Hemlock Roots

hemlokA sacred plant present in the old gardens consecrated to Hecate, Hemlock (Conium Maculatum) is a foul smelly plant that grows in hedges and wayside areas. Historically speaking, this plant was the killer of Socrates, and was used by Eleusian priests in order to numb their limbs helping them remain chaste. It is a plant of ill-omens, messenger of Death, a paralysing drug, a poison of curse and barrenness.

In terms of its cosmology and mythology, it is considered a plant of Cain, as well as one of the four spirit-herbs of Cornelius Agrippa (together with smallage, coriander, and henbane). It was regarded as a gift from the Otherworld among Germanic and Norse peoples,  and, as stated by Marija Gimbutas, a connection with the spirits of the Otherworld and Maleficium, “Hemlock thus stands in close association with the toad goddess, an earth deity venerated especially by Baltic tribes.” (Marija Gimbutas, The Balts, 1983; p330)

Adequate for working both as an ally in herbal concoctions and as a fetish, this herb has been long related to works of necromancy, cursing, and binding. In terms of its witch-related history, this plant was an ingredient of the so-called Witches Ointment of early modern times, according to the sixteenth-century doctor Andrés Laguna. But, more representatively, it was one of the constituents of the soporific sponges that were the origin of the modern anesthesia. This is an indicative of its power when harnessing and dominating a body or spirit.

A harvesting note (images of the harvesting process carried out by Occvlta):

Hemlock has a strong and stubborn root, that demands not only time, but also cunning. We decided to harvest it at night, under the light of the moon, by iron and hand. The poignant smell of the plant is intoxicating and even nauseating for those unaccustomed to it, and one shall be vigilant not to be permeated by the sterility that the plant carries within. It would be advisable to wash oneself with rue water after using it.

In Occvlta we offer two whole roots, harvested during the night of Wednesday 12th of April 2017, accompanied by a plant offering to be used in their consecration or sacrifice.

Measurements:

Number 1: 14 cm tall and 3 cm wide, includes roots ramifications
Number 2: 12 cm tall and 3 cm wide, includes roots ramifications
Number 3: 15 cm tall (main body) and 5 cm wide (main body), includes root ramifications

All roots are sold with a piece of information and tools for consecrating it. Available at the Store.

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