Church of Gnostic Luminism


VIII. Sacraments


Luminist Manifesto: Sacraments of the Church of Gnostic Luminism


Entheogens (Psychedelics)

The Church of Gnostic Luminism will recognize the sacredness and spiritual efficacy of certain herbs and chemicals that can be used to expand human consciousness, enhance intuition, awaken the creative Imagination or Genius, and facilitate the inward focusing of the attention that is the prerequisite for Gnostic Illumination. 

From the beginning of recorded history, religious traditions throughout our planet have known of and used psychedelic plants and chemicals as material aids to religious practice, or sacraments. Taoists of ancient China, Hindus of India, and the ancient religions of Ethiopia and Egypt are known to have honored and used cannabis and other sacred herbs. 

Other ancient cannabis users included the Persian Zoroastrians (a/k/a the Magi), and the Scythians, whose use of cannabis in funeral rites is described in the Histories of Herodotus.

The Sanskrit Vedas, among the Earth’s oldest extant sacred scriptures, speak of Soma, a psychedelic elixir which may have contained cannabis and / or psilocybin or other psychedelic mushrooms.

The ancient Greek Initiate movements, including the Dionysian, Elusinian, and Delphic, combined “secret herbs” with their ceremonial wine, perhaps including ergot, the source of lysergic acid from which LSD is made.

The ancient Hebrews evidently knew of the spiritual uses of cannabis, and in fact the Greek word cannabis may ultimately derive from the Hebrew kaneh bosm, literally “sweet cane,” given in the Bible as an ingredient of Yahweh’s “holy anointing oil” (Exodus 30:23).

Many indigenous religions of the Americas used peyote (mescaline), “magic mushrooms” (psilocybin), and certain types of Morning Glory plants, which contain forms of lysergic acid.

In the early centuries of the common era, the Buddhists of Tibet honored Cannabis and used it as an aid to meditation and illumination, as did the Sufi and Ishmaili sects of Islam.

In India, Patanjali cited “the yoga of light containing herbs” as one valid path to mystical attainment in his Yoga Sutras (recognized by our Church as being among the canonical scriptures).

In the medieval and renaissance period, many of the persecuted “witches” were users of the sacred herbs, including the hallucinogenic daturas and nightshades as well as Cannabis and many others.

The alchemists of Europe respected the Elixirs of Light, and Paracelsus places Cannabis at the head of his list of spiritually efficacious herbs.

The Coptic Christians who fled to Egypt to escape Roman persecution in the first century used Cannabis as a sacrament from the beginning, and still do to this day.

There are a number of other extant religions that recognize the spiritual use of psychedelics, some officially incorporated and recognized by the State, and others awaiting relief from persecution to take their rightful place in the public forum.



Prohibition and Persecution

The use of psychedelic sacraments has clearly had a valid place in human religious tradition since history began, and before. The U.S. Constitution clearly states in its First Amendment that...

 Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. 

The “controlled substance” prohibition laws of the present era are a blatant violation of this constitutional protection. Under the guise of protecting the public, they prohibit the free exercise of this ancient and honorable religious tradition.


The prohibition laws are not valid law: they are criminal acts perpetrated under the color of law by an outlaw regime that has subverted and corrupted the American democratic tradition and made a tyrannical mockery of it.


The Church of Gnostic Luminism will utilize every valid means of seeking redress from this unconstitutional policy of persecution, by working within the established systems of legal appeal and public discourse, in order that our constitutional right to practice our religion may be properly recognized and honored by the State. However, in the event that such redress is not obtainable from the present regime, the Church of Gnostic Luminism will also affirm, in this connection, the sacred tradition of Civil Disobedience that was honored by Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, Henry David Thoreau, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and Mahatma Gandhi. As it is written:  “We ought to obey God rather than men.”

Proper Uses of Psychedelics

The consciousness-expanding herbs and chemicals are powerful tools, and, like all tools, they can be dangerous if they are used inappropriately. Proper training and preparation are important. 

Looking forward hopefully to a more libertarian future, the Church of Gnostic Luminism will develop plans for such training for aspirants to the Yoga of Light Containing Herbs. A goal will be the establishment of a monastery and a Holy Order of Light. An underground tradition of psychedelic science has developed over the decades, originating before the “legal” prohibition of LSD began in 1965; and the Church of Gnostic Luminism will draw upon this body of lore for guidance, along with the experience and teachings of the established psychedelic churches.

Recognized Sacraments

Among the substances recognized as Holy Sacraments by the Church of Gnostic Luminism will be the following:

  Mescaline and the plants in which it naturally occurs, including the Peyote and San Pedro cactus;

and its natural plant sources, including the “magic mushrooms” known to the Aztecs as Teonanacatl;

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and the plants which contain its natural precursors, including Ololiuhqui (the Aztec name for the sacred flowers that are botanically named Rivera or Turbina carymbosa and are commonly known as Morning Glories), the Hawaiian Woodrose flowers (Argyreia nervosa), and the ergot or Claviceps purpurea, a purple fungus that grows on rye;

Cannabis: all plants of this genus, and all psychoactive derivatives therefrom;

Ayahuasca and its constituent chemicals, including DMT, and their natural plant sources;

The Bufo alvarius toad and its “venom”; and

Salvia Divinorum, the Diviner’s Sage.




The Luminist League

Luminist Archives

Luminist Productions

Luminist Bookstore