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Orange Flower Water - Marriage

From:  catherine yronwode 
Subject:  Orange Flower Water - Marriage
Date:  Tue, 04 Jul 2000 19:06:35 GMT

Eoghan Ballard wrote:
> In Harry M. Hyatt's "Hoodoo, Conjuration, Witchcraft, Rootwork" 
> Vol. Two, Pg.1503, as part of a longer interview with Madam 
> Lindsey of Algiers, LA, a formula appears in a brief description 
> of how she works with St. Martha. Hyatt describes a lamp intended 
> to make a relationship faithful using milk, honey and Orange-flower 
> water. Anyone know other uses of Orange-flower water? It is still 
> available in many botanicas and  hoodoo drugstores, so I figured it 
> probably had as many uses as Hoyt's Cologne or Florida Water.

Orange blossoms and their essential oil (neroli oil) are related by US
custom to weddings (this is probably true in other European-influenced
countries as well). Thus, aside from its culinary uses as a flavoring of
cakes and candies, orange-flower water is a magical significator for
faithfulness in a marriage, and is used for love spells involving fidelity
and monogamy. That is its only use in African-American hoodoo, in my 

The connection between orange-flowers and marriage is of European
derivation, i believe, not African. For a corroboration from the time
period that you and i are researching, i can point to a 1905 book on
karezza (a form of sexual mysticism) called "Hell on Earth Made Heaven
or the Marriage Secrets of a Chicago Contractor" by George Washington
Savory. This was self-published by the author under the publisher's
name, "The Orange Blossom Society." 

By referencing orange blossoms wile simultaeously using the term "Marriage 
Secrets" in the title, Mr. Savory, an Anglo-American Protestant Christian, 
who also wrote books on Bible symbolism, meant to indicate that "Hell 
on Earth Made Heaven" was not pornographic or erotic in nature, but dealt 
with what was then euphemistically called "The Ethics of Marriage" -- 
that is, monogamous sexual relationships between a husband and wife. 

This culturally-accepted link between orange blossoms and marriage vows 
is the reason that a Louisiana root worker would use orange-flower water 
in a love spell for fidelity. 

cat yronwode 

Hoodoo in Theory and Practice --

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This post copyright 2000 catherine yronwode. All rights reserved.

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