I can hear the sibilant whispers of the Devil under a bower of large leaves and seductively fragranced flowers; they kiss my neck and ears as I gather my spring harvest from the venomous tree.
I spent Saturn’s night brewing a Witches ointment from Brugmansia, Honey, Beeswax and Coconut oil. The vapours alone were intoxicating and delightful. Witches ointments tend to contain the solanaceous herbs including Belladonna, mandrake, henbane and datura and in certain cultures Brugmansia is used for its trance-inducing effects and divination.
I have a number of Nightshades growing in my garden including Black Nightshade (Solanum nigrum), Datura (Datura stramonium) and White Angel’s Trumpet (Brugmansia candida). While I love and adore all Nightshades, my Brugmansia, is the one I offer most to my beloved Hound Gods, whether it be the leaves or the beautiful, pendulous, white blossoms. Brugmansia flowers and leaves are strung up on hooks against the walls to dry, and when they are ready they are crushed or kept whole in glass jars for various uses.
Venomous herbs do not suffer fools gladly and therefore precautions need to be taken when preparing any formulae. My willingness to travel the dark forest is not without its fear and apprehension, at any moment, like a coiled snake the venoms can strike me down and kill me. Because of the seductive allure to the otherside that these poisons possess I choose not to work with them when I am in a particular depressive state of mind, even if I cannot avoid them right outside my door. I share a close relationship with the poisons growing in the garden, and always try to learn as much as I can about their chemical makeup, their spirit, their personality and their traditional uses as I can before working with any of them.
Brugmansia is used in much the same way as Datura is for the purposes of divination and diagnosing illness. Consuming the leaves is said to allow one to see reality. Brugmansia Flowers can be consumed in the form of tea, and the leaves can be smoked and prepared as a cold Water extract.
The White Angel’s Trumpet has a serpentine nature, being seductive and deadly, poisonous and transformative, murderous and healing all at once. When I moved a few years ago, I had thought my Brugmansia had died, nothing was left but a rather dead looking stalk, and then seemingly out of no where she bloomed into a large gorgeous tree.
Angel’s Trumpet can be used in love spells, to ensnare and seduce lovers, just as the alluring scent seduces certain moths. It is also highly protective of Witches and can be grown near a entrance-way due to its apotropaic nature. As with all Solanaceae, Brugmansia can be used to curse, and with enough large leaves one can create a plant poppet of a poisonous nature. It can also be used to send nightmares to enemies. If on the other hand you are brave enough to traverse your own nightmares, it can be used to help you to face your fears. If you are unwilling to face your demons, it is best to leave Angels’s trumpet and her cousin Datura alone, Brugmansia has a very calming effect on me generally, but can also cause violent outbursts.
The Vapours from brewing the Flowers and Leaves, caused a sense of giddiness, my mouth was slightly dry with a strange tingle and tightness. The air around me was prickling with light. I felt a slightly narcotic affect as I was incredibly sleepy and fell asleep quite nicely and comfortably with no nightmares. October’s Full Bull’s moon saw the blessing and consecrating of the ointment in the name of Hekate and Anubis, for the purpose of prophecy, spirit flight and spirit communication.
Lavender infused Spirits
The moon is waxing and the garden is plump with seedlings, flowers, insects and birds. It is hot and although the rain has come a few times, it seems that we are in for a dry spring and summer. The air is zinging with moths and the occasional bee. I made a promise to myself that I would work more closely with my plant allies and my garden, that I would live more in the moment. Brugmansia always reminds me to appreciate the beauty of life’s sweet moments no matter how brief.
I remember when I used to bake and cook frequently for the harvests and sabbats, for the moons and for Hekate, and I am always saddened by a lack of inspiration, or will for the art. As a hermit there is little occasion for baking and cooking, but the spring and summer do bring on a dizzying, drunkenness sacred to my Lady Hathor. For this reason I decided to create a lavender infused vodka.
2 Tbsp Dried Lavender Flowers
I Lightly crushed the flowers and poured them directly into the bottle of vodka. I swirled it around humming softly and kept the tightly capped bottle in the fridge. After four days on The Full Bull’s Moon I strained the flowers out using cooking oil filters and a funnel. I did this twice to ensure no plant bits remained in the vodka. The infusion is quite strong but delightful, and perfect to use for offerings to the Gods and Spirits. I blessed the infusion and offered some to my Familiars and Gods.
“Root-cutting” Root-working has been a part of the ancient magical practices of many cultures, and is still practiced today among practitioners of traditional forms of magic like Hoodoo and Modern and Traditional Witchcraft.Root magic is particularly sacred to Hekate as a Goddess who holds sway in the Chthonic Underworld, and is part of my devotional work with Her. In Witchcraft, roots are used to command, curse and bless, drawing on the infernal powers of the Underworld and may also be used to draw on the powers of the Mighty dead in necromantic rites.
The Alraun is an example of Root magic whereby the roots of a Mandrake (M.officinarum/M. autumnalis), or other fleshy root is roughly carved into the shape of a human and fed milk, honey and blood. Essentially the Alraun is a familiar and is to be treated with respect and not to be neglected.
I came upon my roots while working in the garden pulling up weeds and re-potting plants which have gotten too large for their pots. Two fleshy roots for my use, straight from my own garden were gathered from the soil and laid upon my altar for feeding and drying. They have now been fed lavender infused spirits on the Full Bull’s moon and are in the process of drying. I have made and decorated a special box scented with lavender and lined in red felt in which to keep the Alraun’s once they are complete.