A protection against witches, demons, vampires,
the evil eye and other dark supernatural forces, and an
ingredient in folk healing remedies. Garlands of garlic
worn around the neck or hung in a house are said to
ward off evil spirits, creatures and spells. In Mexico, the
ajo macho is a huge garlic, sometimes as big as a baseball,
used exclusively as an amulet against evil in general,
but not against specific curses, which require their own
special remedies. According to custom, the ajo macho
will work only if it is given as a gift, not if it is bought. In
Europe, the phrase “here’s garlic in your eyes” is said to
ward off the evil eye.
In times past, garlic was used to prove guilt. Suspects
tossed garlic cloves into a fire; the one whose clove
popped was guilty.
In healing folklore, garlic is widely reputed for its
ability to cure and prevent colds and other ailments. It is
baked in bread, ground into powder and made into liniment.
Ancient Roman soldiers wore garlic into battle for
extra courage. In ancient Greece and Rome, garlic was
placed at crossroads as an offering to Hecate, the goddess
of witchcraft and the night. Odysseus used garlic
as protection against the witchcraft of Circe, who turned
his men into swine
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Categories: Paganism and Witchcraft
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