Witchcraft Glossary give discussions to myth and ritual,alchemistry and other relatives,witchcraft and witchery!Witchcraft, in various historical, anthropological, religious and mythological contexts, is the alleged use of supernatural or magical powers. Historically, it was widely believed that witchcraft involved the use of these powers to inflict harm upon members of a community or their property.
Since the mid 20th century, the term witchcraft has sometimes been used to distinguish between bad witchcraft and good witchcraft, with the latter often involving healing. The concept of witchcraft as harmful is normally treated as a cultural ideology, a means of explaining human misfortune by blaming it either on a supernatural entity or a known person in the community. A witch (from Old English wicce f. / wicca m.) is a practitioner of witchcraft.
The "witch-cult hypothesis", a controversial theory that European witchcraft was a suppressed pagan religion, was popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Since the mid-20th century, Witchcraft has become the self-designation of a branch of neopaganism, especially in the Wicca tradition following Gerald Gardner, who claimed a religious tradition of Witchcraft with pre-Christian roots.
Contents: Marduk |Magic |Medical Treatment of Witchcraft:from Neo-Assyrian Aššur and Nineveh |máš hul dúb-ba |Major Magic |Monday |Moon Goddess |Mortar and Pestle |Marjoram |Maple(Sugar Maple) |Maple leaf Charm |Meadowsweet |Wild Mint |Mistletoe |Moonwort |Irish Moss |Mugwort |Mullein |Maidenhair |Male Fern |Mandrake |Moly |Moses | |
Marduk:the great divine masters of exorcism,a divine exorcist,Ea's son,details see Ea,Marduk was also called Asalluhi.
Magic:In modern English,"magic" as a term used in two very different ways,often it means that enjoyable sleight of hand in which an onstage "magician" does card tricks or appears to saw an assistant in half.This type of conjuring magic now has little to do with the occult view of magic,although sleight-of-hand magicians retain the wonder and mystery surrounding their occult namesakes.(some modern occultists spell their "magick" with a k to differentiate it from the rabbit-out-of-the-hat kind of magic.)
The occult magician lives in a world of forces,forces almost always portrayed as supernatural or spiritual.the magician believes that these forces and powers can be controlled through certain supernatural rituals and incantations.these may vary widely,from a simple curse or evil glance to a highly elaborate rite that none but adepts can follow.
Magician's objective or motive is power.Control over nature,over circumstance,and over other people's lives is the driving force behing all magic. Of course,we all want to have some control over our circumstances;think how much time we spend on finding and keeping a job,or staying healthy,or developing friendships or love relationships.These are the driving interests behing most magic,as well. So the goals of magic are not so strange;what is strange are the means to those goals and how over-inflated those goals sometimes become.
As with so many occult objects,the closer we look at magic,the more difficult it is to define,the definition given above says the following:magicians believe that supernatural,\ or spiritual forces can be controlled through certain rituals and incantations, and thus they can gain power over their circumstances.But the enigmatic Renaissance"magus" Paracelsus(circa 1530) would have disagreed with much of this definition.
Paracelsus was certainly a believer in magic;he even advocated magic over reason,saying that magic is "great hidden wisdom" and reason is "a great folly."But rituals and incantations were not in Paracelsus's definition of magic.In the practice of magic,he insisted,"no external ceremonies and conjurations are required.The making of circles and the burning of incense are all tomfoolery and temptation."They were nothing but outward show with no power to bring off one's magical aims.What mattered were the inner virtues of faith,imagination,and purity of heart.
But what of the "forces" the magician tries to control?are they always seen as supernatural or spiritual?again we are greeted by difficulty.Sometimes occult magicians explain these forces as natural rather than supernatural.Of course,they may seems to be supernatural to the rest of us,but that is said to be because they are hidden to all but the adept.Thus,we come up against something that could be called "natural magic" wherein the magician controls nature by using secret or poorly understood natural forces.Here things get fuzzy,for,by that definition,we all become "magicians" whenever we use a car,a plane,or a microwave oven.(Keep in mind that Arthur C.Clarke's claim that "any sufficiently developed technology is indistinguishable from magic.")Then could magic be conceived as a form of technology?throughout the Middle ages,it was.1
Magic was seen as a practical technology "because its aim was some useful accomplishment,not mere knowledge or understanding."But what was considered "magical" in ancient and medieval times included things that today we would not consider magical at all.People before the Scientific Revelotion classified phenomena into three categories:natural,unnatural,and supernatural.2
This shift in understanding surely has something to do with the way modern science has altered our assumptions about reality.Arthur Imholf has argued persuasively that before about 1800 most people in the West believe their lives would not vary dramatically from those of their parents and grandparents.However,because the idea of whole new rounds of life-altering inventions sweeping through society in steady succession had not yet crystallized,premodern people did not feel themselves to be on an escalator of rapid technological progress and thus did not feel the "future shock" that accompanies such progress...much less accustomed to invention than we,pre-moderns were capable of being truly surprised---perhaps to the point of awe or dread---upon first seeing something like a mechanical beetle,even the mechanical clock excited the medieval imagination in a way we can barely comprehend when first introduced in the fourteenth century,it considered by people of that time as "a quasi-religious object".
There are some notion difference between the modern and premoderns,the notion allows moderns to ascribe "freaks of nature" to nature itself,to nature's occasional misfires.But lacking this option and believing that nature's operation was fixed and limited by God,medieval people regarded such anomalies of nature as transgressions or violations of nature.Indeed,they were "monsters" in the old sense of the word---creatures whose existence could be traced to dark,unnaturl events.
Magic partook of such events,and was thus an art or technology by which unnatural things were caused through secret or hidden means.Curiously,sleight-of-hand tricks were considered just as incantations meant to summon demons.The strong distinctions we make today between the magic of a stage conjurer or illusionist and that of an occult practitioner did not exist before the Scientific Revolution....According to Hansen,modern society has done away with the category of the "unnatural" and has reassigned phenomena that once fell into that category to other categories.Today,we call those phenomena either real(but uncommon),such as a two-headed calf, or unreal,such as a levitating table.Likewise,magical phenomena,all of which used to fall into the single category of the unnatural,we split today into the categories of the real or unreal.A card trick or a mechanical beetle we would call real,classifying it under natural laws(even if we can't explain the trick,the device,or the laws).But a levitating table we would classify as unreal or impossible.Thus,one reason for magic's decline after the Scientific Revolution was that it was simply classified out of existence.
Laws of nature make for a rational,orderly,non-magical universe,while spirit and demons touch off a belief in magic because they bespeak mystery,darkness,independence from the rule of nature,and perhaps even anarchy against heavenly powers....Before the modern era,occult virtues might have been invoked anytime nature seemed to act strangely.For example,gravity is considered perfectly natural by modern people,but four hundred years ago,when Johannes Kepler proposed that the moon somehow reaches across empty space to tug on the ocean and produce the tides,Galileo dismissed the explanation as astrological or occult.Isaac Newton encountered similar objections when he,about seventy years after Kepler,also theorized that the moon(along with the sun)causes the tides.If science was supposed to be an antidote to magic,how could one,in the name of science,offer an explanation that posits unseen influences traveling without a physical medium through empty space?That came perilously close to suggesting that the moon casts a spell on the earth.Here is how Newton privately summed up his own misgiving about gravity:
"That gravity should be innate,inherent,and essential to matter so that one body may act upon another at a distance through a vacuum without the mediation of any thing else by and through which their action or force may be conveyed from one to another is to me so great an absurdity that I believe no man who has in philosophical matters any competent faculty of thinking can ever fall into it"3
In responding to his critics,Newton asserted that he was putting forward laws of nature,not reintroducing occult qualities.Note,however,that he had to make careful distinctions between the two:
"These princiles I consider,not as occult qualities,supposed to result from the specific forms of things,but as general laws of nature,by which the things themselves are formed;their truth appearing to us by phenomena,though their causes be not yet discovered.For these are manifest qualities,and their causes only are occult."4 In other words,while laws of nature govern nature's manifestation or phenomena,our knowledge of them does not necessarily provide us with full understanding.Gravity may cause the tides,but what causes gravity?With this query things begin to grow dark or "occult," as Newton says....for medieval truth-seekers nature's operation was often sufficiently ambiguous to permit more than one understanding,and beneath the haze of ambiguity "hidden powers" could be imagined.Magicians thought of them as occult virtues and reveled in their mystery,scientists regarded them as forces of nature and sought to unveil them,and both groups wished to exploit them.
As to modern case of psi phenomena,or what are often called paranormal pehnomena--telepathy,psychokinesis,precognition,and so on.Pranormal means literally "beyond the normal" but does not readily connote the workings of God....For moderns,telepathy and the like are truly fringe pehnomena---not central to our thinking,generally just possibilities to ponder in odd moments.But for medieval people,demons,spirits,occult forces,and hidden powers could be very central and even invasive.According to Valerie Flint,medieval authorities allowed magic to survive and even to flourish in limited ways because they viewed it "as a corrective to the excessive rationalism of science." This she finds commendable,insisting that "the early Middle Ages in Europe display a good deal more enlightenment about the emotional need for that magic which sustains devotion and delight than does the post-Reformation Western world in general.",this statement hints at yet another meaning of magic:that indefinable quality of things that ensures life and freshness---as in the phrase,"This is a magical moment.",that the meanings should be decided by ourselves.
Medical Treatment of Witchcraft:from Neo-Assyrian Aššur and Nineveh:Among the medical handbooks from Neo-Assyrian Aššur and Nineveh there are large tablets with varied recipes against witchcraft,sometimes with detailed descriptions of symptoms and type of witchcraft,some collections recipes against witchcraft appears alongside others against disease due to ghosts or demons,some instance a whole tablet devoted to treatment of impotence which often assumed to be caused by evil magic,great variety of medical therapies demonstrates many different sources and traditions combined in these handbooks,also shows no particular plant or stone,potion or ssalve alone could counteract evil magic,choice of medications and therapy dependent on character of the symptoms and the type of witchcraft diagnosed.
Recipes vary from simple ones to a couple of content,to fifty herbs,minerals and other substances,typically drunk with beer or wine or prepared with oil for a salve.Herbs selected standard is which owns a purifying quality in general,such as tamarisk or seed of tamarisk,juniper and a plant named "it heals a thousand(disease)",yet most of the babylonian plant names not identified little can be said about the real content of these medications.Most frequently used are probably:mint,turmeric,thyme,animal parts such as kidney of a young lamb before grass eating dried&crushed to use for a bath,garlic eat with beer mash, even a bone of dead man used in some medications,necklace with certain stones said protect from witchcraft.some incantations is prescribed.5
máš hul dúb-ba:máš hul dúb-ba:a sumerian terms which meaning is unclear,perhaps 'kid which makes the evil tremble' or 'which beats(i.e.averts) the evil',a ceremony using a máš hul dúb-ba is sometimes mentioned in ritual instructions from the Neo-Assyrian period and later,then apparently as a purification of the house to drive away the demons,such a way considered as expelling demons by offering a substitute,the kid was given to Ereškigal(queen of the nether world) as a substitute for a sick man.6
Major Magic:A major magic is defined as one that requires a higher level of expertise and knowledge.
Monday:Monday:Planetary influence:The Moon
Cast for:Goddess magic,women's mysteries,emotions,instincts,intuition
Candle/charm bag colors:White and silver.
Common herbs associated with the Moon:Aloe,eucalyptus,lemon rind,mallow,myrrh,sandalwood,wintergreen.7
Moon Goddess:While working your herb magic during the various moon phases,if you would like to connect to the power of the moon goddesses,get to know some classic trinity of Greco-Roman lunar goddess and some of their associated plants,they are Artemis,Selene,Hecate.
Mortar and Pestle:This comes in handy for grinding up dried herbs and spices.The mortar is the cup,and the pestle is the grinder.The shapes of these tools are symbolic.The mortar,like the cup,is considered feminine,and the pestle is considered masculine.Take a look at the shape of the pieces,and you will get the idea.A mortar and pestle made from non-porous material is best to work with.A nonporous surface will not absorb any oils or scents from the ground-up herbs,so it will be easier to keep clean.In a pinch,you can use a blender or food processor to grind up your herbs.But please be safe,and make sure you wash it out thoroughly when you are finished.Before you cringe at the thought of using some modern appliance to work your herb magic,take a deep breath and relax.Sometimes you gotta go with what you've got.
Marjoram:Marjoram(Origanum majorana) comes in many varieties and may be an annual,biennial,or perennial plant.This is a versatile and popular cooking herb,with a sweet and spicy taste.Marjoram was cultivated in medieval times for its fragrance,to attract bees.It was also values as a strewing herb,and was added to potpourris and perfumes.Marjoram has the planetary correspondence of Mercury and is aligned with the element of air.
This fragrant herb has links in folklore to the goddess Aphrodite,who created it as a symbol of happiness.Marjoram was thought to have grown in Aphrodite's garden on Mount Olympus,and it's believed that the goddess herself blessed the plant with its charming scent.A popular folk name for marjoram is "joy of the mountain,"perhaps for the joy it brought to the Goddess in her garden.In olden times,chaplets and garlands were made from marjoram for blessing brides and grooms.Marjoram is often worked into spells that encourage long-term love,as its energies are harmonious with enduring relationships.Its scent is thought to bestow happiness and a sweet,restful sleep.
Marjoram normally used in Herbal Sachet for Happy and Loving Dreams.
Marjoram(Origanum majorana),Wild Marjoram(Origanum vulgare).Also known as Wintersweet,Sweet Marjoram,Pot Marjoram.An infusion of majoram,mint and rosemary can be sprinkled around the house for protection.This also works for protecting specific objects.Also known as Joy of the Mountains,Wintersweet,Sweet Marjoram,Pot Marjoram,Mountain Mint.Used in spell-bags,it relieves depression,brings money and happiness.Use in an infusion with peppermint to cleanse magical tools if undesirable people have handled them.20
Native to Europe,Asia and the Mediterranean.A bushy perennial,Marjoram's leaves and oval.Bears clusters of small two-lipped flowers,white or purplish-pink,daisy like,in dense spikes.Grows up to 2 ft.cultivated as a culinary herb often named Oregano.Strongly aromatic.(Family:Labiatae).Marjoram,also known as Oregano,is one of the best used of the seasoning herbs from our gardens.Oregano is made from wild Marjoram's dried leaves and this plant is a member of the mint family.
In old Greek and Roman times,Marjoram was used to crown bridal couples with wreaths of Marjoram's daisy like flowers to symbolise love and honour.The Greeks also grazed their cattle on it believing that it would help produce tastier meat.They then used the plant's leaves in their dried form to flavour their meat,fish vegetables and even wine.To these ancients,the name Oreganum meant two things.The first part of the word,'oreus' means 'of the mountain' and the second 'ganos' means 'joy' so to them,Oreganum meant "joy of the mountain."23
Maple(Sugar Maple):The sugar maple(Acer saccharum) is also an herbal tree.It is associated with the planet Jupiter and the element of air.The sugar maple tree is famous for its leaves' gorgeous autumn colors and,naturally,the sap that is boiled and reduced into delicious maple syrup.When it comes to magic,the leaves of the maple tree can be added to any charm or spell when you need to "sweeten up" a situation or even another person.Now,before you start wondering about manipulation,hear me out.
We all have to deal with unpleasant co-workers,neighbors,in-laws,relatives,and other people.Adding maple leaves to your herbal charms only improves things,by smoothing over bad feelings.It gently fine-tunes a few cranky attitudes,but is doesn't radically change the other person.It only takes the edge off that person's nastiness.
So what this means is you have to put forth some effort,too.You will need to be considerate and kind to the person as well.As with many other things,you'll get out of this herbal charm what you are willing to put into it.
Maple leaf Charm:This quick charm may be cast during a waxing moon,to attract more kindness and compassion into your life.Or in a pinch,you could work this during a waning moon,to help remove and dissipate those hard feelings.The only supplies you need are a few fallen maple leaves and your intentions.
Go outside at sunset,and gather up a handful of maple leaves.Silently turn and face the western direction.This quarter is associated with emotions and love,so we'd like to tap in to that.Now close your eyes and visualize the problematic person.Visualize all the negativity and stress you've built up worrying about the situation draining away and back into the earth.Gently,close your hands around the leaves,and empower them with your good will.Call the person by name and say out loud:
As I stand under a sunset sky,
There is now peace between you and I.
Cast the leaves to the breeze,and let them float to the ground.Now turn and walk confidently home.8
Marigold:Marigold(Calendula officinalis).Also known as Calendula,Holigold,Pot Marigold,Bride of the Sun.A Druid sacred herb.Marigold water is made from the blossoms.Rubbed on the eyelids,this liquid helps you see fairies.Flowers added to pillows give clairvoyant dreams.9,Picked on a Full Moon and used in incenses or washes,it helps one to see Elves and Dwarves.A flower carried in the pocket helps to win favor in court.19
Meadowsweet:Meadowsweet(Filipendula ulmaria,Spirea ulmaria).Also known as Queen of the Meadow,Gravel Root,Meadowwort.One of the three most sacred Druid herbs;the other two were mint and vervain(verbena).Meadowsweet can be used to decorate the altar during love spells.10
Wild Mint:Wild Mint(Mentha pipeerita,M.spicata,M.crispa).A Druid sacred herb.Poppets for healing and love can be stuffed with dried mint leaves.Added to incenses,it cleanses the house or ritual area.11
Mistletoe:Mistletoe(Viscum album).Also known as Birdlime,All Heal,Golden Bough.It was the most sacred "tree" of the Druids,and ruled the Winter Solstice.The berries are POISONOUS!Bunches of mistletoe can be hung as an all-purpose protective herb.The berries are used in love incenses.12.POISONOUS if eaten.Also known as Golden Bough,Donnerbesen,Thunderbesom,Birdlime.Sacred to Thorr and Balder,and known in Old Norse as mistillteinn.It is an all-purpose herb,capable of protection,granting love and health,bringing money and happiness wherever it is hung.21
Moonwort:Moonwort(Botrychium lunaria).the crescent-shaped leaflets and fronds are used in love bags.Put a piece of moonwort inside a locket with your lover's picture to promote lasting love.13
Irish Moss:Irish Moss(Chondrus crispus).Also known as Pearl Moss.This herb is for gaining and keeping a steady income of money.If you make poppets for luck or money,stuff this moss inside the doll.Burn it with incense during spellworkings for luck or money.sprinkle a little inside your purse or billfold.14
Mugwort:Mugwort(Artemisia vulgaris).Also known as Sailor's Tobacco,Witch Herb,Old Man.A Druid sacred herb.Rub the fresh herb on crystal balls and magic mirrors to increase their strength.The herb's powers are strongest when picked on the Full Moon.Soak one-quarter ounce mugwort in a bottle of wine for seven days,beginning on a New Moon.Strain out and drink a small amount to aid clairvoyance,divination and crystal reading.Gather at Summer Solstice for good luck.15Also known as Naughty Man,Artemisia,Witch Herb,Sailor's Tobacco.A Moon herb,its odor in incenses helps with scrying,divination and clairvoyance.
Mullein:Mullein(Verbascum thapsus).Also known as Hag's Taper,Candlewick Plant,Aaron's Rod,Velvet Plant,Shepherd's Club,Feltwort,Velvetback.The powdered leaves are sometimes called "graveyard dust" and can be substituted for such.16.Oil from its flowers is excellent for children's earaches.Powered mullein leaves are a good substitute for graveyard dust in old spells.Carry it for courage and to keep away wild animals.
Maidenhair:Maidenhair(Adiantum pedatim).A fern,this plant brings love and harmoney when grown in the house.
Male Fern:Male Fern(Dryopteris felix-mas).The uncurled dried fronds are known as Lucky Hands and bring luck,wealth and love when carried.17
Mandrake:Mandrake(Mandragor officinarum,Atropa mandragora).POISON.Also known as Mandragora,Brain thief,Gallows,Mannikin,Raccoon Berry,Herb of Circe.Very rare and usually replaced by the American May Apple or the English White Bryony,both of which are POISONOUS.The whole root is placed on the altar for protection if under spell-attack by another.The root can be carved into a tiny human figure and used in image magic.18
Moly:Moly,Hermes himself gave this to Odysseus to protect him from all the deceits of Circe."Black are its roots and milk-white its flower",thus it becomes a symbol of certain deep problems concerned with the spiritual healing of man.
There is a poem in the anthologia Palatina which uses the imagery of Homer's story of Circe and Odysseus,to describe the fundamental spiritual problem of man,for man is eternally placed between two kingdoms,that of heaven and that of earth.The poet utters this cry:
Depart from me,thou murky cave of Circe,for I am ashamed,
Belonging as I do to heaven,to eat acorns like a beast.
Rather do I pray to receive from God the soul-healing flower
Moly,the good physic against evil thoughts.
Here Odysseus,the supposed utterer of the prayer,is man the everlasting,placed half-way between the clear heavenly light of Hermes and the dark and seductive charms of chthonic Circe.He stands between heaven and the cave.Salvation comes to him from that "soul-healing flower" which he receives from the hand of the messenger of the gods and which is in itself a clearly perceptible symbol of what is here enacted in the realm of the soul.Moly's root is black its blossom white.By its power man sets himself free from the powers of darkness among which he has buried his roots.This he can do because he is a being begotten of heaven whose flower,whose spiritual self,that is,can open itself upwards,milk-white and pure.Nevertheless--and this is the real point in the symbolism of the myth---this is only possible because his help comes from God,and because he has encountered the transforming power of Hermes.
Thus above mentioned give a necessary feeling for the pagan and Christian symbolism of this little herb called moly.When the ancients reflected on such an allegory as this,they always called to mind the events of the myth as Homer's immortal verse has described them:
Thus spake Hermeias and gave me the herb of my healing
Which he tore from the ground,and showed me its nature;
the root was
Black,and the flow'r milk-white,and the high gods moly have named it.
Hard,forsooth,is its digging to mortal men,but the gods can Do all things.
Concerned here with symbolism of moly and its development,search for this little article of pharmacology in the broad gardens of spiritual medicine,pagan and Christian.
The mighty herb with the black root and the white flower has never wholly ceased from ancient times to the present day to cast its spell on the botanist.With a zeal that is sometimes slightly ridiculous,learned men,summoning to the task all the forces of their professional erudition,have striven to determine moly's exact botanical identity.The books ever came into being is little left in these dry herbaria of the colour and fragrance of this "soul-healing plant".
Even the ancient botanist never arrived at any very clear conclusions when they attempted to identify the Homeric herb as a plant that could actually be found somewhere in Greece.The unknown author of the ninth book of Theophrastus' Botany was a rhizotomist who was particularly concerned with popular herbal remedies,and it is he who makes the first attempt of which there is any record to determine moly's botanical identity.It is he who furnished the grounds for an opinion which was passed on and continues to be held throughout the whole life of antiquity.According to this writer,moly was a plant that had a perfectly real existence among the flora of Greece and was chiefly to be found on Mount Cyllene and near Pheneus--in the classical territory of the Hermes cult.Small wonder then that it is just this root that is given to Odysseus by Cyllene's god.It is thus easy to understand what makes Ovid write:
Pacifer huic dederat florem Cyllenius album,Moly vocant superi,nigra radice tenetur.
(The peace god of Cyllene had given him a white flower.Moly the gods name it,and black is the root that holds it.)
He thinks the onion-like root and its leaves suggest a resemblance to the Scilla maritima or sea-onion which we classified under the name Allium.Clement of Alexandria tells that the Greeks had a strange feeling of awe for the sea-onion and has preserved for us some verses of the comic dramatist Diphilus which relate how the seer Melampos cured Proetus' daughters by means of this plant,when Dionysus had made them mad.It is clear that the identification of moly as a member of the Allium family by the scentific botanists does not go to the heart of the matter.The real point is that moly was held to passess magical properties.
Pliny,drawing on Pseudo-Theophrastus,wrote a few words on moly which were still remembered in Christian times,"Clarissima herbarum est Homero teste,quam a dis putat vocari moly,et inventionem eius Mercurio adsignat contraque summa veneficia demonstrationem.Nasci eam hodie circa Pheneum et in Cyllene Arcadiae tradunt specie illa homerica,radice rotunda nigraque,magnitudine cepae---Moly is the most famous of all plants according to the testimony of Homer,who believed that the gods themselves gave it its name and that Mercury discovered it and showed it to be an antidote against all poisons.Men say that even today moly grows in the neighbourhood of Pheneus and on Cyllene in Arcadia in the form described by Homer,namely with a round black root of the size of an onion."
There is yet another school of thought,however,which points to a quite different class of magic herbs and is based on yet another statement of Dioscurides."Moly is also the name",he says,"given in Cappadocia and Asiatic Galatia to the plant called "πξγανoν αγolov" which seems to be identical with what the Germans call Bergraute or mountain rue.Others call it harmala,the Syrians besasa,the Cappadocians moly.""As Paul de Lagarde has pointed out,Dioscurides' statement in this matter is quite credible,since he himself comes from Anazarbus in Cilica.Moly is thus clearly a Cappadocian word.Nay,more,the plant which bears this name,which we know as mountain rue, is for the Persian Saka who lived in Cappadocia a substitute for their native hom and we shall later hear Plutarch discoursing of magical things in this connexion and calling this plant moly.
In the Syrian tongue,moly is called besasa,and this leads us still deeper into the history of this ancient plant moly.The Aramaic term for mountain rue is bešaš and in the Syriac version of Galen,who has copied his wisdom from Dioscurides,moly is called bašašo.Galen states that mountain rue has a black root and a white flower,and thus corresponds to the herb mentioned by Homer.So it is that rue,famed already for its magic powers,enters human tradition under the name of moly,and all the properties ascribed to rue are now assumed to be possessed by the flower of Hermes.
In a passage interpolated into Pseudo-Apuleius from Dioscurides we are told:"Apud Cappadocas appellata est moly,a quibusdam armala,a Syris besasa---It is called moly among the Cappadocians,others call it armala and the Syrians besasa."And even in the sixth century A.D. we are told by the so-called Dioscurides Langobardus:"Alterum genus rutae nascitur in Macedonia et in Galatia Asiae,quam cives moly appellant.Frutex est ex una radice multas radices habens....florem album habens---Another kind of rue grows in Macedonia and in Asiatic Glatia which the inhabitants call moly.It is a shrub putting forth many roots from its single one...and bearing a white flower."
It is very tempting to try and connect the herb moly-besasa with what Hopfner has discovered of the relation between besasa and the popular Egyptian deity Bes.The extent of our knowledge might quite possibly thus be increased and there can be no doubt that this pseudo-botany is rarely far from ordinary herb magic.At this stage we can merely draw attention to the fact that Alexander of Tralles confirms that moly and mountain rue are identical,and most certainly rue with all the demon-repelling powers that have been attributed to it from Pliny till the late Middle Ages belongs in the same magic circle which includes moly;and we find that the Christian credited this plant with powers of driving away the devil in much the same way as moly rendered Circe's poisons innocuous.In a medieval benediction of rue we have these words:"Benedico te,creatura rutae,ut sis exterminatio diaboli et omnium contubernalium eius---I bless thee,O offspring of the rue,that thou mayest be the means of exterminating the devil and all his companions."Even in the Historia Plantarum of Conrad Gessner of Zurich we get an echo of Dioscurides:"Vocant etiamnum sylvestrem rutam,quod in Cappadocia et Galatia Asiae finitima moly dicitur---They still call wild rue the plant which in Cappadocia and Galatia,a part of Asia,is called moly." The importance of the part played by besasa,mountain rue and moly in the literature of alchemy can best be judged by those who have made a pathway for themselves in Circe's luxuriant herb garden.Everywhere there is a riot of moly.
And this brings us to the third kind of attempted identification,of which both ancient and modern times provide examples.In many ways it is the most engaging of the three,for it declines to classify this plant with any group of the rue or leek family or with any other family, and declares that the name moly and all that goes with it belong entirely to the realm of myth and that the name itself simply indicates a magic plant with curative and prophylactic powers.Moly is a fairy plant, it is the φαρμαχoυ εσθλον,the pussant physic pure and simple.This is plain from the popular etymology given in the Scholia Graeca on Homer:"Moly is a species (ειδοζ) of plant,and its name derived from μωλνειγ,from its power as an antidote to poison."According to Suidas,moly is simply an antidote to drugs,while Pliny sees in it the essence of all prophylactics and counter-magic:"contra haec omnia et magicasque artes erit primum illud Homericum moly."
It is precisely for this reason that,in the course of time,all kinds of quite specific plants were light-heartedly added to the list of those identifiable with moly.Pliny himself,for instance,when speaking of the herb helicacabon which is more potent and a powerful intoxicant,identifies it with moly:"Abaliis morion,ab aliis moly appellatur."Even the Christmas rose(black hellebore),of which both pagan and christian writers tell us such marvellous and terrifying things,was,on occasion,designated as moly..22and so on more important conclusions.
Moses:Moses,according to legend,is the earliest records of Witch Doctor or Medicine Man of early Israelites.The Bible records many instances of his great knowledge of Natural History and describes many of his formulas and recipes.His position as the religious head of his people enabled him to enforce his doctrines,his ethics,his rituals which he pronounced the "Law of God".Let it suffice to say that Moses was a wise man,more concerned with his people than with personal power.He had recorded all the laws and doctrines which he set forth and among them are found the earliest herbal recipes of mankind.Some of these recipes of earliest civilisation still are in use today.24
1: see p.25~28.chapter one,What is Herb Magic?,unde title "Lunar Timing and Herb Magic",from Herb Magic for Beginners: Down-to-Earth Enchantments,By Ellen Dugan Published by Llewellyn Worldwide, 2006,ISBN 0738708372, 9780738708379
1: see p.36~42,chapter 2,Magic and Miracles,under title"Defining Magic",from Magic,Mystery,and Science:The Occult in Western Civilization,by Dan Burton and David Drandy,ISBN 0-253-34372-0(alk.paper).Indiana University Press,601 North Morton Street,Bloomington,Indiana 47404-3797 USA.http://iupress.indiana.edu
2: Ibid.,p.38."Natural phenomena were things that happened normally in nature,that occured most of the time---rocks fell down rather than up,people could not see in total darkness,the sun rose in the east every morning,and so on.Supernatural phenomena occured when God intervened directly through a miracle;for example,when a person rose from the dead or was miraculously healed.The curious category was the unnatural(or,as Hansen sometimes calls it,the "preternatural").The category of the unnatural,then,encompassed a great many things we moderns would not group togethor.Neither natural nor miraculous,"magic" also fell in the category of the unnatural."
3: Ibid.,p.40.quoted from Newton to Richard Bentley,Feb.25,1693;Corres 3,253-254.quoted in Richard S.Westfall,Never at Rest:A Biography of Issac Newton (Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,1980),p.505.Spelling and punctuation modernized.
4: Ibid.,p.41.quoted by Richard S.Westfall,The Construction of Modern Science:Mechanisms and Mechanics(New York:John Wiley&Sons,1971),p.158.Spelling modernized.
5: see p.43~46,Part 1:witchcraft and magic in ancient mesopotamia,under title "anti-witchcraft rituals:medical treatment of witchcraft",from Witchcraft and magic in Europe:Biblical and pagan societies,by Frederick H.Cryer,Marie-Louise Thomsen;edited by Bengt Ankarloo and Stuart Clark.ISBN 0-8122-3615-7(alk.paper),First published 2001 by The Athlone Press,A continuum imprint,the Tower Building,11 York Road,London Se1 7NX,First published in the United States of America 2001 by University of Pennysylvania Press,Philadelphia,Pennsylvania 19104-4011.http://www.upenn.edu/pennpress.
incantations quoted:parts of the handbook translated in Thompson,1930,especially pp.11~15,examples from medical handbooks:
If a man continually has vertigo,his feet are limp,he suffers pains and he is repeatedly scared:'Hand of Mankind' lies upon him.Silver,gold,bronze,iron,anzahhu-glass,white ditto,black ditto,(and) zalāqu(i.e. a bright stone).(The stones are probably to be worn in a leather bag.BAM III no.317 rev.24-6)
If a man is bewitched:In a kettle you boil a potsherd of the river togethor with bitumen,put it in first-rate beer and take it on the last day of the month(i.e. the day of the disappearance of the moon),facing the sunrise you speak as follows:'Sorceress, your charms will turn back against you and seize you!" He shall say thus and he will get well.(AMT no.85,1 V 10-14)
If a man's enemy has surrounded him with hate,zikurudû,perversion of justice,aphasia and evil magic and caused him to be in bad repute before god,kind,lord and prince and his eyes are afflicted.In order to dispel the evil magic:(Here follows a list of herbs that mixed with magnetite and seven aromatic oils,then the prescription goes on:)You recite the incantation 'I am pleasing' three times over it and rub him with it and he will recover.(BAM V no.434 VI 1-11)
Medicine against zikurudû apparently composed of a remarkable sequence of recipes know from at least four copies,making use of heads of birds,namely goose,quail and eagle:
In order that zikurudû shall not approach a man:you dry the head of a goose and imhur-limu plant,you pound it(and) mix it with fine oil,you rub him (with this) regularly and zikurudû will not approach him and this man will be very old.(BAM V no.461 III 25'-28'; no.463 rev.1-3;no.473 I 20-1;BAM III no.209 obv.28-30)
6: Ibid.,p.71~75,Part 1:witchcraft and magic in ancient mesopotamia,under title "Magic:Expelling Demons by Offering a Substitute": two copies of máš hul dúb-ba related dating from the seventh century B.C.,found in Aššur,the actions imitate the death and funeral of the patient by slaughtering and burying the kid,possibily the situation was a serious disease assumed to be fatal end or a case of witchcraft,a grave is dug in the house before the ritual begins and the kid is placed in the patient's bed during night,before dawn(?) the exorcist places the man and the kid on the ground in the room where the grave has been made:
"You touch the throat of the patient with a knife of tamarisk wood,you cut the throat of the goat with a knife of bronze,you wash the insides of the dead(goat) with water and anoint it will oil,you fill its insides with aromatic plants,you provide it with a garment and put shoes on it,you smear its eyes with antimony,you put fine oil on its head,you take off the sick man's headband and tie it around the head(of the goat),you treat it like a dead(person),you honour it.The patient rises and leaves through the door.the exorcist recites three times the (Sumerian) incantation:'...'.the patient takes(?) one of the (funerary)gifts with his garment(?) and gives it to the exorcist.While (the patient) leaves through the door the exorcist utters a cry and declares:'He (i.e.the patient) has died!';he performs a lamentation.You shall perform the funerary rites before Ereškigal three times(?),you place a soup still hot,you praise,you honour,you libate water,beer,milk,honey,butter(and) oil,you perform the funerary rites for the ghosts of the family,you perform funerary rites for the goat,before Ereškigal you recite the (Sumerian) incantation:'the big brother is her brother',you treat the goat with respect,as if it were alive,and bury it,you offer barley for [the goat(?)],for Ereškigal and for the ghosts of his family."(LKA no.79,1-29 and KAR No.245,1-22,rest of the ritual is broken off).Substitutes could also be objects instead of a kid,such as a reed effigy or clay figurine,according to a sumerian incantation on a tablet from Babylon Seleucid period,the reed substitute probably life-sized according to the measurement of the man was first taken;in cases a clay figurine is used,it lies togethor with the patient during night and next morning the figurine brought into the steppe and placed facing the rising sun,goat black and white hairs were put on the figurine to make it shape of a kid but not of a man,all these techniques are described in bilingual incantations not in the instructions for the exorcist( see the incantation CT17 pl.15 I 20-6,pl.29-30,line 30-40 and duplicate CT 17 pl.30 Tablet 'S',cf. Thompson,1904:100-3;also STT II no.173,23-70).
7: see p.21~24.chapter two Herb Magic Secrets:Timing,Terms,and Tools of the Trade;from Herb Magic for Beginners: Down-to-Earth Enchantments,By Ellen Dugan Published by Llewellyn Worldwide, 2006,ISBN 0738708372, 9780738708379
8: Ibid,see p.67.
9: see p.133~146,chapter 10,Spell work,under title "herb magic",from Celtic Magic,by D.J.Conway,Published by Llewellyn Worldwide,1990,ISBN 0875421369,9780875421360.
10111213141516 Ibid.see p.140~142.
17: see p.169,under title "Spellwork",from Norse Magic,D. J. Conway.Published by Llewellyn Worldwide,1990.ISBN 875421377, 9780875421377
18: Ibid.see p.169.
19: Ibid.see p.170.
20: Ibid.see p.170.
21: Ibid.see p.170.
22: see p.179~189,V,"Moly and Mandragora in Pagan and Christian Symbolism",from Greek myths and Christian mystery,by Hugo Rahner,Published by Biblo & Tannen Publishers,1971,ISBN 0819602701, 9780819602701.
23: See p.73.from Mythical Flower Stories,By Marilyn Reid,Published by Lulu.com, 2007.ISBN 1847535216,9781847535214
24: See.p 8~9,chapter II,Herb Magic of the Early Israelites,from The Magic of Herbs,by Henri Gamache,published by Health Research Books,1972;ISBN 0787303410, 9780787303419
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