Medieval Love Spells Medieval Love Spells. Valentine’s Day is all about love — mutual love and shared love. But what if love is unrequited or one-sided? The problem, as always, is not a new one. It was well-known in ancient …
Medieval Love Spells
Medieval Love Spells
Medieval Love Spells. Valentine’s Day is all about love — mutual love and shared love. But what if love is unrequited or one-sided? The problem, as always, is not a new one. It was well-known in ancient and medieval times alike, but different people had their own ways of dealing with it. Some people simply believed in persuasion. Some nice words on a bench may break the ice and turn the lover’s heart in the desired direction. ‘You can try this with men or women alike’, as the caption of the image says.
What was the ancient Greek love potion?
The debate as to whether the Knights Templar were an underground pagan or Gnostic order continues. I watched a documentary recently in which the Knights Templar scholar swears the worship of the head was true. This piece reminds me of the Celts’ concept of the soul being housed in the head. It’s reminiscent of Bran’s legend, the giant Celtic god whose head was placed where the Tower of London stands. His ghostly head guards England from invaders to this day. Others say the head might have actually been representative or the actual head of John the Baptist.
In 1348, King Edward III was holding court when a woman unexpectedly dropped her garter in front of the King and his men. One of the men snarled and snared and made a comment about how disgusting and offensive it was of this woman to allow her garter to slip (or some such tomfoolery). But King Edward III saw it as a good sign, picked it up, and forbade his men from ever making ill comments about it again. Why would he defend such an unseemly gesture? Legend has it the woman was actually a witch, and King Edward III was defending the Old Pagan Religion. In fact, King Edward III took this sign and ran with it. He then created the Royal Order of the Garter – a group of knights held in the highest regard that still exists to this day! Medieval Love Spells
For as long as there has been illness, there have been those who believed they could be cured with herbal remedies and magic charms. The Middle Ages were no different. There were alchemists, wizards, midwives, cunning folk, and others who claimed to know how to use herbs to heal or harm. Typically the herbal remedy was prepared in a ritual way with prayers or incantations said over them before administering to the ill. Herbs combined with faith healing seemed to be the norm.
The Lacnunga is a Medieval Anglo-Saxon book of remedies dating to at least the 10th century with remedies that are much older. The most well-known part of the Lacnunga is the 9 Herbs Prayer. The first part of the prayer goes like this:
“Mind you mugwort
what you disclosed
what you rendered
oldest of plants
you mighty against 3
and against 30
you mighty against poison
and against infection
You mighty against the evil
that fares through the land”
The 9 sacred Anglo-Saxon herbs are mugwort, plantain, shepherd’s purse, nettle, betony, chamomile, crab apple, chervil, and fennel. This was an effective remedy for a skin condition caused by infection and inflammation. These herbs were ground down and then made into a paste as a salve to put on the skin. Of course, while preparing said salve, the preparer was also to say the prayer/incantations and focus on the healing energy of each ingredient.
Chateaus and haunted castles have to be my favorite aspects of Medieval magic. And Europe is FULL of them! From Scotland to France to Italy and everywhere in between, here are just a couple of intriguing fortresses where the mystical melds with the mortifying.