Folk Names: Oingum, Onyoun, Unyoun, Yn-leac
Gender/Planet/Element Associations: Masculine/Mars/Fire
Divine Association: Isis

Ritual Uses:

According to some ancient authorities, the onion was worshipped in some cities in ancient Egypt, and was sometimes invoked while taking oaths. During their winter solstice, revellers often wore onions around their necks.

Uses In Folk Magic:

  • Take a small white onion, stick it full of black-headed pins, and place it in a window. This will guard your home against the intrusion of evil.
  • The flowers are decorative and protective, and can be dried and placed in the home for an unusual and attractive protective amulet.
  • Carried, the onion gives protection against venemous beasts.
  • In ancient Egypt, onions were included in charms to keep ghosts away from children.
  • Grown in pots or in the garden onions shield against evil.
  • Halved or quartered onions, placed in the house, will absorb negativity and evil, as well as disease.
  • Rub the cut edge of an onion against the afflicted part of the body, visualizing the disease going into the onion. Then destroy the onion by burning it or smashing it to pieces to be buried.
  • Settlers in New England hung strings of onions over doorways to guard against infections, and a cut onion placed beneath the kitchen sink has long been used for the same purpose.
  • To cure warts, rub them with a piece of onion and throw over your right shoulder. Walk away without looking back.
  • A large red onion tied to the bedpost protects its occupants against sickness, and aids in recuperation.
  • Never throw onion skins and peelings onto the ground; if you do, you throw away your prosperity. Instead, burn them in the fireplace or cookstove to attract riches.
    Prophetic Dreams
  • An onion placed beneath the pillow can produce prophetic dreams. If you are faced with making a decision, scratch your options on onions, one to each onion. Place them in the dark. The first one that sprouts answers you.
  • Some ancient authorities state that when eaten, the onion 'provokes venery', i.e. produces lust.
  • Magical knives and swords are purified by rubbing their blades with cut fresh onions.
  • If you throw an onion after a bride, you'll throw away her tears.
  • Onions are eaten to boost protective armor, which is created by the energy flow of the body. The sharper the taste, the more effective the onion will be.


  • Cunningham, Scott. Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs. St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1998.
  • A Kitchen Witches' Guide to Vegetables. "Kitchen Witchery". Accessed: 21 December 2001.