Saturday, October 31, 2015

Cauldron of herbs for Halloween

When we think Halloween we think of witches.  Witches were well presented in Shakespeare’s Macbeth standing around a cauldron chanting this:

"Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and howlet's wing,--
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble."

Did you know that the items mentioned were actually phrases to symbolize different herbs?  Although there are variations of the plants symbolized in the chant, here is a mostly accurate presentation of the more accepted versions:
Peggy Trowbridge Filippone
Eye of newt – mustard seed

Toe of frog – buttercup leaves

Wool of bat – holly or moss (I lean toward moss, what do you think?)

Tongue of dog – hounds tooth

Adder’s fork – violet

Blind worm’s sting - Knotweed
Lizard’s leg – Ivy

Howlet’s wing – garlic or maybe ginger (but garlic was more common)

Happy Halloween!


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