Tuesday, August 6, 2013

GinandJack is Correct!

“Anyway, what I was going to type before so rudely interrupted, was, for those of you interested in flying ointments: it’s not all Anglo-Saxon or Scots stuff! There’s sources for such things in various cultures! Even in ancient Greece. Really! Apuleius gives us this passage about Pamphile:
“When she had taken off all her clothes, she opened a coffer from which she took several boxes. She removed the lid of one of them and took out a perfumed ointment with which she anointed her whole body from the tips of her nails to her head, rubbing it in for a long time. Then, after sitting in the lamplight for a long time, she moved her limbs rhythmically. While they were gently beating the air, a soft down could gradually be seen to wave, strong feathers to grow, a beaked nose to harden, and curved nails to thicken. Pamphile took the form of an owl. Then, with a plaintive cry she practised leaving the ground with increasingly high leaps and soon she soared into the sky and her wings bore
her strongly away...”
- Anyway What I Was Going to Type Before So Rudely... (Via G&J.)
Yeah, he's totally correct. We have to be extremely careful with this subject because it is complex and deals with nearly universal elements that many people don't always recognize. First, intoxicants used for spiritual purposes have an extremely long history in Europe and the Middle East, and coincide to a certain degree with uses we see in the New World, etc.

The question arises: “what, specifically, has to be involved before we can call something a Flying Ointment?”

Do we also include similar practices, like the PDM “spells” (potions) for Evil Sleep? They include many, if not most, of the same plants. I have two examples of them in my second Dead Man's Hand entry.

Insofar as I'm concerned, a plant or series of plants that produce intoxication must be involved. Additionally, the recipe has to be 'coherent' in a sense. But we'll find this idea dispersed across Europe and it does no good to be simplistic or narrow down the range of where the items were used to a single European country.

Anyone that does that should probably be challenged.

Anyway, here is another, more recent flying potion/ointment (well, powder) recipe in an entry of mine:

I especially like it because it includes Hashish. And I won't make any bones about that.

Thanks for the Apuleius reference, dude! I'm saving that to my stuff to make your face melt and help you see Dead People files.

[PS. Mandrake is one of the coolest plant Daimons I know. So much fun to work with!]

1 comment:

ginandjack said...

I was just browsing for the DMH post you recced to me, and I thank you kindly! This is really timely, as I'm thankful for the info and the shout out!