Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mardi: Herbal-Wise

Pomegranates are often referred to as a "winter fruit." Nicely wrapped boxes of these beautiful, dusky orbs are often available for giving during the Holidays. Most people who see them these days are probably thinking more about anti-oxidants than Hades, but the reason pomegranates are associated with winter has to do with Greek mythology. Persephone, kidnapped by and held in the gloomy realm of Hades, swore she would eat nothing until she was restored to her mother, Demeter. Overcome with hunger as the long days dragged into months, she ate three blood-red seeds from a pomegranate. This sealed her fate; though restored as she requested to the sunlight for most of the year, she was judged by Zeus to spend three months with Hades as his bride. Those three pomegranate seeds, then, inadvertently brought on the season of winter.

Though not an herb of any note in hoodoo, there are many old wives tales about the magickal properties of the pomegranate. Women who wished to know the number of children they would have were instructed to throw, not just drop, a pomegranate to the ground. The force had to be enough to break open the skin and the number of seeds that tumbled out foretold the size of the woman's future brood.

Women with troubles conceiving were told to eat pomegranate seeds to increase fertility. The like-makes-like reference here seems almost painfully obvious.

Along that same thought process, Scott Cunningham tells us that the pomegranate is lucky. Pomegranate branches in the home, or trees in the yard, are thought to attract wealth. The dried skin of the fruit is used as an incense to do the same. Cunningham also notes that the fruit's juice can be used as a magickal ink and as a substitute for blood should your magicks require same.

In Mediterranean countries, pomegranate branches are hung above doors and windows to repel the evil eye and jinxes.

Finally, when you're eating your Yuletide pomegranate, be sure to make a wish before you do. Your wish, it is said, is sure to come true. And what better luck could I wish you at this happy season? Perhaps health, which the pomegranate will also grant. Or so they say. Bonne chance ~

Header: Proserpine by Dante Gabriel Rossetti via The Pre-Raphealites


Timmy! said...

As you and I both know from experience, there is not much more important than your health, Pauline. Good call.

Pauline said...

Yes indeed. And pomegranates are jam packed with anti-oxidents. Although I have to admit to finding the now popular pomegranate juice rather distasteful.