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Poisonous Plant Medicine | Week 3 : Datura & The Persephone Myth: Healing Through Psycho-spiritual Death & Rebirth

Week Three

Datura & The Persephone Myth: Healing Through Psycho-spiritual Death & Rebirth

“God’s presence is there in front of me, a fire on the left,

a lovely stream on the right.

One group walks toward the fire, into the fire, another

toward the sweet flowing water.

No one knows which are blessed and which not.

Whoever walks into the fire appears suddenly in the stream.

A head goes under on the water surface, that head

pokes out of the fire.

Most people guard against going into the fire,

and so end up in it.”

– Rumi 

Persephone is both the Greek goddess of flowers and Queen of the Underworld - what a beautiful dichotomy! After she was kidnapped by Hades, he gifted her a shade garden of plants able to grow in the darkness of the Underworld, filled with the plants included in this course. The Persephone myth is a powerful analogy for what happens when we walk through the fire of our pain and emerge on the other side, newly reborn. In today’s class I will share the Persephone myth and explain how we can apply its lessons to our own lives.

Datura has historical uses that span the globe, from being holy to Shiva worshippers in India, to being worshipped as a God by tribes of Western North America and the Huichol of Mexico, to being one of the ingredients in the famous witches flying ointments. We will also discuss Brugmansia, a close relative of datura sometimes referred to as “tree datura” heralding from South America. Brugmansia’s ethereal, pendulous bell-shaped flowers have historically been added to ayahuasca brews and is grown commercially for pharmaceutical medicines.

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