"As this root grows And as this blossom blows, May his [or her] heart be Turned unto me!"
by fairy-folk, and to undo one invites bad luck. To recover stolen goods, a Gypsy man will often tie a string around a willow-knot and say: "With this string I bind the thief's luck!" But if it is the love of a particular woman that he desires, he will cut the willow-knot and hold it in his mouth while, at the same time, turning his thoughts to the woman and reciting the following spoken charm:
"I eat thy luck, I drink thy luck, Give me the luck of thine, Then thou shall be mine. "
To add even more power to the spell, the willow-knot should then be hidden in the desired woman's bed without her knowledge of it.
If a man wishes to make a certain woman fall in love with him, an old Gypsy love spell instructs that he should secretly obtain one of her shoes, fill it with rue leaves, and then hang it over the bed in which he sleeps.
Magickal powers are attributed to the roots of trees, particularly the ash and the alraun, and it is said that many Gypsy-Witches cunning in the art of love enchantment know how to use them in the preparation of love philters (potions).
An old Gypsy recipe to make an aphrodisiac calls for the fresh roots of an asparagus plant to be boiled in red wine. It is said that if any man or woman drinks the wine for seven consecutive mornings (in place of breakfast), he or she will be overcome by lustful urges.
Many Gypsies also believe that beans are powerful aphrodisiacs when eaten, and function as sexual amulets when carried in one's pocket or in a putsi, a special silk or chamois pouch or charm bag used by Gypsies in the same manner that a mojo bag is used by a hoodoo "doctor."
A piece of orrisroot carried in a putsi is another common Gypsy love amulet, as is the mysterious human-shaped root of the European mandrake plant. In addition to arousing sexual passions, the mandrake is believed to ensure an everlasting love between a couple when both partners carry with them a piece of root from the same plant.
Fern seeds are also a staple in the art of Gypsy love magick. Men traditionally give love potions brewed from the seeds of a male fern to the women they desire, while women traditionally give those brewed from the seeds of a female fern to the men whose hearts they wish to win over.
Vervain is also another plant favored by the Gypsies for the drawing of love, as well as for the attraction of good luck. It is said that vervain must be gathered on the first day of the new moon before sunrise or it will not be magickally effective. Carry its dried flowers in a putsi or place them beneath your pillow before you sleep and, according to Gypsy legend, the love of another you will invite.
Gypsies are well aware of the intense powers that their love spells hold. Many who wish to keep themselves immune from such amatory bewitchments or counteract the magick of any unwelcome love enchantment used upon them have been known to wear over their heart a small putsi made of white silk and filled with seven leaves from the angelica plant.
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