"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."

Feb 27, 2010


Witches' Brews

Posted by Greg at

The following is an excerpt from Paul Devereux's The Long Trip: A Prehistory of Psychedelia. The Long Trip is...

...probably the most comprehensive single volume to look at the use of mind-altering drugs, or entheogens, for ritual and shamanistic purposes throughout humanity's long story, while casting withering sidelong glances at our own times - as Paul Devereux points out, our modern mainstream culture is eccentric in its refusal to integrate the profound experiences offered by these natural substances into its own spiritual life.

This particular section discusses the little-known role of hallucinogenic substances by medieval witches, including a rather eye-opening theory as to the real use of the witches' broomstick...


Witches' Brews
by Paul Devereux

The magical and medicinal plant lore of the rural “wise woman” (or man) in Anglo-Saxon, Medieval and Early Modern Europe may not occupy a period we can properly call prehistory, but we can say that it was outside history, in that it was a living knowledge largely overlooked or dismissed by the ruling classes and the sophisticates, or discouraged and repressed by the Church. The Church-orchestrated witch-persecutions of the late Middle Ages transformed what was in fact a quietly surviving country tradition into what was hysterically and neurotically seen as a satanic activity.

One of the key elements of “witch lore” was that witches were able to fly on broomsticks, rods or other implements to their sabbats and other night-time gatherings in the wilderness beyond the pale of the town or village. “Flying ointments” were often used, either smeared on the person’s body or flying implements. Long before the Church contextualised this “flying out” to the wilderness as a diabolic practice, however, it was happening simply as part of the practice of women and men wise in the rural magic arts and healing based on arcane plant knowledge. The people who became identified as “witches” by the Church were in actuality simply the continuation of an ancient tradition of “night travellers.”


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~There is no God and we are his prophets.~

-Cormac McCarthy-

Man is superior to the stars if he lives in the power of superior wisdom. Such a person being the master over heaven and earth by means of his will is a magus and magic is not sorcery but supreme wisdom



'The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them'.....'Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac.'.....'In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act.'.....'War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.' George Orwell

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