Where the Mandrakes grow

My plant connections, observations drawn from folkloric literarure and upg about their use, Hekates garden, and adventures in growing them.

Angelica Archangelica

The Beckoning
Angelica,
draw me a bath in 3s -
3 leaves of 3 leaves,
3 feathers of 3 wings.
In water, be fire -
brilliant
burning
white
to char me to cinders
and what dwells outside
or beneath
Until i am clean, stripped, bare bones.
Angelica,
restore my flesh and make me whole
and from the burning
may i emerge -
empty
and pure.
I am new.

Element if fire, and yet its rooted in water - it likes the marshes. Leaves are feathery and full - like a glorious green bird. Its plant nature unquestionably ties it to the Earth; however, i consider its primary elemental association to be a perfect union of water and fire.
The pagan deity association to the plant is no longer publicly known - to my knowledge. When i think of its roots in water and then its leaves, winged imagery aside, despise wind as they flicker and flap, and they adore the sun.
the medicinal mode of action further expounds upon my upg of its perfect water and fire connection. an infusion of its leaves sipped elevates the body temperature, and fire is delivered through water. i wonder if Angelica may, if the observations of mine were shared by the ancient world, connect it to a god of lightning in some way? Theres a deep, rumbling hum inside at the thought.

A proper bath of Angelica turns one into a channel, or more so, i think its bursts through blockages that prevent one from fully channeling. its electric sensations penetrate deep into the xore - as it is felt on the surface, it feels in the veins, heart and guts.

My usage of Angelica has largely been dissolving unwanted spiritual connections, an element of the witchs bottle, and as it burns away, it also renews. When the angelica has properly cleansed, the flow is restored, and its teeming with new current.

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Does drawing down the moon negate its phase? and is it a witch’s need that causes the moonless night when there certainly should be a moon in the sky? I respect the wiccan rite, but its not true to what the witches of Thessaly supposedly did, nor what i seek. I am thankful to this moonless night. i did not need its waning face, nor did i see it in the sky when i set to work for my prosperity ritual - i am grateful. i felt the energy in the candles - hot molten and gold - i am hopeful for a strong result​:ok_hand::slightly_smiling_face: if its effective, ill post my spell.

Crazy coincidence a topic of this plant shows up. I’ve been researching incense recipes and herb blends for a personal project/experiment I’m doing. This damn plant’s name keeps popping up but, as “archangel”. Maybe, the long lost spirit is an angel connected to fire/lightning/water.

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Plant spirits can manifest in life profoundly when they want you to work with them. In my earlier days of study (but its constant learning), i would consider herbal constituents to spells - sometimes it felt like remembering and id match plants to their purpose before actually reading about them, their significance, and their application in work.

Angelica is a fierce protector and also a healing force. i have not harvested its roots yet because i dont want to damage my babies, but its on my todo list this fall - before winter hits my region with frosts.
Most of the literature seems to focus on the root, but ive found success in working with the aerial parts. for incense, i do not find the leaves burning to smell pleasant or unpleasant, smoked i find their scent is much more pleasant - though i am my own guinea pig with my plants, so always perform your own research before choosing to ingest or smoke any herbs. its smoke should not be toxic, but be wary of imposters, especially if wild harvested.

its flowers are beautiful and umbelliferous. Do not mistake Angelica with hogweed or water hemlock. Queen annes lace is also considered to be a possible imposter.

i have bought angelica and a variety of sacred plants like my mandrakes also from https://strictlymedicinalseeds.com/.

i have found with sacred plants, the easiest way to engage and interact with their plant spirits is to grow and nurture them.

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and maybe, though i do not think it initially had angelic connections in its pre christian element. Angelica is native to Norway, and it predates christianity with its spiritual power. the middle ages brought tales of alternating Gabriel, Raphael, Michael, etc bringing its healing powers to light.

For some reason Thor and Michael came to mind last night when I was researching Angelica root. Every time I read Michael I also got the feeling/intuition Thor. When I was a kid poisonous plants were my favorite I was drawn to them like flies to shit :joy:. They didn’t affect me the same as 90% of people when ingested or rubbed on my skin

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i love the poisonous ones! give me thorny, poisonous, or treacherous looking anyday! Baneful, poisonous plants are as important as healing in witchery - and so is responsible care of oneself and them. i myself have not had external reactions to any plants ive handled yet, but im not rubbing their juices on my skin or anything haha.

i think there could be something strong in the thor association. i keep to the hellenic pantheon but try to respect and honor all the old gods. i wonder how thor would appreciate the angelica. ive recently had a strong calling to build a shrine to zeus, so for my own intents, ill see if he finds the “charge” of the angelica pleasing, maybe make it one of the plants on his altar, since i love having my gods surrounded with life.

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prosperity ritual update so far: 450$ from one source, 150$ from another
not bad, but not in league with the spell results requested for - i bought a lottery ticket - winnings only 4$. bought a second to see the result.
i will post the spell with more success, but it was a play on the #7, so it involved a perfect row of 7 components and they were manipulated 7 ways.
deities invoked - Hermes inspired the spell, Zeus/Jupiter overseer.

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i have also since the failed lottery ticket spoken with my mandrakes and asked them to assist in added prosperity and the success of the spell. i talk to the mandrakes like my children - but i will post a whole thing on mandragora and their care and sort of what i do to connect with their plant spirits.

theres a love spell in the amaryllis. Something for the desperate cause. Consider its mythology - Amaryllis who loved Alteo, instructed to pierce her heart with a golden arrow for 30 nights, and from the blood, the flowers bloomed.

It would be a lovely complement to love spells, especially ones where one feels unseen or unnoticed by the one whose affections they seek.

I wonder if it would be as simple and drops of blood fed to the plant in honor of its spirit and an homage to its legend each day for thirty days, perhaps when the flower stock begins to rise - ideally it would bloom upon completion of the ritual. hmmmm, i wish i sought someones affections to test. should i, i surely will.

Magical Mandragora part 1: the call

i will be cataloguing my journey with the mandrake plant, its care, folklore, known magical uses, and my upg regarding it.

when i discuss mandrake, i am specifically referencing european mandrake - mandragora officinarum, and mandragora autumnalis, one has white flowers, the latter purple. their uses and magic and medicine as well as poisonous nature are identical. they are not however identical to american mandrake - Podophyllum peltatum. a word of caution: most suppliers who carry “mandrake root” carry american mandrake root - you can tell because even ground, you can see the roots are like tendrils. european mandrake is not like that. i do not consider american mandrake an adequate substitution for european, but thats not to say its inferior- its different, and so are its properties and powers.

In the spring of this year, i was desperate to get my hands on true mandrake. i was on my lunch break at work, at a park, where the breeze rustled through the trees. i was deeply contemplating the mandrake and wanting to add it to my collection - i knew its strong familiar power before i experienced it, so i simply called out to it. i felt my voice on the wind, and i asked the spirit of the mandrake kindly and sweetly to come to work magic with me, be my child, let me tend you and care for you, teach me your secrets. within a month i found some available and received them by mail.

They are quite difficult to get right, but luckily, they seem difficult to kill. i will discuss their care at a later time.

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"Would you like to make a Mandragora, as powerful as the homunculus so praised by Paracelsus? Then find a root of the plant called bryony. Take it out of the ground on a Monday (the day of the moon), a little time after the vernal equinox. Cut off the ends of the root and bury it at night in some country churchyard in a dead man’s grave. For 30 days, water it with cow’s milk in which three bats have been drowned. When the 31st day arrives, take out the root in the middle of the night and dry it in an oven heated with branches of verbena; then wrap it up in a piece of a dead man’s winding-sheet and carry it with you everywhere.” - Jean-Baptiste Pitois, The History and Practice of Magic

That was the first serious snippet I ever read about the Mandragora root and its use in the craft some odd years ago. Looking back, I wonder about it entirely. First, Jean-Baptiste says to find the root of the plant called “Briony,” and while I acknowledge that plant which is truly “false mandrake” had been used as a counterfeit, and I fully intend to grow it also out of curiosity, it is not true mandrake. Yet, I wonder if such a ritual would yield merit - especially if a true mandrake root was utilized.

While I never got around to drowning bats in the milk, the bit of feeding it milk struck me, so on occasion beneath the full moon, I make it a point to visit and pour them milk. I only had opportunity to acquire two mandrakes, but two it is. I know them as brother and sister, and I named them Scylla and Charybdis and told them the story of their names. My little green monsters :slight_smile:

Mandrake care can be a challenge - while hard to kill, you know when they’re unhappy, and like children, they’re quite needy. They can’t be too wet, they can’t be too cold, they can’t be too hot, they can’t be too dry. Any of the above, and they quickly shed their leaves. The first time one of them did such, I felt the ineptitude of my skill, and yet, I knew it was still alive - I felt it beneath the soil, so I waited, and I left it undisturbed, and sure enough, when the conditions became proper, a new rosette of leaves formed.

I’ve come to accept caring for them outside is beyond my ability or desire presently, and yet I know I’ll have a mandrake patch in time, and I’ll take a watering can beneath the moon and hum them a tune. For now, I’ve put them into pots, and they have begun to flourish in east facing windows, nestled near my altars to Hermes and Hecate. They get some direct sun - they like to grow and reach for the light, but not too much sun - their leaves burn, or they get too hot. Perhaps the conditions are just right; however, I know they love magic, and they love to be where magic is performed.

The mandrake is more than an ingredient for a spell, or a charm to be unearthed and placed on a mantle to dispel demons and spirits, or promote fertility or love. I have no intention of pulling them from the ground for some oneshot pop of magic. The very notion calls my hand to my heart, and what a waste.

Let it live, and let it be near. The mandrake is a familiar. Its core spirit - that strange consciousness I feel all mandrake, while unique in themselves, root into, is an ancient thing. I’ve only scratched the surface, but I perceive their spirits near me, and I perceive them growing as their roots do. Children now, perhaps, but their wisdom goes back to the dawn of human consciousness.

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freshly potted after going dormant for the third time in the yard.

two weeks later


Yassss!

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Maybe you should write a care and feeding pamphlet for Mandrake. I would purchase the e-version in a heartbeat.

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Thank you - that’s encouraging. these are wee babes, and its only my first year, but in time i may. I do not consider myself knowledgeable to write this pamphlet yet.

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More knowledgeable than I. What do you know of the Mandrake being sacred to Cernunnos? I have found references to a plant but never the actual name; it was forbidden for any but priests of Cernunnos to have knowledge of, under penalty of death. Kind of like the fifth element (Spirit) in Socrates´time.

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Thank you - Veneficium (sounds so fancy as a title!) is what I’ve been led to study as a foundation for my magical practice.

Honestly, I don’t know. What I do know if it’s interesting you bring up Cernunnos - he is the only deity outside the Greek pantheon whose called to me as the green man. I love him, but I have not devoted a great deal of study to him.

With that said, based on the fact Mandrake is native to the mediterranean region and would only have been on the isles as a transplanted thing, I suspect Mandrake would not have been among his sacred plants - at least not true mandrake. It would have to have been introduced, and my general historical knowledge, especially regarding trade between the British Isles and the mediterranean, doesn’t have the depth to know whether Mandrake would’ve been accessible for much time pre-christianity. Side note: It really does wound my fucking heart and soul what happened to the druids and their practices/beliefs/lore.

Briony, mentioned above, known as false mandrake, is also “English Mandrake.” A reference to mandrake being sacred to Cernunnos may be pointing to Briony, since it was what was used instead of true mandrake often on the isles - sellers uprooted, carved, then re-rooted for the roots to heal until they took on a humanoid shape.

I do love celtic and druidic herb lore also - I’ve made it a point to grow primrose, vervain, foxglove, comfrey, elder, hollyhock, borage (barrach) and periwinkle (French: Violette des sorciers -Sorcerer’s violet, hence my username) , to start. Next year I have plans for many more. I’m going to look more into this. Thank you!

Do you have any other suspects for this plant sacred to him?

Another good question: Do you know if the priests consumed this plant? In which case it would absolutely not be Briony, unless they liked to purge and shit.