Letter to The First Church of Cannabis

IMG_0544Brothers and Sisters of the Peaceful Vibrations,

I’m mailing a set of Magic Chakra Candles for your altar and use in your ceremonies today. You’re free to employ these candles in any manner you wish.

These candles were manifested by the Temple Dragon Crew at the Cannabis Cup Temple in Amsterdam over 15 years ago. After the TDC was expelled from the event, we created the Pot Illuminati in Colorado so we could continue our traditions. All Temple Dragon ceremonies are improvisational and completely dogma-free. We do have one rule: don’t hurt anybody, and that includes feelings and not just physical force.

The candles are designed to be stacked together to form an arrow pointing up as indicated in the photo above. When they arrive, there will be paper templates on each one with a different magic sigil. You are free to use these sigils or make your own symbols or use no symbols at all. The symbols, colors and scents all relate to the charkas and to our desire to merge all cultures into a unified, mega-cultural hybrid of peace.

Carving the candles is the first ceremony and should be done with at least seven people in attendance. It’s a great honor to carve a sigil into one of the candles and it puts energy into them, and should be shared by as many people as possible. I just use a ballpoint pen and trace an image with the paper sigil still on. After I have an image on the wax, remove the paper and make the lines a bit deeper into the wax with the pen. I suggest painting the symbols with gold paint, in which case the finished candles will look something like the picture below.

Screen Shot 2015-06-22 at 12.13.15 PMIf you look close you’ll see a gemstone embedded into every sigil. Many years from now, when your candles are too small to function anymore and you require a new set, transfer the gems I send to your replacement candles.

Our ceremonies begin by lighting the candles. One person is asked to light the red candle, and that person speaks while lighting the candle and speaks for as long as they want. But when they are finished, they select someone to light the orange candle and so it goes until seven have spoken.

When the candles are stacked close together and burning, a hotspot may develop and create a leak on one side of a candle. If this happens, isolate the candle and hold it at an angle to repair the leak. You’ll need to maintain a perimeter of wax around the tops and this may require some tinkering early on.

Don’t leave the candles on for long periods. After all seven have been lighted and seven people have spoken, or once the ceremony or sermon is over, extinguish the flames as part of the ceremonies so you can save the candles for another ceremony. And if the candles melt into a puddle, the wax can be recast as long as you can separate the colors.

Enjoy the magic, and keep manifesting peace on earth.

My letter to Bill Levin

billlevinDear Bill:

Now you probably know how I felt after creating the Freedom Fighters and Cannabis Cup. Marijuana carries immense vibrations, and what begins as a lark sometimes turns into something epic.

I don’t prescribe ceremonies and prefer everyone to make up their own, but I’d like to share a brief sketch of my 45-year-long history organizing counterculture ceremonies, something that began in 1967 in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, when I published the largest underground newspaper in Central Illinois, The Tin Whistle. One of my primary inspirations from the period was the late James Wilson, later to become known as Chef Ra, who organized the Freedom Fighter Campground Free Kitchen (Rasta Pasta Pesto), and was everyone’s favorite speaker at the Hash Bash, until his heart exploded in his sleep on Christmas Eve a few years ago (RIP Ra). Some of the other ceremonial masters I studied under include John Cage, Jasper Grootveld, Julian Beck, Judith Malina, Ken Kesey, Mountain Girl, Ken Babbs, Paul Krassner, Wavy Gravy. I could keep going…there were so many influences and inspirations because I brought a different team to every Cannabis Cup for 20 years while I organized that event and I always put them in charge of all ceremonies.

It requires a harmonized team to manifest great ceremonies, and I began by assembling the greatest artists, performers, vocalists, musicians, drummers and making them my core. This team became known as the Temple Dragon Crew after a speech made by Stephen Gaskin at a Cup 420 ceremony. We employ seven candles in our ceremonies, and a different person lights each one and says something. That’s how the ceremony starts. Everything is improvisational and the candles provide a sort of group sermon, and the person who lights a candle, selects the next person and so on, so you never know how the energy is going to pass around the room, but it’s all good no matter what happens. At some point in the service we form a circle, respect a moment of silence and then do an OM. I believe the OM has been passed down from the original cannabis religions from over 5,000 years ago in India and Persia. It is very effective way to harmonize people in preparation for group improvisation.

JAIN CENTER, ENGLANDThen the jam begins and everyone participates, and hemp paper and hemp oil sticks can be distributed for those who don’t sing, dance or play drums. The idea is to manifest a telepathic field of pure creativity, which is a palpable telepathic force that can be passed around and amplified with practice. Cannabis is an aid to amplifying creative power, especially when used in ceremonies.

The reason we invite a different person to be High Priestess and High Priest at every ceremony is to prevent corruption and personality cults. Any elements that stick, like the seven candles (representing the seven lights of cannabis as realized by Alex Grey at the Cup), are things that keep appearing at every ceremony.

The mission to topple the hoodwink manipulating religion to manifest war for profit is important, and from a small ripple, great changes can emerge. We can only reform religion by working from within the paradigm, not by trying to banish it off the face of the earth, a jihad under another name.

If you ever want our Temple Dragon Crew to perform at your church, just let us know. The crew involves Grandmaster Caz (vocals), Fantuzzi (congas), Me (guitar), Dino (theremin), Jet (guitar), Larry (violin) and members of the Cannabis Cup Band, who are considered among the greatest reggae session players in New York City. However, most of us would require travel expenses, and I can’t guarantee everyone would show, but I do promise to leave behind a set of seven candles for your church to enjoy.

much love,

Steve