By Dr. G. Storms (auth.)
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The crabtree was invested with mythological powers against poisonous infections, as we know from the Nine Herbs Charm (No. 9). , strong. The pie ces of bark themselves may simply stand for the trees, as pars pro toto, or they may have a special function in healing a broken head, where the bones of the skull stand in the same relation to the brain as the bark to the tree. By adding the pieces of bark to the herbs in the mortar their power is j oined to that of the herbs. The third group of ingredients is the fat of a hart, a he-goat, a a bull, a boar and a ram.
Name of pennyroyal is dweorgedwostle, whieh is a eompound with dweorh, 'dwarf'. It is immaterial whether the name arose from a supposed eonneetion with dwarfs, eaused by the form of its leaves, some oeeurrenee in mythologie al history, for whieh eompare eharm No. 9, or asimilarity in sound of its first element and afterwards perverted to dwarf by popular etymology; or whether its natural influenee was strong enough to make primitive people believe that a spirit was living in the herb. 3. Rubbing the temples and forehead with oil or butter is perfeetly natural, but the instruction to do so in a eertain direetion is magieal.
If we had a direct borrowing from the Leechbook the number of parallel passages would probably have been much greater. How far the parallelism in our second example went on is not known, as several leaves from the Lacnunga are missing after oddret, but there is no reason to think that it went on much longer. 19 Sometimes the parallelism is not as elose as in the preeeding instances: Leechbook 111, XIV: [WilJ lungenadle]. Eft wyl on hunige anum marubi an, do hwon berenmela to, ete on neahtnestig and lJonne lJu him seIle drene odde briw, sele him hatne and lret gerestan lJone man refter tide dreges on lJa swilJran sidan and hafa lJone earm alJened.
Anglo-Saxon Magic by Dr. G. Storms (auth.)