“I am getting increasingly bothered by the fact that pot is illegal,” Ursula pronounced suddenly to the group gathered in the Elk Ridge Commons after a Men’s and Women’s Medicine Circle. “Did those words had just come out of my mouth?” she added in a momentarily squeaky voice into the stunned silence before everyone chimed in.
“You go, Girl!” said Pia.
“Tell it, Sista’,” cackled Raven.
“Uh oh, this sounds like Ursula is getting all activist on us again,” moaned her husband.
“I mean it, even though I didn’t mean to say it. You can laugh,” she sputtered as they all did.
“Is this something you are just discovering or have you not been telling us all these years that you are a closet hemp advocate?” asked Molly.
“I have been using it more in the last couple of years. It’s become an important part of my spiritual practice. Including for sex, I might add.”
They all hooted again.
“Ever since I’ve simplified my organizational life and don’t need to be so left brained, I can really luxuriate in wandery stoned days. For years, I rarely smoked except now and then in bed with Charley or when I was all alone for a precious afternoon or for special occasions we’ve all had together like Summer Solstice hanging out on the River land.”
“Those have been some magical times,” said Cindy. “Remember the year we drummed all night around the fire with the full moon?”
“One of the kids fell into the river and had to be rescued,” said Owen.
“Ethan,” said Molly, remembering her terror for her son. “I’m not sure he ever got over it. Maybe that’s why he’s so straight now. More his father’s child.”
“And the time fixing camp breakfast that we looked out to see Jed floating down the river standing up in his canoe?”
“Or all doing Tai Chi in the meadow with that teacher from the city.”
“Celeste and June’s wedding…”
“We weren’t stoned on all those occasions.”
“I was,” said Owen. “I smoked too much for too many years. It didn’t rot my brain – much. How would I know??” Everyone laughed again. “But it wasn’t until I stopped smoking a couple of years ago that I’ve been able to do shamanic journeying and deepen my connection with plants.”
“It was a crutch for me too,” admitted Cindy. “I used it to get to sleep and to calm my obsessive thinking. It was also a way for me to rebel against my very straight Japanese immigrant parents.”
“I feel like I’m doing the opposite,” said Ursula. “I was so tied in with kids and community responsibilities – you know, the world on my shoulders. I couldn’t imagine not thinking in straight lines. But now…. now it’s helping me see Grandmother Spider’s web and hear the plants at a whole new level…. and the stars…. Not just when I’m stoned, I hasten to add, but being stoned definitely deepens the magic for me.”
“That’s how I went from yoga asanas to flowing movement to dance,” said Pia. “Pot makes me really feel my body.”
“Me too but not in a good way. Once I took it for cramps like somebody suggested,” Molly grinned at Owen. “It just made me feel every ache.”
“But maybe if you’d stayed with it you would have learned to go into those cramps and understand them both physically and energetically so you cold mellow them out, heal that hurting place in your body,” said Pia. “On the other hand did any of us know enough then about our bodies ten or fifteen years ago to explore that way?”
“When I first started smoking more it was fun,” continued Ursula, “but I’d get into ideating so much that my brain just raced with figuring out plans. I couldn’t get to my body. All the action was in my mind.”
“Is that how the store got started?”
“Wasn’t that the night of the Women’s Medicine Circle slumber party at Molly’s?” said Pia.
“That’s where we talked about it together,” said Ursula. “But I’d gotten the notion stoned in the hot tub a few nights before when I couldn’t sleep. Right now the whole thing is coming up for me big time because I’m teaching the class and I feel like a hypocrite talking about ritual and spirit connection without mentioning this presently important aspect of my own spiritual practice. But I don’t know what to say. It feels like a huge leap to me to share this side of myself.”
“It’s made a big difference for me in my painting,” offered Thea, who’d been listening quietly to all this. “I didn’t smoke much before either. But it started calling to me this past year. It’s like new channels opened up in my brain and I could hear my Higher Self come through – or my Inner Self. All the separate pieces began to connect coming out through my paintbrush.”
“Prophecy even,” said Ursula, remembering Thea’s painting that presaged her soul retrieval process as well as others they’d talked about since.
“I wasn’t sure if you people would approve though,” said Thea. “We never smoke in the Medicine Circles.”
“Personally, I always figured we should approach things as a group without either alcohol or drugs because we needed to be sure it was possible on our own,” said Ursula. “And it didn’t seem fair to people with substance abuse issues, of which there usually are a few. But we’ve never even talked about it, which is telling in itself.”
“Maybe we were just afraid to talk about it. We’re such a straight group really,” said Charley.
“Not even group sex,” Raven sighed theatrically.
“Always that delicate dance of trying to work within the system,” continued Charley, “while still being pretty open about our Earth centered spiritual base to it all.”
“It’s wrong that pot is illegal, along with all the hallucinogens. A plot to keep us from opening to the magical world,” said Pia.
“A Pot Plot. I’m sure that’s exactly why They made it illegal,” Raven emphasized the Capital T. “They didn’t want us to experience the expansion of our minds. It’s too dangerous to the status quo.”
“And here we are in a climate that is teeming with mushrooms.”
“Mushrooms are too much for me,” said Ursula. “I’ve taken them a couple of times but marijuana seems to be about the right vibration for my brain.”
“I’ve never been able to figure out why the government doesn’t just legalize it and tax it.”
“They must make more money fighting it. Or somebody does….”
“Let’s acknowledge that there are people who have problems with it, and for whom it isn’t a good thing, chemically or psychologically.”
“It sure doesn’t kill as many people as alcohol.”
“It feels so sacred,” continued Ursula. “I used to apologize and feel like I had to hide my smoking moments. Not tell even you guys when something was inspired under the influence. There are so many secret things we’ve been outing in the last few years – sexual abuse in our growing up families and depression to name two. You know how long I’ve been ranting about not keeping things like our fears and insecurities hidden. Not to mention my hit on the positive aspects of gossip.”
“I don’t smoke often cause I rarely can get stoned,” said Raven.
“You don’t need to,” laughed Charley. “You’ve got some sort of natural chemical in your system.”
“Beans?” suggested his partner to great laughter.
“So have you formulated an action plan?” asked Owen. “Like a Smoke-In on the county courthouse steps or something.”
“That would really expose us,” Crystal whispered. “It would threaten everything we’ve accomplished both practically like the sustainability stuff and the spiritual. We’d be pariahs again in the community. Persecuted, killed even…..”
Cindy chimed in, “My husband would say we’d really gone off the deep end, though it’s probably not as bad for him as us talking about seeing unicorns and dragons, opening portals….”
“I’m sure there are lots of people who smoke that you wouldn’t expect to. It would be cool to see who came out of the woodwork.”
“Do we wait until somebody we care about gets busted? Or do we get proactive here. If heavies from various sectors of the community say they smoked, they couldn’t arrest us all.”
“How would you find out who they were in order to organize them?”
“Would there even be anybody left to do the arresting?”
“Or the judging”
“Oh, Lordy, I can see the headlines now.”
“I just wanted to begin to talk about it, to get the subject out in the open,” Ursula qualified herself.
“I sense that things are changing in this realm as in so many others,” said Charley. “We can let this conversation simmer and season. I’m ready to head home. Gotta be up early tomorrow for a meeting with Michael and his crew.”
“Thanks, Ursula, for bringing it up,” said Molly. “You’re right, of course. It’s an odd skeleton in our closet that needs the light of day.”
“Anybody got a joint?”
“That was quite the conversation,” said Charley as he and Ursula headed home.
“Phew! I had no idea I was going to say that. It’s been on my mind but it really just popped out. I was shaking at first.”
“I thought maybe you were. Your voice sounded… pinched. Are you planning to take it any further?”
“I don’t know. It feels right to have spoken out. If Spirit wants me to do more, the way will open. Hopefully someone else will take this lead and run with it…somewhere. Did you mind that I brought up the sex thing?”
“Nah, it’s hard for me to talk about but really, it’s one of those secret things too. That and money, are the really big taboos. If we think about it we could probably hit them all at once!”
“I feel like the Coyote Goddess just threw me a curve ball.”