Madame Helena Blavatsky discovered the drug hashish when she was in Cairo, which of course influenced her writings. She in fact became addicted to this drug. She used the drug to help her contact the spirit world, which was a common practice in ancient pagan times.
In Ancient Greece, for instance, we see the practice of Spiritualism and the use of drugs in the Greek Oracles at Delphi. Many of the gods that were worshipped by the Greeks were thought to be the dead who had evolved into godhood, and who thus were able to give them advice and counsel in their own quest toward godhood. In other words, the Greeks did what New Age Spiritualists do today, they endeavored to communicate with the "Star Gods" or the Great Masters who supposedly were the highly evolved and deified spirits of the dead!
In Ancient Greece, there were many shrines built for the gods. One of the most important of these was the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Here, a Priest took the questions the people asked about to the Oracle, or "Pythia," as she was called. "Pythia" came from the word "python" or the python snake. Often, "sacred serpents" would attend the Greek Oracle who were presumed to deliver messages from gods, through her, to the people. The Greeks worshipped the serpent, just as the Babylonians did, because it was the Serpent or Satan who was supposed to have given "forbidden knowledge" to Eve in the Garden. The Greeks thirsted after the "knowledge of the gods".
Before the Priestess would convey the messages from the Spirit World, she first had to chew upon hallucinogenic leaves or be surrounded by trance-inducing vapors to put her into an altered state of consciousness. Thus we see time and time again that in the Mystery Religions of Ancient Egypt, Greece and Babylon, the objective was always the same- to put oneself into a hypnotic trance, become possessed by the spirits, then to commune with the gods, which in reality were Demons!
Manly P. Hall, the occult writer, tells how Blavatsky knew just what to use the drugs for:
"Egyptian priests discovered herb extracts by means of which temporary clairvoyance could be induced, and they made use of these during the initiatory rituals of their mysteries. Shortly after the drugs were administered to him, the neophyte was attacked by a spell of dizziness. He found himself floating through space, and while his physical body was absolutely insensible (being guarded by priests that no ill should befall it) the candidate passed through a number of weird experiences, which he was able to relate after regaining consciousness.
"In light of present day knowledge, it is difficult to appreciate an art so highly developed that by means of draughts, perfumes, and incenses, the mental attitude desired could be induced almost instantaneously, yet such an art actually existed among the priestcraft of the early pagan world...
"Concerning this subject, H.B. Blavatsky, the foremost occultist of the nineteenth century, has written: 'plants also have like mystical properties in a most wonderful degree, and the secrets of the herbs of dreams and enchantments are only lost to European science, and useless to say, too, are unknown to it, except in a few marked instances, such as opium and hashish. Yet, the physical effects of even these few that open the human system are regarded as evidences of a temporary mental disorder.
"The women of Thessaly and Epirus, the female heirophants of the rites of Sabazius, did not carry their secrets away with the downfall of their sanctuaries. They are still preserved, and those who are aware of the nature of soma (a plant whose juices induce a hypnotic trance-like state) know the properties of other plants as well.' (from Blavatsky's book: Isis Unveiled)
"Herbal compounds were used to cause temporary clairvoyance in connection with the oracles, especially the one at Delphi. Words spoken while in these imposed trances were regarded as prophetic. Modern mediums, while under control as the result of partly self-imposed catalepsy, give messages somewhat similar to those of the ancient prophets, but in the majority of cases their results are far less accurate, for the soothsayers of today lack the knowledge of nature's hidden forces.
"The Mysteries taught that during the higher degrees of initiation the gods themselves took part in the instruction of candidates or at least were present, which was in itself a benediction. As the deities dwelt in the invisible worlds and came only in their spiritual bodies, it was impossible for the neophyte to cognize them without the assistance of drugs which stimulated the clairvoyant center of his consciousness. Many initiates in the ancient Mysteries stated emphatically that they had conversed with the immortals and had beheld the gods." Secret Teachings of all Ages, Manly P. Hall, pg. CXII
In Spiritualism, different methods are used to induce a trance-like state, otherwise known as altered states of consciousness for the purpose of making the Spirit Medium vulnerable to the spirit world, that they might receive messages from the "other side". Followers of the New Age Religion apply several methods, such as hypnosis, drumming, biofeedback, Eastern Meditation, and visualization, to put them into this same trance state, for the purpose of contacting the spirit world!
Just like the ancient Pagans used drugs to put themselves into altered states of Consciousness; so do New Age Believers today use not only drugs, but also these other methods of contacting the Spirit World. Many of these same methods were used in the Ancient Babylonian Mystery Religion, such as hypnosis and repetitious sound. We will look into various ways that these pagan practices are making their way into our modern Society, and even into the professed Churches of God!
Thus, we have the root of the modern-day Spiritualistic New Age Movement! And even though these demonic presences may change their appearance, such as into the form of the "Great Masters," communication from these Spirits will nevertheless become more and more prevalent as time goes by. Therefore, we should study the nature, character, and extent of this spiritual wickedness in high places, lest we become the dupes of the powers of darkness!