Please join Catland’s co-owner and garden manager Melissa Madara for this exciting introduction to the magic of poisonous plants!
In the biblical verse “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live,” the word given for witch is “venefica”- a term that is now understood to more closely translate to the word “poisoner.” When looking at a medicinal understanding of poisonous plants, we can see that within the toxic cocktail of compounds contained within these plants, there lies the capacity to create great medicines as well as lethal weapons. Indeed, so much of witchcraft involves incorporating this two-handed approach; embracing the capacity to hex alongside the capacity to heal, to cure and to curse, and to hold space for both understandings.
By exploring a select few of these poisonous plants, we will illuminate this two handed approach to witchcraft, and explore the path of working these deadly allies in ritual, medicine, and craft. We will explore the mythology, history, and science of 10 poisonous plants, many of which can be found in the Catland courtyard garden, and provide an informed pathway for further exploration of their spirits.
Melissa Madara is a co-owner at Catland, a folk witch & an herbalist. Her work deals with the healing power of storytelling, divination, and mastery of the natural world. She is a teacher at Catland Books and numerous other metaphysical spaces in NYC, and available for herbal consultations, tarot, and spellwork questions by appointment.