Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mardi: Herbal-Wise

Today's herb is used widely both in hoodoo and in Wicca and Druid practice.  The uses are similar in all of these disciplines, but there is a bit of a different spin to the old root worker's way of using the plant known as Acorus calamus or calamus.

Scott Cunningham is very clear in his Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs that "several plants are sold under the name of Calamus and two of those are very dangerous to take internally, so we must recommend not using calamus internally."  This is an excellent and timely warning that must be followed and remembered.  In the larger sense, any herb not grown by the practitioner - in other words, purchased packaged - is suspect.  As our natural resources dwindle many unscrupulous "botanicas" will substitute one herb for another without much thought to the potential hazards to the user.  When working with herbs, then, the rule of thumb is to grow your supply yourself if at all possible.  If not, know your supplier and, as with anything, caveat emptor.

Old wives would string calamus seeds together to form a necklace.  This was then placed around the neck of anyone who became ill to encourage other remedies to speed healing.  The powdered root can also be used as a healing incense and in packets or sachets for the same purpose.

Scott Cunningham recommends placing little pieces of calamus root in the four corners of ones kitchen to ensure that no one in the household will ever know poverty or want.  Calamus is also considered a strengthening herb.  Added to other herbs, curios, etc. in spell work, it is said to improve the efficacy of the spell's intention.  Growing the plant in the garden is thought to draw good luck to the household.

Root workers say that dried calamus added to any love mojo will make your intended unable to resist you.  The dried root is also sprinkled around the house, or carried in a mojo bag, to turn away jinxes and calm unquiet spirits such as poltergeists. 

A very old conjure to remove sexual problems arising from jinxes advised boiling calamus root in whiskey and drinking a small amount of the strained decoction daily to restore sexual vigor.  As per Mr. Cunningham's recommendation, this one is probably a bad idea.  Maybe just a small dose of good whiskey would do the trick...  Bonne chance ~

Header: Do Not Lose Heart by Chrystal Chan via American Gallery


Timmy! said...

Yeah, shots usually do the trick just fine, Pauline...


Pauline said...

That and good intentions will, at least, make you happy for the evening :)