Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Mardi: Herbal-Wise

Valerian, which is usually referred to in hoodoo as “vandal root”, is one of those plants whose awful scent has put it in high demand for protective magicks.  Historically, and now in modern herbal medicine, the dried root is brewed into a tisane to relax those who felt anxious and to help one sleep.  Some Native American tribes used a tea made with valerian as a cleanser; its astringent properties were also utilized to heal wounds.

In American Pow-Wow, valerian root is used for banishment, exorcism and protection.  Silver RavenWolf says that the plant was to be gathered with the left hand as Sirius was rising and that honey should be left as an offering to the valerian after harvesting.  This was then mixed with rosemary, fennel, sage, hyssop, lavender, basil, mint and holy water to keep away ghosts, evil intentions and ill-tempered elementals.

Old wives would pin a sprig of valerian to their marriageable daughters’ clothing, thus attracting men like meat attracts dogs.

It is probably from this traditional use that modern Wiccans derived the use of the dried plant in love sachets and incenses.  Scott Cunningham also mentions hanging the plant in the home to ward off lightening strikes and the evil eye. 

In hoodoo, valerian/vandal root is sometimes used as a substitute for graveyard dirt in jinxing tricks.  Vandal root is also burned with Uncrossing Incense to send back jinxes made against the root worker.  The dried plant is sprinkled on doorsteps to prevent unwanted visitors from approaching a home.

Probably because of its calming effect when ingested, valerian/vandal root is also used to stop fighting between spouses.  A vandal root should be wrapped round with a picture of you and your spouse.  Carry this for three days and then remove the vandal root and drop it in running water to “carry the anger away”.  Replace the root with a love herb such as a rose, lovage root or – for women in particular – rosemary and keep the pictures and herb with you from then on.  Your marital strife should subside.  Bonne chance ~

Header: The Miracle of the Jealous Husband by Titian c 1511


Timmy! said...

I hope you don't have to use this too much on my account, Pauline.

Cheery painting too...

Pauline said...

It is rather a grim piece of art, especially for Titian. I was intrigued by it though and I thought it kind of went along with the post...