~The Story of “Henbane” ~
Henbane has a long and fascinating history throughout the millennia. Not just a “witchy” toxic herb, it has been found in various cultures for thousands of years as a weapon, medicine, and tool of magick. It was a given to the dead in Hades as a crown to help them forget their lives before they drank of the river Lethe. I had to include it in my Nightshade series. In this particular piece, I illustrated the figure to be a marriage of the viking Volve (seeress) who used henbane for divination and of the Pythia, or Delphic Oracle. Her nudity is a reminder that the temple was once Gaia’s. Before Apollo slayed the Python and took the navel of the Earth (a term used for Delphi) as his temple, it was a matriarchal priestess center, and continued to be within the sacred priestesshood of the oracle. Though men “interpreted” what the Pythia said after Apollo’s taking of the temple, that simply meant they put the prose into metered words acceptable for records. The heart of many cultures’ most important decisions have long relied on women’s intuition and plant medicine. The erasure and of both in modern western culture is telling, yet I have a deep knowing in my bones that its reemergence is imminent and crucial to our healing.
Each hand pulled print will come with an edition card and a monograph fact sheet on henbane. I hope that her presence in your space will remind you of your own strength, beauty, and powers to connect to the greater mysteries.
For the crafty among you, a Henbane fabric pattern is available on Spoonflower for decor and your own divination projects.