toxic plant

A handy list of poisons for writing reference, provided to you by me, Bella

Poisoning is one of the oldest murder tactics in the books. It was the old equalizer, and while it’s often associated with women, historically men are no less likely to poison you. This is not a guide on how to poison people, you banana bunches, it’s a guide on writing about poisons in fiction so you don’t end up on a watch list while researching them. I’ve taken that hit for you. You’re welcome. These are just a few of the more classic ones.

  • Hemlock: Hemlock (conium maculatum) is one of the more famous ones, used in ancient times most notably in Socrates’ forced suicide execution. So it goes. The plant has bunches of small, white flowers, and can grow up to ten feet tall. It’s a rather panicky way to die, although it wouldn’t show: hemlock is a paralytic, so the cause of death is most often asphyxiation due to respiratory paralysis, although the mind remains unaffected and aware.
  • Belladonna: Atropa belladonna is also called deadly nightshade. It has pretty, trumpet-shaped purple flowers and dark, shiny berries that actually look really delicious which is ironic since it’s the most toxic part of the plant. The entire plant is poisonous, mind you, but the berries are the most. One of the most potent poisons in its hemisphere, it was used as a beauty treatment, so the story says, and rubbed into the eyes to make the eyes dilate and the cheeks flush. Hench the name beautiful lady. The death is more lethargic than hemlock, although its symptoms are worse: dilated pupils, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, tachycardia, loss of balance, staggering, headache, rash, flushing, severely dry mouth and throat, slurred speech, urinary retention, constipation, confusion, hallucinations, delirium, and convulsions. It’s toxic to animals, but cattle and rabbits can eat it just fine, for some reason. 
  • Arsenic: Arsenic comes from a metalloid and not a plant, unlike the others here, but it’s easily the most famous and is still used today. Instead of being distilled from a plant, chunks of arsenic are dug up or mined. It was once used as a treatment for STDs, and also for pest control and blacksmithing, which was how many poisoners got access to it. It was popular in the middle ages because it looked like a cholera death, due to acute symptoms including stomach cramps, diarrhea, confusion, convulsions, vomiting, and death. Slow poisoning looked more like a heart attack. The Italians famously claimed that a little arsenic improved the taste of wine.
  • Strychnine: Strychnine (strick-nine) is made from the seed of strychnos nux vomica and causes poisoning which results in muscular convulsions and eventually death through asphyxia. Convulsions appear after inhalation or injection—very quickly, within minutes—and take somewhat longer to manifest after ingestion, around approximately 15 minutes. With a very high dose, brain death can occur in 15 to 30 minutes. If a lower dose is ingested, other symptoms begin to develop, including seizures, cramping, stiffness, hypervigilance, and agitation. Seizures caused by strychnine poisoning can start as early as 15 minutes after exposure and last 12 – 24 hours. They are often triggered by sights, sounds, or touch and can cause other adverse symptoms, including overheating, kidney failure, metabolic and respiratory acidosis. During seizures, abnormal dilation, protrusion of the eyes, and involuntary eye movements may occur. It is also slightly hallucinogenic and is sometimes used to cut narcotics. It also notably has no antidote. In low doses, some use it as a performance enhancer.
  • Curare: Chondrodendron tomentosum is lesser known than its famous cousins, but kills in a very similar way to hemlock. It is slow and terrible, as the victim is aware and the heart may beat for many minutes after the rest of the body is paralyzed. If artificial respiration is given until the poison subsides, the victim will survive.
  • WolfsbaneAconitum has several names; Monkshood, aconite, Queen of Poisons, women’s bane, devil’s helmet) and is a pretty, purple plant with gourd-shaped flowers. The root is the most potent for distillation. Marked symptoms may appear almost immediately, usually not later than one hour, and with large doses death is near instantaneous. Death usually occurs within two to six hours in fatal poisoning. The initial signs are gastrointestinal including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. This is followed by a sensation of burning, tingling, and numbness in the mouth and face, and of burning in the abdomen. In severe poisonings pronounced motor weakness occurs and sensations of tingling and numbness spread to the limbs. The plant should be handled with gloves, as the poison can seep into the skin.
  • FoxgloveDigitalis is large with trumpet-shaped flowers that can be many colors, but usually a pinkish shade. It may have from the term foxes-glew, which translated to fairy music. Intoxication causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, as well as sometimes resulting in xanthopsia (jaundiced or yellow vision) and the appearance of blurred outlines (halos), drooling, abnormal heart rate, cardiac arrhythmias, weakness, collapse, dilated pupils, tremors, seizures, and even death. Slowed heartbeat also occurs. Because a frequent side effect of digitalis is reduction of appetite and the mortality rate is low, some individuals have used the drug as a weight-loss aid. It looks a bit like comfrey, which is an aid for inflammation. Make sure not to confuse the two.
An Introduction to Growing Poisonous Plants

As a blog focused mostly on Witchcraft, I usually get asks and messages from people interested in that area of my knowledge. However I’m also a herbalist and a moderately keen gardener, and so I occasionally get people asking for that. In this instance, a user messaged me asking for advice on how to start growing plants, and she specified that she’s most interested in poisonous species. So here’s a post for you, and for all of the other beginner herbalists, Witches, gardeners or simply people who like poisonous things!


1) The key word is plants

All vascular plants, irrespective of their toxicity, habitat or traits, share between them traits that are common to all plants everywhere. These are mostly:

  1. They need sunlight.
  2. They need water.
  3. They need food.
  4. They need carbon dioxide and oxygen from the air
  5. They need to breed

The quantities of each, the proportion of each, and the types of each may vary wildly, but ALL plants need ALL five of them. Some plants have evolved some rather interesting mechanisms to obtain them, but if you don’t provide them with at least the first four (the last one is, in captivity, less important for most plants) they will not survive. Learn what requirements your chosen species require. Do they need dappled sun or full sun? Is tapwater acceptable or must they only be given rainwater? What foods do they need in their soil? Make sure you provide them!


2) Poisonous plants are poisonous!

I know, I know, it seems obvious but then again so did “don’t smoke in the fireworks factory” and some bright spark still went and did that. Remember that if you are specifically growing a species that is poisonous, it may well require specialist treatments to safely grow and tend. Oleander is a common ornamental species, but all parts of it are potentially very poisonous and so it should only be pruned wearing long sleeves and gloves. Foxgloves are beautiful biennials but they also contain the lethal poison digitalis, used as a heart medicine in very, VERY precise dosages, and so they must be kept away from fires of any kind. 

Research CAREFULLY what kind of poisons your plants produce and make very certain to familiarise yourself with:

  • Preventative methods to avoid exposure
  • Symptoms of accidental poisoning
  • Your local poisons hotline number
  • The first aid procedures for exposure
  • Methods to avoid pets or young children being exposed

Most poisonous plants are not lethal, but even non-lethal levels of poisoning can be potentially devastating to those with liver or kidney issues, or to young children or small animals. 


3) Practice on nontoxic plants first

Your first plants should never be any species that are potentially poisonous, purely because you’re unfamiliar with the care of potentially delicate plant species and you’re likely to make mistakes. Think of it like working in a chemistry lab - we don’t give beginners arsenic to work with in their first experiments, because we know they’re not aware of all the safety protocols and correct treatment of arsenic. Similarly, your first plants should never be belladonna or hemlock - instead, stick to plants that are well-known to be non-toxic. 

It may be a good idea to practice on plants related to your target species first, and then move on to more toxic examples later. For instance, instead of starting with belladonna, start out with tomatoes (a kind of nightshade), then move up to non-poisonous nightshades, and then try a more mildly toxic nightshade like woody nightshade, before finally planting deadly nightshade. Since many toxic plants are connected to the nightshade family, this is a good way to get used to that family before planting hensbane, deadly nightshade, and similar plants. 

Mandrakes (Mandragora officinalis) often grow in the same environments as wild beetroot and chicory, so these plants would be excellent starters although they’re not really related. 

Basically, look up plants that grow around your intended species, and practice on those before moving up to the more dangerous examples.


4) Prevent cross-pollination

All gardeners know the pain of growing two species together that are just a little TOO closely related, and ending up with weird hybrids all over the place. Plants are very big on “cross-pollination” - when one species pollinates a different species, causing the growth of an entirely new variety of plant. This is often beneficial: water-mint and spearmint hybridise to form the delicious but sterile peppermint, for example. However, with poisonous plants, cross-pollination could result in new varieties of poisonous plants being produced that could escape into the wild and become dangerous or invasive. So, manage cross-pollination!


5) Keep them away from bees

Many poisonous chemicals can be passed into honey through bees’ collection of nectar and pollen, or alternatively will simply kill bees who attempt to eat the nectar outright. For instance, the popular ornamental plant “Angel’s Trumpet” will cause brood-death in bees, and oleander poisons will concentrate in honey and potentially harm both bees and humans. However, not all plants are so dangerous - foxgloves are extremely toxic to humans, but bees adore them and the honey produced from foxgloves is pleasant and safe. As a general rule though, keep toxic plants away from anywhere with an interest in promoting bee health! 

Rhododendrons are apparently especially harmful to bees, and honey made from bog-rosemary (Andromeda polifolia, unrelated to true rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis) is very poisonous to humans who consume it, potentially causing paralysis, dizziness, nerve damage, diarrhoea and vomiting. Not fun!


6) Work out how you’re going to store the products

It’s always good to know how you’re going to keep your products safe and secure after production to prevent people getting them confused for more innocent substances. Also, remember that you should never burn poisonous plant matter!


I hope that helps you all!

– Juniper Wildwalk

Humans Are Weird

On the whole Humans are Weird thing.

If we take the accumulation of many of the Earth is Space Australia and Humans Are Space Orcs / Doc Brown / Hold My Beer Crazy / Obsessive Pack Bonders to it’s logical conclusion in terms of *the other aliens*, then it made me realise something.

Earth would be terrifyingly biodiverse to most of them.

Because they’re not as robust as us.  They’re more risk-averse.  They don’t pack bond like we do.

Aliens that evolved from prey animals wipe out most of the predators on their planet as soon as they’re able to, and heavily cull most of the non-sapient prey species that they don’t tame for labour or leather or other materials.  Predator-based aliens breed a select few species for sport and food, and mostly get rid of the rest.  Insects that bite or sting or are poisonous or don’t directly benefit them by maintaining their crops or the crops their food eats get wiped out, as do toxic and non-beneficial plants.  Forests are replaced by orchards, woodlands by farms and meadows by intricate little gardens, at least for the alien species with a sense of aesthetics.

Oh, there’s sometimes a period of some unease or upheaval once the realities of ecosystems are made known to them, but you’d be amazed how easy it is to bioengineer a species of tame, non-stinging multi-purpose pollinator.  And once all the other animals are whittled down to only the ones useful for the materials or food they produce, you can manage their numbers and food needs quite easily.

Some of the more daring alien species maintain zoos of select numbers of the more visually interesting wild creatures, carefully bred to maintain genetic diversity even at staggeringly low population levels.  Some of the more aggressive ones keep museums decked with the articulated skeletons of the more exciting animals they “conquered”. 

Hive aliens have the worst worlds.  There are some planets where the original biodiversity has been whittled down to nothing more than a half dozen varieties of fungi.


Humans might pack-bond readily with other aliens, but they almost never settle on worlds already established by other species, and rarely form terraforming teams with other species - at least not after the first time, when they saw what the other aliens thought of as terraforming. 


Meanwhile, aliens are terrified and horrified at the idea of settling on a human-settled world.  Don’t you know?  Humans managed to successfully wipe out wild boar, wolves and bears from some areas, only to *intentionally reintroduce those massively dangerous creatures* a couple centuries later!  Humans discovered the ancient remains of creatures with teeth larger than they were, and spent several centuries post-spaceflight trying eagerly to set up zoo worlds with genetically restored versions of them *for entertainment purposes*.  Humans have even dedicated entire small moons and planetoids to “conservation space” and do not replace the flora and fauna of newly colonised worlds with their own native species.

Forest Witch Tip: Poisonous doppelgangers🌿🌱

This is a list of some of the most confusing plants to identify, with dangerous evil twins (although they may be good for curses). Remember not to eat ANYTHING in the wild unless you’re 100% certain what it is. It’s especially important for us hedge witches who tend to forage vs grow and all kinds of nature witches to know what we’re picking. 




Sweet almonds vs. Bitter almonds

The sweet almonds that are bought, sold, and enjoyed in the U.S. and in most countries have only a negligible amount of cyanide in them, but bitter almonds—which are shorter and wider than their sweet cousins—can contain 42 times as much. This high cyanide content means that children can be fatally poisoned by eating just five to ten bitter almonds, and adults by eating around 50. Even a handful of bitter almonds can lead to dizziness or vertigo, weakness, difficulty breathing, and numerous other symptoms in adults 


Wild grapes VS. Moonseed

Menispermum canadense, or “Canadian moonseed,” produces fruit so similar in appearance to grapes and other pleasant edibles that it can blend in with the Vitis bunch if you’re not careful. The plant is toxic for humans from root to leaf-tip, and its moonseed berries—which have a single, crescent-shaped seed each, unlike grapes’ round ones—can easily prove fatal when eaten due to their toxic lode of dauricine.  Moonseeds also reportedly taste just awful (generally speaking, this is a good sign you should spit something out). 


Carrot, parsnips vs hemlock 

The above-ground plants of wild carrots (Daucus carota, widely known as Queen Anne’s Lace) and parsnips (Pastinaca sativa) can look a lot like hemlock’s, and the roots below can appear similar, too (especially when they’ve just been pulled out of the ground).


For the record, wild parsnip poses its own threat, too. Especially during flowering season, its sap can cause skin reactions which can range from a simple rash to something very much like a lasting, second-degree burn. So if you do go root-hunting (staying well clear of hemlock, of course), you’ll do well to use gloves and skin-covering clothing whenever possible.


Wild blueberry vs Tutsan

blueberries have a potentially deadly lookalike that’s spread from its native Eurasian zones to New Zealand, Australia, and North America. The black berries of Hypericum androsaemum, a.k.a. tutsan or “sweet amber” bushes, can do a decent blueberry impression but can cause gastrointestinal distress, weakness, raised heart-rate, and other symptoms in both people and animals, and especially in children. In general, eager berry-pickers should do some careful research before foraging in the wild, as a wide variety of berries are moderately to highly toxic, including strychnine tree berries, and holly berries

Story Time: Accidental Poisoning

The Mandrake leaf was yellowing, turning brown on the end. Just the one. As I munched on my apple, I loomed closer, and decided it would be best to snip the leaf. And so I did. Putting my apple down and taking up my scissors, I snipped the leaf, and began to press it between my fingers, trying to see if the problem was too much water, or too little. My mind is elsewhere though, far, far away. A good press brought out maybe few drops of liquid. Definitely underwatered. Putting the leaf down, I grabbed my watering can, and watered until I could see a small puddle form on the tray. Perfect. Now it won’t need water for some time. I look at all the other plants, watering each. All look content. Perfect

As I put down the watering can, I noticed a piece of apple skin caught in my teeth. I reached in, dislodged it, and continued on. Picking up the apple, I took another bite and began to pull out the makings for dinner. Only a few moments later, I knew something had happened. I was suddenly slammed with a feeling of being high. Fuck. I didn’t wash my hands. The apple skin! The apple! I’ve just fucking ingested Mandrake. I am….such…a genius. Shit shit shit.

I go to the bathroom, rinse out my mouth, wash off my lips, and swish some mouthwash. I look up. My pupils are alread slightly dialated. What the hell? It’s only been a minute! Perhaps it’s because I didn’t eat much today. That’s likely. Fuck. I should probably go to the doctor. I grab my keys and head out. The doctor is just up the road. This is fine. I’m slightly panicking, but overall I’m pretty chill about this. I know Mandrake. I know this plant. I have rubbed it in ny body dozens of times. I have felt it’s spirit kick my flesh. But ingestion. That’s a very new beast.

I am no fool. A doctor may not be able to really assist, and soending time in a waiting room…probably not ideal. Okay, let’s just play it safe and go to the hospital. Fuck, I don’t want to be saddled with a hospital bill. Is it really necessary? Fuck, now I’m getting giddy and light-headed. And there’s tingling. Okay, fine, I guess I’m taking a Lyft to the hospital today, dammit. Really don’t feel like seizing, so might as well go.

I get to the hospital. Where they tell me to wait…and wait……and wait………my perception of reality is shifting a touch. That’s bothersome, but not horrifying. I expected as much. Still, I’m waiting to even be triaged. Shit. Okay, they’re bringing me into the room to be checked out. Cool. I lay the table with what I know, the chemical that is causing the poisoning, the name of the plant, answering why I’m growing it (and obviously lying), and describing each symptom I’ve experienced, and what is to come. I know what I’m talking about here. I am confident. I am….so damn giddy.

Okay, they tell me. Go wait.

Go wait? Seriously? Well fuck, I hope I’m right and that there’s really no need to be here cuz damn, at this point y'all are just waiting for me to freak out. My mouth is dry as hell, but okay.

Thirty minutes go by, and Tangled, which was at the bar scene when I came in, is now over, fully through the credits, and now playing special features. And I am feeling totally fine. As fast asthe atropine hit me, it’s now subsided. Well, I guess I’ll just go ahead and leave then. They tell me I HAVE to see a nurse before I can leave. Okay fine. I go into the room, and talk to the nurse dude. I’m fine. He’s fine. We’re all fine. Can I go now?

And so here I am, hungry as hell, and eyeing my mandrake plant, who I can tell is giggling at me. “Silly witch,” Mandrake says. “Don’t underestimate me. You must be more careful!”

I did indeed vastly underestimate this marvelous plant, and let my guard down as I tended to it. Now I know. What a dangerous, and yet thrilling lesson to learn. As @occvlta has stated, we must ingest our poisons to learn about them. But perhaps such ingestion should not occur in this fashion. Good Lord, what a ride.

Lesson to all. Mind your hands, your plants, and what you ingest.

anonymous asked:

How do you like keeping arboreals as opposed to ground living snakes? Is it a lot harder?

I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily harder; it just has its own set of challenges. Arboreal snakes tend to have different issues come up regarding husbandry and enrichment–for example, when I rescued my Amazon tree boa, the guy who abandoned her said she would never perch and that’s why he didn’t want her (along with the horrible mite infestation she came with).

It turned out she just didn’t like the perches he was providing her and once I gave her something that allowed her more points of contact, she started perching during the day a lot more. Animals seldom do things for no reason and part of being a good keeper is trying to troubleshoot these problems from the animal’s perspective.

Arboreal snakes also tend to behave a little differently in regards to handling. In my experience they tend to be more alert and high strung (this doesn’t necessarily mean aggressive, it might just mean you need to pay more attention to where your fingers are moving around when you handle them to avoid startling them). Treating mites on arboreals can be a bigger ordeal since I’ve found that they’re more susceptible to getting stressed by the bathing process.

I practice what I call “husbandry handling” with my ATB because she’s a slightly nervous animal who prefers not to be handled often–however, I need to be able to do it with as little fuss and stress as possible in case she ever got sick or injured and needed hands-on medical treatment. This basically means I take her out on a regular basis and practice touching gently all over her body in the ways I might need to in order to provide medical assistance, but try to make it as stress-free and short as possible. She prefers to be a hands-off pet, and that’s fine! She’s still pretty chill for an ATB and I’m grateful she’s tolerant of husbandry handling.

Holly, on the other hand, is very laid back and doesn’t mind being handled. I’ve met CBB chondros that were much more nervous and didn’t like handling at all, so this seems to be a matter of individual temperament. She had an infected tooth last year from hitting the tongs and I was able to get in her mouth to treat it with relatively little fuss and stress for her.

This got a lot longer than I meant it to, so I guess the TL;DR version is that keeping arboreals is definitely different, but not necessarily harder if you have the experience and resources to do it properly. I’ve only kept chondros and Amazon tree boas though as far as arboreals go so that’s about all I can speak for.

Mother Nature’s poisonous plants to humans...

Monkshood (Aconitum napellus)

The most poisonous part is the roots, though the leaves can pack a punch too. Both contain a neurotoxin that can be absorbed through the skin. Early symptoms of poisoning are tingling and numbness at the point of contact or severe vomiting and diarrhea if it has been eaten. In 2010, a woman poisoned her lover using this plant. Apart from causing severe gastrointestinal upset, the poison slows the heart rate which can result in death.

Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)

These weeds are massive and pretty hard to miss when they are towering over you.  The sap of the giant hogweed plant is phototoxic; when the contacted skin is exposed to sunlight or to ultraviolet rays it can cause severe skin inflammations. Initially, the skin colours red and starts itching. 

Blisters form as it burns within 48 hours. They form black or purplish scars that can last several years. Hospitalization may be necessary.  The presence of minute amounts of sap in the eyes can lead to temporary or even permanent blindness.

The manchineel tree (Hippomane mancinella) 

Found in northern South America up to the Florida Everglades and throughout the Caribbean. In some parts of its range it’s painted with a cautionary red cross. They grow little green fruits that were once called the ‘little apple of death’ by Columbus. 

The milky sap produced by this tree contains the powerful irritant phorbol. Just brushing past it can leave you with horribly scalded skin. Sheltering beneath it in a tropical shower can be disastrous too because even the diluted sap can cause an extreme rash.  Burning down these trees is also a bad idea. The smoke from a burning manchineel can temporarily blind a person and cause significant breathing problems.  While the effects are unpleasant, skin contact with this tropical tree can’t kill you. The real death threat comes from eating its small round fruit.  Ingesting the fruit can prove fatal when severe vomiting and diarrhea dehydrate the body to the point of no return.

Ricinus communis

Now well known thanks to Walter White in Breaking Bad. This plant is used to make caster oil.  After the laxative oil has been extracted the remaining residues of its mottled brown seeds contain a potent cocktail of toxins. 

Ricin kills by interfering in cell metabolism, the basic chemical processes needed to sustain life. The creation of essential proteins is blocked, leading to cell death. Casualties can suffer vomiting, diarrhea and seizures for up to a week before dying of organ failure.

source

6

Herbs, flowers, fruits, wood: The substitutes you can count on!

You’ll probably be using at least one of the above things in most magical workings. Here’s a quick breakdown! 

ROSEMARY: Rosemary can substitute for any herb. Used for its own properties, it is a good component in cleansing baths, can be kept under the pillow to remember dreams, and things associated with memory: memorable impressions, recall, and enhancement of one’s own memory. In cooking, it makes a delicious addition to savory dishes and meats, while also providing a complex flavor to sweet applications. Rosemary infused in honey or tea is strong and tasty, and it adds a sophisticated edge to simple sweets like sugar cookies.

ROSE: Rose can substitute for any flower. Make sure to only get roses for culinary applications or grow your own, since those from a florist will likely contain pesticides! Roses are known for their uses in love spells, but are also used in many applications calling for happy, benign energy. Rose can soothe an angry heart, especially if the anger is due to relationship issues. In cooking, rose is a delicate floral note that can easily be lost under intense flavor, and is best highlighted in sweet or mild applications. Rose petals and rosehips make great tea, and can be jellied for a vitamin-C rich treat. Rose petals can be infused into oil, honey, sugars, and alcohol. Rose water can be used to enhance the flavor, but be sparing—storebought rosewater does not taste as light as homemade, and can overpower and ruin natural floral flavors.

LEMON/ORANGE: Fruit substitutions are less straightforward than others, but lemon, orange, and occasionally apple are considered solid go-tos. Pick whichever is right for the working or recipe, based either on intent or the other spell components! Lemon is associated with water and the moon, and used frequently in purifying and cleansing—both magical and non-magical. Lemon and honey in hot water is a great remedy for sore throat and indigestion, and the smell of lemon will perk you right up on a sleepy morning. Lemon (or any citrus) peel infuses fantastically in sugar, honey, booze, etc. Avoid using pith (the white stuff) and stick to the flavorful zest and juice. Zest is great in practically any baked good, and simply pouring hot water over used lemon rinds will make you entire house smell amazing.

PINE: Pine is regarded as a good substitute for most resins and woods. Pine resin is easy to collect, as are the needles, with a little reading on the species of tree. Pine is thought to banish sickness and bring in prosperity and luck, and often hung over doors or mixed into fragrant sachets to place under pillows. Pine needle tea is bitter, but rich in vitamins A and C; it should be incorporated sparingly to cooking applications, and you may want to enhance it with mint to avoid overuse of the bitter pine taste. In outdoor cooking, pine smells beautiful under a grill or in a fire.

CLARIFICATION: Some people have pointed out that pine can be dangerous to burn due to the high quantities of resin in the wood. This is not untrue! Pine can produce larger quantities of creosote and smoke, due to the resin and tar in logs. However, unless you cook with an all-pine fire regularly, it is not likely to reach dangerous levels (which you wouldn’t anyway, because all-pine fires will make your food taste like a BUTT). I also specified that it should be outdoor flame, since in a wood stove it can cause dangerous buildup. Also, not a great idea to use exclusively pine wood in a fire, as it won’t burn as well/won’t taste great; it’s best when cut with oak. Since pine burns hot, I like to start my bonfire/grill with it, and then pile apple or cherry wood on for the actual cooking an hour later. A few good pine logs/handful of chips will burn well, smell great, and be largely harmless. So like most spell components, research well and use in moderation! 

TOBACCO: Substitute for any poisonous herb. NOT FOR CULINARY USE. It is worth mentioning only in the case that someone is adapting a non-edible spell or ritual into an edible recipe that includes a poisonous herb—NEVER bring toxic plants into the kitchen, at risk of cross-contamination, and instead substitute tobacco by burning a cigarette near the pot (or, if you don’t want that in the house, burning it outside and catching a little smoke in a bottle to bring in). Do not add ashes to the cooking, as they are also poisonous. Don’t let this anywhere near your mouth.

QUARTZ: Not exactly a cooking ingredient, but stones are often used in magic and it is possible to bring them into the kitchen. Clear quartz is a good substitute for any stone you may not have, as it cleanly amplifies energies. While I wouldn’t ever put stones IN something you intend to eat, if you insist on soaking a stone/crystal in liquid recipe ingredients (water, tea, milk, etc), use quartz or another safe stone; malachite, copper, and many other minerals become poisonous when introduced to liquid environments. Don’t put any stone in something acidic, like juice, unless you are POSITIVE it will 1. not erode, and 2. not poison you. Don’t put crystals or stones in overly hot or boiling water, as this could cause them to crack and explode. And if they DO, don’t eat anything with sharp little crystal bits in it! Seriously, treat small shattered crystals like you would glass shards.

Most of these substitute ingredients are entirely edible (or at least mostly harmless) in some form, so if you’re trying to adapt a nonedible spell to baking or cooking, consider using some of these subs in the place of less…digestible…spell components. There are usually plenty of other subs with the properties you need, but these steadfast six are not only reliable, but pretty easy to acquire!

Witches, TAKE A LOOK AT THIS LIST!!

As witches, we have plants everywhere… dried herbs, or growing houseplants.  As children of nature we adore plants and house plants. However, be especially careful what you’re exposing your beloved familiar to.  Housecats do not have the same instincts as feral cats on what plants to stay away from.  

Most cats just LOVE plants - they’ll dig in them, tip them over, go potty in them, and often times, eat them or use the leaves to clean their teeth.  MAKE SURE THEY ARE NOT HAVING ACCESS TO TOXIC PLANTS.  


Keeping Pets Safe:

1)  Put those plants up high (really high…)

2) Spray them down with sour tasting vinegar or insecticidal soup that is safe for animals

3) Put pinecones in the pot. Pets hate pointy things

4)  Don’t buy them.  If you are not sure you can keep your pet away from toxic plants, just don’t buy them.  There are PLENTY of plants/herbs we can have and use instead.

5) Keep the plants outside (if you have an indoor cat) or put the plants in a room that remains off limits to Kitty.

youtube

Giant Hogweed PSA
Heracleum mantegazzianum

This is an amazing plant. It can also hurt you.

  • -Invasive species from Eurasia.
  • -Spreading in North Eastern North America & Elsewhere.
  • -It takes years to eradicate and spreads rapidly
  • -It is covered in bristles that contain a highly toxic sap
  • -The sap changes your skin to become photosensitive and will cause 3rd degree-like burns, whelps, and blisters. Not just for awhile but for YEARS. The rash will change the color of your skin and though it may fade, years later it could flare up again just as bad. It stays with you.
  • -There can be permanent scarring.
  • -If it comes in contact with your eyes you CAN go blind


DO NOT touch, mow, weed eat, or attempt to remove. Call your local forestry extension.


 - -PSA y'all - Spread the news if you will

I didn’t see a presence of warning about Hogweed on Tumblr and this is a serious plant that is spreading through the north east and elsewhere that you need to know about.

Warning: Burn and Blister photos and other ID below the cut

Keep reading

Cat-Toxic Plants

There are tons and tons of plants out there. Many of them can kill your cat even if they just nibble a tiny bit. So why risk it? Here is a list of plants to avoid if you are a cat owner. It’s probably a safe bet that if you are a dog person, this would poison them too. Please keep your fur babies safe!

• English Ivy
• Spanish Thyme
• Tulip and Narcissus Bulbs
• Yew
• Chrysanthemum
• Kalanchoe
• Lilies
• Peace Lily
• Sago Palm
• Amaryllis
• Autumn Crocus
• Azaleas
• Rhododendrons
• Castor Bean
• Cyclamen
• Marijuana
• Oleander
• Pothos

On Fae and Spirit work.   (A master post)

In my perspective, as well as experience, Fae (I can only speak of those in North America and Central America) are spirits. As such, it is not likely you’ll ever see them physically manifest. Like other spirits, (Ancestors, Angels, Demons, Djinn, plant spirits, etc.) Fae exist within a hierarchy of both age and size, which generally go hand-in-hand. In fact, there is a hierarchy that is recognized by all spirits.
(When I say “size” I am referring to how powerful they are, not how tall they are.) 
-SJW warning: Things within this post are 70% learned from direct experience, 25% taught to me by a practitioner of Curanderismo, & 5% book/internet research.


Dealings with Fea:

If you must, despite the warnings from the community, seek out a Fae, you should know a few things:

1- Where to find them.
2- How to locate one within that place and convince them to commune with you.
3- Ways you can protect yourself and others around you.
4- How to “befriend” one.
5- How to close communion.

A few useful things to have on you: fresh mint, fresh lavender, really any common flowering plant in your region (All must be harvested respectfully because the Fae will feel it.) As well as buttons (the older- the better), red wine, moon water, and/or a small potted plant (if dealing with a Fae within a building)

Without knowing at least a few of these things, I surely would have been subject to all kinds of spiritual, physical and mental torture/harassment. 

#1: Where to find Fae
Fae do not necessarily reside in woodlands, deserts, swamps, mountains, forests, or lakes (etc). They can and do live in cities, suburbs and places like Walmart.  However, places like Walmart aren’t very attractive to them, and they will likely only live there temporarily. 
Fae like to be left alone, like most spirits. They will always nestle into a place that is secluded and rather quiet. The more foliage, the better because Fae do prefer more natural areas. They only exist out of nature due to urbanization. It’s actually really sad. If you find a Fae within a building, PLEASE be careful. They will likely not be too friendly. 
So, think of a place that is near you, where there is little human traffic that has at least some foliage. Then, once you have communed with a few Fae (That are in a more preferred habitat), and think that you could handle it, look in the dark secluded places in buildings. 

#2: How to locate and speak to a Fae if they reside in that area
You will need your intuition here- in fact, you will be relying on it nearly wholly. 
If in forests, mountains, and woodlands: they will likely be found near groves of old trees, running water, large boulders (That are covered in moss AND fungus), on mounds with flowers, secluded clearings in trees, and small caves. 

In deserts:
secluded caves, atop mesas, near water, oases, and around clusters of larger plants.

In swamps:
Near the oldest tree in the area, running water, large rocks that are being devoured by moss and mud, in tree branches, as well as nearly all over the place. 

In plains/prairie:
You will only find younger and/or smaller Fae. They will be clinging to the base of the grasses, hiding under yucca, near cacti, resting near wildflowers. 

In buildings: They will be found in dark corridors, abandoned buildings, attics, storage rooms that are barely used, the roof, and elevator shafts/empty stairwells.

Once you think you’ve found one, lay out an offering without looking directly at them. It is always best to look directly at the ground. Once the offering is set, bow your head to the ground- touching your forehead. Then speak aloud the reasoning for leaving that specific offering, while being as respectful and genuine as possible. Then give an offering of energy. (Before doing this, be sure to have protection [see #3]) This energy needs to be appropriate for the vibe of the Fae. 

Then, begin to speak aloud to them. Tell them about yourself, and your craft. You must be completely honest. Lying to a Fae can result in their anger. Ask if they are comfortable speaking to you. If they aren’t you’ll feel it. If this happens, bow again and stand and leave respectfully. Be sure to give a blessing to their home as you are leaving it. 

#3: How you can protect yourself and those around you
Objects you can carry that will help prevent them from: Following you [F], Leeching energy from you [L], Cursing you [C], Messing with your Psyche [P]. 
{”-” before a symbol means that it makes it easier, rather than preventing.)

-Iron (Nail, bar, wire, ball, key, etc.) [L]
-Tiger’s Eye [P] 
-A feather [F]
-Fresh Romero [L] [P]
-Copper [P] [-L]
-Rutilated Quartz [C] [P]
-Amethyst [L]
-Obsidian [C] [L]
-Turquoise [F] [P]
- Shungite [-L] [P] [C]
-Fresh Ecineccea flower [L] [C] [F]
-Salt [F] [L] [C]
-Sigils drawn on flesh or paper (potentially [F] [L] [C] [P] [-F] [-L] [-C] [-P])

There are a few energetic way to protect yourself as well.
Creating a shell of neutral reflective energy around you, building and maintaining a flame in your heart energy center, astral weapons/shields, tulpas/servitors/thought-forms, and blessings. 

Be sure to ALWAYS salt all thresholds in your home before leaving to commune with Fae. Brick dust, iron shavings, and Pipestone dust can be used in place of salt. 

Also, NEVER underestimate the power of respect, intuition, and understanding.

#4: How to “Befriend” a Fae
I use the term “befriend” very loosely, hence the quotation marks. It’s more like a trade deal. 
This can happen once they feel comfortable speaking to you, and you can then make a request- but not without compensation. If a request is made without compensation, they will likely take something of their own choosing. 
For example, I met a really old Fae that recently migrated to a conservation area near me. (by recently I mean within the last 100 years, which is like a week or two to her.) Once she was comfortable speaking to me, I asked her for guidance and assistance in my craft- as well as to join my circle of spirits in the direction of the North. In return I offered to ward her home- to this, she scoffed. Instead, all she asked for in return was my faith in her and her home- as well as to never mention her name around or to any other humans. (I can’t even write it in my Grimoire- I checked)

#5: How to close a communion with a Fae
If a Fae is gracious enough to commune with you, you should always end with a statement of honest gratitude.
Ways to physically show gratitude and respect could be as follows:
-placing your forehead on the ground
-kissing the ground
-manifest your aura as butterflies or another flying creature depending on the vibe of the Fae.
-Bow after standing up (If you were previously sitting)
-Bow before leaving.
-Facing towards the center of their home, as you are leaving, and placing your forehead on the center (Try, if you are able, to face south when doing this)
-Leave a second offering. 
-Draw a sigil of gratitude in the air with your energy.


There are some Fae you should strive to avoid!
-Faeries (Not Fairies): They will blatantly lie to you and will almost always be insulted and/or disgusted at your presence.
-Fae that feel palpably angry- most likely found in abandoned buildings.
-Fae that live in a lone tree. 
-Fae that live in poisonous/toxic plants
-There are a few more- but your gut will honestly be your best tool.

IF YOU CAN HELP A FAE THAT HAS HAD ITS HOME RIPPED AWAY FROM IT DUE TO URBANIZATION- DO IT. WITH ITS PERMISSION, HELP FIND IT A NEW HOME- AND BE SURE TO GET THE PERMISSION OF THE FAE THAT LIVE IN THE NEW LOCATION AS WELL. 




ivegotaheadlineforyou  asked:

Hi Hi! I've been interested in secular witchcraft for a long time, but i'm finally starting to stop just researching, and I want to try and start practicing! I've collected a bunch of resources, but what are some of the first things you'd suggest picking up from the store? Candles, herbs, oils, etc? Also, any beginner posts you could link me to would be wonderful. I'm all ears! Have a wonderful day <3

Hey, congrats on deciding to practice and doing your research! Are you excited? Nervous? Enjoying what you’ve seen so far? Is Tumblr your primary resource? :)

I wanna learn so much from new witches omg. (There’s irony in there.)

Well, it honestly depends on what you wanna do and use yourself. Because personally, I picked up a few of each - I got some tealights from WalMart, bought some cheap incense from somewhere else, picked up some dried herbs from the grocery store that I didn’t already have in the kitchen, and found like five or six crystals I liked from Green Earth. I spent maybe like twenty bucks. That was my beginner’s witch kit.

But, again, it all comes down to what you want to use. Are you more interested in working with candles in magic? Candle magic *is* a really easy but effective method of magic, and candles are everywhere, and really cheap. Most spells use candles in them, not necessarily as the focal point of the spell, but they also do wonders for boosting energies. A bag of 100 tea lights goes a long way in witchcraft. Color correspondences can help, but isn’t necessarily required.

Or maybe crystals are where you wanna go. Crystals have amazing energy, but are a bit more on the pricey side. It can also be hard for people who don’t know a lot about them to tell them apart - the “danger” in this is being swindled by people claiming their crystals are something they’re not. Doesn’t mean they won’t work for their “declared” intent, necessarily, but it means you just dropped a lot of money on something worth a tenth of that. 

That doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile to work with them, though. Because they’re an amazing tool, really - you just gotta do some more research, and be confident in where you’re buying from. Finding a reliable dealer with decent prices is where it’s at. But then, once you’ve got some crystals, they’re really versatile. They can be used on their own, or in conjunction with other spells, put them in jars and sachets, or in poppets, make grids, use them to charge other things, just stick like ten of them in your pockets - boom, witchcraft. 

Oils aren’t something I necessarily recommend, to be honest. Not because they aren’t useful, because they are, just like any other tool can be (just gotta know how to use them). I just don’t know a lot about essential oils. xD If that is the area you wanna go in, however, it’s worthwhile to know that you’re gonna want to do some more research on the topic, and be wary of any allergies you may have, and for the love of god don’t put a crapton of pure oil straight on your skin.

Herbs is a little bit of a tricky area too, especially when using them as medicine. It requires a lot of research and safety if you plan on ingesting herbs for actual remedial purposes. If you just want to use dried herbs in, like, jars and spell bags, it isn’t nearly as bad, but you still want to keep an eye out for any poisonous / toxic plants and allergies. The stuff you can get pre-dried from grocery stores and dollar stores are honestly enough in most cases, and there’s lots of substitutes for more expensive or exotic plants, depending on intent.

If you wanna grow your own herbs too, that’s an option, but another area I don’t know a lot about, so I can’t give you any more advice on that besides do some more research. (It seriously never ends, so I hope you like studying.)

I guess this sort of answers your questions, but not really in the way you wanted. So, long story short, what you pick up depends on what and how you want to practice. However, I’ll give you a list of items I would recommend, purely based on my own craft, but I feel they’re pretty good staples to have all around.

  • candles - versatile as all hell; can be used on their own or in any other spell; bags of white tea lights are super cheap and easy to find; worry about colors later; scents can be used as correspondences as well but don’t hinder in any way
    • also, if you can’t have open flames for whatever reason, they have LED / battery powered candles in some dollar stores now; not to mention, tech magic?!
  • matches - they smell nice, and can light candles; suuuper cheap, but in bulk; unless you’re allergic to sulphur, then just a lighter will work
  • herbs - dried herbs from the grocery store seriously do the trick just as well as fresh / organic stuff; Bulk Barn / Barrel has a lot of awesome stuff for super cheap too; start off with just a few general / all-purpose ones, and then add to your collection as you go along; it starts to build up over time, trust me
    • sea salt - cleansing and protection; can be used as a base for most herbal mixtures
    • rosemary - considered a substitute for most other herbs
    • basil - has like a shit ton of correspondences
    • cinnamon is useful to have too
    • if you wanna curse, pepper flakes, paprika, or cayanne pepper should do the trick
  • jars - do I even need to explain?; dollar store, man; even thrift stores have some pretty amazing and cool looking bottles and stuff
  • notebooks - not something necessarily overly witchy, but more so to write down what you learn; trust me, you’ll wanna do that, especially with correspondences; also, sigils
    • also, though, keeping a blog can be a great way to have a magical book; can be password detected / kept secret; tags are useful for organiazation; and then you have us assholes in the community to hang out with too xD
    • writing utensils are also kinda required to, you know, write in books; black Sharpies are useful for actually drawing on stuff - candles, sachets, etc.; good for sigil work
  • scrap fabric - but some cool patterns from thrift stores or whatever; useful for making sachets and poppets
    • sealable plastic bags can do in a pinch though, really; also can be drawn on with Sharpie for easy sigil application
  • string / thread - tie up bags, herb bundles; make sachets and poppets; also useful for bindings, and that’s a good skill to know
  • mini sewing kit - super useful to have in general, and all parts of it can be used for something, somewhere
  • tea bags - seriously, tea has magical properties too; super discreet; and easy as hell; play around with different flavors for intents
  • crystals - clear quartz is super cheap and all-purpose; buy like five of them and just use them over and over; again, another thing it might be useful to have like three or four basic ones and then build your collection over time; that’s how most of us get our arsenal of supplies
    • clear quartz - substitutes for any other crystal
    • amethyst - super cheap and easy to find; variant of quartz; good for sleep and peace and divination; also purple
    • tiger’s eye - I’m biased because this is my favorite crystal; good for protection and courage; did I mention it’s awesome to look at?
  • incense - not necessarily required, but I like to have it; smells nice, useful; so many scents; can be found pretty cheap all over too
    • again, if you can’t have open flames in your place, you can try those wax melters; definitely pricier, but versatile for magic as well; and I mean, they just smell, so, good; my mom has one with like sugar cookie wax cubes; and I come home and think she’s baking, and I get super excited; but it’s a lie

So, yeah, that’s my list, and reasons for what I wrote. That’s just some ideas to get you started. If you choose a path that doesn’t need those things in them, obviously don’t bother then. And depending on what “type of magic” you wanna do, your basic supply list might be very different. For instance, a sea witch probably won’t care so much about kitchen herbs, and stock up on sand and seaweed, sea shells and salt water. 

Since you asked for beginner’s posts, too, you can have my whole list:

I did it! I made a post that wasn’t mostly links! :o Anyway, sorry for my smartass mouth, I was having fun with this. I hope you enjoyed reading, and I hope it gave you some ideas, and helped you out! Good luck! And if you need any more clarification or have more questions, you know where to find me. :D

ammoth  asked:

A question! I've been giving my ferrets plants as scent and texture enrichment lately. They enjoy new, interesting smelling things and leaves are crunchy and fun and branches and herbs can be chewed to shreds. They don't eat anything but they do chew some. I'm a bit worried about giving them sth poisonous. I know what plants are toxic to humans, and I know about lilies and cats, but are there any other plants that are known to be toxic to cats/ferrets/etc?

There’s not as much toxicity data for ferrets as there are for other species. To be safe I would assume that if a plant (or plant family) is toxic to one mammal species, there is a possibility of it being toxic to ferrets.

Some plants are either known to be toxic to ferrets, or similar species. They include but are not limited to:

  • Lily of the Valley
  • Oleander
  • Rhododendron and azalea
  • Yew species
  • Foxglove
  • Kalmia species (Mountain laurel, lambkill)
  • Leucothoe species (dog laurel)
  • Lilium species (lilies, known to be toxic to cats)
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Cycads
  • Amanita mushrooms, but avoid any unidentified mushrooms
  • Autumn crocus
  • Castor bean
  • Philodendron
  • Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow
  • Alium species (onions and garlic are known to be toxic to dogs)
  • Grapes (potentially toxic to dogs)

As a general rule if the plants are edible for humans, they’re probably safe for ferrets to chew on, excluding anything on the above list. If in doubt though I’d check the individual plant you were considering, because it’s impossible for me to list every potentially toxic plant for ferrets. Best to stick to a few dozen that are easy to research that you know are safe, like food species, and rotate between them.

The Virus (Extended)

I wrote this again because I believed I could expand the story and see how it go.

***Logs of the late Admiral Elfre”

Personal log 1. I got accepted into the coalition military only as a simple deck serf my main duties are cleaning the vents of vermin that somehow make it onto the ships and breed. I also run messages, it’s good exercise but most of the officers don’t even look at me, I’ll show them I’ll make admiral in not time.

Personal Log 6. After helping engineer Lopya with the engine after being stuck in dead space for nearly a week I was promoted to bridge officer, I mainly work the coms console but it is a step in the right direction, i cant wait. 

Personal Log 8. One of our explorer ships has found a new planet, this one is apparently unique and has all our scientists really excited. Not sure how it is unique because I always thought every world in the galaxy was unique but apparently this is one is special. My colleagues are talking about nothing else I might actually keep an eye on the com traffic to see what the fuss is about.

Personal Log 9. Well I read some of the com messages ( I know I’m not supposed to but curiosity got the better of me) and this new world everyone is going crazy over is apparently the only world which can truly be classified as a “Dead World”  But life is not only surviving apparently its thriving. They think their might be intelligent life there, even if the air is toxic and the plant life poisonous and Maker only knows what the animal life is like. I shudder to think of what could survive there.

Personal log 13. The explorer team has gone missing, they were researching a new animal that lived in huge hives and it is believed the creatures may have discovered them. Not sure how I thought they were using this new cloaking technology that makes them invisible? Could these creatures see through it?

Personal Log 14. Workload today was insane, more com traffic than ever, our fleet is being redirected. But on the bright side if I make a good impression the captain might put me on course for deck officer level 2? I can only hope.

Personal Log 16. I’m not sure if this is good or not but our fleet has been chosen to search for that research team that went missing, why we should when we are an explorer fleet not a military fleet. I mean, we only have  handful of actual soldiers on each ship, but then orders are orders.

Personal Log 17. I think I may have made a mistake, the captain wanted a coms officer to go and record to rescue and like an idiot I said I’d do it before I truly thought about it. I’m going to a “Dead world” to find people. I want to live long enough to have wife’s and spawns I don’t want to to go somewhere where i might die. Well I can’t back out now, at least Major Jesa gave me a handgun to use in  case.

Personal Log 18. We landed on the planet at the researchers last known location, we found their base, it was hidden inside one of the hills over looking a herd of fluffy animals that made off “Bahhhh” sounds as they saw us. They were not hostile luckily, we assumed they were prey animals, wee went off to complete our mission. We found one of the trackers the researchers use sot hey don’t get lost, it was badly broken so the log could not be accessed, we bagged it kept on.

Personal Log 19 The nights here are cold, really cold. We set up air tight tents so we did not have to sleep in our suits and even with the heaters we were all shivering. Private Getr joked this was worse than the time he fought against some snow like monsters on a world going through an ice age. i could tell he was not joking, i hate this place.

Personal Log 20. Private Getr’s suit was split yesterday, some plant that has spikes cut his suit and he died in moments, he never had a chance to even seal the split. A pair of his comrades volunteer to take him back to the shuttle and off they go, we are three men down. 

Personal Log 21. The rain, so much rain, I mean it’s not unusual for water to fall from the sky but this is just crazy, we all agree not to out today.

Personal Log 22. We saw the natives, or at least what we think are the most dominant natives here. There were three of them, small and running around in one of the fields playing I think, is that playing or were they fighting for dominance? they were quite small and talked to each other in odd clicking noises. Then the older appeared, far larger than their young, they appeared out of the trees not far from us, then one of them started sniffing the air, no way could they smell us could they? We quickly left before we were discovered. But not before we saw the Hive, it was larger than any city I have seen, how many of these creatures were there.

Personal Log 23. Finally some other sign of the research team, an tent, only one but it’s a sign. We call inside but there is no answer, we slowly make our way inside and find what we feared we would.  A body, His skin was the same as privates Getr’s when his suit split, he was holding a note though all it said was. “Run!”

Personal Log 27. Well I’m glad that’s over with and i can get back to my life, that world is now off limits to everyone now and is under strict quarantine level 10. The first planet to get that level. They even named it Kila, apparently it means death in one of languages spoken in the coalition.   

Personal Log 30. Since my mission to Kila I have gain more responsibility and just yesterday they are giving me my own ship!! It’s only a snall support ship with a few hundred crew but I’m excited. Captain Elfre, i like the sound of that.

Captains Log 36. I’M BORED!!!! This support ship gets almost no mission, all we do is patrol and help the larger ships move into formation, I want a bigger ship!!!! Or at least something to break the boredom.

Captains Log 38. A whole quarantine fleet went missing a couple of days ago, I instantly knew which one before i even heard the planets name, it was Kila. By the Maker have they made it off the that planet? More fleet are being directed and we are on standby if we are needed. I have a feeling we will be.

Captains Log 40. We are needed, the fleet is heading to the quarantine Kila zone.

Captains Log 41. The quarantine is breached the creatures have built ships and a lot of them, these hive ships were scanned and found our own technology on board. They are using our warp drives, did they figure out of they were built? How? Are these things sentient? We take up position to bar their path and we simply stare at each other, we send message after message to try and open a dialog but there is no response. Then over all our coms, a noise like screaming, is that Getr? Are they in my head? Only one word is truly heard. Hooman, our enemy has a name.  The Admiral orders us to open fire and we unleash our weapons upon them, huge pulse cannons and missiles with enough yield to scorch a planet. Nearly all miss. How could they miss and those that hit seemed to only cause minimal damage. Wait are..their ships healing themselves? We scramble to reload and open fire again but the Hoomans fore first, we don’t recognize what kind of weapons they are using but they cut right through our armor, the flagship goes down having been hit by three separate enemy ships. The other captains are screaming orders or trying to regain some kind of control, I shout over the coms that I cam taking command and order the retreat. The war against the Hoomans, has begun.

Captains Log 50. The Hoomans are spreading and spreading fast, every engagement is the same, they break into real space, our coms go haywire and our fleet gets wiped out. We need a different strategy.

Captains Log 54. I have been given command of a new battleship, it is to be the new flagship of a invasion force into Hooman space. Our scientist have theorized that the Hoomans work on a hive mind command structure and if we wipe out the their main hive world Kila the rest will fall into chaos. I don’t know how they can know that as to my mind no Hooman has been captured alive or dead. But I am eager to go on the offensive for once.

Captains Log 55. Our first victory!!! We engaged the Hoomans on the edge of their space and wiped them out, we left the planet as we needed to save our resources for the homeworld but it felt good to drop a few nukes down there. We can do this, we can win!!

Captains Log 57. The Hoomans never seem to run out of ships, we have assembled the largest fleet in the galaxy and that has got their attention, their advance into our space has halted. I have their complete attention, and that terrifies me.

Captains Log 58. We lost half our ships in the last battle and the flagship is heavily damaged we have taken refuge in an asteroid belt to make repairs but the Hoomans are looking for us. They always know where to find us, they always know.

Captains Log 60. I can only engage the Homans one more time before I have to retreat and i am nowhere near their homeworld of Kila, they always seem to have more ships. The last engagement were boarded by them, I have seen every kind of species in the galaxy and we are all different, some are fast, some are strong, some are smart and so on. But never have I seen a race like them. They only have two arms and two legs which is the lowest number of any rce and it seems to work to their advantage. I saw on the security cameras our soldiers fight them in hand to hand and the Hoomans just danced around them. They moved like water and hit like avalanches, our new directive was never to engage them in close combat, you’d never win. Not that shooting them seems to work either, my bridge was breached by them and i shot one in the head with my pistol and it barley flinched, if it wasn’t for a guard with a blaster i would have been dead. Sadly that moment of saving my life cost him his own, he was hit my one of their weapons and his whole body evaporated. Not sure what is a worse way to die, being touched by one of these things or shot. This invasion is over, I’m ordering the retreat.

Captains Log 62. 2 months, that was all the time I bought while invading their space and once more they are on the offensive, consuming world after world and terraforming it so only they can live there. Trillions are now dead and how much further will they spread before they burn themselves out.

Captains Log 65. Our leaders are panicking, the surviving races are merging all their resources in some attempt to turn this tide. Our pleas of surrender and mercy go unanswered except for the usual response of the com screaming. But on some lighter note I go promoted to Admiral, my life long goal was achieved only because my predecessor shot himself when his homeworld was consumed by the Hoomans, his mate and youngling did not make it of world in time. They now expect me to win this war for them, I don’t know if I can but I am going to try.

Admirals Log 1, My first engagement as an Admiral with the race known as Hooman has ended in our utter defeat, we exited hyperspace right on top of them and they reacted as if they knew we were coming. Are these creatures just super fast or can they see the future? We retreated to Elixal Prime but my few remaining ships will not be enough to hold them off for long. I have already began evacuation but there are not enough ships, they will be here soon,

Admirals Log 5, Elixal Prime is lost, the moment the first of their hive ships arrived we had to abandon any hope of rescuing the population. I can only imagine what horrors they will face. We heard their screams over the com as we left.

Admirals Log 13. I have implemented a scorched earth policy, any world we cannot protect or have to retreat from is scorched to make sure they can’t use it. It will slow them at least.

Admirals Log.16 It did not stop or slow them, in fact it made terraforming the planet for themselves easier so we have abandoned that tactic.

Admirals Log 22. They are spreading faster now, faster than we can track them its like a damn has broken and their entire race is now searching for new worlds to consume. Do they eat their worlds? Is that why they are expanding? for food?

Admirals log 29 the Hoomans have conquered half the galaxy and there are too few of the surviving races with the ships to even try and stop them. Some are talking about surrender. How could we? These creatures are so deadly that even one setting foot on a planet spells disaster as if their whole body was made to house millions of viruses. My old friend was touched by one once, I’ll never forget what happened to him. His skin burned and fell off he bled form every part of his body, his screams, they still haunt me.

Admirals Log 40. Me and the other admirals have agreed that this war cannot be won, we have but one hope, all the survivors of the coalition have gathered in one system. There are only 50 billion left out of a population of thousands of trillions. But our scientists have built a war winning weapon, a huge beam cannon that can destroy fleets. It is very experimental as if uses the power oft he sun to fire. The plan is to use it to defend against the Hoomans in this system indefinitely, let them have the galaxy surely they will let us have one small system?

Admirals Log 50. I was wrong about the Hoomans letting us live here, because here they are, but there is only one hive ship just sitting there watching us. My ship is placed directly opposite it, Im sure i can take on one ship but I know, that silently out there, his friends are watching. Once more our coms go nuts, i turn it off, i have had enough of listening to the sounds of my comrades die over and over again. I open fire and before the munitions hit the Hooman hive ship turns and enters hyperspace. He’ll be back.

Admirals Log 60. The Hoomans are back and it seems they have brought their entire fleet with them, My fleet has over 5000 ships of varying classes and the new solar cannon we built. Just a little closer, i oder the cannon to fire and millions of miles behind my fleet the solar cannon unleashes the power of the sun at the Hoomans. Then…wait? No this is not possible the Hooman fleet is moving and a new kind of ship is taking the lead…it’s huge almost the size of a moon and it is moving to intercept the beam. The solar cannons beam hits the new hive ship but…it does not do what they said it would. It is supposed to destroy the ship then the beam jumps tot the nearest ship and destroys that one and so on. But the ship is…is…absorbing it? the light is dancing around the hive ship and then suddenly fires from the tip, oh no it’s heading for one of the planets! It hit the planet the solar cannon was orbiting and it erupts and breaks apart. 20 billion souls all gone in an instant. Screaming I order to open fire, all 5000 ships unleash our firepower at the Hoomans, with so many ships and so many targets it’s hard to miss. The battle last only an hour. 

Admiral’s log , We’ve lost, our final stand began an hour ago, 3 thousand ships gone, in an hour!!! How could such a race even exist? I sit here reading reports of what their world is like, no wonder they turned out like they did out of all the worlds in the galaxy this one has to be the most hostile one. I’m not going down without a fight though.

Admiral Efre grabbed his rifle and locked his log in the hopes that it might be found by someone who could read it and remember the struggle the galaxy went through. Perhaps in a couple of millennia when the Hoomans have died out. The Hoomans were cutting through the door now, his soldiers all got to their feet and readied their rifles. The pride he felt for them, even in their final moments they were defiant, even though there was nothing and no one left to save.

The door blasts open and we open fire, like before the Hoomans shrug off our shots like they were pebbles, a few go down but it doesnt stop the others. The run into us and…and? They’re not killing us By the Maker they want us alive! Are they going to eat us? One grabs me with its gloved hand and forces me to my knees alongside my soldiers and another enters like the others of it’s kind inside a sealed suit. It lowers itself to look me in the eye and raising a visor to show it’s face.

They’re disgusting, their faces…the proportions are all wrong and only two eyes? How could they see so well with only two eyes? The nose is pitiful in size I can only imagine how strong it was. And the skin, it looks wet like oil, is it acid?

Finally it speaks and the words put the chill of death into me.

“We were only trying to say hello”

The Virus (Extended)

***Logs of the late Admiral Elfre”


Personal log 1. I got accepted into the coalition military only as a simple deck serf my main duties are cleaning the vents of vermin that somehow make it onto the ships and breed. I also run messages, it’s good exercise but most of the officers don’t even look at me, I’ll show them I’ll make admiral in not time.


Personal Log 6. After helping engineer Lopya with the engine after being stuck in dead space for nearly a week I was promoted to bridge officer, I mainly work the coms console but it is a step in the right direction, i cant wait. 


Personal Log 8. One of our explorer ships has found a new planet, this one is apparently unique and has all our scientists really excited. Not sure how it is unique because I always thought every world in the galaxy was unique but apparently this is one is special. My colleagues are talking about nothing else I might actually keep an eye on the com traffic to see what the fuss is about.

Personal Log 9. Well I read some of the com messages ( I know I’m not supposed to but curiosity got the better of me) and this new world everyone is going crazy over is apparently the only world which can truly be classified as a “Dead World”  But life is not only surviving apparently its thriving. They think their might be intelligent life there, even if the air is toxic and the plant life poisonous and Maker only knows what the animal life is like. I shudder to think of what could survive there.

Personal log 13. The explorer team has gone missing, they were researching a new animal that lived in huge hives and it is believed the creatures may have discovered them. Not sure how I thought they were using this new cloaking technology that makes them invisible? Could these creatures see through it?

Personal Log 14. Workload today was insane, more com traffic than ever, our fleet is being redirected. But on the bright side if I make a good impression the captain might put me on course for deck officer level 2? I can only hope.

Personal Log 16. I’m not sure if this is good or not but our fleet has been chosen to search for that research team that went missing, why we should when we are an explorer fleet not a military fleet. I mean, we only have  handful of actual soldiers on each ship, but then orders are orders.

Personal Log 17. I think I may have made a mistake, the captain wanted a coms officer to go and record to rescue and like an idiot I said I’d do it before I truly thought about it. I’m going to a “Dead world” to find people. I want to live long enough to have wife’s and spawns I don’t want to to go somewhere where i might die. Well I can’t back out now, at least Major Jesa gave me a handgun to use in  case.

Personal Log 18. We landed on the planet at the researchers last known location, we found their base, it was hidden inside one of the hills over looking a herd of fluffy animals that made off “Bahhhh” sounds as they saw us. They were not hostile luckily, we assumed they were prey animals, wee went off to complete our mission. We found one of the trackers the researchers use sot hey don’t get lost, it was badly broken so the log could not be accessed, we bagged it kept on.

Personal Log 19 The nights here are cold, really cold. We set up air tight tents so we did not have to sleep in our suits and even with the heaters we were all shivering. Private Getr joked this was worse than the time he fought against some snow like monsters on a world going through an ice age. i could tell he was not joking, i hate this place.

Personal Log 20. Private Getr’s suit was split yesterday, some plant that has spikes cut his suit and he died in moments, he never had a chance to even seal the split. A pair of his comrades volunteer to take him back to the shuttle and off they go, we are three men down. 

Personal Log 21. The rain, so much rain, I mean it’s not unusual for water to fall from the sky but this is just crazy, we all agree not to out today.

Personal Log 22. We saw the natives, or at least what we think are the most dominant natives here. There were three of them, small and running around in one of the fields playing I think, is that playing or were they fighting for dominance? they were quite small and talked to each other in odd clicking noises. Then the older appeared, far larger than their young, they appeared out of the trees not far from us, then one of them started sniffing the air, no way could they smell us could they? We quickly left before we were discovered. But not before we saw the Hive, it was larger than any city I have seen, how many of these creatures were there.

Personal Log 23. Finally some other sign of the research team, an tent, only one but it’s a sign. We call inside but there is no answer, we slowly make our way inside and find what we feared we would.  A body, His skin was the same as privates Getr’s when his suit split, he was holding a note though all it said was. “Run!”

Personal Log 27. Well I’m glad that’s over with and i can get back to my life, that world is now off limits to everyone now and is under strict quarantine level 10. The first planet to get that level. They even named it Kila, apparently it means death in one of languages spoken in the coalition.   

Personal Log 30. Since my mission to Kila I have gain more responsibility and just yesterday they are giving me my own ship!! It’s only a snall support ship with a few hundred crew but I’m excited. Captain Elfre, i like the sound of that.

Captains Log 36. I’M BORED!!!! This support ship gets almost no mission, all we do is patrol and help the larger ships move into formation, I want a bigger ship!!!! Or at least something to break the boredom.

Captains Log 38. A whole quarantine fleet went missing a couple of days ago, I instantly knew which one before i even heard the planets name, it was Kila. By the Maker have they made it off the that planet? More fleet are being directed and we are on standby if we are needed. I have a feeling we will be.

Captains Log 40. We are needed, the fleet is heading to the quarantine Kila zone.

Captains Log 41. The quarantine is breached the creatures have built ships and a lot of them, these hive ships were scanned and found our own technology on board. They are using our warp drives, did they figure out of they were built? How? Are these things sentient? We take up position to bar their path and we simply stare at each other, we send message after message to try and open a dialog but there is no response. Then over all our coms, a noise like screaming, is that Getr? Are they in my head? Only one word is truly heard. Hooman, our enemy has a name.  The Admiral orders us to open fire and we unleash our weapons upon them, huge pulse cannons and missiles with enough yield to scorch a planet. Nearly all miss. How could they miss and those that hit seemed to only cause minimal damage. Wait are..their ships healing themselves? We scramble to reload and open fire again but the Hoomans fore first, we don’t recognize what kind of weapons they are using but they cut right through our armor, the flagship goes down having been hit by three separate enemy ships. The other captains are screaming orders or trying to regain some kind of control, I shout over the coms that I cam taking command and order the retreat. The war against the Hoomans, has begun.


Captains Log 50. The Hoomans are spreading and spreading fast, every engagement is the same, they break into real space, our coms go haywire and our fleet gets wiped out. We need a different strategy.

Captains Log 54. I have been given command of a new battleship, it is to be the new flagship of a invasion force into Hooman space. Our scientist have theorized that the Hoomans work on a hive mind command structure and if we wipe out the their main hive world Kila the rest will fall into chaos. I don’t know how they can know that as to my mind no Hooman has been captured alive or dead. But I am eager to go on the offensive for once.

Captains Log 55. Our first victory!!! We engaged the Hoomans on the edge of their space and wiped them out, we left the planet as we needed to save our resources for the homeworld but it felt good to drop a few nukes down there. We can do this, we can win!!

Captains Log 57. The Hoomans never seem to run out of ships, we have assembled the largest fleet in the galaxy and that has got their attention, their advance into our space has halted. I have their complete attention, and that terrifies me.

Captains Log 58. We lost half our ships in the last battle and the flagship is heavily damaged we have taken refuge in an asteroid belt to make repairs but the Hoomans are looking for us. They always know where to find us, they always know.

Captains Log 60. I can only engage the Homans one more time before I have to retreat and i am nowhere near their homeworld of Kila, they always seem to have more ships. The last engagement were boarded by them, I have seen every kind of species in the galaxy and we are all different, some are fast, some are strong, some are smart and so on. But never have I seen a race like them. They only have two arms and two legs which is the lowest number of any rce and it seems to work to their advantage. I saw on the security cameras our soldiers fight them in hand to hand and the Hoomans just danced around them. They moved like water and hit like avalanches, our new directive was never to engage them in close combat, you’d never win. Not that shooting them seems to work either, my bridge was breached by them and i shot one in the head with my pistol and it barley flinched, if it wasn’t for a guard with a blaster i would have been dead. Sadly that moment of saving my life cost him his own, he was hit my one of their weapons and his whole body evaporated. Not sure what is a worse way to die, being touched by one of these things or shot. This invasion is over, I’m ordering the retreat.

Captains Log 62. 2 months, that was all the time I bought while invading their space and once more they are on the offensive, consuming world after world and terraforming it so only they can live there. Trillions are now dead and how much further will they spread before they burn themselves out.

Captains Log 65. Our leaders are panicking, the surviving races are merging all their resources in some attempt to turn this tide. Our pleas of surrender and mercy go unanswered except for the usual response of the com screaming. But on some lighter note I go promoted to Admiral, my life long goal was achieved only because my predecessor shot himself when his homeworld was consumed by the Hoomans, his mate and youngling did not make it of world in time. They now expect me to win this war for them, I don’t know if I can but I am going to try.



Admirals Log 1, My first engagement as an Admiral with the race known as Hooman has ended in our utter defeat, we exited hyperspace right on top of them and they reacted as if they knew we were coming. Are these creatures just super fast or can they see the future? We retreated to Elixal Prime but my few remaining ships will not be enough to hold them off for long. I have already began evacuation but there are not enough ships, they will be here soon,

Admirals Log 5, Elixal Prime is lost, the moment the first of their hive ships arrived we had to abandon any hope of rescuing the population. I can only imagine what horrors they will face. We heard their screams over the com as we left.

Admirals Log 13. I have implemented a scorched earth policy, any world we cannot protect or have to retreat from is scorched to make sure they can’t use it. It will slow them at least.

Admirals Log.16 It did not stop or slow them, in fact it made terraforming the planet for themselves easier so we have abandoned that tactic.

Admirals Log 22. They are spreading faster now, faster than we can track them its like a damn has broken and their entire race is now searching for new worlds to consume. Do they eat their worlds? Is that why they are expanding? for food?

Admirals log 29 the Hoomans have conquered half the galaxy and there are too few of the surviving races with the ships to even try and stop them. Some are talking about surrender. How could we? These creatures are so deadly that even one setting foot on a planet spells disaster as if their whole body was made to house millions of viruses. My old friend was touched by one once, I’ll never forget what happened to him. His skin burned and fell off he bled form every part of his body, his screams, they still haunt me.

Admirals Log 40. Me and the other admirals have agreed that this war cannot be won, we have but one hope, all the survivors of the coalition have gathered in one system. There are only 50 billion left out of a population of thousands of trillions. But our scientists have built a war winning weapon, a huge beam cannon that can destroy fleets. It is very experimental as if uses the power oft he sun to fire. The plan is to use it to defend against the Hoomans in this system indefinitely, let them have the galaxy surely they will let us have one small system?

Admirals Log 50. I was wrong about the Hoomans letting us live here, because here they are, but there is only one hive ship just sitting there watching us. My ship is placed directly opposite it, Im sure i can take on one ship but I know, that silently out there, his friends are watching. Once more our coms go nuts, i turn it off, i have had enough of listening to the sounds of my comrades die over and over again. I open fire and before the munitions hit the Hooman hive ship turns and enters hyperspace. He’ll be back.

Admirals Log 60. The Hoomans are back and it seems they have brought their entire fleet with them, My fleet has over 5000 ships of varying classes and the new solar cannon we built. Just a little closer, i oder the cannon to fire and millions of miles behind my fleet the solar cannon unleashes the power of the sun at the Hoomans. Then…wait? No this is not possible the Hooman fleet is moving and a new kind of ship is taking the lead…it’s huge almost the size of a moon and it is moving to intercept the beam. The solar cannons beam hits the new hive ship but…it does not do what they said it would. It is supposed to destroy the ship then the beam jumps tot the nearest ship and destroys that one and so on. But the ship is…is…absorbing it? the light is dancing around the hive ship and then suddenly fires from the tip, oh no it’s heading for one of the planets! It hit the planet the solar cannon was orbiting and it erupts and breaks apart. 20 billion souls all gone in an instant. Screaming I order to open fire, all 5000 ships unleash our firepower at the Hoomans, with so many ships and so many targets it’s hard to miss. The battle last only an hour. 

Admiral’s log , We’ve lost, our final stand began an hour ago, 3 thousand ships gone, in an hour!!! How could such a race even exist? I sit here reading reports of what their world is like, no wonder they turned out like they did out of all the worlds in the galaxy this one has to be the most hostile one. I’m not going down without a fight though.

Admiral Efre grabbed his rifle and locked his log in the hopes that it might be found by someone who could read it and remember the struggle the galaxy went through. Perhaps in a couple of millennia when the Hoomans have died out. The Hoomans were cutting through the door now, his soldiers all got to their feet and readied their rifles. The pride he felt for them, even in their final moments they were defiant, even though there was nothing and no one left to save.

The door blasts open and we open fire, like before the Hoomans shrug off our shots like they were pebbles, a few go down but it doesnt stop the others. The run into us and…and? They’re not killing us By the Maker they want us alive! Are they going to eat us? One grabs me with its gloved hand and forces me to my knees alongside my soldiers and another enters like the others of it’s kind inside a sealed suit. It lowers itself to look me in the eye and raising a visor to show it’s face.

They’re disgusting, their faces…the proportions are all wrong and only two eyes? How could they see so well with only two eyes? The nose is pitiful in size I can only imagine how strong it was. And the skin, it looks wet like oil, is it acid?

Finally it speaks and the words put the chill of death into me.

“We were only trying to say hello”