Garlic Magic and Spells: 8th HOUSE BITES
Updated: Jan 29
Herbs are part of the many gifts from nature to human beings. One can find many books today on the importance of herbs for human health and nutrition.
However, a journey to uncover the hidden powers of herbs, one would have to go back into time. Many writers quote ancient texts to highlight the use of herbs in ancient societies around the world. The ancient texts are referred to as wisdom of the past which can guide all of humanity today.
In this regard, garlic is also a wonder from nature used since time immemorial. (also see discussions on whether garlic is a herb, vegetable or spice?). Richard S. Rivlin refers to garlic as the oldest documented example of herb used for maintenance of health and treatment of disease. Rivlin cites old texts from Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, India, China etc. He refers to these writings as "folk wisdom" for the contemporary times. (Rivlin, Historical Perspective on the Use of Garlic, The Journal of Nutrition, American Society for Nutritional Sciences, 2001).
Evil people and evil eye
In another context, Cunningham's Encyclopedia on Magical Herbs associates garlic with protection, healing, exorcism and anti-theft. The book talks about the various ways garlic was used in the past to guard from diseases. The process either involved rubbing garlic on wounds or wearing garlic cloves around the neck and performing a ritual. It was carried by soldiers for courage.
For warding off evil eye or evil people, Garlic was either hung outside the home or kept inside the homes. A bite of garlic was often taken when people felt an evil presence around them. (Scott Cunningham, Encyclopedia on Magical Herbs, 2005).
Self Defense Strategy
Clickner sheds light on why garlic is so potent. He writes, the stink/smell of garlic is part of its its "self defense strategy". Once rubbed or crushed, the smell wards off the bacteria/bad luck.
In Eastern Europe it was believed that evil spirits were repelled with bad smell and thus garlic was placed on corpses. Garlic was also used to weaken the powers of the vampires. (A Miscellany of Garlic by Trina Clickner).
Moura talks of the other uses of garlic in her book Green Witchcraft.
She writes about transference magic in which evil eye coming from jealousy or hatred can be transferred into garlic or objects by following a certain methodology. The books also mentions about the use of garlic for transferring illnesses from human body to the garlic, provided permission is sought from the garlic for doing so. The garlic has the power to absorb the illness and make the person healthy again.
Interestingly, many writers mention that ancient garlic related rituals and traditions might still be practiced in many parts of the world. Quoting from book Signs and Symbols, the ancient superstition concerning garlic's protective powers against vampires persists, even today. (DK, Signs and Symbols, Penguin Random House, 2019).
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