A substance that is capable of causing the illness or death of a living organism when introduced or absorbed.- X
The word poison describes witchcraft rather well. It has its obvious definition as we know it in our modern times; however, it means more than just what the definition says. In France, poison was another word for a magical potion, in Latin ‘potio’ meaning to drink, and it was used by Greek physicians to to mean an amount of medicine (source).
Poison is a word that perfectly demonstrates the balance between healing and harming, and is a fantastic descriptor as such. It represents the crooked path of witchcraft, and the gray “morality” that accompanies it. The poison the heals, the poison that breaches the worlds, and the poison that kills. To make an example of this, I will use my favorite flower Foxglove, “Digitalis has been used from early times in heart cases. It increases the activity of all forms of muscle tissue, but more especially that of the heart and arterioles, the all-important property of the drug being its action on the circulation. The first consequence of its absorption is a contraction of the heart and arteries, causing a very high rise in the blood pressure,” (source). We all know how poisonous Foxglove can cause stomach pain, nausea, violent vomiting, fatigue, vertigo, extreme head pains, and cause people to become delirious. At the wrong dose, it can certainly cause someone great pain and even possible death. On the other hand, it also has the ability to be used to cause alternate states of being. Its uses for flying ointments is well known.
Like the witch, poison harms, heals, and can make life better; however, it has the potential of causing havoc if not respected properly. Knowledge and judgement are important things. Like witchcraft, watered down poison loses its touch and its effectiveness. Poison spawned from plants wishing to defend themselves from predators. It can not be anything less than such, or the plant will be devoured. One must be as the poisonous plant able to protect themselves from the malevolence that lurks in our world. Too much of one extreme can lead to your destruction as a witch or cause you to lose the connection to your craft. Too much poison and you run the risk of killing yourself, but not enough causes you to be devoured.
Poison is a glyph for magical power itself: complex, concentrated, liberated in the hands of the elect, and disastrous in the hands of the fool. Its very nature is trans-mutative, changing all it touches, the maker and breaker of laws, policies, and epidemiological systems.- (Veneficium Magic, Witchcraft by Daniel A. Schulke)
It is one of the reasons I truly believe “The Law of the Witches,” and things similar, is an oxymoron. One doesn’t ask foxglove why it sometimes heals and sometimes kills. To force witchcraft into one extreme destroys what it is, it will lose its very being. It will no longer be an infamous flower like Belladonna. It will become a nameless flower with few uses besides as food.
Witchcraft is the poison and we are the poisoners.
As a note: Witchcraft isn’t all serious business. You can have a ton of fun doing what you do! Poison is dangerous and helpful, but its also used as a drug to let go and dance like a mad beast at the Sabbat. So have fun 🙂