Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Herbal Talismans

I had a bounty of wonderful Christmas gifts this year but one of my very favorites was this walnut amulet. It was tucked in the toe of my stocking with a little paper out lining the lore of the walnut:
"During the Middle ages, Europeans believed that walnuts would ward off fevers, witchcraft, epileptic fits, the evil eye and even lightning. According to Roman lore, the gods feasted on walnuts while their lowly subjects subsisted on lesser nuts, such as acorns, beechnuts and chestnuts. Walnuts were thrown to Roman wedding guests by the groom to bring good health, to cure disease and to increase fertility." A clever crafter Denise and her faithful dog Beau collected these pretty walnuts while walking in the woods. She then brought them home , scrubbed, sanded, stained and glazed each nut. Then finally she wrapped each one in copper so that it may be worn as a talisman for protection, strength and luck.

This walnut has made a lovely addition to my collection of talismans. Here is a sampling of some of the others. The big blue glass one is a vacation souvenir from my sister, Carrie's trip to Turkey. It wards off the evil eye. 'Course the ceramic garlic key chain represents all that garlic can protect you from vampires, the black death, and much more. The little red seeds, Abrus precatorius, are quite striking, poisonous and are used in tropical areas as an amulet for luck and protection.

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