GHOST QUEEN, LADY DATURA
The Native American Chumash of the Southern coastal regions of California speak of a ghost woman called Momoy, who can either manifest as a very old crone looking like a Witch, or to otherwise appear as a ravishingly beautiful sorceress, of an ethereal appearance, whose visionary manifestation is that of a most wanton Succubus.
Momoy is the spirit of the Datura flower, specifically Datura meteliodes, but this name is actually a synonym of Datura inoxia, which is a Mexican plant, whose flower is narrower than its Datura stramonium counterpart, having ten teeth at its flower rim rather than five. In the US, it is sometimes called ‘Western Jimson weed’ because of its resemblance to Datura stramonium.
The Datura family is known for its potent hallucinogenic properties, which includes Datura stramonium; wherefore Momoy can be very dangerous indeed to the unwary, who has an intriguing link with the author Carlos Castaneda, whom spoke of partaking of Datura.
Most people commonly associate Castaneda’s experiences of altered states of consciousness being induced by the scared plant, Peyote; but the principle plant he partook of was Datura, which played the primary role in his early experiences into other realities, being his famous and most often cited experience of shapeshifting into a Crow.
The connection with Momoy becomes far more apparent when Castaneda mentions that his Yaqui teacher into Toltec sorcery, Don Juan Matus, was not too fond of Datura, which he otherwise called Yerba del Diablo, the ‘Devil’s Weed.’ In the Castaneda’s narrative Don Juan Matus claimed that its nature was not unlike that of a most seductive woman, who is a powerful sorceress.
Don Juan Matus related: “She (Datura) is as powerful as the best of ‘Allies,’ but there is something I personally don’t like about her. She distorts men. She gives them a taste of power too soon without fortifying their hearts and makes them domineering and unpredictable. She makes them weak in the middle of their great power.”
Datura inoxia, is considered to be the ‘younger sister’ of Datura stramonium by the Mixe tribe of Oaxaca in Mexico, who believe the stramonium plant houses a spirit called Ta:gamih, meaning, ‘Grandmother.’ She is usually called upon when divining cures.
During a ritual the male practitioners partake of 3×9= ‘twenty-seven’ seeds (note: twenty-seven reduces down to nine) and women use 3×7= ‘twenty-one’ seeds. In Mexico the Catholic church believes the plant was created by their Devil, and like Mephistopheles it entices people to make pacts with its spirit.
Whereby you have the alternate name, Yerba del Diablo. Although, since the natives consider Datura to be feminine of quality you could alternatively see it as being a female version of Mephistopheles to otherwise name as Mephistophina.
You can thereby determine that Momoy has to be treated with great respect, which requires that the practitioner knows the correct proportions and careful ritualistic use of her powerful plant, otherwise she will most assuredly kill an unwary dabbler.
It is said that if you drink the bathwater of Momoy, being that, of a tea made from the root of her plant it will enable a practitioner to contact a personal dream (Ally) helper, from whom requests can be made, as well as seeing ghosts. The dream (Ally) can be prior determined of a meditated upon two-dimensional image, in order to direct the conjured Datura visions of its three-dimensional manifestation.
But, the subconscious will generate its own visionary material, which will formulate of intricate associative correspondences, like that of a tortuous dream; so, the practitioner has to be very careful about the imagery he chooses to meditate upon of a prior ritual. In other words, his beliefs will determine the nature of the Datura visions, more so those underlying beliefs and forgotten memories, he is totally unaware of; whereupon it is a case of, “know thyself, first.”
That is why, as her Chumash tale relates, Momoy would not let her grandson drink of her essence, since ‘he did not know of the proper use of her power and its dosage,’ which of an overdose can lead to hellish insanity and his eventual demise.
The name of Momoy can also be found in the ancient tradition of the Bocon zone in the Merida State of Venezuela. However, Momoy is otherwise seen as small ghosts called Momoys, which are commonly depicted looking like bearded gnomes, wearing phallic hats, or in the same shape as the Datura flower. Although the image of the gnome depicts the shaman partaking of Datura, not the spirit its self. The gnome like figure is very likely derived from a European influence, since the natives do not have beards.
The Momoy shamans are seen to be adept at contacting the feminine spirits living at the bottom of the lagoons, of similarity to what Don Juan Matus communicated about the inorganic feminine intelligence of the Allies, being associated with waterholes. The duty of the Momoy shamans is to look after the natural environment by interacting with the spirits, whose domain is the watery amniotic realm of uterine dreams.
The problem is that Momoy has since been taken out of her ritualistic context for mundane recreational use, whose unwary users should look into why Datura is called Jimson weed, or Jamestown weed in the US. The name stems from the town of Jamestown, Virginia, where British soldiers became drugged with it while attempting to suppress Bacon’s Rebellion. They are reported to have spent eleven days going literally insane. You can thereby gather that Momoy should ‘Not’ be taken by those who are mentally unstable; for she can trigger off schizophrenia in those who are susceptible.
Anglophone settlers in California often called Datura, ‘Indian whiskey’ because of its intoxicating ritual use by many tribes, which gave rise to the name, ‘Sacred Datura.’ Other common names include ‘Indian Apple’ and ‘Nightshade,’ (not to be confused with Solanum) Devil’s Trumpet, Stinkweed, Locoweed, Pricklyburr, Devil’s Cucumber, Hell’s Bells, as well as Thorn Apple. The commonality of the names warn of an inherent danger that Datura can induce madness in the uninitiated; although, madness is often aligned with genius; suffice to say, lady Datura is quite crazy.
The Tongva tribe call it Manit. Mexicans call stramonium and inoxia, Tolguacha, or Toloache, whose power will enable a practitioner to enter into the surrealist realities of their deep subconscious, which can be a cathartic experience.
The Maya of the Yucatan use the ‘Mehen xtoh-k’uh,’, in the same way as Datura inoxia. It has a long tradition of being used for conducting prophecies and oracles (similar to Brugmansia sanguinea). The Aztecs also used Thorn Apple, which they called Mixitl.
Momoy has been partaken of by other aboriginal Americans across the Americas, such as the Algonquin, Cherokee, Marie Galente, and Luiseño, who also used this hallucinogenic plant in sacred ceremonies.
The Canadian ethnobotanist Wade Davis, who authored the Serpent And The Rainbow, investigated the superb Haitian synthesis of African, Native American and European elder lore, which is called Vodou. Davis identified the usage of Datura stramonium, called ‘Concombre Zombi,’ as being a central ingredient for the concoction of a powder, Vodou priests use to create the Zombies, who are ruled over by Baron Samedhi, whose feminine counterpart is (Momoy) Maman Brigitte.
The ingredient of the Zombie powder may actually be derived from another plant, which is colloquially known as Burundanga, or ‘The Devil’s Breath,’ in South America. Datura and the Devil’s Breath both contain the chemical called scopolamine. But the Devil’s Breath is far more potent, which is derived from a particular type of tree common to South America, called the ‘Borrachero’ tree, loosely translated as, the ‘get-you-drunk’ tree.
Like the Zombie powder, scopolamine can be blown into the face of a passer-by on the street, and within minutes, that person is under the drug’s effect; scopolamine is odourless and tasteless. The Nazi regime as well as the CIA used scopolamine as part of their interrogations, with the hope of using it like a truth serum; but it was untrustworthy due to the ensuing hallucinations it induced. You can then fathom that the Nazi scientists and in turn the CIA’s appropriation of the Nazi discoveries, were well aware of the Zombie powder, long before Davis investigated the ancient practices of Vodou.
As for the use of Datura, it is also known of in Africa, such as Ethiopia, whose Debtrawoch (lay priests), use Datura stramonium to ‘open the mind’ to be more receptive to learning, and creative imaginative thinking, since it enables the practitioner to access hypnagogic trance; whereby to then dream, while awake.
However, should the dream be a nightmare, the practitioner will not be free of its horrors, until the affects of Datura have subsided. The common name ‘Datura’ originates from the ancient Sanskrit word, Dhatura, meaning plant, which was used in ancient India, where the plant is considered to be particularly sacred.
Datura is believed to be the sacred plant of the Hindu God Shiva Nataraja; for via its use Shiva (the [shaman] Lord of Yoga) was therefore able to contact Kali, who is the (Momoy) queen of ghosts, the mother of the dead. (Shiva can be equated with the Vodou Loa, Baron Samedhi; whereby (Momoy) Maman Brigitte equates with Kali.)
In the old world of Europe, Datura was associated with Witch ‘flying ointments’ (Castaneda flying as a Crow into [eternal recurrence] eternity) and various hex (hexagram/sexagram) rituals for the conjuring of spirits.
The seeds were also used as a narcotic ingredient in ritual beer. Gypsies used Datura ritually to banish as well as to attract ghosts, who are said to have known of the Thorn Apple for such ‘ritual’ practices, they were not conducted lightly; Datura is not to be partaken of for a bit of escapist fun; as mentioned prior, she is a dangerous lady.
On the night of the 30th of November Gypsies would place the seeds of Thorn Apple outdoors; the next day they would then throw them into a fire. If the seeds cracked loudly, then the winter would be hard and dry.
The seeds were also used for shamanistic divination rites; such as those conducted by Lapp shamans, which involved the placement of nine to twenty-one seeds upon a marked animal skin of a drum. The skin was then beaten so that the seeds would be vibrated to jump around and, depending on the position of the seeds (on or between the marked lines upon the drum skin) it was then divined, whether a sick person (man/9 or woman/21) would be cured or not.
The number of the seeds is curious, which is similar to the dosage of the Mixe ritual for a man and a woman. But then Datura was originally brought to Mexico by the European colonists, some of whom no doubt remembered their pre-Christian (Momoy) heritage, since there is a similarity of ritualistic usage between cultures.
But, then again, Datura may have entered the new world long before the Conquistadors ever st foot in the Americas; whereas the oriental species was brought to Europe by the Scythian’s and later by the Gypsies. The plant is widely distributed throughout Eurasia, the Caspian Sea, Mexico, and the North American East coastal region. Overall, it does appear that Momoy has travelled far and wide as a ghost, housed within a plant, which be as her hallucinogenic body, her dangerous flesh.