By Dr. G. Storms (auth.)
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Additional info for Anglo-Saxon Magic
Spearwort, one of the herbs mentioned, probably has the same purpose. The willow and the sallow have an exceedingly strong life-force. No matter how often they are polled they always send out fresh shoots. This led among other things to the practice that a willow leaf was a remedy against a bald head (Leeehbook I, LXXXVII): just as the willow shoots up again from a bare trunk, so will the hair from a bald head. E. with the adjeetive welig, 'rich, wealthy, luxuriant' (Cf. E. rice means both potent and opulent.
A salve must not dry too quickly, therefore butter and fat are employed and it must be spread on thickly: 'and reduce to a tarry substance'. Impure and harsh elements are removed by boiling the fat lightly and straining it through a eloth. The natural action of boiling the fat assumes a mysterious ritualistic importance because the butter was 'boiled once' and the fat must be 'soaked lightly, not boiled too strongly' and afterwards 'set over a fire again'. Only an experienced medieine-man knew how to prepare a good salve!
Before a negro goes out hunting he draws a pieture of the animal that he will be hunting in the sand and at the same time he draws a circle round ab out it. Thc laUer represents a wall or fenee whieh the animal is unable to cross. It is eaught in a narrow spot so that it eannot eseape from the spear or the arrow that will be thrown or shot at it. This magie is not mere superstition or humbug, for it gives the hunter the assuranee of sueeess that is neeessary to ealm his nerves and make his shot swift, strong and straight.
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