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HERBS OF PLUTO

Karen Charboneau-Harrison, copyright © 2004

Pluto has been somewhat of an occult enigma since its discovery. Its attributions and rulerships have been debated, often bitterly, for the past 50 some years. The current (and most intuitively workable) hypothesis defines Pluto as the planet of sex, death and regeneration; of things hidden and subterranean - those primordial forces of evolution and inner compulsion that represent a dark aspect of the God. Pluto is considered officially to be the higher aspect of the energies of Mars and, in my experiences and studies, also partakes of the higher energies of the karmic and subconscious energies of Saturn. I believe the attribution of grains such as rye and wheat to Pluto tend to bear out the previously ascribed qualities, particularly if fungoidal grain parasite-symbiotes such as ergot are added to the Plutonian catalogue.

Pluto's abduction of Persephone into the underworld is a mythogenic narrative too well known to the reader to require an elaboration here. What is sometimes overlooked is the fact that the myth quite securely connects Pluto as an essential component to the continuing cycle of the death and regeneration of the cereal grains, plant life and ultimately (and metaphorically) all life. Thus Pluto's legendary connection with cereal grains seems well established.

There are, however, other levels of meaning and other perspectives to be taken regarding this primal legend and Pluto's herbal attributes. The Eleusinian Mysteries grew up around the Demeter-Pluto-Persephone legends and became, over the centuries, a profound initiatory experience. Central to the rites was the consumption of a potion made of barely water containing a decoction of ergot, the progenitor, of course, of our own LSD, the discovery of which virtually accompanied the astronomical discovery of the planet Pluto.

One of the few common threads amid the bewildering variety of experience catalyzed by ergot and its derivatives is the experience of death and dissolution of the ego (which from an egocentric viewpoint amounts to total annihilation) and its subsequent reconstitution and regeneration. Ergotophiles are taken on a voyage through their own psychic underworld that closely parallels the experience of Persephone as bride of Pluto.

There is also a great deal of evidence to indicate that the experience involves a triggering of genetic memory and so open the floodgates of evolutionary force. More over, the saprophytic cousins or ergot such as amanita muscaria and psilocybin subsist on decay, and were once commonly associated with dark, deadly subterranean origins. Ergot also serves as a vasoconstrictor which may be considered an appropriate effect for an attribute of the higher octave of Mars.

Pluto may indeed by the dread dark lord whose experience is, to say the least, cathartic. Through the agency of the ergot derivatives, however, it is possible to put oneself on the pathway to the experience while providing for the possibility of human fraility by eliminating (just like in real life and death) the possibility of turning back.

Pluto herbs bring about dramatic, sometimes traumatic change, particularly within the psyche. They promote dramatic growth and insights normally through cataclysmic circumstances. Pluto herbs aid the sexually impotent and help to balance the physical with the spiritual. Some herbs of Pluto are: Corn, Damiana, Fly Agaric, Galangal Root, Barley, Oats, Mushrooms, Rye, Psilocybin, Wheat, Saw Palmetto and Yohimbe.

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