Lecture: Symphonica – Black Henbane and the Choirs of the Dead
In his presentation, Cody will be discussing some of the more dynamic, haunting and compelling peculiarities of Hyoscyamus Niger, or Black Henbane. It’s folkloric, pharmaceutical, and sacramental legacy is vast, and spans several continents. Henbane’s role in ritual and ancient religion as not only a sacred intoxicant, but as a conduit between the realm of the dead and the living, is often unsung. It is his hope in this presentation to allow this plant a platform from which its story may be told and its offerings once again revered; a plant still today deserving of the reverence and adoration it once held in the ancient world. In addition to its being a deliriant, sedative, aphrodisiac, xerostomic, analgesic and mild euphoriant, it is also a beacon and sacrament unto the shades of the Dead.
Based on over a decade of experience in cultivating, spreading, processing, wild crafting, and consuming this maligned yet comely biennial, he has come to recognize a very distinct and beautiful quality that will not be found in any other plant, even among those in the same genus. Its connection to the reservoir of ancestral power is matchless, though the path is often terrifying and, potentially, fatal. There exists tremendous promise for personal empowerment and illumination shrouded beyond the dread Henbane invokes. One is returned to a place of innocence and receptivity, allowing the guiding hands of the Dead to instruct and enlighten; with proper guidance one may be led to sup at the very Table of the Gods
Cody Dickerson is a writer and student of the Germanic mysteries, British cunning-folk magic, and is an initiated Braucher, or Powwow practitioner. A blacksmith by trade and a gardener by avocation, he also studies the rural folk magic and traditions of North America, Europe and Mexico. Some of his research work in these areas has recently been published with Three Hands Press. He currently resides in the northwest, and has been working intimately with trees and plants for almost two decades, with a deep focus on the Solanum genus. During this time he has distilled a body of insight and experience with many of these umbrageous plants, in an attempt to understand their traditional role in religious and ceremonial use.