Poisoner’s Apothecary

Poisoner’s Apothecary February 17, 2016

It has been over a year since I decided I wanted to set up a web page that would serve as a kind of home base for me to share all of my writing, photos, and creations in one place.

The focus of this blog is mostly occult studies with some general religion thrown in.  My main area of concentration here is Traditional Witchcraft and its origins, practice, and present incarnation.  Much of this concentration is surrounding Veneficium, the use of poisons in magic and ritual, to induce trance or other desired effects.

Many of the authors that I have came to love write in depth on the topics of Traditional Witchcraft, the Witches’ Sabbath, and their mysterious “Flying Ointments.”  Michael Howard, Ronald Hutton, Paul Huson, Daniel Schulke, and Andrew Chumbley to name a few.  I have read a wide variety of authors and scholars that have written on these subjects, from actual practitioners to veteran scholars that are experts on the topic such as Claude Lecouteaux and for the prior authors such as Laurie Cabot, Raven Grimassi, and Robert Cochrane.

Over the years I have refined my study, and narrowed in on a more focused topic.  When I began my journey into the study of witchcraft, the Internet was my first source of information.  My studies started out very very broad.  As I would ravenously devour any and all obscure information I could find.  My first understandings of the occult came from Wiccan and neo-Pagan sources.  In the early 2000s these seemed like the most common sites around.  Full of individualized correspondences and homemade spells, many of these over general websites can be overwhelming to a beginner.  However, that is what I did for many years.

I studied everything from Wicca, Norse Paganism, elemental magick, nocturnal magick, herbalism, folk magic, Voodoo and anything else that could provide a sliver of genuine information. As my studies developed, I began to see that something was missing from the more modern and progressive spell work of the neo-pagan movement.  Many of the spells and rituals were either too out there and fantastic, or they seemed too much like New Age self help techniques.

I knew deep down inside I was seeking a dark and primal kind of witchcraft that would that felt more authentic, and embraced the traditional spells and rituals.  It was here that I began to discover folk magic.  The similar recipes, use of herbs and traditional objects, and practical nature that folk tradition provided was the more grounded tradition I was searching for.

Researching the various folk magic traditions, and recognizing their similarities such as the crossroads gave me the feeling of a more genuine vein of magical practice linked with historical tradition.  This led me to an in depth study of Rootwork and the formulations of conjure.  This met my needs for a time, and led me to the study of British Traditional Witchcraft, and the other magical traditions of Western Europe.

Traditional Witchcraft had the practicality and consistency of Southern   Rootwork, and it incorporated my Western European heritage.  I finally found the focus of my research and personal practice.

Now I begin the long journey of studying the writings of the authors of this genre, and analyzing their works in order to write reviews.  I finally feel as though I have completed a segment of my academic journey, where I have built a strong foundation on a wide variety of knowledge, and now I am able to narrow my focus and go much more in depth.

Traditional Witchcraft offers all of the things I require from a well rounded practice.  The cosmology fits with that of many other esoteric cosmologies.  The spell work uses traditional and time honored techniques and incantations that have built up power over the ages, and have a feeling of authenticity.  The focus on working with plant allies is a prominent part of traditional witchcraft, which is important to me since that is a large part of my practice.  Concepts of the Witch’s Sabbath, traditional flying ointments, veneficium, and the Witches God are all part of Traditonal Witchcraft as I understand it.

This blog is going to serve the purpose of sharing my research now that I have narrowed my studies.  Also, I plan to carry a small selection of high-end artifacts geared towards the Poison Path, which should be available by Samhain.


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