Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mardi: Herbal-Wise

Sarsaparilla is known to most of us as an additive in "old time" soft drinks. Anyone who has watched old Westerns remembers the guy who orders a "sas'perilly" at the saloon being made fun of by the hard drinking toughs around him. Hey, a steady hand shoots better. Or that's what my Daddy used to say. But the herb sarsaparilla is considered in magickal practices as a drawer of money and lust, which is nothing to make fun of.

In Wicca, dried sarsaparilla is mixed with true cinnamon bark and sprinkled around a home to draw prosperity. Scott Cunningham also mentions burning it with sandalwood as an incense for the same end.

This jibes nicely with hoodoo usage of the herb. Dried sarsaparilla is burned with cinnamon and sandalwood to draw money. It is also burned with frankincense and myrrh as a house blessing incense. This ritual is particularly popular around yuletide, when the cleansing and blessing of one's home is a nice way to start things off right in the New Year.

In the late 18th and early 19th century, root workers and those familiar with their ways would sprinkle a pinch of dried sarsaparilla in the envelope in which important documents were being mailed. This was thought to ensure safe passage and accurate delivery for the mail in times when such things were spotty at best.

Sarsaparilla is also used in baths to spark flagging sexual passions. Combined with two or eight other love drawing herbs such as rose petals, mint, dill or juniper berries, brewed into a tea and added to bath water, sarsaparilla is said to aid in the rejuvenation of carnal interests.

Those drinks that may seem old fashioned these days but include sarsaparilla as an ingredient can have a positive magickal use as well. Used with intention, they are said to prolong health and encourage a happy life. And who among us doesn't want that? Bonne chance to all, and in particular to those of you on the Gulf Coast. You are in our thoughts and prayers...

Header: Transporting the Mail AD 1800 to AD 1900 by Lloyd Branson via American Gallery


Timmy! said...

I believe that it is still used for making root beer too, Pauline...

Bonne chance indeed, mon amour.

Pauline said...

And ginger ale, I think.