The nights are looming, the days are gloomy and the wheel of the year continues to turn, leading us into the darkest part of the year. On December 21st, those of us in the Northern Hemisphere were greeted with the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year and the first official day of winter. The following day, we were plunged into Capricorn season, the last Earth-sign season of the year, represented by the dedicated and adaptable goat. As we enter 2020, many of us are doing our best to find our footing in this transition, and those of us who love cannabis can turn to this plant to help us do just that. It’s nothing new to turn to the earth to help us find peace in moments of instability; just as the earth has its cycles, so do we, and these cycles often mirror one another. Thankfully, we can form intentional or ritualistic practices with cannabis to help us find more grounding, ease anxiety or feel more at home in our bodies as we make our way into the new year.
Since Capricorn is ruled by the element of earth, it felt appropriate to talk more deeply about plant medicine, and how we can work with cannabis as an ally in healing our bodies and spirits. In astrology and other occult philosophies, the element of earth rules over our home, our ability to find safety and grounding, our bodies, and of course relates to mother earth as well. Cannabis is a fractal of this potent energy; a diamond shining brightly with myriad possibilities of healing potential. To dive more deeply into what this plant can offer us this Capricorn season, I talked to bruja, Dazed Beauty Wellness Editor and Cannabis and Plant Goddess Emilia Ortiz about how we can work with cannabis to help us move through Capricorn season embodied in our fullest potential.
Consuming cannabis as an intentional practice
Although Emilia has been smoking cannabis since her teenage years, and has worked with the plant to help everything from anxiety and depression to period cramps, her relationship to it now is more intentional. And this intention is the first thing she recommends for those of us who are looking to feel the healing and grounding effects of the cannabis plant. While this can look like using cannabis for spellwork and ritual—like in fertility spells or to clear spaces, Emilia explains—it can also mean blessing your cannabis like you would a crystal.
“There are times where I program my weed if I’m really going through some shit, and I know that sounds very odd to some people because it’s like ‘I program crystals but I don’t know about weed.’ But I’ll basically set an intention and make a meditation out of the whole process when I am smoking; I focus on my breathing, slowing down my thoughts, things like that,” Emilia explains.
You may wish to try adopting this practice by utilizing breathwork, like a fourfold breath (inhale- hold- exhale-hold), to help you find a sense of calm and center as you smoke. Or you may wish to hold your flower (or edible/ tincture/ vape) in your hands before you work with it, close your eyes and infuse it with your desired intention by sending energy to it to program it.
Utilizing the healing properties of cannabis can also mean calling in some cosmic reinforcement, like spirit guides or non-human beings who are said to support you on your journey in this life before you begin working with the plant medicine.
“I’ll also use cannabis when working with my guides. I don’t have to, but they like it, so I add in this offering that they like because I don’t drink alcohol, and spirits, they be wantin’ their things, and I’m like ‘what else can I give you,’” Emilia shares.
You can call your spirit guides in by inviting them out loud or mentally to your cannabis ritual, or just share your enjoyment of this plant as an offering to them, like Emilia does. You can also work with your higher self, the part of you that is connected to the collective; the all-knowing, purest form of yourself.
“I do suggest asking your higher self to keep you grounded, and to bring forth any messages from the highest good to help you throughout the day, or to send you whatever energy you need to keep you grounded. The spliff or the bowl or whatever you’re smoking, is going to be the vessel for the connection,” Emilia shares.
While this may seem like a foreign concept to some, opening yourself up to experiencing whatever the cannabis plant wants to share with you, and whatever YOU want to share with you, can be an eye-opening experience. Don’t knock it until you try it!
Utilizing healing plant medicine
If your intention with cannabis is to heal your mind or body, then there are plenty of options to help with that as well. As we tend to focus on resolutions, reflection and goals during Capricorn season, it can be the perfect time to recommit to taking care of our body and its needs. If you deal with anxiety that manifests physically, like nausea, aches and pains, then cannabis can offer a sense of relief, especially when incorporated alongside other plant medicine. For Emilia, this means utilizing tinctures and infused honeys. While smoking can offer quick relief, especially if you don’t feel like eating, sometimes the intention is more precautionary.
“I try and go the preventative route where if I know something is going on with my stomach, I try and use a cannabis infused honey in smoothies at the beginning of my day,” Emilia explains. “If it’s not cannabis-infused honey it can be lavender-infused, or even a tincture that you’re adding or an elixir. Something like that, that you’re adding to your smoothie that can be really great… dosing it throughout the day keeps me grounded and calm. I also find that it addresses my physical pain.”
Another way to get your Wellness Witch on is by working with, or smoking, other healing herbs. While a cannabis and eucalyptus balm may be perfect for achy muscles or period cramps, adding some lemon balm, passionflower or chamomile to your cannabis can also be extremely healing. Chamomile is an incredibly soothing herb, and passionflower can help add some clarity and mood boosting to your next smoke session. While Emilia says it’s not for everyone, she does credit with helping her feel “not so cloudy.” Lemon balm and lavender are two of her choices for mixing with her spliffs to help anxiety, especially if she has a strain she doesn’t want to throw away, but is making her feel a little anxious.
Emilia also works with tobacco as a sacred herb in helping her find grounding, especially when she’s around other people.
“I incorporate tobacco into my smoking process. I don’t smoke blunts anymore, I used to, but I have switched to using organic hemp paper with a small piece of what’s called Santo, which is basically unprocessed tobacco,” Emilia explains. “It’s dried and cured but it doesn’t have all the other additives that people tend to add these days. I’ll include a little small strip in it for protection purposes and grounding especially if I’m smoking with other people. So that way, I’m grounded without getting caught up on what can happen for some people spiritually, where you’re all in each others shit a little too much. Everyone’s a little floaty, as I call it.”
Even if you don’t engage with tobacco, Capricorn season is still a perfect time to dive deep into green witchcraft. If you’re like me, and have a black thumb, but are looking to engage with plant medicine in another way, and deepen your relationship to the earth, you can also take care of a succulent to shift your green witch karma. Emilia suggests forming a relationship with dried herbs first, especially through bath magick, before finding your way to a succulent. Succulents are easy to take care of, Emilia explains, and they only need to be watered about once a month, so you don’t have to worry too much about killing your new plant baby. The key to this relationship, is once again, mindfulness.
“Just be very intentional about it each day. Talk to it, and when you bring it into the home, let it know; ‘you know I’m bringing you into this home and I want to welcome you in. Help me intuitively know where to place you so I can put you where you’d like to be in particular,’” Emilia suggests. “And then talk to it on a regular basis. Tell it ‘I love you’ and that kind of stuff. You can talk to it about your day. I know a lot of people aren’t big on meditating with a plant, so I feel like physically connecting in that way is very helpful. Building a solid relationship with one plant at a time, and then eventually spreading out in other ways because they’ll talk to you, and you’ll feel more grounded knowing that you’re able to have a plant in your home, and you don’t have this black thumb.”
Creating this intentional dynamic with a succulent can help you deepen your connection to the energy of mother nature as well as the cannabis plant, which can help you move into 2020 with all the bewitching confidence you need.
Honoring cannabis as a reflection of your dimensions
In the occult world, there’s an axiom that goes “As above, so below. As within, so without.” The macrocosm is a reflection of the microcosm; what the universe is experiencing as a whole is reflected in what we experience as individuals. This means that as we are submerged in the darkness of the season, so too are we submerged into our own shadows. This can manifest as sadness, loneliness, or seasonal depression. And while cannabis can’t necessarily cure this, it can act as a reflection to our divine multitudes, and remind us that whatever we’re experiencing is valid.
“I think of cannabis, as far as the spirit of the plant, as being very, very good at showing us the definition of being multifaceted in so many different ways. And that’s what I love about it, it can be used for so many different things, and depending on what strain, or if you’re using the female or male plant, that can make a big difference in the effect that you’re feeling,” Emilia shares. “It’s a universal plant, and obviously it’s not for everybody, and I totally respect that, but I do think that it at least sets the tone that…you’re this multifaceted being that can do so much good in the world. And I truly think that plant is wanting to do good, and that’s what we were gifted with this plant; a little piece of divinity.”
You can work with cannabis in infinite ways, and what you decide you need can shift depending on what you’re experiencing in the present and how you’re feeling. Maybe you want to soak in a bath filled with sacred herbs after taking a dab when you’re anxious, or give yourself a massage with some cannabis infused oil or lotion to find some grounding in your body. Allowing the spirit of the cannabis plant to support you wherever you are is a potent practice in both self-compassion and self-acceptance. Journaling or creating art can also be a grounding way on reflecting on what you’re going through, how you’re feeling and what aspects of yourself you may reject, or are still getting used to (which is generally referred to as “shadow work” in the occult world). Using CBD or your favorite strain can help you relax into the present, while also reminding you that there’s nothing to fear.
No matter how you choose to engage with the magick of the cannabis plant this season, may it help you return to your magick with a sense of peace and wellbeing. And so it is!