Tag Archives: poison

Toxic things

Nature is full of toxic things. Some of them will kill any of us, some will only make a few of us sick. Sometimes those same toxic things can be used for healing by those who know what they’re doing. The poisonous foxglove gives us the medicinal digitalis.

For some people, bee stings are unpleasant, while for others they can prove fatal. Even plants that many people find beneficial – like clove and garlic, can turn out to be toxic to some of us. I have terrible trouble with cloves. At the same time, I have a far lower reaction to stinging nettles than is normal.

What proves indigestible for one person, may be the best thing imaginable for another. What drives one body into violent allergic reaction may heal and nurture another body.

I think sometimes this is true with people, as well. Some people are toxic to anyone they encounter. Some people produce reactions in a few, and not in everyone. Some of the people in our lives come like bee stings, and a lot depends on whether we’re fatally allergic to that. Some people may contain nuts…

As with the rest of the poisonous natural world, sometimes toxicity in other people can act as a healing catalyst. Not that this necessarily lets them off the hook. Sometimes what we find toxic in others has more to do with what’s going on inside us in the first place than ever it does with them. But, just as I have to avoid cloves for my own wellbeing, there are also people it’s better if I don’t engage with.

We need to know what we find toxic, for our bodies and for our emotional lives. We won’t all find the same things affect us in the same ways. How you react is entirely yours to own and be informed by. You shouldn’t feel any more obliged to deal with a person who makes you uncomfortable than you would feel obliged to eat a food that does ghastly things to your insides. However, it’s always important to remember that your personal reaction may not be a measure of the thing as a whole. My allergy to cloves doesn’t make cloves a toxic, dangerous food that should be banned. My aversion to some people doesn’t make them terrible people, either.

However, my aversion to air pollution for example, is very different. None of us do well with polluted air. None of us do well with abusive people, or unsolicited physical violence. Some kinds of toxicity are limited and personal. Some kinds of toxicity aren’t good in any context or useful by any measure. If we can glean some good from a situation, it doesn’t make it any less toxic, it’s just a measure of our own determination to make something better.


By Wolfsbane & Mandrake Root

One of the things I particularly like about author Melusine Draco is her willingness to look at the darker side of things. There can be a tendency to try and airbrush Pagan history, to sanitise us for reasons of both personal comfort and wider public presentation, despite all the evidence that the human history of magic is not all peace, love and rainbow unicorns.

Poisoning and witchcraft have long been linked, and one of the things the book does is to explore those connections and whether it’s a fair point.

Wolfsbane & Mandrake Root explores the use of poisons in magic and in healing. Often plants with the capacity to heal are potentially poisonous as well – with much depending on the quantity deployed. It’s something of an antidote to amateur herbalism as it really demonstrates how easily a person can get this wrong, and some of the anecdotal tales about herb use recommended by the internet is truly hair-raising!

This is not a book designed for people to use it as a herbal workbook. It’s a good reference book, and because it’s what I do, l read the whole thing flat out, cover to cover. It was surprisingly entertaining and readable for a text clearly designed for the greater part to be dipped in and out of. If you like this sort of thing, it’s exactly the sort of book to read. If you firmly believe that all herbs are benevolent and that nature is kind, this book is going to give you some serious headaches.

More about the book here – http://www.moon-books.net/books/pagan-portals-by-wolfsbane-mandrake-root

If you like peering into the darker side, I can also recommend Melusine’s By Spellbook and Candle (hexing and cursing) – http://www.moon-books.net/books/pagan-portals-by-spellbook-candle


Fracking Insanity

Green MP Caroline Lucas has been arrested whilst protesting against fracking. More here – http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/green-mp-caroline-lucas-arrested-as-antifracking-protests-reach-fever-pitch-8774189.html

It seems, reading the article, that a ‘legal protest’ can now be defined as one that happens somewhere out of the way where no one is in any way inconvenienced by it. Which rather negates the value of protesting. If to be inconveniently in the way is to be illegal, gods help this country because we are in a lot of trouble just now.

There is a video in the newspaper link. You can watch for yourself and judge how dangerous, antisocial and in need of arresting for public order and safety these people are. This is a peaceful protest. It should, therefore be considered a legitimate protest, as I see it, and to send in the police is a travesty.
Of course no one in power wants the general public thinking about fracking. They don’t want us talking about the very real dangers to land and water supply. Or the way in which they’re having to pour money into fracking to make it financially viable. There’s a working definition of ‘not financially viable’ if ever I saw one. Even if money is your god and you care nothing for the state of the planet, it’s hard to see how you’d look at this and think it’s clever.

We only have this one planet. We all need clean water, breathable air, and most of us have no desire to have our lives shattered by earthquakes, which apparently are a possible side-effect of fracking. And for what? To line someone’s pocket, to squeeze out a few last gasps of what we know to be a finite resource.

The smart money, and industry, is in green technology. It is a no brainer. Finite resources are not going to deliver long term results. Harnessing renewable sources of energy should keep us going for as long as we are here, if we get it right. Let’s not poison our children. Let’s not make our land uninhabitable.

In other scenarios, poisoning people is a criminal offence, and yet apparently the politicians are putting their weight behind the poisoners and locking up the protestors. This is not the reality I want to live in. I’d go so far as to suggest anyone who cares about living at all, about their quality of life, personal safety and long term prospects, really should be worried about this.

I salute those people with the courage and determination to put their bodies in the way and inconvenience the frackers. I hope there is justice, and that we as a country condemn poisoning the water, and uphold the rights of our own people to protest against total suicidal lunacy when the idiots in charge lose the plot, as they have so evidently done on this issue.