Tobacco · Chrysanthemum · Cannabis ·
Opoponax · Wormwood
As the drama of autumn unravels and the curtain begins to slowly fall, mother nature lays down her coat of brilliant scarlet and gold. Her skirted blooms droop, her branches are stripped bare, and what fruit has been left behind returns to the soil, often with a sticky, wet pop. If Libra ushers autumn in with the beauty of abundance, then Scorpio balances the scales with the seduction of decay.
Despite its grim procession, the Sun’s ingress into Scorpio is far from lifeless, inanimate, or dull. The celestial scorpion mirrors its Venusian predecessor, petals darkened, leaves furled, berries blistered. What cannot withstand the sting of autumn may fall, but will see itself reborn from the mulch by nourishing what survives and re-emerges, victorious. These transient processes of life and death, which we witness across the landscape as the days grow shorter, are mirrored within us, too. Scorpio confronts us with change as not only an inevitability, but as a requisite step toward ascension—a release.
This season’s olfactory allies are the taffied aromas of sticky resins and cured tobacco leaves. The inebriating smoke of ancient narcotics. The putrid jam of fallen fruit, and the damp, green musk of funeral blooms come to fade after standing silent witness to the fleeting nature of life and the permanence of death. Soul-stirring and seductive, stinging the nose, intoxicating the body and mind.
T O B A C C OTobacco is a flowering member of the nightshade family, with the sweet scent of soil, wood, and hay. It has been and remains an indispensable spiritual tool for Indigenous peoples across the Americas, and is a popular devotional token when working with ancestors and spiritual entities. A powerful narcotic, it can be integrated into workings where the body must relax in order for the soul to flourish.
ou can find NICOTIANA TABACUM as an absolute.
C H R Y S A N T H E M U MThis popular fall ornamental and funerary flower was first cultivated as medicine over 3000 years ago. Esoterically, they offer metaphysical protection in transgression. On the subject of scent, an unnamed poet describes chrysanthemum as follows: “The Smell of Chrysanthemums, as with furs–this smell evokes for me violent sexual desires, but associated with anguish, suffering, death. It seems to me that if I breathed this smell for a long time, I would feel ill… or perhaps too good.”
CHRYSANTHEMUM INDICUM was recently featured as a note in L’Ossuaire..
C A N N A B I SHumanity’s relationship with cannabis was established long before its modern commercialization; its use as a folk remedy and intoxicant has been recorded as far back as 1600 BCE! It has been a healing herb; a funerary herb; a love herb. A plant for transcendence and clairvoyance; an herb to offer as devotional token, or in bargain with the spirits; an herb for release.
You can find CANNABIS SATIVA as a prominent note in Spirituum.
O P O P O N A XSticky-sweet.opoponax is a great spiritual fumigant, especially when diving deep within oneself or darker, metaphysical realms or studies. Opoponax’s topical anti-parasitic properties are mirrored in its spiritual signature and can help dispel what is hiding in the shadows sucking us dry, making room for growth and psychic power.
You can find COMMIPHORA ERYTHRAEA as an essential oil and as a prominent note in Mourning Ritual and Lune Noire.
W O R M W O O D
Daniel A. Schulke best describes Wormwood in The Green Mysteries; “(…) in the place which lies between revulsion and attraction, Wormwood dwells; alluring, yet strongly warded with bitterness unparalleled.” He goes on to describe the herb as “piercing, penetrating, (…) and personally disruptive”–a striking a portrait of Wormwood, whose complexity and magic are embodied in Scorpio.
You can find ARTEMISIA ABSINTHIUM as an essential oil and as a prominent note in Les Lunatiques
As always, thank you for taking this time with us. Through this astrological series, we hope to help you familiarize yourself with different plants and ways of communing with them during astrological transits and periods of metamorphosis.
May your past selves nourish you, and may what survives emerge in glory, filled with abundance.