Here are some of the poisonous plant spirits that I have been working with and what themes they have shared with me:
roots, ancestry, entanglements, protection, family histories, death, cycles of life and death
maternal lineages, creativity, the queerness of nature, plants as ancestors and teachers
heart-healing, Fae-spirits, altered states by observing nature, tricksters, playful
expansiveness, celestial, soul-opening, holding space, goddesses, big spacious energy
womb-healing, menstrual cycles, blood, dream magic
queerness, sexuality, androgyny, the skeleton, dancing with the dead
Lily of the Valley
astral, weightlessness, sacred spirals, winged-creatures, the blending of water and air
protection, boundaries, magical practices, milk, blood, cows, spinning, circles
Why poisonous plant spirits?
The poisonous plants are an enchanting part of European folk and witch lore. Knowledge of poison has long been associated with witches; edge-walkers in their kinship to medicinal plants, root cutting, and healing power channeled from the Otherworld. The poisonous plants are great teachers, showing us how to hold both the shadows and the light in a way that is tempered and whole.
A substance can be a poison in one potency but medicine in another–which further demonstrates the innate essence that is present when meeting these spirits. Aligning my spirit with these plants has tapped me into a stream that is very ancient and unearths the wisdom of the thoughtful integration of poison’s primordial shadows as power, healing, light, and protection.
In classes with my plant teacher, Kathryn Solie of Persephone’s Path, I have learned how to take spirit journeys into the underworld/otherworld guided by the plants. My awareness has expanded around the nuanced aliveness of the spirits of Nature while also illuminating the interwoven experiences that carry you deeper and deeper into life’s initiating mysteries.
My work with the plants continues to reveal to me a deepening understanding of my queer nature, unearth my shadow sides, heal around ancestral wounds, and awaken to the expansive spirit medicine that can be found in the poisonous plant spirits. These plant beings have become an integral part of my witchcraft and my greatest teachers.
I also give channeled plant spirit art readings in which I mediate messages from the plant spirit allies that are around you and give you advice on how to work with these plant spirits directly for your own plant, spiritual, or witchy path.
Here are some plant and herbalism book recs:
Pharmako Gnosis: Plant Teachers and the Poison Path by Dale Pendell
The Long Trip: A Prehistory of Psychedelia by Paul Devereux
Queer Ecologies: Sex, Nature, Politics, Desire – multiple authors
A Weedwife’s Remedy: Folk Herbalism For The Hedgewise by Kiva Rose Hardin
Herbal Rituals by Judith Berger
Ashkenazi Herbalism: Rediscovering the Herbal Traditions of Eastern European Jews by Deatra Cohen and Adam Siegel