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Egyptian

Garlic

Garlic is an herb that people either love or hate. Those who hate it can’t seem to get passed its…fragrant nature long enough to discover its bountiful deliciousness. 😉 Garlic is without a doubt my favorite herb. I use it every chance I get.

It is quite a handy thing to have around, especially if you’re a Witch! It is widely renowned for its uses in the Culinary, Healing, and Magickal Arts. Garlic has been grown and used in all three aforementioned Arts for roughly 5000 years. It was widely used in ancient Egypt, India, China, and Babylonia. If one were to travel through these ancient lands you would see garlic offered up to Gods, people using it for the swearing of oaths, and also its use as a form of currency.

I’m going to talk a little about the Magickal & Medicinal uses today, so I guess I’d better start off by saying that I am not a medical professional, nor a licensed Herbalist. Anything I say is based on books I have read, as well as my own personal experience. So, don’t take my word for it, do your own research, and be sure to consult a qualified Health Care Provider if you are ill. (Thus ends my “Hey, don’t sue me if this doesn’t work blah-blah-blah” message 😉 ).

This aromatic bulb is sacred to Hecate and is left at crossroads to honor Her. On a personal note, I was thrilled when I discovered garlic’s link to my lovely Patroness. It seemed yet another one of those little clues left by The Universe that She has been with me throughout my life…even when I was not yet aware.

Among garlic’s uses are Exorcism, Protection, Purification, Lust, and Health. Most notable is its use in Vampire Lore to keep the lively blood suckers at bay. Which, thankfully, The Vampire Diaries has not subscribed to…keeping my dreams of a Date with Damon Salvatore alive! lol *ehem* Well, anyway…back to uses.

Some ways to use Garlic in your Magickal Life:

)O( Hang strands of garlic in your pantry to protect food stores from vermin.

)O( Place cloves of garlic above doorways to keep illness and evil from entering your home.

)O( Carry for protection against storms, as well as physical & psychic attacks.

)O( Braid of garlic hung above entryways to your home will keep away thieves and other unwelcome guests.

)O( Burn garlic skins indoors to ensure prosperity and harmony within the home.

)O( Hang a braid of garlic above your bedroom door to draw a Lover to it.

Garlic Correspondences

Botanical Name Allium Sativum
Folk Name(s) Ajo, Poor Man’s Penicillin , Stinkweed, Stinking Rose
Part(s) Used Cloves, Whole Bulbs, Flowers
Gender Masculine
Nature Yin (Active)
Planet Mars
Element Fire
Deities Hecate, Kali Maa, Mars
Magickal Associations Exorcism, Health, Lust, Mental Clarity, Protection, Purification, Vigor (Physical Energy)
Astrological Signs Aries, Scorpio

Medicinally, garlic is truly a healing herb to be reckoned with! It has properties that make it effective as an anti-viral, an anti-fungal, an anti-biotic (even effective against antibiotic resistant bacteria), at reducing cholesterol, as well as boosting immune system functions.

Probably the oldest written record of garlic’s healing abilities is the ancient Egyptian text Codex Elsers, dated around 1500 BCE. Within this ancient medical guide are instructions for 22 remedies that facilitate garlic as a cure for heart disease, worms, and even tumors. Garlic continued to be used for these ailments even once the herb was brought to The Americas. I find it astounding that the Native tribes of the New World came to use the herb for the same ailments as the Egyptians did centuries before.

So how does it work? Its bulbs contain compounds that can form allicin by way of an enzymatic reaction that is activated by crushing or chopping it. Allicin reduces cholesterol and reduces stiffness of blood vessels, making it integral in treating and preventing Heart Disease. Garlic is also jam packed with anti-oxidants (compounds that protect cells from damage that can lead to ailments such as cancer, atherosclerosis, inflammation and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkison’s & Alzheimer’s). Some of these power-house bits of nutrients are beta carotene, zea-xanthin, and Vitamin C, just to name a few. 

Here’s some Dosage Info via WebMD:

For High Blood Pressure –  Fresh garlic 4 grams (approximately one clove) once daily, by mouth. (Fresh garlic typically contains 1% alliin)

For prevention of Colon, Rectal, and Stomach cancer – Fresh or cooked garlic 3.5-29 grams weekly, by mouth.

Here’s a little chart of Vitamin & Mineral Info I compiled. As you can see, you get a lot of bang for your buck with this bulbous beauty!

Garlic Nutritional Information

Amount of Nutrient per 136g

% of RDA per 136g

Calcium 246 mg 25%
Copper .4 mg 20%
Iron 2.3 mg 13%
Magnesium 34 mg 8%
Manganese 2.3 mg 114%
Phosphorus 208 mg 21%
Potassium 545 mg 16%
Selenium 19.3 mcg 28%
Sodium 23.1 mg 1%
Zinc 1.6 mg 11%
Vitamin A 12.2 IU 0%
Vitamin C 42.4 mg 71%
Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol) .1 mg 1%
Vitamin K 2.3 mcg 3%
Thiamin .3 mg 18%
Riboflavin .1 mg 9%
Niacin 1 mg 5%
Vitamin B6 1.7 mg 84%
Folate 4.1 mcg 1%
Pantothenic Acid .8 mg 8%
Choline 31.6 mg N/A
Omega-3 Fatty Acids 27.2 mg
Omega-6 Fatty Acids 311 mg

Source: Nutrient data for this listing was compiled from USDA SR-21. Percent Daily Values (%DV) are for adults or children aged 4 or older, and are based on a 2,000 calorie reference diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower based on your individual needs.

Personally, I use raw garlic to cure pretty much whatever ails me. If I feel that I’m getting a cold, or other viral nasty (particularly one involving a sore throat), I start chopping garlic to put in my eggs & mashed potatoes.

With Mashed Potatoes, I prepare the potatoes, then mix in a few cloves of chopped raw garlic. It makes the potatoes taste fabulous, but more importantly, the potatoes make the raw garlic more palatable and less harsh on the stomach.

With scrambled eggs I use 1-2 cloves chopped and thrown in with 2 eggs. The eggs cook so quickly, that the garlic is merely warmed. Once again, the eggs taste great, and the eggs help protect the stomach from being overwhelmed by the garlic.

A little additional info for nursing Moms. While using garlic for medicinal purposes while nursing isn’t harmful to your baby, it will likely change the taste of breast milk, which could have an adverse effect on your babies nursing habits. So I advise using much caution. (Don’t want the wee ones to stop eating!)

Alrighty! Now, if you’re looking for more info. I recommend:

Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs

Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Wicca in the Kitchen

Herbal Antibiotics by Stephen Harrod Buhner

The Cherokee Herbal by J.T. Garrett

Now go forth and nom on some Garlic!

Eclectic WitchcraftEclecticism can meet with a certain level of scorn, judgment and/or dismissal by some in the Pagan Community. Some think that we’re just plain indecisive. Raymond Buckland even omits Eclectics from the conversation altogether in both his “Complete Book of Witchcraft” and “The Witch Book” –which is meant to be an encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca & Neo-Paganism.

The idea that this path is somehow “less valid” than the paths of those who follow more

“established” traditions– Gardnerian, Alexandrian,  Dianic, Celtic, Romani, Strega, and British Traditional Witchcraft, just to name a few– doesn’t make sense to me. I know, I know you’re probably thinking “of course it doesn’t make sense to you, you’re one of those Eclectic Types”. Yes I am, but the reason it doesn’t make sense is held in the concept of “All Paths Lead to the Divine” that most pagans also tend to believe. It seems like some believe that one’s path must be an established path…but think about it…While Witchcraft, in one form or another, has been around for centuries, Wicca itself (in it’s capacity as a somewhat organized ‘non-organized religion’) is a fairly new path. So, viewing a path of Eclectic Witchcraft as somehow invalid in comparison seems rather short-sighted to me…but I guess that’s for others to discover in their own time.

ec·lec·tic [ih-klek-tik] adjective: 1. selecting or choosing from various sources. 2. made up of what is selected from different sources. 3. not following any one system, as of philosophy, medicine, etc., but selecting and using what are considered the best elements of all systems.” dictionary.com

The spiritual world of the Eclectic Witch, or at least this Eclectic Witch, is not as easy as many may think. With the exception of my Core Beliefs, it has taken much time and study to form my personal practice (which is still under construction, even after almost 11 yrs of study). I also tend to disagree a bit with the definition of “eclectic” in that I didn’t select the components that make up the foundation of my practice. What I mean is, I didn’t set out at the beginning of my journey thinking I would end up with a little of this and a little of that…nor did I seek out the elements that my practice is comprised of. These elements presented themselves to me…but, I guess they were selected by someone, so I’ll not quibble about it.

My Core Beliefs are notions that have been with me for the majority of my life…they’ve just acquired shiny new labels along the way.

My Core Beliefs:

)O( Everything Happens for a ReasonGood/Evil, Sickness/Health, Happy Events/Sad Events…Everything we witness and experience has a lesson held somewhere within. The goal is to learn as much as possible, as this not only helps to understand and accept the events of One’s own Journey but also makes it possible to help others who may need assistance in understanding their own Journey.

)O( Everything is Connected – All living things and most matter are comprised of the same chemical elements. Beyond this, all things are made up of molecules, atoms, particles, etc…all of which are made of: Energy. Energy is exchanged between all things (albeit at different rates of exchange). I have sensed this connection between people, animals, and the whole of Nature since I was a child. As Carl Sagan once said: We are all made of star-stuff.

Our Sun is a second- or third-generation star. All of the rocky and metallic material we stand on, the iron in our blood, the calcium in our teeth, the carbon in our genes were produced billions of years ago in the interior of a red giant star. We are made of star-stuff.” ~Carl Sagan

)O( Do No Harm, But Take No Shit. I follow The Rede to the best of my humanly ability. I am not one who interprets it as a license for others to use me as a doormat, however. I try my best not to impose harm on any living creature (Mosquitoes and roaches are exempt from this though…I just can’t abide them *shudders*, so I’m willing to risk any Universal repercussions), but as The Rede is meant to not impose harm upon anyone including myself, I have no problem defending myself or my loved ones…whether that includes physical or magickal means (These are not to be used casually).

)O( Justice is Blind, Karma Sees Everything, and Boy do They Talk! – Meaning, that if you are going to do something, be mindful that there may be consequences and you should be prepared for them. If you ask for true Justice in any given situation, be prepared to pay for whatever part you may have played in the event, even if your part was unintended.

My Primary Deities:

)O( Hecate – Greek/Thracian Goddess of the Crossroads, Transformation, Childbirth, Witchcraft, Justice

)O( Anubis – Egyptian God of the Dead/Underworld, Embalming, Keeper of Poisons & Medicines, Protector of the Scales. Patron of Lost Souls & Orphans.

)O( Brighid – Celtic Goddess of Fire: the Fire of Poetic Inspiration and Divination, the Fire of Healing and Fertility, and the Fire of Metal-Working and Crafts

)O( Pan Greek God of Nature, Shepherds, Flocks, Goats, Mountain Regions, Sexuality and Fertility

)O( Danu Celtic Goddess of Fertility, Knowledge, Wisdom, Abundance, Mother of the Faeries, Protector of the Land and Waters

)O( Ganesha – Hindu God of Education, Knowledge, Wisdom and Wealth, Lord of Obstacles and Lord of Success

Now, this group of Gods & Goddesses may seem like quite an odd mash-up to most. In fact it was even odd for me for a while. Each of these deities revealed themselves to me in their own time…I never went looking for them, as I never expected to have any other ‘regular’ Gods & Goddesses beyond Hecate & Anubis, but they seem to have other ideas.

Yesterday it occurred to me why this group is indeed perfect for me (something THEY were all undoubtedly aware of). As Pagans and Witches we are very often talking about the belief that we all contain the Divine within. Well, when looking at my seemingly indiscriminate Pantheon, I discovered that each one of the deities it contains speak to the very traits, skills, drives, and desires that make me who I am. This group truly represents the core of my being…I have to say, that was one hell of a revelation!

New discoveries and ideas regarding my practice are coming to me every day it seems…and what I’ve shared with you is really just a glimpse at some of the bones of its structure. The idea was to convey the message that Eclecticism is not a willy-nilly flight of fancy, but a legitimate spiritual path that is not always chosen, but is sometimes thrust upon those who embark upon it. Not to say that there aren’t a good many flakes out there using the Eclectic brand…but, aren’t there a few in every religion? lol However, even the ‘flakes’ are on a path…who the hell am I to say they’re wrong?

But I digress…

It can sometimes be quite difficult to find the connections between the components of one’s spiritual system. This is true regardless of what path you follow. There are always revelations and epiphanies to be had…always a new level of understanding and connectedness to be achieved. Witchcraft, whatever the tradition, is a path of Mystery. It can often seem dark, unknowable, even daunting…but the discoveries we make along the way illuminate the next portion of our Path, whatever label we may give it.