Daily Archives: May 3, 2017

Horse Whispering

Horse whispering is shrouded in mystery. It is an inexplicable method employed by the Romanies to tame wild and temperamental horses.

Tradition says the secret to horse whispering was granted as a deathbed legacy from a horse charmer to his eldest son. The Romanies say that one who has received the gift of horse whispering cannot die peacefully until he or she has passed on the talent.

There are tales of horse whisperers meeting secretively in moonlight to practice their equestrian skills and to discuss hypnotic, herbal, and magical formulas.

Some believe horse charming is the application of herbs or aniseed to the horse’s nose or bridle or the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in its right ear. Whatever it is, it is a secret the Romanies guard jealously.

One spell they do share is said to make the horse fearless of commotion and also of supernatural beings. The charmer first draws a circle on the left front hoof with a piece of coal and a cross on the right front hoof. Then the charmer spits on a piece of salted bread and feeds the bread to the horse.

From The Good Spell Book
by Gillian Kemp

Why Parsley?

If parsley is thrown into fishponds,
it will heal the sick fishes therein.

~Turner


The most popular culinary herb is probably parsley. The Romany folk used it for many cures. Parsley is best when fresh and green, and goes with almost any dish, adding not only flavor but also helping to keep the system clear and disease at bay. Incidentally, a sprig dipped in vinegar and chewed will sweeten the sourest of breath.

Have parsley at hand at all times and use it as a garnish in stews, soups, and sauces. Sprinkle it on cooked mushrooms, tomatoes, potatoes, artichokes, and add it to a vinaigrette sauce, french dressing, and creamed cheese dishes. Use parsley stuffing for chicken to give fragrance to the flesh.

Here are some authentic Romany recipes that use parsley:

More About Parsley:

Common Names: Parsley, Persil, Devil’s Oatmeal, Perceley
Latin Name: Petroselinum crispum
Parts Used: Leaves, stems, roots, and seeds

Cultivation: Parsley is a hardy biennial. It doesn’t transplant well, so sow the seeds where you wish it to grow. Cut the flowers off as they appear the second year or you will have all flower and no leaves.

Cosmetic Uses: Add parsley infusions to your bathwater to soothe and cleanse.

Culinary Uses: Everyone is familiar with the soggy piece of curly parsley that appears on your plate in restaurants. Curly parsley is used most often as a garnish as it has a relatively mild flavor. Flat or Italian parsley is used frequently in cooking and has a strong flavor that mixes well with just about any dish. Use it fresh (dried has NO flavor), and add to foods towards the end of cooking.

Magickal Uses: Parsley promotes fertility and encourages lust. Use it in purification baths. Sprigs of parsley were once used on plates to keep food from becoming contaminated.

Medicinal Uses: Parsley has more vitamin C, proportionally, than an orange. Take infusions of parsley for bladder infections. It is also rich in other vitamins, like A, several B’s, and contains good quantities of calcium and iron. Parsley increases milk production and tones uterine muscles. The chlorophyll acts as a natural breath freshener.

Cautions: Large quantities can cause decreased blood pressure and pulse. It can also irritate the kidneys if overused.

Body Cleansing Tea

This tea is for clear skin, to promote the immune system, and the help remove toxins from the bloodstream.

  • 3 tsp chopped young nettle leaves
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • ½ tsp lavender flowers
  • juice of ½ a lemon

Note:

This blend is for one person and is intended to have half a pint of boiling water poured over it. Allow the infusion to stand for 10 minutes before straining and do not stir, as this bruises the plants. Obviously, you can adjust the amount of water or standing time to your own taste. If you prefer your tea sweet, add a little honey, not sugar, to the strained infusion.

Source: Tami Brown

Parsley Soup

Saute a minced onion in a little butter or olive oil and add two large diced potatoes, 1/2 cup of white rice, 1 cup of chopped parsley (no stems) and about 4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock. Simmer half an hour. Just before serving, add 1 cup of fresh chopped parsley and 1 cup of Parmesan cheese. Or add fresh parsley and cheese to each bowl and ladle hot soup over it.

Recipe source unknown

Parsley Jelly

This is a wonderful recipe for relieving rheumatism and cleaning the blood:

Wash a big bunch of parsley, put it into a large earthenware pot or flameproof casserole dish. Press it down tightly and cover it with water, bring it to the boil and simmer with lid on for two hours.

Strain the liquid, measure it, and add a pound of sugar and rind of a lemon for every pint of juice. Bring the juice to a boil in a pan on top of the stove, then simmer slowly until a little set when tested on a cold saucer.

Take the lemon peel out and pour the liquid into clean, warm, dried jars. When it is cooled and set, spread thickly onto thin brown bread and butter.

Recipe source unknown

More About Tea Leaves

In the old days, a Romany woman would read a housewife’s tea leaves in exchange for a refreshing cuppa and a few old clothes. Sometimes a Gypsy Queen, dressed in her finest and laden with all her jewelry, would preside over a special tea-drinking party for a few favored clients. The best bone china and lace tablecloth would be brought out to impress upon the Rawnies (ladies) the importance of the occasion – and how privileged they were to be invited. No doubt the fee for the teacup-reading was suitably increased to fit the occasion.

It is not only tea leaves that can be used for this type of reading: coffee and cocoa grounds, or anything that leaves a sediment in the cup, can be used in the same way. If you prefer teabags, you can of course break open the bag before making the tea in the usual way. This should ensure that a good pattern is left in the cup, but if you do take the trouble to make a good old-fashioned pot of loose-leafed tea, you will also have the extra bonus of a truly satisfying taste.

One drawback with reading the teacups is that is is all too easy to fall into the habit of reading the cups at every tea break, which tends to belittle this method and turn it into a parlour game. But as long as it is used with respect it will give excellent results.

Most authorities state that the cup should be plain white and shallow, but I have never found that the shape of the cup was important, nor that a patterned cup adversely affected the reading. Indeed, Romanies have always disliked plain white china, preferring it to be richly decorated.

From Gypsy Magic by Patrinella Cooper

Note:

More information on Tea Leaf divination can be found here: Divination – Reading Tea Leaves

Reading Tea Leaves – Basic Instructions

The enquirer should drink their tea until only a spoonful or so is left in the bottom of the cup. They should hold the cup in the left hand and swirl it around three times in an anti-clockwise direction, then turn it upside down to drain. The cup is then passed to the person who is to read it.

Prepare to do the reading by quietening the mind. Hold the cup with the handle in your right hand, or you can hold it in both hands if it feels more comfortable. The brain likes to make pictures out of abstract blobs, which is why we see faces in stained walls or castles in clouds. It is this principle that inspires the psyche to see omens in the tea leaves. Move the cup about if it helps you to see the patterns clearly. It can also help if you let your eyes go slightly out of focus.

The leaves should be read in a kind of spiral motion working anti-clockwise from the handle around the rim, back to the handle, then the sides, and finally the bottom of the cup. As a general rule, the nearer to the rim of the cup a symbol appears, the sooner the event will be. The larger the symbol, the greater will be the impact on the enquirer’s life.

From: Gypsy Magic
by Patrinella Cooper

Note:

More about reading tea leaves can be found here: Divination – Reading Tea Leaves

Gypsies and Dreaming

Gypsies hold much stock in dreams and are renowned dream interpreters. Although Tunisian and Algerian Romanies are the recognized experts in this field, English Gypsies certainly have been practicing dream interpretation for many generations.

In common with all Gypsies, the English Travelers maintain that through dreams they are being given secret knowledge that could affect their future, positively or negatively. They believe dreams come from the spirits of their ancestors.

Gypsies are actually very observant and, in some ways, very prosaic. The first thing a knowledgeable Romani will do when asked about the significance of a particular dream is to inquire about the person’s general health and eating habits. Most of us, Gypsies included, are aware that a lot of dreaming is simply the result of excesses in eating and/or drinking.

Charles Bowness, in Romany Magic, says:

“Apart from those dreams brought on by stomachic derangement there are also those occasioned by some bodily excitation due to a previous pleasant or unpleasant experience. Another cause is tension owing to brooding over some problem or fear of a future event.

To categorize further, dreams of terror can be due to a slight and temporary disorder of the heart. Similarly, a defect in the lungs can be responsible for a dream of bloodshed. To experience some enormous difficulty in a dream, such as hacking a way through a jungle, or trying to penetrate a wall indicates disorder of the liver. Dreaming of sharp pains, knife stabs in the back and the like, is because of kidney disorder. If a dream contains some element of hypnotic regularity such as the swinging of a pendulum, then there may well be a tendency to anaemia.”

It is obvious that one cannot simply take any dream and say, “Oh, yes. That means such-and-such.” The question is, then, which dreams can be interpreted? The Gypsies say any dream that is especially vivid; one that stays with you after you wake. Additionally, it should be one that is dreamed when you are in good health and have not overindulged the night before.

~Text: Raymond Buckland
~Artist: Kathy Ostman-Magnusen

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