TEUFELSKUNST Occult Art Shop and Blog

Meadow Saffron

The meadow saffron, or autumn crocus, as it is also called, is a highly fascinating plant. Its purple flowers look like crocuses, but appear in early autumn, when most other plants are done flowering. This is also reflected in its German name “Herbstzeitlose”, which means “autumn messenger”. From the “naked” flowers may also be derived the English moniker “naked ladies”.

The leaves, on the other hand, show up in spring and have been mistaken for bear’s garlic. A dangerous and potentially deadly mistake, since the entire plant contains the alkaloid colchicine, which acts similar to arsenic, and has no known antidote. In addition it has a long latency period, which makes poisoning with autumn crocus even more difficult to recognize and treat. Colchicine acts as a mitotic poison, by interfering with the reduction division of the chromosomes during meiosis. While deadly, it is also made use of in medicine, for treating certain types of cancer, as well as in plant breeding, where it causes plants to grow larger and produce bigger fruits.

A plant named Colchicon was first mentioned by Dioscorides. The specific name autumnale given by Linnaeus, refers to its time of flowering. The genus name Colchicum is derived from Colchis, the landscape on the Black Sea, most famously known for the witch Medea, who is told to have poisoned her enemies with meadow saffron, but also restored youth with its help. In Apollonius Rhodius’ Argonautica, Medea rubs a salve on Jason’s limbs, which contains meadow saffron. According to another legend, meadow saffron grew from the blood that dripped from Prometheus’ liver. However, the same story is also related to the Mandrake and both plants are candidates for the mythical plant named “blood of Prometheus”.

Despite a narrow therapeutic index, meadow saffron has been used medicinally for at least 3500 years. It is still a treatment for rheumatism and gout. During the times of the plague the bulb was also worn as a protective amulet around the neck. (You can read more about this plant on my garden blog).

The artwork shown here is one of my more illustrative works, combining symbolism and showing the plant spirit in an anthropomorphic form. It was first show-cased in 2017 at gallery Circle1 in Berlin, as part of the “Bad Intentions” group exhibition. It is drawn with black ink on paper that has been stained with coffee and meadow saffron flower extract. It is signed and dated on the back and comes in a simple black cardboard passe-partout.

You receive the exact work shown here.

Artwork size: ca. 4 x 8 inch, passe-partout size: ca. 6 x 11 inch

For ordering please go here.

December 6, 2018

Posted In: Art, Pflanzenkunst

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

New “Flower Devils”

Or better said, postcards with new “Flower Devils” can now be ordered from the web shop! The new cards feature freshly captured motifs from summer 2018 as well as some of my earliest photographs in this series, including the auspicious “Henbane Devil” on black henbane flower, which initiated and from which the series got its name.

“Henbane Devil”

In German folklore, witches and even the devil himself were believed to take on the shape of bumblebees. A bumblebee-wax candle was lit in church, if a witch was burnt at the stake. Evil people were cursed with having to return as a bumblebee after death. The sub-earthen drone sound of a bumblebee signaled the presence of the dead. Instead of consecrated wavers, bumblebees were allegedly served at black masses. Bumblebees were also superstitiously feared as carriers of sickness and ritually buried to drive out plague. On the other hand, a dead bumblebee worn in the pocket, was believed to ensure the purse would always be filled with money. And he, who managed to secretly steal the bumblebee’s honey, was destined to find a huge treasure. Hence bumblebees were both viewed as good and bad omens.

The other new cards are:

“Belladonna Devil” et al – large earth bumblebee entering a deadly nightshade flower, common carder bees on comfrey and viper’s bugloss flowers, wasps mating on our white lavender, bee inside crocus flower after a long winter


Impressions from recent trip to Crete – symbol laden honey bee among the ruins of the Minoan palace in Malia, a small wasp nest on prickly pear, protected sea daffodil flower with Mediterranean sea in the background


Last but not least, cards with unfolding flower of the “Black Devil” datura, blue Aconite and green Henbane “Dragon” and – upon request – myself among the green “devils” in our garden.

October 2, 2018

Posted In: Art, Garden, Pflanzenkunst, Postcards

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Plants and Planets

New in the shop: postcards with my occult/nature inspired Plants and Planets series from 2018! Available in two formats. The postcards have round edges and the sizes comply with common post standards.

In the past botanists such as Nicholas Culpeper associated plants with the planets, fixed stars and zodiac signs. The attributions were based on an intense study of a plant’s features, which included treats such as a thorny or prickly appearance, the scent emitted by the flowers or the entire plant, the plant’s life cycle, colors, metals contained in a plant, medicinal and other uses and of course plenty of folklore. Today plants are classified scientifically based on their genome, but their planetary lore is preserved and continues to evolve in the books of authors such as Stephen Skinner, Paul Huson, Scott Cunningham, Harold Roth and so on.

I find it inspiring to continue this tradition and to explore its own inner logic. Hence I created these planet themed still life photographs of herbs, that I gathered from our garden and surroundings, many of which are also part of my seed boxes. They are ordered according to the Chaldean sequence. With this series I yet delve deeper into the language of plants and the symbolism and magical properties attributed to them.

Please leave a note with your order, if you wish for the postcard to be signed on the back (no extra cost).

October 1, 2018

Posted In: Art, Pflanzenkunst, Postcards

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Mandrake Roots, Summer 2018

Returning from 3 weeks of garden work, Teufelskunst is resuming business with a new offer of five Mandragora officinarum roots. The roots you see above will be available for purchase this week. They have shed their leaves and are currently withdrawn to the ground, which gave me the opportunity to study and replant them. Now is also a good time to sell and ship them safely.

The roots are between 12-10 cm in length and weigh between 31-37 gram. Their shapes inspire me to name and make art for them. The offer presented here is again for the live root and a detailed ink study of the same. Note: for convenience root and art are shipped separately this time. 

For further details please view the individual listings (going up Wednesday, July 18 2018, 6 pm Central European Summer Time)

July 17, 2018

Posted In: Art, Rootwork, Pflanzenkunst, Mandrake

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Comment

Blessed Winter Solstice 2017!

Mullein, Winter Solstice Edition ’17, 3 available

Wishing to all my customers and followers a blessed Winter Solstice and Yule time! The Teufelskunst shop is taking a break from tonight until the 2nd of January. This means, the shop stays online and you can still place orders, but order processing and shipping will be limited. Expect news and updates after the Christmas holidays. Thank you all for the immense support! 🕯🌟☄

The mullein artwork on the photo can be purchased here: https://teufelskunst.com/product/mullein-winter-solstice-17/

December 21, 2017

Posted In: Art, Feast Days, Pflanzenkunst

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Upcoming Exhibition “Bad Intentions”

Dear followers, friends and customers,

I am happy to share the news with you that I will be part of the exhibition “Bad Intentions” at Circle 1 gallery in Berlin, opening November 17. You are all invited to attend and spread the news!

This is a unique opportunity for me to bring my plant inspired art to a new audience. I will be showing ink drawings of my “Sigilla Magica” and illustrations supported, by an installation with different magical herbs from my garden and surroundings.

Important (!) Due to the exhibition preparations now going into its last and hot phase, I will not be able to process new shop orders until then. All orders placed now or later, will be shipped in the week following the 20th of November.

……………………………………………………

Below a quote from the introduction text, by curator Avi Pitchon:

“Bad Intentions” seeks to modestly contribute a tiny voice to hopefully echo into a massive abyss. The title is a reference to the good intentions of ‘artivism’, and where they lead to: the disappearance of both art and activism. The exhibition does so by staging an absurd tear between art and artist, in the hope that a gaze into the tear might enable a distinction between art and politics. The artists selected for this group exhibition are Jewish-Israeli, Palestinian-Israeli, Jewish, Palestinian and German. However, no artwork in this exhibition forms an explicit mirroring of any social or political tensions formed within the above ethnic/national triangle. The artwork does not ‘speak for itself’; it simply speaks by itself. “Bad Intentions” intentionally ignores the background and circumstance of the artist, in order to destabilise anything that is expected of such a grouping of artists, because all of those expectations are not only tired cliches, they also silence the speech of art. “Bad Intentions” is thus an invitation for the viewer to empower themselves by placing the weight and responsibility of attention on them; by not providing crutches of meaning.

Bad Intentions

Artists: Eitan Ben MosheWiebke RostGeorgia KuhnTamy Ben-Tor & Miki CarmiMerav Kamel & Halil BalabinMika RottenbergOsama ZatarAnat Ben DavidNeta Dror and Keren Cytter

Curated by Avi Pitchon and Alona Harpaz

17.11.2017 – 23.12.2017

Friday 17.11.17 at 19:00 – Exhibition Opening 

This exhibition is supported by the Szloma Albam Stiftung

www.szloma-albam-stiftung.de

Neta Dror – Keyla, 2016

 

November 8, 2017

Posted In: Art, News & Site Updates, Pflanzenkunst

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Comment

Mandrake Roots and Art

This project began earlier in 2016, when parting with a few homegrown live mandrake roots and sending them to new homes. Part of the deal for the new owner was to commission a portrait of the very root they were to receive.

Each root is drawn with ink and quill on stained paper. Attention is paid to the peculiar shape and features of each root. The result are detailed portraits, which are not only unique pieces of fine art but which also give the owner a reference, when the roots are planted back into soil.

Examples of roots that have left my own mandrake family and joined new homes:

Available roots (prices including hand-drawn art, excluding shipping):

For ordering write to info@teufelskunst.com

October 6, 2016

Posted In: Herbs & Seeds, Rootwork, Pflanzenkunst

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments

New Plant Riddle

New Plant Riddle

Tonight I share this new artwork with you, which is again a riddle. The game is as usual: guess the plant depicted and leave a comment with your suggestion! If you have been following my recent postings on my new herbalism blog you will easily find the plant in question. A hint: it has to do with autumn. 😉

October 14, 2015

Posted In: Art, Pflanzenkunst

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

3 Comments