The Power of Charms..
It is very unfortunate that the power of charms and other similar incantations fell out of favor with modern man in recent centuries, and equally interesting to see the slow revival in the last few decades. The medical establishment lost a valuable tool when the age of reason and the development of the scientific method supplanted the influence of hedge witches, the cunning woman and man, and other practitioners of the medieval healing professions. The church did an excellent job in suppressing the pagan religions that were at the forefront of those arts, but early renaissance men saw their value, even if they discounted their arcane worth and attributed success to divine intervention.
Lea Olsan eloquently put a finger on the proverbial pulse when she stated “This belief in the power of the words to change the circumstances or reality lies at the basis of the use of a charm. The words might be spoken in a patient’s ear, written on bread or hosts and ingested, or carried on the person as a preventative. The directions for performance of the charm not seldom include specific accompanying acts, which in late medieval manuscripts are often simple tasks of caretakers, on the one hand, or acts intended to strengthen the sufferer mentally by means of evocation of deeply felt religious symbols.” (13)
Early attempts at melding charms into modern medicine was attempted by the church, without the success they saw in absorbing and assimilating the ontology of pagan life. When they stamped out their accepted use in healing, I believe they doomed many innocent people. Prayers and charms should have gone hand in hand with new and innovative treatments, but this was incompatible with doctrine.
We now know of the incredible power of the “Placebo Effect”, and as practitioners of witchcraft we also know it is even more profound than that. Effect can indeed be shaped by Will alone… the essence of magic. Neither way is more beneficial or powerful without the other. 1+0=1… 1+1=2. Basic mathematics are applicable.