botanical images

Mandrake

(Atropa mandragora, Mandragora officinale) Poisonous

Folk Names: Alraun, Anthropomorphon, Baaras, Brain Thief, Circeium, Circoea, Galgenmannchen, Gallows, Herb of Circe, Hexenmannchen (German: Witches’ Mannildn), Ladykins, Mandragen, Mandragor, Mannikin, Raccoon Berry, Semihomo, Wild Lemon, Womandrake, Zauberwurzel (German: Sorcerer’s Root).
Gender: Masculine.
Planet: Mercury.
Element: Fire.
Deities: Hecate, Hathor.
Powers: Protection, Fertility, Money, Love, Health.

Magical Uses: A whole mandrake root, placed on the mantel in the home, will give the house protection, fertility, and prosperity. Mandrake is also hung on the head- board for protection during sleep, carried to attract love, and worn to prevent contraction of illnesses. Where there is mandrake, demons cannot reside, and so the root is used in exorcism.
To “activate” a dried mandrake root (i.e., to bring its powers out of hibernation), place it in some prominent location in the house and leave it there undisturbed for three days. Then place it in warm water and leave overnight. Afterwards, the root is activated and may be used in any magical practice. The water in which the root has bathed can be sprinkled at the windows and doors of the house to protect it, or onto people to purify them.
The mandrake has also long served as a poppet in image magic, but its extreme scarcity and high cost usually forces the Magician and Witch to look for substitutes; ash roots, apples, the root of the briony, the American may-apple and many others have been used.
Money placed beside a mandrake root (especially silver coins) is said to double, and the scent of the mandrake causes sleep.

(from Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham)

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Sunny Lotus by Stanley Zimny

Thomas Gainsborough was christened this day in 1727.

Did you know that good ol’ Blue Boy once had a dog standing next to him? The Huntington had this famous Gainsborough painting x-rayed back in 1995, and that’s when the furry pooch was discovered.

caption: Thomas Gainsborough (British, 1727-88), The Blue Boy, 1770, oil on canvas, 70 5/8 x 48 ¾ in. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. X-ray images from 1995. GIFed by The Huntington.

Let Me Clean You Up
  • Featuring: Hiroshi Kirisawa from Metro PD: Close To You
  • Rating: Mature, smut content.
  • Author’s Note: Second prize for my follower fanfic giveaway goes to @button-kitty ! I apologise for taking so long and the entirely hopeless way I created the scenario you wanted. I hope you enjoy it! ;) 

Botan stole a glance at Hiroshi, who was starting to prepare their dinner. As always, cooking together was a ton of fun. She thought back to this morning when they had finally caught the criminal responsible for a spate of murders after a grueling investigation that lasted several months. Including weeks of stakeouts. While she didn’t mind putting in the work, stakeouts weren’t the best part of the job. Especially if she was in a car with Hiroshi and found her thoughts wandering. Just like they were now. But, he looked so handsome and it had been a while.

He took off his black jacket in the living room. The sleeves of his navy shirt were rolled up, and somehow he looked even hotter because of that. His tie was loosened around his neck, thrown over his shoulder as he diced up some carrots. Botan had an image of him cutting up his tie and laughed at that sudden thought. “What’s the matter?” Hiroshi enquired, taking a moment to glance at her. “Oh, nothing.” She smiled, opening the refrigerator and taking out the various ingredients needed for their meal.

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“A picture expresses things more surely and fixes them more deeply in the mind than the bare words of the text.”

—16th-century doctor and botanist Leonhart Fuchs explaining why his herbal, De historia stirpium commentarii insignes… (Notable commentaries on the history of plants…), included over 500 pictures.

Images: Wellcome Library, London, CC BY 4.0. More beautiful CC-licensed images over at Wellcome Images.