All photos courtesy of Chris Bennett and Trine Day Press
The subject of history is a relative one. From details lost in a drunken game of scholarly telephone, to colonial atrocities downplayed by the textbooks of yesteryear, facts can be manipulated to support a particular argument, or omitted from the discussion entirely due to puritanical biases. In Liber 420: Cannabis, Magickal Herbs and the Occult, Chris Bennett’s exhaustive study of the role of cannabis and other psychoactive plants in the occult, we see that the history of dark spirituality — with its secret well of witches, “magick,” and potions — is no exception.
Despite what mainstream historians will have you believe, humans have been tripping for thousands of years, with psychoactive experiences of yore shaping many of today’s beliefs. Armed with Howard Zinn-esque candor, Bennett has set out to uncover an overlooked (or intentionally ignored) aspect of cannabis history that intersects with