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And then, I realized I was going to need to take notes.

Venificium is a work by Daniel Schulke on the nature of and concept of Poison, and how that relates to magical practice. It was published by Three Hands Press a couple of years ago, and I bought myself a copy when it came out. It promptly began gathering dust on my bookshelf. Once in a while I’d pick it up and think ‘ehhh, not now.’ I knew it was going to be a densely written, arcane tome, and I just didn’t feel ‘ready.’ (Apparently I was relating to this book on rather a Saturnian scale). Today I decided I was ready.

I’m twenty pages in, and I’ve already been scribbling down revelations. This kind of thing might be old hat to some, but for me it was an OHHHH OF COURSE I GET IT moment where a bunch of lines suddenly converge:

“Among the great tributaries of ancient magical knowledge reaching the present, certain forms of Traditional Witchcraft reckon the Fruit of Eden’s Tree as the dispensation of Samael, or Lucifer, unto mortal kind. As a so-called ‘fallen angel,’ this intelligence is thus the herald of “Witchdom’s Dawn, emissary of light to transgress the first tenebration thou shalt not eat.” – Venificium pg 17

“Commerce between the Serpent and Eve thus inaugurates a pattern of initiatic process which continues throughout magical time.” – Venificium pg 17.

In a nutshell, I realize that this is among the reasons why Witches worship ‘the Devil.’ The fruit of the forbidden tree in the Garden was a vehicle not only of knowledge but of intoxication – of the inducement of an altered state of being, through which one could gain perspective and knowledge by being outside of, or beyond, oneself. This altering of mental state, by trance, ritual, or intoxication, is a core method of the working of magic and of Witchcraft.

This initiation was facilitated by the Serpent. The Serpent is a symbol of knowledge, of Gnosis – and also the sorcerer and the Witch. The Serpent is a symbol of the vehicles of Witch-power. The Serpent is also a showing forth, or an intelligence of, the Power that manifests in currents within the Land.


I think this is going to be a good book.