Marijuana And Other Rasta Symbols (Jamaica)

Channels

Community

resources

about us

Jamaican Culture

Marijuana And Other Rasta Symbols

Published May 23, 2003

Ganja (Marijuana)
Ganja was brought to Jamaica in the late 1800's by indentured East Indians, who were brought to the Island to work after slavery ended. Eventually it was outlawed and made illegal. The Jamaican environment and climate was the perfect place for the plant to grow.

The use of ganja in Jamaica is not unique to Rastafarians. Before Rastafari began, ganja was used by herbalists in Jamaica as a medicine in teas. It was also mixed with tobacco for smoking.

Ganja is considered the "wisdom weed" by Rastafarians, as its use helps one to gain wisdom. Rastafarians use it as a part of a religious rite and as a means of getting closer to their inner spiritual self, Jah (God) and Creation.

Marijuana And Other Rasta Symbols-Body-4

Ganja is also seen by Rastafarians as the herb of life mentioned in the Bible. Rastafarians use of ganja is justified by the following Psalms 104:14 that says, "He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle and herb for the service of man, that he may bring forth food out of the earth." Rastafarians also say it was found growing at the grave of King Solomon in the Bible.

Rastafarian consume it through smoking and eating (not recomended). The smoking of Ganja is a part of a religious ritual. When there is a large "reasoning" gathering of Rastafarians, a Chalice, which is a large smoking pipe, may be passed around and smoked. This is similar to the passing around of a communion cup by some Christian denominations. These gatherings are also called Nyahbinghi (also the name of a Rastafarian sect: Theocratic Priesthood and Livity Order of Nyahbinghi).

True Rastafarians do not smoke cigarettes as it is seen as un-natural and dangerous to one's health. Marijuana is not the only plant or herb used by Rastafarians. They use a wide variety of herbs, plants for medicinal and dietary purposes, however, ganja is the most popular.

The word Jah
Contrary to what you may read in many patois dictionaries or Jamaican related books, the word Jah is not derived from the word Jehovah. It is not "short hand" for Jehovah. Jah is from the King James Bible as another name for God like Elohim, El Shaddai and other names. It can be found in Psalm 68 vs 4 and can also be found in other verses depending on the Bible translations. In some translations Jah Jehovah is used.

This name for God has been popularized by Rastafarians and is now used by many in the mainstream Jamaican populations. Its use has become somewhat of a marketing ploy, as many use the term in songs and language to appeal to the general public because it can be portrayed as either the God of Rastafarians or Christianity. Evoking the name "Jah" can bring legitimacy to reggae artists, being that Rastafarians are associated with the music.

The Star Of David

Marijuana And Other Rasta Symbols-Body-3

It is used to symbolize the lineage between H.I.M. Haile Selassie and King Solomon.

The Conquering Lion And The Lamb

Marijuana And Other Rasta Symbols-Body-2

Symbolizes the lamb of God and the lion of Judah, which are both mentioned in the Bible.

Original Rasta Flag
The original flag of Rastafarians was Red, Black and Green. Red represented the blood of blacks that died in struggle to fight off their white oppressors. Black represented the color of black Africans skin. Green represented the vegetation of Jamaica and Jah's (God) earth.

Marijuana And Other Rasta Symbols-Body


Current Rasta Flag

The current flag is the old Ethiopian flag with the Lion of Judah symbol. The meaning of the colors in the Ethiopian flag is: red for the blood, gold for the minerals & resources and green for the land.

comments powered by Disqus

Comments

42 comment(s) on this page. Add your own comment below.

BRYAN KABAMBA
Aug 6, 2010 7:24am [ 1 ]

GANJA IS A NICE HERB WHICH JAH GAVE US, JUST AS HE GAVE US OTHER HERBS LIKE GINGER,GARLIC,ONION,E.T.C. AND WHOEVER IS AGAINST WHAT JAH GAVE US IS A FOOL.READ(GEN 1;29)

Ketourah
Aug 9, 2010 9:39pm [ 2 ]

ok

Bre Jensen
Aug 19, 2010 2:35pm [ 3 ]

I agree, Ganja was giving to us as an herb. It should merely be used as that. Those that take for granted the uses of this wonderful gift, need to be correctly taught of the purpose.

mwiine
Sep 7, 2010 9:30am [ 4 ]

Ganja is a good thing ...indeed a wisdom weed coz de more u take it de more u become wise

mr reggae
Sep 17, 2010 3:23am [ 5 ]

greetings my bethrens n sithrens...i is feeling irie...jst wanna khow dat is it posseble 4 i 2 b a rasta without the dreadlocks??

ndogosa the great
Sep 25, 2010 3:47am [ 6 ]

Real men Real rasta shd take ganja not these cigars coz ganja is nature, God given unlike cigars which are a risk 2 mans health

Jennifer
Sep 30, 2010 7:52am [ 7 ]

ganja as Bob Marley says is a flower and a Herb and God put it here and if he wants it to grow then what gives the goverment the right to say god is wrong???

avidbiblereader
Oct 10, 2010 10:49am [ 8 ]

The author of this site should do his homework. Elohim, is the plural form of GOD. it is NOT a name. In addition to that , Jah is the poetic abrreviated form of the Hebrew name of GOD. it uses the first two letters, Yohdh and he'. It's used in Ex 15:1,2 in the hebrew scriptures. Moses uses god's name and then follows up with Jah in a melody.

natty girl
Oct 13, 2010 8:43pm [ 9 ]

if you have the faith and you r a strong beliver in jah and not afraid or ashame to admitt that u r a rastarfarian

sony
Oct 20, 2010 3:57pm [ 10 ]

GANJA IS NOT GOOD FOR OUR HEALTH AND HYGIENE OF OUR BODY.

samantha campbell
Oct 28, 2010 12:54pm [ 11 ]

Greetings 2 ma people............i just wanna say:u don't have lock ur hair 2 b a true rasta,all that feeling comes st8 4m the heart.

desean wilder
Nov 3, 2010 8:33pm [ 12 ]

ok i have a question ive been listening to alot of reggae lately and started studying the rastafari movement and found it to be them way of life for me but the problem is im white so is it wrong?

david
Nov 11, 2010 6:40am [ 13 ]

weed is a gift from a brother make u think from the heart smoke weed every day peace out brothers WEED WEED

Colours
Nov 14, 2010 9:40pm [ 14 ]

Herb's all good no matter how you enjoy it brodda. So just chill and live and love

JOEL
Nov 18, 2010 1:03pm [ 15 ]

AM H.I.V POSITIVE FOR ALMOST 17 YEARS NOW AND THANKS TO JAH FOR THIS PURE MEDICEN THAT HELPS ME TO FOCUS..IT GIVES ME APPETITE AND I EAT AND SLEEP WELL..AND WITHOUT IT I WOULD LOST MY HEAD LONG TIME AGO .AS .GANJA WAS THE ONLY MEDICEN I HAD FOR MY H.I.V. WHEN THERE WAS NO OTHER MEDICEN..GANJA IS THE HEALING OF THE NATION..

daliebouy
Dec 13, 2010 4:51am [ 16 ]

THIS IS TRUE...........GANJA IS GD

Ginderrrrr!
Dec 16, 2010 7:56pm [ 17 ]

Ganja is not detrimental to health or mind. Just sayin. Are there any white Rastas? Curious.

420guy
Dec 23, 2010 7:05pm [ 18 ]

Weed is an inspiration it's a gift and it's so many more things that i just don't have words for, now i am a young person and if i told you how young i am and how much weed i smoked most people would freak out. I live in america and i'm not proud to say it there is so much good that marijuana can do for you it's unbelievable that a country can make it illegal. people like Gregory Isaacs and Bob Marley (Robert Nesta Marley) are my heroes and tommy chong and cheech marin. i'm may not be rastafarian but i support the belief a 110%.

Anonymous
Jan 6, 2011 1:03pm [ 19 ]

Just wanted to say that what people need to realize is that Rasta isn't just about ganja. The reason Rastas smoke it is not to alter their mood it is to open themselves up spiritually. Rastafari is a spiritual path, it's not just about getting high.

ganja
Jan 7, 2011 10:48am [ 20 ]

ganja is good to b wit in ur slef

ganja
Jan 7, 2011 10:51am [ 21 ]

i just change myslef rasta cuz i love da way they live life and dats wat i wanted.................. LONG LIVE RASTA

hollaman
Jan 28, 2011 10:16am [ 22 ]

herb is the healing of the nation which cleanses the heart and gives good meditation and is for medication........rastafarai

Neisha
Feb 21, 2011 8:46pm [ 23 ]

I dun haffi dread to be rasta

blunt boy
Mar 29, 2011 8:05pm [ 24 ]

Weed is not a drug it is a way to get closer to jah and open our selves up spiritually.what gives da gov. Da right to say other wise

xx
Apr 3, 2011 9:04am [ 25 ]

how do i cite this article

E- rasta man
Apr 9, 2011 11:01am [ 26 ]

i love smoking weed i am 16 years old an i have been smoking for the past 3 years now on a daily bases. i think ganja is a wonderful herb that God has blessed the earth with, i think when used in the right state of mind and at appropriate times it most definitely help one to find themselves spiritually an reach enlightenment. but the gov sees the herb being used as a tool to rebel with teens and adolescence witch it is. the herb is now commonly used as tool to socialize so to me in that sense its being misused. if you smoke by your self and smoke because it helps you become more intuned with your spiritual side then your smoking for all the right reasons. if your smoking just to look cool or to impress your friends just quit. you making the real pot heads look bad lol.

E- rasta man
Apr 9, 2011 11:04am [ 27 ]

i love smoking weed i am 16 years old an i have been smoking for the past 3 years now on a daily bases. i think ganja is a wonderful herb that God has blessed the earth with, i think when used in the right state of mind and at appropriate times it most definitely help one to find themselves spiritually an reach enlightenment. but the gov sees the herb being used as a tool to rebel with teens and adolescence witch it is. the herb is now commonly used as tool to socialize so to me in that sense its being misused. if you smoke by your self and smoke because it helps you become more intuned with your spiritual side then your smoking for all the right reasons. if your smoking just to look cool or to impress your friends just quit. you making the real pot heads look bad lol.

El chupa
Apr 21, 2011 6:42pm [ 28 ]

Why they use ilegal product. Why they dont do better things than sing Reagge and smoke weed. Thats not Wisdom. Blah Blah. (๏̯͡๏ )

Claudia
Apr 27, 2011 6:17pm [ 29 ]

I can see how Ganja is spiritual. Because spirituality is based on the truth that "We Are All One" No one is separate from God. He made us to learn about himself experimentally, Rasta's smoke to feel this "Oneness" I know this, and I don't smoke.

DavidBenYisrael
May 10, 2011 1:37pm [ 30 ]

Its about more than Ganja

mightyone
May 17, 2011 5:03am [ 31 ]

Greetings to ma bredens an sistrens i wanda why dem babylon against the international cuz i have neva heard anything bad bout it unlike ciggaretes an alcohol those damage may people and shorten life. They should be ilegal and GANJA be legalized cuz it's natural.

rickii
May 23, 2011 4:31am [ 32 ]

one love

BARRACK
Aug 10, 2011 4:02am [ 33 ]

ganja is good. God giveth it us,.

Elizebeth
Aug 10, 2011 12:36pm [ 34 ]

Rasta is not a set of rules, but a way of life, as long as you love life, love your neighbor as yourself, and love JAH above all things with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, you are living the life of a Rasta.

Mb
Aug 16, 2011 2:35am [ 35 ]

Weed is an all natural herb,so many positive uses

epafras
Aug 17, 2011 3:20pm [ 36 ]

ilike gaja thus why i am a rastahfarian

TITUS M O I
Aug 21, 2011 6:14am [ 37 ]

Ganja works for me and it works for others who belive in it as worked for bob marley so take it serious jah

Gustavo
Nov 24, 2011 9:15pm [ 38 ]

i am from argentina

Stoner
Dec 6, 2011 5:37pm [ 39 ]

Rare and precious benefits are lost through abuse. The benefit of opening the mind is easily lost when the mind is over opened. Once is enough, rather like making babies. Too many and people destroy Earth's ability to support Life.

Two of the most precious things you have are your Mind, and your Good Name. Guard them both. Stand for Truth against the World.

wangwe magabe
Dec 10, 2011 3:16am [ 40 ]

Ganja is a luck stuff. It shines a day with inner peace.

david
Dec 15, 2011 12:02pm [ 41 ]

respect and a thousand gun saluite to all rastafarian. while you are one never give up for jah is coming to res q you

wesley
May 29, 2013 7:58am [ 42 ]

i have that flag

Add a Comment

Please be civil.

(Use Markdown for formatting.)

Browse the latest articles

sitemap xml