Bast is the Tameran (ancient Egyptian) Goddess of hemp and marijuana.
Obviously, the material on this page is controversial. One well-researched source of information is Green Gold: The Tree of Life; Marijuana in Magic & Religion © 1995 Chris Bennet, Lynn Osburn, and Judy Osburn; Access Unlimited, PO Boix 1900, Frazier Park, CA 93225; ISBN 0-9629872-2-0.
My brief moment of disclaimer: Although I have no doubts about the historical association between Bast and hemp, there are very knowledgeable individuals who have personal contact with the Goddess who dispute this claim. Also, just because there were historical connections and practices involving hemp and marijuana, that does NOT necessarily mean that those practices are still valid for all modern humans. Although I am highlighting the connections between Bast and hemp, I need to emphasize that Bast is first and foremost the Goddess of civilization. To see Her first (or even primarily) as the Goddess of hemp and marijuana is to miss the true nature of the Goddess.
hemp bud (PICTURE)
Bast is the Goddess of civilization. The Tamerans (ancient Egyptians) believed that paradise could be accomplished in our lives (not just in some future afterlife) and that civilization was the gift of the deities (particularly Bast, Aset [Isis], Asar [Osiris], Ptah, Djehuti [Thoth], and Seshat) for achieving paradise. The obvious connection to hemp is the general usefulness of the plant, providing fuel, lighting, fabric, rope, sails, cooking oil, nutritional meal, medication, and enlightenment. Writing and mathematics were originally viewed as magical arts, to be performed with reverence and respect on hemp and other papers (N.B. the first paper was made of papyrus, not hemp).
For more information on the many uses of hemp: DigitalHemp (OUTSIDE LINK to the DigitalHemp)
hemp may have been among the first plants used for agricultural purposes in ancient Tamera (Egypt). We get the modern English word bast, meaning the fibers of the hemp plant, from Her name.
There are many Tameran (ancient Egyptian) deities that are associated with agricultural production, including Aset [Isis], Asar [Osiris], and Geb. Bast is more associated with the bounty of the harvest than the process of farming. Any of there deities would also be associated with the nutritional uses of hemp seed oil and meal.
There are many Tameran (ancient Egyptian) deities that are associated with cloth, rope, paper, and other industrial hemp products. In addition to Bast, these also include Hapi, Nwt, Het Heret [Hathor], and Aset [Isis] (Aset being particularly associated with hemp rope and sails used in ancient sailing).
Cannabis Sativa plant part diagram (PICTURE)
50 year old hemp fiber (PICTURE)
Hemp helps wildlife (PICTURE)
peasants harvesting hemp (PICTURE)
For more information on the industrial uses of hemp: DigitalHemp (OUTSIDE LINK to the DigitalHemp)
hemp seed provides a highly nutritious gruel that includes more amino acids than any other plant and a highly nutritious oil that includes an array of important fatty acids.
hemp seed nutrition (PICTURE)
For more information on the nutritional uses of hemp: DigitalHemp (OUTSIDE LINK to the DigitalHemp)
Marijuana and herbal preparations made from marijuana have a long history of use in the medical arts. Marijuana was used for easing the pain of menstrual cramps and child birth, and for assistance in both sexual activity and enlightenment. Food, sex, drugs, music, and dance all have clear magical and religious significance.
There are many Kemetic (ancient Egyptian) deities that are associated with herbal medications and healing magick, including Bast, Het Heret [Hathor], Imhotep, Sekhmet, Aset [Isis], Buto (also known as Wadjet or Edjo), Kherpi, and Tauret.
Kaya Indica (PICTURE)
Bast is the Goddess of enlightenment (symbolized by both cats and the rising sun). There is the obvious connection of the spiritual altered state of consciousness that some experience while under the influence of marijuana, hashish, bhang, and other herbal hemp preparations. She is Goddess of cats and the dawn, two important Tameran (ancient Egyptian) symbols for enlightenment. The Tamerans believed that enlightenment was a gift from the Goddess and was delivered to the human mind in the form of artistic inspiration. Painters, sculptors. poets, musicians, storytellers, dancers, and other members of the artistic community were at the forefront of the priesthood.
The Tamerans (ancient Egyptians) believed in a strong connection between physical pleasure and enlightenment. Food, sex, drugs, music, and dance all have clear magical and religious significance. Marijuana, as well as other plants with drug effects (especially poppies and mushrooms), was used extensively in Tameran magical and religous ceremonies and rituals.
Sacred Smoke (PICTURE)
Basts Breath is the belief that the smoke of marijuana is the holy breath of the Goddess Herself. The original phrase is Neter Sentra, meaning incense or the breath of the deities.
Picture of Bast (PICTURE)
Morning Ritual was celebrated in honor of Bast and/or Aset [Isis]. This ritual involved greeting the rising sun. Most commonly done nude, it included singing and chanting, sometimes set to music (especially the shaking of the sistrum). Neter Sentra, or incense, was burned, with a combination of hemp flowers and cinnamon being the most common ingredients. Often the ritual also involved cunnilingus.
The following incense recipe is synthesized from several ancient and modern sources. Because it includes marijuana as an ingredient, you will have to mix it yourself if you live in a religious totalitarian nation where the oppressive rules of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, or other patriarchal religions are enforced in direct contradiction to the United Nations Declaration of Universal Human Rights.
tribute to Bast (PICTURE)
The famous hookah started as large, intricately-carved table-like pieces of furniture, which originally served as home altars to Bast. In addition to use in home rituals such as Morning Ritual, guests would be invited around the altar to honor the Goddess with a few tokes.
There are many Tameran (ancient Egyptian) deities that are associated with the religious use of drugs, especially Sekhmet, but also Bast and Het Heret [Hathor]. It is important to note that although a wide variety of drugs were used to induce religious experiences, this was done under the control and supervision of experienced members of the priesthood and many of the most powerful drugs were limited to use only by certain members of the priesthood on rare occassions.
harem lady with hookah (PICTURE)
Bast is the Goddess of physical pleasures. As the bountiful aspects of the sun, Bast held out the promise of the rewards of paradise to those who were civilized. The modern English word passion is derived from Her name (Pasch).
WARNING: It would be very unwise to use Bast as an excuse for recreational drug use. Beyond any health and legal problems this might present, Bast is a real Goddess with divine power and very sharp claws and She pounces with the dagger of truth.
Turkish smoking parlor (PICTURE)
For those who want more information on the many uses of hemp and the history of marijuana prohibition, the Electric Emperor is the CD-ROM version of Jack Herers famous book The Emperor Wears No Clothes: the Authorative Guide to Hemp and the Marijuana Prohibition. The third edition of the Electric Emperor (version 1.3) runs on Macintosh, OS/2, DOS, Windows, Amiga, Silicon Graphics, Sun Solaris, DEC Alpha, LINUX, UNIX, and any computer with a CD-ROM drive and a web browser. To order a copy of the Electric Emperor, click here.
If you have a Marijuana or Hemp-related web page, please send the URL to Milo, PO Box 1361, Tustin, California, 92781, USA. Please indicate if there is a picture on your web page.
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updated January 5, 2000
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