Musings on Buddhism and modern global culture, plus a few miscellaneous topics.
Monday, 28 December 2009
Wiccan Love Potions, Women's Pheromones and Ethnopharmacology
Have you ever wondered what ingredients went into those pagan love potions?
Well, it seems that the ‘wise women’ of old had a knowledge of pheromones long preceding modern biochemistry.
Aunt Epp’s Guide for Life is taken from the notebooks of a Victorian lady who recorded, among other things, various folk remedies. This is what she had to say about Aphrodisiacs:
“These are many and well known, but above all else men are unconsciously attracted by the vaginal scents, which are naturally mingled with lingering urinal aromas, not at all unpleasant if recent, assuming older odours washed off by process of personal hygiene.
It is to defeat the purpose to add your own urine to the food, only to mask it with strong flavours. You will use only a very small amount, so small as not to affect the taste but to attract unconsciously by scent. This should be added superficially, sparingly, and last.
You may also dab a handkerchief appropriately and equally delicately and keep it about you. Males are aware of this but not aware, and have been known to go mad with longing.Never tell this secret, however, as the knowledge itself empowers you and imparts a natural authority which a man cannot resist.”
Although it may seem surprising to think of demure Victorian young ladies sprinkling gentlemen’s food with their very own intimate nectars, the origins of such practices go back into the mists of folklore, and long pre-date the reign of Victoria (who presumably didn't personally supervise the ingredients of Albert's supper - at least not that personally) .
Pheromones Note how Aunt Epp states that the men are 'unconsciously attracted' and 'aware of this but not aware'. This is typical of the effect of pheromones.
In earlier times this would have been regarded as enchantment. No doubt in the Middle Ages anyone practising such womanly arts with secretive secretions would have risked been accused of witchcraft.
In fact, many wise women (the original Wiccans) possessed a knowledge of the medicinal effects of natural products, such as pheromones, long in advance of modern pharmacology.