A glimpse into the magical past

A glimpse into our magical past

The cool thing about working on a manuscript is that you get to look at things from a different perspective. For example, I have been seeing clear patterns in the magical uses of the plants I discuss. Those patterns are very interesting, because they tell me all kinds of things about our ancestors. I sort of catch a glimpse into our magical past.

Love and libido

For example, there are a huge number of magical ways to attract love and considerably fewer to keep the love alive. Was it because, eons ago, divorce wasn’t really a thing anyway? Sex was clearly something to be concerned about; the ways to boost low libido were plentiful. A libido that was too high turned out to be less of a problem.

Who’s afraid of the wicked witch?

Apparently, people also often felt unsafe. There are many ways to protect yourself from just about anything. Most people, however, seemed to be afraid of magic. The vast majority of plants had at least something of an effect against evil sorcery. A close second is protection against entities and ghosts and the likes, followed by protection against illness and protection of property. I don’t think our ancestors travelled a lot in general, because only a few plants can help you with that.

Another popular magical application is divination. I actually think that makes sense. If you are so afraid of anything and everything – and yes, they also had many magical methods to dispel fear – you better make sure you gain insight into what is to come. The overall picture I get is that in many areas we haven’t changed much over time. It’s almost as if our ancestors were human…