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  • Birth Pangs Spell June 13, 2017

    Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern , trackback

    Location: this spell was attested in Salem, Massachusetts, 1670. It was used by one Zerobabel [[great name]] Endicott (Carter 1986, 23). Zerobabel (aka Zerubabbel) was a physician and here we have the sometimes thin line between 17C magic and 17 medicine.*

    Aim: to relieve birth pangs

    Ingredients: ale wort, ant nest, ant trowel, pre-heated oven, red cow, scissors, virgin girl.

    Method: (i) get a virgin about half the weight of the mother to be.

    (ii) cut a lock of hair ‘on any part of ye head’ from the virgin

    (iii) cut the hair up into very, very fine pieces.

    (iii) find twelve ant eggs and dry them in an oven after bread is removed

    (iv) powder the eggs and the hair together

    (v) put this powder either in a pint of milk from a red cow or in strong ale wort; the strong ale wort may do something to dull the pain, of course, in its own right.

    Dangers: carry the scissors carefully, choose the ants nest carefully and don’t burn yourself in the oven.

    Antiquity: Was this brought over from Europe or do we have a genuine New World innovation? No obvious parallels from Old England.

    Help: can anyone find parallels to this spell or more about Zerobabel Endicott? Drbeachcombing At yahoo DOT com

    *Take another of Zerobabel’s treatment, this time for those distracted in love: ‘Tak milk of a Nurse that giues such to a male Child and also take a hee Catt and cut one of his Ears or a peece of it and Lett it blede into the mi lk and then Lett the sick woman drink it doe this three Times’.