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Anointing Oil & Kaneh Bosem

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Jun. 10th, 2006 | 12:33 pm
music: Vir Unis-Resonate & Glow-BTW

There was a bit of activity on the Abramelin(sic)
Yahoo!-list the other day, regarding the identity of
keneh bosem, and I have pasted part of my response


See the entry "Exodus » Chapter 30", from
'Navigating the BIBLE', on bible.ort.org:

fragrant cane

Keneh bosem in Hebrew. Ancient sources identify
this with the sweet calamus (Septuagint; Rambam on
Kerithoth 1:1; Saadia; Ibn Janach). This is the
sweet flag or flag-root, Acoras calamus which grows
in Europe.

It appears that a similar species grew in the Holy
Land, in the Hula region in ancient times
(Theophrastus, History of Plants 9:7). Other sources
apparently indicate that it was the Indian plant,
Cympopogan martini, which has the form of red straw
(Yad, Kley HaMikdash 1:3).

On the basis of cognate pronunciation and Septuagint
readings, some identify Keneh bosem with the English
and Greek *cannabis*, the hemp plant.

There are, however, some authorities who identify the
'sweet cane' with cinnamon bark (Radak, Sherashim).
Some say that kinman is the wood, and keneh bosem is
the bark (Abarbanel).


See also the following dictionaries:

Hayim Baltsan ~ Webster's New World Hebrew Dictionary:
Hebrew/English English/Hebrew, 1994, ISBN: 0671889915,
pg. 650.

Eliezer ben-Yehuda ~ Pocket English-Hebrew/ Hebrew-English
Dictionary, 1961 [ re-issued 1989, ISBN: 0671688626 ],
pg. 140.

[ see also: Eliezer ben-Yehuda ~ A Complete Dictionary
of Ancient and Modern Hebrew, in 8 volumes; NY: Thomas
Yoseloff, 1960. ]

The modern Hebrew word transliterated as 'kanabos' is
translated as "hemp", the English word for cannabis.

Taken together, these dictionaries suggest that
cannabis : kaneh bosem : kanabos - and *not*
Calamus - is an ingredient of the original anointing
oil described in Exodus 30, if not an ingredient of
the anointing oils manufactured for Thelemites, &tc.

See, too, the entries regarding hemp in Abano, Wierus,
Agrippa, Lilly, &tc.

And for more along these lines, I recommend:

Claudia Muller-Ebeling & Christian Ratsch ~
Witchcraft Medicine: Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices,
and Forbidden Plants, 2003, ISBN: 0892819715.

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Comments {4}

ennui is for suckers


from: t3dy
date: Nov. 17th, 2006 07:51 am (UTC)

that's a great agrippa quote for the money! "it's an artists' drug." really says something about the dilemma: are potheads amotivated in the first place, or is it the baneful influence of saturn in the plant that makes people lazy? where in DOP?

I joked in my class today that the rosicrucian rule about "wear the garment of the country you're in" may be a reference to the hashishins' dissimulation tactic (pretend to be of another faith so as to infiltrate), and something about crusaders like CRC bringing back hashish mysticism

still wondering about the candelabra in khunrath's lab too... http://www.alchemylab.com/cannabis_stone4.htm

ever read Walter Benjamin's "rausch" stuff?

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