Magical Botany: A


(Since the initial article is written in Spanish, some of the plants did not match their names in English. In order for the article to make sense, we have kept only those plants that began with A also in English, and added those that , in the magical botanical article B, they changed to A when translated. All this with the intention of fully preserving the work of the partner and collaborator and not adding anything outside of their own harvest. Thank you for understanding)

Abies (fir trees): Due to its ability to ward off lightning, its carved branches were used by the first magicians as protection, at the same time that many used it as a lightning rod. In Germany there are usually fir branches present at weddings. In Hannover, fir branches were used with which women were beaten to promote pregnancy. Symbolically it is a tree closely linked to the solar cycle, especially to the festivities of the solstices: Christmas (widespread use) and San Juan (around the Harz massif, Germany). In central Europe it is closely linked to cattle farming, fir branches being used to promote fertility and cattle protection. In Chinese symbolism, the fir tree represents patience and holy men.

Acacia: Tree very resistant to all types of climates, especially desert ones, and widespread on all continents. Therefore it is related to life, immortality and regeneration. Hebrew tradition states that the tabernacle was built with acacia wood because it was considered indestructible. In India the acacia is used to make fire. She is usually called by the name samî, tapanatanayâ (producer of fire) or agnigarbhâ (fire is her son). Fire itself, or agni, is sometimes called samîgarbha, son of the sami. To create the fire, friction was made with an asvattha stick, which represented the lingam, the trunk of the sami, which represented the yoni, the two creative principles. In Indian weddings, the bride and groom carry sami branches as a symbol of generation. To bless the places where a ceremony is going to take place or to bless a house before inhabiting it, a samî branch is passed around dipped in the sacred water.

Acanthus: Plant of Mediterranean origin with purple flowers that is used as an ornamental plant in gardens around the world. They adorn the capitals of the Corinthian order. It is said that Callimachus had the idea of creating it while he was admiring one of these plants next to the grave of a girl. Because of its thorns, in the Middle Ages it became a symbol of the awareness of sin and the pain it produces, recalling that God warned man in Genesis that the earth would only give him thorns and brambles.

Aconite (or Monkshood): Extremely toxic plant. In Sanskrit it is known as ativishâ, the "supreme poison", since the aconitum ferox, a species that grows in the region, is the deadliest of its kind. It is usually used in potions in very small doses and after a cooking process, thus breaking down some of its toxins. Even so, many reject its use. The Greeks imagined the garden of Hecate populated with monkshood. They also placed it in Colchis, the kingdom of origin of Medea. According to its etiological myth, it was born from the saliva of Cerberus, which he spat on the ground when he saw the light of the sun when he was being dragged by Hercules.

Agriculture: Human action represented by the image of Demeter-Persephone / Ceres-Proserpina. It is the generation of life through the intervention of the four traditional elements.

Apricot: Fruit that grants prophetic powers to its consumer.

Apricot tree: Androgynous tree, because it fertilizes itself.

Alcohol: Represents a conjunction of opposites, water and fire.

Asphodel: Flower that emanates a sweet aroma that symbolizes the loss of consciousness and, therefore, sleep and death. In the Greek and Roman tradition, the asphodel was closely related to the cemeteries where they were placed as an offering to the deceased, also believing that in some regions of the geography of the Underworld, such as the Islands of the Blessed, there were fields populated by these flowers. They symbolize, therefore, the mortuary environment and the hope of a happy life after death. Sometimes we can find crowns of asphodels represented as an attribute of the Eleusinian Dionysus.

Aegle marmelos: Also called Bilva or Bengal quince, it is a sacred tree in India used by traditional medicine to treat diarrhea and dysentery. Aegle poisoning from excessive consumption and some deaths have been reported. Its fruit, similar to a pear, has been symbolically assimilated with the human phallus. According to the Aśvalāyana, the staffs of the varṇa vaiśya ("caste of artisans") had to be made of wood from this tree. According to the Kṛṣṇayajurveda, the sacrificial pillars of ancient times were made of 'bilva' wood.

Artemis (abrotanum): It is a kind of mugwort, it was used as an erotic plant (putting it under the mattress), as a remedy against epilepsy and to ward off snakes.

• Artemis (absinthium): Also called Wormwood. Poisonous plant in large quantities, used in love filters and stimulants, as well as in digestive infusions. It is associated with the psychic and spirit world. In the past, the hands or joints were rubbed with wormwood juice to avoid both cooling and overheating. There was also a belief that stated that if the hands of a newborn were washed with this juice before its twelfth week of life had elapsed, it would not be cold or hot throughout its life. Its bitterness symbolizes the nostalgia produced by absence or loss.

Miguel Morata -

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