The story of Circe, turning men to swine to gain her sovereignty through the use of her magical herbs. The drop-sheet in the background is a surface pattern I designed, using elements from illustration 6, featuring forager’s herbs and foods, printed on gauzy cloth.
A woman bathes in abortifacient herbs, to gain autonomy and agency over her life. A metamorphosis begins to take place in the body.
“Herbal knowledge is transmitted to, belongs to and is practiced and managed by women, like property.” – Only Women Know the Trees.
Giulia Tofana, creator of the famous poison “Aqua Tofana” was a friend and hero to marginalized people, and women looking to escape abusive relationships, with her special poison, containing the herb, Belladonna.
Women have practiced herbalism as a form of reproductive autonomy for centuries. Plants like Red Clover and fennel aid in conception. Each plant on the figure corresponds with the part of the body it benefits. Symbols such as the bee, and the egg enforce the symbolism of fertility.
Circe, White Witch of Aeaea, tricks Odysseus’ men into drinking a potion with Jimson Weed, that turns the trespassers into swine.
Alexis Nikole aka Black Forager, is working to educate and empower people through herbalism and foraging, via her humorous and informative social media platforms. She reclaims “lost” knowledge that was otherwise deemed unimportant through the lens of colonialism and capitalism.
Airmid, Celtic Goddess of healing herbs, wept over the death of her brother and from her tears, sprang 365 healing herbs, one for each sinew and joint. Airmid is traditionally depicted with a mortar and pestle.