2010-02-25 / News

It’s a good day to rid your house of evil spirits

Flotsam and Jetsam
By Donna Drago

It’s Feb. 25. That means it’s a good day for baking. I am craving pumpkin bread, so I might make a loaf or two. It is also a very good day to wax floors.

Wax floors? Does anyone still do that?

I am referring to the astrology section of the 2010 Farmers’ Almanac, in which both good and bad days for performing various mundane tasks are recommended for those who need guidance in these matters. For instance, if you were planning on potty training your toddler, you will have to wait until March 4. You will not get good results on a paint job today, but you can do it tomorrow and Saturday.

I guess I can infer that today is probably a good day to choose a color and buy a paintbrush.

What about more complicated tasks like dieting? Well, the prognosticators at the Almanac suggest Feb. 28 as a good day to begin a weight-loss program.

The Farmers’ Almanac has been publishing folksy wisdom and gardening advice from Lewiston, Maine since 1818. On a gray, cold day, it can be fun to pore over a copy with a cup of tea. I especially like the ads.

Essiac Herbal Formula bought a full color page. You can buy some in powder, extract or capsules, but it doesn’t say what it’s for. In tiny print, it says, “This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”

So what does it do? And on what day should I use it, according to the astrological calendar?

I like the down home sayings that are sprinkled throughout the book, such as, “Good character, like good soup, is usually homemade” and “To be happy, don’t add to your possessions but subtract from your desires.”

These are the kinds of things I’d expect to hear Grandpa say on the Waltons.

Grier’s Almanac 2010 is published for the southern states. They have been around since 1807 and have their headquarters in Atlanta. They also offer old-fashioned advice, but do it southern style.

They give a complete refresher course on the Ten Commandments, just in case we forgot them. In an ad for a “new” Bible, the sellers claim that this book is printed on “high-quality French bible paper.”

What exactly is “French bible paper?” Is that superior to others?

Grier’s ads also include mysterious unguents and creams like “Tetterine Ointment,” which doesn’t offer a single clue as to what condition it can help with. Then there’s the Baridium Urinary Analgesic – a product name you’d surely have to whisper to your friendly pharmacist while trying to stifle a giggle.

But the ads that intrigue me the most are those like the full page that hawks “Lucky Mojo Bags & Kits.”

The mojo bags come in regular strength for $15, double strength for $25 and, if you think you can handle it, triple strength for $35. You can get a “Love Bag” to strengthen a relationship or find a lover. The “Protection Bag” will drive away evil. These folks also sell “Lucky Lottery Perfume” for just $5, which, after you apply it, will help pick the winning numbers.

There is a Rexall Drugs ad from a location in Atlanta that is advertising an herbal tea called Planta #32, which is used to stamp out “the evil crawling around and inside you like little worms or evil snakes.”

I’m totally serious.

It costs $19.99. If I had that condition, I’m sure I would think that price was a great bargain.

Another company sells a large selection of herbs, roots and oils. They offer a product called “Stop Evil Sprinkling Salts and Yard Dressing.” It’s only $5, and “works to move out all evil, enemies, and jinx on you and your home and family.” It can be used inside or out, and the company says that instructions are included.

I would hope so.

The common theme in Grier’s ads seems to be the riddance of evil – either by potion, mojo bags or reading Bible verses.

In my experience down here, Southern folks tend to be more superstitious than northerners. On a Saturday afternoon, I can take a ride and find women with booths set up on the roadsides. They sell herbal cures and love potions.

There is a lady that sells bottle trees nearby, too. The bottles are supposed to trap evil spirits before they get into your house. Many people down here paint their door and window trim a blue-green shade they call “haint blue” because evil spirits won’t pass through a portal painted that color.

I don’t have a bottle tree, though I think they are pretty. My windows and doors aren’t painted haint blue and I don’t own a single mojo bag. Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t seem to have any evil spirits or worms or snakes in my house either.

Maybe it’s just a southern thing.

Return to top