One of the fascinating aspects of Afro-Latin Botany and Ritualism is the ability to distinguish plants which are used specifically for Magick and those which serve only Medicinal purposes. However, you will find that plants which are Medicinal tend to be also used in Ritual and those which are used in Ritual but NOT used as Medicine. This is because of the poisonous Nature of some plants. It is obviously not Intelligent to consume anything which is poisonous; therefore, the use is strictly Ritual in Nature. A perfect example of this is the plant Iwereyeye also known in the states as the Rosary Bead plant. This is used according to Odu Ifa Odi Obarra to control a frantic state of indecision. The seeds from the plant are typically strung in to a necklace and worn by the person who suffers from indecision so that the malady can be alleviated. This is attributed to the seeds colors which are half red and half black. “The Peony doesn’t know if it wants to remain red or black” says the Odu. Odi Obarra tells the tale of the Rosary plant which is a vine and how half of the vine would yell “We are Red!” while the other half would cry out “We are Black ”. This went back and forth for days on end until the frantic noise became so unbearable to the Heavens that Olodumare/God almighty sent Shango the orisha of Fire and Lightning to investigate what was happening. When he reached the Earth he heard the whining of the Peony plant and scooped the seeds in his large hands letting out a thunderous noise saying “STOP!!! You are neither Red nor Black ” and put them inside a gourd. “You are now in Darkness ” The Peony seeds however made a new sound as this is the story of how the Maraca was born and why it is used to salute Shango and Elegua. This story teaches one to make up his or her Mind so that it is not made up for you and so no one Encapsulates or Transforms you into something that you are not. The wearer of the Peony necklace is said to dispel the negativity associated with indecision and thus spared of the same fate as the Peony seeds.

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