Year 2019
Frequency Monthly three-image photosets; one image from each is posted below.
Status Completed
Description A midnight stroll through the witch's garden.
"And oh, there I saw her, dancing as the night fell
In ripples all around her; she danced and danced her spell"

-- First of June, Through The Trees

IMPORTANT NOTES: The plants featured in these works are toxic; please exercise the proper precautions in handling these or any other such plant materials. The American Robins in series 5 are cardboard print-outs. See additional information on specimen collecting at the bottom of this page.


  • She Danced Her Spell: Series 1
  • Datura metel 'Yellow Ballerina'
    (Angel Trumpet)

    - - ☆ - -

    Traditional magical uses include visionary journeys, shape-shifting and divination.


  • She Danced Her Spell: Series 2
  • Solanum dulcamara
    (Bitter Nightshade)

    - - ☆ - -

    Traditional uses include everything from salves for skin conditions, to cures for broken hearts, to protecting livestock from the evil eye.


  • She Danced Her Spell: Series 3
  • Aconitum napellus
    (Wolf's Bane)

    - - ☆ - -

    In folklore, this plant is said to guard against vampires and werewolves, and to help werewolves cure themselves.


  • She Danced Her Spell: Series 4
  • Ricinus communes
    (Castor Bean)

    - - ☆ - -

    Another plant that is said to protect against the evil eye and to absorb evil.


  • She Danced Her Spell: Series 5
  • Sorbus americana
    (Mountain Ash)

    - - ☆ - -

    Once widely used for protection; the colour red was considered the best to fight evil, and trees planted near the home were said to ward off spirits.


Vanessa's work focusses heavily on the endless cycle of life, death and rebirth. As a lifelong pagan and wildlife advocate, no living creatures have ever been harmed for the sake of her art. All skulls, feathers, taxidermy and other specimens in her collection are treated with the utmost reverence. They are non-CITES, non-SARA and non-MBCA species, and were ethically sourced through reputable, cruelty-free and trusted sources.

Conservation and awareness are crucial to preserving wildlife and wild places; therefore, if Vanessa's work has inspired you to begin your own collection, it's your duty as a responsible collector to educate yourself on the legal requirements applicable to your country of residence. For example, in North America, it’s illegal to possess live native songbirds/raptors or their remains (taxidermy, bones, skulls or feathers) unless you're a legally licensed wild bird handler or veterinarian. Please, just leave that dead sparrow for the carrion eaters.

Further reading
Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES)
Canadian species at risk and the Species at Risk Act (SARA)
Migratory birds in Canada and the Migratory Birds Convention Act (MBCA)
Directory of Canadian wildlife, plants and species

All contents © copyright 1999-2020 Vanessa Laurin