Editors Note: High Times is thrilled to present our newest bi-weekly column The High Priestess. Written by author and practitioner of magick, Gabriela Herstik, this column will explore the relationship and intersections of cannabis, witchcraft, sex, wellness, and everything in between. At High Times, we strive to keep our minds and our hearts open while centering and uplifting those whose views and practices have traditionally been denied a platform and excluded from the discussion. After all, what is the cannabis space if not inclusive?
Welcome one, welcome all, to the freaky, trippy, otherworldly reality we are in called Aquarius season. This is the season of the innovator, of the humanitarian, of the boundary pushing alien. And it’s only during the reign of the water bearer that a column like this could be born; a space where we can explore what it means to get stoned, transcend dimensions, and be glamorous as fuck while doing so. What does it mean to be a conscious stoner? How can we use cannabis as part of our spiritual practice? Is it possible to get so high that you actually make contact with extraterrestrial beings? These are our questions and together we will find answers.
My name is Gabriela Herstik and I’m your High Priestess in this blessed search for the holiest high. I hail from the city of Angeles, where I moonlight as an an author, witch, and (low key) stoner. My first book Inner Witch: A Modern Guide to the Ancient Craft was released last September, and I freelance for publications like NYLON, i-D, Allure, and Broadly. My work explores the intersection of spirituality, sexuality and glamour, and in this column I’ll be exploring how cannabis fits into this. My practice with witchcraft is rooted in working with the divine feminine, the cycles of the earth and cosmos, glamour and sex magick, and of course cannabis. My favorite strain of weed is God’s Gift (which I’ve only had once and Goddess bless it was the happiest high I’ve ever had), and my favorite method of ingesting the devil’s lettuce is by joint or bong. But my bong broke as I was writing this, so that must be an omen. I love smoking as a way to help ease my anxiety, but I also use it recreationally. And of course, I also use it in my magickal practice, as an offering, and as a way to reach a different state of consciousness.
From the Rastafarians of Jamaica, to tantric Buddhist in the Himalayas, cultures around the world have been using cannabis as a tool to find enlightenment for thousands of years. If humans can ingest something and have a transcendental experience, they will. And why would cannabis be different? Weed helps us open our crown chakra, the spiritual energy center at the top (aka crown) of our head that is our connection to the divine, the cosmos, god, goddess, or whatever else you believe it is. And whether you deny it or not, if you love weed and love being high, you’ve probably at one point communicated with, or at the very least, felt it.
And that’s what this is all about! This column will explore how we can begin cultivating a conscious relationship with cannabis- through eating it, smoking it, covering our bodies in it, wearing it, honoring it and yes, even praying to it, all so we can connect more with it. If you’ve ever wondered what other herbs you can smoke, or how weed can make your sex life literally more juicy, or how you can turn your next smoke session into a magickal ritual and offering, you’ve come to the right place.
Although I want to save some fun for columns to come (you’ll be getting a fresh one every two weeks, folks) I do want to share a simple exercise you can do the next time you smoke. You can also adapt this with eating/ drinking your weed:
Before you begin, close your eyes and start to notice your breath, finding an even and easy pace. Imagine a white light moving from the cosmos above you, through the crown of your head, down your spine, all the way to the core of the earth beneath you. Breathe into this energy; it’s pure and cleansing and helps remove anything yucky from your energetic field.
Now you can take a hit: inhale and imagine that white, purifying light moving from the crown of your head, all the way through your body. As you exhale, you can imagine any negative energy or vibrations leaving through the smoke you’re breathing out. Do this for as long as you need, continuing the visualization.
When you’re done, simply imagine the white light moving back towards the cosmos. You may also wish to thank the spirit of the plant for aiding you. Many different cultures, religions and spiritual paths believe that the earth and all her flora have spirits, this witch included. This is also a great visualization to do even without smoking or eating anything, and can be used at any time for an energetic cleanse.
This week, I dare you to take time to be intentional about your weed. Thank it. Notice what it’s offering you! Slow down and appreciate, whether you’re using a CBD tincture or taking a dab. It’s all there; sometimes we just have to notice. This is true of magick in general, and especially true in this case. Notice how nice your high is, or how wonderful your CBD makes you feel. And then breathe into that, thank the plant and universe, and go about your day.
PS: Each month, I’ll be highlighting a different non-profit doing important work around cannabis, prison reform, or something else I’m talking about in the column. Since I’m a white woman who gets to freely write about weed, and since so many people of color are incarcerated for marijuana related crimes, for February, I wanted to highlight Black and Pink. This organization describes themselves as an open family of LGBTQ prisoners and “free world” allies who are fighting for the abolition of the prison industrial complex and for better treatment of queer prisoners. They have nine chapters across the country, and help set up LGBTQ prisoners with free world pen pals helping them forge important and sustaining relationships. Black and Pink also offers resources that include support groups, education, and other direct services, catering to the queer incarcerated community. Check out their website and Twitter and support them however you can.
Until next time!
Stay high, stay fly, stay magickal.
Gabriela Herstik, your High Priestess
Questions, comments, requests for the High Priestess? Let her know on social media @gabyherstik.