A Botanical Adventure

Recently while vacationing on the island of Kaua’i, Tom and I visited the Ahonui Botanical Gardens. Our hosts Bill, Lucy and Shyama (their dog) shared their beautiful tropical gardens on a 3-hour walking and tasting tour. Tasting? Yes, local fruits and chocolate, they have a few cacao trees and have begun making small batches of their own chocolate bars!

There were many gorgeous plants and flowers to photograph, smell and be seduced by. One such flowering plant was the Datura.

Datura, low to the ground, shrub-like with upright blooms and its sister Brugmansia, tree-like, with downward hanging blossoms, are members of the Solanaceae family, the deadly nightshades. Other familiar members of the nightshades are eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and belladonna. All contain tropane alkaloids which are toxic, some to lesser degrees than others, and some like Datura, are so highly toxic that if ingested can be fatal to humans and animals even in small amounts.

There are several species of Datura, some commonly known as moonflower, thorn apple, devil’s trumpet, jimson weed, hell’s bells, stinkweed and locoweed. Among some North and South American native tribes Datura is used in sacred ceremony, often for rites of initiation.

Rather exotic (if not erotic) looking, don’t you think? These are double-blossomed specimens.

On the tour we walked right by these two plants without an introduction by our guides. Yet I was energetically pulled in so hard by one of them that I tripped and almost fell down next to it. Since that day, the purple-blossomed Datura haunts me, occurring randomly and frequently in my thoughts and in my dreamtime. I have no idea whether it carries a fragrance or not, I never put my nose to it. So wickedly seductive that I mildly-feared falling into it and never coming out.

My shamanic background tells me that when an element of Nature repeatedly calls to us, or in my case haunts me, there is a message or a teaching that it wishes to convey. One day very soon I will safely fall into the image of this flower via the shamanic journey method, and if appropriate, I’ll let you know what tale it wishes to tell.

Meanwhile there are many beautiful photos from these gardens to share. And so I will, either here with a bit of story, or on the Sacred Escentuals Facebook page. If you go to that page and “like” it, you’ll have access to them.

Likewise you can “subscribe” to this blog page below and each posting will go directly to your email box.

May the blessings of the benevolent forces carry us through to the next time.

~ Gail

October marks the one year anniversary of Sacred Escentuals and the launch of my first two Natural Perfumes, Egyptian Blue Lotus and Sacred Lotus. Both inspired by the exotic essential oils I brought back from Egypt.

They are available for purchase at: www.SacredEscentuals.com

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