“Lola Venado, The Botanical Bruja™, is a Sacramento folk herbalist, energy worker, kitchen witch, writer, speaker, and community gatherer. Born with river blood, magik bones, and a moonlit heart, she believes story heals, plants are magik, and comida es medicina.”
When not traveling in my van to pray at the altars of forest, river, and ocean, I’m connecting with community through skill shares, moon circles, dinner parties, and many cups of tea. My work is cultivating a modern practice integrating the old medicine ways of my mixed bloodlines.
Xantico House™ is where all my offerings reside. It is a place where the fire of folk ritual and remedy warms our bones, clears a path, and lights the way, bringing their deep medicine and magik into our everyday lives.
May your heart(h) be filled with love and magik,
Venado is deer in Spanish. I have walked with Deer Medicine all my life. My family also carries Yaqui/Yoeme ancestral blood, an indigenous tribe originally of the land we call Mexico. Deer, Mazatl, is most sacred to the Yoeme, considered our relative, a divine messenger between worlds. The Yaqui Deer Dance is a ritual honoring Deer and our creation story. Roses, all flowers, play a significant role within Yoeme cosmology and spirituality.
Bruja is the feminine form of witch in Spanish. While bruja is still often misunderstood and considered a pejorative by many people, I have chosen to claim its power as someone who is in reverent connection with the spirit of earth’s healing medicine and magik. Botanical Bruja™ is a title I created in 2016 as an alternative way of identifying my community work as a “plant witch”, while honoring my maternal Mexican heritage.
Aztec goddess Xantico (aka Chantico), “she who dwells in the house”, personifies and protects the hearth, home, and precious things. Associated with fire and volcanoes, she can take the form of red serpent, representing the snaking rivers of lava. She possesses both feminine and masculine traits, wears a female skirt and man’s loincloth, she is both warrior and midwife. It’s said she was punished by an angry god for breaking a fast. To me, she embodies taking care of oneself and others, even when how or why may be misunderstood. She is the care-taking, rule-breaking, hedge-walking protectress of my house, est. 2018.
“The history of the Sacramento area, and the people, is rich in heritage, culture and tradition. This area was and is still the tribal land of the Nisenan people (my side of the river) located throughout the central valley, the Foothills and Southern Maidu people, and the Valley Miwok and Me-Wuk people, located on the east side of the American River, known to tribal people as the “Mokelumne” or Condor River. To the west of the American River and the south of the Sacramento River, are the Patwin people, the Wintun People and the Wintu people.” —Sacramento Native American Health Center