Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mardi: Herbal-Wise

With the sparkling season of autumn foreseeable on the horizon, my thoughts sometimes turn to wine country.  I’m a proud follower of Dionysus, and I have no qualms about proclaiming my love for vineyards heavy with grapes of all varieties.  The grape, both wild and tame, fruit and vine, is used not only in the magic of making one of the world’s favorite beverages but in the working of magick as well.

Because abundant harvests are a sign of prosperity, grapes are often used in money drawing work by Wiccans and Druids.  Green grapes in particular are popular in the U.S. for these kinds of spells and Scott Cunningham recommends laying them on your altar during prosperity work.

Grapes have been considered a fertility symbol since Roman times.  Painting grape vines bent with bunches of grapes on garden walls was thought to improve the output of any garden, even if it did not contain grapes proper.  By this logic, eating grapes is also thought to improve human fertility as well as – perhaps almost counter-intuitively – strengthening intelligence.

In hoodoo, the vines of wild grapes in particular are used for bonding people by tying the plant together.  They can also be used to break jinxes.  An early 20th century prescription for catching an unfaithful spouse advises a man or woman to walk into the wilderness and find a healthy grape plant.  Two vines should be selected and held in the hands before naming each aloud; one for the cheating spouse and the other for their supposed lover.  A piece of brown paper should then be marked with the same names using a pencil; one name should be written over the other to form a cross.  Then the worker should urinate on the paper, pull the two vines together and unite them using the name paper like tape.  They should then tie the paper to the vines with a personal item that they have worn such as a stocking, a drawstring or a shoelace.  They should then go straight home without looking back at the grape vines.  If their suspicions are accurate, they will find the illicit affair in progress when they get home.  No further instructions are usually given.

While some pagan groups do not encourage drinking, others adhere to the time honored belief in communication with the divine through the ecstasy of intoxication.  In such cases wine, the fermented juice of the grape, is often the drink of choice.  Bonne chance ~

Header: A Dedication to Bacchus by Lawrence Alma-Tadema c 1889


Timmy! said...

Wine... so much more than just a breakfast drink, Pauline!

Pauline said...

And so it has been for thousands of years.