Lecture: Plants and the Second Sight- Piercing the Veil by Oil, Amulet and Smoke.
In what ways are plants able to lend assistance with opening doorways to the invisible world, the enchanted realm, the land of spirits and the guarded portal that Lady Fate herself watches over? In traditional witch lore, one essential skill that is probably least addressed in detail for its tendency to be elusive and therefore problematic, is that of Seeing. The subtleties and nuance required to explain this process make it challenging to give instruction to, however there are simple and rustic formulas that exist in the world of plant magic that can potentially aid one in the process. The Gaelic term ‘An da shealladh’ translates to ‘the two sights’, which refers to the common sight of everyday living and the uncommon sight of the world of spirits and seeing what is to come. In this presentation, I will set the parameters for both historical definitions of the Second Sight and some lore surrounding it, as well as extrapolate on those parameters based on my own experiences. The focus then will be on plants from Northern and Western Europe that were traditionally employed to enhance ones second sight or ability to ‘See’. The way that these are categorized may come as a surprise, for example including plants that were ‘witch finders’, plants to help one find hidden treasure and plants that had the ability to reveal spirits. I will also attempt to make a loose distinction here between plants used in divination verses those that thin the Seeing veil, with some room for overlap. My personal experience will be incorporated to bring the lore to life, as the question of ‘how did/do these plants work’ will be explored. My hope is that folks will be inspired by the end of the lecture to identify and utilize their own Second Sight materia magica.
Corinne Boyer is a folk herbalist, teacher, and writer with a passion for traditions surrounding plants and folk magic. She has been studying and working with plants since 1998. Corinne has taught community herb classes since 2005 and teaches weekly classes out of her home with a focus on wild crafting, medicine making, plant lore, folk medicine and traditional magic. She has been published in various journals with articles about plant lore and history. She created a free quarterly herbal newsletter called The Gathering Basket, which was distributed to her local community from 2012-2017. Her books include Under the Witching Tree published by Troy Books and Plants of the Devil published by Three Hands Press. Under the Bramble Arch is near completion and will be released by Troy Books in late 2018. She lives with her family in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Visit her website for more information. http://maplemistwood.com/