Feb 28, 2015

Traditional folk healing magick

IMPORTANT NOTE: None of the methods described in this article is meant to replace standard treatment of orthodox medicine. They are presented for their spiritual, folkloric and historic value, as well as means of complementary methods to be used alongside, orthodox medicine. Those that are not harmful anyway. I will not (!!!) be held responsible for anyone's lack of  common sense. Full stop. If you are dubious about whether or not you should use some of the methods described or not... You should not. Use that as a rule of thumb.

    Spiritual medicine should never replace the orthodox medicine, and likewise, neither should the orthodox medicine substitute, or suppress spiritual medicine. Each have their own spectrum of effects and influence, which don’t necessarily overlap, though they can. Most of the times, they can work combined, and they can complement each other.  
Abracadabra, the written charm; written in manner
 suggested in "Liber medicinalis" was believed to fence off
misfortune , and banishes and curse diseases. Some ( like
A. Crowley for example ) speculated
that the  true form of the word is : Abrahadabra 

     Let’s illustrate it with an utterly simple example; a person having a fracture should certainly not try to fix their bones with an incantation, but the person stricken with the night-mares, should not get an operation for apnea. It’s not unlike proper physiologically active substance applied for specific condition. Forgetting or putting away the old methods of healing, because we live in a “modern age” is equally stupid, as trying to heal a bacterial infection with the few words of some dodgy chant.  Everything has its place in this world, and tossing away something old ;  that’s effective and working, just to get something new, which is not working, is the ugly example of stupid notion that neophilia is.

     Another, I must say, and excuse the strong language; idiotic, misconception about magickal healing is that some aspects of “alternative” medicine, such as herbal medicine or aromatherapy equate with it. Nonsense, a good deal of alternative medicine, is based on the holistic approach to the medicine, but obviously has rules and limitations, and limits. What more, the mentioned aromatherapy and herbal medicine are extremely scientific, in an orthodox way.  Just because some ideology or practice is old, or even ancient, does neither make it pseudoscience nor magickal. It’s completely astounding to find even people in magickal community, confusing alternative medicine and magickal healing. Magickal healing, unlike alternative medicine, or as I prefer to address to it holistic medicine ( I do crystal therapy myself ), Is plainly neither predictable neither limited. If you have problems differentiating the two (alternative medicine and magickal or spiritual healing), simply keep in mind the two main differences, predictability, and limits. Now that (hopefully) we have obliterated the misconceptions, let’s focus of magikcal healing here, more specifically on folkloric, or traditional healing magick, for we have also the more “modern”, or “up to date” healing magick, like candle work etc., of which I have written before on here.

     Traditional, folkloric and spiritual healing magick and its “modus operandi”

     We could say that the healing magick is indeed an ancient art. Or rather and ancient form of magick. It eventually gave birth to the orthodox medicine. But it never stopped existing itself, and with a good reason. It’s equally effective as it used to be, for conditions which need to be treated with it. Ancient Egyptians would’ve place powdered Malachite on their eyes to prevent the eye infections that were so common in the valley of Nile. Hebrew people would read Psalms, and sometimes would do elaborate community ceremonies, or rituals involving multiple people to heal conditions and restore health Some of which, If we are to trust sources like “Sixth and Seventh book of Moses” to describe these practices accurately, were rather macabre, and involved torturing and maiming animals, as it were ( for example an eye healing ritual requires, among other things, eyes of dog to be pierced with needles, in Sixth and Seven book of Moses psalmody section ). Christian religion is very opulent in examples of miraculous healings performed by Lord Christ Himself, and many Saints as well, including complete restoration of lost organs, limbs etc. St. Cosmas and Damian, were believed to have performed transplantation surgeries, of whole limbs easily and successfully, with the Divine help, as early as in III century.

     Though the magickal and religious/spiritual healing, are definitely not one and the same, the former is certainly influenced by the later. Which can be seen in Christianized chants, appearing throughout Europe, for example, used to cure burns, remove warts… or stop bleeding.  Many of these have found their way into the classic and old, medieval grimoires, and latter texts such as; “Egyptian Secrets” by Albertus Magnus, “Pow-wow’s of along lost friend”, folkloric works of  Henry Middleton Hyatt, “Pettit albert” and consequently many early and even some contemporary farmer’s almanacs. Even during the “burning times” ( Inquisition ), this type of “magick” was considered folk medicine, and was along with the apotropaic magick, condoned, or even coveted, least one was happened to have  any kind of disagreement with  Inquisition authorities. But in such case, even walking down the street, or eating an apple, or washing hair… You name it, the most mundane activity, could have been twisted and turned around, to make-up for a shaky-leg, senseless accusation. Otherwise however, folk healing magick, and apotropaic tricks were completely acceptable. This is another reason, why the information about it, and beliefs survived in great number of cases, in intact, raw forms, and is present in readily accessible sources ( such as public books ).

     And how does exactly the traditional, magickal healing work?  It rarely, or ever, centers on 
magickal and planetary correspondences, or timing, etc. In fact, it has a rather raw approach, based on doctrine of signatures, beliefs, lore and superstitions, as well as    interaction with the spirits.

    Indeed, in Easter Europe, for example, there is abundance of rituals, some surviving from the times of paganism, and others yet more ancient and more modern, trying to appease certain spirits, and to  get them to heal a sick individual, which could either not be cured by orthodox medicine, or was struck with specific, spiritual conditions, or “unnatural”diseases   . In Eastern Europe, another common form of traditional/folk healing rituals involves a form of Fairy magick , that is making pact with the fairies,   and a  interestingly  peculiar example, is one where the sick person is left  to lie next to Burning bush  ( the  REAL burning bush, which would be  Dictamnus albus  and not the decorative Evyonumus ) plant, ritually chosen, and a burning candle with the offering to the fairies. This odd  ritual is performed on the St. George’s day ( as  commemorated in Eastern Orthodox Christian Church ) which falls on 23rd / 24th of April, in a forest where the Burning bush, a mystical plant deemed particularly  sacred to the Fae ( by Slavic people and their descendants ) grows in abundance. But for the ritual to work, the plant must be whole, undamaged, not even as much as single petal being nipped. After a lengthy ceremonial actions, the sick person is left with the candle, and offerings to the Fae ( Cakes, bread, honey, vine etc. ) to sleep through the night, next to chosen plant. Hopefully, I can go into detail on this fascinating custom/ritual on another occasion.

     They can come in form of incantations ( spoken magickal charms ) or written charms, for example, various  charms words written in form of downwards triangle, created by removing a first and last letter from the word, in each next line in which the word is written, like the “Abracadabra” charm for example. There are similar charms, which   too employ the decreasing symbolism in a similar fashion but are rather spoken than written, or in some cases both is done.

     Finally, there are beliefs about the use of specific items, or visiting specific places, that are believed to possess miraculous healing and restorative powers, somewhat alike to those of the Healing relics in Christianity, but to a less degree. A common white, water washed tumbled stone is believed to possess power to remove negative effects of an insect bite or absorb negative emotions, in European witchery, a living hen can be applied directly to the snake bite to absorb the venom, in Native American lore, sacred wells contain healing power that can remove even terminal sickness and replace it with health, or even regenerate tissues and cells, in worldwide spread folklore and Neo-paganism. In both Vodoun and contemporary Voodoo,  there is a notion of a “cure-all”, an preparation, or a charm, that is supposed to be  an universal cure, somewhat like early herbal medicine tonics, which were not to cure a specific aliment but rather to improve and restore health in whole, in general.

    So the charms, incantations and items in the folkloric healing magick, seem to contain innate healing powers, which do not even need to be directed in any specific way, as it’s often done in modern rituals. They do not need grounding, focusing, centering or releasing energy, nor is the knowledge about the specific, spell or ritual needed, beyond the very instructions. They may appear with a closing word “probatum”[1] in older Grimoires, which serves to illustrate this notion; and implies  that they have been proved to be efficient  by experience or trials/ experiment.

    And before, proceeding to illustrate with examples, let’s just make it clear, that folk healing magick, is usually concerned with specific   set of conditions, which may or may not be treated by orthodox medicine as well. As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, spiritual or magickal healing treats some conditions for which orthodox medicine experts readily accept, that there is no known cure or even treatment to them, and often considers removing spiritual conditions such as “witchcraft”, “curse” or “evil spirits” an act of  healing.

     So called “witch cake” is Your typical example of folk diagnosing and healing magick, even though it was ( supposedly ) the reason for one of the very  first witch trials as recorded in Salem. [2]
     Following are some examples to illustrate, or to be put to use. The sane ones obviously, If a magickal recipe tells You to drink sulphur or acid, is there really anyone else to blame but Yourself, If You do it ? That being said, before You proceed; please, read once again the IMPORTANT NOTE, posted at the beginning of this article, for , once again, I will not be held responsible for anyone’s lack of common sense.

To remove a toothache

“To remove a toothache, wrap a barley straw around a stone and throw it into running water saying:
Oh, pain in my teeth,
Trouble me not so greatly!
Do not come to me,
My mouth is not thy house,
I love thee not at all
Stay thou away from  me;
When the straw is in the brook
Go away into the water”[3]

(In this example, we can notice the application of  innless-absorbing  qualities of the stone, and barley’s toothache healing properties, combined with the principle of binding and transferring magic. While still simple in terms   of  plain performance, this one is a bit more complex in symbolism than  your average folk healing magick procedures) *

Voodoo cure all recipe

Mixing Jimsonweed, with Sulphur and honey, in a glass, rubbing it against black cat and then sipping slowly, was supposed to cure all ills and pains and solve all problems, according to Louisiana Voodoo beliefs. (!!! ) [4]

(Of course that Jimsonweed is poisonous, and that Sulphur is harmful)

To cure any illness; witchcraft method

To cure any illness bore a hole into the side of a living tree, and spit into it three times strongly. Then cover up a hole” [5]

To heal a burn

     A traditional, cunning folk method for healing the burns, from United Kingdom. Blow on the place where the burn is thrice, as you chant:

“Three Angels came from North, East and West,
One brought fire, another brought frost,
And the third brought the Holy Ghost
So out fire and in frost
In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost “   [6]

(The very chant comes in many variations, the variables are most often the number of angels, two or three, or mention of ladies/giants/wise men instead of angels, or the directions from where they came. The chant is also popular in some parts of America)

Wart charming

     A common method of removing warts, includes decomposition of some organic substance, that   had been used to rub it against the wart, followed by appropriate chants/incantations. Incantations are many, they differ from place to place, or even person to person, but they are usually very short, they are easy to learn by heart, and they rhyme.
     Often it’s suggested that they are done, for three, five, seven or nine  ( rarely more )  consecutive days, during the waning moon phase, preferably, finishing on the day prior to the new Moon.
     So for example, one is to take potato, slice it on two halves, rub one half over the wart, as they chant something like this:

One, two, three,
warts go away from me,
one, two, three, four,
never come back no more” [7]

     And then the potato would be buried in ground to rot or decompose.  Sometimes, it’s suggested to  rub the wart counterclockwise, 7 or 9 times, simultaneously chanting the chant for seven, or nine time,    and then bury whatever was used to rub the wart in the ground, and no more  repeating of the  ritual was needed. Frequently used are also apple, and bean seeds to rub the   wart.

     Another popular method was to prick and make bleed the wart with a sharp-pointed object such as needle, or pin, or nail, and then bury it. Alternatively, some methods require to prick the wart, then let some blood drip on the piece or paper, or another object (in some versions   a coin), then leave the object on the crossroads for someone to pick it up. When someone does, the warts would pass on them, hence another example of magick of transfer.

     Finally there were some liquids believed to cure warts effectively, like dandelion root juice, lemon juice, vinegar, urine and other, but it’s not always clear which  one of those  were plainly a mundane and which a magickal cure.

To remove toothache II    

     A Christian influenced prayers speaking of Lord Christ walking to find Peter (or Peter and Paul, or some other characters too, sometimes unknown men), who cries and complains on toothache and the Lord heals him, is another very popular charm in Europe and the States. It seems to suffice for a healer just to utter it with respect,   for the afflicted person to be rid of the toothache. One version goes like this:

Peter and Paul sat on a marble stone,
Jesus came alone,
Peter, said he, what makes you quake?
Lord and master, it’s the toothache.
Arise, Peter and be healed!” [8]
     These type of prayers are thought to rely on symbolism and channeling of Healing powers of the Lord through, reenacting the situation, as it were.

To stop bleeding

Was it not a happy hour when, when Jesus Christ was born, was it not a fortunate hour when Jesus Christ arose from the dead. These three blissful hours stop thy    bleeding, and heal thy    wounds, that they may not swell or fester, and within three or nine days be well again” [9] 
( If You ever desire to try this ; I’d issue a word of advice, I don’t suppose it’s meant to somehow magickaly cauterize the wound, instead, after   using some first aid methods, like cleaning/disinfecting the wound, putting a plaster/bandage etc.  recite over wound three times to ensure that the blood stops and healing starts ).

To remove fever

Recite the following, as many times as You can


I have actually used this one with great success, as well as the next one, with the same purpose. It comes from Rabbi Eleazar of the Worms, from the Middleages.

To remove fever II

Hold a handful of salt for a while (I use right hand), then toss it into flames, while saying: “Sickness burn, good health return!”

To cure unnatural eye disease

In the Hebrew lore, a demon called Shabriri, is believed to weaken the eyesight, cause blindness, and several waterborne diseases. To prevent it from accomplishing such effect, once a person starts feeling negative changes, in regard to their eyesight, they should recite:

My mother  told  me to beware of Shabriri, briri, riri, iri, ri!” various times.

In case of waterborne diseases; one is to write the decreasing demon name, in an inverted triangle fashion, starting with “Shabriri”, and ending with “ri”, and carry it on oneself. It’s both considred to protect and cure from the waterborne diseases. [10]

NOTES: This article was written and composed by myself. If You  desire to use any  parts of it  elsewhere online  feel free, but add credits (!!!);  Shadow of the Shadows magick place,  Shadow-333@hotmail.com or a direct link to this post. 


* Text in the brackets following the examples, is my own commentary
[1] See “Egyptian secrets: or white and black art for men and   beast” by Albertus Magnus for examples
[2] Read more about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tituba
[3] Quoted from: “Witches potions and spells” by Kathryn Paulsen, page 28st Peter Pauper Press 1971st
[5] Quoted from same source as given under [3] page 29th
[6] The chant text is retrieved from: http://www.folklore.ee/folklore/vol24/verbcharm.pdf , Cassandra   Eason mentions this method of healing burns, saying   how the person who uses the chant  blows three times on the burn; that is how it’s custom done In Summerset. In her book  : “Encyclopedia of magick and ancient wisdom “
[7] Chant retrieved form: “New perspectives on witchcraft, magic and demonology; Volume 5; Witchcraft, healing and popular diseases” , edited by  Brian P. Levack
[8] As under [7] pg 28th
[9] Retrieved from the title suggested under [1]
[10] According to   E. A. Wallis Budge; as stated in his “Amulets and Superstitions”,  though also mentioned in   the Talmud  , Pesachim  112

IMAGE CREDITS:  Photo  taken, and edited digitally by my minority

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