Hell Really Exists

Hell Really Exists

Koonika Miidu is the author and the creator of this helpful program. The author of this program wants to show you that the Hell really exists and no one can change that reality. Though, he believes there's a way you can be saved from it and that is exactly what this program is all about. The program contains a lot of information to help you discover the confirmed facts about hell. There are testimonies from people that have visited hell and come back. Those are the people that want to show you the reality and also advise you to stop gambling with your soul. It is very easy to be convinced that this program is for Christians only. Hell is not for a specific religion. As a matter of fact, every person regardless of their religious background should take caution. The Hell Really Exists program is available in downloadable PDF formats. This means you need an Adobe Acrobat reader so you will be able to download and read it. As a matter of fact, you will get some other DVD format programs with testimonies from over 70 people that wishes to help you along the way. Read more...

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Devils Plants

GARLIC when the devil's left foot touched soil outside the Garden of Eden, garlic sprang up, and his right foot gave rise to onions (Emboden). Naturally, with an offensive smell like garlic has, it must be associated with the devil, but taken by and large, it is a protector, holding the devil's works at bay. So too with SOW THISTLE. In Russia it was said that it belonged to the devil, but the Welsh belief was that the devil could do no harm to anyone wearing a leaf from the plant (Trevelyan), and one of the AngloSaxon herbaria said (in translation) - so long as you carry it with you nothing evil will come to meet you (Meaney). PARSLEY has to be included here, for observation of its germination time has given a number of superstitions. Its seed is one of the longest to live in the ground before starting to come up. Further, the devil is implicated - it is called Devil's Oatmeal sometimes- it goes to the devil nine times and back before it comes up (Northcote) (or some say seven...

Divinations Death divinations

Johann Weyer (De praestigiis Daemonum et incanta-tionibus ac Veneficiis,1568) recorded Daphnemancy (using SPURGE LAUREL, (Daphne laureola) among his list of divinations ascribed to demonic agency. The divination was by the crackling of the leaves while burning. The leaves were also put under the pillow to induce dreams (Lea). Capnomancy is divination by smoke. One way of using it was by throwing seeds of JASMINE or poppy on the fire, and watching the motion and density of the smoke. If it was thin, and shot up in a straight line, it was a good omen (Adams). There is a gypsy divination to know if an invalid will recover. They put from nine to 21 seeds of THORN-APPLE on a witch drum , that is, a tambourine covered with an animal skin marked with stripes that have a special meaning. The side of the drum is tapped gently, and according to the position

Negentropy and Disinformation

Whether it is actually meaningful to view thermodynamic entropy as negative information has been a controversial issue for many years. It is related to some interpretations of Maxwell's demon, nowadays generally conceived as a superintelligent being that can sense the motions of individual molecules in a gas without affecting them and then react to them (see Leff & Rex 1990). Such a demon can open or close a trapdoor in a dividing wall, letting only fast-moving molecules through the gas on one side of the wall then heats up while that on the other side cools, contrary to the second law of thermodynamics. Szilard (1964) pointed out that in practice the necessary measurements generate entropy, which neatly cancels out the reduction in entropy accomplished by the demon. Brillouin (1949) considered what happens if the demon uses light signals to gain information about the molecular motions. The light radiation is generated by some external source of energy, which takes the system out of...

Characterizing Aromas In Offflavors

Strecker aldehydes are a frequent source of off-flavors in fermented products. Development of off-flavors in oxidized white wines typically marks the end of shelf life. Methional (3-methylthiopropionaldehyde) was identified as producing a ''cooked vegetables'' off-flavor character in a young white wine that had undergone spontaneous oxidation (101). Methional levels increased in wines spiked with methionol or methionine, suggesting its formation via direct peroxidation or Strecker degradation of methionine. Methional was recently demon-

Vertebrate Nervous Systems

One other feature of the general anatomy of the human brain should be mentioned. This is the existence of a series of structures which lie between the cerebrum and the thalamencephalon. These structures constitute the limbic system (Figure 1.7) - so called from the Latin limbus meaning 'edge' or 'border', as in the Dantean limbo which was conceived as a region between earth and hell. The limbic system is not only situated between the cerebrum and the thalamencephalon but is also believed to be involved in emotions and emotional responses. Some have therefore seen this region as a relic from our infra-human evolutionary past.

Unlucky Plants And Trees

ELDER, with many protective and anti-witch virtues, is still an unlucky tree, with an evil character. The very fact that witches were fond of lurking under it made it dangerous to tamper with after dark (Dyer). And do not sleep under one - the leaves were said to give out a toxic scent which if inhaled may send the sleeper into a coma and even death (Baker. 1977). Mending cradles with elder wood was just as dangerous, for a Cheshire belief was that it would give the witches power to rock it from afar so violently that the baby would be injured (Hole. 1937). Again, a child laid in an elder-wood cradle would be pinched black and blue by the fairies (Graves) or the fairies may steal the child (Grigson) or the Elder-mother may strangle it (Farrer). In Ireland, elder wood was never used in boat-building (O Suilleabhain) nor, so it was said in South Wales, should a building of any kind be built on the spot where an elder had stood (Trevelyan). It is credited with having a harmful influence...

Symbolism And Reverence

Of all the insect groups, the flies (Diptera) most frequently play negative roles in human symbolism. Flies typically represent evil, pestilence, torment, disease, and all things dirty. This association is likely a result of the fact that those flies most familiar to people have a close association with filth. Beelzebub, the Lord of the Flies, is a fallen angel who presides as a leader of demons and an agent of destruction and putrefaction. In the ancient lore of Persia, the devil Ahriman created an evil counterpart for every element of good put on Earth by the creator. Many insects, particularly flies, were thus formed and they continue to be associated with evil and filth. Some flies were considered so

History of Ideas Surrounding Hunting

Figure, sometimes a fighter against wilderness and sometimes a half-animal participant in it. The meaning of hunting accordingly varies with the meanings ascribed to the wilderness. For the Greeks and Romans, forests were generally threatening and scary places. In early Christian thought (see RELIGION AND ANIMALS, Christianity), the wilderness was a sort of natural symbol of hell, and the wild animals living there in rebellion against man's dominion were seen as typifying demons and sinners in rebellion against God. But this image was undermined by the counterimage of the hermit saint in the wilderness, attended by friendly wild animals that the saint's holiness had restored to the docility of Eden.

Christmas Decorations

Parson Woodforde recorded in his diary for 24 December 1788 that this being Christmas Eve I had my Parlour Windows dressed of as usual with Hulver-boughs well seeded with red Berries, and likewise in Kitchen . He had got the timing right, for it is bad luck to take holly into the house before Christmas Eve (or hawthorn, blackthorn or gorse at any time, possibly because of the connection with the Crown of Thorns) (Palmer). Only a man could bring it in (Baker. 1974) (for holly is a male emblem), and it could not remain in the house after 6 January. If the rules were not kept, it was considered in Oxfordshire, you will have the devil in the house , or, from Cardiganshire, and referring to the MISTLETOE, a ghost will sit on every bough (Winstanley & Rose). Wherever else it was put, and in America it was bad

Beneficiary Tales And Entomophobic Legends

Other superstitious beliefs benefit particular insects by protecting them from undue harm from people. The Cornish believed that fairies were the souls of ancient heathen people that were too good for Hell but too bad for Heaven. These beings had gradually shrunk from their natural size to that of ants. It was therefore unlucky to kill ants. Similar tales of bad luck when people willingly or inadvertently step on or otherwise harm particular insects are found throughout the world. This is particularly true for insects perceived as beautiful or beneficial to human endeavors such as butterflies and ladybird beetles. Some insect folklore stems from a general dislike of insects by people and serves to pass this feeling on to others and propagate fright and ill will toward insects. In some stories, insects may be stigmatized with imagined, dangerous qualities. This is most common for insects that have a frightening appearance and gives reason for them to be despised and avoided....

Folklore Mythology And Religion

Insects appear throughout Mayan codices and Aztec reliefs. The use of insects in this manner indicates an appreciation of their existence and their inclusion in cultural events. In addition to scorpions and some unknown bugs and worms, references to seven different insects are found in the Mayan book of the dawn of life, the Popul Vuh. These include lice, leafcutter ants, mosquitoes, fireflies, bees, yellowjackets, and another type of wasp. Yellowjackets were used as weapons by the Quiche against the enemy tribes during an attack on the Quiche citadel at Hacauitz. Fireflies were used by the brothers Hunahpu and Xbalanque, who later became the sun and the full moon, respectively. They placed these insects in the tips of cigars as false lights to deceive the Xibalban sentries of the underworld that watched over them during their night in the Dark House.


(Adansonia digitata) A remarkable tree, remarkable enough for Kenyans to say that the devil planted it upside down (F Perry. 1972). But Shona-speaking people of southern Africa revered it, and one of them was often adopted as their land shrine (Bucher), while it would usually mark a Yoruba sacred site (Awolalu).


For the Crown of Thorns, and the berries are Christ's blood. There is still a remnant of the taboo left in the superstition found all over the southern counties of England that blackberries have a sell-by date, after which the devil is supposed to put his foot on them (Graves), or that he has been on them , or spat on them (Widdowson). The devil bears this grudge against blackberries because when he was expelled from heaven (on 10 September, apparently), he landed in a blackberry bush on his way to hell (Briggs. 1980). That cut-off date is usually Michaelmas, so that it is unlucky to gather them after this date, for in some places they used to say that October blackberries are actually poisonous. But the date is rather variable - it could be interpreted as Old Michaelmas Day (10 October), or in some places the day is given as SS Simon and Jude (28 October) (Folkard). The devil arrives earlier in Devonshire, though - 20 September is the day he spits on the blackberries (Whitlock....


That usage is mentioned by Aubrey, too (Aubrey. 1686 7). The remedy in Warwickshire was to pass the child three times beneath a moocher , as it was called - a bramble that had bent back to root at both ends (Palmer. 1976). The Essex whooping cough remedy was to draw the child under the wrong way , presumably, that is, by the ankles (Newman & Wilson). In the Midlands, the child had merely to walk under the bramble arch a certain number of times to cure his whooping cough (Notes and Queries 1853). In Somerset, a child was passed through, apparently for hernia (Mathews). As far away as the Balkans, the blackberry arch was negotiated for illness - jaundice in this case (Kemp), and the custom was known in America, too, for, of all things, colic (H M Hyatt). On the Welsh border, an offering of bread and butter was put under the arch after the child had passed through, and sometimes, the patient had to eat the bread and butter while the adults present recited the Lord's Prayer. The rest of...


The best-known metamorphosis from human to animal is the werewolf. Originating in preclassical European folklore and popularized in the American film industry, the werewolf is an example of what is involved in the transformation from human to animal in Western culture. In the case of the werewolf, metamorphosis into an animal means the loss of human constraints and regression into pure evil. In the Middle Ages, and even later, the werewolf was seen as the result of the human being's willing submission to Satan, ''the Beast.'' Until the 18th century, ''werewolves'' were burned at the stake. This practice was in keeping with the medieval belief that humans who were morally degraded took on animal characteristics the ''treachery'' of foxes, the ''laziness'' of the ass. The werewolf served as a warning to Christians to hold onto the rationality and faith that alone elevated humans above animals.

Bladder Campion

(Silene vulgaris) The bladder is the inflated calyx, which snaps when suddenly compressed, and so could be used as a sort of love-charm, according to Coles. The degree of success depended on the loudness of the pop. There was a strange name for the plant in Dorset - White Flowers of Hell (Macmillan). Apparently, there was a superstition that the leaves and bladders were poisonous. Actually, children often eat the young leaves, which are supposed to taste like green peas (Jordan). They have even been used as a substitute for asparagus.

Demise of Eugenics

The Hardy-Weinberg theorem alone, unfortunately, did not dissuade most geneticists from eugenics. Many continued to believe, as geneticist Herbert Spencer Jennings wrote in 1930, that preventing the propagation of even one congenitally defective individual puts a period to at least one line of operation of this devil. To fail to do at least so much would be a crime. Nevertheless, the most bigoted aspects of eugenics dwindled after 1946, as scientists recoiled from the horrors of Nazi atrocities.

Animal Symbolism

Lawrence, Elizabeth Atwood, The Sacred Bee, the Filthy Pig, and the Bat out of Hell Animal Symbolism as Cognitive Biophilia, in Stephen R. Kellert and E. O. Wilson (Eds.), The Biophilia Hypothesis (Washington, DC Island Press, 1993) Lopez, Barry, Of Wolves and Men (New York Scribner's, 1978) Turner, Victor, Dramas, Fields, and Metaphors (Ithaca, NY Cornell University Press, 1975) Willis, Roy, Man and Beast (New York Basic Books, 1974) Willis, Roy (Ed.), Signifying Animals Human Meaning in the Natural World (New York Routledge, 1994).


Fluorophore, which must execute tens of cycles per microsecond to provide a strong signal. Even with such a high repetition rate, the interval between pulses is several thousand times the pulse length. These requirements are satisfied only by mode-locked lasers, where the pulse interval is simply twice the traverse time of the laser cavity. Some two-photon images of bright specimens have been obtained with continuous wave (CW) lasers (Booth and Hell, 1998), but only with high powers (e.g., 210 mW, compared with the 1-5 mW normally used).

Literature Cited

Bewersdorff, J., Pick, R., and Hell, S.W. 1998. Multifocal and multiphoton microscopy. Optics Lett. In press. Booth, M.J. and Hell, S.W. 1998. Continuous-wave excitation, two-photon fluorescence microscopy exemplified with the 647-nm ArKr laser line. J. Microsc. 190 298-304.


The eyes of the coconut feature in Trobriand myths telling of how the spirits became invisible to humans. Malinowski quotes two examples when the spirit's feelings were hurt by some human act, she (the spirit) decided to go and live in Tuna, the underworld. She then took up a coconut, cut it in half, kept the half with the three eyes, and gave her daughter (the human) the other. 'I am giving you the half that is blind, and therefore you will not see me. I am taking the half with the eyes, and I shall see you when I come back with other spirits'. This is the reason why spirits are invisible, though they themselves can see human beings . The eyes appear again, even though in a negative way, in a Malayan belief that when the nut lacks the usual three eyes it could act as a protection in warfare against the enemy's bullets, an obviously magical charm (Skeat).


Most of the many names given to couch stem from OE cwic, alive, an appropriate naming. It comes in many forms - couch itself is a variant of Quitch, or Squitch, and this varies through such forms as Quick, Quack, Twitch, Whick and so on. The Scottish word Kett summarizes the feeling of detestation that any gardener has for the grass. It apparently means filth. Yawl, from the Isles of Scilly, expressesd the same kind of anger, for this is the Old Cornish dyawl, devil. Rack is an old Suffolk name meaning weeds or rubbish. One name, though, is out of this sequence -Grandmother Grass, which is from a children's game that involves cutting the head of a piece of the grass, and sticking it in another head, still on its stem. A flip of the hand holding the stem, and Grandmother, grandmother, jump out of bed is recited as the first head springs out (Mabey. 1998).

Crown Vetch

(Coronilla varia) Blacks from the southern states of America used it as a love charm. They would chew it and rub it on the palms. That would give a man power over any woman with whom he later shook hands. More, southern blacks say that no snake will bite you if you carry a piece in the pocket, and moreover, lay a piece in a man's path, and he will never have any more money. It is called Devil's Shoestring there, and mix it with snail water (the secretion from a snail when sprinkled with salt), planted round the house, and that was reckoned to be infallible in keeping any woman at home. Another conjure , to bring your wife home, was to get some dried Devil's Shoestring, some dust from her right foot track, and a piece cut from the hollow of her right stocking. Mix them together and plant them near your house (Puckett).

Cutch Tree

Cypress was a sacred tree in Persia, a symbol of the clear light of Ormuszd, and was frequently represented on gravestones with the lion, emblem of the sun-god Mithras (Philpot). But it is better known as a symbol of death and mourning, and for that reason there was a superstition that it should never be cut, for fear of killing it (Evelyn. 1678). The old dream books foretold affliction after dreaming of cypress, in keeping with this symbolism (Gordon. 1985). The classical story of Cyparissos tells how he was stricken with sorrow at having killed his favourite stag, begged the gods to let him mourn for ever, and was transformed by Apollo into a cypress tree (Dyer. 1889). Venus, mourning Adonis, wore a cypress wreath. Both the Greeks and the Romans called it the mournful tree , because it was sacred to the rulers of the underworld, and to the Fates and Furies. As such, it was the custom to plant it by the grave, and, when a death occurred, to put it either in front of the house or in...

Deadly Nightshade

Hallucinations could also take on a sexual tone. Large doses of the drug are liable to result in irresponsible sexual behaviour, a fact that gave it a great reputation in medieval times as an aphrodisiac (Rawcliffe). Such beliefs readily gave rise to lesser superstitions. In Normandy, for instance, they used to say that anyone who walks barefoot over the Deadly Nightshade will immediately go mad (W B Johnson), and in the Highlands of Scotland it was said to be used to make people see ghosts (Kennedy). An Irish superstition said that the juice distilled, and given in a drink, would make the person who drank it believe whatever the operator wanted him to (Wilde. 1925). Of course, such a plant is the devil's favourite, he watches over it, but there was a way of getting the plant and putting it to its rightful use, which was, so the legend has it, to rub on a horse, so that the animal gains strength. The way to get it was for a farmer to loose a black hen on Walpurgis Night. The devil...


HOLM OAK is the tree that nourishes the kerm, a scarlet insect not unlike a holly berry (hence Holm Oak and other names meaning holly, including the tree's specific name, ilex, which is also the generic name for the hollies). The ancients made their royal scarlet dye from this insect, and the Bible furnishes the oldest evidence of the existence of a scarlet dye there it is called tola, or tolaat, a word also meaning worm, which is what 'kerm' means. Matthew 27 28 is translated as And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe , is assumed by Graves to refer to kerm-scarlet. He must be right, for surely there was no other source of scarlet in biblical times The roots of TORMENTIL (C P Johnson), and of DYER'S WOODRUFF yield a red dye (Usher), as does the rootstock of BLOODROOT (Speck) and so, in more or less satisfactory style, do all the Asperulas. DANDELION roots (Dimbleby) and GOOSE-GRASS roots (Grieve. 1931) also yield a red dye, and so do PUCCOON roots, or perhaps paint would...


(Conopodium majus) Its tuberous rootstock is edible, especially when roasted like a chestnut, which it rather resembles. It can be eaten raw, too, scraped and washed (Mabey. 1972). Hardly anybody bothers these days, not even children. But Cuckoo Potatoes is what they are called in Ireland, or else Fairy Potatoes, for this plant belongs to the fairies in general, and the leprechaun in particular. But why should it be ascribed to the devil in Yorkshire For that is what Bad Man's Bread means, a name made more explicit as Devil's Bread or Devil's Oatmeal (Grigson. 1955).

Fairy Plants

Did you and yours would never live long (Tongue). In Galloway, too, solitary thorns were left and preserved with scrupulous care (Cromek). Similar beliefs were held in the Isle of Man it was not advisable to sit too long under one of these trees, and certainly not to sleep under one (Gill). A further result of the fairy thorn belief is the superstition that if thorn bushes are ploughed up, all goodness leaves the land (Tongue). A correspondent of Notes and Queries 1941 told a story then current at Berwick St John, in Wiltshire, of the consequences of cutting down a solitary thorn that grew on a prehistoric earthwork nearby. The result was complete loss of fertility over the area, taking in poultry and cows as well as women. Fertility was only restored when the perpetrator planted a new thorn in place of the old one. BLACKTHORN is another fairy tree, under the protection of a special band of them, said by Irish people to guard them especially on 11 November, which is Samhain, old...

Fuga Daemonum

An old book name for ST JOHN'S WORT, englished into Devil's Flight (chasse diable in French), and given because of the many examples of its power to cure melancholy and to drive away all fantastical spirits . A 13th century writer tells of the wort of holy John whose virtue is to put demons to flight (see Summers. 1927). Aubrey. 1696 mentions a case where St John's Wort under the pillow rid a home of the ghost that haunted it. Langham. 1578 was another writer who advised his readers to keep some in the house, for it suffereth no wicked spirit to come there .

Good Friday

Observation of PARSLEY'S germination time had given a number of superstitions. Its seed is one of the longest to live in the ground before starting to come up. Further, the devil is implicated - it goes to the devil nine times, or seven, some say (Northcote, Clair). To offset this, various ruses are recommended. But the best is to sow the seed on Good Friday, when plants are temporarily free of the devil's power (Baker. 1980), or do it at the very least on a holy day (Tongue).


As more of these agents were found, it was recognized that, unlike most of the viral agents known up to that time, the new coxsackieviruses were associated not with one but with several different kinds of illnesses one such was 'nonparalytic poliomyelitis' (aseptic meningitis). Thus we came to realize that not all of the 'nonparalytic polio' cases were due to poliovirus infections this fact accounted for the differences sometimes observed in the epidemic peaks of the paralytic and nonparalytic illnesses. Further, we discovered that dual infections with poliovirus and coxsackieviruses could occur hence, a patient's disease might be caused by a poliovirus but he could at the same time be excreting a coxsackievirus as a fellow traveler, or vice versa Illnesses caused by the new viruses were herpangina, myocarditis, rash and pleurodynia, also known as epidemic myalgia or devil's grip. This illness had also been termed Bornholm disease, which some European workers had considered to be...


(Senecio vulgaris) An ubiquitous weed, apparently blooming twelve months a year. But it has an association with witchcraft, both good and bad in the Western Isles it was, in Martin's day, used as a counter-charm, in particular when milk was being stolen by witchcraft (Polson), and there are records of the use of pieces of the root as amulets against the evil eye (Folkard). On the other hand, it seems that in the Fen country, the belief was that the witches were actually responsible for the weed itself. A small patch growing beside an old trackway showed that a witch had stopped there to urinate large patches meant that a number of them had met to plot. Groundsel growing in the thatch was a sign that a witch had landed there during a broomstick flight. It was also believed that witches could never die in winter, but only when the groundsel was in flower (even though it seems to be in flower all the year round). The point was that the witch could then take with her a posy of the...

Heath Spotted Orchid

A poultice used to be made in the Highlands from this plant, for drawing thorns and splinters out of the flesh (Beith). A belief from Norway suggests that, mixed with woody nightshade and tree sap , it was a remedy for protecting people and animals against the demonic (Kvideland & Sehmsdorf).

Holy Basil

A name for VERVAIN (Verbena officinalis) in folklore it is the Holy Herb. The Romans gave the name verbena, or more frequently, the plural form verbenae to the foliage or branches of shrubs and herbs, which, for their religious association, had acquired a sacred character. These included laurel, olive and myrtle, but Pliny makes us think that the herb now known as verbena was regarded as the most sacred of them all. The Greeks also looked upon it as particularly sacred (Friend), and burned it during invocations and predictions (Summers). The same sacredness was part of Persian belief (Clair), while it was called the tears of Isis by the priest-physicians of Egypt (Maddox). Vervain is herbe sacree in French, too. Holy Vervain is sometimes used (Northall) instead of Holy Herb, and Devil's Bane or Devil's Hate follow necessarily.


But, as a protection for woad, indigo was proscribed in Elizabeth 1's reign as a dangerous drug, and was described as the food for the devil (Hurry) - indeed, Devil's Dye is recorded as a name for the plant (C J S Thomson. 1947), and reckoned downright injurious to fabrics, a notion sincerely believed in a number of countries (Leggett). In 1609, Henry IV of France issued an edict sentencing to death any person discovered using the deceitful and injurious dye called inde. In fact, it was not until 1737 that French dyers were legally allowed to use it (Hurry). For the technical processes of indigo dyeing, see Hurry, and Leggett.


Cassytha filiformis L. (Cassytha guinensis Schum.), or dodder-laurel, snotty-gobble, devil's gut, or chemar batu (Malay)., is a slender epiphytic climber common on the seashores of Africa and the Asia-Pacific region. At first glance, the plant looks like a bunch of threads, but a closer observation reveals fleshy stems, tiny yellowish flowers, and whitish berries. In Malaysia, the plant is used to promote the growth of hair. Indonesians use the plant internally as vermifuge and laxative. In the Philippines, a decoction of the fresh plant is drunk to precipitate childbirth and to remove blood from saliva. In Taiwan, the stems are used as a diuretic and emmenagogue. In Vietnam, the plant is used to treat syphilis and lung diseases. The plant is known to elaborate series of aporphine alkaloids, including ocoteine, an aj-adrenoreceptor antagonist.

Monkey Puzzle Tree

(Araucaria araucana) Equally well-known is the name CHILE PINE. Introduced into Britain at the end of the 18th century, long enough ago to have a little folklore attached to it. Never speak while passing a monkey puzzle tree (Opie & Opie) is a widely known children's proscription, from Scotland to London, where the result of breaking the commandment is said to be bad luck for three years (Opie & Tatem). It was an old Fenland belief that if one of these trees was planted on the edge of a graveyard, it would prove an obstacle to the devil when he tried to hide in the branches to watch a burial. In spite of that, though, it is a generally unlucky tree throughout the area (Porter. 1969).

Oriental Plane

(Platanus orientalis) Some authorities say that this is the chestnut of the Bible (for example, Hutchinson & Melville) whether true or not, the tree was held in the greatest esteem in ancient times. Philosophers taught beneath the tree, and so it acquired a reputation as one of the seats of learning (Dyer. 1889). It was too the symbol of genius, and magnificence, and also of charity, in Christian art (Ferguson). It must have been a universe tree, for Durrell records the Corfu legend that on the ten days preceding Good Friday, all the Kallikanzaroi in the underworld are engaged simultaneously upon the task of sawing through the giant plane tree whose trunk is supposed to hold up the world. Every year they almost succeed, except that the cry Christ has arisen saves us all by restoring the tree, and driving them up into the real world. It is a protector, too, as Evelyn points out Whether for any virtue extraordinary in the shade, or other propitious influence issuing from them, a worthy...


(Polygonum persicaria) In Gaelic, it is lus chrann censaidh - the herb of the Crucifixion it grew under the Cross, and the leaves were spotted by Christ's blood (Grigson. 1955), a belief also known in Lincolnshire (Gutch & Peacock). Another version of the legend is that the Virgin Mary rejected the plant, leaving her mark on the leaf. Throwing it aside, she said, This is useless , and useless it has been ever since. It actually bears the name 'Useless' in Scotland, but other relevent names are Virgin's Pinch and Pinchweed (Grigson. 1955), even Devil's Pinch in Dorset (Macmillan).


In a Persian story, Khodaded was one of fifty children begotten by a childless nomad upon his fifty wives, after eating as many pomegranate seeds. He had incessantly prayed for offspring, and was commanded in a dream to rise at dawn, and to go, after saying certain prayers, to his chief gardener, who was required to get him a pomegranate. He had to take from it as many seeds as seemed best to him (Hartland. 1909). The fruit itself symbolized the womb in a state of pregnancy, and the immense number of seeds made it suitable as an emblem for a prolific mother goddess (Simons). It is the symbol of the feminine, and of Aphrodite in particular (Grigson. 1976), and of fertility. The mother of Attis was a virgin, Nana (which means Earth (Freund)), who conceived by putting a pomegranate (or a ripe almond, according to another version) in her bosom (Frazer iv). It is ironic that, given the creative symbolism inspired by that mass of seeds, they should also have supplied the name of a deadly...

Red Campion

(Silene dioica) An unlucky plant to pick (Tongue. 1965), one of the plants that bear the name Mother-die (Grigson. 1955), always an indication that children are advised never to pick them. To reinforce the injunction, it also has the name Devil's Flower (Britten & Holland). It is a Fairy Flower, too (Moore, Morrison & Goodwin), in the Isle of Man, another reason why it can never be picked (Garrad). But it is called Robin (another indication that it is a fairy flower) or some variant over most of England. Another reason for the ill-luck is an association with snakes - it is Blodyn neidi, snake flower, in Welsh - if you pick it you will be attacked by snakes (Vickery. 1985). Another Welsh name is Blodyn Taranan, thunder flower. Thunder and lightning will be the result if you gather it.

Red Silkcotton Tree

(Bombax ceiba) A kapok tree, originally from India and Burma south-eastwards to Australia, but now grown in the West Indies, where they say it is the haunt of ghosts and other spirits, probably the kapok suggesting it. Hence its names Jumbie Tree and Devil's Tree. Anyone trying to cut one down could expect harm (Bell), unless, that is, he had propitiated the duppy with rum and rice put round the root.


There is a remarkable range of material linking Christian saints with animals. The stories of St. Francis of Assisi preaching to the birds and St. Anthony of Padua preaching to the fishes are well known. Much less well known are the stories, to take just a few examples, of St. Columba and the crane or St. Brendan and the sea monster. Most scholars and theologians have dismissed this wealth of material as legend or folklore, but its significance, historically and theologically, can be noted. First, it is testimony to a widespread positive tradition within Christianity that has linked spirituality with a benevolent and sensitive regard for animals. The underlying rationale for this study of saints appears to be that as individuals grow in love and communion with their Creator, so too ought they to grow in union and respect for animals as God's creatures. Something like two-thirds of canonized saints East and West apparently befriended animals, healed them from suffering,* assisted them...

Spurge Laurel

(Daphne laureola) Johann Weyer (De praestigiis Daemonum et incantationibus ac Veneficiis, 1568) recorded Daphnemancy among his list of divinations ascribed to demonic agency. The divination was by the crackling of the leaves while burning. The leaves were also put under the pillow to induce dreams (Lea). Presumably the association with demons is a result of the poisonous nature of both the bark and berries, poisonous enough to be dangerous to children (North).

Sweet Briar

(Rosa rubiginosa) Just as well known under the name Eglantine. Sweet , because of its inherent fragrance, which, so it is said, is fresher before rain (Trevelyan). This rose has attracted legends, just as the others have. One of them explains why their thorns point downwards. The devil was expelled from heaven, and he tried to regain his lost position by means of a ladder made of the thorns. But when the plant was only allowed to grow as a bush, he put the thorns in their present position out of spite. In some parts of France, it is said that the sweet briar was actually planted by the devil and the hips are his bread. It is called 'Rose du diable' in those areas, and 'Rose sorci re' in Anjou and La Mayenne. French mothers use an injunction to stop their children picking the flowers. If they touch them, they say, a thunderbolt will fall on them (Sebillot).

Tree Of Life

See also Yggdrasil, for the Tree of Life also grew on the surface of the earth, with roots below and branches above, uniting the earth and heaven, and the underworld. All over the Near East trees were planted in the temples, particularly the fig, cypress, apple, sycamore and olive, as well as the COCONUT palm which was at one time the prime candidate for identification as the tree of life. As Raleigh said, the Earth yeeldeth no plant comparable to this , and the tree giveth unto man whatsoever his life beggeth at Nature's hand (Prest). This one tree yielded wine, oil, vinegar, butter and sugar, while threads from the bark could be spun and woven into cloth, the nuts provided coir, as well as, dried, copra, and the fronds too have numerous uses. The SYCAMORE FIG was another tree identified as the Tree of Life. Adam and Eve, it will be remembered, sewed fig leaves together to hide their nakedness. It was only in the Middle Ages that the tradition grew up that the tree was an apple...


See YGGDRASIL, but there are others, of which ORIENTAL PLANE (Platanus orientalis) is an example. A legend from Corfu tells that on the ten days preceding Good Friday, all the Kallikanzaroi in the underworld are engaged simultaneously upon the task of sawing through the giant plane tree whose trunk is supposed to hold up the world. Every year they almost succeed, except that the cry Christ has arisen saves us all by restoring the tree, and driving them up into the real world (Durrell).

White Poplar

(Populus alba) White , because, although the bark is black, it becomes grey or even yellowish-white higher up the branches (Leathart). The leaves, too, are white on the undersides, and blackish-green above, a fact that was used to explain the reason for its being the symbol of time, for those leaves show the alternation between night and day. That and the fact that they always seem to be in motion were enough to excite somebody's imagination into inaugurating the symbolism (Dyer. 1889). Greek mythology had the two colours of the leaves as representing the underworld (the dark side) and the world of the living (the light side) (Baumann).

Woody Nightshade

(Solanum dulcamara) Most plants with red berries have some kind of magical association, rowan being the prime example. The connection may be with lightning, and the consequent protective faculty, or it may be with the fairies. Like honeysuckle, woody nightshade used to have names in Germany that fixed it firmly in the latter category - names like Alprauke, Alpkraut, etc., - elfwort, that is (Grimm). In Lincolnshire, collars made from the branches of this plant were hung around pigs if it were reckoned they were overlooked , and elsewhere, garlands of the flowers, with holly, were put round the necks of horses if they were hag-ridden (Wright. 1913). To quote John Aubrey A receipt to cure a horse of being Hag-ridden - take Bittersweet woody nightshade , and Holly. Twist them together, and hang it about the Horses neck like a Garland it will certainly cure him . Culpeper thought so, too it is excellent good to remove Witchcraft both in Men and Beasts . In the Warwickshire villages of...

Shorter Notes

David Schwartz Fern

Adiantum reniforme (kidney-shaped) is a marvel of overlapping kelly-green pinnae looking like miniature, leather lily pads, and completely distinct from the stereotypical feathery appearance traditionally associated with maidenhairs. The 2-in. (5-cm) pinnae are totally bordered by fertile marginal segments and supported by hairy wires of dark brown stipes. The whole mass matures at a flat-topped 6 to 12 in. (15 to 30 cm). It is native to surprisingly exposed sites. My late husband, Harry, and I were amazed and delighted to discover cascades of fronds perched high above the waterfall at trail's end on the popular Canary Island hike into the Baranco del Infierno (less poetically, Hell's Gorge) on Tenerife. The substrate is lime and that is the recommended planting medium, along with porous soil, for keeping this conversation piece in good health. It is for dedicated specialists in Zones 9 and 10 or tempered indoor sites elsewhere. Goudey (1985) recommends cultivating it in terra cotta...

Gardeners Wisdom

Is one of the gardening adages from Kentucky, but they also tell one to plant them on 10 August (and certainly not on the 7 August). To have good luck with them, say as you throw out a handful of seed One for the fly, one for the devil, and one for I (Thomas & Thomas). POTATOES have to be planted on a special day, but there is much debate as to the actual day. The Pennsylvania Germans say it should be St Patrick's Day if you wanted a big crop (Dorson), but the general feeling is that the planting should be on Good Friday, an odd choice horticulturally, for there could be as much as a month's variation in the timing. But of course the choice of day has nothing to do with reason - Good Friday is the one day on which the devil has no power to blight the crop. Gardeners have it that SHALLOTS should be sown on the shortest day of the year, and pulled on the longest, with a slight variation in Cheshire, where they say they should be planted on Christmas Day. Opinions differ as to when...


Fennel appears in Anglo-Saxon medical receipts as early as the 11th century, probably owing to the active part Charlemagne took in its diffusion through central Europe (Fluckiger & Hanbury). The faith put in it in earlier times is shown by one of the medical maxims from the Book of Iago ab Dewi (Berdoe) He who sees fennel and gathers it not, is not a man, but a devil . It is said, too, that a certain Comte St Germain became a very rich man by selling a tea that he claimed prolonged life - it was apparently composed of senna and fennel leaves (Thompson. 1897). By the end of the 19th century only the seeds were official in the British Pharmacopeia, and they were used in the form of distilled water, or volatile oil. The chief consumption was then in cattle medicine, and also (the oil) in the manufacture of cordials. But the carminative action had been recognised for a very long time Fennel seed drunke asswageth the paine of the stomacke, and wambling of the same, or desire to vomit, and...

Poppy Anemone

Prosperity for the year could be drawn from the number and size of the potatoes under each stem (Hartland). It was important for each member of the family to have a taste of the new crop, otherwise it would rot (Baker. 1977). If you dream of digging potatoes, and finding plenty of them, then that is obviously a good sign, with gain and successes if there are only a few of them, then there is bad luck coming (Raphael). There is debate about the luckiest day for planting them. The Pennsylvania Germans say it should be St Patrick's Day if you wanted a good crop with large tubers (Dorson), but the general feeling is that the planting should be done on Good Friday, an odd choice horticulturally, as there can be as much as a month's variation in the timing. But of course the choice of day has nothing to do with reason - Good Friday is the one day on which the devil has no power to blight the growth of plants. Anyway, it seems to be agreed, from the Hebrides (Banks. 1937-41) to southern...


Mugwort was in demand, too, to put to flight devil sickness, and in the house in which he has it within, it forbiddeth evil leechcrafts, and also it turneth away the (evil eyes of evil men) (Cockayne).That use of mugwort is found as far away as China. At the time of the dragon festival, people hang it up to ward off evil influences (F P Smith). In Wiltshire, people used to say that the leaves always turned to the north, and north was supposed to be the devil's quarter (Wiltshire). Crystal gazers found, so they say, that they got better results by drinking some mugwort tea during the operation (Kunz), and the tea is quite seriously believed to be an aid in the development of clairvoyance - in Japan, for instance, if a house were robbed in the night, and the burglar's footmarks were visible next morning, the householder would burn mugwort in them, so hurting the robber's feet and making his capture easy (Radford). Perhaps it is rather a question of protection mugwort will hold evil at...

Lightning Plants

But the connection with Thor meant that it was believed to give protection to shelterers (except on Thursdays, Thor's own day (Tongue) ), even though the tree itself was struck. Indeed, oaks known to have been struck were often visited, so that pieces could be taken away to be attached to buildings for proetction (Wilks). Acorns too were a charm against lightning, and ornamental designs used to be made with them and put in cottage windows (Lovett). According to one school of thought, it was a very bad sign if an oak was struck (Rambosson), and a belief recorded in Hampshire said that the oak actually drove away thunderstorms it was even thought that the iron in the oak drew the lightning away from the town (Boase). That rarity, oak MISTLETOE, is doubly significant. Mistletoe, in its own right, is an embodiment of the lightning (a Swiss name for it is Donnerbesen, thunder besom) there it is supposed to protect from fire, and in Britain it was often used in the same way as rowan, to...


(Allium sativum) When the devil's left foot touched soil outside the Garden of Eden, garlic sprang up, and his right foot produced onions (Emboden). Naturally, with an offensive smell like garlic has (it is said applying it to the soles of the feet will still result in smelling it on the breath), it must be associated with the devil, but taken by and large, garlic is a protector, for all ages and for all purposes. Greek midwives made sure that, at the birth of a child, the whole room smelled of it, and a few cloves of garlic had to be fastened round the baby's neck either at birth or immediately after baptism (Lawson). Palestinian mothers and new born babies had to be protected from Lilith with garlic cloves, for she would otherwise strangle the babies, and frighten the mother into madness (Hanauer).


Quite a death token - at Alford, in that county, they used to say that blackthorn flowers indoors would result in the relatively lesser misfortune of a broken arm or leg (Gutch & Peacock). With all this ill-luck attached to the blackthorn, it seems almost logical that whitethorn, which is almost universally regarded as a good influence, should be thought the more dominant. If the two grow near each other, it would be the whitethorn that would destroy the blackthorn, so it used to be said (Wiltshire). It was once the custom in some parts to put May morning garlands of various plants over girls' doors. Each plant conveyed a message - the opinion of the villagers about any girl's behaviour was made explicit. Whitethorn was the most complimentary, but blackthorn, according to one authority (Tynan & Maitland) was reserved for a shrew (nettle was the worst of insults). But of course, blackthorn is a fairy tree, under the protection of a special band of them, said by Irish people to guard...


This belief in the extraordinary powers of vervain goes back a long way. The Romans, for instance, hung it in their houses to ward off evil spirits (C J S Thompson. 1897). Gerard tells us that the Devil did reveal it as a sacred and divine medicine , and there are various versions of the couplet that Aubrey quotes

Sow Thistle

Unlikely as it may seem, this is a plant with a distinguished background. In Wales, it used to be said that anyone who carried it in his hat would be able to run and never get tired. In like manner, it was tied to the tails of horses before a ploughing match. But it had its dark side, for if one man used it, it would take the strength out of his companion, and if by accident a man gave some of the leaves to his wife, one of them would waste away and die (Trevelyan). In Russia, the plant was said to belong to the devil (Dyer), but the Welsh belief was that the devil could do no harm to anyone wearing a leaf from the plant (Trevelyan), or as one of the Anglo-Saxon herbaria said (in translation) - so long as you carry it with you nothing evil will come to meet you (Meaney).

Protective Plants

SOW THISTLE - a Welsh belief was that the devil could do no harm to anyone wearing a leaf from this plant (Trevelyan), or as one of the Anglo-Saxon herbaria said (in translation) - so long as you carry it with you nothing evil will come to meet you (Meaney). CLOVER, too, is a protective plant, able to drive witches away (Dyer). Anyone carrying it about his person will be able to detect the presence of evil spirits (Wood-Martin). If a farmer carries one, all will be well with his cattle at that most difficult time, May Day. VERVAIN was taken to be a great protector, either of the home (plant it on the roof and it will guard the house against lightning (Sebillot)), or of the person. Even in ancient times, it served in the purification of houses, and it was a Welsh custom to cut it, in the dark, to bring into a church, there to be used as a sprinkler of holy water (Clair). In Sussex, vervain leaves were dried and put in a black silk bag, to be worn round the neck of sickly children...


Couple birch branches to protect stables on May Eve. WAYFARING TREE wood also protected. Evelyn mentions its use for protecting cattle from witchcraft, and Aubrey. 1847 had they used to make pinnes for the yoakes of their oxen of them, believing it had vertue to preserve them from being forespo-ken, as they call it and they use to plant one by the dwelling-houses, believing it to preserve from witches and evil eyes . An aspect of HAWTHORN is as an abode, not just of fairies, but of witches, too. It was an accepted belief in the Channel Islands that witches used to meet under solitary hawthorns (MacCulloch), and there used to be quite a widespread superstition that it was dangerous to sit under a hawthorn on Walpurgis Night, May Eve in our terms, because it was then that a witch was most likely to turn herself into a thorn tree (Jacob). On the other hand, and quite in keeping with accepted belief, hawthorn would also protect against witchcraft. In Gwent tradition, one of the commonest...

Parkinsons Disease

Observation of parsley's germination time has given a number of superstitions. Its seed is one of the longest to live in the ground before starting to come up. Further, the devil is implicated - it goes to the devil nine times before it comes up (Northcote) (or some say seven (Clair) ). So it takes an honest man to grow parsley (or only a wicked one, depending on the point of view). It only comes up partially because the devil takes his tithe of it (M E S Wright) in fact, they say in Wiltshire that you must sow four times the amount you need (Wiltshire). To offset this you can pour boiling water over freshly sown seed to deter the devil (Baker. 1974), or better still, sow it on Good Friday, when plants are temporarily free of the devil's power (Baker. 1980), or do it at the very least on a holy day, which Somerset people say (Tongue. 1965), giving themselves a little leeway. In Ireland, naturally, they say it should be sown on St Patrick's Day, which in most years would not be far...


The 1st century AD Jewish historian Flavius Josephus said that in the dungeons of the castle of Machaeras at Baras, there grew a root that was flame coloured and shone like lightning on anyone who attempted to approach. When the intruder drew near, the root retreated and could only be brought to a standstill by the exercise of some rather unpleasant rites. However, he says that if the hunter was skillful enough he could lasso the root and attach the ends of the rope to a dog. Aelian, in the 2nd century AD, described a plant which he called Aglaophotis, because it shone like a star at night. The assumption is that both these plants were mandrakes, which have always been said to have the power of shining in the night. A 13th century Arab herbalist called Ebn Beitan reckoned that there may be some basis in fact for the belief - for some reason, its leaves are attractive to glow-worms, something that may very well explain the Arab name that means 'devil's candles' (H F Clark). and...

St Johns Wort

(Hypericum perforatum) 'Perforatum ' means pierced with holes, but the holes are spurious in this instance. Hold a leaf up to the light and one sees dots that look exactly like holes. But they are oil sacs, and give the plant its aromatic smell when bruised (Salisbury. 1954). The holes were said to have been made by the devil, in anger at the power of the plant to thwart him (Browning). Another view is that they are drops of the saint's blood, appearing every year on St John's Day (Hole. 1976), or, with greater logic, on 29 August, the day of the beheading of the saint (Folkard). The sap is reddish, too, and that has been described as a representation of the saint's blood (Genders. 1971). This is a plant with almost supernatural qualities, for in pagan mythology, the summer solstice was a day dedicated to the sun, and was believed to be the day upon which witches held their festivities. St John's Wort was their symbolical plant. In Scandinavian mythology, it was the property of...

Tobacco Substitutes

BUCKBEAN leaves used to be shredded and smoked in the Faeroes in times of tobacco scarcity (Williamson). The Lapps believed that ARCHANGEL roots prolonged life, and they chew it and smoke it in the same way as tobacco (Leyel. 1937), just as gypsies smoke the stems of WILD ANGELICA. BLACKTHORN leaves were an Irish substitute (O Suilleabhain), as were LABRADOR TEA leaves for the Ojibwa Indians (Jenness. 1935), while Plains Indians used to dry the autumn leaves of SMOOTH SUMACH for smoking (Gilmore). BITTERVETCH roots were chewed in the Scottish Highlands as a tobacco substitute (G M Taylor). Devil's Tobacco is a name given to HOGWEED, but there is also Boy's Bacca, from Devonshire, where the stems were actually smoked as a tobacco substitute, and not only by boys, for apparently gypsies smoked them, too. One of the names for CAT's FOOT in America is Ladies' Tobacco, implying that experiments have been made in smoking the dried herb, and that it was found to be very mild in character -...

Fourleaved Clover

Whoever has a four-leaved clover has luck in all things (even in love potions, according to the Channel Islands (Garis)). He cannot be cheated in a bargain, nor deceived, and whatever he takes in hand will prosper. It brings enlightenment to the brain, and makes one see and know the truth . But it must never be shown to anyone, or the power would no longer exist (Wilde. 1890), and it must never be taken into a church, for then they would become very unlucky (Nelson. 1991). Bretons say it will drive away even the devil himself (it makes by its shape the sign of the Cross), and in the Vosges anyone who has it about him without knowing it can kill a werewolf with a bullet (Sebillot), something that in normal circumstances cannot be done. A four-leaved clover will enable the finder to see the fairies, and to break the powers of enchantment (Vickery. 1995). See, for example, the Irish folk tale in which a travelling magician, or perhaps master of hypnosis would be nearer the mark these...


Dreaming of large OAK trees, with good foliage, is always a good sign but a blasted oak means sudden death. Acorns are also good things to dream about - it shows that health, strength and worldly wealth will be with the dreamer (Raphael). YEW is an unlucky tree to dream about. It foretells the death of an aged person, though he would leave considerable wealth behind him. If you dream you are sitting under one, it is a sign you will not live long, but if you just see and admire the tree, it means a long life (Raphael). At least in Devonshire, dreaming of IVY is a good thing, for it was reckoned a sign that your friendships are true (Hewett). Not so in Cornwall, though, for there they say that if you want to dream of the devil, you should pin four ivy leaves to the corners of your pillow (Courtney). PEACHES in one's dreams is a sign of contentment, health and pleasure (Gordon. 1985), and in China, too, such a dream is a very favourable omen, and if you dream of eating beetroot, it is a...


(Cuscuta epithymum) Surprisingly, there is virtually no folklore attached to dodder, in spite of the wealth of local names. The word itself is the plural of dodd, which means a bunch of threads, perfectly descriptive of the plant. It is parasitic, of course, and ascribed to the devil. Hence the local name, Devil's Threads, or Devil's Net, very apt. Even more expressive is Devil's Guts, recorded widely throughout England and Scotland (Grigson. 1955). A story from parts of France tells that the devil spun the dodder at night to destroy the clover clover was created by God, and dodder was the devil's counter-plant.


All evergreens are connected with the idea of immortality, and in European folklore mistletoe stands for life in the midst of death it wards off death, being, as they say, indestructible by fire or water. Virgil's Golden Bough is the mistletoe, also indentified with that plucked in the grove at Aricia, by Lake Nemi -Frazer's Golden Bough. When it was found growing on an oak, a rare occasion, its presence there was attributed specially to the gods, and as such was treated with the deepest reverence (Dyer. 1889). Oak mistletoe was thought to be a panacea, or heal-all (Elton). Any mistletoe was, too, an embodiment of the lightning (the Swiss name is Donnerbesen, thunder besom, which protects from fire). In Sweden it is hung up in farmhouses, like rowan in Scotland (Dyer. 1889). In Austria, a branch fastened over the bedroom door kept away nightmares (Palaiseul). In Scandinavian mythology, Baldur was killed with a shoot of mistletoe, at least according to Snorri's version. Saxo thought of...

Globe Cucumber

In Subcarpathian Rus' the priest blesses Pussy Willow branches in the church. In some villages they are given to the animals to eat, or they are saved, and if a storm threatens they are thown into the fire. There is a set formula to be said while this is being done, in translation May the storm vanish in the sky like the smoke from these branches . Another meaning of the rite was recorded elsewhere in the region When it thunders, these branches are burnt they are put in the oven, so that smoke will be produced and the devil not be able to hide in the chimney (Bogatyrev).


Its branches, like the bodies of tiny men , recalling the practice of hanging sacrificial victims from trees (Davidson). It is pointed out, too, that the ash has wide-spreading roots, and the roots of Yggdrasil are said to spread to different parts of the underworld. There are three roots to support the tree, one stretching to the world of death, another to the world of frost giants, and the third to the world of men. Three wells lay at the base of the tree, one under each root. Yggdrasil is the centre of the divine world, where the gods sit in council every day. It rises to the sky, and its branches spread over the whole world. It is known too as the Guardian Tree, for it nourishes, and at the same time suffers from, the animals that inhabit it, feed on it, and attack it. The dragon Nidhogg gnaws the roots (Crossley-Holland). In Maori myth, the roots of the POHUTUKAWA tree (Metrosideros excelsa) lead down into the underworld (Andersen), just like Yggdrasil.

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