Drinking and Drugs within Wicca

Interesting topic, right? I know in other religions, consumption of alcohol is generally frowned upon unless it’s drinking the blood of a dead person(no offense meant towards my wording to Christian readers).

Well, in ours, its okay! Sort of. We are told to drink wine or mead for our rituals, with the gods to honor them. We offer them the first and best of our fare, and then merrily go about our ritual.

We are also told as a general rule, to obey the laws of the land in which we live. This of course means that I, as under the age of twenty one, should not be consuming alcohol yet.

Although I’ve consumed alcohol in ritual once, I’d have to say that for the most part, I don’t drink at all outside of the circle – I don’t like the taste, and I don’t like not being in control of my own body and thoughts. But it is allowed. I mean, Dionysus/Bacchus, depending on your choice of pantheon is the god of wine and grapes and the frenzy.

You have to remember, that by most accounts, those who are healers and walk the path of a witch are not high class, stick-up-the-butt sort of people. They come from small towns, in history, in small villages, and lived and died there. At most they were upper middle class.

Wicca is a path of celebration and knowledge, not repentance. As long as you don’t drink in excess, and behave responsibly or relatively so (honor your path and your ancestors and your oaths) while drinking, there is no reason at all to feel guilty.

Some of us choose not to drink. Choosing not to drink does not necessarily make me a stronger person. I already stated my reasons for not consuming alcohol – I don’t like the taste, and I don’t like not being in control. If offered alcohol within ceremony, I would be much more willing to take it.

The general category of drugs is similar. We are told to obey the laws of the land. Yet, shamans, and those of the pagan sort from all walks of life have engaged in recreational and hard core drug use, for both appropriate and inappropriate reasons.

As the United States outlaws the use of marijuana, ecstasy, crack, mushrooms, belladonna and other hallucinogenic drugs, I will not be using them anytime soon. But, I wouldn’t necessarily look down on someone who, in a ritual context, took one of the above drugs to aid in vision questing. As long as it is not drug abuse, they understand the risks, and the occurrences are few and far between, I believe it is appropriate.

Tobacco, I have a serious issue with, that is just now beginning to lessen. Both of my parents smoke, and I despise anything to do with smoking. A few close friends smoke, and I am forever telling them to quit. And let’s face it, kissing a smoker tastes nasty.

However, my high priest smokes. When yelling at him for smoking, he responds to me that because he is Native American, he is worshiping the earth and receiving its gifts each time he smokes.

He worships the earth a lot.

If you’re addicted to the nicotine in any form of tobacco, remember: tar, lung cancer, emphysema, and death come along with it.

I guess that brings me to my final point. This entire time, we have been skirting around the edges of a very important concept: Personal Accountability. In the end, it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you understand the risks and accept the consequences for your actions.

“An’ it harm none, do what ye will” applies to the self, too.

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7 responses to “Drinking and Drugs within Wicca

  1. I love your article, and love how you respect those of us who choose to indulge in what we want, but for you, you say that because so many things are illegal in this country, you’ll never try stuff. Things are not illegal because they are actually harmful, I mean beer and alcohol is soooo much worse than most party drugs, but you dont partake in those either.

    I just dont want you to be on your knees to this country.

    and “obey the laws of the land?” where did you get that from? since many of our laws are against paganism, or at least used to be, I guess don’t be pagan.

  2. I´d be curious, just to ask, how acceptable is it to use marihuana for example at local Pagan retreats or festivals, where you live? (I´m from Central Europe.)

  3. Hey Noira –

    I’m assuming that as marijuana is illegal in the United States, use of it at public, local Pagan retreats would not be allowed.

    I’ve never allowed marijuana at pagan events which I have organized.

    The last thing we(Pagans) would need as a group of people trying to establish ourselves as a legitimate class of people, would be to be incriminated for illegal drug use.

    Is it different there?

  4. Well that´s what I´ve guessed… that US Pagans are very much concerned about becoming respected (e.g. the efforts to register Pagan churches etc.) Here, on the other hand, it can´t be said that there would be some universally agreed upon efforts of this kind. Also, some legal precedents have been establish to completely end the persecution of marihuana, so it´s not “that illegal”… I think only selling marihuana and “drug fabrication” is illegal, not growing. Also local Pagan community is remarkably young and homogenous as to age distribution. Our laws concerning alcohol are not as restrictive as in the States, if it´s not a restaurant that´s selling to the underaged.

    Also, the difference may be, that as to my knowledge there aren´t any truly public Pagan events here.

  5. “Obey the laws of the land” The only place I’ve heard that from is the Christians, but that’s the good thing about being Pagan, if something doesn’t make sense you can change it to where it does. And I agree on both the alcohol and marijuana use. If your underage, don’t drink, but in a ritual a small amount won’t hurt. I’ve never been found of the taste either. As for Marijuana, for me, it’s the plant of Freya, so I use it to become more in touch with her when needed in specific events, I have used for recreation, but not in excess, but moderation. The last time I used it was 3 months ago

  6. Wow, I thought the pagan community would be more pro marijuana (I’m a freethinker, more Liberal Christian/Zen dabbler than anything). I guess thinking about one’s credibility if one is part of a marginalized people group.

  7. i am a traveller down the crooked path, and would honestly classify myself as quite the stoner. i partake for revelry almost any time, but tend not to use it so much for ritual. i forget everything too easily, and am very clumsy. besides, there are much better entheogens for ritualistic consumption. even alcohol, which usually goes down better at an after party, or certain wild, orgiastic celebrations.

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