Nails and other detritus: A Pagan Service Announcement

The proper disposal of nail clippings and other personal detritus has become a major problem in the Pagan community.  Improper disposal of personal detritus can lead to you being placed in a jar on somebody’s shelf, having a poppet made of you, or being framed for a crime you didn’t commit.  You don’t want a poppet made of you, do you?

No, I didn’t think so, nor do you want to be singing the song, “But that’s not really my DNA” to the police.  They never believe you.  Not only is improper disposal of personal detritus gross, but it’s irresponsible.  Personal detritus is the easiest way for another magically inclined person to have control over you.

There are several proper ways to dispose of personal detritus.  First of all, make sure to collect all your nail clippings, loose hair (even from shower drains), pieces of dead skin or scabs, and boogers for proper disposal.  If you make this a daily habit, then the threat of someone controlling you will be greatly diminished.

Now it’s time to dispose of the detritus.  You can burn the waste and scatter the ashes.  You can bury the waste.  You can flush the waste.  My favorite is to let it all fly out of the car window as I’m speeding down the road.

To summarize, get your detritus out of your enemies’ hands and back to nature where it can decompose.
These folks always properly dispose of nail clippings:

I’ll pull your hair and smack your ass!

So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazirite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.” When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines , “Come back once more; he has told me everything.” So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands. After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him.[c] And his strength left him. (Judges 16,verses 17-19)

Hair has always had certain superstitions and magic attached to it. Many of us are familiar with Samson’s lovely locks and Delilah’s sadistic hair fetish.

However, hair is an under utilized magical tool and vehicle that many Pagans over look or ignore. We all know that hair is often linked to how people perceive us, and many folks go to great lengths and expense to have wonderful hair, so why not use magic in the beauty treatment?

A good deal of hair magic can take place in the shower. When washing your hair, you can envision all your stress, worry, or things that have been weighing you down or making you greasy wash away and swirl down the drain. If you want to be really witchy, you can seek out hair care products that have herbal/fruit ingredients that would aid in banishing or cleansing. A similar exercise can be done while shaving as well. Not only does your hair hold a history of your drug use, it also holds a history of your health, stress, and success. If you need a new start, shave your hair. You don’t have to go to the extreme of shaving your head, since shaving any body hair will sympathetically erase your past so that you have a smooth new slate.

Once you’ve gotten rid of the negatives, you need to invite in the positives. For this you can create your own Herbal Essence with hair teas. The word tea in this since is a little misleading. Some hair teas are meant to be ingested like traditional teas, but many of the “teas” are simply meant to be used as a hair rinse at the end of a shower. The easiest one to make is the Scarborough Fair hair rinse.

Take equal parts (about a teaspoon dried) parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme and add it to 2 cups boiling water. Let the tea steep until cool and then strain. Then use the tea as a rinse at the end of your shower, thoroughly working it into your hair. Besides the magical properties associated with the herbs, the tea is a good tonic for your hair. Another tea that is easy to make is chamomile and lemon tea. This tea is for blonde hair. Take two teaspoons dried chamomile and one tablespoon lemon juice. Add these items to 2 cups boiling water and let it steep until cool. Strain and use as a rinse. As you pour the rinse into your hair, imagine your hair getting brighter and your disposition becoming sunny.

Before we get out of the shower, color magic and hair should be explored. If you regularly dye your hair, do some research on the magical meaning of your hair color. If things aren’t going the way that you had hoped, consider changing your hair color. Sometimes just changing the shade will help. If you’re adventurous, or have a job where you’re allowed to have unnaturally colored hair, have fun coordinating your hair color to your magical workings. There’s lots of temporary hair dyes on the market (including Kool-Aid from high school), as well as hair mascaras and hair pieces.

Women for ages have been magically brushing their hair. Ancient magical and cosmetology texts are full of brushing spells. Basically, you are either brushing things magically out of your hair or magically brushing things into your hair. Some folks integrate glamoury into their brushing spells, but others use number magic and numerology. Brushing your hair is something you probably do at least once a day if not more, so just have fun and see what you come up with. Plus, you if you have a partner that is so inclined, your numerology and number magic can be mirrored with smacks from your hair brush. Take care when disposing of the hair from your hair brush. If you’re skilled in tedious craft work, a hair talisman based upon Victorian hair jewelry can be made. However, if you’re the type that usually just throws away your hair, the hair should either be burned or buried lest it fall into the wrong hands. Not only is it a DNA gold mine, but it’s the easiest way for someone to do a spell that involves you (either good or bad).

Another way to integrate magic into your hair is with twists, braids, and hair accouterments. You can twist your intent into your buns and up-dos, or you can braid your intent. For this method of hair magic, using a magical chant or power word that is recited at each twist or braid lay over works best. Your magic can be strengthened by adding in beads and ribbons with color and number magic, or with feather extensions, which integrates feather and bird correspondences. The metal that hair barrettes are made out of can also be added into the magical mix since many deities have specific metals that are sacred to them, astrological planets are corresponded to metals, and the metals themselves also have certain magical properties.

Have fun playing beauty shop, and remember that braids makes magical bondage awesome!

Porphyria’s Lover


The rain set early in to-night,
       The sullen wind was soon awake,
It tore the elm-tops down for spite,
       And did its worst to vex the lake:
       I listened with heart fit to break.
When glided in Porphyria; straight
       She shut the cold out and the storm,
And kneeled and made the cheerless grate
       Blaze up, and all the cottage warm;
       Which done, she rose, and from her form
Withdrew the dripping cloak and shawl,
       And laid her soiled gloves by, untied
Her hat and let the damp hair fall,
       And, last, she sat down by my side
       And called me. When no voice replied,
She put my arm about her waist,
       And made her smooth white shoulder bare,
And all her yellow hair displaced,
       And, stooping, made my cheek lie there,
       And spread, o’er all, her yellow hair,
Murmuring how she loved me — she
       Too weak, for all her heart’s endeavour,
To set its struggling passion free
       From pride, and vainer ties dissever,
       And give herself to me for ever.
But passion sometimes would prevail,
       Nor could to-night’s gay feast restrain
A sudden thought of one so pale
       For love of her, and all in vain:
       So, she was come through wind and rain.
Be sure I looked up at her eyes
       Happy and proud; at last I knew
Porphyria worshipped me; surprise
       Made my heart swell, and still it grew
       While I debated what to do.
That moment she was mine, mine, fair,
       Perfectly pure and good: I found
A thing to do, and all her hair
       In one long yellow string I wound
       Three times her little throat around,
And strangled her. No pain felt she;
       I am quite sure she felt no pain.
As a shut bud that holds a bee,
       I warily oped her lids: again
       Laughed the blue eyes without a stain.
And I untightened next the tress
       About her neck; her cheek once more
Blushed bright beneath my burning kiss:
       I propped her head up as before,
       Only, this time my shoulder bore
Her head, which droops upon it still:
       The smiling rosy little head,
So glad it has its utmost will,
       That all it scorned at once is fled,
       And I, its love, am gained instead!
Porphyria’s love: she guessed not how
       Her darling one wish would be heard.
And thus we sit together now,
       And all night long we have not stirred,
       And yet God has not said a word!

These folks like to smack some ass!
Erotic Sensations:
Tonia Brown:

Blessed Be Thy Feet, Part 3, Section A: Wash my tired feet!

I first encountered the act of foot washing in a religious/ritual context several years ago at a wedding.  The couple was Pagan, but for various familial reasons, they had a Christian ceremony led by one of those “New Age” ministers.  I think she might of been Methodist.  You know the type.  A lot of times they are women.  Sometimes they wear a robe, sometimes not.  Their stoles are usually of some sort of African or other tribal design that they acquired in a “fair trade” arrangement during a mission trip, and they rarely mention Jesus or God as masculine.  The groom was seated while the bride knelt on a pillow and washed the groom’s feet from a basin of water.  Then she rubbed some lavender oil onto them, and then symbolically dried them with her hair.  To finish that segment of the ceremony (because it was a long ceremony), she dried his feet for real with a towel.  The minister, as a prelude to the washing, read from Luke 7:37-39:

When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume,/Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them./When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is–that she is a sinner.”“ 
[The image of the woman washing Jesus' feet with her tears and drying them with her hair has always fascinated me and has become my ideal act of submission.] 
I forget exactly how the minister linked this act to marriage, since I’m sure she was progressive enough that the vows didn’t say “obey”.  However, there are a multitude of ways that this tableau can be worked into a handfasting, initiation, or as a visible sign of submission to your deities via a statue or someone who is aspecting.

There is another passage in the New Testament that deals with foot washing.  
 1 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
 2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
 7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
 8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
   Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
 9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
 10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
 12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” (John 13:1-17)

These verses are the basis for many Christian denominations to practice footwashing from time to time as a special service.  Some these denominations are Pentecostals, Mormon, Catholics, Methodists, and Presbyterians.  Many of these churches incorporate the practice into their Maundy Thursday service, when the Last Supper is traditionally celebrated.  This custom could easily be incorporated into Pagan ritual.  It would be an excellent way for the balance of power to be re-calibrated in a group that has undergone some strife.  It could also be used to show gratitude or solidarity.
The Pope washing the feet of his cardinals
To find out more about what the Mormon church calls “The Ordinance of Footwashing”, I set out to interview some Mormons.  The Mormons have gone high tech since the last time I dealt with them.  They now have Mormon Chat, which is good because the quality of their call center personnel has gone down dramatically.  The woman I spoke to barely spoke English and sounded like a recent convert.
Here is the chat that I had with “Austin” (I assume he’s Elder Austin):

Welcome to Missionary Chat.
Thank you for your interest in talking to a missionary from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The purpose of chat is to answer basic questions about the church and its beliefs and to provide opportunities to learn more.
Before we begin, will you share a little about what brought you to chat with us?
A missionary will be with you shortly.
Agent [Austin] is ready to assist you.
Agent [John] has joined the chat.
Austin: How can we help you?
Austin: :)
Me: I am doing a comparative study on the practice of foot washing, and I have some questions.
Austin: okay
Me: I’ve read through different things, but I’m still having trouble piecing together in my mind exactly how the ordinance of foot washing is practiced.  Is there anything special to it or is a basin brought out and the washing begins?
Austin: I have no clue.  Do you have any questions about our beliefs?
Me: Oh my.  I’ve called the hotline twice and kind of gotten the same answer.  On your website (I’ll have to hunt down where), it says that Joseph Smith (I think) set up the ordinance to go along with Jesus’ washing of feet at the Last Supper.
Me: So I’m guessing by your response and the others that I’ve gotten that it’s not a widely practiced thing.
Austin: Right.  I’ve never heard of it being performed in a religious way since Christ did so, but I did just find the page you’re talking about and I’ll read up on it as soon as possible.  Is this the page?
Me: Yeah I think so.
Austin: Okay I’ll read that as soon as I can :) Are there any other questions?
Me: No, that’s it.  Thanks!  I really appreciate the help.
Austin: No problem :) Have a good day and God bless :)
Me: You too!  Blessed Be!
Agent [John] has left the chat.
The chat session has ended.
Remember, Jesus and I love you! (I couldn’t resist.)
As soon as Austin gets back to me, I’ll post another section to part 3.  Part 3, section B will be about the Muslim practice of footwashing, which is somewhat different from the Christian practice.