Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mardi: Herbal-Wise

Figs are a delightful and ancient fruit that have resonance in most civilizations and magickal practices.  The fruit offered to Adam by Eve is said by some to have been not an apple, but a fig; Cleopatra was rumored to lure her lovers with ripe figs.  Mentioned in texts from around the world, figs are thought to be protective, lucky and to encourage virility and fertility.  In hoodoo they are also said to draw people to the root worker.  Old wives used fig bark teas and fig sap for both life saving and beauty.

In the ancient Middle East, carvings made from fig wood were carried by women who wished to become pregnant.  More phallic designs were similarly worn or carried by men who hoped they would increase their strength and potency.  Eating fresh figs was said to encourage amorous feelings, and prolong the act of love.

Scott Cunningham mentions more modern uses for figs and fig trees.  Feed a fig to a man or woman you desire and they will be in your thrall, at least until they lose their taste for figs.  Having the fig’s relative, the popular house plant known as ficas benjamina, growing in your home is said to bring luck to those who live there.  Placing one of the ficas’ branches in front of your front door when you leave on a journey is thought to ensure your safe, happy return.

In hoodoo root work, a mojo for luck, protection and personal charm is made with three roots from one fig tree.  The roots should be small, and dug up from the north, south and east sides of the tree.  A root from the west side of the tree will cancel the mojo’s power by “dragging it down” like the setting of the sun.  Knot the three roots together three times.  Carry them with you and “feed” the mojo frequently with Florida Water.  Do not ever allow another person to see or touch this mojo, or you will have to make a new one all over again.

Old wives would send young people troubled by pimples out to cut green fig leaves from a live tree.  The white sap that oozed from the leaf stem was immediately applied to the pimple to speed healing.  Fig tree bark tea was also recommended as a restorative for the complexion, and as a cure for snake bite.  Bonne chance ~

Header: Anthony and Cleopatra by Lawrence Alma-Tadema


Timmy! said...

Wow, I guess figs are nature's super-fruit... I had no idea. Thanks, Pauline!

Pauline said...

They sure seem to be, don't they?