In witchcraft and occult practices, mandrake root is a very common and poten herb that witches use as an ingredient to various spells, oils, potions, and ceremonial offerings. Mandrake root is said to come in male and female "shapes" where male mandrake roots resemble the shape of a human male and the female root resembling the body of a human female.
In particular, the mandrake root is the most powerful herb of love magick, and certainly one of the most deadliest. Ones that resemble a phallus are believed to possess great aphrodisiac qualities and were, at one time, the main ingredient used in Witches' love philtres(potions) despite their highly toxic properties.
A mandrake root that is soaked every Friday in a bowl of white wine and carried in a charmbag made of red silk and velvet will give its possessor great sexual potency and make him or her attractive to the opposite sex. A mandrake root placed underneath a bed pillow will arouse passion between two lovers, even if one is indifferent.
Both male and female fertility is promoted by eating mandrake (males eat the male mandrake root and females eat the female mandrake root) or by carryin one as a charm, according to legend.
A tiny particle of powdered female mandrake leaf added to a cup of red wine (for passionate lovemaking) or white wine (for romantic love) is said to be a powerful Witch's aphrodisiac.
In addition to love magick, mandrake roots have long been believed to possess the power to divine the future. More than one book on medieval Witchcraft and sorcery states that the human-shaped roots (both male and female) shake their heads to answer yes or no when questions are put to them. With the proper incantations, mandrakes can also be made to speak out loud or through telepathy.This is another way in which they can prophesy the future and reveal secrets. Mandrakes have been used by many modern Witches in spells and rituals that increase the psychic powers. They are carried in mojobags or worn on necklaces as powerful charms to attract good luck, and it is said that money placed in a box with a mandrake root will double overnight.
Mandrake root can also be used in exorcisms as it is believed that demons cannot tolerate mandrake root and it is poisonous to them. It is not uncommon during ancient exorcisms that whilst a priest was under going an exorcism on an individual that he place a tiny piece of mandrake in their mouths under the tongue. The potent mandrake was meant to help drive out the demon essence from within the individual.
Extreme caution should always be exercised when using any part of the mandrake in potions, brews and philtres. It is a highly toxic plant, and misuse of it can result in sickness, delirium, or a slow and agonizing death.
According to the legend, when mandrake root is dug up it screams and kills anyone who hears this. Literature includes complex directions for harvesting a mandrake root in relative safety. For example Josephus (c. 37 AD Jerusalem - c. 100) gives the following directions for pulling it up:
A burrow must be dug around the root until its lower part is exposed, then a dog is tied to it, after which the person tying the dog must then run away. The dog is then enticed to follow him, and by doing so easily pulls up the root, but the dog dies suddenly instead of his master. After this the root can be handled without fear.
Mandrake is one of the traditional ritual herbs of the Samhain (Halloween) Witches' Sabbat and is sacred to the following Pagan deities: Aphrodite, Diana, Hecate and the legendary Teutonic sorceress known as the Alrauna Maiden.
Resources And Information
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