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A Prickly Lettuce (Lactuca serriola) sprung up in my back yard this spring, and I’ve let it be thus far, mowing around it and keeping an eye on it.

I’d been thinking a lot this winter about weeds with taproots and about Alrauns, so perhaps this weed sprouting proudly all by its lonesome is a nudge from somewhere: Here you go!

The seeds are spread by wind, so it’s not at all unusual that it landed and then sprouted in grassy, fertile soil. In any case, here it is. Prickly lettuce has a taproot, too – not a nice smooth shaft like a dandelion or mandrake, but a wild, hairy, Woodwose of a root.

The moon is waning now, and perhaps at the new moon I’ll circle it with my intention and with red thread, and ask it – short lived, thriving thing – if it will consent to being slain. We’ll see.

And then, should my endeavor prove successful and I have the root, dried and robed and sleeping in a little box, then what? I’ll ask my Alraun what kinds of things it can do in my service, and what sorts of things it can find out from the dark, loamy soil of its birth. I’ll forge ahead with caution and with Will, and with no one, really, to guide my way. Such, it seems, is the nature of the Witch-path.

But first, I’ll talk to the wild weed still living in the sun, and see what it has to say.

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