With Valentine’s day coming up, I thought I’d post a bit on what I know of traditional Ozark love magic. However, dear readers, I must also include a word of caution concerning love spells- they usually come back to bite you in the ass. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
~A peach pit or cherry stone would be carved with initials or symbols and would sometimes contain a bit of specially made pink soap. This charm is worn on a necklace or garter.
~Orrisroot, worn around the neck, is another love charm.
~Wasps’ nests would be pinned to undergarments to attract men.
~A man’s hatband, secretly taken from him, and made into a garter, works as a love charm on the original owner of the hatband.
~Yellow garters are attraction charms and make a lover faithful. However, they are not to be worn by a married woman unless she is interested in another man.
~When my dad was growing up, young women would tie strips of their clothing (in particular, a torn off piece of undergarment, like a slip) to the branch of a pawpaw tree as a love charm.
~I’m not sure why, but one item of lore says to place dried turkey bones about the room to make someone you’re meeting there fall in love with you.
Yarrow, lady slipper roots, dodder/love vine/angel’s hair, moccasin flower roots, and the leaves and stems of mistletoe were all considered “love medicine” a few generations ago in the Ozarks.
The Love Cure
So lets say despite all warnings, you tried a love spell and were successful- only to realize later that it was a mistake- you don’t much like this person after all. Or perhaps you have an unwanted suitor through no effort on your part. Don’t worry, just serve him/her a bowl of turnips and s/he will fall out of love with you.