Honey Magic and Folklore

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Honey Magic and Folklore

Honeycomb Rich With Honey
Honey is delicious, healthy, and magical!. Michelle Garrett / Getty Images

During the late summer and early fall, honey is a staple crop in many parts of the world. This deliciously sweet and sticky gift from the bee population is considered a health food - it will protect you against allergies if you eat just a teaspoon of locally sourced honey each day - and also has a number of magical properties.

In some forms of Hoodoo and folk magic, honey is used to sweeten someone’s feelings towards you. In one traditional spell, honey is poured into a jar or saucer on top of a slip of paper containing the person’s name. A candle is placed in the saucer, and burned until it goes out on its own. In another variation, the candle itself is dressed with honey.

Cat Yronwoode of Luckymojo recommends using honey to sweeten the people in your life. She does point out that the sweetening element doesn't have to be honey, but it certainly does come in handy. She says, "Around 2005, the use of honey in sweetening spells -- rather than sugar, syrup, jam, or chewing gum -- became a fad that swept the internet. Lots of people were posting about it, and as a result, i began to get lots of questions from people who asked me if the sweetener "has to be honey." I pointed them to this page, answered as many questions as i could about the history of sweet spells, and hoped that they would understand the wide amount of variation we can see in even the most traditional of these spells."

Some ancient cultures used honey in embalming procedures. It’s always appropriate to leave offerings of honey at a gravesite. In addition, the folklore of a number of societies indicates that a blend of honey and milk is an acceptable offering to deity. In particular, honey is sacred to Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty.

In Hindu texts, honey is described as one of the five sacred elixirs of immortality. The Buddhist faith celebrates Madhu Purnima, which honors the day that Buddha made peace among his disciples - and honey is given as a gift to monks in his honor.

Honey, because of its sticky properties, can also be used in magic to hold two things together. Some magical traditions use honey to bind a couple that has a shaky relationship. If you want to do a honey binding on a couple - or even on two friends who are struggling with their friendship - you can use poppets with a layer of honey between them, and then wrapped with a cord. Because honey does not solidify, you can always separate the two poppets later with minimal disruption.

Cory at New World Witchery suggests honey jars as a good way to get started with folk magic. Cory says, "These jars are also known as “sweetening jars,” and can actually contain almost any kind of pure sweetener, such as brown or white sugar, molasses, or syrup.  This is a good way to start doing hoodoo, because it is a very positive type of magic (you’re only making your relationships with those you sweeten better, after all) and it also teaches you to get your hands a little dirty (because you must push the names into the jar with your fingers, and then lick them clean…a nice reward for your efforts!).  You can make jars for each person you want to sweeten if you’re working more elaborate spells on them, or keep one jar with lots of names in it for general sweetening.  You can also make vinegar or “souring” jars, which is a form of hexing.  I’d generally wait to do a souring jar until after you’ve tried a few sweetening ones, though."