a cache of captured internet text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.
Date: Sun, 07 Jul 2002 17:35:49 -0000 From: "bryanth798" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Mexican Herbal Magic Mexico has a tradition of herbal lore that is very rich indeed. It has, basically, three different historic roots. One is traditional herbalism imported from 16th century Europe, which was based mainly in traditions of the Mediterranean region. The second is the tradition from Andalucia, the Moorish kingdom, which roots go back to all parts of the Southern Mediterranean and the Near East, including the very ancient traditions of Mesopotamia, Palestine, and especially Egypt. And the third is that tradition that comes from Mesoamerica. It is interesting to note that at the time of the Spanish conquest of Mexico, the Aztecs (Mexica) had an herbal pharmacopoeia consisting of some 10,000 separate medicinal plants. It is estimated that today that number has shrunk to some 3,000 or so species, although the tradition was augmented also by those traditions imported from the Old World. Mexico is full of hierberIas, which are herbal shops. These hierberIas also carry oils, soaps, and lotions, which are used for a lot of purposes, including those that have to do with health, and also with magic. These serve, in some respects, as sort of magician's supply houses, for brujas (witches), curanderas (healers and practitioners of "white magic"), and hechiceros (wizards or sorcerers). Generally speaking, no one bothers making their own soaps or oils, or lotions, since they are readily available in the hierberIas. People just buy the products, along with charms, amulets, prayers, herbal books, and "grimorios" (magical instruction books). One thing about Mexican magic is that, like its counterpart in Spain, which, in many aspects, is indistinguishable from the Mexican practice, it is inextricably tied up with the Catholic faith, either positively or negatively. Some practices that are particular to certain Indian tribes involve the conjuring of old Indian gods, but these rites are not accessible to non-initiates, and there are not any initiates who are not actually members of these tribes, such that this has no bearing on the general population and their popular traditions. (Another thing I should not is this: the Mexicans are not interested in learning the practices of the Indians, but the Indians are interested in those of the Mexicans, as the Indians consider Mexican practitioners to be more powerful.) On the other hand, there is plenty of syncretism, which is to say, the fact of Indian traditions - those of their gods - being mixed in with those of the Europeans conquerors. In this sense, someone with an open mind and feeling for Cabalistic mysteries might imagine that the trappings of Catholic ritual overlay traditions that are more ancient, but that, inasmuch as these are the traditions that are alive today and they certainly get results, that it would be pointless to look to do something different. Thus, I have found that, by professing the Catholic faith, I have had doors open to me that would have been solidly closed if I had not done so, and I would not know even a tenth part of what I do about this excellent and intriguing system of magic, which I think is the most profound and alive strain in the world today. I personally believe that all of the Catholic saints to whom people pray in Curanderismo, Santeria, and Macumba are actually old pagan deities that come from - in the case of Macumba and Santeria, Africa; and in the case of Curanderismo, Egypt and Mesoamerica, mainly. The use of the cross is like a catalyst, I think. The cross was used extensively by Mesoamerican Indians, especially the Maya, as a symbol of the `here and now', as it represents the intersection of time and space. Time is phallic and space is yonic, so that the symbol is actually a "lingam". In that sense, it invokes the power of the kundalini, and thus is catalyzes the magical act or the cure. The prototype, or the archetype of these practices, I should say, is San Cipriano, who was at the same time a Bishop and Sorcerer, and whose martyrdom was his being burned at the stake as a witch, and later exonerated, probably at the behest of some later pope or bishop who was a sorcerer also. I am not sure how all that came about, but I intend to find out. The most famous grimorio of them all, the "Libro de San Cipriano", also known as the "Tesoro del Hechicero", is alleged to have been written by him, but it was actually produced by way of automatic writing at the hand of a German monk named Jones Sulfurino in the year 1000 AD. Most of this was the recreation of a book or set of books that Cipriano had penned and then had later burned, during his lifetime. The spirits who operated the hand of Jones Sulfurino retrieved it and reproduced it in this way. The best know edition was printed in Spain in the 16th century, and original copies still exist, that have been passed down for generations in families throughout the Spanish speaking world, including here in Mexico. I have a friend who has an original copy. I have a couple of books that have reprinted sections of this. The cult of San Cipriano is on the rise today, as he is the is patron saint of magicians. I am totally fascinated with him, myself. If people are interested, I can dig up more information on popular Mexican soaps, oils, and lotions, and their uses. Bryant
Minor typographical and grammatical editing may have occurred within these posts;
some email addresses may be out of date.
These posts are © copyright by their respective authors as noted,
and all rights are reserved by the authors.
If a post you made has been archived here and you wish it removed for any reason,
please contact the Esoteric Archivist: nagasiva at luckymojo.com.