Fume Rite 2: Light My Dynamite with Your Cigar, Baby!

I like the way cigars smell (although I love the way pipes smell more).  And I’ve had Cuban cigars and they’re nothing special (except illegal to bring through customs, or were, or maybe still are).  But what really gets me excited is Clint Eastwood lighting a stick of dynamite with a lit cigar.  I so very much want to do that and blow something up.  And while he’s not such a looker at the present moment, back in the day, Clint Eastwood was something very special.  He was so special that he was on a show called Rawhide, which while the show had absolutely nothing to do with S&M, the title had so much potential.

Plus, there was that movie with the cigar smoking nun that Eastwood was in……

There are so many fun thingsT you can do with cigars.  So many things……

Relly, who is with Kinky Catawba NC, MAsT: Hickory (both on FetLife), and The Leather History Conference ( http://www.leatherhistoryconference.com/leatherh/Home.html), and who is a whip master that can snap bumblebees out of the air, is a cigar aficionado.  Relly started out smoking cigarettes in high school like all the cool kids, but when he joined the Navy in ’07 his dalliance became a habit.  He realized that when you have an instructor that smokes, you get more breaks during job training.  And if a majority of your classmates also smoke and keep suggesting smoke breaks to your instructor, you hardly get any work done at all while Uncle Sam’s taxpayers keep you up.  His cigarette smoking lead him down Tobacco Road, like so many of our service people, and soon he was smoking cigars and pipes.

 ”Cigarettes are a nasty habit, and cigars are a social habit, and smoking a pipe is a hobby.” 

When Relly got into “the lifestyle” in ’09, he started getting creative with his cigars.  While he had already experienced the camaraderie of cigar smoking, he started exploring just what he could do with a sub and a cigar.  ”From a vanilla aspect…It’s just good fellowship. You go to a nice cigar bar, and it doesn’t really matter who you are, you can literally sit down next to someone you never met before and strike up a good conversation with somebody. ”  But in the kink world, cigars can be so much more.  ”I know girls that get off on walking around carrying an ashtray. The master picks out what he’s going to smoke, and the slave will lick it– wet it, cut it, light it, and hold the ash tray—or be the ash tray.”  Playing with cigar ash is a lot safer than playing with cigarette ash because cigarettes burn hotter than cigars.  

 

 “You can even put cigar ash in their mouth. There’s a nice smokey salt taste to the cigar ash. Just the feel of cigar ash is a textural based feel. It’s very much like the silk feel of the sex play powders. It’s a very nice textural feel. It’s just a warming heat. It’s very enjoyable. A lot of people like to roll the ash into a nice corset bound cleavage and it kinds of marks them as well. ”  And it’s vagina safe!

“Cigar play has the service aspect of it. And the basic play aspect of it. In the gay lover community, when they first started coming up, the masters would be sitting in their vests, and they would grab the slave’s collar and blow the smoke directly into their face, and it was very raw and powerful with that energy. The aspect of taking that control and forcing it on them. You know getting smoke in your face is generally something you wouldn’t want, but it’s something that you’re willing to take. And I do that as well. It is very empowering. It kind of sets the mood both ways.”

 

Remember, cigars still burn.

Relly, who is well acquainted with Pagan practices from when he helped lay chaplains in the Navy as a Religious Program Specialist, relayed to me a cutting and cigar ritual performed for a good friend of his that can be borrowed for several different rites of passages and other rituals.  ”He had a ritualistic cutting and scarification because he wanted this scar to last. He had a cutting done with symbols that meant a great deal to him, and while the cut was fresh he had people around him that were very close to him smoking cigars to impart themselves into the cigar. They took that ash into a bowl and ground that ash into the cutting, putting part of them into that cutting so that he could carry them with him for the rest of his life. It was a beautiful ceremony.”  This type of ritual could be incorporated into a handfasting, a Paganing (since it goes along with the American custom of handing out cigars when a baby is born), rituals of protection or naming, rites of initiation, or just about anything.  The cigar itself incorporates Earth with the tobacco leaves and wrapper, Water with wetting it down, Fire with lighting it, and Air with smoking it, which turns back into Earth with the ashes.  

Important links to click:

The Barbed Pentacle Yule Gift Guide:  http://barbedpentacle.com/barbed-pentacle-yule-gift-guide

The very cool glow stick giveaway! (a Rafflecopter giveaway)

http://www.annavalenteart.com/

Things to know about the groups in Hickory:  Both groups are on Fetlife and have specific rules.  They are not about hooking-up.  They are more about fellowship and learning.  They are also vetted groups.  Please look them up for more information.  If you still have questions, feel free to message Relly on Fetlife.  He’s super nice and there to help.

Those Crazy Cubans

Cigar Eye Candy

 

 

A Bellocq Beltane

Happy Beltane!  It’s time again for fire and sex!  Two of my favorite things.  Another of my favorite things is E.J. Bellocq’s photos for Storyville.  For those of you who are ignorant of whore history, Storyville was a legal red light district in New Orleans during the Belle Epoque. E.J. Bellocq, a New Orleans native, fulfilled his desires by taking photographs of the people who supplied the entertainment in Storyville.

 In honor of Beltane, I propose that you and a lover or lovers, choose a few of the photos that make you the most hard and bothered, and work on recreating them for yourself.  Remember, all acts of love and pleasure are acts of devotion to HER.  Set up a sacred space and get started!

To help set the mood, listen to Lisa Thiel’s “Beltane” https://youtu.be/qCsddmu9Lvs  I really like this song for Beltane because it has a nice driving beat for fucking, and her voice has that ragged longing in it that is so drippingly seductive.  Plus, it’s all about divine sex.

Happy Beltane!

 

Fume Rite, 1: Chasing a Pillar of Smoke

I’ve written about smoking here some time back.  It was mainly about pot, as I recall.  Or maybe it wasn’t.  Who knows?  Like most things in life, smoking is extremely sexy and it will kill you.  Not only is it sexually stimulating to me when I see people really enjoying a cigarette or cigar (not just mindlessly smoking because they can’t control themselves), but it’s sexually stimulating to me when I smoke a cigarette (or these days an ehookah).  And it’s not just the nicotine stimulating brain chemicals, it’s the act of inhalation, drawing the smoke into your mouth and lungs and manipulating it once it’s in your body.

From start to finish, it gets me sopping.  The flick of a nice, REAL lighter is like a lover breathing lightly on my neck.

 And then the orgasm of it all are the smoking tricks.  My favorite is the French Inhale.  I enjoy doing it, but I like it even better if it’s executed by the other party.  It’s like I can just almost feel the smoker going down on me by extension of the smoke.  

 It is as complicated as it looks, but like most tricks some folks can do it the first go round and some folks just never get the hang of it.  It can be done with any kind of smoke, including vapor, although it’s a harder with vape.  Here’s a great how-to video for the French Inhale and other Tricks.

I’ve always been fascinated with smoking.  I grew up in a smoking household.  It was there and visible.  I grew up in tobacco country, where the notion that smoking was a health hazard was for the most part scoffed at.  I started smoking when I was 14 because, as I stated earlier, it excited me sexually, especially when I saw it in black and white movies.  I’ve been an occasional, recreational, social smoker ever since.

I first became acquainted with the “real” ritualistic use of smoking in modern times at a Fume Rite exhibit in college.  It was staged, picture by picture, like an art exhibit, but it was one of those exhibits that the artistic merit wasn’t so much in the how-to drawings, but in the actual execution of the ritual itself.  Had it actually been carried out, it would have resembled a Japanese tea ceremony.  Of course the irony was that it was hung in a “no smoking” gallery.  I’m currently working on chasing a pillar of smoke to find out more about Fume Rite.  As it is now, I’m working off of memories a decade old and no internet leads.

So, if you’d like to help, and you know something about Fume Rite (which I want to say was celebrated on April 15 and October 15), please email me at chirpatsparrow@gmail.com.  If you don’t know anything, but you’d still like to help, then find something smokey to inhale and say a prayer that the information comes my way.  Societies all around the world, including the Roman Catholic church, believe that prayers are carried to heaven via smoke (and I believe in our modern times vapor).  If you just can’t bring yourself to inhale, choose a nice incense, preferably frankincense because it’ll give you a little mild bit of hallucinatory buzz if burned in an unventilated environment, and burn it with your prayers.

 

 

Holly Queen Challenge

For Litha 2013 (http://barbedpentacle.com/2013/06/the-litha-challenge-something-fun-crafty-and-potentially-gritty/), I challenged everyone to make a “living wall” for the summer as suggested on Magaly Guerrero’s blog, Pagan Culture (http://pagan-culture.blogspot.com/2013/06/a-living-wall-for-midsummer.html) and to send in pictures. If you would like to participate, send in pictures of your wall and descriptions to chirp_sparrow@yahoo.com.  Please put “Holly Queen Challenge” in the subject line.

Here’s mine:

 

Pedro from South of the Boarder (http://www.thesouthoftheborder.com/), the best place to go when inebriated.

 

This is my bikini top from Mexico and ring from Magdalena, a piece of blue creek glass that a house mate gave me this summer, and my Almalthea horns from a sacrifice.

 

This is my cowerie collar for all those fun money spells, my new business cards that are attached with cloak clips that have tons of fun uses, my gypsy ear rings, and the skin that my snake shed at Litha. The beads that are holding everything up is a belly chain from my belly dancing days.

 

These are my favorite tracts so far this summer on my red hot tract panties and my new fly swatter from my honey.

 

Bellatrix S’s wall and posthttp://armedvenus.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-road-and-wall-not-actually-asoiaf.html

Yule Challenge 2013  send your pics to chirp_sparrow@yahoo.com

From the top: Evil Eye candy for 2014, the crystal from the Perchta Power Project, my “confidence” clothes pin from our annual Krampus/Perchta ritual, yarn from a Songbird Snuggle, money for the New Year, greenery and prickles from our sexy Yule meditation, and last but not least–Perchta and Krampus by Aramis September.

Tie on that apron and flour up your bosom, Ms Kay!, Part 3

Does Ms. Kay wear granny panties or something more spicy?

You’re a dumpling, Ms. Kay!  One of my favorite things about Duck Dynasty is watching the interactions between Phil and his wife, Ms. Kay.  Phil is a horny old man and Ms. Kay is an equally horny old lady.  Phil seems to know every verse in the Bible that deals with husbands and wives having sex, which he quotes often to Ms. Kay when he’s in the mood.  He really likes Ms. Kay in the kitchen.

Notice the grammar error? Ms. Kay is married, not an unattached dumpling just rolling around in flour.

Phil has a thing for aprons, especially ones that have a little flour sprinkled on the bosom from baking and cooking.

On the show, both Phil and Ms. Kay instruct their grandchildren on the importance of aprons.  Phil advises his grandsons that a good girl to marry will be a country girl who carries her Bible and who cooks and wears an apron.  He tells them that if she’s a little messy and has flour on her apron, all the better.  Of course, he also tells them to marry a teenager, like he did.  That’s a little Jerry Lee Lewis, Phil!

Ms. Kay admonishes her granddaughters that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and that nothing turns a man on more than for them to come home to supper cooking and to see you in an apron.  And, she adds, if you want to make sure that the man knows you mean business and your amorous intentions, you smear a little flour on your apron.  You’re such a dumpling, Ms. Kay!

It’s ok, Phil, I have a thing for aprons too.  I think they’re sexy and hot.  I like seeing girls in aprons, and I feel awesome when I wear one.  Sexy, lacy ones, homey ones, it doesn’t matter.  I can be sexy a French maid, a prairie Mormon girl, or Baron de Kalb’s camp follower just by putting on a different style of apron.  I feel focused, protected, and an object of affection when I wear my apron.  Aprons are wonderful because there are so many different styles; there’s always one that’s going to be flattering.

Aprons hold more than apples and sex appeal, they also hold a great deal of magic.  People have always known this.  Think of the Masons’ with their aprons.  From what I understand, everyone wears one at their meetings.  This magic easily extends to kitchen magic, the most obvious use of aprons in a ritual setting.  Wearing an apron can be a devotional act to your personal domestic deity.  Wearing an apron can also be seen as donning magical clothing for magical cooking.  If it’s just you, try adding things to your apron to aid you in your magic, like runes, symbolic patches, and charms.  If you have several people helping you, like with baking cakes for cakes and ale or with dinner for after ritual or at a festival, try having you and your helpers wear aprons whose colors correspond to the God and Goddess and the elements.  It adds a nice ritualistic element to what can be horrible drudgery.  It also helps to make everyone feel needed when there might really be too many cooks in the kitchen.

Of course, the same principles can be applied to gardening aprons for individual or group magical gardening projects and for cleaning projects.  Just as with the cooking aprons, symbols that will aid growth and planting, or in the case of cleaning, clearing, banishing and cleansing, can be added to the aprons.  A good garden apron might be green with lots of flowers or vegetables on it, and of course lots of pockets because aprons above all else need to be functional.  A good cleaning apron may be black for banishing clutter or red for fueling your desires to have a clean living area.  I want an apron that has a picture of that hottie Mr. Clean smiling up at me, like over my bosom or something.  All those muscles!

Aprons are very appropriate in typical ritual settings too.  Instead of wearing pouches or having a cluttered altar with all the little “tiny” tools that you need, like lighters and oil bottles and salt, etc, create a cool, funky apron with lots of pockets.  I saw the perfect example of this on this beautiful, sweet Valentino vamp in Mexico.  It was like a short skirt full of pockets that fastened with Velcro in the back that she wore over her jeans.  She used it like a purse.  It was awesome.  A cheap tool apron from the hardware store (or sometimes the dollar store has them) could easily be converted.  You can also add bells and jingles for dancing.

This is at the Museum of York County in South Carolina.

Ritual aprons can also be used like badge sashes if you’re in a coven or group that has different classes or levels.

This one belongs to Willow, a Strega.

They can be made of cloth or more like a Mason apron and made out of leather.

Keep your apron on for the next post where we discuss just what we’re going to do about Phil Robertson.

Heal me, Phil Robertson!

These folks like to eat dumplings:

Slender, Sexy Switches Class at the Loft NC,  March 30, 2014 presented by me!  https://fetlife.com/groups/63797/group_posts/4463882  http://www.loftnc.com/splash.php

Mystic Artisanshttps://www.facebook.com/mysticartisans

Passion And Soulhttp://passionandsoul.com/

Help with the project: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/more-shibari-you-can-use

Tonia Brown:  www.thebackseatwriter.com

Quadrivium Supplies:  http://www.quadrivium-supplies.com/  

Hyperdreams Interactive Storieshttp://www.hyperdreams.com/

Aphrodite is a heavy-handed MILF!

This was posted on Facebook by Church Militant.  I liked it because it’s true.  I’ve seen a lot of bitching this year on Facebook by Pagans bemoaning all the commercialism attached to Valentine’s Day and the fact that they feel left out because they did not properly budget for this year.  Those aren’t really their words, but that’s the basic gist.  What they said was “Whine, whine, whine, bitch, bitch, bitch, moan, moan, moan.”  If you’re a Pagan, you really shouldn’t care about celebrating Valentine’s Day.  Instead, you should be focused on celebrating Lupercalia!  All you need to do on Lupercalia is fuck and fuck and fuck some more!  If you’re really going to be fun, get out your play toys and beat some fertility into each other.  Which brings us to the lovely Aphrodite, one of the patronesses here at the Barbed Pentacle.

Evidently, Cupid is a very bad boy and Aphrodite is a heavy-handed MILF, at least according to classical art.

This picture is like a reverse pinata–blindfold the kid and beat him with a stick.

The greeting card companies never market cards with Cupid on it that say, “Pray that Cupid isn’t mischievous this year and sets you up with a psychopath” because that’s one of the fucked up things that Cupid likes to do for fun.

Often Ares or Mars, Aphrodite’s long-time lover, gets in on the action.

Sometimes, though, Aphrodite and Cupid gang-up on Ares.

It’s like if Rapunzel were in to flagellation! Ares looks like he’s smiling.

However, the MILF always gets what she deserves in the end.

The ways of exploring the relationship between Aphrodite, Cupid, and Ares are endless. If you want to go the S&M route, roses are a good choice to use as an implement, as are arrows.  Field arrows aren’t very expensive and offer lots of options.   The shaft can be used like a rod or cane on a willing sacrifice, the fletching is nice for tickling, and the point, well, it has all kinds of possibilities.  If Love hasn’t been kind to you, you can always beat it.  The ancients were fond of creating sculptures and such to represent deities and ideas.  If the harvest was poor or some sort of natural disaster occurred, the sculptural representative received the physical brunt of the supplicants’ displeasure.  There’s no reason not to continue this tradition.  At the very least, it’ll be fun and make you feel better.

What will I be doing for Lupercalia?  I’m going to wear red and let the Big Bad Wolf eat me up!

My theory is that the story of “Little Red Riding Hood” is a vague carry over from ancient Lupercalian celebrations.  I haven’t done any research toward substantiating my theory yet, but maybe one day.

Looking for something to read on Lupercalia?  Try Tonia Brown’s Devouring Milo.  I’ll admit, I haven’t gotten very far in the book yet because I’ve been thankfully too busy blessedly spreading my fingers as a sexy word whore, but what I read was fantastically gory.

http://www.amazon.com/Devouring-Milo-Tonia-Brown-ebook/dp/B00DWZYWKO

These folks know how to suck your titties:

Mystic Artisanshttps://www.facebook.com/mysticartisans

Passion And Soulhttp://passionandsoul.com/

Help with the project: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/more-shibari-you-can-use

Tonia Brown:  www.thebackseatwriter.com

https://www.facebook.com/events/442022209256634/

Quadrivium Supplies:  http://www.quadrivium-supplies.com/  

Hyperdreams Interactive Storieshttp://www.hyperdreams.com/

 

 

Tie on that apron and flour up your bosom, Ms. Kay!: Part 1

I like Duck Dynasty.  I like their show.  I think they’re funny.  Despite what Phil said about gay people, despite my own sexual preferences and how I completely disagree with what he said, and despite how I find it a little disturbing how the Duck Dynasty folks are now the darlings of the GOP and Christian Right, I still like their show.  I even liked the episode where they set fire to the beaver dam.  If you haven’t seen the show, A&E has several episodes on their site: http://www.aetv.com/duck-dynasty/video?mkwid=sv8qQu8uW|dc_pcrid_36125531115_pkw_duck%20dynasty_pmt_e&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=duck%20dynasty&utm_campaign=G_Duck+Dynasty&paidlink=1&cmpid=PaidSearch_google_G_Duck+Dynasty_duck%20dynasty&gclid=CNLIn5O6t7wCFUYOOgod7A4AIw

Phil Robertson has a right to voice his opinion, and A&E has a right to fire his ass too.   Phil decided to take a risk and say something that he deeply believes despite the fact that he knew there would be a backlash.  I respect him for that even though I know he wouldn’t respect me as a kinky Pagan bisexual pornographer who believes in polyamory.

The Robertsons, according to the dialogue on their show, live in the West Monroe/Monroe, Louisiana area (http://www.westmonroe.com/).  From the evidence on Witchvox, there is a very small but growing Pagan community there.  There is a brand new meet-up that will be starting in Monroe, LA on Saturday: http://www.witchvox.com/vn/vn_detail/dt_ev.html?a=usla&id=90304.  Then there is this group in West Monroe, that from its profile seems to be fairly established: http://www.witchvox.com/vn/vn_detail/dt_gr.html?a=usla&id=38550.  And then there’s this group, that I really just can’t take seriously.  They’ll probably bring me up on charges to the vampire magistrate or some other such nonsense:  http://www.witchvox.com/vn/vn_detail/dt_gr.html?a=usla&id=39712.  If you’re Pagan and in the Monroe/West Monroe, LA, I invite you to check out the first two groups, especially the new meet-up.  Meet-ups are great places to go and feel things out.

These are photos from a local Christian book store:

So, what to do about Phil Robertson?  Stay tuned for why I really like Phil Robertson and my final solution to the Duck Dynasty problem.

These folks have a final solution for you:

Mystic Artisanshttps://www.facebook.com/mysticartisans

Passion And Soulhttp://passionandsoul.com/

Tonia Brown:  www.thebackseatwriter.com

Quadrivium Supplies:  http://www.quadrivium-supplies.com/  

Hyperdreams Interactive Storieshttp://www.hyperdreams.com/

Nun for you, but happy Imbolc!

It’s that time again!  Time to break out the candles and whipped cream.  This year, the Imbolc season coincides with the Super Bowl, so if you’re football inclined, you can cover your special person in wax the same color as your favorite team’s jerseys and then keep score by scratching the score into the cooled wax, like human cuneiform.

But all that aside, let’s talk about nuns.  While Imbolc has several different goddesses associated with it, the most common that you will find if you’ve been doing your Google searches is the goddess Brigid (or Brigit, Briget, Bride, blah, blah, blah).  Brigid is one of a handful of goddesses that transitioned in many parts of the world from Pagan to Christian in the form of a saint.  Although the Catholic Church is loathed to admit it, St. Brigid of Ireland is probably a clever populace’s successful attempt to continue to venerate a favorite goddess within the context of Christianity.

However, Brigid the goddess and Brigid the nun are not so very different.  Granted, Brigid the nun has had her great and vast powers curbed somewhat and has to work within a patriarchal framework, but She still provides succor and healing to those who need it, She still controlled the forges, hearths, and sacred wells.   She still lead a group of women in holy devotion that served Her and carried out Her wants and wishes.  And She was smart and clever when it came to dealing with know-it-all men (look up the story of how Brigid got the land for her monastery).

As Pagans, there are many important lessons that we can learn from nuns.  ”Unconditional” is one of the biggest lessons.  They have given themselves unconditionally to the chosen deity.  They unconditionally do what they feel God and Jesus wants them to do.  They serve unconditionally without any expectations.  ”Submission”  is the other big lesson.  They have found joy in submitting.  Their submission has given them a freedom and the resources to do in the world what they feel called to do.  I’ve heard many Pagans lament the fact that there are not any to very few places for Pagans to go and cloister themselves and submit fully to the Gods and Goddesses.  Perhaps somebody should do something about that.

And now for the nun candy:

These folks say nun for you but some for them!:

Mystic Artisanshttps://www.facebook.com/mysticartisans

Passion And Soulhttp://passionandsoul.com/

Tonia Brown:  www.thebackseatwriter.com

https://www.facebook.com/events/442022209256634/

Quadrivium Supplies:  http://www.quadrivium-supplies.com/  

Hyperdreams Interactive Storieshttp://www.hyperdreams.com/

Feel the Burn (oh, so good!)

Need just the right gift for a picky person who has it all?  Looking for a unique ritual item?  Want to jazz up your kitchen with cool spoons and trivets?  Look no further than Mystic Artisans, the winners of the Just Smack Me! Spoon contest.

In business since 2005, Mystic Artisans is the baby of Don and Tonie Ervin, wood burning and etching artists based in the Piedmont of North Carolina.  They sell from their Facebook page and local festivals pre-made items and custom orders.  While they can each wood burn and etch, Tonie is the queen of the wood burner and Don the etch master.

They have items priced for every budget.  Unlike some vendors out there, they believe in creating art for art’s sake and payment is just a secondary perk.

Mystic Artisans will tackle almost any project on wood or stone.  ”It’s a balance between what strike’s our fancy and what we think people would like to see us try our hand at. Sometimes we do things because they are a personal challenge (i.e. The Killing Joke) and sometimes we are doing commissions or working on things that customers have suggested we might be good at.”

Mystic Artisans is a true partnership.  Because of their preferred specialties and talents, they try to work on projects together in ways that will complement each other’s abilities.  ”Oh we work very well together! Tonie is a great at painting, but terrible at coloring with markers and pencils. So Donald steps up and colors all her wood-burnings for her.  Donald is a wiz at stone cutting but has trouble painting more delicate creations so Tonie helps him out with that. We also push each other’s talents. Before we reveal any artwork to the community it always gets a once-over and scrutinized by the other half of the partnership!”

“We try to be respectful to any and all religions in general. Most of our best fans are from the pagan community and we do some of our best custom work for those people. However, we have also been asked in the past to create work with religious themes for non-pagan customers as well. “To each his own” is our rule of thumb. However we do believe that if we were asked to do custom work that would insult or disparage our own personal pagan beliefs, a line would be drawn.”   Don and Tonie are both active in Pagan groups in their community and often vend at Pagan events.

Although Mystic Artisans have a formula that works, they are constantly  planning for the future.  ”[We want to] Get our own website started. Attend more local festivals, do lots more custom work! We are wanting to get into papier-mâché masks. We have painted some that we have picked up from local craft stores and have had a lot of fun doing them, so we want to make some from scratch. Donald is also wanting to get into prop-replica building. We are also considering making our own inks and writing pens. We have a friend we are talking to who makes his own stationary paper and we are making a deal with him to print our original images on handmade stationary that we can carry to events to sell! We always have something going on!”
Mystic Artisans is always up for custom work, including the kinky and gritty.  Contact them on Facebook at:  https://www.facebook.com/mysticartisans

If Looks Could Kill…..

The evil eye.  Just the mention of it sends shivers to a great majority of people.  Although the old adage says “If looks could kill…”, many people, Pagans and non-Pagans, know that looks can kill–in a way.  If a look is directed at a person with enough malice behind it and with enough frequency, the universe often responds.  How can one protect themselves from these baneful glances?  Evil Eye Magic!

The evil eye motif has become rather fashionable of late as celebrities have embraced this ancient custom by making it chic to wear evil eye jewelry and nail designs.  The design works not only for those afflicted, but for those not yet afflicted as well (and let’s face it, everyone at one point or another has felt the evil eye radiating out from another person’s eye sockets).

How can you tell if you’re under the influence of the evil eye?  According to the Stregas, take a cup of water and some olive oil.  Put the cup on your head (you might need another person to help with this) and drop a little of the olive oil into the water.  If the oil stays in droplets, then you’re clear.  If the oil spreads out in a rainbow hued sheen, then you’re afflicted.  What to do?  Smudging yourself with sage may work, but clearing yourself with a selenite wand or an egg works better.  To do this, take the selenite or egg, and starting with your head, move the object slightly above your skin, in the aura area, letting all the negativity that was aimed at you flow out of you and into the egg/selenite.  Then work your way down, not forgetting to do both front and back.  If after one cleansing you don’t feel clean, then do it a couple more times.  The selenite trick is fairly well known in the main stream Pagan world.  The egg cleansing comes from the Hoodoo and brujeria traditions.

How can you protect yourself?  Use an evil eye!  There are so many variations on this symbol, that the ways you can create one for you is absolutely endless.  Almost every culture in the world has their own version of the evil eye, and volumes could be written on the subject.  Just look on an American one dollar bill.  The “all seeing eye” of Masonic fame?  An evil eye!  The version of the evil eye that most Westerners are familiar with is of Middle Eastern/North African ancestry.  This version, along with the Hamsa hand/Hand of Fatima, spread east some into Iraq and Iran, and very far into the West with the Moorish Invasion.  The Moors took this tradition to Spain where it was brought to the New World and added to the indigenous symbols against the evil eye.  Ever wonder about the God’s eye/Sun’s eye motifs or the crescent symbol often seen in South Western jewelry?  Evil Eyes!

So, now that you have the facts, there are many ways that you can integrate evil eyes into your life.  In today’s world, eyes are always on you, so it pays to have evil eyes everywhere.  If you are crafty and like to stitch, here is an evil eye cross stitch pattern:

http://crossstitch.about.com/od/freecrossstitchpattern1/ig/Evil-Eye-Cross-Stitch-Pattern/

If you like to crochet, here are instructions put together by our very own Ms. Finch:

Terms:  Ch- Chain Stitch; Ch sp- Chain Space; Dc- Double Crochet; Sc- Single Crochet; Sl St- Slip Stitch

This pattern uses the magic circle and tapestry techniques.

You can learn about these here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLuSVyKvoU and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wGsqonuccc

Colors used:  A-Black, B- Multi blue, C- Bone, D Leaf Green

 Pattern:

Using ‘A’, Magic circle, Row 1: Ch3( counts as dc here and throughout.) , 11 dc in magic circle, join with sl st in top of ch3. (12 dc)

Row 2:  Ch3,1dc,ch1 in 1st dc, 2dc,ch1 in each dc around. (12 2dc) Join w/ sl st in top of ch3. Fasten off.

Row 3:  Join B in any ch1 sp. Ch3 2dc (3dc made) 3dc in ea ch1 sp around. Join with sl st in top of ch3. (12 ch1 sp)

Row 4:  Ch3, dc in each dc and ch1 sp around (48 dc) join w/ sl st in top of ch 3.

Row 5:  Ch2, sc in each dc around. (48 dc) join w/ sl st in top of ch2. Fasten off.

Row 6:  Join C in any sc. Ch3, 3dc, ch2 in same sc as join * sk nxt 3 sc- 4dc,ch2 in nxt sc* repeat from * to* around. Join w/ sl st in top of ch 3 sp. (12 ch2sp)

Rows 7 & 8 are done in tapestry stitch.

Row 7:  Sl st to next ch2sp- 4dc,ch2 in nxt ch2sp- 4dc,ch1 in nxt ch2 sp- drop ‘C’. (do not fasten off carry strand along work until needed.) Join ‘D’- ch1- 4dc,ch2,4dc (corner 1 made) in nxt ch2sp- ch2-4dc,ch2 in nxt 2 ch2sp- 4dc,ch2,4dc (corner 2 made)- ch1- drop ‘D’- pick up ‘C’- Ch1- 4dc,ch2 in nxt ch2sp- 4dc,ch1 in nxt ch2sp- drop ‘C’ pick up ‘D’- ch1-4dc,ch2,4dc (corner 3 made)- 4dc,ch2 in nxt 2 ch2sp-dc4,ch2,dc4 (corner 4 made)-ch2- join w/ sl st in top of ch3. (4 4dc with ‘C’, 8 4dc with ‘D’.)

Row 8:  Sl st to next ch2sp- 4dc,ch1 in nxt ch2sp-ch1-drop ‘D’ pick up ‘C’-ch1- 4dc,ch1 in nxt ch2 sp- Drop ‘C’ pick up ‘D’- ch1- 4dc,ch2 in nxt ch2sp-4dc,ch2,4dc (corner 1 made) in nxt ch2sp- ch2-4dc,ch2 in nxt 3 ch2sp- 4dc,ch2,4dc (corner 2 made)- ch2- 4dc,ch1 in nxt ch2sp-drop ‘D’- pick up ‘C’- Ch1-4dc,ch1 in nxt ch2sp-Drop ‘C’ pick up ‘D’- Ch1- 4dc,ch2 in nxt ch2sp-4dc,ch2,4dc (corner 3 made)- 4dc,ch2 in nxt 3 ch2sp-4dc,ch2,4dc (corner 4 made)-ch2- join w/ sl st in top of ch3. ( 4dc with ‘C’, 4dc with ‘D’.)

Row 9:  ch3-*dc in each dc and ch sp to 1st corner ch2sp-dc4,ch2dc4 in corner* repeat from * to * around. Join with sl st in top of ch3 sp. Fasten off.

If you’re not into stichin’ and bitchin’, you can still make cool evil eye items for your home or to wear as jewelry.   The easiest way to do this is with flat blue marbles or blue glass beads and acrylic craft paint.  The marble/bead will be your base.  Then paint a circle of white on your base, making sure not to cover the entire surface.  When the paint dries, paint a smaller circle of blue on the white.  When that dries, paint a small circle of black in the center.  This is the pupil of the evil eye.

 Using blue comes from the Middle Eastern tradition, but blue can be substituted with red or orange, which comes from Hoodoo.  This website has tons of wonderful evil eye items that can be used for craft ideas:  http://www.evileyestore.com/

Nails

I think polished nails are absolutely sexy, and if done correctly, can be quite magical.  There are tons and tons of evil eye design tutorials out there on the Web, but these are my favorite:

http://www.lifestylemirror.com/beauty/nails/ten-best-evil-eye-nail-art-designs/

http://holymanicures.blogspot.com/2012/05/evil-eye-nails.html

http://www.10blankcanvases.com/2012/09/israel-evil-eye-nails.html

http://contributors.luckymag.com/post/how-to-evil-eye-nails

What better way to ward off the evil eye than to be able to flip off the person looking at you with malevolence with a middle finger painted with an evil eye?  To further enhance that magic, henna can be applied to your hands (and other parts of your body), so that you create a living Hamsa hand/ hand of Fatima.

Henna can be purchased loose and then mixed or as a paste.  In a future post I’ll cover all the different magical uses of Henna and my super special Henna recipe.  But for now, if you want to explore Henna on your own, check out http://www.mehandi.com/ and http://www.tapdancinglizard.com/.  These are the most historically accurate sites on henna out there.  Get out your e-reader and have fun browsing around the free books and patterns.  There are evil eye patterns on those sites from all over the historic henna-using world.  I like and respect Catherine Cartwright-Jones’ scholarship enough that I have one of her researched henna patterns tattooed on my body (just a little something to honor a past life spent in an Ottoman harem).

Don’t want any outward symbols but still want evil eye protection?  There’s are options for you, just not at this time of year.  During the Halloween season in the U.S. stores abound with wonderful evil eye options for those who either want to ingest their evil eye or have it disappear into thin air.  Any kind of eye ball candy makes the perfect ingestible evil eye. Before you eat, you can say, “Evil eye inside of me, watch, protect, and discourage for me!”  There’s even evil eye beer!  Bubbles are also a great, invisible evil eye option. Bubbles in eye ball containers can be charmed and blown around the house, person, or car for protection.  In addition to yourself and your home and car, don’t forget to protect your computer.  If you type “evil eye screen savers” into your favorite search engine, a plethora of images will come up that you can use to protect your computer, or you can just steal the image below.

There are tons of options out there for mal de ojo protection.  Don’t get caught unprotected!

These folks will give you the evil eye!

untitled by Conroy Maddox

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