An Alraun is a herbal root found in human form, or carved to be (typically of the gender opposite of the practitioner or androgynous), and used as a body for a spirit known and allied with the witch or magician. The most famous of such roots being Mandrake, but many other roots have been used in history as well including bryony, carrots, parsips, dandelion, thistle, as well as tree roots. An of all sorts that are human shaped or can be fashioned into such a shape.
An easily obtainable (very common in N. America) and powerful root for this purpose is Dandelion. Associated with Hecate, goddess of the crossroads, it aids one in attaining visions, opening doors into spirit worlds, and aid in rituals of necromancy and spirit conjuring. This is my personal favorite and it?s very common.
The purpose of the Alraun is to give a spirit a body to occupy, and care should be taken to only use a spirit one trusts, like a familiar spirit or ancestor, or spiritual ally. Even the spirit of the plant could be invoked. These plant bodies can be created to aid divination, spirit work, soul flight, healing, harming, or a generalist purpose in general.
Giving a spirit or entity such a body gives it a closer connection to the physical world, and the feeding and attention given to the Alraun gives it power directly from the witch. Blood, semen, wine (or other alcoholic beverages like mead or beer), milk and honey, or oils productive to the purpose are fine for this purpose, and feeding it weekly (possibly daily or monthly) to keep strong.
To house the Alraun, one also must also make a coffin as a home and a burial shroud. The reason for a coffin and shroud for an alraun is its chthonic nature ? an Alraun root is a connection to the underworld and the spirits of the dead traditionally . The coffin mimics the darkness of the earth which is the root?s natural environment. When the spirit becomes one with the plant and takes root, it becomes tied to the spirits of the dead (or one in particular) and can whisper advice, knowledge, or foreknowledge of the future.
Preparation of housing the Alraun
An important note before committing to creating and working with a root body, is to know that to gain the benefits of an Alraun, one must put time, effort, and sweat into the preparation, harvest, and matenience. The inhabited alraun is not a pet. It requires a great deal of routine responsibility to keep it working positively for you. You must treat it with respect and honor it as its magic formulae require you to do. No spell works out well if you execute it half-heartedly. Routinely it requires feeding, and even harvesting can be difficult, not to mention crafting a suitable coffin. If you neglect it, the spirit is likely to at least get bored and leave the root, and at worst anger it, bringing misfortune upon the owner. It?s a sentient entity, and will bless or curse an owner. Never sell or throw away an Alraun for less than the price one obtained it, and it can be passed on to the youngest son or daughter of the practitioner at death.
Before creating a Alraun, one must firstly have a spirit they specifically will invoke and house in the spirit. It?s recommended to choose a spirit the witch is familiar with; one seen in trance, worked with, and can be safely controlled. Familiars or imps make perfect entities to inhibit a Alraun, or an ancestor, and hypothetically one could use a construct like a servitor or tulpa (interestingly, this idea is quite similar to the concept of a golem or homunculus of sorts). Be sure to know the entities name and have a measure of respect and control over it. Many sinister spirits desire a physical form, so I cannot stress the importance of knowing the entity well.
Create a coffin to house the Alraun. Again, the more effort into creating a lavish coffin for your Root Body, the better. A simple box will not do, and will disrespect the spirit. Make sure you make the box in the likeness of a coffin or at least with funerary motifs, and make sure you use a burial shroud of white, red, black, and perhaps another color of significance. Like any human being when it is no longer alive, the body resides in a coffin, which is more than just a holding place for the body after the spirit leaves, it is a special container expressing your honor of the ancestor and acting as a sacred doorway to the otherworld. In the case of the alraun, the spirit comes and goes from the plant root as it journeys to complete what you ask of it. The alraun coffin does not have to be an actual coffin; it can be any box into which the alraun fits, but it must be ornately decorated by you. These decorations are usually those that are appropriate funerary motifs, because the box should have the feel of being a coffin. The more honor you represent in the decoration of the coffin, the more honor you pay to the spirit of the alraun, and thus the deeper will be your bond with the spirit. Be sure to keep the coffin box in a place where it won?t be disturbed by pets or visitors, and in a place of reverence.
Creating the Alraun
Seek out your intended plant after the new moon and draw a circle around it in the dirt with your finger, wand, stang/staff, or with a sigil powder.
I use a personal chant I do not wish to share (secrets are important in witchcraft), but there are many already existing ones that one can use, or make up your own.
In this chant, let the plant know you are a witch and make your intent for it to come across strongly so it readily agrees to be a body for the spirit, and invoke the spirit to start connecting with the plant.
Then carefully dig up the whole plant without breaking any of the roots or bruising any leaves. If there are any separate root offshoots, carefully break them off and leave them behind leaving a live plant in place of the one you took. If not, leave a suitable offering.
Some plants prefer whisky, wine, or mead while others may simply prefer water or a physical object like money or tobacco. Pour the libation or bury the offering in the hole you?ve made without looking and walk away without looking back.
You can either take the live plant home or take it to where you will be transplanting it.
If your root doesn?t already have a human shape to it, carve it into the opposite sex of yourself with your ritual knife. It can also be carved into a hermaphrodite. Also, you can carve a sigil or glyph of the spirit or a symbol associated with spirits. Be careful not to remove any of the small roots at this time and don?t over carve the root or you will kill it. A rough semblance is good enough.
Now you will begin the ritual to invoke the spirit. This should ideally be executed inside a protective circle, your compass round, or in sacred space to reinforce that only the particular spirit you invite will be the one that takes up residence in the Alraun. Once this is done, you should conduct the ceremony much like a funeral. Ask the spirit into the circle space with you and take time to speak directly to the spirit. Talk openly about the qualities of the spirit as you know them. Use the spirit's name often to reinforce in your intent exactly which essence you are letting into the Alraun. Let it know that you have honored it by spending time crafting its body and coffin. Pledge that you will honor and feed it with regular acts of reverence. The root should be carved or marked with symbol(s) that are for the target spirit as stated before. These can be a bindrune of the spirit's name, or a symbol that has been revealed during your workings with the spirit. Most spirits have a sigil.
Tell the spirit that this root is for it alone, to act as its body - as its home. Create the image of an open door in your mind and raise power. Tell the spirit you will help it into its new home, which is where you wish it to reside until you call upon it for help. At the moment you are about to release your power, tell the spirit to pass through the door, then release your power into the alraun.
Now it is time to transplant. It is best to plant an Alraun near a crossroad, but if this isn?t possible your garden or a pot will do. Water the plant after transplanting and leave it be for three weeks to a month or more. If the original leaves die, do not despair, it is because all its energy is going back to the root to heal from your carving ? the root is still alive and growing. Once a week, before you dig it up again, feed it either a mixture of milk and honey or a drop of your own blood.
On the next new moon, dig up your root, and again leave an offering behind in the hole without looking. Now you can take your root home and wash it in blessed water or in wine. Remove any excess hairs or growths that distort its human shape. Loosely wrap it in a cloth of natural fibre inside a paper bag and leave this somewhere warm and dry. In a month you should have a perfectly dried Alraun. Wrap it in black, red, or white linen, wool, or silk and place it in a small box. The cloth is its funeral shroud and the box its coffin.
Treat the Alraun as a beloved child or family member. Speak to it sweetly, addressing it as the spirit. Do not neglect it or toss it aside, and pay attention to it regularly. Feed it at least weekly; blood, or milk & honey, or a herbal oil. Give it a moment of prayer. You can make these feeding on days specific to the workings you are undertaking or ones tied to a specific deity.