43rd Anniversary of 420

A  group of students at San Rafael High School in California became known as “The Waldos” because they could be frequently found sitting on a wall in the school yard they’d made their regular hangout spot. They could also be frequently found imbibing cannabis and were widely known as the school’s biggest potheads.

One day in late spring 1971, someone approached the Waldos in the schoolyard during lunch hour with a piece of paper on which had been scrawled a map of Point Reyes Peninsula. “My cousin is in the Coast Guard and he planted this patch of marijuana,” he said. “But he thinks his commanding officer is onto him, so he says anybody can go pick the patch.” The Waldos were very excited indeed. This called for an almost immediate “safari,” which is what they called road adventures. They especially loved Mexican safaris as they almost always produced weed. But it was never free like this! One or two Waldos had an after school activity, so they couldn’t meet immediately after school. And they had to meet as close to the parking lot as possible, so they could quickly pile into one car and head for the patch. So it was decided to meet at 4:20 pm at the statue of Louis Pasteur at the entrance to the parking lot. And for the next few hours, whenever they spotted each other in the hallway, they gave a little salute and said the words, “Four-twenty, Louie,” to remind each other not to miss the appointment. When they met at the statute at 4:20, they smoked a joint, piled into their car and headed off to seek the pot patch.

Younger kids in the high school picked up on the ceremony and began holding annual events at 4:20 at the top of Mt. Tam, but when they began making flyers and distributing them at local Dead shows in the Bay Area, the rangers shut down the April 20th ceremony.

But one of those flyers came to my attention when I was editor of High Times, and I immediately made 4:20 a central part of everything I was doing, which included The Freedom Fighters, the Cannabis Cup, the WHEE! festivals, and my daily routine at High Times.

http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Chakra-Candles/dp/B00BVMZ8U8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414952468&sr=8-1&keywords=candles+steven+hager

Charlie Manson’s OM War with Wavy Gravy

After serving 22 months in the Army, Hugh Romney attended Boston College on the GI bill and ended up studying the newly emerging improvisational theater movement (created by Viola Spolin). After college, he moved to Greenwich Village to become a comedian and was initially managed by Lenny Bruce while sharing an apartment with Tom Paxton and becoming close friends with Bob Dylan.

Before long, Romney moved to California and joined Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters. But when Kesey fled to Mexico under threat of arrest, fellow prankster Ken Babbs hijacked the magic bus Further, leaving the rest of the Pranksters stranded in Los Angeles. Romney soon discovered a nearby hog farm in the mountains was looking for a caretaker. In other words, a free place to stay. He set up a commune and called it The Hog Farm, which overnight became one of the most famous of the 1960s hippie communes.

Charles Manson drove out to the Hog Farm one day in the late 1960s. He arrived in his all-black tour bus. Manson had already made contact with one of the Hog Farmers, Shirley Lake, whose daughter Diane would eventually join the Manson family. After arriving at the commune, Manson gave Romney the title to his black bus and then tried to seduce Romney’s wife Bonnie Jean (today known as Jahanara) in a nearby shed. He was undoubtedly planning on merging his family with the Hog Farm and usurping Romney as the leader of the commune. Romney managed to break up the seduction and Manson retired to his black bus with his female followers in tow. Sensing Manson was channeling the wrong vibes, Romney gathered his troops and began an OM circle next to the bus. The OM circle is an ancient ceremony from India that may have originated with the original Soma cults  (See “The Soma Solution” by Chris Bennett, published by Trine Day). I believe it’s the best way to harmonize a group of people and ward off negative energy. The OM circle initially became popular with the Brotherhood of Eternal Love in Laguna Beach, and was later taken up by Allen Ginsberg, who used it as a force field to protect himself and others during the riots in Lincoln Park during the Democratic convention in 1968.

Suddenly, Manson burst out of the black bus, holding his throat, choking, followed by his female followers who were quite alarmed. They tried to stop the OM circle, as they believed it was killing their leader. Manson began leading his group in an evil OM to ward off the vibes coming from the Hog Farmers. Eventually, Romney was able to persuade Manson to drive away and not return. The following year, Romney would change his name to Wavy Gravy and become famous as the emcee of the first Woodstock festival. Manson’s family would soon become the most famous serial killers in the world.

Today, Wavy remains a master of improvisational theater, which involves a deep understanding of spirituality (energy). Improvisation can unblock energy clogs and release deep inner insights. If you ever get a chance to attend a Wavy Gravy improvisational workshop, jump at it. You won’t be sorry.

Manson, meanwhile, remains in a maximum security prison and had a parole hearing in 2012. When he entered prison, Manson listed his religion as “scientologist.” He kept an E-meter at his ranch. Many believe Scientology was created by military intelligence as a brainwashing and mind control operation.

The British offshoot of Scientology (The Process Church) ran an operation to capture prominent rock bands into their fold and became perhaps the scariest of all the creepy vibe masters that began to infest the counterculture immediately after it took hold of the younger generation, who’d just wiped away years of conditioning and propaganda with just one acid trip.

Ron Stark was affiliated with The Process Church and he went on to become the biggest connection for the Brotherhood of Eternal Love. Ron Stark, the Process Church, the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, these are all fascinating threads I hope to get into in future posts.

(This post is an excerpt from my book Magic, Religion & Cannabis, available on Amazon and Kindle, click the link below the video to order.)

 

Ghost Tokers in the Sky

(to the tune of “Ghost Riders in the Sky”)

A wake’n’ baker went walking one dark and windy day
He rested on a ridge, he passed along the way
A giant hookah came flyin’, o’r the hills above the town
He saw the smoke a comin’ and heard the strangest sound

hippie hi o, hippie hi a, it’s the ghost tokers in the sky

The buds had just been fired, and still looked nice and green
They dripped with oily resin, just like High Times magazine
His heart was stuck by fear as the hookah thundered by
‘Cause he saw the tokers comin’ and heard their mornful cry

hippie hi o, hippie hi a, it’s the ghost tokers in the sky

Their faces gaunt, their eyes all red, their shirts all soaked in sweat
They’re tryin’ hard to catch a buzz, but they ain’t caught one yet
They’re doomed to toke forever, but never will get high
chained to a fire-snorting hookah, as they fly by hear ’em cry

hippie hi o, hippie hi a, it’s the ghost tokers in the sky

As they flew on by he heard, one call out his name
“If you want to save your soul from hell, you better change your ways!
Cut down on constant smoking, or with us you will ride
And you will toke forever, and never will get high!”

hippie hi o, hippie hi a, it’s the ghost tokers in the sky

(copyright Steven Hager 2011)

http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Chakra-Candles/dp/B00BVMZ8U8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414952468&sr=8-1&keywords=candles+steven+hager

Energy comes in flavors

Spirituality is just another name for energy, and energy comes in flavors. And you can channel and amplify different energies, depending on what sort of spirituality you’re looking for. The hippies of the 1960s weren’t called “The Love Generation” for nothing. That was the energy flavor we were seeking to amplify and share, and we learned a lot about how to manifest that energy. Mainstream culture is dominated by what I call “warrior” energy. The biggest ceremony in the United States is probably the Super Bowl. Please don’t make the mistake of thinking sports isn’t “spiritual.” Everything in life is spiritual. If you put all the energy flavors together in one big energy stream, that’s god. God is the energy that flows through all things. It’s like an OM circle. When you are chanting an OM, there’s no bad note. You can’t sing off-key. That’s because the OM embraces every note. Most ceremonies seek to harmonize energy fields. In sports, any team plays better when they are harmonized. And they all have ceremonies to help with that process. When they stand in a circle, put their hands together and chant the team slogan, they are performing a ceremonial ritual designed to harmonize. There’s really little difference between those types of sports ceremonies and an OM circle. (Although I believe the OM circle is actually the fastest and easiest way to harmonize a group of people).

http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Chakra-Candles/dp/B00BVMZ8U8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414952468&sr=8-1&keywords=candles+steven+hager

A hippie looks at 60

(to the tune of “A Pirate Looks at 40” by Jimmy Buffett)
Mother, Mother planet
you make me feel so small
spring, summer, winter procession
and, of course the fall
We’ve done it all
We’ve seen it all

Now the winter worsens
birds fall from the sky
fish and frogs are dyin’
the bees are cryin’
what the hell is goin’ on?
somethin’s wrong
somethin’s wrong

Yes, I am a hippie
60 years too late
don’t tell the neighbors
or put it on facebook but
I used to live in the Haight

ran away to the Haight

got schooled in the Haight

Well, I’ve done my share of smokin’
inhaled my share of grass
breathed enough tar and gases
to fill a zillion bags
never meant to last
never meant to last

And I have been stoned now
for over ten years
rolling fatty after fatty
and drinkin’ some beer
but I need to stop smokin’
I’m practically chokin’
Need to stop smokin’
maybe, just a few days
for just a few days
(instrumental solo)

I go for sour diesel
or chemdog when I can find it
long as it’s kind bud
organic and well cured
you know, the super kind
just takes some time
just takes some time

Mother Mother planet
After all the years I’ve found
an occupational hazard is
when an occupation’s just not around
feel like I’m down
gotta head uptown
I feel like I’m down
gonna head uptown
(sound of vaporizer bag filling as music fades out)
copyright Steven Hager 2011

http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Chakra-Candles/dp/B00BVMZ8U8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414952468&sr=8-1&keywords=candles+steven+hager

Proof of God’s Existence

Religions are all rivers flowing to the same sea.

All matter is made of energy, and energy systems can harmonize (tune up). When you hug or kiss someone, your two energy fields (auras) are joined into a single field. Likewise, when you sit at family dinner, the family can harmonize into a single energy field and that’s one reason why family dinners can be crucial in raising well-adjusted children. The earth is a self-regulating energy system. Since my definition of god is “everything” and I believe there’s an energy field created by everything, I have no doubt of god’s existence. In Native American terms, the Great Spirit flows through all things. It makes no difference what name you put on this energy field, the fact it’s there is proof that it exists. I can’t really accept the concept of god as a white-haired gentleman who sits in the clouds with angels around him and sends people to heaven or hell.

http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Chakra-Candles/dp/B00BVMZ8U8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414952468&sr=8-1&keywords=candles+steven+hager

Who is Steven Hager and what did he have to do with 420?

Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 12.43.52 PMI’m a writer, journalist, filmmaker, event producer and counterculture and cannabis activist, and was born and raised in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.

My first start-up was in 1965. I created The Cap’n Crunch Courier, a humor xerox zine given away free at Urbana Junior High. Three years later, I created The Tin Whistle, a monthly newspaper eventually distributed in four high schools in Central Illinois. I obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater (Playwriting) and a Masters of Science in Journalism, both from the University of Illinois. After graduation, I moved to New York City, worked for a number of magazines before becoming a reporter for the New York Daily News. During this time, I began researching the hip hop movement of the South Bronx and sold my original story Beat Street to Harry Belafonte, and the film with the same name was distributed by Orion Pictures. In 1984, St. Martins’ Press released my book, Hip Hop, the first history of rap music, break dancing and graffiti art. I followed that book with Art After Midnight, an examination of the New York club scene and its influence on artists, primarily Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf.

In 1988, I was hired as editor of High Times magazine where I created the Cannabis Cup, the world’s most famous cannabis awards ceremony, and the Freedom Fighters, the first hemp legalization group. I also created a garage-rock revival band called the Soul Assassins (check out the music at http://theoriginalsoulassassins….). In 1990 I began promoting 420 as a counterculture ceremony and played a leading role in spreading the 420 phenomenon around the globe. I regularly appear at college campuses as part of a debate on the legalization of cannabis, alongside former New York DEA chief Robert Stutman. The event, known as “Heads versus Feds,” began in 2001 and has visited more than 250 colleges in over ten years, regularly drawing standing-room crowds. Bob and I are known as “The Ultimate Odd Couple,” and have become close friends despite the cultural gap between us.

UPDATE: When I started this blog in January 2011, I called it “stevenhager420” because it sounded a bit like “Taki183” and I was honoring the history of graffiti but mostly I wanted to plant my flag as part of the history of 420 because I was the first person promoting 420 as something that could help bring about legalization. The national hemp group I created in the late 1980s, The Freedom Fighters, held council at 4:20 PM for years before the numerology caught on and we successfully snatched the flag and Liberty Boy spirit from President Reagan (until the Tea Party snatched it back decades later). I blogged very little for the first year or so, but a couple years into it, I began using the blog primarily to share my deep political research. Some recently told me my title had become misleading because it’s not a blog about cannabis per se, although the disappearance of cannabis from religion is the major conspiracy I’m currently researching. Just a long-winded explanation for why I changed the blog name today. The tin or penny whistle was one of the most inexpensive melodic instruments invented and sold for a penny in England in the nineteenth century. It’s appropriate because I am a whistleblower, albeit a humble one. For the first year, the blog had 15 followers. Now I’m closing in on 10,000. I encourage you to check it out and subscribe because the feed is highly entertaining as well as enlightening. And please don’t get scared by the truth. The oligarchies have been running the show since the dawn of civilization, and true democracy may never appear in our time, but that doesn’t mean we can’t chart a course for future generations to follow. Without an understanding of political realities, there is no enlightenment. And enlightenment is fun.

http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Chakra-Candles/dp/B00BVMZ8U8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414952468&sr=8-1&keywords=candles+steven+hager

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