecrossing, or shapeshifting.
Before you use an entheogenic herb in ritual you should first test it in a few different forms to see how you react to it and if the effects are beneficial to your later ritual intent or not. Try the herb as a tea, a smoke, or a salve (if applicable) and discover which one works best for you. Always double and triple-check proper dosage first and start off with much less than that and eventually work your way up to the recommended safe dosage.
Each herb will affect everyone differently, for example, some people need to drink one cup of wormwood tea to feel its effects, but I only need to touch the herb with my bare hands for the same results. Ask yourself if it helps to enter a trance-like state or does it only make you feel woozy and nauseous? Write down all the effects you felt and your experiences as you are receiving them and also afterwards when your head is more clear. Was there an unpleasant “hangover” or a coming down period and was it worth it for the herbs effects and powers?
I’ve discovered that me plus tobacco equals nothing so I only use it for offerings to spirits and my garden. I found out that only one teaspoon of wormwood tea will leave me stoned and useless all day so I should only use it for rituals before bedtime or for very long bouts of hedgecrossing. I learned my mandragora root salve may make me feel silly for a little while, but it also taps me right into the divine and confers powers that require great forethought before using the salve. My hedgecrossing smoking blend of eight herbs leaves one hovering in between worlds for 8-12 hours after using it and conveys the gift of second sight during that time (for me anyway). And most pleasantly, I’ve discovered that a few drinks of mead or wine lead to excellent divinations, prophetic dreams, and chats with gods.
So do your research, do tests, be safe, be smart, and above all, know yourself and your limits.
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