Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mardi: Herbal-Wise

Last Friday we talked about the history and lore of the mandrake, that strange "man shaped" root that comes up so often in discussions of old wives and witchcraft.  The root as discussed in that post is the so called European mandrake, a poisonous plant in the infamous Nightshade family.  These roots are now hard to come by and particularly dear if one happens to find them.  But the magick associated with mandrake can be accomplished by simply substituting the hoodoo version: May Apple root or American mandrake.

The root of the May Apple, which is not poisonous, looks more like a stick than a man but it is used by root workers as a "doll baby" to attract love.  The name of the person one wishes to attract should be written on brown paper and tied around the center, or waist, of the root.  The poppet is then hidden in a drawer or box to attract the loved one's affection.

Scott Cunningham recommends myriad uses for May Apple root, which he also notes as a substitute for European mandrake.  The root should be "activated" and brought in tune with its environment by being left in a prominent place in one's home for three days.  Then it should be bathed in warm water, after which it is ready for use.  The water in which the root has been washed can be used to dress windows and doors to protect the home.

Placed on hearth or mantel, the root will protect the home, draw prosperity and encourage fertility.  Carried, the root is said to attract friendship, sweeten enemies and protect against illness.  The scent of the root is thought to induce sleep, and for this purpose it may be hung on the headboard or bedstead.  Money left near the May Apple root is thought to magickally multiply, especially silver coins.

In general, the root has a reputation for drawing good fortune and harmony, particularly to the home.  It's hard to ask for much more than that.  Bonne chance ~

Header: A Vision of Flammetta by Dante Gabriel Rossetti c 1878


Timmy! said...

It is hard to ask for much more than good fortune and harmony, Pauline. Maybe good health?

Pauline said...

That would be the only other thing. I'd hope, however, that falls under the general umbrella of "good fortune."