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.) Psylicybe 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 question 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.”
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…