‘Earth, divine Goddess, Mother Nature who generates all things and brings forth anew the sun which You have given to the nations; Guardian of sky and sea and of all Gods and powers….through Your power all nature falls silent and then sinks in sleep. And again, You bring back the light and chase away night and yet again, You cover us most securely with Your shades. You do contain chaos infinite, yea and winds and showers and storms; You send them out when You will and cause the seas to roar; You chase away the sun and rouse the storm.
Again, when You will, You send forth the joyous day and give the nourishment of life with Your eternal surety; and when the soul departs to You, we return. You are indeed duly called Great Mother of the Gods; You conquer by Your divine name. You are the source of strength of nations and of Gods. Without You, nothing can be brought to perfection or be born; You are Great Queen of the Gods. Goddess! I adore Thee as divine; I call upon Your name; be pleased to grant that which I ask of You, so shall I give thanks to Thee, Goddess, with due faith.
Hear, I beseech You, and be favorable to my prayer. Whatsoever herb Your power does produce, give, I pray, with goodwill to all nations to save them and grant me this my medicine.
Come to me with Your powers, and howsoever I may use them, may they have good success to whosoever I may give them. Whatever You grant, may it prosper. To You all things return. Those who rightly receive these herbs from me, please make them whole.
Goddess, I beseech You, I pray as a suppliant that by Your majesty, You grant this to me. Now I make intercession to You; all Your powers and herbs and to Your majesty, You whom Earth parent of all has produced and given as a medicine of health to all nations and has put majesty upon You, I pray You, the greatest help to the human race.
This I pray and beseech from You, be present here with Your virtues, for She who created You has Herself promised that I may gather You into the goodwill of him on whom the art of medicine was bestowed, and grant for health’s sake good medicine by grace of Your powers. I pray grant me through Your virtues that whatsoever is wrought by me, through You, may in all its powers have good and speedy effect and good success and that I may always be permitted with the favor of Your majesty to gather You into my hands and to glean Your fruits. So shall I give thanks to You in the name of the majesty which ordained Your birth.’
(Modernized version of a 12th century herbalist spell. Original translation from ‘Early English Magic and Medicine’, by Dr. Charles Singer. Proceedings of the British Academy, Vol. IV )
Image: Susan Seddon-Boulet