Real Witch Spells That Really Work

Witchcraft Secret Spells Manual

This spell system you are about to discover has been thoroughly tested in practice, so I can promise that it will work for you. It is build on the Ancient Ties that were taught to Esteban Jose Portela, the author of this book and over the past 35 years he has improved them. The Spells that are detailed in the Witchcraft Secret Manual are the most effective that can exist, with simple processing and homemade. You should not rush to find any foreign element that you do not know where to get. This is a real book on tried and tested witchcraft techniques. These spells are from many many many years back, but you will still find the ingredients and materials easily in this modern day. Unlike other witchcraft spells, these ones are highly doable. Read more here...

Witchcraft Secret Spells Manual Summary

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Author: Esteban Portela
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My Witchcraft Secret Spells Manual Review

Highly Recommended

I usually find books written on this category hard to understand and full of jargon. But the author was capable of presenting advanced techniques in an extremely easy to understand language.

Overall my first impression of this book is good. I think it was sincerely written and looks to be very helpful.

Life Can Be Magick

Power-packed rituals to enhance your life. Learn how to: Influence a persons' thoughts and cause them to adopt your point of view. Make any individual love you and become devoted to you. Cause an unwanted neighbor to move away. Revitalize yourself and bring personal energy. Practice self-healing. Protect yourself from negative thoughts or magick invoked against you by others. Always be seen as interesting, attractive and glamorous to people. Become bolder and more confident so you can take charge of your life. Gain great material wealth and possessions far, far beyond any of your serious expectations. Read more here...

Life Can Be Magick Summary

Contents: Ebook
Author: Miranda Oakridge
Official Website: www.lifecanbemagick.com
Price: $14.95

Amulets

Welsh tradition in particular valued VERVAIN as an amulet, the dried and powdered roots to be worn in a sachet round the neck (Trevelyan). But similar practices were recorded elsewhere. In the Isle of Man, neither the mother nor a new-born baby were let out of the house before christening day, and then both had a piece of vervain sewn into their underclothes for protection (Gill. 1963). In Sussex, too, the practice was to dry the leaves and put them in a black silk bag, to be worn round the neck of a sickly child (Latham), most probably to avert witchcraft rather than to effect a cure, and it was sewn into children's clothing to keep fairies away. ST JOHN'S WORT is just as good, at least at its proper season, which would be St John's Eve and Day. It will keep out all evil spirits and witches. Some say it should be found accidentally. In the Western Isles it had to be sewn into the neck of a coat, and left there. Interfering with it in any way would rob it of his powers (Spence. 1959).

Archangel

(Angelica archangelica) It blooms around the Archangel Michael's Day, 8 May in the earlier tradition (Emboden), hence the comon name, though it is more likely that the name was given because Tradescant found it near the Russian town of that name (Fisher). According to Grimm, the name is given because its efficacy against such epidemic diseases as cholera and the plague was revealed by an angel in a dream. Then there was the name Holy Ghost - some call this an herb of the Holy Ghost others more moderate call it Angelica, because of its angelic virtues, and that name it retains still, and all nations follow it (Culpeper). The root was the special part (radix Sancti Spiriti), chewed during the Great Plague in an attempt to avoid the infection. With this background it is hardly surprising that it was used as a protection from other things, evil spirits, witchcraft, for instance, and against the cattle disease called elf-shot (Prior). Cornish folklore still regards it as a strong witch...

Barberry

(Berberis vulgaris) A hedgerow shrub, scarce now in Britain, for most of it has been eradicated by farmers owing to the belief that its proximity to wheat caused fungus rust, though the fungus on barberry leaves is entirely different from wheat rust (Quelch). The belief, though, seems to underlie the story quoted by Bottrell, from an old Cornish droll, which speaks of a farmer cutting down and uprooting all barberries around his property, in an attempt to break a spell. Or has the plant a connection with witchcraft

Betony

(Stachys officinalis) i.e., WOOD BETONY Sown round the house, it protects it from witchcraft. The house where Herba Betonica is sowne, is free from all mischeefes (Scot). The Anglo-Saxon Herbal mentions it as a shield against frightful goblins that go by night and terrible sights and dreams (Bonser). For phantasma and delusions Make a garland of betony and hang it about thy neck when thou goest to bed. that thou mayest have the savour thereof all night, and it will help thee (Dawson). The first item on Apuleius' list is for monstrous nocturnal vistiors and frightful sights and dreams (Cockayne). A Welsh charm to prevent dreaming was to take the leaves of betony, and hang them about your neck or else the juice on going to bed (Bonser).

Metamorphosis

Barkan, Leonard, The Gods Made Flesh Metamorphosis and the Pursuit of Paganism (New Haven Yale University Press, 1986) Diaz, Nancy Gray, The Radical Self Metamorphosis to Animal Form in Modern Latin American Narrative (Columbia University of Missouri Press, 1988) Forbes Irving, P.M.C., Metamorphosis in Greek Myths (Oxford Clarendon Press, 1990) Ovid, Metamorphoses, translated and with an introduction by Mary M. Innes (Harmondsworth, Middlesex Penguin Books,

Buckthorn

As with other thorns, this one could be used as a counter to witchcraft. There are records of this from Germany, for with a buckthorn stick a man can strike witches and demons, and no witch dared approach any vessel made of it (Lea). There are examples as far back as Ovid, who described a ceremony for countering a vampire witch. The final act was to put branches of buckthorn in the window (Halliday). Following the belief, it is easy to see how it could be used to protect one from the dead - chewing it was deemed protection enough. (Beza). Buckthorn appears also in the Cromarty legend of Willie Miller, who went to explore the Dripping-cave. He sewed sprigs of rowan and wych-elm in the hem of his waistcoat, thrust a Bible into one pocket and a bottle of gin into the other, and providing himself with a torch, and a staff of buckthorn which had been cut at the full of moon he set out for the cave .(H Miller). Is there a misreading in this case, for one would have expected his stick to be...

Carnation

The good luck of a red carnation was once extended to protection from witchcraft in Italy. On St John's Eve, when they were always specially active, all you had to do was to give them a flower. For any witch had to stop and count the petals, and long before she had done that, you were well out of their reach (Abbott).

Dogwood

(Cornus sanguinea) A Dogwood that was believed to have sprung from the shaft of the javelin that Romulus had thrown from the slopes of the Aventine Hill, stood on the Palatine Hill in Rome, until it was accidently destroyed in the time of Caius Caesar. From what Plutarch says, it appears that this tree was one of the talismans of the city, whose safety was reckoned to be bound up in the tree (Brand). There are signs elsewhere that dogwood is a protective tree. In the Balkans, for instance, women wear it as an amulet against witchcraft (Vukanovic), and in some Serbian villages it was a stick of dogwood that was put in the cradle first, to protect a newborn baby. In America, too, there was recognition of its protective nature, for boats built in Nova Scotia always had dogwood thole-pins (Baker. 1979).

Fairy Plants

ROWAN is as efficient against the fairies as against witchcraft and evil spirits. Craigie quotes a Scandinavian story in which a rowan-tree not only protected a boy from trolls, but did active damage to them. There is too a folk-tale from Ulster that tells of a woman carried off by the fairies. She was able to inform her friends that when she and the fairies were going on a journey, she would be freed if they stroked her with a rowan branch (Andrews). Similarly, it is said that if someone got into a fairy circle, he or she would remain there for a year and a day. After that, the enchanted person could be liberated by someone holding a rowan stick across the circle (T G Jones). One Scottish way of getting rid of a changeling was to build the fire with rowan branches and to hold the suspected changeling in the thick smoke of the fire (Aitken). However, there is another belief that good fairies are kind to children who carry rowan berries in their pockets (Skinner).

Goatweed

A decoction of the leaves and young stems is used in Chinese medicine for common colds, and eczema (Chinese medicinal herbs of Hong Kong vol 1). There is yet another tradition in Africa, to treat a child who cries too often for no known cause, especially at night. Stress is put on the requirement that the plant should be collected at night, especially when witchcraft is suspected. The procedure is described as follows the plant is found during the day, and in the dead of night the collector approaches the plant and chews 9 or 7 seeds (for male or female respectively) of Melegueta Pepper (Aframomum melegueta). The chewed grains are spat on the plant while the appropriate incantations are recited. After that the plant is plucked, taken home and warmed over a fire before the juice is expressed. Palm oil is added to this, and the two mixed together are used to rub the child all over the body (Sofowora).

Groundsel

(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...

Hemlock

A plant as poisonous as this would naturally have an association with witches. Root of hemlock digged in dark was one of the ingredients in the witches' cauldron in Macbeth, and Summers claimed that it was used by them either as a poison or as a drug, favoured mainly because of its soporific effects. The soporific effect is uppermost in a story told by Coles that if asses do chaunce to feed upon Hemlock they will fall so fast asleepe that they will seeme to be dead. In so much that some thinking them to be dead have flayed off their skins, yet after the Hemlock had done operating they have stirred and wakened out of their sleep, to the griefe and amazement of the owners, and to the laughter of others. On the fringes of the association with witchcraft is an Irish love charm that consisted of taking ten leaves of hemlock, dried and powdered, and mixing this powder in food or drink (Wilde. 1902). Some say that it is the purple blotches on its stem that gives it a bad name, for these...

Lucky Plants

They often figured as such in oriental carpet symbolism (Bouisson), and the good luck extended to protection from witchcraft in Italian folklore. On St John's Eve, when witches were specially active, all you had to do was to give them a flower. For any witch had to stop and count the petals, and long before she had done that, you were well out of reach. Finding a green-topped RUSH is just as lucky as finding a four-leaved clover

Mistletoe

Like other magical plants, it was credited once with making the wearer invisible (Dyer. 1889), it will open a lock, and, used as a divining rod, will reveal hidden treasure (Grigson. 1955). In Sweden, the divining rod had to be cut on Midsummer Eve (Philpot). Most of the other beliefs about mistletoe circle round its protective function, like the Black Country custom of hanging a small bag of it round the neck as a safeguard against witchcraft and evil spirits (Hackwood). In America, the seeds alone were adequate, apparently, for there is a record from Alabama of the practice of putting these mistletoe seeds above the door to keep off evil spirits (R B Browne), and mistletoe is guaranteed in some parts of Normandy to keep the bed free from fleas (W B Johnson). An extreme

Mothan

A mystical herb called Mothan or Moan in Scotland and Ireland. Lewis Spence (Spence. 1945) reckoned it was the THYME-LEAVED SANDWORT (Arenaria serpyllifolia), though a likelier candidate is PEARLWORT (Saginaprocumbens) but the Bog Violet, or Butterwort (Pinguicula vulgaris) has also been put forward. Spence described the Mothan as being given to cattle as a protective charm, and people who ate cheese made from the milk of a cow that had eaten the plant were secure from witchcraft. The Mothan was to be picked on a Sunday as follows three small tufts to be chosen, and one to be called by the name of the Father, one by that of the Son, and one by the Holy Ghost. The finder would then pull the tufts, saying (in translation)

Mustard Tree

During Lent, lovers in Tuscany used to break a small myrtle branch in two, each taking a piece and keeping it. Whenever they happened to meet, they greeted each other with the challenge Fuori il verde - out with your green branch. If either failed to respond, the affair was broken off, for it was a sign of misfortune. The custom usually ended in marriage, though, on Easter Sunday, if possible (Friend. 1883). Welsh brides used to wear sprigs of myrtle, and in some parts of Wales, young girls wore it when going to their first communion. Sprigs were also put in cradles, to make babies happy (Trevelyan), though the real reason was probably to protect them from witchcraft, just as the hen blackbird was once said to spread myrtle twigs on her nest to preserve her young from evil influences (Hare). Another Welsh belief was that if myrtle grew on both sides of the door, blessings of love and peace would never leave the house. Conversely, of course, to destroy a myrtle would destroy both love...

Pennyroyal

It is said that this plant was used in witchcraft to make people see double (Folkard), though why it should, and why that should be the aim, is not clear. But on the whole this is a protective plant. In Italy, it counteracts the evil eye, and in Sicily, it was hung on fig trees to prevent the figs falling before they were ripe (Bardswell). Also in Sicily, it was given to husbands and wives who were always quarrelling (Folkard). Children there put sprigs of it in their caps (and in the cribs) (Gubernatis) on Christmas Day, believing that at the exact moment that Christ was born, they would come into bloom (Folkard). In Wales, pennyroyal had to be gathered on Whit Sunday or St John's Eve, for the benefit of a person who has lost consciousness in consequence of illness (Physicians of Myddfai). In parts of Morocco, it is picked and put in the rafters, as a protection against evil, but it had to be gathered before Midsummer Day (Westermarck. 1926). It used to be burnt in the Moroccan...

Precatory Bean

The beans are always associated with dangerous magic in most parts of southern Africa. When they are found decorating an object, it may safely be identified as being used in sorcery, witchcraft, etc., (Reynolds), though in the West Indies, it seems, they are used simply for ornamental beadwork (Gooding, Loveless & Proctor). But the best known uses of the seeds are as prayer beads (precatory, in the common name, is straight from the Latin precari, to pray) - the names Prayer Beads (Grieve. 1931), Rosary Pea (Kingsbury. 1964), and Paternoster Bean (Howes) emphasise the concept.

Ragwort

In the Isle of Man, it was used as a protection against infectious diseases (Friend). When visiting a sick person, you were advised to smell a piece of ragwort before actually going into the sick room (Gill). Was that a genuine medicinal usage, or a charm against witchcraft The latter, probably, for there was a Scottish belief that if a mother takes bindweed and puts it burnt at the ends over her baby's cradle, the fairies would have no power over her child (Wentz). Although this is given as bindweed, it is almost certainly ragwort (bundweed) that is meant.

Scarlet Pimpernel

(Anagallis arvensis) It is a magical plant, known in Ireland as the blessed herb (seamair mhuire), and having the power, so it was seriously thought, to move against a stream. There were more wonders ascribed to it. If you hold it, it gives you the second sight, and you can understand the speech of birds and animals (Grigson. 1955). It has the power of drawing out thorns or splinters, and can protect against witchcraft,

Sweet Flag

(Acorus calamus) Some uses of this plant stem directly from the fact that oil expressed from the roots can produce an LSD-like experience. The Cree Indians of North America have long used it as a hallucinogen (Emboden. 1979). In Europe, it seems to have been connected with witchcraft (one formula for witch ointment was De la Bule, de l'Acorum vulgaire, de la Morelle endormante, et de l'huyle) (Summers. 1927), but in Asia the influence of Sweet Flag was on the whole good. It seems to have had a protective reputation in Japanese folklore. In the various stories of the serpent-bridegroom type, the plant is used to thwart the evil supernatural. The bride becomes pregnant, but a bath in water that has Sweet Flag taken at the proper festival time in it will kill the unwanted child (Seki). It was a protector, too, in China it was put up at the side of outdoor gates (so was mugwort) to avert the unpropitious (Tun Li Ch'en). But the use made of it by the Dusun of the northern parts of Borneo...

Thymeleaved Sandwort

(Arenaria serpyllifolia) Lewis Spence (Spence. 1945) suggested that this was the mystical herb known as Mothan or Moan in Scotland and Ireland. He described the Mothan as being given to cattle as a protective charm, and people who ate the cheese made from the milk of a cow that had eaten the plant were secure from witchcraft. It is said to be found where no quadruped had ever trodden, on the summit of a cliff, or mountain. The Mothan was to be picked on a Sunday as follows three small tufts to be chosen, and one to be called by the name of the Father, one by that of the Son, and one by the Holy Ghost. The finder would then pull the tufts, saying (in translation)

Wayfaring Tree

(Viburnum lantana) Wayfaring, because of the characteristic mealy appearance, like a dusty wayfarer. Evelyn mentions its use for protecting cattle from witchcraft, and see Aubrey. 1847 they used to make pinnes for the yoakes of their oxen of them, believing it had vertue to preserve them from being forespoken, as they call it and they use to plant one by the dwelling-houses, believing it to preserve from witches and evil eyes. Another of Evelyn's claims was that the leaves decocted to a lie, not only colour the hairs black, but fastens their roots, a point that Gerard had already made.

White Bryony

(Bryonia dioica) Mandrake, of course, is Mandragora officinalis, but in England it was bryony that was taken to be mandrake, and credited with the same powers and attributes. Imitation mandrake puppets used to be made out of the roots, often used by witches in malevolent charms they take likewise the roots of mandrake, according to some, or, as I rather suppose, the roots of briony, which simple folk take for the true mandrake, and make thereof an ugly image, by which they represent the person on whom they intend to exercise their witchcraft (Coles). People could open the earth round a young bryony, taking care not to disturb the lower fibres, and then put a mould round the root, after which it could all be covered up again, and then left. The mould, of course, would have to bear some resemblance to a human figure. Bryonies grow very quickly, and the object was generally accomplished in one summer. The leaves were also sold for those of mandrake, although there is no resemblance...

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...

Watercress

Most of watercress lore has to do with folk medicine, but there are one or two more beliefs connected with it. A Devonshire saying, of some simple person, is that he never ate his watercress (Vickery. 1995), giving the idea that the plant was one that gave intelligence (like fish). It seems also to have magical powers of its own, according to Highland witchcraft lore (and always provided that this plant is what is meant by watercress (see Watts. 2000)). It was used to steal milk. The witch cut the tops of the plant with a pair of scissors, while a charm was spoken along with the name of the cow's owner, and ending with the words the half mine, the other half thine. A handful of grass from the thatch over the byre would apparently do just as well. The counter charm was groundsel put with the milk (Polson. 1932). In the language of flowers, it is the symbol of stability and power (Leyel. 1937).

Mugwort

(Artemisia vulgaris) A common plant of waste places and roadsides in this country. Common it may be, but this is one of the most important plants in the folklore of Britain its ritual importance emphasised by its particular association with Midsummer. It is actually known as John's Feast-day Wort in the Isle of Man (bollan feaill Eoin (Moore) ), and in Europe, too, it is known as St John's Herb, and also as St John's Girdle - this is the medieval cingulum Sancti Johannis (St Johannesgurtel), and Sonnewendgurtel (Storms). It was believed that John the Baptist actually wore a girdle of it in the wilderness. It does keep flies away if worn, and grows in the right area (Genders), but this girdle was actually worn on St John's Eve to serve as a protection against ghosts or magic. Then the girdle would be thrown into the Midsummer Fire, and the ill-fortune of the wearer is burnt along with it (Bonser). Mugwort would be ritually gathered on Midsummer Eve to serve as a preventive against evil...

Juniper

(Juniperus communis) This is a protective tree, indeed the very symbol of protection (Leyel. 1937). The wood and berries have been used all over Europe as a protection against evil influences and in containing witchcraft (Westermarck). Juniper canopied Elijah in his flight from Jezebel, and there is a legend that it saved the lives of the Virgin and Jesus when they fled into Egypt. In order to screen her son from Herod's men, the Virgin hid him under certain plants and trees, which naturally received her blessing in return for the shelter given. Among these plants, the juniper was believed to have been particularly invested with the power of putting to flight the spirits of evil, and of destroying charms (Friend. 1883). Italian stables are protected from demons and thunderbolts by a sprig of juniper (Fernie). So they are in north Germany, where Frau Wachholder, the juniper spirit, is invoked to discover thieves, apparently by means of the bending down of certain of its branches...

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...

Thornapple

A decoction of the plant was given to the young women to stimulate them in dancing, though in some localities only men were allowed to drink it (Driver). It is also used in the ceremonial initiation of young men. Some Apache mixed the root with their corn beer to make it more intoxicating (La Barre), but the plain decoction is usually enough for shamans to reach the state of exhilaration that enables them to prophesy the future or to make supernatural beings visible. The Zunis, too, ascribed the power of second sight and prophecy to this Datura (Safford), as in discovering the whereabouts of stolen objects (Lewin). The Navajo also chewed the root or drank infusions of it to produce narcosis, either as an anodyne during minor operations, or in order to prophecy, or even indulge in witchcraft. They fully recognised the poisonous qualities, and handled it with caution (Wyman & Harris). For Datura can kill, and it can apparently also be administered by an experienced person in such...

Vervain

Vervain was one of the ingredients, in Celtic mythology, of Ceridwen's cauldron. It was usually gathered, we are told, at the rise of the Dog-star, without being looked upon either by the sun or the moon (Spence. 1945), and with the usual expiatory sacrifices of fruit and honey made to the earth (Wilde. 1890). According to old Irish belief, vervain was one of the seven herbs that nothing natural nor supernatural could injure the others were yarrow, St John's Wort, eyebright, speedwell, mallow and self-heal (Wilde. 1902). Naturally, with such a background, 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 (Browning), 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). At one time in the Isle of Man, neither the mother nor a newborn baby...

Cinnamon

(Potentilla reptans) Cinquefoil means five leaves, and that features in many of the names of this plant, whether they are called leaves, or fingers, as in Five-finger Grass (Turner), or Five-finger Blossom (Grigson. 1955), etc., It is good for fevers, so it was said, and at a time when fevers were considered to be the work of witches, the plant came to be an antidote to witchcraft. Reginald Scot refers to the custom of those who hang in their entries an herb called Pentaphyllon, Cinquefoil, with hawthorn gathered on May Day, in order to be delievered from witches (Scot). In Wales they would dig up a root on May Eve and wear it in their coats, for luck (Trevelyan). According to Graves, it was used by medieval French witches as the chief ingredient of flying ointment. Montague Summers gave two recipes for flying ointment, taken from Scot again, in which cinquefoil is mentioned as an ingredient, along with other poisonous or revolting substances. Very similar is the recipe in Bacon,...

Protective Plants

HAWTHORN is ambivalent in this regard. While providing shelter and abode for both fairies and witches, it will also protect from witchcraft. In Gwent, one of the commonest ways of breaking a witch's spell was reckoned to be putting a cross of whitethorn (or birch) over the house door (Roderick) far from there, the Serbs believed that a cradle made from hawthorn wood would be a powerful protective device (Vukanovic). Drive witches out of milk by beating it with hawthorn used to be a Pennsylvania German saying (Fogel). A BLACKTHORN stick is a protection, and not just in the physical sense, for in Irish folklore it was used to overcome evil spirits (O Suilleabhain) so it does in Slav folklore, too, where in addition bits of the plant would be caried sewn into the clothing (Lea). HAZEL too, in spite of being a fairy tree, provides the most effective protection that Irish folklore remembers against fairies and spirits (O Suilleabhain) (If you cut a hazel rod and bring it with you, and turn...

Witches

ASH was regarded as all-powerful against witchcraft. A Greek historian said that the Assyrians wore amulets made from its wood round their necks as a charm against sorcery (Berdoe). Rather more recently, in Lincolnshire, the female ash, called Sheder, would defeat a male witch, while the male tree, Heder, was useful against a female one (Baker). Eating ash buds provided invulnerability to witchcraft (Banks). Ash-wood sticks were preferred to any other, as they would protect the cattle from witchcraft. A beast struck with one could never be harmed, as witchcraft could never then strike a vital part (Wiltshire), while branches of ash were wreathed round a cow's horns, and round a cradle, too (Wilde). English mothers rigged little hammocks to ash trees, where their children might sleep while field work was going on, believing that the wood and leaves were a sure protection against danger. A bunch of the leaves guarded any bed from harm, and a house surrounded by an ash grove would always...

Rosemary

(Rosmarinus officinalis) Tradition has it that rosemary was introduced into Britain by Philippa of Hainault, Edward Il's queen, though it probably took place much earlier than that. One belief is that it never grows higher than the height of Christ during his earthly life after 33 years the plant may increase in girth but never in height (Rohde). Another legend tells how, during the flight into Egypt, the Virgin threw her cloak over a rosemary bush while she rested beside it. For ever afterwards the flowers, which had been white, turned the blue colour of her cloak (Rohde). There was certainly a definite association between rosemary and the Virgin Mary (Baker. 1980), if only by a misunderstanding of the common name. But that was a good reason why it was always taken to be such a powerful disperser of evil (Baker. 1978), and that is why it is planted near the house, so that no witch could harm you. A remedy for illness caused by witchcraft used and prescribed by the cunning man was to...

Mandrake

But in England it was BRYONY, both WHITE BRYONY (Bryonia dioica) and BLACK BRYONY (Tamus communis), two entirely unrelated plants, that was taken to be mandrake, and credited with the same powers and attributes. Imitation mandrake puppets used to be made out of the roots, often used by witches in malevolent charms they take likewise the roots of mandrake, according to some, or, as I rather suppose, the roots of briony, which simple folk take for the true mandrake, and make thereof an ugly image, by which they represent the person on whom they intend to exercise their witchcraft (Coles). People could open the earth round a young bryony, taking care not to disturb the lower fibres, and then put a mould round the root, after which it could all be covered up again, and then left. The mould, of course, would have to bear some resemblance to a human figure. Bryonies grow very quickly, and the object was generally accomplished in one summer. The leaves were also sold for those of mandrake,...

Hawthorn

Another aspect of the 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 accordance with accepted belief, hawthorn would also protect against witchcraft. In Monmouthshire (Gwent) tradition, one of the commonest ways of breaking a witch's spell was reckoned to be putting a cross of whitethorn (or birch) over the house door (Roderick) far from there, the Serbs believed that a cradle made

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