Thursday, March 7, 2013

Jeudi: Root Work

We've talked about gypsy spellcraft before here at HQ. Many gypsy magicks very much resemble those of hoodoo root workers. One of the common themes in both is the use of Christian and particularly Catholic iconography and verbiage. Both the gypsy culture and the cultures that created hoodoo held the Christian religion in awe at one time. It was the religion of those who lived at ease in fine houses and fancy clothes and everyone knows that the gods who grant such things must be powerful indeed.

Today's working, a gypsy talisman to prevent toothache, makes full use of Christian imagery to get its job done. My grandmother explained a variation of this spell, giving me only the "prayer" to say nightly. In his wonderful Book of Spells from 1971, Marc de Pascale gives the entire working as well as a story behind its origin which goes like this:

St. Peter was said to be sitting on a stone when Christ walked by. Christ asked Peter why her looked so unhappy and Peter answered, 'Lord, my teeth pain me'. Christ then ordered that the 'worm' in Peter's tooth should come forth and never return. The pain immediately ceased and Peter said, 'I pray you, O Lord, that when these words be written out and a man carries them he shall have no toothache'. The Lord answered, 'Tis well, Peter; so may it be.'

And here is the working per Mr. de Pascale:

You will need a piece of cloth - and kind and color but cotton works best - about 10" by 3" and a pen

Now write the following prayer on the material:

Peter is sitting on a marble stone,
And Jesus passed by.
Peter said "My Lord, my God,
How my tooth doth ache!"
Jesus said, "Peter art thou whole!
And whosoever keeps these words for my sake
Shall never have the toothache."

The cloth should then be carried on your person - as Mr. de Pascale says, until "you are fitted with full dentures". Bonne chance ~

Header: The Liberation of Saint Peter by Gerard van Honthorst c 1617 via Wikipedia


Timmy! said...

So Jesus was a magician... or a dentist... or both. Awesome!

Saint Peter looks very confused in that painting, Pauline.

Pauline said...

Yes! And a carpenter and possibly a plumber given his way with water.

Saint Peter does look like he's scratching his head, doesn't he?