A ritual can be anything.. from taking a bath, to drinking a cup of tea.. preparing coffee or rolling a cigarette.
A ritual is (by definition) a specific set of actions done privately or publicly.
The purposes of rituals are varied. Satisfaction of spiritual or emotional needs of the practitioners, strengthening of social bonds, social and moral education, demonstration of respect or submission, stating one’s affiliation, obtaining social acceptance or approval for some event or, sometimes, for the pleasure of the ritual itself.
Many activities that are ostensibly performed for concrete purposes are loaded with purely symbolic actions prescribed by regulations or tradition, and thus partly ritualistic in nature. Even common actions like hand-shaking and saying hello are rituals.
In psychology, the term ritual is used in a technical sense for a repetitive behavior systematically used by a person to neutralize or prevent anxiety; it is a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Anthropological studies support that rituals carry a greater meaning in human spirituality and concentration, acting as a form of meditation being carried out meticulously.
This article investigates the ancient tribal ritual of smoking in circles of trust.
Used in American-Indian tribes, as well as throughout Asia, smoking in a circle joins individuals together in a circle of trust.
A chillum is a conical or cylinder pipe used since at least the 18th century by sadhus (wandering Hindu monks) in India. The Chillum specifically is said to force great concentration and centering into the person breathing in the smoke.
It is filled with a high quality oily dark substance, extracted from cannabis plants.
Anthropologist Sula Benet’s evidence was confirmed in 1985 by Hebrew University in Jerusalem and etymological comparison show that the Holy anointing oil used by the Hebrews contained cannabis extracts, “kaneh bosm” and that it is listed as an incense tree in the original Hebrew and Aramaic texts of the Old Testament.
Early Christians used cannabis oil for medicinal purposes and as part of the baptismal process to confirm the forgiveness of sins and “right of passage” into the Kingdom of Heaven. The Unction, Seal, laying on of hands, the Counselor, and the Holy Spirit are all often synonymous with the Holy anointing oil.Early Gnostic texts indicate that the Chrism is essential to becoming a “Christian”.Some Muslims of the Sufi order have used cannabis as a tool for spiritual exploration.
The use of Cannabis as a hallucinogenic drug by necromancers or magicians is especially notable. It should be pointed out that in ancient China, as in most early cultures, medicine has its origin in magic. Medicine men were practicing magicians.
In northeastern Asia, shamanism was widespread from Neolithic down to recent times. In ancient China shamans were known as wu . This vocation was very common down to the Han dynasty. After that it gradually diminished in importance, but the practice persisted in scattered localities and among certain people. In the far north, among the nomadic tribes of Mongolia and Siberia, shamanism was widespread and common until rather recent times.
Researchers claim that in the 5th century BCE Siddhartha ate only hemp seeds for six years, prior to becoming the Buddha.
Most interpretations of the fifth precept would include all forms of cannabis amongst the intoxicants that a Buddhist should abstain from consuming. However, the Buddhist precepts are, in a sense, guidelines whose purpose is to encourage a moral lifestyle rather than strict religious commandments, so some lay practitioners of Buddhism may consume cannabis and other mild intoxicants in moderation. In addition, cannabis and other psychoactive plants are specifically prescribed in the Mahākāla Tantra.
Modern spiritual figures like Ram Dassand Eli Jaxon-Bear openly acknowledge that the use of cannabis has allowed them to access “another plane of consciousness” and use the herb frequently.