I'm curious about how practioners might view this Salon article, "What I learned from a witch doctor," written by a woman who originally was most interested in the typography used on the packaging at a local botanica.
Each time I stop by, Vargas asks how I am faring with the various issues we’d discussed during my reading, and says that we need to continue the conversation. I tell him that he’d actually freaked me out just a little, since he was talking about things that I knew I’d never mentioned before; topics that made my eyes well up with tears. He winks and tells me that’s his job.
Vargas tells me I look “juicy,” which is probably a polite way of telling me I’ve gained weight, though he says it’s the Puerto Rican version of looking healthy.
When working in Dahomey, Herskovits recorded a very interesting story:When people came into the world, they had no medicine. No one knew that leaves could cure. When people fell ill, there was no knowledge of what to do to cure them. Now there were hunters in those days who went into the deep, deep bush. One day a hunter came upon a mound of Earth in the bush. When he was about to pass it, a voice spoke from inside it. The hunter’s wife was a leper, and this voice said, “Hunter, I will show you a medicine to cure your wife. When you give it to her, she will become well again.” Then the voices said, “Turn your back to me and wait.” It was Azizan, the Forest Spirit, who was in the mound, and as the hunter’s back was turned, Azizan put the leaves beside him. When Hunter looked again, he saw the leaves. The voice said, “Take these leaves, crush them, and mix them with water. Then give some of this to your wife to drink, and use the rest to wash her sores.”When the hunter came home, he did what Azizan told him to do, and his wife was cured. Now Azizan had also told him, “When someone in your village is sick, come and tell me, and I will give you a cure.” So the hunter showed the way to all who were sick, and these came to the mound of Earth and told their troubles, and to each of them Azizan gave a medicine and explained its use. Those who followed Azizan’s instructions were cured.One day a hunter brought a sick stranger to Azizan, and this stranger went to the king of his country and told him that there was a kingdom where the sick only needed to tell of their ailments before a mound of Earth, and they were cured.The king said, “I will go there myself. I want to see.” So the king went to the bush where the mound of Earth was, and took with a goat, a bottle of rum, and some palm oil. He killed the goat on the mound of Earth, and said, “In my country we have no vodun. I want to take you to my country to be a vodun. If someone in my kingdom is ill, I will send him to you for medicine.” And Azizan gave him magic and told him what vodun where to be worshipped that his country might prosper. Azizan gave to this king various deities including Sagbata (Babalú) and told him to build a house for each of them. Azizan also said that if people wished to have any of these vodun, they had only to come for some dirt from this mound.So the vodun and the magic that is in the world were all given to people by Azizan. (See Dahomean Narrative, pp. 217-218, and Dahomey, Vol. ii, pp. 261-262.)
For example, when you eat one and then get violently sick.
In that case the plant is telling you "don't eat me."
And don't forget the Universal Edibility Test.
EmberLeo said: The AD context
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