The Conjuration Of The Lemon And Pins Sacred to Diana
Charles G. Leland
A lemon stuck full of pins of different colours always brings good fortune.
If you receive as a gift a lemon full of pins of divers colours, without any black ones among them, it signifies that your life will be perfectly happy and prosperous and joyful.
But if some black pins are among them, you may enjoy good fortune and health, yet mingled with troubles which may be of small account. [However, to lessen their influence, you must perform the following ceremony, and pronounce this incantation, wherein all is also described.]
At the instant when the midnight came,
I have picked a lemon in the garden,
I have picked a lemon, and with it
An orange and a (fragrant) mandarin.
Gathering with care these (precious) things,
And while gathering I said with care:
“Thou who art Queen of the sun and of the moon
And of the stars – lo! here I call to thee!
And with what power I have I conjure thee
To grant to me the favour I implore!
Three things I’ve gathered in the garden here:
A lemon, orange, and a mandarin;
I’ve gathered them to bring good luck to me.
Two of them I do grasp here in my hand,
And that which is to serve me for my fate,
Queen of the stars!
Then make that fruit remain firm in my grasp.
[Something is here omitted in the MS. I conjecture that the two are tossed without seeing them into the air, and if the lemon remains, the ceremony proceeds as follows. This is evident, since in it the incantation is confused with a prose direction how to act]
Saying this, one looks up at the sky, and I found the lemon in one hand, and a voice said to me –
“Take many pins, and carefully stick them in the lemon, pins of many colours; and as thou wilt have good luck, and if thou desirest to give the lemon to any one or to a friend, thou shouldst stick in it many pins of varied colours.
“But if thou wilt that evil befall any one, put in it black pins.
“But for this thou must pronounce a different incantation (thus)”:
Goddess Diana, I do conjure thee
And with uplifted voice to thee I call,
That thou shalt never have content or peace
Until thou comest to give me all thy aid.
Therefore tomorrow at the stoke of noon
I’ll wait for thee, bearing a cup of wine,
Therewith a lens or a small burning glass.
And thirteen pins I’ll put into the charm;
Those which I put shall all indeed be black,
But thou, Diana, thou wilt place them all!
And thou shalt call for me the fiends from hell;
Thou’lt send them as companions of the Sun,
And all the fire infernal of itself
Those fiends shall bring, and bring with it the power
Unto the Sun to make this (red) wine boil,
So that these pins by heat may be red-hot;
And with them I do fill the lemon here,
That unto her or him to whom ’tis given
Peace and prosperity shall be unknown.
If this grace I gain from thee
Give a sign, I pray, to me!
Ere the third day shall pass away,
Let me either hear or see
A roaring wind, a rattling rain,
Or hail a clattering on the plain;
Till one of these three signs you show,
Peace, Diana, thou shalt not know.
Answer well the prayer I’ve sent thee,
Or day and night will I torment thee!
As the orange was the fruit of the Sun, so is the lemon suggestive of the Moon or Diana, its colour being of a lighter yellow. However, the lemon specially chosen for the charm is always a green one, because it “sets hard” and turns black. It is not generally known that orange and lemon peel, subjected to pressure and combined with an adhesive may be made into a hard substance which can be moulded or used for many purposes. I have devoted a chapter to this in an as yet unpublished work entitled One Hundred Minor Arts. This was suggested to me by the hardened lemon given to me for a charm by a witch.