A guide to safely working with the poisonous plants of the witches’ pharmacopoeia for magic, healing, and visions
• Explains how to work with baneful herbs through rituals and spells, as plant spirit familiars, as potent medicines, and as visionary substances
• Details the spiritual, alchemical, astrological, and symbolic associations of each plant, its active alkaloids, how to safely cultivate and harvest it, and rituals and spells suited to its individual nature and powers
• Shares plant alchemy methods, magical techniques, and recipes featuring the plants, including a modern witches’ flying ointment
Part grimoire and part herbal formulary, this guide to the Poison Path of occult herbalism shares history, lore, and practical information regarding the use of poisonous, consciousness-altering, and magical plants. Author Coby Michael explains how, despite their poisonous nature, when approached with respect and reverence, baneful herbs can become powerful plant allies, offering potent medicine, magical wisdom, and access to altered states and the spirit realm.
Detailing the spiritual, alchemical, astrological, and symbolic associations of each plant, the author explores their magical uses in spells and rituals throughout history as well as their active alkaloids. He focuses primarily on the Nightshade family, or Solanaceae, such as Mandrake, Henbane, and Thornapple, yet also explores baneful plants from other families such as Wolfsbane, Hemlock, and Hellebore. He also examines plants in the witch’s pharmacopoeia that are safer to work with but just as chemically active, such as Wormwood, Mugwort, and Yarrow.
The author shares rituals suited to the individual nature and powers of each plant and explains how to attract and work with plant spirit familiars. He offers plant alchemy methods for crafting spagyric tinctures and magical techniques to facilitate working with these plants as allies and teachers. He shares magical recipes featuring the plants, including a modern witches’ flying ointment. He also explores safely cultivating baneful herbs in a poison garden.
Revealing the magical secrets of the Poison Path, Coby Michael shows that although these plants can be deadly in nature, they are also wise spiritual teachers who can provide us with profound healing and bring us closer to the natural world.
Coby Michael is a practitioner of the Poison Path of occult herbalism and a cultivator of entheogenic herbs. He contributes to the Pagan Archives at Valdosta University, writes regularly for The House of Twigs, and maintains a blog, Poisoner’s Apothecary, on Patheos Pagan. He teaches classes and online workshops on plant magic, baneful herbs, and traditional witchcraft. He lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana.