Working the Poison Path : Poisonous Plants for Witches

When looking at a medicinal understanding of poisonous plants, we can see that within their toxic cocktail of chemicals, there lies the capacity to create great medicines as well as lethal weapons. The archetype of the witch relies upon 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 within the same whole. For this reason, poisonous plants are positioned as particularly useful allies to witches, for they speak the same morally-ambiguous language as we do.

By exploring a select few of these poisonous plants, we will illuminate this two-handed approach to witchcraft, and uncover the path of working these deadly allies in ritual, medicine, and craft. We will explore the mythology, history, and science of poisonous plants, providing an informed pathway for further exploration of their spirits in your personal work.

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Melissa Madara is a occultist, author, and educator, teaching magic and witchcraft from a historical perspective. Their work deals with the healing power of myth, divination, and immersion in the natural world, with an emphasis on plant folklore and historical formularies. Melissa is the curator of Moon Cult, an online community of curious witches who learn and practice together. Find Melissa’s interviews in the New York Times, Vice, Broadly, Teen Vogue, or Refinery 29, or see their published works in Fiddler’s Green, Venefica Magazine, or their two books, The Witch’s Feast & The Witch’s Workshop. Follow Melissa at or on IG @saint.jayne

Curated & Hosted by

Amy Hale is an Atlanta based writer, curator and critic, ethnographer and folklorist speaking and writing about esoteric history, art, culture, women and Cornwall. She is the author of Ithell Colquhoun: Genius of the Fern Loved Gully (Strange Attractor 2020) and is currently working on several Colquhoun related manuscripts. She is also the editor of Essays on Women in Western Esotericism: Beyond Seeresses and Sea Priestesses (Palgrave 2022). She has contributed gallery texts and essays for a number of institutions including Tate, Camden Arts Centre, Art UK, Arusha Galleries, Heavenly Records and she is a curator and host for the Last Tuesday Society lecture series.

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6th Aug 2024 8:00 pm - 09:30 pm

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