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Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels written by the British author J. K. Rowling. The books chronicle the adventures of the adolescent wizard Harry Potter and his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The main story arc concerns Harry's quest to overcome the evil wizard Lord Voldemort, whose aim is to conquer the wizarding world and subjugate non-magical people, and who seeks to destroy all those who stand in his way, such as Harry's parents. Since the 30 June 1997 release of the first novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, (retitled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in the United States) the books have gained immense popularity, critical acclaim and commercial success worldwide. The series has also had some share of criticism, including concern for the increasingly dark tone. As of June 2008, the book series has sold more than 400 million copies and has been translated into 67 languages, and the last four books have consecutively set records as the fastest-selling books in history. A series of many genres, including fantasy and coming of age (with elements of mystery, thriller, and romance), it has many cultural meanings and references. According to Rowling, the main theme is death,although it is primarily considered to be a work of children's literature. There are also many other themes in the series, such as love and prejudice.

Botanical Name: Mandragora officianarum (Solanaceae) Synonyms: Mandragora, Satan's Apple, love apple, Circe's plant, Dudaim, Ladykins, Mannikin, Racoon, Berry, Bryony roots

Description The real Mandrake (the plant) is a long leafed (nearly a foot long, and 6" wide) dark green plant with small greenish-yellow or purple bell-shaped flowers that drow on 3-4" stalks. The flowers eventually fruit into small orange-coloured fleshy berries with a strong, apple-like scent, hence the name Satan's Apples. It is best known for the large brown root, running 3 to 4 feet into the ground sometimes single and sometimes forked into two or three distinctive branches (bifid) which gives the plant a rough resemblance to that of a human monster form. Magically speaking, the female mandrake carries forked that look like a pair of human legs, whereas the male has only a single root. In the old Herbals we find them frequently figured as a male with a long beard, and a female with a very bushy head of hair. The female form is the most sought after for magic and medicinal use. It was the female form that was carved in the Middle Ages (in Germany and France) into manikins. Place Native to Southern Europe, especially around the Mediterranean regions of Greece and Rome. It should not be confused with Podophyllum peltatum, or mayapple, which grows in the United States. Another species of mandrake, Mandragora autumnalis, flowers in winter on the island of Rhodes, and has beautiful mauve and mauve-white blossoms. The fruit, the golden red love apples, ripens in May.

Kisah ini adalah sebuah cerita tentang tukang sihir yang terkenal di dunia, Bila kita pernah menonton film Harry Potter seri ke 2 maka ada adegan di dalam rumah kaca dengan tanaman mandragora (mandrake) di dalam pot. Para siswa wajib mengenakan penutup telinga sebelum mencabut tanaman Mandraguna. Berikut dongeng singkat yang melatar belakangi adegan tersebut.

Pada zaman dahulu orang percaya bahwa tumbuhan yang disebut mandragora mempunyai kekuatan gaib. Dahulu kala konon tukang sihir dan tukang tenung suka mencari akar mandraguna ini dan menggunakannya untuk menenung.

Namun akar mandragora sulit diperoleh. Menurut kepercayaan apabila mandragora dicabut dari tanah, tumbuhan tadi akan menjerit. Dan siapa pun yang mendengar jeritan tersebut akan mati! Maka dari itu apabila seorang tukang sihir pergi mencari mandragora, ia berusaha sebaik mungkin untuk melindungi diri terhadap bahaya ini.

Pertama-tama, si tukang sihir akan menunggu sampai tibanya malam yang tak berbulan. Pada malam yang gelap gulita itu ia pergi ke hutan dengan membawa serta seekor anjing hitam, sebuah trompet, sepotong tulang dan segumpal litin. Setelah berhasil menemukan mandraguna yang dicarinya, si tukang sihir akan mengikat leher anjing hitamnya dengan tali. Dan ujung lain tali diikatkannya pada tumbuhan tadi.

Selanjutnya, si tukang sihir menutup telinganya dengan segumpal lilin, lalu menunggu. Tepat pada tengah malam tulang yang dibawa diulurkannya kepada anjingnya. Anjing itu akan lari ke arah tulang tadi dan dengan demikian tercabutlah akar mandraguna karena terseret si anjing, tetapi tetap selamatlah si tukang sihir! la tidak dapat mendengar jeritan tumbuhan itu karena telinganya tersumbat lilin, sedangkan sementara itu is meniup trompet keras-keras.

Menurut buku-buku kuno, tanaman Mandragora ada dua jenis yakni jantan dan betina. Tanaman Mandragora atau mandrake ini aslinya  banyak tumbuh di Eropa dan sering digunakan untuk obat, membantu mengurangi rasa sakit. biasa disajikan dalam bentuk minuman (jamu).

Spesies tanaman yang ada; Mandragora autumnalis, Mandragora officinarum, Mandragora turcomanica, Mandragora caulescens Minuman akar mandragora ini sering dipakai dalam praktik sihir dan hipnotis. Efek yang ditimbulkan seperti setengah tidur atau setengah bermimpi, berhalusinasi, mudah terpengaruh hipnotis, Diminum dalam dosis tinggi bisa menjadi koma.

 

According to the legend, when the root is dug up it screams and kills all who hear it. Literature includes complex directions for harvesting a mandrake root in relative safety. For example Josephus (c. AD 37 Jerusalem c. 100) gives the following directions for pulling it up:

A furrow must be dug around the root until its lower part is exposed, then a dog is tied to it, after which the person tying the dog must get away. The dog then endeavours to follow him, and so easily pulls up the root, but dies suddenly instead of his master. After this the root can be handled without fear.

Extract from Chapter XVI, Witchcraft and Spells: Transcendental Magic its Doctrine and Ritual by Eliphas Levi. A Complete Translation of Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie by Arthur Edward Waite. 1896

... we will add a few words about mandragores (mandrakes) and androids, which several writers on magic confound with the waxen image; serving the purposes of bewitchment. The natural mandragore is a filamentous root which, more or less, presents as a whole either the figure of a man, or that of the virile members. It is slightly narcotic, and an aphrodisiacal virtue was ascribed to it by the ancients, who represented it as being sought by Thessalian sorcerers for the composition of philtres. Is this root the umbilical vestige of our terrestrial origin ? We dare not seriously affirm it, but all the same it is certain that man came out of the slime of the earth, and his first appearance must have been in the form of a rough sketch. The analogies of nature make this notion necessarily admissible, at least as a possibility. The first men were, in this case, a family of gigantic, sensitive mandragores, animated by the sun, who rooted themselves up from the earth ; this assumption not only does not exclude, but, on the contrary, positively supposes, creative will and the providential co-operation of a first cause, which we have reason to call God. Some alchemists, impressed by this idea, speculated on the culture of the mandragore, and experimented in the artificial reproduction of a soil sufficiently fruitful and a sun sufficiently active to humanise the said root, and thus create men without the concurrence of the female. (See: Homunculus) Others, who regarded humanity as the synthesis of animals, despaired about vitalising the mandragore, but they crossed monstrous pairs and projected human seed into animal earth, only for the production of shameful crimes and barren deformities. The third method of making the android was by galvanic machinery. One of these almost intelligent automata was attributed to Albertus Magnus, and it is said that St Thomas (Thomas Aquinas) destroyed it with one blow from a stick because he was perplexed by its answers. This story is an allegory; the android was primitive scholasticism, which was broken by the Summa of St Thomas, the daring innovator who first substituted the absolute law of reason for arbitrary divinity, by formulating that axiom which we cannot repeat too often, since it comes from such a master: " A thing is not just because God wills it, but God wills it because it is just. " The real and serious android of the ancients was a secret which they kept hidden from all eyes, and Mesmer was the first who dared to divulge it; it was the extension of the will of the magus into another body, organised and served by an elementary spirit; in more modern and intelligible terms, it was a magnetic subject.

It was a common folklore in some countries that mandrake would only grow where the semen of a hanged man had dripped on to the ground; this would appear to be the reason for the methods employed by the alchemists who "projected human seed into animal earth". In Germany, the plant is known as the Alraune: the novel (later adapted as a film) Alraune by Hanns Heinz Ewers is based on a soulless woman conceived from a hanged man's semen, the title referring to this myth of the Mandrake's origins.

The following is taken from "Paul Christian". pp. 402403, The History and Practice of Magic by Paul Christian. 1963:

Would you like to make a Mandragora, as powerful as the homunculus (little man in a bottle) so praised by Paracelsus? Then find a root of the plant called bryony. Take it out of the ground on a Monday (the day of the moon), a little time after the vernal equinox. Cut off the ends of the root and bury it at night in some country churchyard in a dead man's grave. For thirty days water it with cow's milk in which three bats have been drowned. When the thirty-first day arrives, take out the root in the middle of the night and dry it in an oven heated with branches of verbena; then wrap it up in a piece of a dead man's winding-sheet and carry it with you everywhere.

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