Spiritual Zoe’s Page 11

Spiritual Zoe's Page 11

As I am a spiritual person it is a great joy to share this page with you.

Magic and Religion

Spiritual Zoe's Page 11Magic may be described as a kind of religion in which the ethical element is either subordinated or sacrificed to other and inferior elements.
Incantations are prayers, only that the main stress is laid on the mode of utterance rather than on the moral condition of the agent. Plants, drugs, etc., when burnt to appease the good spirits, and protect against evil ones, are to be compared with sacrifices, and especially with incense, which last obtains at the present time in many branches of the Christian Church. In the mythology of the Vedas it is hard, if not impossible, to distinguish between magical acts and sacrifices; in each case something is done with the view of propitiating higher beings.

The unethical means employed by magic correspond to the unethical view that is held of the beings trafficked with.

As the conception of these beings rises, animism passes through polytheism on to monotheism. At this last stage the one God believed in is just and holy, requiring on the part of all who have to do with Him moral qualifications, these above all else, these almost to the exclusion of all other qualifications. Magic has now given way to religion. Prayer and fellowship have taken the place of mere words and acts.

Special individuals are chosen on account of their superior knowledge of the formulae; methods of operation, etc., believed to prevail with the powers which it is sought to persuade this select body of men corresponds to the priests, which in the lower forms of religion are credited with extraordinary knowledge of Divine secrets, and with unusual influence over Deity Indeed, it is hard to say when exactly the magician resigns, and the priest enters upon office To some extent the conception and conduct which properly belong to magic, accompany religion in all its historical forms.

Spiritual Zoe's Page 11Magic has been made to consist especially in the art or compelling spirits or deities, or the Deity, to do the will of him who utters the needful words, or performs the requisite acts. In this it has been made to stand apart from religion. This, however, is not strictly correct, because, as already stated, all magic is a sort of religion; and certainly in most cases, the magician does not seek to use force in the exercise of his art : else what do we make of incantations and charms ?

In the lowest stages of culture the spirits communicated with are not separated into good and bad, just because the categories of good and bad have not risen into conscious thought, though implied in the very earliest thinking. Later on, traffic with evil spirits, particularly when the purpose was to injure others, was called Black Magic, or the Black Art. White Magic, the contrary term, stood for intercourse with well-disposed spirits.
In our own time, and amongst civilized peoples, White Magic means no more than the art of performing clever tricks with the hands, etc. Similarly the word conjure has, in modern English, the present meaning which White Magic has among ourselves, though originally it denotes exorcise. A conjurer well, children know who he is, perhaps even better than their soberer sires.

In a narrow, but later sense, magic has to do with feats of power and not of knowledge. For this reason the relation between magic and divination has been compared to that existing between miracles and prophecy. But it will be more fully shown later on that at the beginning, and at the present among backward races, this distinction is not drawn. Indeed, divination is hardly the right word to use for what is so called at this stage, since it is really magic applied to future events. The future is not so much foretold as constituted, or made, by the art of the magician.

The English word magic is, in our language, primarily a noun, but it represents an adjective in the classical tongue, the corresponding noun for art being understood, and sometimes expressed in Latin (Ars Magica).

Divination may be provisionally defined! As the attempt on man’s part to obtain from the spiritual world supernormal or superhuman knowledge. This knowledge relates for the most part to the future, but it may also have to do with things in the present, such as where some hidden treasure is to be found. Divination takes for granted the primitive belief that spiritual beings exist, are approachable by man, have means of knowledge which man has not, and are willing upon certain conditions known to diviners to communicate the special knowledge which they are believed to possess.


NecromancyNecromancy is a part of divination and not a thing distinct in itself. Its peculiar mark is that the information desired is sought from the ghosts of deceased persons. Divination embraces all attempts to obtain secret knowledge from the denizens of the spiritual world, so that necromancy comes under it, and is a part of it. Indeed, the word itself denotes literally divination by consulting the dead.

All the beliefs which have been noticed take their rise in the primitive and instinctive impulse of human beings to interpret what they see outside of themselves in terms of their own personality. The earliest knowledge which man acquires is that of himself as a living, conscious, thinking being. In a vague way he may be said to perceive the outer world as reflected in his thought before he rises to the conception of himself as standing apart from it. But surely the first object he knows is himself.

This knowledge obtained, all other things are interpreted in its light, and just as coloured glass makes what is seen through it have the same colour as itself. As man, in the wildness of unrestrained imagination, looks forth upon rivers and stars, he pictures them as living just as he is living. Have they not many of the marks of life and personality? Trees and plants stand up and apart from their environment; they also appear to eat and drink, and they produce fruit and beget offspring. Stones resist all efforts to move or destroy them: they often seem to move of their own accord, injuring and even killing animals and men.

It would be too much to say that at this low level of thought the doctrine, of soul as distinct from body has been reached, but it very soon is reached.

In his growth to this higher thought, man is guided by his own experience. At a very early period, before there were words to suggest it, he must have come to feet that he is not the body: that, on the contrary, his truer soul controls the body. In other words, soul is differentiated from body. This twofold view of himself is almost unthinkingly applied to other things believed to be living.

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History Of The Tarot Cards

history of the tarot cards

Sooner or later most Witches (not all) look into divination using a deck of Tarot cards.

I would like to mention however that in by gone days, a lot of Witches and Gypsies use to use a plain set of average everyday run of the mill type playing cards for divination purposes, and it may be something for you to look into before out laying a lot of money on a Tarot deck.

history of the tarot cards

Below is a basic list as to what the cards represent:

The four suits represent the four seasons – the four elements – the four
winds – the four directions – the four phases of the Moon.

The two colours represent day and night – male and female – positive and

52 cards represent the 52 weeks in a year.

13 cards in each suit represent each quarter of the year each having 13
weeks. Or can represent the 13 Full Moons of a year.

The 12 court cards represent the 12 months. Or the 12 hours between noon and midnight.

The ace to 10 add up to 55 + jack 11 + queen 12 + king 13 = 91 x 4 suits =
364 + joker 1 = 365 days of a year.

So as you can see there is a lot more to the plain old pack of cards than
meets the eye.

The evidence we do have tells us that around 1440-1550 the Tarot appeared in
Italy. Wealthy and influential patrons commissioned elaborate decks to be
created, often using gold leaf. The cards continued to develop with rich
symbolism and our modern decks of 78 cards became the standard in the later 18th and 19th centuries.

Several secret societies have embraced the Tarot, over the years, as an
oracle and mystical path to enlightenment. Many influential scholars have
drawn parallels that have shown similarities between the Tarot and alchemy
Jungian psychology, Hermetic philosophy, the Cabbala, astrology, and many
other mystery traditions. The cards now are mainly use in spiritual growth
and divination. Also to view a person’s past, present and/or future.

The Tarot deck is separated into two main parts; 22 major arcana cards and
56 minor arcana cards (arcane means hidden or secret). The major arcana
includes all the cards ever yone associates with the tarot, such as the
Devil, the Lovers, and the Magician. They are often numbered with Roman
numerals, from I to XXI. The Fool is left without a number, or is given the
value 0.

The minor arcana is similar to modern playing cards because it contains four
“suits”. These suits are labelled differently in many decks, but are usually
cups, pentacles (disks or coins), swords, and wands (rods or staves). Each
suit has 14 cards, numbered Ace through King. Each suit also includes the
Page and the Knight.

Modern Tarot readers practice and study for years to refine their skills.
Each card has several meanings, and those meanings are affected by the other cards that are drawn from the deck. The interpretation of a group of cards, or a “spread” can be quite complex, but psychics have a distinct advantage of using their powers to determine exactly what the cards are trying to tell you.

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Witch O Chick Script 30

Witch O Chick Script 29

 Here are a few more snippets that might be useful for you below and my Home Page is HERE

Before embarking on any magical operation.

It is always best to perform a divination (a) to diagnose the true nature of the situation, and/or (b) to determine the likelihood of success of the particular magical operation you have decided to employ. There is no point, and indeed no future, in employing a blast of counter magic against some imaginary enemy when in fact a relatively simple amulet

Witch O Chick Script 30of beneficence may be all that is required. We must know what we are at—hence divination. Now in magic and witchcraft, the operations of divination have always been conducted by means of contact with a power which is symbolized by the astrological symbol of Mercury. The Greeks called this power Hermes, the Egyptians Thoth, the Scandinavians Odin, and the early Anglo-Saxons Woden.

This power has generally been connected with the starry sky, the air, storm winds, and also the crossroads.

Indeed in the voodoo pantheon the power of Mercury is often known at Maitre Carrefour or Master of the Gross-roads. He is the great mediator between the worlds and is also known as Psychopompos or Guide of Souls. The Saxons knew him by the name “Earendel, the Morning Star.”
The witch knows him by the name “Herne.”
Before beginning any divination, it is always important for the witch to bring her deep mind into contact with Mercury; to tune into his waveband if you wish, whether the divination be performed by means of the relatively rudimentary entities governing the rune sticks, or by questioning a highly sophisticated entity such as Vassago in a show stone.
There are several methods of doing this, ranging from simply meditating upon one of the classical magical images of the winged Mercury to the full ceremonial rite of invocation.
As a matter of interest, one of the characteristics of magic squares, which are known to most mathematicians, is that the numbers in each line, vertical or horizontal, add up to the same total. In this case, 260. Now you may well ask what all this has to do with Mercury? Well, you can think of magic squares as being signalling devices, types of psychic telephone numbers to the unseen. The way of using the Square of Mercury before any divination is this:

Take a blank sheet of white paper, and exorcise it with salt water and Mercurial incense.

Having done this, draw a square with sixty-four compartments with your pen and ink of art. Now carefully and deliberately inscribe the numbers in the square as illustrated, in their correct numerical order, 1, 2, 3, and 4, onwards, ending with 64. As you write each number, repeat a short invocation to Mercury of your own devising, such as “Mercury, be propitious to me,” or “Herne, Lord of the Crossroads, Guide of the Dead,” “Earende, the Morning Star” or even a string of his names from various pantheons like, “Mercury— Hermes—Odin—Thoth.” Whichever you prefer.

The only important thing to remember is that the charm should summon up a mental image in your mind, which in some way strikes your fancy and links the work in hand with an idea concerning Mercury, such as wisdom, speed, starlight, the air, a crossroads at night, or even one of the classical images of Mercury. It might be as well to consult a book of mythology at this point to acquaint yourself with some of Mercury’s traditional forms and attributes.

The Law of Rebirth

Witch O Chick Script 30Each life is an assuming of ancient obligations, a recovery of old relations, an opportunity for the paying of old indebtedness, a chance to make restitution and progress, an awakening of deep-seated qualities, a recognition of old friends and enemies, the solution of revolting injustices and the explanation of that which conditions the man and makes him what he is.
This law, when understood, will do much to solve the problems of sex and marriage. It will create a person who treads more carefully on the path of life.

Concerning Blessed Be

Witch O Chick Script 30
Yes, I would agree that wishing someone to be blessed is very thoughtful, special, cleansing, and positive.

Nevertheless, Traditional Crafters do not use the expression “Blessed Be” because it is not our tradition to do so.
We think a blessing used as a habitually used term reflects misplaced intention. That is because a blessing, if said at all, should be said as a true dedicated blessing said thoughtfully for that specific individual, or a general blessing to those individuals. Such blessings are said with clear intent. But a blessing should never be said habitually as a common everyday greeting. When thus overuse words of a blessing become too ordinary and worn of intent. In other words, it becomes drained of meaning and is said as flippantly as ‘hello’ or ‘good bye’. That is not special, it is mundane.

           Magical Names

Witch O Chick Script 30We do not use magical names in the Traditional Craft.
Sometimes I use the term “denomination” to be clear to outsiders what I mean by Tradition. Denomination is synonymous with Tradition or Trad. A Trad is usually different than a group, which is usually a semi-informal regular gathering of Trad Crafters. Very few would refer to a group as a coven, which is a term Wiccans and Christians would use. Correctly, it is referred to as a group or some other general term.
Most Traditional Crafters practice solo and most are not group joiners. Of course, some are joiners and there are Traditionalist groups. The archetypal group is typically a private gathering of like-minded friends, often on the Full Moon. Most groups are small and are only passively interested in new members. Most group members do most of their magic at home in private and not necessarily within the group. I believe many groups have a minimal of ritual, perhaps an invocation and some group magic. Another thing in common is that almost all groups are very private and they usually despise publicity. They prefer to operate quietly and out of the spotlight.

I should note that although dedication and initiation are modern practices some groups follow, they are the exception and they are not especially traditional. 

I have heard of several of the older groups, but I cannot comment on any of them.


witchochickShould you wish to contact me my email address is:                    witchochick@yahoo.com

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Druid Dom’s Page 6

Druid Dom’s Page 6

My passion for the craft brings me to post more topics you might find of interest

What are Runes?

Druid Dom’s Page 6Runes are connected to witchcraft and they are a tool used in divination and magic which have been used throughout Europe, Scandinavia, the British Isles and Iceland from around 100 b.c.e. They are used as an oracle for seeking advice and are said to work best on asking a specific question once having given details of the circumstances, although the outcome is sometimes questionable and unclear.

The runes at best will point you in the right direction but you will have to conclude the answer yourself from the information they give you and figure out exact details yourself, there is never a clear cut and dry answer to your problems.

However, rune casting or runic divination as it is called is not a way of fortune telling but rather a way of analysing the particular path you are on and what the outcome is likely to be. The word rune means mystery or secret and each rune has a special meaning and properties associated with it, each of them translates into a word or phrase that has a special meaning representing the forces of nature and the mind and each is associated with a Norse god.

The runes were also used as a method of writing and first made their appearance among German tribes in central Europe, it is thought that some of the rune symbols may have come from other languages such as Greek and early roman. Inscriptions on the runic stones have been dated as far back as the 3rd century AD though it is thought that they existed a long time before then.

How to read runes

Druid Dom’s Page 6By far the simplest way of reading runes is to use the one rune method, after you have cleared your mind of all other thoughts ask the question in mind, concentrating on it. When you have concentrated on your question and you feel the time is right take just one rune from your bag and from this stone, you will gather information relating to the question at hand, what you make of this information is entirely up to you.

If you think that more information is needed then you can take three runes instead of just the one from the bag, you will deduct information from the first rune regarding the circumstances of your question.

The second rune will give you an indication of the route you should take and the third is the likely outcome should you choose to go with the action.
This of course is only a very brief glimpse of casting runes and there are several books and websites you can read should you wish to delve deeper into the magic of runes.

The practice of obeah

Druid Dom’s Page 6Obeah or obi as it is sometimes called is a form of witchcraft that is practiced mainly in the West Indies, it is primarily practiced in Jamaica, the Virgin Islands, and Trinidad and Tobago and is similar to voodoo or hoodoo. The practice of obeah is thought to be both black and white magic and is associated with luck, charms and mysticism.

Obeah in Jamaica

The West African Ashanti tribe called priests who practiced sorcery or magic “myal men” or “obeah men”, which is the word they use for sorcery. Obeah also has another meaning when linked with magic; it means a charm or talisman that was used for evil magic. Despite obeah being linked with black magic, it is also considered to be a good form of magic which is practiced for healing, bringing luck and good fortune.

During the 19th century, some people believed that the obeah men would come and steal their shadows and these people were then coerced into helping the obeah men with the hope of having their shadows restored. During this period, the British government of Jamaica sent myal men to prison but obeah remained a vital form of black magic.

Obeah in the Virgin Islands

Druid Dom’s Page 6Perhaps the most famous form of obeah that we are all familiar with if we have visited the Virgin Islands is the mocko-jumbie or the stilt dancer. Obeah tradition in the virgin islands proclaim that a jumbie is a lost or evil spirit and is thought to be related to the word nzumbi or as we more commonly know them zombies.

However as dark as the word suggests a jumbie might be they are totally opposite and wear brightly coloured clothing, they dance during the daylight hours and stilt dancing is very popular at holidays and at carnivals.

Obeah and wanga

The wanga is associated with obeah and it is a small magical charm packet which is used in the practice of black magic in Haiti, it is a form of magic that is associated with voodoo. Wanga is also known as mojo, toby and jomo, it is usually a drawstring bag in which a charm is held and is worn under the clothing.
They are thought to hold supernatural powers and can protect the wearer from harm and evil, they are also used in the casting of evil spells with the intent to harm others, and usually something relating to the person such as a lock of hair or fingernail clippings is used.
Particular attention is taken to the tying of the bag as this is thought to ensure that the particular spell works correctly and once it has been sealed then it is encouraged to work by using perfume or anointing oils on it regularly.

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Blessed Be


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Love Charms

Love Charms

Plants have always been largely used for testing the fidelity of lovers, and at the present day are still extensively employed for this purpose by the rustic maiden

As in the case of medical charms. More virtue would often seem to reside in the mystic formula uttered while the flower is being secretly gathered, than in any particular quality of the flower itself.

Then, again, flowers, from their connection with certain festivals, have been consulted in love matters, and elsewhere we have alluded to the knowledge they have long been supposed to give in dreams, after the performance of certain incantations.
Turning to some of the well-known charm formulas may be mentioned that known as “a clover of two,” the mode of gathering it constituting the charm itself:

“A clover, a clover of two,
put it in your right shoe;
The first young man you meet,
In field, street, or lane,
You’ll get him, or one of his name.”

Then there is the hempseed formula, and one founded on the luck of an apple-pip, which, when seized between the finger and thumb, is supposed to pop in the direction of the lover’s abode; an illustration of which we subjoin as still used in Lancashire:

“Pippin, pippin, paradise,
Tell me where my true love lies,
East, west, north, and south,
Pilling Brig, or Cocker Mouth.”

The old custom, too, of throwing an apple-peel over the head, marriage or single blessedness being foretold by its remaining whole or breaking, and of the peel so cast forming the initial of the future loved one, finds many adherents. Equally popular, too, was the practice of divining by a thistle blossom. When anxious to ascertain who loved her most, a young woman would take three or four heads of thistles, cut off their points, and assign to each thistle the name of an admirer, laying them under her pillow. On the following morning the thistle which has put forth a fresh sprout will denote the man who loves her most.

There are numerous charms connected with the ash-leaf, and among those employed in the North of England we may quote the following:

“The even ash-leaf in my left hand,
The first man I meet shall be my husband;
The even ash-leaf in my glove,
The first I meet shall be my love;
The even ash-leaf in my breast,
The first man I meet’s whom I love best;
The even ash-leaf in my hand,
The first I meet shall be my man.
Even ash, even ash, I pluck thee,
This night my true love for to see,
Neither in his rick nor in his rear,
But in the clothes he does every day wear.”

And there is the well-known saying current throughout the country:

“If you find an even ash or a four-leaved clover,
Rest assured you’ll see your true love ere the day is over.”

Longfellow alludes to the husking of the maize among the American colonists, an event which was always accompanied by various ceremonies, one of which he thus forcibly describes:

“In the golden weather the maize was husked, and the
Blushed at each blood-red ear, for that betokened a lover,
But at the crooked laughed, and called it a thief in the
Even the blood-red ear to Evangeline brought not her

Charms of this kind are common, and vary in different localities, being found extensively on the Continent, where perhaps even greater importance is attached to them than in our own country. Thus, a popular French one—which many of our young people also practise—is for lovers to test the sincerity of their affections by taking a daisy and plucking its leaflets off one by one, saying, “Does he love me?—a little—much—passionately—not at all!” the phrase which falls to the last leaflet forming the answer to the inquiry:

“La blanche et simple Paquerette,
Que ton coeur consult surtout,
Dit, Ton amant, tendre fillette,
T’aime, un peu, beaucoup, point du tout.”

Perhaps Brown alludes to the same species of divination when he writes of:

“The gentle daisy with her silver crown,
Worn in the breast of many a shepherd lass.”

In England the marigold, which is carefully excluded from the flowers with which German maidens tell their fortunes as unfavourable to love, is often used for divination, and in Germany the star-flower and dandelion.

Among some of the ordinary flowers in use for love-divination may be mentioned the poppy, with its “prophetic leaf,” and the old-fashioned “bachelor’s buttons,” which was credited with possessing some magical effect upon the fortunes of lovers. Hence its blossoms were carried in the pocket, success in love being indicated in proportion as they lost or retained their freshness. Browne alludes to the primrose, which “maidens as a true-love in their bosoms place;” and in the North of England the kemps or spikes of the ribwort plantain are used as love-charms. The mode of procedure as practised in Northamptonshire is thus picturesquely given by Clare in his “Shepherd’s Calendar:

“Or trying simple charms and spells,
Which rural superstition tells,
They pull the little blossom threads
From out the knotweed’s button heads,
And put the husk, with many a smile,
In their white bosom for a while;
Then, if they guess aright the swain
Their love’s sweet fancies try to gain,
‘Tis said that ere it lies an hour,
‘Twill blossom with a second flower,
And from the bosom’s handkerchief
Bloom as it ne’er had lost a leaf.”

Then there are the downy thistle-heads, which the rustic maiden names after her lovers, in connection with which there are many old rhymes. Beans have not lost their popularity; and the leaves of the laurel still reveal the hidden fortune, having been also burnt in olden times by girls to win back their errant lovers.
The garden scene in “Faust” is a well-known illustration of the employment of the centaury or bluebottle for testing the faith of lovers, for Margaret selects it as the floral indication whence she may learn the truth respecting Faust:

“And that scarlet poppies around like a bower,
The maiden found her mystic flower.
‘Now, gentle flower, I pray thee tell Love Charms
If my love loves, and loves me well;
So may the fall of the morning dew
Keep the sun from fading thy tender blue;
Now I remember the leaves for my lot—
He loves me not—he loves me—he loves me not—
He loves me! Yes, the last leaf—yes!
I’ll pluck thee not for that last sweet guess;
He loves me!’ ‘Yes,’ a dear voice sighed;
And her lover stands by Margaret’s side.”

Another mode of love-divination formerly much practised among the lower orders was known as “peascod-wooing.” The cook, when shelling green peas, would, if she chanced to find a pod having nine, lay it on the lintel of the kitchen-door, when the first man who happened to enter was believed to be her future sweetheart; an allusion to which is thus given by Gay:

“As peascod once I pluck’d, I chanced to see Love Charms
One that was closely fill’d with three times three,
Which, when I cropped, I safely home couvey’d,
And o’er the door the spell in secret laid.
The latch moved up, when who should first come in,
But, in his proper person, Lublerkin.”

On the other hand, it was customary in the North of England to rub a young woman with pease-straw should her lover prove unfaithful:

“If you meet a bonnie lassie,
Gie her a kiss and let her gae;
If you meet a dirty hussey,
Fie, gae rub her o’er wi’ strae!”

From an old Spanish proverb it would seem that the rosemary has long been considered as in some way connected with love:

“Who passeth by the rosemarie
And careth not to take a spraye,
For woman’s love no care has he,
Nor shall he though he live for aye.”

Of flowers and plants employed as love-charms on certain festivals may be noticed the bay, rosebud, and the hempseed on St. Valentine’s Day, nuts on St. Mark’s Eve, and the St. John’s wort on Midsummer Eve.
In Denmark many an anxious lover places the St. John’s wort between the beams under the roof for the purpose of divination, the usual custom being to put one plant for herself and another for her sweetheart. Should these grow together, it is an omen of an approaching wedding.

In Brittany young people prove the good faith of their lovers by a pretty ceremony. On St. John’s Eve, the men, wearing bunches of green wheat ears, and the women decorated with flax blossoms, assemble round an old historic stone and place upon it their wreaths. Should these remain fresh for some time after, the lovers represented by them are to be united; but should they wither and die away, it is a certain proof that the love will as rapidly disappear.

Again, in Sicily it is customary for young women to throw from their windows an apple into the street, which, should a woman pick up, it is a sign that the girl will not be married during the year. Sometimes it happens that the apple is not touched, a circumstance which indicates that the young lady, when married, will ere long be a widow. On this festival, too, the orpine or livelong has long been in request, popularly known as “Midsummer men,” whereas in Italy the house-leek is in demand.

The moss-rose, again, in years gone by, was plucked, with sundry formalities, on Midsummer Eve for love-divination, an allusion to which mode of forecasting the future, as practised in our own country, occurs in the poem of

“The Cottage Girl:”
“The moss-rose that, at fall of dew,
Ere eve its duskier curtain drew,
Was freshly gathered from its stem,
She values as the ruby gem;
And, guarded from the piercing air,
With all an anxious lover’s care,
She bids it, for her shepherd’s sake,
Awake the New Year’s frolic wake:
When faded in its altered hue,
She reads—the rustic is untrue!
But if its leaves the crimson paint,
Her sick’ning hopes no longer faint;
The rose upon her bosom worn,
She meets him at the peep of morn.”

On the Continent the rose is still thought to possess mystic virtues in love matters, as in Thuringia, where girls foretell their future by means of rose-leaves.
A ceremony belonging to Hallowe’en is observed in Scotland with some trepidation, and consists in eating an apple before a looking-glass, when the face of the desired one will be seen. It is thus described by Burns:

“Wee Jenny to her granny says,
‘Will ye gae wi’ me, granny?
I’ll eat the apple at the glass
I gat frae uncle Johnny.’
She fuff’t her pipe wi’ sic a lunt,
In wrath she was sae vap’rin,
She notic’t na an aizle brunt
Her braw new worset apron
Out thro’ that night.
‘Ye little skelpie limmer’s face!
I daur you try sic sportin’
As seek the foul thief ony place,
For him to spae your fortune;
Nae doubt but ye may get a sight!
Great cause ye hae to fear it,
For mony a ane has gotten a fright,
And lived and died deleeret
On sic a night.'”

Hallowe’en also is still a favourite anniversary for all kinds of nut-charms, and St. Thomas was long invoked when the prophetic onion named after him was placed under the pillow. Rosemary and thyme were used on St. Agnes’ Eve with this formula:

“St. Agnes, that’s to lovers kind,
Come, ease the troubles of my mind.”

In Austria, on Christmas Eve, apples are used for divination. According to Mr. Conway, the apple must be cut in two in the dark, without being touched, the left half being placed in the bosom, and the right laid behind the door. If this latter ceremony be carefully carried out, the desired one may be looked for at midnight near the right half. He further tells us that in the Erzgebirge, the maiden, having slept on St. Andrew’s, or Christmas, night with an apple under her pillow, “takes her stand with it in her hand on the next festival of the Church thereafter; and the first man whom she sees, other than a relative, will become her husband.”
Again, in Bohemia, on Christmas Eve, there is a pretty practice for young people to fix coloured wax-lights in the shells of the first nuts they have opened that day, and to float them in water, after silently assigning to each the name of some fancied wooer. He whose little barque is the first to approach the girl will be her future husband; but, on the other hand, should an unwelcome suitor seem likely to be the first, she blows against it, and so, by impeding its progress, allows the favoured barque to win.

In very early times flowers were much in request as love-philtres, various allusions to which occur in the literature of most ages. Thus, in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Oberon tells Puck to place a pansy on the eyes of Titania, in order that, on awaking, she may fall in love with the first object she encounters. Gerarde speaks of the carrot as “serving for love matters,” and adds that the root of the wild species is more effectual than that of the garden. Vervain has long been in repute as a love-philtre, and in Germany now-a-days endive-seed is sold for its supposed power to influence the affections. The root of the male fern was in years gone by used in love-philtres, and hence the following allusion:

“‘Twas the maiden’s matchless beauty
That drew my heart a-nigh;
Not the fern-root potion,
But the glance of her blue eye.”

Then there is the basil with its mystic virtues, and the cumin-see and cyclamen, which from the time of Theophrastus have been coveted for their magic virtues. The purslane, crocus, and periwinkle were thought to inspire love; while the agnus castus and the Saraca Indica (one of the sacred plants of India), a species of the willow, were supposed to drive away all feelings of love. Similarly in Voigtland, the common basil was regarded as a test of chastity, withering in the hands of the impure.

The mandrake, which is still worn in France as a love-charm, was employed by witches in the composition of their philtres; and in Bohemia, it is said that if a maiden can secretly put a sprig of the common clover into her lover’s shoe ere he sets out on a journey, he will be faithful to her during his absence. As far back as the time of Pliny, the water-lily was regarded as an antidote to the love-philtre, and the amaranth was used for curbing the affections. On the other hand, Our Lady’s bedstraw and the mallow were supposed to have the reverse effect, while the myrtle not only created love, but preserved it. The Sicilians still employ hemp to secure the affections of those they love, and gather it with various formalities, fully believing in its potency. Indeed, charms of this kind are found throughout the world, every country having its own special plants in demand for this purpose. However whimsical they may seem, they at any rate have the sanction of antiquity, and can claim an antecedent history certainly worthy of a better cause.

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