Summer is upon us, the sun shines continually now. Long hot days spent sipping on chilled hibiscus and mint brews, toe rings have replaced shoes, and I am usually forever found in my woods this time of year. But this summer it’s different, I find myself consumed with the poisonous plants that I grow. Tending to them, watching and taking notes on their reactions and growth, and learning their precious secrets… So most evenings you will find me on my deck amongst them, writing about their mysteries, magick and folklore. This will then be a series of blogs for some of the poisonous beauties that completely enchant me, and that I work with regularly. We shall start with the first wild spirit that cunningly made its presence known to me… The Devil’s TrumpetAlso know as Datura, Hell’s bells, the Devil’s weed, Thornapple, or the Devil’s cucumber… to mention but a few of her many names. More commonly known as Datura innoxia, Datura metel, and Datura stramonium, all belonging to the Solanaceae, and are the datura species that I currently grow and work with.
Although we know datura as poisonous deadly and cunning, what can harm can also heal. So medicinally speaking datura is an anti~inflammatory, an antispasmodic, anti~anxiety, antidepressant and more. This is due to the alkaloids atropine and scopolamine which are also in such Old World plants as Black henbane (Hyoscyamus niger), Atropa belladonna, and Mandragora officinarum (Black mandrake). I make an ointment of datura, and if applied topically can be used for tendinitis, rheumatism, arthritis, or any type of bruising, joint, tendon, or bone aliments. As a plant of Saturn we see how she brings endings to these aliments, but datura ointment can be used for magickal purposes as well.
Used as a flower essence datura is a plant that works with the coyote and wolf spirit, a true trickster, that can enhance shamanic journeys and meditations. Used in ceremonies for traveling out of the body to other realms. Datura facilitates seeing beyond our present view of reality to a more visionary state, opening the doors of perception to a more expanded experience of reality.
Now magickally is where I feel this Devil’s weed truly shines, the most obvious being as a fearless protector with it’s wickedly spiked seed pods, offering warding, binding, and a amulet to inhabit spirits… for those who know her gifts.
Datura is an herb of Venus too, an aphrodisiac, one who lures as a siren with a euphoric sedative scent, and strikingly enchanting beauty. A similar aspect of this allure is how datura is more than happy to flourish in our flower pots and window boxes, clever in the idea of keeping company with humans as an opportunity to interact with us …
With Saturn and Venus entwined together in this plant, work with datura for dark love magick, reckonings, reverse spell work, bindings, or hexes and curses involving love. Magickally Saturn’s influence on datura is with death, the underworld, borders, and spell work involving the crone. Some stop there with the planetary influences, but I feel the moon needs mention as well. Datura is a moon flower, she opens her captivating blooms at night, she is drawn to the moon beams instead of the suns rays, having night pollinators, as she releases her sweet intoxicating scent at night. Datura has connections with lycanthropy, lunacy, shape shifting and the wolf spirit, so she is indeed a wild, unpredictable, and at times insidious plant spirit.The moon brings datura connections of the trinity; the maiden, mother and crone, enhanced divination skills, and amazing dream states. On warm humid days I love nothing better than to sit with her out on my deck and inhale her bewitching bloom’s scent, then laying down for the most vivid and informative visions, a way we work together.
In essence know that datura is a truly Saturnian plant, for when working with her at some point she will show you her true darkness. Be prepared, for datura shows no mercy. The price one pays to work with this plant spirit deeply. So do not neglect her… ever. Treat her with respect, and just know of datura’s darkness if you choose to work with this magickal plant.