Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Mardi: Herbal-Wise

The herb known as Solomon's seal is, it probably goes without saying, named for the Biblical King Solomon. The seal part comes from an obscure talent that the Hebrew king happened to have: imprisoning demons. He kept his catches in a jar with an enchanted seal and thus the herb, in almost all magickal disciplines, has a reputation for guarding, protecting and banishing.

Scott Cunningham tells us that Solomon's seal root is dried, powder and sprinkled in the four corners of a home to guard it. Wiccans also use the powdered root in exorcism rituals and spells for protection. An infusion of the root is used to sprinkle things and people to banish troubles, often with fern fronds or fresh rue.

In hoodoo, Solomon's seal root chips are placed on window sills and along the tops of door frames to keep trouble from entering the home. I remember my aunt doing this when she didn't want her daughter's "no account" boyfriend coming around. It worked; my cousin is now married to a doctor. Catherine Yronwode advises adding fern fronds if there is a particular concern about break-ins.

A mojo to encourage others to respect you can be achieved by combining Solomon's seal root, High John the Conqueror root, three Devil's shoestrings and a chip of Dragon's Blood resin in a red flannel bag. Feed the mojo with Crown of Success or olive oil. This should be kept near the skin and is said to draw advantageous friendships to the person who carries it. The results can be enhanced by adding a curio such as a silver dime (best if it is from the year of your birth, or that of a successful person you know) or something that belonged to someone successful.

Solomon's seal is a favorite herb in Pow-Wow as well. The dried root is used in healing rituals, particularly sprinkled in the four corners of the sick person's room or to make a magick circle around them. As Silver Ravenwolf notes in her book American Folk Magick:

To country folk, a salt circle was considered suspicious in nature to outsiders, therefore Pow-Wows mixed angelica, Solomon's seal, and vervain to create an area of protection inside a room. It could be swept away easily without raising any undue attention.

And, as unfortunate as it may be, that is an excellent tip for those of us who to this day have to be a little clever and a lot surreptitious about our magick. Bonne chance to all and a Happy Birthday to Ms. Ravenwolf.

Header: Lamb Clouds by Adolf Bohm via Old Paint


Timmy! said...

"King Solomon, demon hunter!" I did not know that one, Pauline...

Pauline said...

That probably would have made a better movie, too :)