Corinne Boyer 2023


LECTURE: Plants of the Devil
There are certain plants and trees that have long been known to hold diabolical powers and harbor demons. This encompasses a dark branch of plant lore often overlooked or misunderstood. This lecture will shed light on the reasons why certain plants and trees were demonized and also how they were utilized by wise and common folk for magical purposes in Northern Europe.

The belief that evil beings were attracted to such plants and trees will also be addressed, looking at the historical understanding of plant spirits through a detailed lens based on an enchanted worldview. This is an important distinction to make when addressing this folklore and working with these plants and spirits. In this wise, plant spirits cannot be grouped into a common single category, but rather individual plants and trees must be understood as being the abode of evil supernatural or human spirits. Many of these plants and trees belonged to the Wild Adversary or the Devil in the tales of old, and this infernal agency is embedded in the traditions bestowed upon such flora. The tales, the spirits and the traditions all speak to those with ears to hear.

The animist traditions that inform mythology and folklore recognize intelligence in nature, expressed in the logics of landforms and the sentient spirits of plants. Plant spirits are recognized as ancestors and teachers; accessible intelligences eager to ally with human seekers. Expanding upon these ideas, this presentation will explore the notion of the Genii loci, or community of spirits coexisting in an intact landscape; the many voices speaking the wisdom of a single sacred place. By learning to intentionally converse with plant spirit communities, could humans more deeply draw in the intelligence and interconnected power of Earth? Such a modern animism, grounded in listening to plant and place spirit, could correct toxic anthropocentrism. This presentation will discuss how plant spirits and plant spirit communities inform landscapes, and how the spirits of landscape can be a resource and ally in magical practice.

In stock