Lamiarum Unguenta back patch
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Lamiarum Unguenta, meaning “witches’ ointment,” is a paste made primarily from psychoactive plants in a base of animal fat and used to aid in what is called night flight. A few of the most consistent plant ingredients found in texts on the subject are Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum), Datura (Datura stramonium), Monkshood (Aconitum spp.), Belladonna (Atropa belladonna), Henbane (Hyoscyamous niger), Mandrake root (Mandragora officinalis), and Ergot (Claviceps purpurea). Each of these plants are known collectively as “witch’s weeds.”
Witch’s ointments first showed up in text at the beginning of the 15th century, during the formation of the modern witch stereotype. This special ointment was generously applied to the skin, allowing the psychoactive effects of the poisonous plants to induce soporatum (deep sleep) and elevate the mind to a trance-like state in which astral projection may be achieved. This type of travel allows the body to remain asleep as the conscious soul roams feely. It is believed that witches used astral travel to “ride the sky” alongside the goddess Diana. This “night flight,” also referred to as “spirit flight,” is just one attribute that contributed to the modern witch stereotype we have today. At the time, inquisitors and demonologists constructed their own conceptions about witchcraft and attached diabolical implications to otherwise harmless folk practices. Psychoactive plants quickly became a tool of maleficium, or “evil magic,” in the eyes of church authorities. As this theologically-motivated stereotype crystallized, the idea of flying ointments and spirit flight grew to include the witches’ Sabbat. According to church authorities, witches would fly to satanic gatherings alongside demons to take part in rituals led by the devil himself. In the short span between 1430 to 1450 overzealous theologians turned wise women into devil-worshippers and folk magik into a new form of heresy.
Lamiarum Unguenta is original artwork hand drawn by Adrienne Rozzi.
Screen printed with white ink on black cotton canvas
Measures approximately 11.5" x 13.5" (inches)
**Please note: Patches are cut by hand so measurements may vary slightly. Edges are raw cut canvas. Some patches may display a single factory finished edge from the fabric's creation process.
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