Millions of people are flooding into rural areas of Oregon and Idaho this weekend to prepare for the total solar eclipse happening on Monday, August 21st. The eclipse will create a 73-mile wide “path of totality,” creating over two minutes of complete darkness as the moon passes in front of the sun, casting a shadow over the earth. A rare cosmic phenomenon, the United States has not seen a total solar eclipse since 1979 and will not see one again until 2024.
When it comes to cosmic, cannabis-friendly events, we are about to experience nature’s best. As described by Rick Fienberg, a spokesperson for the American Astronomical Society (AAS), “It brings people to tears. It makes people’s jaw drop.”
During a total solar eclipse, the sun’s outer atmosphere, called the corona, becomes visible to the human eye. Some describe the sight as “great jets and ribbons of light, twisting and curling out into the sky.”. Leading up to totality, observers will see the moon’s shadow moving toward them across the landscape - daylight will become twilight for about two minutes - and then the band of darkness will move away.
Even without a big event like an eclipse, cannabis can inspire spiritual musings on outer space and the meaning of life. Just as reflecting on outer space can remind us of our place within the larger order of the universe, cannabis expands our perspective, encouraging us to view reality from a metaphysical standpoint.
Clint Werner, eclipse chaser and cannabis author, describes why the combination of the eclipse and cannabis is special for him; “Each eclipse is, for me, a mandala of cosmic intentionality. Marijuana enhances my reflection on existence and our relationship to the Universe and infinity, while a total solar eclipse gives form and expression through nature to those stoney musings.”
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The eclipse will be visible from many states across the country, as it passes through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. NASA has created an interactive map which allows you to search for viewing areas. Offical warnings have been issued for eclipse-chasers to travel well-prepared with food, fuel, and water, as the rural towns that fall within the best viewing areas may run out of resources.
Within cannabis-friendly states, there are quite a few eclipse events that offer an opportunity to gather with like-minded cosmic travelers.
Perhaps the largest event happening, this week-long music and art festival has multiple stages and a massive line-up of musical acts, interactive art, seminars, and more. A collaboration of ten different festival promoters, the event takes place at Big Summit Prairie, on the coast in Oregon’s Ochoco Forest. With thousands of revelers in attendance, this is the place to see and be seen.
Hosted by High 5 Tours, The Stoner Eclipse is a three-day field trip, transporting eclipse viewers to a special camp in Unity, Oregon. During the six-hour bus trip, participants will have the opportunity to test out cannabis products and learn more about strains and the art of joint-rolling.
Viewable from anywhere with an Internet connection, NASA will air a four-hour show Eclipse Across America complete with live footage of the eclipse, and coverage of the events happening in parks, festivals, and museums across the country.
photo credit ericteske.com
If, like me, you have decided to avoid the eclipse-chaser crowds and stay home instead, you can still make the eclipse a special event for yourself or a small gathering of friends. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a traffic-free, peaceful journey. Here are a few ideas for creating your own ritual for using cannabis around the upcoming solar eclipse:
- Choose your cannabis: Prepare ahead of time by having your favorite strain of cannabis or favorite product on hand. Consume mindfully either before, after, or during any of the following recommendations.
- Set an intention: This eclipse season is a time for turning inward and reflecting on our personal journeys. Take a moment to think about what you want to release from your life and what you want to bring into your life. Then write it down, say it aloud, or say it inwardly.
- Light candles and incense: Set the mood and enhance your senses with scents and lighting.
- Create music: The choice of music is a personal one - use it to create the atmosphere you desire. For meditative sounds, there are many recordings available online of Tibetan singing bowls, bells, and mantras. You may also choose to make your own music using whatever instruments you have at home.
- Meditate or Pray: Repeating mantras or prayers is another powerful way to manifest your intentions. Many spiritual cannabis users pray to Shiva. You may also choose to speak to the sun and the moon directly. Take a moment to be quiet and let your thoughts go, letting the cannabis guide your inner journey.