“Cannabis itself can be a ritual. When we add intention and are really honest about our relationship with it, it can be something that’s very magical and transformative.”
It’s officially the witching month, and as some of us plan costumes and parties, others plan rituals and spells. This month is a sacred time for practitioners of magic – it’s said that the veil is thin right now, meaning, our connection to the supernatural is stronger than usual. Whether you ascribe to any belief in a higher power or not, you likely don’t doubt that cannabis can heighten the senses. This plant makes a perfect pairing with ritual and spiritual work.
To explore the ways weed finds its way into the lives and work of today’s mystics, we’re chatting with a few of them over the course of October. Prepare to see the power of this plant in a whole new way. This week, Gaby, a witch, author and columnist (catch her column in High Times, ‘The High Priestess’) based in LA shares her perspective of cannabis as a ritual and how it comes into play with sex and glamour magick in her life.
Weedbox: In your High Times column, you write about the intersection of pot and spirituality. First of all, how has the feedback been from this crowd? And have you always connected cannabis and spirituality in your life?
Gaby Herstik: I haven’t always worked with cannabis intentionally. I like smoking recreationally, I’m still just trying to figure out the balance between using it spiritually and ritualistically and also just enjoying it.
I pretty much just churn in whatever I want and they edit it – it’s really a privilege to write about these two practices. I feel like the audience I have is obviously different from the High Times crowd, which in the past has (catered more to) stoner culture crowd, so I think I probably bring a different crowd to the site. I just kind of share whatever I want.
The zodiacal seasons influence what I write about, as well as whatever I’m going through. Accessibility is a big part of the work I do – I don’t want people to have to spend a lot of money or buy a bunch of things to have these practices. Cannabis itself can be a ritual – when we add intention and see it with a different perspective and are really honest about our relationship with it, it can be something that’s very magical and transformative.
On top of that, there are so many different ways to use cannabis, you don’t have to even be in it for the psychoactive effects. I’m writing a column right now for Libra season about love magick and cannabis, I’ll be including a few simple love spells you can do – using weed to foster Libra season vibes a little more.
Weedbox: The simple act of being really mindful about rolling a joint or packing a bowl can be a grounding ritual in itself – you don’t really need much more than that. When you’re connecting to this herb, it’s a way to connect to the earth and it can be powerful to connect to it mindfully.
G.H.: You can work with other herbs beside cannabis to smoke and incorporate different plant medicine. That’s a big part of why I’m so drawn to cannabis – I don’t have a lot of earth placements in my birth chart, so I have to work to be very grounded. Cannabis does help with that, and it’s the ritual of smoking more than the effects of being high that I’m drawn to. I like both, but I love the ritual of rolling a joint and packing a bowl.
Weedbox: Do you have a go-to smoking ritual? What way of using cannabis feels most sacred to you?
G.H. Something I love is, on weekends I meditate in the morning, pull a tarot card and journal. I have a small little bong and I’ll pack it, light it, and take a couple hits before I start to journal on my card of the day. That’s a sacred part of my practice. I’m not going to do that all the time, because I obviously don’t want to be stoned while I’m trying to be productive – but I really love doing it on Saturday, just rolling a joint and having a long meditation practice and really just taking my time, maybe sleep a little more, and just honour the effects of the weed. I also love just rolling a joint. I use cones and just packing one of those and sitting on my porch and smoking and being present is my favourite ritual.
Weedbox: Are you into topicals at all?
G.H. I am, I’m still trying to figure out the best one for me, but I have a couple of nice lotions I use. I’ve had a lot of issues with my neck in the past so that helps. I love taking baths so I love infused CBD bath salts.
Weedbox: You write a lot about sexuality and glamour. I’m in love with your creative photoshoots on Instagram. Do you find that cannabis is a big part of your work? Do you have a ritual around feeling glamorous and sexy with cannabis?
G.H. I do, I low key have a smoke fetish! I love getting dressed up and having a couple hits from a joint, it just makes me feel super hot. But more than anything, definitely around sex – if I’m going to do sex magick or masturbate, I love smoking in front of the mirror naked before I start my sex magick practice. Having that ritual to get in my body and be present with how I’m consuming cannabis and doing that, it’s an aphrodisiac. I have a CBD lube I use sometimes too. That helps me feel good and also just be more present in my body and more in tune with the sensations I’m feeling, which makes for a better masturbation session or sex session.
As far as with glamour, first of all I just feel glamorous if I’m all dressed and have my little joint, but it also helps me release my inhibitions and own whatever outfit I’m wearing. If it’s a little more out there or a little more sexy, it helps me feel more confident and just helps me get out of my head. Or going somewhere where I’m by myself or networking, it helps me feel more confident.
Weedbox: Do you have a favourite strain for getting in a magical state of mind?
G.H. I’m constantly trying to find new ones. I really love Blue Dream and Purple Dream. There’s a strain called God’s Gift that I like too. Superman. I usually go with a hybrid with a little more indica-leaning than sativa. That’s a good space where I’m out of my head, but I also don’t want to fall asleep.
Weedbox: So what are you doing for Halloween?
G.H. I’m so excited and I don’t have any plans yet – I don’t even know what I’m going to be for Halloween and I’m low key freaking out about it. I’m saving that day for probably doing magick. I do like going out and partying on Halloween, it’s my time – the last half of October I’ll be dressed up every weekend doing stuff. I’m going to Denver the week before to do some magick with one of my friends who makes crystal pipes, Jennifer Joseph (Natural Magick) – she’s amazing. I might do something low key with myself or a handful of friends. Definitely some kind of ritual to honour the year, honour ancestors, something simple.
Connect with Gaby Herstik on Instagram, Twitter, and read her columns on NYLON, High Times, and Chakrubs. If you’re in LA, check out her upcoming workshops at House of Intuition – Working With the Five Elements on October 10th, and Unleashing the Divine Heart:Love and Sex Magick on October 17th.