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Herb of the Month: Mandrake

Botanical Name: Mandragor officinarum.
Common Names: Mandragor, Brain Thief, Wild Lemon.
Gender: Hot, Masculine.

Planet: Mercury.
Element: Earth.
Deities: Hecate, Hathor.

Folklore: Often resembling a human figure, Mandrake, the common name for the plants of the genus Mandragora, root has been used in magical rituals for centuries, and is still used today in Neopagan, Wiccan, and German Revivalist practices.
The root can be traced back to the Old Testament, where there are accounts of it being used in practices intended to aid fertility. Indeed, the fact that the Hebrew word for mandrake means love plant. Among some Asian cultures, it is also believed to help ensure that conception occurs. Among western legends, it has also long been held that when mandrake is dug up it lets out a scream so terrible that it kills everyone who hears it. Elaborate methods of pulling the root from the earth were therefore devised, with the famous chronicler Josephus even writing of methods involving using a dog to pluck mandrake from the earth so as to keep the man harvesting it from dying.
Mandrake has also long been the source of mystical speculation, with some viewing it as the primordial origin of man, while others have repeatedly written of it as being a key component in the creation of a Homunculus; a creation spoken of in alchemy and other arcane arts that creates something akin to an artificial human.
Folklore also held that mandrake only grew where a hung man had dripped semen to the ground, and that mandrake has potent powers that aid in fending off and protecting against demonic possession.

Medicinal Uses: It is important to note that all parts of the mandrake plant are poisonous. Some herbalist traditions hold that the Mandrake root has hallucinogenic properties and can, in large doses, induce madness and delirium. Contrary perhaps to this common wisdom, some have also claimed that mandrake can be useful as a purgative.
Magical Properties: Protection, Fertility, Love.

Crystal of the Month: Calcite

Colours: Green, blue, yellow, orange, red, pink, clear, and black.
Source: USA, Britain, Belgium, Czech Republic, Iceland, Romania.
Element: Earth.

Folklore: Sometimes referred to as Master Shamanite.
Spiritual Uses: Calcite is a record keeper stone, which can be used to release memories from the past.
Emotional Uses: Alleviates depression, soothes stress and trauma.
Physical Uses: All-purpose healing stone.
Magical Properties: Cleansing, purification, past life work, grounding, a useful stone to work with when dealing with the 'dark night of the soul'.

Skill and effort. Prudence. A new job, and the chance to develop new talents. Development and potential. A hobby could be turned into a profitable business. You rapidly pick up new skills, if used correctly they will advance your career. Effort and hard work. Possibly and apprenticeship. You may receive a small windfall. Friendships will be good. You may wish to train others in your skills.


Image from the Fenestra Tarot.

Card of the Month: Eight of Coins

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