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The Lucky W Amulet Archive by catherine yronwode
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RUE and the CIMARUTA

"RUE, also known as RUTA or RUDA, is widely held to be a Magical herb. Many people carry a pinch of RUE in a cloth bag or place it above the front door to ward off the Evil Eye. In Italy it is so highly valued for this purpose that a silver charm called Cimaruta or Sprig of Rue is worn as a protective amulet. Some folks make a tea of RUE and sprinkle it around the home for Protection or bathe in it to break spells. We are told that RUE mixed with Comfrey Root will Improve Health Matters and that RUE burned with Verbena, Mistletoe, and Benzoin can take off jinxes. Rue is also said to aid in Love Matters. Burned with Lavender Flowers and Sandalwood, it is thought to be a Lover's Incense and if placed in a man's left shoe, it is believed to hold him. We make no claims for RUE, and sell as a Curio only."

-- The Lucky Mojo Curio Co catalogue

RUE, RUDA, RUTA

Rue -- Ruta graveolens -- is a European perennial herb with multi-lobed, matte-finish grey-green leaves, inconspicuous yellow flowers (seen at the bottom center in the picture), and a distinctively sharp and aromatic fragrance that verges on being "stinky." After the flowers are fertilized, the Rue plant makes clusters of bumpy green four-lobed fruits, containing numerous brown seeds. The Spanish name for Rue is Ruda and the Italian name is Ruta, and although it was not native to the New World, it has been widely accepted as a magical herb by the indigenous people of Central and South America and among African-Americans as well. It is used in love spells, as described above, but more often in protection spells.

For centuries Rue has been considered one of the foremost protective herbs, especially against the evil eye, a belief that originated in the Middle East and which holds that magical harm can come to people through the glance of an envious onlooker. In Italy, faith in the protective qualities of Rue is so great that a special charm, the Cimaruta or "Sprig of Rue" is worn as a pendant to ward off the evil eye. It is always made of sterling silver (the most common metal for apotropaic charms, due to the metal's symbolic association with the moon, which is thought to protect women and children, the most frequent victims of the evil eye) and it is most often found in the vicinity of Naples, where generations of artisans have developed a variety of Cimaruta designs.

THE CIMARUTA OR "SPRIG OF RUE"

The Cimaruta charm shown here was made sometime in the second half of the 20th century. It is stamped "800" on the back, but has no other maker's mark. I bought it in an antique store in Sebastopol, California, and the dealers there had no idea what it was, merely considering it a piece of jewelry. Like most Cimaruta charms, it is fairly large -- almost 4 inches across -- and it depicts a variety of lucky and protective items attached to the sprig of Rue. Some of these are difficult to see, being turned in various ways and rather crudely cast, but going clockwise from right to left and inside to outside, they seem to be:

    a Rue leaf
    a bird
    a rose
    a Rue fruit
    a key
    a hand holding a wand or sword
    a flaming heart
    a crescent moon with a face in it
    a snake (its body replaces one of the branches)
    an owl (?)
    a plumed Medieval helmet
    a cluster of Rue fruits
    a Gobo (Italian lucky hunchback)

Other motifs found on Cimaruta amulets include mermaids, hands making the mano fico and mano cornuta gestures, and all-seeing eyes.

THE QUESTION OF ASPAND or "SYRIAN RUE"

It is my considered belief that the reason Rue is said to ward off the Evil Eye is that its lobed compound leaves superficially resemble a Middle Eastern and Central Asian plant called Aspand . The fact that Europeans call Aspand "Syrian Rue" signifies that they see a relationship between the two plants -- but there is no genetic basis for the linkage, as they are in different taxonomic families. Aspand is a psychoactive sacred plant from the desert areas of the Middle East and Central Asia, where Evil Eye belief originated; it is my theory that Rue is a European plant without psychoactive properties that looks enough like Aspand that Italians and other Mediterranean people adopted it as a magical substitute, despite the fact that the plants are not related.


Order Rue Herb from the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.

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LUCKY MOJO is a large domain that is organized into a number of
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THE LUCKY W AMULET ARCHIVE by cat yronwode.

Here are some other LUCKY MOJO web sites you can visit:

OCCULTISM, MAGIC SPELLS, MYSTICISM, RELIGION, SYMBOLISM
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic by cat yronwode: a materia magica of African-American conjure
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy and sacred geometry
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
The Lucky Mojo Esoteric Archive: captured internet text files on occult and spiritual topics
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century occultist
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, and more
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races

POPULAR CULTURE
Hoodoo and Blues Lyrics: transcriptions of blues songs about African-American folk magic
EaRhEaD!'S Syd Barrett Lyrics Site: lyrics by the founder of the Pink Floyd Sound
The Lesser Book of the Vishanti: Dr. Strange Comics as a magical system, by cat yronwode
The Spirit Checklist: a 1940s newspaper comic book by Will Eisner, indexed by cat yronwode
Fit to Print: collected weekly columns about comics and pop culture by cat yronwode
Eclipse Comics Index: a list of all Eclipse comics, albums, and trading cards

EDUCATION AND OUTREACH
Hoodoo Rootwork Correspondence Course with cat yronwode: 52 weekly lessons in book form
Hoodoo Conjure Training Workshops: hands-on rootwork classes, lectures, and seminars
Lucky Mojo Community Forum: an online message board for our occult spiritual shop customers
Lucky Mojo Hoodoo Rootwork Hour Radio Show: learn free magic spells via podcast download
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ONLINE SHOPPING
The Lucky Mojo Curio Co.: spiritual supplies for hoodoo, magick, witchcraft, and conjure
Lucky Mojo Publishing: books on magic with herbs, roots and candles, sugar spells, bone divination, and more!
Herb Magic: complete line of Lucky Mojo Herbs, Minerals, and Zoological Curios, with sample spells
Mystic Tea Room Gift Shop: antique, vintage, and contemporary fortune telling tea cups

PERSONAL SITES
catherine yronwode: the eclectic and eccentric author of many of the above web pages
nagasiva yronwode: tyaginator, nigris (333), nocTifer, lorax666, boboroshi, Troll, !
Garden of Joy Blues: former 80 acre hippie commune near Birch Tree in the Missouri Ozarks
Liselotte Erlanger Glozer: illustrated articles on collectible vintage postcards
Jackie Payne: Shades of Blues: a San Francisco Bay Area blues singer

ADMINISTRATIVE
Lucky Mojo Site Map: the home page for the whole Lucky Mojo electron-pile
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OTHER SITES OF INTEREST
Arcane Archive: thousands of archived Usenet posts on religion, magic, spell-casting, mysticism, and spirituality
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: psychic reading, conjure, and hoodoo root doctor services
Candle Ministry: Missionary Independent Spiritual Church deacons will set lights for your petitions and prayers
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic, plus shopping
Crystal Silence League: online prayer request network; upload your prayers here and pray for the welfare of others
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Hoodoo Psychics: connect online or call 1-888-4-HOODOO for instant readings now from a member of AIRR
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith; prayer-light services; Smallest Church in the World
Mystic Tea Room: tea leaf reading, teacup divination, and a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Satan Service: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including ex-slave narratives & interviews
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective, plus shopping
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Yronwode Institution: the Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology

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