Crazy Kieri: Wolves of Good & Evil

Crazy Kieri: Wolves of Good & Evil

Datura, Solandra, and the Wolves of Kieri

In the Sierra Madre of Mexico are the Huichol Indians who have lived and thrived for as many years on their own and unaffected by western influence. Within this culture work shamans and healers alike. There is a story among the Huichol about a mythic battle between a hero Kauyumarie, a good spirit, and Kieri or Crazy Kieri, an evil spirit. There have been reports of Kauyumarie as being associated with the deer and peyote (Laphophora williamsii). And Kieri being associated with the wolf and Datura inoxia or Solandra (Solandra spp.).* Solandra is another tropane-based plant in the Nightshade Family (Solanaceae).

Although there are different versions of Kieri and which plant was the true Kieri, It has been said that Kieri also had two sides. One side being the good spirit aspect under the Solandra, and the evil spirit aspect under Datura inoxia. The Crazy Kieri plants were said to be used only in sorcery and brujeria, to poison and bring delirium and deceit, but this is not always the case.

Solandra maxima as Crazy Kieri
Solandra maxima

As Crazy Kieri has been associated with Datura, there has also been an association with the wolf. In Lightning In My Blood James Endredy tells of a story of being poisoned by a jealous Huichol, Umberto, who blows either Datura inoxia or Solandra into his face and falls into a deep slumber not promised to return. During the few days of being deeply immersed in the world of Datura poisoning, James recalls being eaten by wolves and after his death is born as a wolf. He experiences being a wolf. The experience to James seemed completely vivid and real which is not uncommon for such a poisoning.

Upon awakening, James is surrounded by his Huichol teachers who watch over him as he recovers:

…You’ve been gone for four days; we thought you might not come back. people who are attacked with Kieri usually either die or come back crazy.’

I rolled to the right so that I could see Jose Luis sitting next to me. ‘What’s Kieri?’ I asked.

‘Kieri is the powerful spirit that lives inside a plant with white, funnel-shaped flowers and spiny seed pods. The plant grows in steep, rocky cliffs and is very rare. Evil sorcerers like Umberto’s father sometimes make a powder from it to attack their enemies. It can make a person crazy or even kill.’

I thought about what Jose Luis said , but thinking about the experience I just had with the Kieri, it didn’t really treat me badly, except for the splitting headache I had. I remembered what it was like to live as a wolf, and a smile crossed my face.

‘What are you smiling about?’ Jose Luis asked.

‘I was remembering the dreams I had. I was a wolf, and it was fantastic.’

‘A wolf!’ exclaimed Jose Luis. ‘What color?’

‘Well, first I was a white wolf. She ate me after her mate, the black wolf, killed me. Then I was a black and white wolf- their son.’

A few minutes later, Nichu came with a few of the Jicareros and a couple of elders. One of the elders I had seen briefly once before. She was a large women dressed in a fully embroidered Huichol dress that showed her status as an elder. The elder woman came and knelt beside me, looking into my eyes. ‘Jose Luis tells us you were dreaming of wolves’, she (Marta) said in a strong and melodious voice that told me right away that she was a singing shaman.

I nodded my head yes in response and then added, ‘But the dreams seemed more real than any I’ve ever had. It felt like I was a wolf for many weeks, and I can still remember each day and everything I did and felt.’

‘Marta knows more about the Kieri than anyone else in the Sierra’, Nichu said. ‘She has been watching over you the whole time you were traveling in the land of the Kieri, and she has kept away the wolves.’

‘The vibration of the Kieri is very close to the wolves’ Marta said. ‘In the old days, the users of Kieri were called wolf shamans, as it was said that they could transform into wolves by using the power of the Kieri. Not many shamans use the Kieri anymore, it is not easy to make friends with that spirit, and it is extremely dangerous. We have all been very afraid for you.”

Other writings corroborate this claim saying that Kieri’s role as “an ally of shamans who train to receive their power from wolves (more correctly the wolf-people),“** in describing this specialized, rare form of wolf shamanism among the Huichol. This Datura cult has almost certainly disappeared since it was probably more common when wolves were more prominent in the Sierra Madre, before they were hunted and eradicated due to the loss of cattle in the area.

Datura inoxia as Crazy Kieri
Datura inoxia

There has been much speculation about the true Kieri being either Solandra or Datura, and in some circles, even Brugmansia. While we may never have a definitive answer to this question, it is safe to say Kieri worked through one or many of the tropane-based Nightshade plants. The Crazy Kieri is truly a plant for her Spirit, and the wolf can be a viscous but beautiful creature, deserving respect much like Lady Nightshade…

 

sources:

*Yerba del Diablo: The Enigmatic Datura : John McCloy http://www.tripzine.com/listing.php?id=datura

**Furst P. “Kieri and the Solanaceae: Nature and Culture in Huichol Mythology.” Erowid.org/plants/solandra/solandra_article1.shtml

Endredy, James. Lightning in My Blood: A Journey into Shamanic Healing & the Supernatural. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2011. Print.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unholy Alliance: Taming The Devil’s Weed

Taming The Devil’s Weed

Securing an Unholy Alliance with Lady Datura

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”   – Abraham Lincoln

In 1968 Carlos Castaneda released The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge detailing his apprenticeship with a powerful shaman from Mexico named Don Juan.* His apprenticeship consisted of utilizing three powerful psychotropic plants to stimulate his abilities into shamanism: 1.) Peyote 2.) PsylicyIMG_0219be mushrooms and 3.) Datura inoxia. Taming the Devil’s Weed is taming Datura inoxia. The most frightening and dangerous of these channels was of course the Dark Spirit of Datura. She was the elite form of power, but very few could handle Her power. Not only was She powerful, but She was also unpredictable. When one is dealing with intense forms of power such as The Devil’s Weed, You need to be able to predict your calculations. One wrong turn and She would turn unpredictable. Leaving you in the depths of madness… insanity.

Not only does She like to be unpredictable in her effects on the mind but She likes to be unpredictable in her alkaloid content as well. As you may have heard, the tropane concentration in the death-laced Solanaceae can be various in every respect. From plant to plant. From leaf to leaf. From age to weather condition. She truly has the upper hand in the relationship. She seems to decide herself which rule She wants to play by.

You may have to ask: How could She be beneficial at all to one’s work if She is so unruly and dangerous. The answer to this questDatura seedsion I believe lies in your ability to sense what the spirit of the plant thinks of you. Because although we see her having her way and say in all matters, imagine how that could work out if the spirit was extremely fond of you? Now we see it in a much more favorable light. She will then go out of her way to see that you have your way. She will destroy anyone standing in your way. That is the reward of gaining the spirit as an ally, She will make you a power to be reckoned with. You will have immense power through her.

This seems to be one of the pitfalls of her apprenticeship. Keeping your power from corrupting and owning you. When people gain power they lose control of themselves. This leads to instability, decay, and eventual self-annihilation. Power is easily subversive when you become arrogant and proud so you better be well aware of your own well-being if you want to keep those privileges with your Lady friend…

The Devil’s weed had to be experienced in a specific order to gain her abilities:

“The Devil’s Weed has four heads: 1. The Root, 2. the stem and leaves, 3. the flowers, and  4. the seeds. Each one of them is different and whoever becomes her ally must learn about them in that order. The most important head is in the roots. The power of the Devil’s Weed is conquered through the roots. The stem and leaves are the head that cures maladies; properly used, this head is a gift to mankind. The third head is the flowers, and it is used to turn people crazy, or to make them obedient, or to kill them. The man whose ally is the weed never intakes the flowers, nor does he intake the stem and leaves, for that matter, except in cases of his own illness; but the roots and the seeds are always intaken, especially the seeds; they are the fourth head of the devil’s weed and the most powerful of the four.”

Datura inoxia
Datura inoxia

There is a staggering amount of complex and specific instructions to follow when procuring favor with the Devil’s Weed. There was said to be no room for error when working with it. It would be a nerve-wracking feat to undertake. The strange thing about Castaneda’s undertaking was that he made a careless mistake applying the paste to his forehead when he was instructed to apply it to his temples. There was also a ritual he had to do involving lizards for divination, and he made some errors there as well. Don Juan was in amazement that Castaneda had even made it back to tell of these mistakes. She usually always destroys her proteges when they take a wrong turn. And this plays directly into her unpredictability as well as her fondness for Castaneda. Its like I said before, when the spirit favors you she will bend the rules around what she wants to happen, revealing the power and control within the spirit’s domain. Taming the Devil’s Weed would be no easy task…

*The book by Castaneda has been under criticism by academics and scholars. I will say that there is probably both true standing knowledge and application concerning the Devil’s Weed in this book, there could possibly be fictional information as well. So while I am aware, I don’t generally use this as a definitive reference. I cover this as one avenue. So little has been written on the subject but these plants have been utilized for a very long time…

 

 

The Poison Database

The Poison Database

Plant Toxicity and its action on the Body and Mind

So just to let my readers know, I will be creating a database of the poisons of the plant realm. The Poison Database will be a big undertaking so bear with me while I get all this stuff in order. This will not happen overnight there are literally thousands of toxic compounds to cover… But I will get the bulk of it out to you so you can learn about these devious ingredients within the dark world of the poison in plant life. This will be in alphabetical order as it gets created. Bear with me… This will be fun! I promise!

Atropine

One of the tropane alkaloids found in plants of the nightshade family such as Belladonna, Mandrake, Henbane, Datura, Brugmansia, etc. Atropine has a spot on the World Health Organization’s Model List of Essential Medicines; The most important medications needed in a basic health system. Atropine is an anticholinergic. This blocks the action of acetylcholine which is responsible for a spectrum of functions in the body like muscle coordination, secretion, and the brain’s functioning as asleep or awake. This would make one function in the dream state even while physically awake and experience dreams in the waking reality as hallucination and delirium.

medicinal use: Atropine is used as an antidote for insecticides as well as various types nerve gas poisonings like sarin, VX, and soman. Atropine is used by ophthalmologists as a mydriatic to dilate the pupils. It is used to treat bradycardia (slow heartbeat; less than 60 beats per minute). it is used in reducing secretions (saliva, sweat) and can treat the symptoms of diarrhea. It is used along with scopolamine and hyoscyamine to treat stomach ulcers and other intestinal disease.

Toxicity: Atropine poisoning can cause tachycardia (fast heartbeat), dry mouth, mydriasis (pupil dilation), blurred vision, photophobia (sensitivity to light), dizziness, loss of balance, extreme confusion, tactile hallucinations, and death.

Antidote: physostigmine and pilocarpine

Hyoscyamine

One of the tropane alkaloids found in plants of the nightshade family such as Belladonna, Mandrake, Henbane, Datura, Brugmansia, etc. As an anticholinergic, Hyoscyamine blocks the action of acetylcholine which is responsible for a spectrum of functions in the body like muscle coordination, secretion, and the brain’s functioning as asleep or awake. This would make one function in the dream state even while physically awake and experience dreams in the waking reality as hallucination and delirium.

Medicinal use: Treats various gastrointestinal diseases like peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, pancreatitis, colic and cystitis. It is also used to treat some heart problems, secretions, respiratory problems, some symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Hyoscyamine has also shown promise in neuropathic pain in combination with opiates.

Toxicity: Hyoscyamine poisoning can cause arrhythmia, flushing and faintness, dizziness, loss of balance, headache, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, eye pain, blurred vision, extreme confusion, tactile hallucinations, sexual arousal, euphoria, short term memory loss, coma, and death.

Antidote: physostigmine and pilocarpine

Scopolamine

One of the tropane alkaloids found in plants of the nightshade family such as Belladonna, Mandrake, Henbane, Datura, Brugmansia, etc. As an anticholinergic, Scopolamine blocks the action of acetylcholine which is responsible for a spectrum of functions in the body like muscle coordination, secretion, and the brain’s functioning as asleep or awake. This would make one function in the dream state even while physically awake and experience dreams in the waking reality as hallucination and delirium. Aside from that the scopolamine is listed in the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines: The most important medications needed in a basic health system. Like Hyoscyamine and atropine, it can have quite the dark side. But then there are smaller dosages that can be extremely kind and healing. Perhaps this was part of the meaning of Kieri, She has a good side and a bad side. Treat her with respect!

Medicinal uses: Scopolamine enjoys a wide variety of medicinal use. Some of these are: Postoperative nausea and vomiting, motion sickness, gastrointestinal spasms, renal or biliary spasms, irritable bowel syndrome, Clozapine induced hyper-salivation (drooling). bowel colic, sometimes used as a premedication to surgery.

Toxicity: Scopolamine can induce tachycardia (fast heartbeat), bradycardia (slow heartbeat), arrhythmia, blurred vision, photophobia (sensitivity to light), dry mouth, mydriasis (dilated pupils), hives/rash, itching, constipation, urinary retention, agitation, restlessness, vivid hallucinations, confusion, dizziness, seizures, anaphylactic shock, shortness of breath, redness of the skin, drowsiness, and death.

Antidote: physostigmine

 

 

Deadly Nightshade Artwork by me - Poison Database
The fatal kiss of Belladonna and Datura

A Garden of Good & Evil

A Garden of Good & Evil

Atropa belladonna garden
Atropa belladonna from the Garden in my bedroom

Step into the Garden of Life and Death. This is the forbidden garden of poisonous plants. This year I have three healthy Deadly Nightshade plants. I started them last summer. I named them Mina, Isobel, and Abbie. Abbie has already started to flower. I am trying to pollinate her so she can produce berries and seeds.

I have recently sown:

Atropa belladonna var. lutea (Yellow Deadly Nightshade). Atropa komarovii (Turkmenistan Belladonna). Mandragora officianarum (Mandrake). Datura ceratocaula. Datura metel. Datura stramonium var. tatula, Datura inoxia. Brugmansia hybrid Mea Culpa X Brilliant Orange.

Starting a Datura garden
A garden of Datura: D. ceratocaula, D. Inoxia, D. metel, D. Stramonium var. tatula

Currently I am growing:

Henbane (Hyoscyamus niger). Thorn-apple (Datura stramonium). Deadly Nightshade (Atropa belladonna).

I even have two plants of the beautiful Gloriosa Lily (Gloriosa superba). The Gloriosa Lily is a climbing vine that puts out flowers that look like fire! They are absolutely beautiful and toxic. A perfect fit for my garden.

For now, I’ll let my new friends get settled in to their new home. They will start to soak up water and sprout. As time passes we will start to see them come up. I am excited to see these new Datura species. Especially D. ceratocaula, she is a rarity.

Brugmansia - A Garden of Good & Evil
My Brugmansia ‘Adora’  Kadyn “the fighter”

Atropa belladonna var. lutea (Yellow Deadly Nightshade). Atropa komarovii (Turkmenistan Belladonna). Mandragora officianarum (Mandrake).

Aside from these I have a beautiful Brugmansia versicolor from last year. She was a cutting. I named her Kadyn. Kadyn means fighter. When I got her in the mail she was barely alive. Most of her leaves had been eaten by bugs. She was was withered and weak.  I will be moving her out to the backyard in summertime to soak up that moist, humid summer atmosphere when the time comes.

4/20/2016

I got some new seeds today from Farmer Dodds (on Ebay as: Kykeon-plants) Datura ceratocaula (Tornaloco), Hyoscyamus niger (Henbane), and a gift of Datura discolor. Buying from Farmer Dodds/Kykeon Plants is the best place to go for these plants. For one, He has the best prices and gives you a plentiful amount of seeds. And on top of that, he sends a gift of something else every time. I was looking to get Datura discolor soon but this was my gift bag. Very pleased am I!

Seeds for the Garden of Good & Evil
Seeds from www.kykeonpoppies.com