Mandrake - Mandragora officinale *Poison*
Folk Names: Alraun, Anthropomorphon,
Baaras, Brain Thief, Circeium, Circoea,
Galgenmannchen, Gallows, Herb of Circe,
Haxenmannchen, Ladykins, Mandragen,
Mandragor, Mannikin, Racoon Berry,
Semihomo, Wild Lemon, Womandrake,
Sorcerer's Root, Witches' Mannikin
Planet: Mercury and Venus
Deity: Hecate, Hathor
Power: Protection, Fertility, Money,
Love, Lust, Health
Mandrake is a very powerful herb in love magick, and certainly one of the most deadliest. Roots 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. (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.)
Mandrake has been used to invoke various deities (Circe, Diana, Saturn, etc.), and is considered to enhance creativity.
Ingestion of minute prepared portions is reputed to enhance psychic awareness & abilities, and when used properly in magickal spells mandrake is used to increase sexual desire
A whole mandrake root, placed on the mantel in the home, will give the house protection, fertility,and prosperity. Mandrake is also hung on the headboard for protection during sleep, carried to attract love, and worn to prevent contraction of illnesses.
The root can be carried by women who want to concieve, and men who want to cure impotency. Where there is mandrake, demons cannot reside, and so the root is used in exorcism.
To 'activate' a dried mandrake root (i.e., to bring its powers out of hibernation), place it in some prominent location in the house and leave it there undisturbed for three days. Then place it in warm water and leave overnight. Afterwards, the root is activated and may be used in any magical practice. The water in which the root has bathed can be sprinkled at the windows and doors of the house to protect it, or onto people to purify them.
The mandrake has also long served as a poppet in image magic, but its extreme scarcity and high cost usually forces the magician and Witch to look for substitutes; ash roots, apples, the root of the briony, the American may-apple and many others have been used.
Money placed beside a mandrake root (especially silver coins) is said to double, and the scent of the mandrake causes sleep
A piece of the root immersed in a chalice of water and set in the moonlight each night until the moon becomes full, creates 'Moon Water' (which is used in purification & lunar rituals). Mandrake also plays a part in several very potent sex-magick rituals.
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.
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. ( REMEMBER THIS IS POISON!!)
Many Gypsies carry a piece of mandrake with them, either on their person or in their vardo. It is first and foremost a protection amulet. But in addition, it can be a positive love amulet. Take the piece of mandrake and hold it in the smoke of a wood fire onto which alder or juniper twigs have been thrown. Turn the mandrake root in the smoke and chant the following:
Yek, dui, trin, (one, two, three)
Yek, dui, trin,
Let my luck from here begin.
Protect and keep me all my days
And bring true love in all the ways.
Let my heart so joyful be;
Shoon, dick, te rig dre zi.
(Hear, see, and bear in mind.)
Place the piece of mandrake in a green silken bag, which can be hung from around the neck.
The mandrake root grows naturally to resemble a human figure. The American mandrake (Podophyllum peltatum) is not related to the European variety (Mandragora officinarum, or Atropa mandragora) but can be substituted magickally with good result. All varieties are poisonous, so they should not be taken internally except under medical supervision.
Mandrake has a large brown root (like a parsnip), running 3 to 4 feet into the ground. The root is thick and is frequently forked like two legs. It has a short stem topped by ovate leaves. Its fruit consists of orange-coloured fleshy berries. Another species of mandrake, Mandragora autumnalis, flowers in winter on the island of Rhodes, and has beautiful mauve and mauve-white blossoms. The fruit, the golden red love apples, ripens in May. The mandrake is sometimes phosphorescent, and has a pale light glowing at night.
Legend goes harvesting the mandrake had its own perils. While the glow made it easy to find, the herb shrank back when touched, and just touching it could be fatal. So the root collectors would dig carefully all around it until only a small portion of the root remained buried. Then they would tie a black dog to the plant with a cord, and walk away. Of course, the dog would pull the root out to go to the master, and die as a result. But in exchange for the dogs death, it was believed that the master obtained an infallible charm against demons. After the plant had been freed from the earth, it could be used safely for medical purposes.
The mandrake a potent herb that can kill, has also been regarded as an important source of therapeutic medicines. In ancient times it was used as both a narcotic and an aphrodisiac, and as late as the Middle Ages, a dose of the oddly shaped root was given to patients as a narcotic before surgery. It was also taken to induce love, that would lead to pregnancy, and to aid soothing sleep.