Friday, December 8, 2006

Gypsy Herb Magick

The Gypsies are a nomadic people believed to have originally been “low-caste Hindu exiles” from northern India. Having absorbed the religious and folk customs of the many lands through which their caravans sojourned, the Gypsies came to incorporate elements of both Paganism and Christianity into their practices.

“Gypsies have been renowned practitioners of magical arts, and they have undoubtedly had a profound influence on the development of folk magic,” states author Rosemary Ellen Guiley in The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft. There can be no denying that the tradition of these mysterious travelers of the world is abundant with superstitions and bewitchments.

other’s Gypsy Fertility Charm Being brought up in a Queens, New York, neighborhood not far from a Romanian Gypsy settlement that existed in Maspeth from the mid-1920s until 1939, my mother was both leery of, and intrigued by, the Gypsies. Like many other children growing up in the early decades of the 20th century, she was frightened by the old stories she heard of Gypsies stealing babies and was warned by her elders that the Gypsies were a people not to be trusted.

This, however, did not prevent her from later marrying a man whose paternal grandfather was a Gypsy from Bohemia. Herbal Cosmetics

Nor did it stop her in the spring of 1959 from seeking the counsel of a chovihani (a Gypsy-Witch) after her two consecutive attempts to have a child resulted in miscarriages.

According to my mother’s account, the Gypsy woman first read her palm and then her tea leaves in a cup that was marked all the way around with astrological symbols. After interpreting the signs, she then presented my mother with a small silk pouch that contained a root (which I strongly suspect was from a mandrake plant) and instructed her to keep it with her, day and night, throughout the entire term of her next pregnancy.

Desperate to have a child and willing to try just about anything at that point, my mother followed the Gypsy’s advice.

Two days after Christmas in 1959 as an afternoon snowstorm raged, I finally came screaming and kicking my way into the world. (This, incidentally, is how one of my magickal names, “Lady Mandragora,” came to be, although my mother always affectionately referred to me as her “little witchling.”)

In 1962 my mother tried a fourth (and final) time to have a child but failed to use the Gypsy’s fertility charm as she had done during her previous pregnancy, which led to my birth. In October of that year, while sitting in the living room with my father and watching a television news broadcast about the Cuban missile crisis, my mother suddenly took ill and lost the baby. Coincidence? You decide.

Not surprisingly, Gypsy folk magick and divination have long been two of my passions. An interest in old Gypsy customs developed early on in my life despite the fact that my father never discussed his Gypsy heritage. For whatever reason he had, whether it was a sense of shame instilled during his childhood or a fear of discrimination from the predominantly Irish community in which we lived, he made it a point not to let others know that his ethnic roots encompassed more than just Irish and Czech. In fact, I was not even aware that my paternal grandmother was a Native American hailing from the Hopi Tribe in Arizona until my bereaved grandfather mentioned it at her funeral. Around the age of 10 I found myself drawn to cartomancy (divination by cards), and by my early teen years, I was already experimenting with some of the spells contained in Charles Godfrey Leland’s Gypsy Sorcery and Fortune Telling.

In Leland’s book, the Gypsies of England are said to be believers in Witches existing among their own people. These Witches are feared for their powers, but are not associated with the devil. Leland calls it “remarkable” that the Gypsies regard their Witches as “exceptionally gifted sorcerers or magicians” rather than “special limbs of Satan.”

Gypsy folk magick draws heavily upon the use of herbs and other natural amulets, particularly seashells, eggs, animal teeth, and human hair. It also seems that a great deal of Gypsy spells are aimed primarily at the attainment of love and the warding off of the evil eye, the power of which many Gypsies both believe in and fear greatly.

Herbal Amulets for Protection

There are a variety of herbs, and other amulets, used by a Gypsy chovihani for protection. Among the most popular is garlic, which is often placed under a woman in childbirth to keep her, as well as her newborn baby, safe from any onlookers who may possess the evil eye. Garlic is also rubbed upon the spines of horses during the waning of the moon to have them “always in good spirits and lively.”

Hungarian Gypsies believe that hanging the twigs from a thistle plant on a stable door will protect horses, as well as other animals, from bewitchment.

The wolf ’s bane is another plant believed to have great protective powers. Centuries ago, many of the Gypsies in Romania were said to have valued it as an amulet to guard against those with the power to shapeshift into wolves.

Gypsy Love Magick

Rye is a popular herb in Gypsy love magick. When baked into bread and then served to a loved one, rye seeds are believed to secure the affections of that person.

The pimento is another plant associated with Gypsy love magick. The continental Gypsies, according to Scott Cunningham, have used it in their amatory spells and sachets for hundreds of years.

When enchanted and secretly put in the food of another, it supposedly causes that individual to develop deep romantic feelings for him or her. A love charm popular among the English Gypsies is mentioned in Charles Godfrey Leland’s book of Gypsy Sorcery and Fortune Telling. It calls for an onion or a tulip bulb to be planted in a clean and previously unused pot, while the name of one’s beloved is recited. Every day at both sunrise and sunset, the following incantation should be said over the pot:

“As this root grows
And as this blossom blows,
May his [or her] heart be
Turned unto me!”

As each day passes, “the one whom you love will be more and more inclined to you, till you get your heart’s desire.” There is an old belief among Gypsies that willow-knots (willow twigs that have naturally grown into a knot) are twined by fairy-folk, and to undo one invites bad luck. To recover stolen goods, a Gypsy man will often tie a string around a willow-knot and say: “With this string I bind the thief ’s luck!”

But if it is the love of a particular woman that he desires, he will cut the willow-knot and hold it in his mouth while, at the same time, turning his thoughts to the woman and reciting the following spoken charm:

“I eat thy luck,
I drink thy luck,
Give me the luck of thine,
Then thou shall be mine.”

To add even more power to the spell, the willow-knot should then be hidden in the desired woman’s bed without her knowledge of it.

If a man wishes to make a certain woman fall in love with him, an old Gypsy love spell instructs that he should secretly obtain one of her shoes, fill it with rue leaves, and then hang it over the bed in which he sleeps.

Magickal powers are attributed to the roots of trees, particularly the ash and the alraun, and it is said that many Gypsy-Witches cunning in the art of love enchantment know how to use them in the preparation of love philters (potions).

An old Gypsy recipe to make an aphrodisiac calls for the fresh roots of an asparagus plant to be boiled in red wine. It is said that if any man or woman drinks the wine for seven consecutive mornings (in place of breakfast), he or she will be overcome by lustful urges.

Many Gypsies also believe that beans are powerful aphrodisiacs when eaten, and function as sexual amulets when carried in one’s pocket or in a putsi, a special silk or chamois pouch or charm bag used by Gypsies in the same manner that a mojo bag is used by a hoodoo “doctor.”

A piece of orrisroot carried in a putsi is another common Gypsy love amulet, as is the mysterious human-shaped root of the European mandrake plant. In addition to arousing sexual passions, the mandrake is believed to ensure an everlasting love between a couple when both partners carry with them a piece of root from the same plant.

Fern seeds are also a staple in the art of Gypsy love magick. Men traditionally give love potions brewed from the seeds of a male fern to the women they desire, while women traditionally give those brewed from the seeds of a female fern to the men whose hearts they wish to win over.

Vervain is also another plant favored by the Gypsies for the drawing of love, as well as for the attraction of good luck.

It is said that vervain must be gathered on the first day of the new moon before sunrise or it will not be magickally effective.

Carry its dried flowers in a putsi or place them beneath your pillow before you sleep and, according to Gypsy legend, the love of another you will invite.

Gypsies are well aware of the intense powers that their love spells hold. Many who wish to keep themselves immune from such amatory bewitchments or counteract the magick of any unwelcome love enchantment used upon them have been known to wear over their heart a small putsi made of white silk and filled with seven leaves from the angelica plant.

Earth-Spirit Spell

It is believed among many Gypsies that if a baby refuses to feed from his mother’s breast, a “female spirit of the earth has secretly sucked it.” To cure this, according to Leland, an onion is placed between the mother’s breasts and the following incantation is repeated:

“Earth-spirit! Earth-spirit!
Be thou ill.
Let thy milk be fire!
Burn in the earth!
Flow, flow, my milk!
Flow, flow, white milk!
Flow, flow, as I desire
To my hungry child!”

Gypsy Witch-Drum Divination

In Hungary, Gypsies are said to be able to divine the death or recovery of any ill person or animal, as well as discover the location of stolen property, by special use of an instrument known as a “witch-drum.” Described by Leland as “a kind of rude tambourine covered with the skin of an animal, and marked with stripes which have a special meaning,” a witchdrum is traditionally made from wood that is cut on Whitsunday.

The way in which this instrument is used for divination is as follows: First, nine to 21 thorn apple seeds are arranged on top of the drum and then the tambourine is tapped by a small hammer that is held in the diviner’s left hand. (Some diviners simply use their left hand, instead of a hammer, to do the tapping.) After this is done, the position that the seeds take on the markings is then interpreted.

Tasseography: Divination on tea leaves

Tasseography (or tasseomancy) is the art and practice of divination by the reading of tea leaves. Known in Scotland as “reading the cups,” it is a popular method of prognostication among many Gypsy fortunetellers and modern Witches alike.

Tasseography is quite ancient in its origin. First practiced in China, it was eventually introduced to Europe and other parts of the world by nomadic Gypsies, who, in exchange for money, food, or favors, could read the fortune and future in the tea leaves of any woman or man who sought their counsel.

During the 19th century, teacup readings were all the rage throughout England and the United States, which, during that period, was experiencing an influx of Gypsy immigrants. To interpret the future through tea leaves, you will need any type of loose tea and a white (or light-colored) teacup with a wide brim and no pattern on the inside. Any ordinary cup can be used; however, many diviners have a special cup that is used only for tea leaf readings.

Traditionally, a spoonful of tea leaves is placed in the cup, and, before the hot water is added, the person whose fortune is to be told stirs the dried tea with a finger or a spoon while concentrating on a specific question that he or she would like answered. Boiling water is then poured into the cup. After it has cooled, the querent drinks all but one spoonful of the tea.

He or she then takes the cup in his or her left hand and thrice swirls the leaves in a clockwise direction before quickly turning the cup upside down onto a white napkin resting on top of the saucer. After counting to seven (or sometimes nine, depending on the diviner’s personal preferences), the cup is returned to its right side up position. The various patterns formed by the wet tea leaves clinging to the bottom and sides of the cup are then interpreted. Some diviners feel that a reading is not complete unless the tea leaves on the napkin are interpreted as well.

Traditionally, a teacup is read clockwise. According to Eva Shaw’s Divining the Future, “the handle represents the day of the teacup reading and the cup is divided into a years time, with the side directly across the handle indicating six months into the future.”

Most readers feel that the closer the tea leaves are to the brim of the cup, the greater their significance. Tea leaves on the bottom of the cup are believed by some to “spell tragedy,” and by others to indicate events of the distant future. In many cases, the clockwise or counterclockwise facing of a tea leaf pattern indicates a particular event about to happen or about to draw to a close, respectively. Examine the tea leaves carefully for any symbols, pictures, letters and/or numbers that are made, for each one possesses a divinatory meaning. For instance, if the leaves take on the shape of a heart, this indicates future happiness. If two hearts are seen, this is said to be a sure sign that wedding bells will be ringing for you (or someone close to you) in the near future.

News of a marriage proposal or a wedding will be forthcoming should the symbol of a church, a wedding ring, or a bride and groom be seen.

A dagger is generally perceived to be a warning of impending danger, while a coffin is said to be an omen of death. A moon represents a change soon to take place in one’s life, and a ring a change for the better. (However, some tea leaf readers interpret a circular symbol to mean failure!) Animal symbols are commonly seen in teacup readings. A snake is said to warn against treachery and betrayal. A bird portends good news or perhaps a journey soon to be embarked upon. A dog represents a faithful friend, and a cat a friend who is false.

Dots or dollar signs represent money soon to be received, and a broom traditionally portends a change of residence. A star is always a fortunate sign, and a horseshoe indicates good luck. A triangle or the symbol of a pyramid is one of the best omens to receive. Whenever one appears in a reading, it generally foretells great success.

According to Welsh Folklore by J. C. Davies, a good sign is portended if the tea leaves are scattered evenly around the sides of the cup, but an extremely bad one if “the bottom of the cup appears very black with leaves.”

The meanings that lie behind the designs and shapes created by the tea leaves can be highly symbolic in their nature, or they can be exactly as they appear. Symbols may hold different meanings for different people; therefore, as with all other methods of divination, the success of a reading rests heavily upon how finely tuned the intuitive powers are of the person conducting the reading.

If you are new to the art and practice of tasseography, do not despair if your first few attempts at reading the tea leaves are unsuccessful. Many readers see only vague shapes in the beginning. But, as the old saying goes, “practice makes perfect.”

This applies to all skills, including magickal and metaphysical ones as well.

A list of tea leaf symbols and their meanings can be found in the books Divining the Future by Eva Shaw (Facts on File, 1995) and Tea Leaf Reading Symbols by Harriet Mercedes McCrite (McCrite, 1991).

Tea ea Spells and Superstitions In addition to its role in divination, the tea plant (Camellia spp.) has long been linked to folk magick and superstition. Burned by Chinese sorcerers to attain wealth, the leaves of the tea plant are often added to money-attracting potions and sachets.

Various parts of the tea plant are also used in spells for increasing one’s courage and strength, and some modern Witches have been known to use infusions of tea as a base for mixing drinks designed to provoke lust.

A magickal method to keep evil spirits from invading a house or barn calls for tea leaves to be sprinkled upon the ground in front of the building’s main entrance. This old Pagan custom is said to be still practiced in some parts of the English Midlands.

Numerous superstitions surround the brewing of tea. For instance, the accidental spilling of tea while it is being made is said to indicate good luck for the mother of the house. However, brewing tea in any teapot other than your own invites bad luck, while forgetting to put in the tea indicates that misfortune is on the horizon.

To accidentally make the tea too strong means that you will make a new friend. But to accidentally make it too weak means that you will end up losing one. In England, where the drinking of tea is a national pastime, it is still believed that the arrival of a stranger is portended whenever someone accidentally leaves the lid off his or her teapot.

Take care to always put your sugar into your tea before adding the milk or cream, otherwise you will find yourself quarreling with your husband or wife before the day is done.

However, in some parts of England it was once believed that if a young girl added milk or cream to her tea before putting in the sugar, she would never wed.

It is extremely unlucky for two people to pour out of the same teapot, according to an old superstition, which can be found alive and well in many parts of the world. And never pour tea with another person unless you wish to become a magnet for bad luck.

Bubbles or a circle of foam on the surface of a cup filled with tea is said to be a sign that money will soon be received.

Some folks believe that money is indicated only if the bubbles or foam appear in the center of the cup. If they appear near the sides, this is a sign that you will soon be kissed!

If a piece of tea stem (known as a “stranger”) should float to the top of your cup of tea, this is said to be a sign that a visitor will arrive. If the stem is hard, this indicates that the visitor will be a man. If it is tender, the visitor will be a woman.

To determine which day of the week your visitor will come to call, place the stem on the back of your left hand and then slap it with the palm of your other hand. Each time you do this, recite one of the days of the week (starting with the current day). The day of the week that is recited when the stem either sticks to the palm of your right hand or falls off indicates which day it will be.

A similar divination method, which was popular in Victorian-era England, was carried out to determine the fidelity of one’s lover. A wet tea stalk or long tea leaf would be placed in the palm of the right hand, and then both hands would be clapped together once. If the tea stalk or leaf remained stuck to the palm of the right hand after being clapped, this indicated a faithful lover. However, if it adhered to the other palm, this indicated one who was fickle.

To avoid bad luck, always be sure to stir your tea in a clockwise direction, and never stir the leaves in a teapot prior to pouring. To stir your tea with a fork, a knife, or anything other than a spoon is to invite bad luck. And never stir another person’s tea, for to do so will stir up strife.

In addition to the numerous good and bad luck omens associated with tea, there are many tea-based superstitions concerning human fertility.

For example, if a man and a woman pour a cup of tea from the same teapot, they will end up having a child together. If a young lady permits a man to pour her more than one cup of tea, she will be unable to resist his sexual charms. A woman who pours tea in another woman’s house will soon find herself pregnant (or, according to another superstition, the recipient of very bad luck). Some folks believe that if two women should take hold of the same teapot at once, this will cause one of them to give birth to red-haired twins before the year reaches its end! And if more than one person pours you a cup of tea, this is also believed to result in the birth of twins (though not necessarily red-haired).

Regardless whether your tea leaves are used in the casting of a spell, the divining of the future, or simply the brewing of a cup of hot tea, you should never throw them away after you are finished using them. To do so is said to bring bad luck, according to some superstitious folks. Disposing of your used tea leaves by casting them into a fire not only prevents bad luck, but keeps poverty away.

Spell For Using Mugwort Tea by Lee Prosser

Mugwort is used to conjure visions, pursue dream quests, open the partaker up to the inner planes for astral travel, and to see into the future.

Prepare mugwort for tea, and then address the goddesses Bast and Durga in the following manner as the tea brews:

Bless this tea in the names
of Bast and Durga
that the goddesses grant
it vision and strength
for my mind.

Prior to drinking the tea, address the goddesses Bast and Durga in the following manner:

Beloved Bast, Beloved Durga,
Beloved Durga, Beloved Bast,
Bless my mugwort tea
with that which I need to
restore myself

so that I may once again be made whole.

Thank you Bast, thank you Durga,
So mote it be,
So will it be,
So it is done.

Herbal Divination (Part II)

Cherry Tree Divination

If you desire to know the number of years you will live, perform the following divination on Midsummer Eve: Run three times clockwise around a cherry tree full of ripe fruit and then shake the tree with all your might as you repeat the following charm:

Cherry tree, I shaketh thee,
Cherry tree, pray tell thou me
How many years am I to live?
By fallen fruit thy answer give.

At the precise moment that you utter the last word of the rhyme, remove your hands from the tree. Count the number of cherries that have fallen to the ground while shaking the tree, and they will reveal to you what age you will live to be. Some diviners interpret the number of fallen cherries as an indication of how many more years one has to live.

Divination to Determine Number of Children

To discover the total number of children you will have in your lifetime, perform this old Scottish method of divination:

Go alone into a field of oats at the witching hour on Halloween. With your eyes tightly closed or your vision obscured by a blindfold, spin yourself three times around in a clockwise fashion and then reach out and randomly pull three stalks of oats. After doing this, open your eyes and count the number of grains there are upon the third stalk. This will tell you the number of children that you will father or give birth to. According to W. Grant Stewart’s 19th-century book, Highlanders of Scotland, “It may be observed, that it is essential to a female’s good name that her stalk should have the top-grain attached to it.” Should the top of the stalk be missing, this is taken as a sign that the woman will lose her virginity prior to her wedding day.

Acorn Divination

If you desire to know what fate has in store for you and your fiancée, perform the following divination on a night of the full moon:

Take two acorns and mark your initials upon one, and your fiancée’s initials upon the other. Place the acorns three inches apart from each other in a cauldron filled with water and then carefully observe their movements. If they drift towards each other, this is a sure sign that a wedding is in the offing. However, if they drift away from each other, this indicates that you and your fiancée shall part company before your wedding bells ring. If the acorns remain stationary, repeat the divination again at a later time.

Ribwort Marriage Divination

On the eve of Johnsmas (June 25th) or when the moon is full, uproot a ribwort and then place it beneath a flat stone. Allow it to remain there all night, and then carefully examine the root in the morning. If you are destined to wed within the next 12 months, the initials of your future husband or wife will be found upon the plant’s root. In England, where many of the love and marriage divinations used by modern Witches and diviners originated, it is traditional for females to divine using the dark variety of the plant, and males with the light.

Sage Marriage Divination

At the witching hour on Halloween, go alone into a garden and, without uttering a single word, pick 12 sage leaves - one at each stroke of the clock. As you pick the 12th leaf at the 12th stroke, the face of your future husband will materialize before you.

If a man’s face does not appear to you, this indicates that you will not marry within the next 12 months. (Do not repeat this divination until the following Halloween; otherwise you will invite bad luck!) If a vision of a coffin should appear to you while you are performing this divination, this is said to be an omen of an early death.

Bay Leaf Divinations for Lovers

The following method of divination, when performed on Saint John’s Eve, is designed to determine whether or not your lover has been faithful to you: Just before bedtime, take a bay leaf and prick your lover’s name or initials upon it with a pin.

After doing this, pin the leaf to your brassiere or nightgown so that it will be in place over your heart as you sleep. When you wake up, check the leaf to see if it has turned brown. If it has, this is a sure sign that your beloved has been true to you. But if the leaf is the same color as it was the night before, this is an sign that your lover has (or soon will) deceive you.

To find out if your sweetheart will marry you, prick his or her name or initials upon a bay leaf. Place the leaf inside your left shoe and wear it throughout the day. Allow the leaf to remain in the shoe overnight, and then observe the leaf in the morning. If the name or initials have become darker, this is a sign that your sweetheart will marry you. But if they have grown fainter (or have vanished), this indicates that he or she will not.

To experience a prophetic dream in which the identity of your future husband or wife is revealed to you, pin a bay leaf to your pillow on the eve of Saint Valentine’s Day just before going to bed.

The following is a Saint Valentine’s Eve love divination from the 18th century work, Aristotle’s Last Legacy: “Take two Bay-leaves, sprinkle them with Rose-water; the Evening of this day, lay them a cross under your Pillow when you go to bed, putting on a clean Shift and turning it wrong side outwards; and lying down, say: ‘Good Valentine be kind to me, In dreams let me my true Love see.’ So crossing your Legs, and go to sleep…you will see in a Dream the Party you are to Marry.”

Apple Peel Divination

To determine the first letter of your future spouse’s last name, peel an apple in one unbroken strip. By the light of an enchanted pink candle, take the paring in your right hand and recite the following charm three times:

Spirits all-knowing,
May thee reveal
My true love’s initials
By shape of this peel.

Turn around thrice and then cast the paring over your left shoulder. If it falls in the shape of an alphabetical letter, this will indicate the initial of your future husband or wife’s surname.

However, if the apple peel should break upon hitting the floor or ground, this portends that you will never wed.

Clover Divination

Pick a two-leaved clover and place it inside your right shoe. If you are a woman, the first young man you encounter will possess the same first name or initials as the man destined to be your future husband. If you are a man, the first name or initials of your future bride will be revealed by the name of the first young lady you encounter.

Divination by Dreams

If an unmarried woman wishes to dream about the man destined to be her future husband, let her sleep with any of the following herbs beneath her pillow: nine ivy leaves; a sprig of mistletoe taken from a church; or a sprig of myrtle that she has worn in her bosom throughout the day.

Holly Dream Divination

To have a dream about the man or woman destined to be your future husband or wife, perform the following divination on a Friday at the witching hour: Without speaking a single word and taking great care not to be seen, go into a garden and pluck nine leaves from a female (smooth-edged) holly plant.

After doing this, knot each leaf into a three-cornered handkerchief.

Return home and place the handkerchief beneath your pillow before laying yourself down to sleep.

Myrtle Marriage Divination

If a young woman wishes to find out whether or not her sweetheart will marry her, according to Sidney Oldall Addy’s Household Tales, the following divination should be performed on the Eve of the Summer Solstice (Midsummer Eve): “Let a girl take a sprig of myrtle and lay it in her Prayer Book upon the words of the marriage service, ‘Wilt thou have this man to be thy wedded husband?’ Then let her close the book, put it under her pillow, and sleep upon it.” If the sprig of myrtle is nowhere to be found when she wakes the following morning and opens the book, this is said to be a sure sign that she and her sweetheart will soon be joined together in holy matrimony.

Yarrow Love Divinations

To experience a dream about the man or woman destined to be your future marriage mate, pluck 10 stalks of yarrow on Beltane Eve (April 30th), or on a night when the moon is new. Before going to bed, place nine of the stalks beneath your pillow and toss the remaining one over your left shoulder while repeating the following charm:

Good night, good night, fair yarrow,
Thrice good night to thee.
I pray before the dawn tomorrow
My true love to see.

A similar divinatory method from centuries gone by called for an ounce of yarrow to be sewn up in a piece of flannel or stuffed into a stocking and then placed beneath one’s pillow before going to bed. The following spoken charm (or one of its many variations) would then be recited three times:

“Thou pretty herb of Venus’ tree,
Thy true name it is yarrow.
Now who my future love must be,
Pray tell thou me tomorrow.”

A rather unusual yarrow love divination practiced in England in the Middle Ages instructed young ladies and gentlemen alike to insert a serrated leaf of the yarrow plant into each of their nostrils while reciting a spoken charm. If a nosebleed resulted upon blowing the nose, this was taken as a sure sign that the affections of one’s sweetheart were true. However, if the nose did not bleed, this indicated that the love was false.

Rose Dream Divination

Perform the following divination on Midsummer Eve, when the clock chimes 12 to usher in the witching hour: Without uttering a single word, walk backwards into a garden and gather the reddest rose in full bloom. Wrap it in a clean sheet of white paper, and then tuck it away in some secret hiding place where it will be undisturbed.

At sunrise on the day of the old Winter Solstice (December 25th), remove the rose from the paper and place the flower on your bosom. According to legend, the man who is destined to become your husband will then come and snatch it away.

Saint Agnes’ Day Divination

Aristotle’s Last Legacy (first published in the year 1711) contains a rather interesting divinatory ritual to enable a man or woman to dream about his or her future marriage mate: On Saint Agnes’ Day (a time long associated with love divinations and amatory enchantments), take one sprig each of rosemary and thyme, and “sprinkle them with urine thrice.” Put one sprig in your left shoe and the other in your right (it matters not which sprig goes in which shoe), and then place your shoes on each side of your bed’s head. As you lay yourself down to sleep, recite thrice the following incantation:

“Saint Agnes that’s to lovers kind,
Come ease the trouble of my mind.”

Hemp Seed Divination

To determine whom their future husbands will be, many young women throughout Europe have used the seeds of the hemp plant in a divinatory ritual that is centuries old. Traditionally performed at the witching hour on either Midsummer Eve or Christmas Eve, hemp divinations (if worked correctly) are said to make the image of one’s future husband manifest.

One such method calls for an unmarried girl to walk alone through a garden, field, or churchyard while tossing hemp seeds over her right shoulder and nine times reciting the following magickal rhyme:

“Hemp seed I sow,
And hemp seed I hoe,
And he to be my one true love,
Come follow me, I trow.”

A similar version of the hemp seed rhyme is as follows:

“I sow hemp seed,
Hemp seed I sow,
He that is to be my husband,
Come after me and mow,
Not in his best or Sunday array,
But in the clothes he wears every day.”

After repeating the rhyme for the ninth time, the girl is then supposed to see a materialization of her husband-to-be standing behind her with a scythe, looking “as substantial as a brass image of Saturn on an old time-piece,” according to William Hone’s The Year Book (1831). However, she must look at him over her left shoulder, otherwise his image will not be visible to her.

Should the girl be destined for a life of spinsterhood (or at least for the next 12 months, according to some traditions), she will not see the image of a man behind her. Instead, she is likely to hear the sound of a bell either chiming softly or ringing loudly.

In the rare event that she should gaze over her left shoulder and see a coffin, this is said to be an omen of an early death for the girl.

Holly Weather Divination

To determine what sort of winter weather lies ahead, according to an old and popular method of divination from New England, examine the number of berries growing on a holly tree. If there are many, this is a sign that inclement weather is in the offing.

But if there are few or none, this indicates that the weather will be mild.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Herbal Divination (Part I)

The art and practice of divination by herbs is one of the oldest methods of prognostication known to mankind. Its formal name is botanomancy, which is derived from the Greek word botane, meaning “herb.”

Phyllomancy is a type of divination closely related to botanomancy. Diviners who employ this method typically interpret the patterns of veins on leaves to gain insight to future events or to reveal things of the unknown.

Causimomancy is another variation of botanomancy. It draws omens from the ashes produced by the burning of plants and trees. Deriving its name from the Greek word kaustos (meaning “burned”), this method of divination also draws omens from the rate at which a plant placed in a fire burns. Traditionally, if a plant smoldered and burned slowly or failed to burn altogether, this was taken as a bad omen. But if it burned rapidly, the omen was good.

Causimomancy has several variants, including capnomancy (the drawing of omens from the various patterns of smoke generated by the burning of flammable botanical material), crithomancy (the interpretation of grain and flour), daphnomancy (the drawing of omens from the smoke and sounds produced by burning laurel wood or leaves), and libanomancy (the divinatory interpretation of incense smoke).

The art and practice of capnomancy is said to have originated in the mysterious land of Babylonia, where it was carried out at certain times of the year when the positions of the planets were most favorable for prognostication. Cedar branches or shavings would be placed upon hot coals or cast into a fire and then priests skilled in the reading of omens would carefully interpret their smoke.

The Druids were said to have believed in and worshipped the spirits of trees and plants, particularly the oak, vervain, and mistletoe. Herbal divination (in addition to rune casting, geomancy, animal prognostication, and other methods) was a practice at which they were highly adept, and many of their divinatory rites were held within the sacred space of oak groves.

The type of herbal divination most commonly employed by the priestly caste of the ancient Celts was a form of capnomancy known as dendromancy. It called for oak branches or mistletoe plants to be ritually cut with a golden sickle and then cast into a blazing fire or set upon live coals. The color and direction of the smoke generated by the burning plant would then be carefully interpreted.

Typically, smoke that rose straight up to the heavens was interpreted as being a favorable omen for the tribe. However, smoke that hung close to the altar was seen as not so favorable.

And if it touched the earth, this was believed to be a warning from the spirits or the gods that a new direction or course of action be taken at once.

The early Romans and Greeks, who utilized the divinatory methods of daphnomancy and phyllorhodomancy, respectively, also practiced herbal divination. The art and practice of daphnomancy is believed to have been devised by the augurs of pre-Christian Rome and connected to a sacred grove of laurel trees planted there by various Roman emperors. In the year 68 A.D., the entire grove mysteriously withered and died, as if to portend the death of the Emperor Nero and the demise of the long line of Caesars, which occurred shortly after during that same year. Daphnomancy takes its name from the fabled Greek nymph Daphne, whom the gods changed into a laurel tree.

Libanomancy is a divinatory practice that can be traced back to the magicians of ancient Babylonia. According to the Three Collated Libanomancy Texts (translated by Irving L. Finkel), if when you sprinkle incense upon a fire and its smoke drifts to the right, this is an indication that you will prevail over your adversary. However, if the incense smoke drifts to the left, this means that your adversary will prevail over you. If incense smoke clusters, this is a favorable omen of success and financial gain. But if it is fragmented, a financial loss is portended.

Beware of incense smoke that “gathers like a datepalm and is thin at its base,” for this is a sign of hard times to come. If the rising smoke of incense is cleft (in two), this is said to foretell a loss of one’s sanity. In Greece, divination by observing the leaves and petals of roses (phyllorhodomancy) was a popular method of foretelling future events. Rosa gallica (more commonly known in modern times as autumn damask) is believed by many occult historians to have been the flower of choice among the diviners of ancient Greece.

A rose petal with a concave form would first be selected, a yes-or-no question asked, and then a state of meditation entered into. Afterwards, the diviner would place the rose petal in the palm of his or her right hand and then firmly clap both hands together one time. If the petal burst, this indicated an affirmative answer. But if it failed to burst, this was interpreted as a negative reply.

Forecasting the future or gaining answers to questions by interpreting the various sounds produced by the rose petal during the clapping of one’s hands is but one of the many variations of phyllorhodomancy.

Herbal divination continues to be practiced in our modern day and age, and in a variety of ways. The plucking of a daisy’s petals to determine the true feelings of one’s beloved, the picking of a four-leaf clover to attain good luck or to make a wish come true, and counting the number of breaths needed to blow all the fuzzy seeds off a dandelion’s stalk to determine how many years will pass before one’s wedding day arrives, are all examples of botanomancy in its simplest (and most popular) forms.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Insomnia - How to get agood night’s sleep

What causes insomnia?

Many people have insomnia, or trouble sleeping. People who have insomnia may not be able to fall asleep, may wake up during the night and not be able to fall back asleep or may wake up early in the morning.

Insomnia isn’t a disease. It’s the body’s way of saying that something isn’t right. Many things can cause insomnia - stress, too much caffeine, depression, changes in work shifts and pain from certain medical problems, such as from arthritis.

Is insomnia a serious problem?

Thirty to forty percent of adults have some amount of insomnia in any given year. The rate of insomnia increases with age and is more common in women. Insomnia can become serious. It can make you feel less able to do your work and can make you feel tense and anxious. People who have insomnia may feel tired, depressed and irritable. They may also have trouble concentrating. Insomnia causing drowsiness may lead to motor vehicle accidents and other health risks or problems.

How much sleep do I need?

Most adults need about eight hours of sleep each night. You know you’re getting enough sleep if you don’t feel sleepy during the day. Some people may need only six hours of sleep a night. Others may need 10 hours.

Sleep patterns change with age. For example, older people may take naps during the day and sleep less at night. In general, how much sleep you need as an adult will probably stay about the same.

What can my doctor do to find out why I’m not sleeping?

Your family doctor may ask you and your bed partner (if possible) some questions to find out why you aren’t sleeping. These questions may concern your sleep habits (such as when you go to bed and when you get up), the medicine you take, the amount of caffeine and alcohol you drink, and if you smoke or chew tobacco.

Your doctor may also ask about events in your life that may be upsetting you and making it hard for you to sleep. These questions may involve your work or your personal relationships.

Other questions may include how long you’ve been having insomnia, if you have any pain, such as from arthritis, and if you snore or jerk your legs while you sleep.

If the cause of your insomnia is still not clear, your doctor may suggest that you fill out a sleep diary. The diary will help you keep track of when you go to bed, how long you lie in bed before falling asleep, how often you wake during the night, when you get up in the morning and how well you slept.

How is insomnia treated?

The treatment of insomnia can be simple. Often, once the problem that’s causing the insomnia is found and taken care of, the insomnia goes away on its own. The key is to find out what’s causing the insomnia so that it can be dealt with directly.

If your insomnia is related to stress, you may need to reduce your stress or learn how to manage it. If you’re depressed, your family doctor may suggest counseling or give you medicine to treat the depression.

Will sleeping pills help?

Sleeping pills can help in some cases but can also make insomnia worse. They’re only a temporary form of relief, not a cure. They’re best used for only up to a few weeks. Regular use can lead to rebound insomnia. This occurs when a person quits taking sleeping pills and the insomnia comes back. So instead of being a cure, sleeping pills can become a cause of insomnia.

Drugs you buy without a prescription often don’t work very well, and prescription drugs may change normal sleep patterns and may make you groggy the next day. Because sleeping pills don’t work as well over time, higher and higher doses are needed. For these reasons, you shouldn’t use sleeping pills for long periods.

Sleeping pills can also be unsafe if your insomnia is caused by certain health problems. Your doctor can tell you if sleeping pills would be helpful and safe for you.

What can I do to improve my sleeping habits?

Here are some things you can do to help you sleep better:

  1. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even if you didn’t sleep enough during the night. This will help train your body to sleep at night.
  2. Do the same thing every night before going to bed to help your body get ready for sleep. You might try taking a warm bath, reading or doing some other relaxing activity every night before going to bed. Soon you’ll connect these activities with sleeping, and they’ll help make you sleepy.
  3. Use the bedroom for sleeping. Don’t eat, talk on the phone or watch TV while you’re in bed.
  4. Make sure your bedroom is quiet and dark. If noise is a problem, use a fan to mask the noise or use ear plugs. You may hang dark blinds over the windows or wear an eye mask if needed.
  5. Avoid trying to fall asleep. The more you try to fall asleep, the more trouble you may have. Don’t watch the clock. Turn it away so you can’t see the time.
  6. Lying in bed and not being able to fall asleep can be frustrating. If you’re still awake after 30 minutes, get up and go to another room. Sit quietly for about 20 minutes before going back to bed. Do this as many times as you need to until you can fall asleep.

What is sleep apnea?

Some people feel tired not because they can’t fall asleep but due to the way they sleep. Snoring and pauses in your breathing during your sleep with daytime tiredness can be caused by sleep apnea. Talk to your doctor if you think this might be a problem for you.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Herbs Associated with Dream Magick

The following list contains many of the herbs traditionally used by Witches and other magickal folks in dream magick, followed by their various applications:


To prevent nightmares, fill a white mojo bag with as many anise seeds as it can possibly hold, and then sew it to the inside of your pillowcase. This simple, yet effective, Witch’s spell from the Middle Ages is said to ensure pleasant dreams. Scatter the leaves of an anise plant around your bedroom to keep yourself protected against evil influences while you sleep.


To induce dreams of a prophetic nature, place seven leaves from an ash tree beneath your pillow before going to sleep. The ash tree, which was sacred to the ancient Teutons and symbolic of their mythological “world tree” known as Ygdrasill, is also said to offer protection against nightmares, dreamcurses, and all psychic attacks that occur while one is asleep and most vulnerable.


To induce dreams of a prophetic nature, place bay leaves beneath your pillow before going to sleep. It is said that bay leaves, when cast into a fire on a night of the full moon, can enable one to see the future in a dream. The use of bay in divinatory rites and dream magick can be traced back to the ancient Greeks, who believed it to be sacred to their god Apollo.


If you are faced with a problem to which you cannot find a solution, an old magickal spell suggests placing the root of a bracken underneath your pillow just before you go to sleep. Occult folklore holds that the root of this plant will bring forth a dream that will contain the answer you seek. In addition, many Witches and other magickal practitioners use bracken for protection against evil and negative influences.


To induce dreams of a prophetic nature, mix a pinch of dried buchu leaves with a pinch of frankincense. On a night of the full moon, light a charcoal block (which can be bought at most occult shops and religious supply stores), place it in a fireproof incense burner, and then sprinkle a small amount of the herbal mixture upon it. For best results, do this in your bedroom prior to bedtime.


When burned as incense, the wood of the cedar is said to “cure the predilection to having bad dreams,” according to the late author Scott Cunningham in his book, Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs. Sleep with cedar twigs beneath your pillow to help awaken or strengthen your psychic powers. A cedar branch hung above your bed will protect you against evil forces while you sleep.


Also known by the folk-name “five-finger grass,” the cinquefoil is said to assure restful sleep when put into a blue mojo bag and suspended from the bedpost. Place a sprig of cinquefoil containing seven leaflets beneath your pillow before going to sleep in order to dream about the man or woman who is destined to be your marriage mate. This simple method of amatory dream divination is centuries old.


To induce dreams of a prophetic nature, place some heliotrope leaves beneath your pillow prior to bedtime. A full moon is the ideal lunar phase in which to do this. If you have had personal possessions stolen from you and desire to know whom the thief is, heliotrope may help to induce a dream that reveals the true identity of the culprit.


An old Witch’s method to induce prophetic dreams is as follows: Without speaking a single word, gather together nine holly leaves at the witching hour (midnight) on a Friday. Wrap them in a white cloth and then tie nine knots in it. Place the charm beneath your pillow prior to bedtime, and whatever dreams you experience during the night are likely to come true.


According to Scott Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, “To make all your dreams come true, burn the leaves [of a huckleberry plant] in your bedroom directly before going to sleep.” After seven days have passed, that which you have dreamt shall be made manifest.

Hyacinth For the prevention of nightmares, grow a hyacinth plant in a pot and keep it as close to your bed as possible. When dried and burned as incense prior to bedtime, the fragrant flowers of the hyacinth are said to help induce pleasant dreams. Should you awaken from a depressing dream or nightmare, the smell of a hyacinth in bloom will help to lift your spirits.


For restful sleep and pleasant dreams, sleep with a blue mojo bag filled with jasmine flowers beneath your pillow or sewn to the inside of your pillowcase. Scott Cunningham says, “the flowers are smelled to induce sleep.” To induce dreams of a prophetic nature, burn a bit of dried jasmine in an incense burner in your bedroom just before you go to sleep.

Lemon Verbena

For a dreamless slumber, fill a gray-colored charm bag with lemon verbena and wear it on a string around your neck when you go to sleep. Additionally, drinking a bit of the juice extracted from the plant is said to help suppress dreams.


The mandrake is unquestionably the most magickal of all plants, and the part of it most commonly employed in the casting of spells is its mysterious root, which bears a curious resemblance to the human form. It is said that sleep can be induced by the mere scent of a mandrake root, and when one is suspended from the headboard of a bed, the sleeper is guarded against all manner of harm—both natural and supernatural. Rub a mandrake root upon your Third Eye chakrabefore sleeping to induce a prophetic dream of your future lover or marriage mate. Caution: Mandrake possesses strong narcotic properties. Handle with care and do not ingest any part of the plant!


To induce dreams of a prophetic nature, scatter the flowers of a marigold under and around your bed before turning in for the evening. This plant is also said to induce dreams that reveal the true identities of thieves, as well as to offer protection against sorcerers who work their black magick through dreams.


To induce dreams of a prophetic nature, fill a blue or yellow mojo bag with mimosa flowers and then place it beneath your pillow before you go to sleep. According to author Rosemary Ellen Guiley in The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft, blue is the color associated with psychic and spiritual awareness, and prophetic dreams. However, in his book on magickal herbs, Scott Cunningham lists yellow as the color corresponding to divination, psychic powers, and visions. I, personally, have always used blue or purple for this purpose, but you may use whichever color feels right for you. In addition, anointing your Third Eye chakra with an infusion of mimosa prior to sleeping helps to facilitate dreams containing prophecies.


When placed beneath a pillow at bedtime or put into a white mojo bag and attached to the bedpost or headboard, the leaves and berries of the mistletoe plant are said to prevent nightmares and insomnia from interfering with one’s sleep. In keeping with ancient Druidic tradition, use mistletoe that has been harvested with a golden blade on either Midsummer or the sixth day following the new moon.

Morning Glory

To safeguard your sleep against nightmares, according to occult tradition, fill a white mojo bag with the seeds of a morning glory plant and place it beneath your pillow just before going to bed. In addition, morning glory seeds can be added, either alone or with other dream-magick herbs (such as anise, mistletoe, mullein, purslane, rosemary, or vervain), to dream pillows for the same purpose.


Of all the herbs associated with dream magick, mugwort is by far the most popular and the most potent. To induce dreams of a prophetic nature, stuff a dream pillow with mugwort leaves and then rest your head upon it to sleep. Other ways in which to induce dreams that reveal the unknown or things that are yet to be include the drinking of mugwort tea and the anointing of the Third Eye chakra with a dab of mugwort juice. Mugwort can also be made into an incense, which, when burned prior to sleeping, aids in astral projection and lucid dreaming, and summons forth dreams that facilitate spiritual and psychic growth.


To prevent nightmares, stuff a white mojo bag with mullein leaves and then place it beneath your pillow just before bedtime. According to herbal folklore from centuries gone by, mullein also protects a sleeping person from all manner of evil and negativity. Hang mullein over your bedroom door and windows to keep nocturnal incubus and succubus demons at bay.


To induce dreams of a prophetic nature, place a white onion underneath your pillow before bedtime. This practice is believed to have originated in ancient Egypt, where the onion was at one time regarded as being highly sacred. For protection against evil influences while you sleep, cut an onion in half and keep it close to your bed. Many modern-day practitioners of herbal folk magick continue to subscribe to the old belief that halved or quartered onions work to absorb evil, negativity, and disease.


For protection against incubus demons, fill a white mojo bag with peony roots, coral, and flint, and then anoint it with three drops of myrrh oil. Pin the mojo bag to your nightgown or pajamas, or attach it to a string around your neck, and wear it throughout the night as you sleep. Rest assured that no incubus would be able to seduce you.


To induce dreams of a prophetic nature, many Witches stuff dream pillows with the fragrant leaves of the peppermint plant. According to an herbal from olden times, the scent of peppermint “compels one toward sleep,” which is beneficial should you happen to suffer from insomnia or other sleep disorders.


To keep recurring nightmares from interfering with your sleep, place a handful of purslane flowers and leaves beneath your pillow prior to bedtime. According to occult tradition from centuries gone by, this herb also works to ward off evil spirits that prey upon sleeping mortals.


It is said that success in all matters of the heart awaits those who see a red rose in their dreams. If a single woman picks a red rose on a Midsummer’s Eve and sleeps with it tucked between her bosom, the man destined to be her future husband will appear to her in a dream.


To prevent nightmares, sleep with a mojo bag filled with rosemary beneath your pillow. It is said that he (or she) who sleeps with rosemary underneath the bed will be protected from all manner of harm while sleeping. To prevent a dead person’s restless spirit from haunting you by way of your dreams, cast a sprig of rosemary into his or her grave. According to occult lore, this will enable the spirit to rest peacefully.

St. John’s Wort

One of the most beloved magickal herbs of the ancients, the St. John’s wort has enabled many a young lady to capture a glimpse of her future marriage mate in a dream. To accomplish this, place this herb beneath your pillow before going to sleep. It does not matter which part of the plant you use, for all parts of the St. John’s wort are potent in magickal workings.


Many Native Americans believe that nightmares are capable of causing physical ailments and disease. To keep this from happening to you, go directly to a stream immediately upon waking from a bad dream and cleanse your body in the running water. Afterwards, in keeping with tradition, cast a handful of tobacco leaves into the stream as an offering to the spirit of the water.


To prevent nightmares, place a handful of vervain leaves in your bed, wear them in a mojo bag on a string around your neck, or brew them into a tea and drink it just before bedtime. To induce dreams of a prophetic nature, anoint your Third Eye chakra with vervain juice on a night of the full moon. Close your eyes, open your mind, and allow yourself to drift off to sleep. Upon waking from your slumber, take care to write your dream down on paper (or use a tape recorder) to prevent it from later being forgotten. If interpreted correctly, it will provide you with an insight to events of the future.

Wood Betony

To prevent nightmares or unpleasant visions from interfering with your sleep, pick some leaves from a wood betony plant and then place them beneath your pillow just before going to bed. When scattered on the floor under and around your bed, wood betony leaves are said to keep all evil and negative influences at bay.


Witches and diviners alike have long used the yarrow plant in a number of different ways to induce prophetic dreams pertaining to future marriage mates. The divinatory power of this herb is legendary throughout much of the world, and its strong magickal vibrations have made it a staple of folk magick since ancient times.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Herbs and The Indian Method of Curing

For Fever and Ague.

Take one pound of the bark of yellow birch, half pound sweet flag, half pound of tag alder bark, two ounces thorough worth, two ounces tansy, dry put to these four quarts of water, and boil slow, stir and boil the liquor down one half, then let it cool and add two quarts of sweet wine and bottle for use; dose one tablespoonful every two hours till the shake comes on, then no more that day, pursue this daily and you will be satisfied of its efficacy.

For Internal Ulcers.

Take two pound of blue flag, one of spignut, two ounces blood root, two ounces of coltsfoot, two ounces of Solomon's seal, two ounces of burdock seed, and one handful of peach kernels, boil these in four quarts of water three hours, then strain and add one pound loaf sugar, and one pint Holland gin, take one tablespoonful three times each day, before eating; this is infallible.

For Diarrhea or Flux.

First, take cordial, two scruples rhubarb, two of cinnamon, one of saleratus, one gill of boiling water, sweetened with loaf sugar, and one tablespoonful of best brandy. Second, syrup one part bayberry bark, one part cherry tree bark, one part white poplar bark, half part pond lilly, half part blackberry root, boil them and sweeten with loaf sugar, and a very little brandy. Third, injections, one pint mucilage of elm, one pint mucilage marsh mallows, one gill molasses, one pint sweet milk, half teaspoonful saleratus, and one fourth ounce of lady slipper. Fourth, wash the whole surface with saleratus and water, night and morning. Fifth, rubefacient to the bowels, one tablespoonful of spirits turpentine, and four of water, and flour of brandy applied warm once in four hours, and a warm flannel bandage applied round the body. Directions, give one tablespoonful of the syrup every hour, and a teaspoonful of the cordial at the same time, until the evacuations are healthy, then continue the syrup alone, give an injection once in four hours, after applying the rubefacient to the bowels; for drink use mucilage of elm, or marsh mallows, and virginia snake root, or ginger. This is infallible.

For Measles, Canker Rash or Chicken Pox.

Take equal parts of queen of the meadow, white snake root, coltsfoot snake root, marigold and saffron, steep them together and drink plentifully through the progress of the disease; a vomit of equal parts of thoroughwort and lobelia, is necessary once in about three days, keep the body from exposures of cold or wet, and let the food be light and easy of digestion.

For Small Pox.

Take half a pound of saffron, half a pound of spignut root, one pound sarsaparilla, one fourth of a pound of the seeds of young cedar, or one ounce of the oil of cedar, one fourth pound of sage and make into one mass, then steep strong as much as you think you can consume in one day in decoction, it is best make every day fresh as liquor of any kind is injurious and it will not keep longer in warm weather without spirits. This may be taken in any quantity and at any stage of the disease, and has never been known to fail when the patient is kept clean and warm. If the patient should by accident or imprudence take cold it is necessary to take 10 or 15 large onions, roast them, press the juice and let the patient drink the whole at once and apply the pressed pomice to the feet and he will soon be in profuse sweat. This is infallible.

For Coughs.

Take one ounce of meadow cabbage, one ounce of lobelia, half ounce of Indian turnip, one fourth ounce of blood root, handful of the whole of purified honey, pulverize the ingredients and mix them up, and let the patient take what the stomach will bear, till well.

For Whooping Cough.

Take equal parts of elecampane, skunks cabbage, horehound, and spignut, and boil till you extract the strength, then strain and boil down again to the consistence of tar, then add twice its weight of pure honey, and put it in a warm oven till well baked, let the patient take half teaspoonful often through the day. This is sure.

For the Croup.

This is very fatal among children. The best remedy for it is, equal parts blood root, lobelia, garlic, skunks cabbage, elecampane, sage, and thorough wort, or Seneca snake root, or if the whole cannot be had, lobelia tincture, will do alone, or lobelia, and Mullen roots, in decoction, give as much as possible, as the stomach will immediately eject any of these articles in this disease.

For Jaundice.

Take equal parts of white snake root, burdock, narrow dock, dandelion and cowslip blows, steep them together and drink as much as you can till well. This is a sure cure.

I hope you enjoy reading these old medical techniques. Someday who knows we just may have to use them ourselves. Thank You for all the help you have given me. If you would like to know more about the herbs just let me know.