Herculeum maximum



Common names: Cow Parsnip, Indian Celery, Indian Rhubarb, Pushki. Also sometimes classified as Heracleum lanatum.

Actions: Numbing antispasmodic; increases pulse and capillary function.

Energetics: Hot and dry. Diffusive and stimulating antispasmodic.

Uses: Toothaches (fresh root or tincture); indigestion, heartburn, and nausea (tincture or tea).

Parts used: The seeds and root are used medicinally, though flower essences have been prepared from the blossoms and certain Native American tribes are said to have eaten the young shoots and leaves as a potherb. (Foot note on what a potherb is)

Harvesting information: Disturbed soil, roadsides, and ditches. Often seen along rural highways and fields. This plant grows to massive heights, possibly 6 feet. It is a member of the Apiaceae family and flowers in large, white umbels. Masterwort has many poisonous look-alikes (Poison Hemlock and Water Hemlock are both deadly in small amounts) and should be identified with the greatest of care.**

Preparation and dose: The root and seed are used medicinally and with caution, as they can be extremely hot and stimulating. It is best to dry the plant before tincturing or infusing. This is a potent, low-dose plant and 1-2 drops of the tincture should suffice.

Contraindications: This plant contains furrocoumarins which can cause contact dermatitis in the form of erythematous vesicles which are small burn-like blisters. This chemical is photosensitive, so a rash will only occur after exposure to sunlight. Handle with care and respect!



Masterwort is utterly ancient. This chthonic, primordial Feminine spirit predates all human cultural ideas about gender. She is the Crone: a terrible and brilliant queen whose roots run deep into the earth. She reigned on this planet long before humankind was even conceived. She keeps the ancestral records of our species in her planetary womb. Her memory extends and vanishes into the dawn of Time.

Civilization was born within a crucible of racial and sexual power struggles. Developments in technology and the introduction of trade currency built a throne for the Emperor. Mankind has suffered from the insatiable desire to control and devour Nature ever since. Masterwort carries the burden of humanity’s psycho-spiritual disease. She is commonly found growing along roadsides and in ditches. Her umble is a crown, although mankind no longer recognizes the majesty of her trophy. Her roots have grown hard, reflecting the rough soil conditions where she must survive. As she fades during the late summer, the umbel seeds grow heavy and her head bows to the dust; an emblem of what once was and a promise of what may come once again.....

The Norns - a triple goddess figure who weaves and cuts at the threads of Destiny

Scissors of Urd: Norse mythology tells a story of three women, called the Norns, who hold keys to the riddle of Time. They have seen all that has come to pass and are gifted with the knowledge of all possible futures. They reside among the roots of the cosmic tree, called Ygdrassil, carving runes of Destiny into the Tree and weaving threads of Fate into a Tapestry.

One sister does the spinning, a second does the weaving, and a third (named “Urd”) holds scissors to cut the final thread. The threads of destiny are linear but the women’s tasks are not. Each must continue spinning, weaving and cutting forever, and forever is a cyclical path. Without endings there are no beginnings. The Norns represent the cyclical nature of Life, complete with all of its barriers, transitions, and accomplishments.

Freemasonry’s Grand Architect and the Imperialist Conspiracy

Pyramid of Air: Masterwort has seen many cycles of life on Earth. The planet corkscrews through an ocean of empty space and her spirit is kept safe within the carbon body of our Great Mother. As a keeper of Destiny, Masterwort must progress along a slow and persistent Gnostic evolution through the temper tantrums of humankind and the birthing pains of our planet. She bridges the primordial intuition of Earth with the intellectual mysteries of Air. She achieves the reunion of Heaven and Earth, taking root in difficult soils and reaching her umbels up toward the sky.

Hooking into the Ground of Being and ascending toward the Crown Fountain

Umbrella: Masterwort is a member of the Apiaceae family and possesses large, beautiful umbels at the height of her flowering. The word umbel shares an etymological root with umbrella. The hook at the base of an umbrella's handle corresponds to the root chakra and to Malkuth on the Qabalistic Tree of Life. Masterwort’s roots hook directly into the Ground of Being. The rod of the umbrella is like the stalk of the plant ascending through Yesod, Tiphareth, and Kether by way of the middle pillar, spilling out through the crown chakra as a brilliant display of tiny white flower clusters. The umbel and shade of the umbrella represent the upper cap of Ain Soph Aur, the triple-veiled egg of infinite light that emanates from all Illuminated Beings.

Cryptographic magic wand used for encoding and deciphering the Mystery

Scytale:  An ancient cryptographic tool, scytales are one of the original magic wands. Shaped like a wooden cylinder of varying width and length, they were used in combination with ribbons of inscribed parchment to convey messages between members of secret societies. Initiates wrapped the ribbons around their scytale and the strings of letters lined up in patterned rows to form hidden messages. Masterwort resembles one of these cryptograms; she is a keeper of secret and unspeakable knowledge belonging to the Norns, the Fates, and the mysteries of Time.

The Philosopher’s Stone and humanity’s initiation into the forces of Good and Evil

Apple:     The serpent’s gift was an apple pulled from the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden. Eve ate the forbidden fruit and offered it to Adam. Both were banished from Paradise forever. The traditional interpretation of this story turns it into a sexist myth that supports patriarchy and blames women for everything that is evil. But what if the snake was humanity’s messiah and the apple was its tool of liberation? What if Eve was a keeper of the Earth Mysteries and Adam represents the uninitiated male?

The Lovers of the Major Arcana are shown naked among the serpent-apple tree. Hovering above them is archangel Raphael, ruler of the Air element. Serpents and apples are often synonymous with the divine Feminine in her magical aspect. Think of Cassandra, the Greek princess whose ear was licked by a snake and who was then gifted with the power of prophecy. Eris threw a golden apple of discord among jealous Greek goddesses, leading to the death of Cassandra and the beginning of the Trojan War. An emblem of the philosopher’s stone, the apple represents poison and medicine co-joined in a single item. They are the psychedelic sacrament that brings humanity closer to attaining knowledge of Good and Evil.

Union of Earthly and Extraterrestrial Life by way of the Water Element

Aurelia: The first three letters belong to the Latin word aur, meaning light. “Aurelia” is a name given to a genus of jellyfish (Moon Jelly). They are one of the oldest biological lifeforms in existence. The jellyfish is one of those primordial, otherworldly creatures that might exist on planets other than our own. The same word, Aurelia, was picked up by astrophysicists to denote a hypothetical extra-terrestrial planet where aquatic life could exist. Aurelia is even the name of a crater on Venus, linking extraterrestrial ocean entities with asteroids and comets; creatures of ice, dust, and negative ions.  Aurelia bridges heaven and earth by way of the Water element. Review the book Meditations by Marcus Aurelius for further insight.