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Dittany of Crete Questions and Answers

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erondades
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Dittany of Crete Questions and Answers

Unread post by erondades » Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:35 pm

Seasons Greetings, [from an email originally sent to Lucky Mojo customer service, who referred me to the expertise available at this forum]

Hi there, I read with interest your page regarding Dittany of Crete at:

http://www.herb-magic.com/dittany-of-crete.html

I was hoping you might be able to provide me with some of the original reference materials from which the accompanying piece of writing was taken. I have tracked down the Crowley references from "Magick Without Tears" regarding its burning as a medium for the materialization of spirits, and I've seen other online references to it in regards to a "love herb", but I've not come across any other specific (offline) sources for these claims, such as specifically seeing your future mate, etc. Have also found the Agrippa & Culpepper references, as well as the Classical authors, but none of them so far have mentioned any of the Eros connections...

Any assistance you might be able to provide in this manner would be most appreciated! I actually went to Crete last year to look for this plant firsthand and had many interest experiences as a result. Since then, I have been trying to compile in one place everything that is known about this plant from historical, occult, scientific and gardening sources - quite a task, as this plant is not very well documented, despite its seeming popularity for thousands of years!

In any event, Happy Holidays to you and thanks for a nice product. I originally purchased two bags from your online store (through a local herbalist as go-between) and enjoyed them before I embarked on my own trip.


Thanks again,
Tim Boucher
Last edited by catherineyronwode on Tue Dec 25, 2012 6:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Deleted non-Lucky Mojo store website

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Re: Dittany of Crete Questions and Answers

Unread post by Joseph Magnuson » Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:05 pm

Have you had the chance to read through any of the older books pertaining to hoodoo and conjure? How about the Harry Hyatt volumes?

http://www.luckymojo.com/hyatt.html

Among many others...
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erondades
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Re: Dittany of Crete Historical, Cultural and Magical Reference

Unread post by erondades » Tue Dec 25, 2012 6:44 pm

Merry Christmas & Thanks for your response!

I have not heard of this volume, nor do I have access to it. Perhaps someone who has access to this or other relevant volumes would be kind enough to search some indexes for reference to "dittany of Crete," "dittany of Candy (or Candie)," Origanum dictamnus," (botanical name) "right dittany" (or alternatively "righte dittany"), "true dittany," "dictamos," "diktamo," etc.

I'm uncertain with what frequency hoodoo & conjure traditions utilize Mediterranean herbs, let alone Cretan endemics. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable on the subject could speak to this trend...

According to sources I've consulted, the plant was]first known to have been imported into the United States in 1936 by Mrs. Ellery Sedgewick (though I've tracked down as least one herbarium specimen here in Montreal sent from France in 1926). Therefore I'm guessing that Dittany found its way into vernacular witchcraft through the Western Ceremonial traditions, as it is specifically mentioned by Crowley in Magick Without Tears, Magick In Theory & Practice, as well as Absinthe: The Green Goddess, and in Blavatsky's Isis Unveiled. Unfortunately, I haven't seen Crowley or Blavatsky cite who they learned of this plant's magical uses from (perhaps Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy, but he seems to only call it a 'solary' herb - likely Crowley's source, since he lists in Liber 777 Dittany among the solary herbs. Where are the original sources re: manifestation of spirits in the smoke of this herb?)...

On another track: one of the few references I've found which cites additional sources regarding the connection to Love/Eros comes from a piece in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology 131 (2010), entitled, "Dittany of Crete: A botanical and ethnopharmacological review" (p. 233):
"Nowadays, the plant is widely known across the world by various vernacular names (Table 1). Among those, the name “erontas”, attributed to dittany by the local people of Crete, presents great interest because it probably derives from “Erotas”, the ancient Greek god of love. Like the edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum L.) O. dictamnus was offered to girls as an expression of love. Dittany grows wild, high in the mountains, in places difficult to be reached, thus it was believed that someone had to be fully in love in order to climb and gather the plant to be offered (Fragaki, 1969; Plimakis, 1997)."
Unfortunately the Fragaki & Plimakis papers referenced above are in Greek, which I am unable to read. This is a nice reference, but I'd like to find other supplementary sources on this... One other nice source in English with more information about the wild harvest techniques of the "erondades," (along with a great photo of these men) unfortunately does not include any specific references about their information sources:

Any additional references, ideas, leads to follow or persons with more knowledge to contact would be a most welcome holiday gift!

Cheers and Happy New Year!
T

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Re: Dittany of Crete Questions and Answers

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Tue Dec 25, 2012 6:57 pm

My guess is that folkloric use of Dittany of Crete as a love-token -- not anything by Aleister Crowley -- would explain the spread of the use of this herb in folk magic in countries to which migrants moved. There are many Greek and Greek-Sicilian people in US coastal towns and they intermarried with African Americans in cities all along the eastern and gulf coasts. A parallel development is the use of Fava Beans for luck in the Black community of New Orleans -- brought there by Sicilian fishermen.

HER-DIT-HERB
Dittany of Crete
$3.50

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Re: Dittany of Crete Questions and Answers

Unread post by erondades » Tue Dec 25, 2012 7:47 pm

Hi Catherine,

Thanks for your interesting response! I see your name is on the copyright of the herb-magic/dittany of Crete product page which lead me here, so if I'm right in assuming you wrote the product description, perhaps I could ask at least how you heard about this herb yourself...? Scholarly resources are not necessary, as I'm open to following any specific leads available wherever they lead... Also, would it be appropriate for me to ask at least in a general way what the source of the plant material is which you have for sale: cultivated, wild, grown in the States, imported from Crete, etc? And what is the weight of the $3.00 package available?

Thanks again for your help! Apologies for not being more careful with my links posted above; I'm a first time user of this forum.

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Re: Dittany of Crete Questions and Answers

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:13 pm

erondades,

It's just one of those things i was taught, in this case by a woman who owned a typical candle and herb shop. She said that Cretan women made sorcerous love magic with the herb. This was back in the late 1960s, i'd guess, because i did look it up and try to get seeds back then but found no source. Nowadays folks grow it in California quite regularly. You can even buy potted starts of it at my local nursery in Sonoma County.

We get ours from a grower. It's organic. The amount per pack varies in our roots and herbs based on cost -- when the herbs are cheap, you get more per pack and when they are priced high, you get less. We recalculate based on market price each time we purchase. If you need an exact weight, call the shop at 707-887-1521 any day from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific time and ask them to weigh out a packet for you.

The magical qualities of this product are described in this book, with folkloric hoodoo spells for use in practical conjure,

BOO-GRI-HHSC
Hoodoo Herb & Root Magic Paperback by catherine yronwode
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Re: Dittany of Crete Questions and Answers

Unread post by jwmcclin » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:52 pm

Good Information!!!!!
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Re: Dittany of Crete Questions and Answers

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:55 am

This product qualifies to be included in the Lucky Mojo 6 Herb and Root Special.

When you order SIX of our regularly-priced herbs or roots, you only pay for FIVE and, as a BONUS GIFT -- we will also send you a FREE Red Flannel Bag that you can use to make your own mojo hand. Just order the Special, and be sure to list your SIX herbs and roots in the message area of your order.

HER-ZSP-6HRB
6 Herb and Root Special (6 Herbs + Red Bag)
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You can order right here in the Forum by clicking on the blue Add To Cart button.

For more information, see:
http://www.herbmagic.com/six-herb-special.html
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Re: Dittany of Crete Questions and Answers

Unread post by catherineyronwode » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:49 pm

The spiritual culinary qualities of this product are described in this book, with edible magical spell-recipes you can prepare and serve to achieve you desires.

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$9.00

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For more information, see:
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