Almonds are not much considered in hoodoo, probably because edible almonds were not originally found in either West Africa or North America. In other traditions, though, particularly those from Southern Europe, almonds and almond trees are considered intensely magickal. I often think of almonds at this time of year because nonpareils, those delightful almonds covered with a colored sugar coating, were usually added to our holiday stockings when I was growing up.
Almonds themselves, as well as the leaves and flowers of the trees, are used in money drawing spells. Scott Cunningham tells us that climbing an almond tree will ensure the success of your business. He also mentions that carrying almonds in your pockets will lead you to hidden treasure. I’ll bring some with me next time I visit Barataria; maybe I’ll find that storied lost booty of the Laffite brothers.
Certain Wiccan traditions favor almond wood for magick wands. Because the almond tree is ruled by the element of Air, and these traditions cast the wand under the protection of Air and the East, this makes perfect sense.
There are also magickal outcomes involved with eating almonds. Eating five almonds prior to imbibing alcohol is thought to keep one sober. This is a tradition which harks back to the Renaissance at least. Lorenzo de Medici, the great Lord of Florence, always ate nonpareils prior to attending any feast to help keep his wits about him following toast after toast. Lorenzo suffered broken noses several times in his youth and he did not taste food very well, but he loved almonds, nonpareils and almond milk. The rumor began in Italy that ingesting these foods would make one as wealthy, powerful and successful as the Medici who favored them.
Eating almonds or taking almond milk was also considered a cure for fever. Eating almonds daily is said to increase wisdom in any individual, and that may just be their very best use. Who among us could not use a little more wisdom? Bon chance ~
Header: Almond Branches by Vincent Van Gogh c 1890