An Interview with Seamus Black,
Emporium Black's Chocolate Alchemist
Kathryn Solie of @persephonespath interviewed Seamus about his journey to creating the truffles. They discuss his time working with the Native American Church, living on a reservation, and how this inspired his vision for the truffles. He explains how his relationship with the plants has developed and how their influence guides the creation of each truffle. They also delve into their individual understandings of working with these plants and discover how similar their views really are! Click on the button below and get to know more about the creator of these beautiful truffles.
We think Kathryn Solie of Persephone's Path is a great resource if you're interested in learning more about these plants. You can find her at kathrynsolie.com or Persephone's Path on Facebook, Instagram, and Patreon
Truffle art by Kathryn Solie
A short article written by Seamus about using these truffles, called 'Wild Swan - Taking Flight', published in the Spring 2021 Witches' Almanac
The other day I saw a wild swan for the first time since I moved back to the midwest.
It was a swan couple and I had forgotten just how large and magnificent they get. The profoundness of seeing them at that moment was not lost on me for just moments before I had just received an amazing insight after an over twenty-year spiritual study of mine came full circle and revealed itself in such simplified clarity that it was like a complete revelation to me and all of my work. I speak as a magical person and of magical people from different walks of life all over the planet where we all weave similar magic with similar threads. The threads that are most relevant to me go by so many names but to me, they are all pretty much the same thing: hedgeriding, trancework, plane-walking, OoB experiences, working with the veil, astral projection, planes of consciousness, shamanic journeying, wakeful dreaming, the ethers and more.. and though I’ve been working with these things for longer, it was approximately twenty-five years ago that I started consciously using entheogens to help me with this work.
After a multi-year stint on an Indian Reservation working daily with peyote it only seems natural that when I finally did turn to my European roots that the baneful entheogens of my ancestors called to me. Something I love most about the nightshades, in particular, is they give me the ability to practice all that I learned with peyote but I get to do so with greater clarity and consciousness. In other words, these plants can take us all to the same places and show us all of the same things that hallucinogenic entheogens do, but the nightshades are able to do so without the hallucinations and/or getting a person ‘high’. I have found that I am able to keep complete mental clarity while walking the many and varied planes with them inside of me
Late last spring, after pondering how to make so many of these things the plants have taught me more accessible to others, the idea of making gourmet chocolate truffles infused with nightshades suddenly came to me. Once I had that thought and decided to act on it everything came together so easily and quickly and before I knew it I was off and running with my ‘poison truffle’ business.
These plants are tools to help us learn to go places we can not find without their help and also learn to do things that we initially need their help for us to even see and comprehend before we can learn what to do with them, and eventually with practice and repetition, we will no longer need to ingest the plants to get to these places or do these things. These plants are not one-trick ponies. They have so much to show us and teach us, so to stop ingesting them because we think we already mastered it all is to greatly underestimate the potential of the teachings of the plants. We will all continue to level up with the plants. They always have more to teach us but their teachings are like building blocks. When we are ready for more the plant will give us more, and the more conscious we are during the experiences, the more we can get and retain from them.
I work with a lot of my customers to help them get the most out of each experience they have with my truffles and it has caused me to reflect quite a bit on my own journey and doing this kind of work. It’s not completely uncommon that the first time a person tries one of my truffles they seem to have a hard time letting go of the control (and/or their expectations of what they think should happen) and consequently end up missing much of the plants' influence. We need to allow the plant to become one with us. That merge needs to happen for us to really feel the plant spirit’s presence. A lot of those first-timers end up getting there after an hour or so but this kind of work takes practice. After we let go we also need to learn to stay present which may sound like a contradiction but it is not. When we can not obtain that conscious presence after letting go we become a passive entity at the mercy of whatever it may encounter in the ethers. We still need to steer and our ability to do so from another plane is another thing the plants help us do. We may think the idea of completely letting go and letting the experience take us wherever without our own conscious participation and basically ‘spacing out’ and just floating around like a feather and dancing in whatever upcurrent or spirit may catch us sounds relaxing and quite fun in itself, but why be the feather when we can be the swan.
-Seamus Black 2019