Belladonna & Henbane: Sex, Death, & The Unknown
Sex, death, and the unknown are profound aspects of human existence yet they are never spoken about. Poisonous plants will lovingly take us right into those oft avoided places. Almost all the poisonous plants we discuss through this series of classes have aphrodisiac qualities. Why would so many plants be connected with both our entry into life and our exit? These plants suggest that there is little separation between life and death, pleasure and suffering - and the best way to understand this is to explore the places that seem the scariest to our conditioning!
Belladonna, aka deadly nightshade, literally means “beautiful woman,” her latin name Atropa comes from the Greek fate “Atropos” whose job was to decide when each human life was to come to an end.
Henbane has many myths associating it with the Underworld, including its use in the wreaths that crown the souls of the dead as they descend to Hades. In European folklore it was used to attract lovers, and is still used for divination in communicating with the spirits of the Underworld.
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