Who Picks Whom? 

Considering the magical potential, power, and agency of plants, as explored alongside microbiologist, occult herbalist, and practicing witch, Jeremy Bechelli. As the purveyor of rare and unique botanicals for ritual, (t)his work is specifically devoted to obtaining spiritual knowledge from—and through—plants.

Photographs and words by Jake Eshelman

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Swamp, East Texas.

Land is luciform.

As colors spill forth from crystal, plants proliferate from the sun—
to nourish,
to poison,
to bind,
to mend,
to maim,
to enchant,
to devour,
to love,
to teach…
To share.

Ritual blades. Elderberry tincture.

A drop. 
A cut. 
An offering.

The penetrating taste of altered sight. 

Juglans nigra (Black walnut)

Gifts are offered—and gathered, 
knowing one day, they will blossom forth from our bodies,
reciprocal and ever-returning… 

Juniperus ashei | Ashe Juniper

Where hands outstretch, 
a phantom lingers. 
Tingling. 
Tickling everything it has yet to touch. 

Clematis pitcheri (C. filifera) | Purple Leatherflower

A small voice rings in the forest. 
Delicate. Resilient.

Calling, like a siren, to behold its beauty; to do it’s bidding. 

Who picks whom? 

Cultivated Rosa spp. | rose

Exquisite flesh.
Teeming. Dripping. Spilling over.
Sticky and sweet, lingering on everything. 

Venus incense | a proprietary blend of herbs, essential oils, and plant resins 

Petals rest.
Preserved. Revered.  
Exuberant in their decay. 

Pour. 
Pulverize. 
Meld.
Mesh.
Blend.

Burn.

A scent climbs its way into the air. Searching. Whispering.  

The many become one; and one, all. 

Pine needles. Loose incense. Hag stone. Ritual blade.

Wills align.

Melding.
Grinning.
Untethering possibilities in a language as old as the sun, as new as any potential.

Imbuing bodies and gesture with intention; a covenant—articulate and indecipherable.

A shared tongue.
            For saying.
                        For listening.
                                    For(e)seeing.
For influence.

A dark forest. East Texas.

A world tilts,
in a breath; the breeze—
as the tiniest of fires alights.  

CONTRIBUTORS


Jake Eshelman is a photo-based artist and visual researcher exploring the complex relationships between people and other-than-human beings. He believes that humanity’s curious and self-imposed dissociation with the natural world provides a palpable backdrop in which we can more fully (re)consider our role in ecology. Through a documentary and intuitive practice, his recent work investigates interspecies relationships in industry, agriculture, and conservation in order to question the tenets of anthropocentrism and the implications behind the Enlightenment rationalization of “nature.” You can explore his work online and via instagram

Jeremy Bechelli is a long-time student of European folk magic and studies occult herbalism, folk medicine and the traditional witch-lore and practices of the British Isles. As a practitioner of leechcraft and wortcunning, he also founded Phytognosis—a purveyor of magical botanicals specializing in rare and unique plant resins, woods, oils, and leaves for use during ritual, meditation, spiritual workings and personal enjoyment. You can learn more about his work on his website and on his instagram

Plantings

Issue 4 – October 2021

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1 Comments

  1. Hi Jake,
    I’m a photographer and filmmaker that works with Gayil. Great to see your photos. They are lovely. I created two of the WSC videos featured on the site, if you would like to check them out!

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