It is a stormy morning over here in Prague. Every so often, early summer can put on one hell of a lightening show. A friend and I have been working on a European church of cannabis. What started as a half serious conversation has turned into a firm intention to set the church up. There are many reasons to form a church. It would piss off the prohibitionists to have to deal with us on our high horse. Bringing religion into it gives us a moral argument and it is a new approach. We sat down and tried to work out commandments and rules for our new religion. In the interest of full disclosure, I would call myself a devout believer in some parts of mystic Hinduism. Meditation is a big part of Vedic Tradition and I spent years playing with this.
So when we started to form our church it was important that we could be a faith that fits in with other religious traditions. With Remco, we spoke of what we imagined the future of our church to be. Besides the social media presence and the flyers at cannabis events, what else did we want? I wanted somewhere by the sea, Remco wanted a big grow room in the basement. As Europe staggers out of the worst economic crisis since the second world war, surely there is the perfect place for our church to help with the healing. Somewhere for a main community space. Sleeping and eating quarters and enough land for us to grow organic food and obviously herbs. I still have my own beliefs, but having a spiritual place, where we could gather and spend time not taking ourselves or life to seriously sounds interesting.
Our European church is in a constant state of evolution. Initially it was about helping to fight prohibition, but as we scratched the surface, little things started connecting. I only knew Remco through Facebook and tsu.co. We are from different countries but found out we have cannabis friends in common. Then as we kept researching how to apply for official European status for our church we stumbled across the Cult of Mithras. Before Europe fell to the Catholic church there were ancient pagan religions. The church of Mithras was a popular one. It was an all male club and they got up to some pretty strange things. There are deeper and deeper levels to the religion. To pass onto the next level you must go through a cannabis ritual. The groups would meet in cellars and caves. At the height of their popularity they were spread right across Europe. Then I learnt that Mithras is also in my own Vedic religion. I don’t really know if there is a god and after life, but if there is, maybe god or whatever it is, is putting little sign posts for us to follow.
The first thing we agreed was to reform the old religion. No longer would women be excluded from the Church of Mithras. We can embrace what we want of the religion, between all of us the collective will, can be fine tuned. Obviously as cannabis is still very much illegal in Europe we can’t say if the church has met up yet. We definitely can’t talk about the initiations that have happened. The European Church of Cannabis is the Reformed Church of Mithras. All the kinds of things that you would expect are in the user manual. Love each other and try to live in sync with the world rather than trying to smash and grab it. Live with respect for the world, work hard at the things that you love and remember to enjoy the ride. We all have things to teach and learn. Sharing within a community feeds our spiritual souls.
The church of Mithras hasn’t seen the light of day in about 1,600 years. The religion asks you to keep developing yourself. Keep evolving into the perfect version of your authentic self. We are a church filled with people sharing their journey along this spiritual path. For someone, learning how to grow a cannabis plant is their spiritual journey. With instructions, a little dirt and some sunshine you can follow and participate in the lifecycle of the holy cannabis plant. Others will one day be able to join us to learn how to make healthy pot infused food and ointments. When we have a base for our church we will have four month retreats where people come to learn how to grow with us. As for when the church will be set in stone, we will offer our cannabis gods hard work and hope they will smile on our efforts.
We already have our first female member, Elena from Serbia. She does not realize the weight of history on her shoulders. The ancient religion never had a woman before. In a thousand years time, each word and sentence that we record from Elena will be examined and interpreted anew. Unlike Jesus, who got recorded 300 years after he hopped out of a cave, Elena will be recorded in real time. If you would like to help us record, get in touch. We need more people and energy! Until we can gather under one roof, we may rest under separate ones.
So as the city of Prague awakens, a new green shoot has broken the surface. We know the police don’t want us to grow and share cannabis but our religion wants us to. Gently, Lord Mithras speaks to me from a flaming bush. Try not to make the new religion seem too crazy he says, and don’t make us out to be serious. If you don’t have laughter throughout your day you aren’t following me properly. Learn how to grow. Don’t underestimate yourself. When your heart and soul is in something, you sleep wonderfully, so give it a try. These words come directly from Lord Mithras. Both he and Goddess Kali are blazing a trail for us to follow.