A dried mandrake root placed on the mantelpiece will protect and bring happiness and prosperity to the household. It will also prevent demons from entering. Placed on top of money, it will make the money multiply. A mandrake root can be used as a poppet for sympathetic magic. It can also be carved into various shapes for magical use. Imagined by the ancients to look human in form and was often pictured in various texts as a man with a very long beard, or a woman with a very bushy head of hair. If the root was split into two, it was considered female. If not, it was male. The Female roots were the most valuable and believed to be a useful charm to promote luck and wealth.
The plant was said to grow under the gallows of murderers, sprung from the bodily drippings of criminals and to shriek when dug up. The sound would kill a man or drive him insane. So, to avoid this fate, you were supposed to tie a dog to the plant and he would pull it up and die in the man’s place. Some legends say that you could harvest only after sunset, or that you must draw a circle with a sword or wand three times around the plant before harvesting. Once harvested, a witch must wash it in wine and wrap it in silk for storage.
Little dolls were sometimes made of mandrake roots and kept to aid the household and answer important questions. Possession of one of these mandrake dolls could be used as evidence during witch trials.
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