Mandrake, which is well known also by its synonyms such as mandragora, love apple, Circe’s plant, Dudaim is native to Southern Europe, especially around the Mediterranean regions of Greece and Rome. Its habitat is uncultivated fields and stony wastelands. It can be cultivated in gardens if given a warm situation because it does not survive to severe winters.
Mandrake has a large brown root, running 3 to 4 feet into the ground. The root is thick and is frequently forked like two legs. It has a short stem topped by ovate leaves. Its fruits consist of orange-colored fleshy berries. Another species of mandrake, Mandragora autumnalis, flowers in winter on the island of Rhodes, and has beautiful mauve and mauve-white blossoms. The fruit, the golden red love apple, ripens in May.
The best known of all the aphrodisiacs of the ancient world was the mandrake or mandragora, a purple-flowered tuber with roots that often resembled the human body. The value of mandrake as an aphrodisiac and as an aid to conception is presented in Genesis (30:14-17).
The roots of mandrake bear a resemblance to the human form. Magically speaking, there are male and female mandrakes. The female form, its root forked and looking like a pair of human legs, is the most sought after. The male, on the other hand, has a single root. It was the female form that was carved in the Middle Ages (in Germany and France) into manikins. It was believed that they brought good luck and wealth.
Mandrake is a parasympathetic depressant, a hallucinogen, and a hypnotic. Most hypnotics spindle alpha brain-wave activity, similar to that found in the dreaming state. This rhythm does not allow deep sleep to occur although it does lower brain patterns into a dreamy visionary mode, known in magic as an astral plane experience.
The first of the two distinct types of love magic is the general charm or medicine that allegedly works on anyone and that is selected because of its distinctive appearance, shape, taste, or easily recognized likeness to human body anatomy.
The fact that mandrake is almost an anaphrodisiac because of its parasympathetic depressant chemistry leads one to consider using it for sexual fantasies rather then for physical activity. It is conducive to an astral fantasy and has a tradition of use in this manner.
Because it does not allow deep sleep to occur, mandrake is well suited to those altered states in which lucid or waking dreams occur very near consciousness. Too often we are unaware of our inner feelings, unaware of the hidden aspects of our personalities, and out of touch with our unconscious emotions.
We can get in touch with ourselves and some of our deepest feelings by using our dreams. Dreams can reveal basic feelings, values, philosophy, and methods of coping with emotional problems. The appearance of symbols is individual and personal, depending one’s life experience. Content includes the mood of the dream and the emotions felt while dreaming. An erotic “waking dream” can be pre-programmed if one’s mood and concentration remain constant after imbibing the mandrake.
Dreams symbols express and extend our waking thoughts. Training yourself to remember and use your dreams can be a pleasant and helpful day-to-day exercise and should not be distorted into an agonizing probing for sin and guilt.
When taken in small doses, mandrake will produce a light, sleep-like trance with very lucid dreams. The effects last for several hours. Immediately upon awakening, whether in the middle of the night or in the morning, try to capture your dream. Write down a summary that includes both its content and mood. Think about your emotions were during the dream and what your feelings about it are now that you are awake.
Don’t worry about any deep probing of symbolism for the first dream; simply enjoy the fact you caught it. If you wish to reflect on its content, do so, but the purpose of the first exercise is simply to experience that fact that you are now in touch with a part or yourself that you probably paid little attention to in the past. A simple method that increases the ability for memorizing the dreams is to remember every night before sleeping all the activities of that day. So, every night before sleeping close your eyes and the “see” with the mind’s eyes the movie of the day with your favourite actor: You. Try to “see” your movie in reverse order, from the end (the moment when you go to bed) to the beginning (the moment when you wake up in that day) of the day. It will be very helpful for you in becoming more consciously.
Any increase in self-awareness or understanding makes us better lovers. The mandrake keeps consciousness close enough to the surface that the contact between the conscious and subconscious selves is experienced.
Place in a glass of water small quantities (less than 30 grains) of the powdered root and drink it slowly. An hour later you will feel the first effects.
Mandrake can be detrimental to the heart because of the tropanes. A tolerance is built up to the tropanes in the parasympathetic system; thus, more mandrake is required to achieve the same effects. This is not true with the effects on the heart, and severe damage may occur. Mandrake is extremely toxic.