What follows is a dry and lengthy discussion about peppercorns as legal tender. I included it here at the Magickal Apothecary because it interested me and because I think the concept can be used in magick as well.
Consider this – you want to do magick, and you’d like to invoke the aid of a deity, an elemental spirit, or some magickal entity but you are unsure as to how to “seal the deal.” In a court of law, a “legal” contract, in order to be binding, requires that both sides provide consideration, and I think that in magick this could be true as well.
So, my thought is, that a peppercorn might be offered up when food, or other offerings are inappropriate or inadvisable. A tiny little peppercorn could be left anywhere! I think peppercorns could also be used in binding spells and rituals, as well as other types of magickal agreements.
The Dry and Lengthy Discussion from Wikipedia:
A peppercorn in legal parlance is a metaphor for a very small payment, a nominal consideration, used to satisfy the requirements for the creation of a legal contract. “A peppercorn does not cease to be good consideration if it is established that the promisee does not like pepper and will throw away the corn.” Somervell LJ in Chappell v Nestlé  .
In English law, and other countries with similar common law systems, a legal contract requires that both sides provide consideration. In other words, if an agreement does not specify that each party will give something of value to the other party, then it is not considered a binding contract, and cannot be enforced in court. This requirement does not exist in contracts with civil law systems.
However, courts will not generally inquire into the adequacy or relative value of the consideration provided by each party. So, if a contract calls for one party to give up something of great value, while the other party gives up something of much lesser value, then it will generally still be considered a valid contract, even though the exchange of value greatly favors one side. Courts, however, will reject “consideration” that was not truly bargained for.
For example in the American case Fischer v. Union Trust Co., the Michigan court held that one dollar paid in exchange for the sale of real property did not constitute valuable consideration since the transaction was not bargained for. The dollar is considered nominal consideration, not because the dollar was too small an amount, but because it did not induce the seller to part with the property. Such promises that are motivated by love and affection are insufficient to constitute consideration.
So, in order for an essentially one-sided contract to still be valid and binding, the contract will generally be written so that one side gives up something of value, while the other side gives a token sum such as one pound, one dollar, or—literally—one peppercorn.
Peppercorn payments are sometimes used when a struggling company is sold. A failing company’s net worth may actually be negative, since its liabilities may exceed its assets. So if some other party agrees to take over the company and assume its liabilities as well as its assets, the seller may actually agree to make a large payment to the buyer. But the buyer must still make some payment for the company—even if that payment is only one dollar or one pound—in order to establish that both sides have given consideration.
A peppercorn is also used in more balanced contracts, where one side wishes to conceal the nature of their payment. For example, since real estate contracts are generally matters of public record, the purchaser of a house may not wish to list the exact amount of the payment on the contract. But there must be some specific payment listed in the contract, or the contract will be considered void for lack of consideration. So the contract may be written to reflect that the house is being sold in return for “ten dollars and other good and valuable consideration”. The ten dollars is the “peppercorn” that provides concrete consideration and ensures that the contract is valid, while the actual amount paid for the house is hidden and referred to only as the “good and valuable consideration”.
Another common example of a peppercorn payment being used in legal contracts is the English practice of peppercorn rent, which refers to a nominal rental sum for property, land or buildings. Where a rental contract is put in place and the owner of the property wishes it to be rent free it is normal to charge, say, one pound sterling as a peppercorn rent. Again, this is because, if the owner wants to lease the property, they must charge some rent so that consideration exists for both parties.
Furthermore, a peppercorn rent is often used as a form of nominal ground rent where a (potentially substantial) premium has also been paid on commencement of a long lease of, say, 99 or 125 years (a “virtual freehold”). The notional collection of the annual peppercorn rent helps to maintain a formal Landlord and Tenant relationship between the two parties, precluding the risk of a claim for adverse possession from the tenant arising, were no consideration to be paid for an extended period.
Possessing high spiritual vibrations, this oil is worn to aid meditation and to develop psychic powers. Some also use it to anoint their altars, censers, and candles.
Very vitalizing. Gives added determination and energy, excellent for convalescents. Anoint daily.
Almond oil, the symbol of wakefulness to wiccans, is used in prosperity rituals (anointing candles, money, etc.) and also added to money incenses.
This rich scent is used to harmonize the aura, and bring the yin and yang into balance within one’s self. Planetary ruler: Mercury
A boon to clairvoyance, it is often added to a ritual bath preceding any attempt at divination. It is also worn during divinatory rituals.
Peace of mind, relaxation, love, wisdom. This oil is best worn between the Autumn Equinox and Yule for its high energy of wisdom in Magick. Planetary ruler: Venus. Deity: Aphrodite
- Apple Blossom:
Wear to promote happiness and success. Anoint candles during love rituals. Add to bath to aid relaxation.
Used to soothe tempers between lovers in troublesome times. The scent of basil causes sympathy between two people, so wear to avoid major clashes. It creates harmony of all kinds. Prostitutes used to wear it in Spain to attract business. Also good for love potions, wealth, floor washes, and protection spells. Planetary ruler: Mars. Deity: Vishnu, Erzulu
Best used for clairvoyance and to enhance psychic visions, but also known for protection. Planetary ruler: Sun. Deity: Apollo, Faunus, and Eros
Anoint green candles for prosperity in the home. Brings “luck to your home and gold to your pocket.” A magnetic oil to be worn by men.
This oil brings peace of mind. It is used in purification ceremonies. A drop or two smoldering on a charcoal block will effectively clear the area with billowing clouds of smoke.
Used in protective rituals and also in drawing prosperity. In herbal folklore, it is said that the oil of Bergamot leaves, when rubbed on money, will ensure the return of riches; it is also well known for prosperity spells. Wear on the palm of each hand. Planetary ruler: Mercury
Wear to strengthen psychic powers. Also anoint yourself when you have decided to break off with a lover, or when they have done so with you and you find it hard to let go.
This sweet and floral scent is traditionally used to ensure strength and good health, and for protection. In candle Magick, it is used as an aid in path working. This is an oil of power. It is used as an energy restorer after exertion, as an aid to healing, and in consecration ceremonies. Should be worn when extra energy for a ritual is desired. Planetary ruler: Sun. Deity: Jupiter
Instills confidence, protection from misery and misfortune. The oil from this sacred tree is used for purification, and to rid a person of bad dreams. Planetary ruler: Sun
Used in Magick for wealth and prosperity. Planetary ruler: Jupiter. Deity: Wood Nymphs
Used in all love Magick for attraction. Planetary ruler: Venus
A high-vibration oil, used for personal protection. It is also a sexual stimulant in the female. Added to any incense, it increases its powers. Mixed with powdered sandalwood, it makes an incense suitable for all religious or spiritual magick. Good for meditation, illumination, and so on. Known to raise spiritual vibrations, draw money, and stimulate psychic powers. Planetary ruler: Sun. Deity: Venus and Aphrodite
Protective, strengthens the five senses. Also “five lucks”- love, money, health, power and wisdom, so is often used to anoint amulet and charm bags.
Attracts friends and customers, protection from insects.
An aphrodisiac, worn to attract lovers. Strengthens memory, protects from hostile negative forces. Inhaled, the oil helps memory and eyesight, in Candle Magick it is used to gain prosperity. Planetary ruler: Jupiter
This oil is worn to ensure chastity, in a literal or magickal sense. Planetary ruler: Moon
A love oil used to anoint candles.
- Cumin Seed:
Brings peace and harmony to the home. Anoint all doorways once a week just before sunrise when the household is asleep ad all is quiet.
Worn to ease childbirth by the expectant mother. Also used in love and marriage spells.
An oil of blessing, consecration and protection. It is a symbol of the Earth-element, as well as of death. When attending a funeral of a friend or loved one, wear this oil so that you will be uplifted by the meaning of death as the doorway to but another life. It also effectively screens out the negative vibrations of the mourners. Wear on Samhain to become aware and remember those who have passed on.It is worn to strengthen longevity of life and for healing. Planetary ruler: Saturn. Deity: Mithras, Pluto, Artemis, Cupid, and Hecate
A healing oil, very useful in recuperation after long illnesses. Promotes healing of any hurt, depression or illness. Especially good for colds or flu. Cures colds with daily application to the throat, forehead and wrists, and by adding it to healing baths. Also used for purification.
One of the most sacred of all oils, used to anoint magickal tools, the altar, etc. A strong purifier used in exorcisms, purification rituals, and blessings. Sacred to the wiccans, this oil is worn to protect against negativity, and is used as a sacred anointing oil. Planetary ruler: Sun. Deity: Ra and Baal
Wear to attract love. A powerful feminine magnetic oil. Protective. Sacred to the Goddess, this oil is used to bring peaceful vibrations and to attract good spirits into the circle. Planetary ruler: Moon
This sweet floral scent is used to attract others in matters of love. Planetary ruler: Venus
A tropical aphrodisiac. Induces passion.
Increases clairvoyance, assists meditation, protects from physical harm. High spiritual vibrations, drenched with the energies of the Sun.
An oil of the mind, it promotes quick thinking and is often used as a memory aid by dabbing on the temples. Also used in prosperity rituals. Wear to increase psychic abilities and clairvoyance; in Candle Magick, use to increase money and prosperity. Planetary ruler: Jupiter
Brings peace of mind to the mentally disturbed. A very relaxing oil.
Increases finances, and is added to the bath to create a purifying atmosphere. An excellent oil to wear during all types of magical rituals.
Symbol of the Moon, and of the mysteries of the night. Jasmine oil is used to attract love. The scent helps one relax, sleep, and also facilitates childbirth. It is sometimes used for meditation and general anointing purposes. This is a purely spiritual oil. This moon flower is worn at night to induce sleep and cause prophetic dreams; in Candle Magick it is used for Love and Dream Magick. Planetary ruler: Moon. Deity: Vishnu
This woody, pine scent is used as an aid in meditation and spiritual enlightenment. In Magick, it is used to communicate with animals. Planetary ruler: Sun
Used in healing and purifying rituals, and also to arouse sexual desire in men. Prostitutes wore it extensively to advertise their trade and to attract customers.This bittersweet flowery scent is used in healing and to bring peace into a troublesome relationship. Also known for magicks pertaining to memory, peace and happiness. Planetary ruler: Mercury.
Evokes protective spirits.
- Lemon Grass:
An aid to the psychic powers. Wear on the forehead. Spiritualists and mediums use it, for it helps make contact with spirits.
Induces Far Memory, the act of recalling past lives. It is also useful in inducing clairvoyant powers in general. Brings peace and harmony.This gentle, sweet scent is used in Candle Magick, as an aid in mental development and past life recollection. It is worn to keep away baneful spirits. Planetary ruler: Venus
This oil is best used magickally to stop manipulation in love affairs. It is also worn for its protective energy. Planetary ruler: Moon. Deity: Venus, Juno, and Kwan Yin
This citrus oil is used for healing, love and protection. Planetary ruler: Sun
The sacred oil of the ancient wiccans, lotus oil has a high spiritual vibration and is suitable for blessing, anointing, meditation, and as a dedicatory oil to your god(s). It is also used in healing rituals. One who wears lotus oil is sure of good fortune and much happiness. Used for healing energies and fertility. Also known to attract good fortune. Planetary ruler: Moon
An excellent oil for meditation and psychic development. It also brings peace and harmony.This oil is used to maintain a faithful relationship. Planetary ruler: Venus
Fights depression, or what the old Witches used to call melancholy.
Used in healing rituals, and also in producing prophetic dreams. Anoint the forehead before retiring.
Used in prosperity spells, and to increase one’s business. Anoint wallets, etc.
- Musk / Dark Musk:
The universally accepted “sex scent”. It is also worn to purify and to gain courage. It is a magnetic oil, worn with equal success by both sexes. This oil is worn as a sexual attractor, and stimulates the psychic body; magickally, it is used to anoint the censor. Planetary ruler: Venus
A purification, protection and hex-breaking oil. Possesses a high vibratory rate, making it excellent for the more religious rituals of magick. Anoint the house every morning and evening as part of any protection ritual. One of the sacred anointing oils, it is worn for blessing, protection, and consecration; magickally it is used for purification and meditation. Planetary ruler: Moon. Deity: Isis, Adonis, Ra, and Marian
“Stupidfyer”. This oil brings peace and harmony, soothes the nerves and relaxes the conscious mind. A “narcotic” type oil. This scent is good for overcoming restlessness, and creating harmony. When worn with patchouli, it creates a high sexual atmosphere. Planetary ruler: Mercury
Magnetic women’s oil. Rubbed between the breasts to attract men, or onto the temples to give peace.
This oil is rubbed onto the temples and the third eye to help in meditation and to induce sleep. It is protective as well.
Brings harmony, raises power.
- Orange Blossom:
To make a person in the mood for marriage, wear this oil. Many women add it to their daily baths to build up their attractiveness. Sometimes known as mantrap.
This sensuous, floral scent is worn to attract love; in candle Magick, it is used for creativity, psychic perception, and mental clarity. Planetary ruler: Venus
- Orris Root:
Attracts the opposite sex. Douse your clothes with the oil.
A very powerful occult oil, one of the magnetic oils to be worn by men. It attracts women. Also wards off negativity and evil, gives peace of mind, and is very sensual. The rich, earthy smell is best known for its capabilities to raise high sexual energy; in Candle Magick, it is used to increase prosperity. Planetary ruler: Saturn
A lucky scent for all who need customers, success in business, or good fortune.
Used to create changes within one’s life. Also used to relax and allow one to unwind.
Cleanses, ends useless recriminations. This evergreen scent, best worn during Yuletide, is used to cleanse the aura; in candle Magick, it is used to increase prosperity. Planetary ruler: Mars. Deity: Cybele, Pan, Venus, Attis, Dionysus, Astarte
The love oil. Used in all love operations, added to baths, and to induce peace and harmony. Take a handful of rose buds, place them in a silver goblet. Pour one dram rose oil over them. Let soak for a week. After this, on a Friday night, burn them over the charcoal to infuse your house with loving vibrations. This is an excellent “peace” incense, and can be done regularly to ensure domestic tranquility.This rich, seductive scent is used to promote thoughts of love and affection. In Magick, it is used in all aspects of love Planetary ruler: Venus. Deity: Hathor, Eros, Cupid, Demeter, Isis, and Adonis
- Rose Geranium:
Oil of protection. Anoint window sills, doors of house. Wear on self. Also imparts courage to the wearer. An excellent oil to use to bless a new home or apartment. A few drops on a charcoal block will release its powerful vibrations throughout the entire house. Also used to anoint censers.
A very vitalizing oil, rosemary is used in healing rituals and also to promote prudence, common sense, and self assurance. It aids mental powers when rubbed onto the temples. It is also protective and is used much like Rose Geranium. Rub onto the temples to ease pain of headache and in all healing rituals.
To break up negativity and curses, anoint a sprig of dried rue with this oil. Tie up in a red bag and carry for protection. Add nine drops of the oil to the bath every night for nine nights in succession during the waning moon to break a spell that has been cast against you. Salt may be added to the bath as well.
Wear to aid in the development of clairvoyant powers.
Powerful clearing and cleansing, removes negative energy. This oil is best used for purification of self, and one’s home. It is also known for longevity, wisdom, and power. Planetary ruler: Jupiter
Protective, very healing, this oil is used to anoint. It also aids one in seeing past incarnations. Try anointing the forehead to promote the Sight. This is known to be one of the most spiritual oils, and an excellent base for most anointing oils; it is also used for healing, meditation, and prayer. Planetary ruler: Moon
Gives hope to one who is sick, discouraged or lonely.
Invokes spiritual blessings, aids transformation.
- Sweet Pea:
One of the most beautiful of all scents, sweet pea oil is worn to attract strangers of all kinds, some of whom may become lovers or friends. Wear as a personal oil.
Wear during rituals to the ancient deities of Egypt, also to anoint sacred objects, such as altars, tools, etc.
Mistress of the Night, as it is also known, is an excellent aphrodisiac. Promotes peace and also aids in psychic powers. Men wear it to attract women. Very much a physical oil.
Vitalizes energy, brings happy occasions to the premises, draws good fortune. A vitalizing oil, said to be sexually arousing in women. Use as an energy restorer. Sometimes used to gain extra power during magical ceremonies. This very soothing scent increases loving and lustful energy. Planetary ruler: Venus
Assists in obtaining material objects. It also stimulates creativity. Aids those who desire success in the performing and creative arts.
This oil is worn to attract a lover; it is used in candle Magick to repel negativity. Planetary ruler: Venus
The oil is used in love operations and is sometimes sexually exciting. However, many people can’t stand the fragrance of the violet, for some curious reason. Once thought to be sacred to the Fairy Queen. Very healing, added to baths. This light, floral scent is used in healing, wards off evil, and helps smooth out tensions in a love affair. Planetary ruler: Venus
The door between the world of men and the realm of the Gods, the passport to higher consciousness and existence, and to bring illumination. Wear only when in complete serenity.
- Ylang – Ylang:
Makes its wearer irresistible to the opposite sex. Also soothes the problems of married life. Can help in finding a job. If worn to interviews you will be much calmer and more impressive to the interviewer. Sometimes called “Flower of Flowers.”A very soothing oil, used in all aspects of healing. Often used in sex Magick.
Information collected from various sources
- Black – Absorb and dispel negative influences, Mystery, Rememberance, Eternity, Constancy
- Blue – Healing, Peace, Astral projection, Fidelity, Sleep, Unity
- Brown – Animals, Helps connect to the rythms and energies of the Earth
- Gold – Activity, Money, The God, The Sun
- Green – Abundance, Calm, Fertility, Prosperity, Neutralize difficult situations, Renewal, Freshness, Hope
- Indigo – Clairvoyance, Healing, Past lives
- Orange – Attraction, Energy, Friendship, Willpower, Endurance, Strength
- Pink – Romantic love, Peace
- Purple – Communication with higher level beings, Connection with the Divine, Ending quarrels, Healing, Tranquility, Patience, Trust, Deep Sleep, Healing serious illnesses
- Red – Courage, Lust, New life, Desire, Passion, Sexuality, Strength, Enthusiasm
- Red Violet – Hidden knowledge
- Silver – Psychic abilities, Spirituality, The Goddess, The Moon
- Turquoise – Spiritual Knowledge
- White – Good fortune, Healing, Purification, Virgin Goddess
- Yellow – Creativity, Communication, Intellect, Knowledge, Youth, Mind Power, Light, Purity, Happiness, Wisdom
See Also: The Magickal Meanings of Colors
Many assume that the term “Holy Water” indicates church-based water only. This is an oversimplification of a complex concept. The Roman Catholic Church did not invent the concept of Holy Water but adopted it from earlier Pagan use. Various Pagan shrines possessed virtually identical Holy Water fonts. Holy Water is a crucial component of many magical, religious and spiritual traditions, although what constitutes Holy Water and how it’s made varies greatly.
Water collected from the Jordan River, and water blessed by the church is considered Holy.
According to British folk tradition, rain falling on Holy Thursday – Ascension Day – may be gathered and used as Holy Water. Any other day held sacred to the spell caster may be substituted: Summer Solstice, May Eve, New Year’s, Samhain, your birthday, a saint’s day, etc.
Holy Water may also be made via astrological correspondences. Some believe that waters synchronized with a lunar eclipse or a Full Moon are holy and charged with extra magickal power.
Balinese tradition uses a variety of Holy Waters. These may include the water found within unripe coconuts or young bamboo. Ocean water is sometimes used as well.
Modern Wicca has evolved the notion of Holy Water. Various formulas exist. At it’s simplest, Witch’s Holy water is spring water with salt added. Different covens may have personal recipes, including infused herbs (rosemary, thyme, and vervain are particularly popular), or crystals.
Pow-Wow also features various recipes but the mainstay is water with salt and vervain added. Christian Pow-Wow may choose church-blessed waters instead.
Balinese Holy Water, Church-blessed Holy Water and Wiccan Holy Water (among others) are consecrated via sacred ritual: the ritual activates the water. Other magical traditions consider that the sacred, magical power of Holy Water is such that no further ritual or consecration is needed and may in fact be interference. Obtaining Holy Water may thus be as simple a gathering rainwater or adding sea salt to spring water. Complex rituals may also be designed.
Holy Water is most commonly used for:
- Cleansing and purification, both for individual bathing and for space-cleansing (sprinkle in corners).
- Altar cleansing and blessing.
- Healing spells.
- Holy Water is also believed capable of magically transmitting physical relief especially for headaches and tension. Use in compresses and massage.
- Cleansing and empowering materials and tools by either anointing them, or soaking them in the Holy Water.
- Exorcism and banishing spells.