Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mardi: Herbal-Wise

Galangal is a plant with large, tuberous roots and lacy flowers. It grows like a weed, which it technically is, in mild climates, and is a particularly popular herb in hoodoo. Known in that magickal discipline as Chewing John or Little John to Chew, it is one of the Three John Roots that are said to be particularly helpful for men.

In Wicca, galangal is often used for protection and jinx-breaking work. The root is carried on the person for protection and to draw good luck. Dried and powdered galangal root is burned as an incense to break jinxes and to discourage crossed conditions in the home. It is also sprinkled around the home or in the path of an unsuspecting love interest to encourage unbridled lust. Galangal is placed under one's pillow to encourage psychic dreaming and/or to speed recovery from an illness.

In hoodoo, Chewing John is particularly prized for its ability to favorably effect court cases. A small piece of the herb should be chewed as one enters the court room. Then the juice should be spit, as surreptitiously as possible one imagines, on the court room floor. This is said to turn any case in your favor. In our modern environment, discretely spitting into the palm of your hand and then touching a piece of the courtroom is said to also do the trick. It is certainly less likely to raise eyebrows.

Chewing and spitting Chewing John out of one's front door is said to drive away jinxes as well.

A mojo known as a Jack Ball, which is only created for and carried by men, can be made using the Three John Roots mentioned above. A small ball of wax should first be formed, then chips of Chewing John, Southern John (trillium) and High John the Conqueror roots should be stuffed into the wax. While focusing on the desired outcome, red thread or twine should be wrapped around the wax ball until none of the wax is showing. This should then be anointed with High John the Conqueror oil (made by soaking a few chips of the root in olive or almond oil) and carried in a red flannel bag. The bag should be dressed with High John the Conqueror oil occasionally with the result that the bearer will be protected from harm, obtain power and be a magnet for passion.

Scott Cunningham notes that if galangal is unavailable, ginger root is an excellent substitute. Bonne chance ~

Header: A book illustration by Harold Von Schmidt c 1942 via Wikipedia


Timmy! said...

I recall seeing galangal as an ingredient on an episode of "Chopped" on the Food Network, Pauline. As I recall, it looked almost like a gnarly human hand...

Pauline said...

It may very well be. There are a couple of other fruits/herbs that look like hands. These are often used to draw wealth, for obvious reasons. The hoodoo favorite is Lucky Hand or Helping Hand, which is actually the root of a species of orchid.