Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mardi: Herbal-Wise

Spikenard is old enough to have been mentioned in Ancient Egyptian texts (as a cure for “lovesickness”) and in the Bible.  It has fallen off in popularity somewhat, however; there is precious little in the way of old wives’ wisdom about the herb sometimes simply referred to a nard.

According to Catherine Yronwode whose Lucky Mojo website is an unending source of information on hoodoo, herbs and numerous other esoteric topics, there are three types of nard/spikenard employed in American hoodoo.  These are nard from the Valerian family, American spikenard, which is in the Aralia group and Ploughman’s spikenard coming from the Aster family of English plants.  Any of these is acceptable for use in hoodoo and, one would have to imagine, in Wicca as well.

Scott Cunningham lists spikenard as a charm against disease.  Wiccans also wear a branch on necklaces to attract good luck.  “It is also used to remain faithful,” is Cunningham’s final entry on the subject.

This hints at the hoodoo use of the herb; spikenard is used to encourage proposals and keep the subsequent marriage happy.  Wives would mix spikenard with sandalwood and burn the mixture on charcoal to encourage conjugal bliss in their home.  Either partner could brew a tea of spikenard and dab a bit of it onto a photograph of their mate to help insure their fidelity.  Placing the photo face up in a flower pot, sprinkling it with dried spikenard and then planting basil in the pot was said to work even more efficiently.  The basil must be tended carefully though; should it fail to thrive, so would the relationship.  Bonne chance ~

Header: April Love by Arthur Hughes c 1856

3 comments:

Timmy! said...

Huh-huh, huh-huh... you said "nard", Pauline.

Pauline said...

I figured that was comeing. Very witty, Beavis.

Yuliya Pismennaya said...

Thanks for the post! I found it very useful for spell-making.