Monday, June 09, 2008

Our Friend The Mandrake Root, by Lorraine a' Malena



Is there a plant more shrouded in mystery and magic than the Mandrake Root? The name itself seems to invoke nothing so much as mystery. Deep mystery. A plant that screams when uprooted? Avoided, wrapped in myth and half truths? How many people grow it in their backyard, and more important, know it's secret?

The real magic. Of all growing things.......

Sit in on a bit of Lorraine and Malena conversation...

M: DEV!! My Mandrake roots are growing! Two years have passed since I planted them and they are finally up!!!

L: That's great Div! Wait. You sound REALLY happy and it is not dark yet. Your Mandrake are growing??? Div,who died. Wait, I Do Not Want To Know. He probably deserved it.


(there are legends about where the Mandrake grow, and how. Emily, if you do not know in five years, I will tell you. Don't worry about it until then, it's way worse than Voodoo Wasps...The rest of you, be gentle, remember our younger readers!)

Here is The Now Famous Root..(well, the leaves of the Famous Root.)



Let's look at the history of Mandragora officianarum. It has been around a long time, and a quick search of the Internet tells us it has been used medicinally for, well, pretty much EVERYTHING. Sick? Here, have a Mandrake Root, you will feel better in NO time!

M: He did, don't WORRY, the moon was full, and I was hungry, and ......

L: I SAID I do not want to know!!!!!!!

M: I can't wait till they are bigger, I do so love the way they scream when you pull them up!!!!

L: Doesn't bother you, I know. Drives humans quite mad. Record it when you do and we will put it on the next cd....


Deep Purple recorded a song called, simply "Mandrake Root" here are the lyrics in their entirety:

I've got a Mandrake Root
It's some thunder in my brain
I feed it to my babe
She thunders just the same
Food of love sets her flame
Ah, stick it up

I've got the Mandrake Root
Baby's just the same
She still feels a quiver
She's still got the flame
She slows down, slows right down
I've got the power




Which makes a lot more sense than what we found in Genesis. You know the bible has some pretty wacky stories (it makes on wonder how many of the far right Christian types, who are always objecting to things people do, and quote God from it, have actually READ it, but that's another blog..)

“And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, "Give me, I pray thee, of thy son's mandrakes." And she said unto her, "Is it a small matter that thou hast taken my husband? And wouldst thou take away my son's mandrakes also?" And Rachel said, "Therefore he shall lie with thee tonight for thy son's mandrakes." And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, "Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son's mandrakes." And he lay with her that night. And God harkened unto Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob the fifth son. “
• Genesis 30:14-17




L: SO what are we going to DO with these roots?

M: OH! I have the best idea, you know next time you are out...


And that, my nocturnal Friends is where we will leave our conversation with Lorraine and Malena. So concludes our report on "Our Friend, the Mandrake Root. We will leave you , of course, John Donne...

GO and catch a falling star,
Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me where all past years are,
Or who cleft the devil's foot,
Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
Or to keep off envy's stinging,
And find
What wind
Serves to advance an honest mind.

Sweet Dreams, of Nightime Gardens,

Lorraine and Malena

39 Comments:

At 11:20 PM , Blogger spacedlaw said...

Well, I can't really see these things making their way into a crumble, but they would be some addition to Malena's potions for sure.

 
At 11:58 PM , OpenID kali-licious said...

Ah mandrakes, they make good poppets;)

 
At 3:51 AM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

Will Malena be fashioning herself an android to do her diva bidding? Hmmm...

The Voodo Wasp-Bengal Alliance will have to take into account this new player...

 
At 4:15 AM , Blogger Phiala said...

Oh dear - watch out in a few years, Cabal! Because of course you need a dog to uproot the plant, so that no human is harmed by its screams.

There are a pair of really nice mandrakes in a medieval herbal held by Oxford. They have it online, but it's more conveniently here.

There's male and female mandrakes (naked), and the requisite dog. And lots of other neat stuff - I'm very fond of medieval plant illustrations.

 
At 7:40 AM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

No good in crumble, that's for sure.

Mandrakes and poppets?????

I can't tell you what Malena plans to do, but be glad, very glad she is on the side of the Voodo-wasp Bengal alliance...And she has Pig-dog-bat-frog dogs to do the pulling up, so we are ok there.

We will be ready.

Medieval things are just good. I still think Distant Mirror one of the best books ever.

 
At 8:08 AM , OpenID pantagruel said...

Are those yew needles near the mandrake root?

The Cabal Cabal might just dig up the root before the Voodo Wasp-Bengal Alliance can get to it. And then it will be ours! Only, how to convince him to not chew it…

 
At 8:37 AM , Blogger LaM said...

I'm losing track of who is on what side, and what we are fighting for....

Interesting link here....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EGXmfU825w

 
At 9:00 AM , Blogger ivenotime said...

i lost that many threads ago, tho my brain is still muddling about in foggy land, this is such a nice place to be a zombie in. i thought this post was quite informative, didn't know much about mandrake except what was in Harry Potter. pretty cool stuff, had no idea it had such a history. i have twin 21 year olds today! last night they went to a bar for their first post midnight beverage of choice. ahh youth, how fast the time flies.

 
At 9:09 AM , Blogger Aleta said...

There are enough cool things in this post and the comments to keep me away from what I should be doing for hours! Yay!

I am also getting very confused about who is on which side and whatnot. World domination is overrated, I think. Too much work. I'll make friends on all sides and just hope for the best.

 
At 9:17 AM , OpenID pantagruel said...

What do you mean, what are we fighting for?!

The Cabal Cabal is fighting for nothing less than freedom from the oppressive and stinging Voodo Wasp-Bengal Alliance! We are on the side of laying in the sun, tasty things to eat, and belly rubs. We live to guard our favorite people and chase prey. We refuse to be Friends to Cats, or Civil to Bees. We will dig up the mandrake root to keep it safe from the Alliance. But exactly how must remain secret. Otherwise, we wouldn't be a cabal.

 
At 9:21 AM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

There are no sides!! There are only those who swear fealty to the Voodoo Wasp Queen and her Bengal allies and those who will soon be stung and clawed!

There are no endangered species; just those we currently allow to live.

 
At 9:40 AM , Blogger ivenotime said...

stung? clawed? (cowers, runs and hides)

 
At 9:48 AM , Blogger scored4life said...

Gee Dan Guy, what are we going to do today?

And yes I'm thinking what your thinking...

 
At 10:02 AM , Blogger LaM said...

REALLY interesting link here, if you can take time out from World Domination....(Yes, I know, evil never sleeps)

La-de-da.......It's not like anyone has been working on a VIDEO for the past year or anything.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EGXmfU825w

 
At 10:09 AM , Blogger EmilyLady said...

Oh, don't mind me. You can all chat about zombies and mandrakes and the like as much as you want. I'll just go off and huddle in a corner ...

Lorraine, I'm just hoping there are no mandrakes in Rhode Island. (crosses fingers) Ouch. I actually can't cross my fingers ....

I love that John Donne song. (I love anything by John Donne, actually.)

Again, don't mind me, everyone!

~Emily

 
At 10:46 AM , Blogger Kitty Cat said...

nicely handled, as i was wondering if you would go into the hanged man theory in front of wee Emily.
oxo

 
At 10:47 AM , Blogger Kitty Cat said...

oh and Ivenotime-- congrats on the twins bdays, you must be feeling a mixture of relief and terror...
hahahAHAHAHAHAH

 
At 10:50 AM , Blogger ivenotime said...

oh oh oh! i just cked my email, and i had a link in there to Malena's and your vid!!! Beautifully done ladies, very haunting. i couldn't help but giggle during the mermaid segment as you both posted quite abit about how difficult and cold and how unwieldy the tail was. Very Cool!

 
At 10:57 AM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

It was difficult, all of it. In the mermaid shots, I am in the water too, as one can't SWIM with a mermaid costume on...

Glad you liked it, we are proud as poppies!

Congrats on the Twins!

Now I am going to figure out how to post this as ME and not LaM!

 
At 10:58 AM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

HA! I am ME again!

 
At 11:06 AM , Blogger Kitty Cat said...

Quiche when you say interesting link! you ain't kidding!!!

tres interesting.
you girls are beautiful!
but who are those other people!!! hahahah

 
At 11:18 AM , OpenID pantagruel said...

The video's very cool. ;) But not enough Lorraine in it! :) And who are the other people? Maybe lyrics will help explain the song to me.

Now, back to plotting…

 
At 12:43 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

More than enough Lorraine, thank you!! I am SO not an in front of the camera person. But I LOVED producing...

The lyrics are by Gregory McGuire, I'll see if we can find them....

The other people are NY folks, Kimberly's intern and some friends children....

 
At 1:54 PM , OpenID kali-licious said...

I got the link last night in my email just before bed.:) Made for a lovely lullaby.

 
At 2:07 PM , Blogger EmilyLady said...

I'm Wee Emily now? I don't think anybody has ever called me Wee Emily. Goodness, I do not want to spoil anyone's fun by being so wee.

~Emily

 
At 2:35 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

You are young yet, Grasshopper, and not yet grown to your full power.

(Which will no doubt be put to good use by Master Danguy at the right time...)

I mailed your cd's yesterday....

 
At 4:32 PM , Blogger EmilyLady said...

Goodness me. Should I be afraid of Dan Guy?

Thanks, Lorraine! I really look forward to hearing your music (and I hope you don't feel I pushed you about mailing them)!

~Emily

 
At 4:47 PM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

Afraid of me? Never! I am the very pink of courtesy.

I am a beneficent overlord. My subjects my bow on one knee only.

 
At 4:51 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

Push me??? Hee-hee, Emily, I am of the Elite in Personal Assistanting. Can't be done. We eat nails for breakfast.

I hope, for Danguys sake, we are on the same side.

Truly.

 
At 5:24 PM , Blogger Kitty Cat said...

Danth is the stuff that nightmares are made of, he is a beast, a monster, the very epitome of horror film villians.
ok, not true.
xoxoxoxoxoxo we LOVE the DANGUY!

 
At 5:38 PM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

Oh, certainly we are on the same side, FabLo! I'm really a benevolent evil genius. More of a Robin Hood than a Snidely Whiplash, true be told.

Running, jumping, climbing trees, deploying orbital lasers in order to blackmail world governments while up there...

 
At 5:50 PM , Blogger Rubius said...

love the vid.. well done ladies. It is beautiful. I second the call for lyrics. I am the most un-lyrical person... I can't figure out lyrics unless you beat me over the head with them.

that has been my soundtrack for today.

I gotta ask though.. how is it you guys got e-mail links? I found it through my youtube subscription. Am I NOT on a subscriber's list or something? Just wondering if I need to sign up somewhere.

Danth may be an evil genius... but he is not to be feared. His is the GOOD kind of evil.

 
At 5:58 PM , Blogger ariandalen said...

The movie "Flesh and Blood" starring Jennifer Jason Leigh and Rutger Hauer has a scene featuring mandrake root and where it may be found. Dear Emily, I believe the movie is rated R, and I know it has nudity, sex and violence. This means that you will need to ask your parents before watching it. Though you can probably read about it in "A Modern Herbal" by M. Grieve which you may be able to obtain by Inter Library Loan if your local library doesn't have a copy.

And, yes, I have copies of all of the above. I'm simply too lazy to get up and double check such things. ;)

As far as parts of previous comments go...I love it when my fandoms collide! L'aMies, Browncoats, and Bedheads (Bedlam Bards) all overlapping! ::BIG GRIN::

 
At 6:00 PM , Blogger ariandalen said...

I'm with Rubius on the email. I got the link from Ms. Fabulous' comments above.

Now I'm off to watch said video. :)

 
At 6:10 PM , Blogger ariandalen said...

Beautiful video, ladies!

 
At 6:37 PM , Blogger FabulousLorraine said...

That's what we are about here! Non Stop collision here at the LaM blog, and world domination, and The Lesson of the Mandrake. (not that I know exactly what that is...)

I love it that we talk about so many things, with such a diverse group of people. We should have a Pah-te someday...

 
At 2:53 PM , OpenID pantagruel said...

The Cabal Cabal knows the Lesson of the Mandrake.

I like the idea of a Pah-te! yes!

 
At 12:10 PM , OpenID mistressmousey said...

Danth is definitely the type to be feared because he's evil. But he is the fun sort of evil. And the fear is the sort that you feel when you're about to ride that roller coaster that you've already been on 3 times today but you have to go again, even though you're deathly afraid of it. :)

Yeah, Dan's like that.

Especially when he scares himself with poppets in his socks. :P

(ducks)

 
At 7:04 PM , Blogger Dan Guy said...

That anecode is going to be declared a state secret just as soon as the Voodoo Wasp-Bengal-REanimated Bee Alliance gives me this continent!

 

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