Coby Michael is an occult herbalist and plant medicine practitioner, specializing in poisonous and psychoactive plants, particularly for their magical and spiritual uses. He is the owner of The Poisoner’s Apothecary (2017), a blog and online shop where he makes a wide array of formulas working with plants like deadly nightshade and fly agaric mushroom. Coby creates ritual formulas and talismanic jewelry, inspired by poisonous plants and their use in witchcraft and ceremony. He also runs Staff & Snake Apothecary in Gulfport, FL; the brick-and-mortar home and workshop of The Poisoner’s Apothecary, which supports the vision of connecting people and plants in the local community. Coby has a background in religious studies, traditional witchcraft, American folk magic and phytochemistry. He also is the founder of Botanica Obscura Conference, an annual gathering of magical plant practitioners from around the world sharing their plant spirit knowledge. He writes prolifically and teaches workshops on The Poison Path, flying ointments and occult herbalism.
Since a very young age, Coby Michael has felt the call of the natural world. He took an early interest in plants, specifically medicinal herbs and worked in the garden with his family every summer. It was here, in the fertile soil and deep forests of Indiana, that a connection was made. The unseen, hidden and subtle forces of nature reached out, getting this young boy’s attention. Coby felt a strange relationship with the land of his birth, feeling out-of-place and tethered at the same time. More comfortable with the company of trees, over the company of other humans he made countless silent discoveries. One of those led to the discovery of magic, through the practice of Witchcraft.
It was this discovery of the magic within and round him, and this budding relationship that would keep him alive and guide him through the darkness. There were many times that there was only darkness, and the sense of a greater purpose. His teen years were tumultuous; dealing with coming out of the closet, an abusive-alcoholic father and his own issues with substance abuse. He never let any of this stand in his way, and there was one thing that provided inner refuge and that was READING. Although, he had his own personal battles there was always a sense of a greater purpose, of helping other people. Throughout his twenties, he continued his studies, practicing and accumulating information.
In 2016, while attending Arizona State University for Religious Studies, this solitary witch of 20+ years started blogging, sharing his ideas with an audience for the first time. This was a major turning point, and it was during this time that a vision of the future began to crystalize. It was at Patheos Pagan, under the editorship of Jason Mankey, that Coby began his career in writing. He continues to maintain his blog on Patheos Pagan, and also has written for The House of Twigs, This Witch Magazine and The Witches’ Almanac. He released his first of three self-published booklets called The Poisoner’s Pocket Guides in 2018, and began the work which would become his first book The Poison Path Herbal (2022).
Coby currently resides in St. Petersburg, FL but you can see him at events across the United States! He is currently working on some top-secret writing projects, including the manuscript for his second book! When he is not writing or working with plants you can find him doing yoga and connecting with the natural world. Here is a list of places that you can follow Coby’s work!
Follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook
@poisonpath @poisonerapothecary @apoisonaffair
The Poisoner’s Apothecary
Botanica Obscura Conference