It has been long since we last wrote an article for the blog. If you are familiar with our Instagram, you will be aware that we have moved to the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula, and so, that we now live in the Catalan Pyrenees.
To us, that change is meditated, and the reasons behind it are many. The Pyrenees area has a very strong appeal towards us because of its climate, its flora, and, specially, its history. The Pyrenean mountains were the place where the European witch craze of the late Middle Ages started. The town where we live is, in fact, the place where the first civil law against witchcraft was passed. It is, to us, a more than adequate and promising territory to start reviving the Pyrenean Path of Poisons.
Thus, we find ourselves in a whole different place, with its own needs, and its own spirits. We feel we are regarded as foreigners by the unseen, and they analyse and scrutinise us. Yet, it is their right to do so. Generally speaking, arriving to a new place is never easy. And this is even more relevant in terms of spirituality, mysticism, spirit congress, and magic, for spirits are reluctant to establish contact with foreigners, something that, in our particular case, is incremented by their mountain-like personality. What is that spirits need? It seems to us that they need signs of devotion: constant, honest, heart-felt devotion, understanding, and care. One cannot expect to harvest fruits without care.
We believe that each time we arrive to a new territory which we intent to turn into a home or a place we want to build a link with, there are processes that shall be meditated and endured properly. It is widely claimed that each time we arrive to somewhere new, the place must be cleaned and cleansed. However, we do not advise doing such thing without having a previous knowledge of the spirits that dwell in what is to become our home. Entering a building, a garden, a fountain, a forest, or a mountain, and start spraying it with rue water or fumigating it with palo santo could be regarded as a hostile attitude towards spirits. Perhaps it would be wiser to present one self with respect and an open mind before starting to try and exorcise a place we don’t know spiritually or magically speaking.
In terms of the plant realm, a similar viewpoint may apply. There will be plants that are naturally available in one’s previous area. But again, it is not wise to prejudge them, even though we think we are familiar with them. For instance, the way vervain acts or reacts in the Mediterranean area doesn’t need to be the same as the Pyrenean vervain. In the end, no one can presume to know what are spirits about, how they function and what are their needs.
A territory has its own guardians, its own energy and its own personality. The practitioner of magic has the responsibility to decipher the signs and find the keys that unlock its mysteries. Only then will he/she be able to be part of it and grow in its potential.
A new but old Path before us
The practitioner of the Arts that belong to the Crooked Path, as well as the mystic, the bohemian, the artist, and the fool, follows a direction no one can know. It has no time or place, it simply destroys the status quo. And that sacrifice of one’s security and safety, which may feel at first as if walking blindfolded, is in fact one of the few conscious steps we make, those which make us not feel at ease, those that create discomfort and uncertainty.
The step we have made in Occvlta goes beyond the needs of daily life. It is the answer to a call we heard long ago. The Path of Metzineria, which is the name we have given to the Way of Poisons in our local tradition (there shall be more articles on the matter), presents itself as something that must be rediscovered and gained back from the shadows. It is a constant process where the herbalist, the witch, and the devotee must find the balance between written lore, experience, custom, and gnosis.
New Territory, new Spirits, same Poisons? by Semproniana Tort – Júlia Carreras is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.