Friday, February 18, 2011


I have no idea why I'm posting about garlic tonight. I was moved. A voice whispered in my ear that I need to learn more about this, but I don't quite understand yet... In my house, garlic was important. Sure, it's important in every Italian home, but for us it was IMPORTANT.

Garlic is antibacterial, and your body doesn't get used to it they way it does to chemical antibiotics. It helps lower cholesterol, blood pressure, is an anti-oxidant, fights cancer tumors, protects the heart,

Fanfuckingtastic! But they didn't know this stuff 100 years ago. They didn't even know all of it (as per scientific research) 30 years ago. So why did my family love and use this stuff like it was Ambrosia? (another dish they liked to make!)

My grandfather would drink garlic water (an infusion of garlic and water, shaken daily for a while, and kept in the fridge once it was ready), at certain times of the year. He said it helped his blood pressure. Nice to lie to an 8 year old, huh? Arrite, he didn't lie, it's great for blood pressure, but I didn't learn what it was about until years later. I'm not going to tell you, I'll just point you in the direction: Garlic kills ergot, the psychedelic fungi found on grain (thought to be part of the Eleusinian mysteries). Ergot also grows on sorghum. Sorghum was used by Malandanti while Benandanti used fennel, another staple of my home life.

In their battles, the Malandanti had the psychedelic fungus growing plant on their side, while the Benandanti had the purifying, courage and strength building, counter-magick/protection from evil sorcery herb on their side. And garlic gave them an advantage. If ergot was the Malandanti ride to the match, the Benandanti could stop them from ever showing up and win the battle over the harvest by forfeit.  

It not only repels someone talking to you from stink breath, it's also thought to repel negativity, untoward spirits, and the evil eye, or jettatura. It was found in King Tut's tomb. Looks like it was there to help him in the afterlife. What could garlic do that a Shabti couldn't?

Garlic is offered to Hekate at crossroads and during the Nemoralia.
Odysseus uses garlic to escape Circe's pig curse.
Greek Athletes ate it before competition Soldiers ate it before battle and Roman soldiers planted it in conquered lands.
According to Pliny, garlic and onions were invoked as deities by the Egyptians at the taking of oaths.
Greek midwives would hang garlic cloves in the house with a birthing mother to keep the evil spirits away.
Dreaming that there is "garlic in the house" is supposedly lucky; to dream about eating garlic means you will discover hidden secrets.

I'm off to bed now, hopefully to dream about eating garlic ;)

If you're not into the smell, perhaps some sympathetic magic with a garlic amulet?

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