Victoria Mnemosyne wrote:Anyone know about jimsonweed? I've read of a voodoo potion that involves drinking jimsonweed sulfur and honey together, but I also heard jimsonweed is poisonous and that it causes hallucinations. Is there a safe dosage?
Various species of Datura, or "Jimson weed", have been used in shamanic/pagan traditions by a variety of cultures around the world. Datura stramonium
is, for example, considered sacred to Shiva in India. Datura was known to many Native American tribes - as I've posted elsewhere, I'm currently working with the Chumash goddess Momoy, who is associated with datura wrightii
, although I do not incorporate actual datura flowers into my rituals, nor will I ingest it. This is because it is extremely dangerous
. There are reports every year of people foolishly trying to "trip" on datura (or other deliriants in the Solanaceae
family, also known as nighshade plants) that lead to hospitalization or death. Also, even if you survive physically, you may still harm yourself mentally or spiritually. Deliriant trips are not like taking a psychedelic. They are usually described as incredibly unpleasant and disorienting, and there are "true hallucinations" (that is, you don't recognize them as hallucinations, but rather think that they are real). You're usually out for a few days, too.
This is not to say that there is no proper use for these; if you are a shaman trained in the use of these plants, risk can be minimized, and the experience can be used as a legitimate rite of passage. Even then, though, there is still danger, in part because the amount of active chemicals present in these plants varies greatly. Even amongst the Chumash, who used datura liberally, there was still a chance that you could die.
When I was in Peru drinking Ayahuasca, one of the shaman told me a story about how once, a group of people who were drinking ayahuasca brought with them some toé (Brugmansia, another plant in the same faimly), and they asked him if they could smoke it during the ayahuasca ceremony. He told them that first he would sing the toé icaro (icaros are songs that amazonian shaman use to invoke different spirits, etc), and then, if they still wanted to smoke it, they could. The ceremony began, he invoked the toé, and everyone was so terrified that they never smoked it.
Anyway, on another note:
Erebus Elysium wrote:Unfortunately, the amanita is so virulently poisonous that it is unwise to use it.
I would like to contest this. There are numerous documented reports
of people ingesting amanitas. It can have some unpleasant physically side effects in large doses, but I wouldn't call it "virulently poisonous". I can say from personal experience that the effects of eating amanita muscaria are not all that different from just being too drunk on alcohol.