Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Healing Power of Johns Grass
A cat named "Šokolāde" in a birch tree.

Latvia is dying. Slowly but surely the country is going under financially, economically, and spiritually. In all these ways Latvia is going bankrupt.

1. For our financial untergang (demise) we may thank our banks, with the Scandinavian banks in the lead.

2. For our economical untergang we may thank our political parties, which are in essence corporate SIAs taking advantage of a law that allows a corporation to present itself before the law as an individual with all of an individual’s rights.

3. Our spiritual untergang is the result of Latvians having been forced some centuries ago to abandon their Gods, especially Saule and Jānis, and accept as their “religion” a foreign import from a Nevernever heaven. Indeed, the native Latvian’s self-sacrificial brother (brālis) and God Jānis (John), whose Feast occurs on Midsummers Eve, has been belittled and denied, and his feast day has been turned into a day for picnics and, no less, as a day for drunks. No institution (least of all neo-Christianity) is interested in returning Johns Eve to its original meaning, that is, a religious celebration. One institutional exception is the police. However, the reasons for the interest of the latter is to try reduce the carnage on Latvia’s roads due to drunk driving.

This blogger has been arguing for some time that the Latvian Gods Saule and Jānis (the former a mother figure, the latter her son) belong to a prehistoric religion, which we may call arch-Christianity. Saule’s daughters (meitas) are of course also Saule’s priestesses. John-Jānis is of course Saule’s priest. Women’s and men’s folk dresses still illustrate how these priests and priesteses dressed. Because these Gods and their Children (ordinary Latvian men and women) celebrated Johns Eve at Midsummer’s solstice, a time when many of the grasses are in bloom, Johns Day was known also as Zāļu Vakars (Eve of the Grasses, Krautabend in then mostly German Riga).

The current Latvian government in cooperation with the authorities in Brussels and elsewhere is exterminating Latvian small farm expertise in agriculture and decimating the ranks of small farmers by denying them crops that would enable them to survive. As a result, the Latvian countryside is experiencing a demographic crash. Latvian country people cannot survive under the puritanical yoke of its oppressive post-Soviet government, which is allegedly democratic, but exercises its formal powers against the interests of the people of Latvia.

One of the ways the Latvian President, the Saeima, its ministers, and the police (their executive arm) work against their people is to ban all healing grasses—if not explicitly, then implicitly—under the label of narcotics. Only the government with its overpowering neo-Christian bias is given the right to determine which of the healing grasses are not narcotics. This is how a traditional herb, known by Latvians as kaņepe (cannabis), which was used for its strong fiber as rope and packing sacks, for healing farm animals, and drunk at home as kaņepu tēja (cannabis tea) has been banned as a narcotic with allegedly hideous side effects. Moreover, the issue is presented as if there is no way for a government to institute an intelligent program of use for this herb, which—contrary to government and media propaganda—can contribute significantly to Latvia’s economy.

For one, cannabis is smoked mostly by youths, yet its traditional use in Latvia was as tea. In a poverty-stricken nation, where most of the elderly people cannot afford expensive medicines, cannabis tea serves not only to decrease physical pains and aches, but also to lower stress and a sense of isolation. It is a help to cancer patients in preventing nausea from treatment. There ought to be no obstacles in preventing the tourist industry to advertise “Johns tea”, while educating the public that this is the desirable way of consuming this relaxant. To maximize the economically beneficial effects from kaņepe containing THC, the government may limit the amount of land (say, 0.25 hectars) used in growing the plant. This would certainly be sufficient for home use and enough to entertain tourists on the farm the year round. As for policing the restrictions, the economic benefits should more than pay for it.

The Latvian government must reverse the laws against the growing of kaņepes (cannabis) on Latvian farms. This is the only way countryside people will be able to survive the catastrophic decline in the price of agricultural products and still keep the countryside populated by people living their lives above poverty, not to mention provide farmers’ with the wherewithal to educate their children.

The holy grass of Johns Eve [known as Jāņu zāle, but mysteriously no one now knows what specific plant or flower it refers to] served Latvians for many centuries. It served as recently as the 1930s as an agricultural product and home remedy. Cannabis and other grasses served the Johns and Latvian country people in many ways (we will never know how many). However, with the demise of Latvian folk-traditions and their replacement by neo-Christian mythology, the native healers were not only questioned, but often censored. The same people who today are destroying the quality of life in the Latvian countryside by declaring this ancient healing grass a poison denied the significance of the Johns Eve festival and lost the meaning of Johns Grass by design, that is to say, by mystification. Today we are led to believe that “papardes zieds” (the nonexistent blossom of a fern) refers to sexual orgasm. In truth, it is the creative pleasure derived from cannabis spiced beer or, more accurately, mead. Today most Latvians have forgotten that Jānis-John also used to be the God or Father of the Dead, and drinking mead or beer on Johns Eve facilitated contact between the living and their dear departed. . Anti-narcotic politics often is a whip against a people who are experiencing a decline, not to say degradation in their quality of life. In times past, when native people had only the yoke of slavery to bear, they were still free to use old and invent new customs according to need. The Latvian government of today, supported by the neo-Christian wing of America and its puritanical local cadres, insists that government must intervene and keep people from “sin”. This is a sure way to lead the Latvian people their death.

One of the industries in Latvia that is surviving the current economic crisis successfully is the pharmaceutical industry. It ought to be possible for the industry, in collaboration with an enlightened government and its law enforcement agencies, to design a program that allows the Latvian farmers and gardeners to raise cannabis and sell it to the tourists who come to the countryside. [Yes, I would exclude it from the city environment.] It is bunkum to argue that drinking cannabis tea will cause Latvians and their guests to begin consuming such “hard” narcotics as heroin or cocaine. When a people and their country is dying—as is the case with Latvia—it is a time to find ways to survive. A way to survive is to turn away from sentimentality and face reality with a realistic mind.

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