The roots of witchcraft A study of the effects of hallucinogenic plants can explain much about sorcery and demonic possession through the ages Some scholars blame ergot poisoning of both victims and perpetrators for the Salem ‘possessions’. As well as witches, Jews and magicians, the medieval church, state and common people feared astrologers, alchemists, mathematicians, geometricians, herbalists, heretics and even those who could read the Greek alphabet. The Solanaceae family of datura, nightshade, Belladonna, henbane, wolfsbane and mandrake give the sensation of flying when rubbed into the mucous membranes of vagina or anus as on a broomstick — and are heart-stopping poisons when ingested in even small amounts. An ... —The role of hallucinogenic plants in European witchcraft.“ In M. J. Harner, ed., Hallucinogens and Shamanism Oxford: 125-150 Cross-cultural Perspectives III 1 . Until the mid-1960s many historians believed witchcraft was a pre-Christian pagan fertility ritual, witches worshipping the Horned God, whose consort was the Triple Goddess. This species played the largest role when it came to hallucinogens throughout and before the Middle Ages. His study, by ideological necessity, makes no reference to the historical and modern evidence that European witches used hallucinogenic drugs which produced psychedelic sensations of flying, time-space displacement, transformation into beasts, and close encounters, often sexual, with man-beast therianthropes such as the god Pan. Syrian Rue – Soma, Hallucinogen and Ancient Herb, Botanical Shaman 2020 . Mandrake has not been rivaled by any other plant or herb in terms of history of use and value in culture throughout European folklore. Hutton dismisses Frazer’s Golden Bough in a line. 26. Mandrake emits a really sweet and attractive scent from its yellow berry. would be found across disciplines. Hutton is in denial: the witches were whacked out of their gourds on a whole Glastonbury of hallucinogenics: they knew about poisons and how to administer them; they provided love philtres and abortifacients.They were, in fact, curanderas, ‘wise women’ deeply versed in the herbal lore their ancestors had learnt from ancient Iberian-British aboriginals, a.k.a. By logical extension magic and magicians have to be considered ‘social constructs’ and pagan religious relicts surviving into the Christian period are out too. The Maya drank balché (a mixture of honey and extracts of Lonchocarpus) in group ceremonies to achieve intoxication. 125-150. Ritual enemas and other psychoactive substances were also used to induce states of trance. They were ‘tall and fair’ in Norse and Celtic mythology. Two of many studies on witches’ drug-taking are The Witches’ Ointment by Thomas Hatsis and Essential Substances by Richard Rudgley: neither are in Hutton’s bibliography, which contains no reference works at all on the subject. When you see a photo of a drunken, tattooed yob vomiting in the gutters of San Antonio, watched by a spaced-out chick in a weird hat capering about with a spliff in one hand and bottle of sangria in the other, it’s not decadence, merely modern British elf and witch doing their midsummer solstice thing. Mandrake contains a good lot of tropane alkaloids hyoscyamine, scopolamine, atropine, cuscohygrine, and mandragorine. Moreover, it is no secret that some “notorious” substances played a hallucinogenic and psychotropic role too. Many herbalists were women living in rural areas where herbs were found and collected. Hutton’s are lo-fat weight-watchers, vanilla witches sans drugs, sans magic, sans pagan rituals, the sort you might meet at a Full Moon party in Ibiza, offering Bodyshop essential-oil rubs for 20 euros a pop. Most of us are quite familiar with the fact that Coca-Cola’s older variants (1886-1929) contained cocaine in varying amounts. a. Other unguents have been found to contain aconite or monkshood, cinquefoil and belladonna. Sir Francis Bacon (1561–1626) observed that ‘witches believe that they do that which they do not do, transforming themselves into other bodies, not by incantations or ceremonies, but by ointments and anointing themselves’. Then came revisionists led by Norman Cohn. Hutton mentions that in folklore witches danced with elves, but not that until Shakespeare’s day elves were full-sized men who married ordinary mortals. Professor Hutton is a follower of Cohn. Hutton also makes no reference to the cases of ergotism in the 16th to 19th centuries, this poisoning by the fungus on rye and barley called ergot, which when baked in bread changes into a chemical similar to LSD that causes visions and convulsions often interpreted as demonic possession. Even pagan magic and drug use in Neolithic Europe are not mentioned. email@example.com. Mandrake has not been rivaled by any other plant or herb in terms of history of use and value in culture throughout European folklore. Mandrake has one of the deepest, richest histories with providing medicinal value, recreational value and magical value throughout history. other aspects seen in the VMS. Mandragora (Mandrake) is a small perennial with no stem that grows less than 1 foot high. This combination is said to produce cardiac arrhythmia, which in a sleeping person would give the sensation of falling or flying. Couliano also mentions M. Harner "The Role of Hallucinogenic Plants in European Witchcraft" in M. Harner (ed.) Mandrake technically comes in six different species, but the most relevant was M. officinarum. The most notable advocate of this theory was the Egyptologist Margaret Murray. We are, most of us, descendants of the elves and witches. It is unknown when peyote was first used, but 16 th century reports by European explorers describe its use by Aztecs as a divinatory plant… There are normally small (slightly larger than an inch in length) flowers, white, blue, green or purple in color. Genetic sampling shows that 75-95 per cent of the pre-1950 population came from neolithic Iberians who walked here after the last glaciation receded and we were joined to the continent. Olmec, Zapotec, Maya and Aztec … This species played the largest role when it came to hallucinogens throughout and before the Middle Ages. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs Volume 30 (4), October - December 1998. They had kings and queens, lived ‘under hills’ (in turf-covered earthen Neolithic barrows), had great knowledge of potions and drugs, ‘danced by moonlight’ with witches, shot ‘elf-bolts’ (flint arrow heads) that killed at a scratch as they were ‘dipped in the dew of hemlock’. All arcane, occult knowledge was suspect. Ralph Metzner, Ph.D. PSYCHOTHERAPY WITHIN THE STANDARD WESTERN PARADIGM. Mandrake technically comes in six different species, but the most relevant was M. officinarum. Hallucinogenic Drugs and Plants in Psychotherapy and Shamanism. The Salem witch trials occurred in a wet, cold summer favourable to the ergot fungus: the next, hot and dry, produced no reports of demonic possession. interest. Of the 120 or more such plants found to date, over 100 are native to the Americas; the Old World has contributed a mere 15-20 species. Harner, «The Role of Hallucinogenic Plants in European Witchcraft», Hallucinogens and Shamanism (London, 1973), 124-150. To accept Hutton one has to excise the whole European herbal tradition, for herbalists have to learn about magic mushrooms and Solanaceae to avoid poisoning themselves and others. b. Elves were obviously pagan pre-Celtic ancient Britons. the elves. The reference I came across and those you It is really not very surprising to me Queen Elizabeth I’s astrologer, Dr John Dee, had his house at Mortlake and his library of 4,000 books burnt by an enraged mob which was terrified of his ‘conjuring’. When the fantastically potent mind-altering qualities of LSD were first discovered, at the height of World War II in a Swiss pharmaceutical !ab, they were characterized as … "Hallucinogens and Shamanism" (Oxford University Press, 1973), pp. Examination of witch trials suggested there had been no witchcraft: it was a ‘social construct’ of the Christian patriarchy persecuting innocent women, as it had innocent Jews indicted for the same satanic practices. Charles Lea "Materials towards a History of Witchcraft" (New York and London, 1957). Sliced redcap Fly Agaric looks like flesh. The redcap Fly Agaric mushroom, which appears in many pictures showing witches, was one such psychedelic, as was psilocybin. Hallucinogenic cactus, plants and mushrooms were used to induce altered states of consciousness in healing rituals and religious ceremonies. Hutton mentions that witches were accused of eating the flesh of babies, but not that in many cultures mushrooms are called ‘babies’ and ‘holy children’. Are they seriously delusional? This kind of explanation is what MIT students offer for the Jewish dietary laws b. There is in the worldwide distribution of the hallucinogenic plants a pronounced and significant discrepancy that has only inadequately been accounted for but which serves to illustrate a critical feature of their role in traditional societies. that the use of certain plants for their medicinal/psychedelic applications For example, sometimes people confess to practicing witchcraft. Probably the most famous New World hallucinogenic plant is peyote, a small, spineless, globose gray-green cactus native to the Rio Grande valley of Texas and northern Mexico. have mentioned may help fill some of the gaps in identifying the plants and a. At the time cocaine was considered a legal medicine, and it wasn’t the first drinkable product that used the coca plant in its formula. Powered by WordPress, Full Hallucinogen and Psychoactive Plant Lexicon, Hallucinogen and Psychoactive Plant Lexicon, Hallucinogenic and Psychoactive Plant Basics, Safest Legal Alternatives to Marijuana in 2020.