Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Sweet Flag and MAGICK!

The sweet flag has been associated with homoerotic love, but it also is associated with magick!When I created the alukah potion, I took many of the attributes of the calamus plant from folk and homeopathic medecine.And then I added the special ingredients to produce a concoction that was part aphrodisiac - something hinted at throughout the story - and something otherworldly.
Here is some trivia relating to its use in magick.
BTW, for those of you who know Brigid from The Shimmering Flame, my Urban Fantasy with Liquid Silver Books, the goddess Brigid is also associated with the calamus root! Go figure!

Sweet cane, a synonym for calamus, is named as an ingredient in the Biblical anointing oil as well as in oil of Abramelin, which appears to be based on the Biblical oil. Although calamus has a firm place in so-called white magick, it is named after a young man who was in love with another fellow who drowned; he mourned for so long at the bank of the stream where his love was lost that the gods felt mercy on him and turned him into a reed. Inspired partly by that myth and partly by the very phallic shape of this plant's flowers, Walt Whitman wrote a series of poems about male/male love called the Calamus series... So this plant is also an excellent candidate for lavender magick as well as white.

Calamus loves watery places, and for that reason many have allied this plant with the Moon. But there is nothing Moon-like about this magick herb. The medicinal root is said to be stimulating and warming, not sedative and cooling. Since the root does grow in water, this plant must have a mighty fire to stimulate and warm under such conditions. It also has a yellow flower and certainly has a masculine form. For all of these reasons, it belongs to the Sun.

True, it is not a sunflower, but maybe we need to allow the planetary influences a little more depth.
The fresh root is especially fragrant, but it has to be dried to be infused in oil. Try infusing the fresh root in wine, spirits of cane (rum), or plain alcohol to capture its slightly different scent. The fresh root smells a little more citrusy; the dried root is spicier and warmer. The leaves are also fragrant, although less so, and can be woven into shapes for ritual use.

Altogether, this plant is a fine addition to the pagan garden. This plant is also known as sweet root, sweet rush, sweet cane, sweet flag, gladdon, sweet myrtle, myrtle grass, myrtle sedge, and cinnamon sedge.

So there you have it, the many reasons why my story just had to be titled
The Sweet Flag.

1 comment:

Savanna Kougar said...

Fascinating, Jeanne, I just love herbs, using them and knowing the lore and the medicinal properties.