Sex, death, and what is unknown are generally considered taboo topics of discussion. Poisonous plants will lovingly take us right into those oft avoided places. Almost all the poisonous plants we will discuss through this series of classes are aphrodisiacs. 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 go right to 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 it 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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