The Nine Herbs Charm is an Old English charm recorded in the 10th century Lacnunga manuscript. The charm is intended for treatment of poison and infection through the preparation of nine herbs. The numbers nine and three are mentioned frequently within the charm and are significant numbers in Germanic paganism and later Germanic folklore. The poem contains references to both Christian and English Pagan elements, including a mention of the major Germanic god Woden.
According to R.K. Gordon, the poem is "clearly an old heathen thing which has been subjected to Christian censorship." Malcolm Laurence Cameron proposes a psychological value to the poem for ancient patients, stating that chanting the poem aloud results in a "marvellously incantatory effect".
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Famous quotes containing the words charm and/or herbs:
“An island always pleases my imagination, even the smallest, as a small continent and integral portion of the globe. I have a fancy for building my hut on one. Even a bare, grassy isle, which I can see entirely over at a glance, has some undefined and mysterious charm for me.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“Took a few herbs and apples, and the Day
Turned and departed silent. I, too late,
Under her solemn fillet saw the scorn.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)