Sunday, 30 March 2014

Black Nightshade

Black Nightshade

Some images of the nightshade growing rampant about my home. It is said that where nightshade grows a witch lives and I've yet to discover anywhere else in my town that black nightshade is growing. I first came to love this plant when I discovered it growing. Intuitively I knew it was a member of the nightshade family, its glorious black berries gave that away but I wasn't sure which member. She invited me to discover her and I did. It was then that I realised I was walking a different path to where I first started; understanding deep within that there was another way out there calling to me, inviting me in. Black Nightshade was my first step on the Poison Path and also on the path of the hedge witch. The berries will be harvested for inks and incenses, I'm currently trying to formulate within my mind a recipe for Black Nightshade/Yew Bark ink for ancestor and/or underworld workings.

Black Nightshade is a member of the mysterious and terrifying Solanaceae family. It is not like its powerfully hallucinogenic cousins (datura, belladonna, mandrake & henbane) but is a soft, yielding herb that is quietly powerful. It is a plant for lunar workings, Hecate and Saturnian influences. Perfect for ancestor/underworld workings and as offerings during the dark phases of the moon. It can be mistaken for its deadly cousin Belladonna if one is not too familiar. The easiest way to distinguish is to know that Black Nightshade berries grow in bunches whereas Belladonna berries grow singularly. It flowers white with the berries starting as green (very toxic in this form) before maturing to the lovely, shiny black they become (not so toxic, even eaten in some places and cooked into a jam - not recommended though). It is a lovely starter plant as you move toward the darker ones of the family, I would recommend spending time with Black Nightshade as it is a very interesting plant.

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