The Herbal Code

In old magickal recipes and spells, strange ingredients were often called for that cannot always be taken literally. In one ancient Greco-Egyptian spell, the recipe called for “the navel of a male crocodile”, which really meant pondweed; “the heart of a baboon” meant oil of lily. The “sacrifice” in folklore was usually an egg buried in the ground.

Dead man: Ash or mandrake root carved in a crude human shape or poppet
Adder’s tongue: Plantain
Bat’s wing: Holly leaf
Bat’s wool: Moss
Blood: Elder sap
Bloody fingers: Foxglove
Bodily fluids: Houseleek
Brains: Congealed gum from a cherry tree
Bull’s blood: Horehound
Corpse candles: Mullein
Crocodile dung: Black earth
Dragon’s scales: Bistort leaves
Ears of an ass: Comfrey
Ears of a goat: St. John’s Wort
Eyes: Eyebright
Fingers: Cinquefoil
Hair: Maidenhair fern
Hand: The expanded frond from a male fern used to make the true hand of glory, which is nothing more than a candle made of wax mixed with fern
Heart: Walnut
Lion’s tooth: Dandelion
Skin of a man: Fern
Skull: Skullcap
Snake: Bistort
Snake’s blood: Hematite stone
Tongue of dog: Hound’s tongue
Tooth or teeth: Pinecones
Unicorn horn: True unicorn root
Worms: Gnarled, thin roots of a local tree

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License