Shopkeeper Sagas: Witches’ Marks, Rooster Blood, Thor Me Not

Shopkeeper Sagas: Witches’ Marks, Rooster Blood, Thor Me Not January 17, 2017

At our metaphysical shop, we have a saying: There are no “stupid” questions here. We mean that! Please feel free to ask our staff about any of our admittedly unusual and fring-ey merchandise, or the topics you see on the covers of these books. I promise that even the most awkwardly-worded inquiry about whether of not we are “real witches” is a fair enough question and we’d like the chance to clear up any misconceptions.

I give our customers sacred permission to question everything, starting with us.

Education is the most important part of our business mission. Each of our three staff have been working here for YEARS, so we’ve seen a thing or two. Plus, we’ve worked hard to become well-educated, well-trained practitioners who take our Craft seriously, and are happy to help folks along their own journeys. We’ve heard just about everything, and at this point, it takes something really spectacular to shock us…

…and yet, there are those special moments that grow into legend behind these battered, glass display counters.

I asked my staff to write up a few of their most memorable customer interactions so we can share the love, along with some answers, and a few informative links.

This first installment is brought to you today by Liz Merritt, Sojo Lady since 2013, Hedgewitch extraordinaire, and Maiden of The Sojo Circle Coven.


 

By Thompkins H. Matteson, painter - Collection of the Peabody Essex Museum, Public Domain
By Thompkins H. Matteson, painter – Collection of the Peabody Essex Museum, Public Domain

Witches’ Mark?

Customer: Hey, I was wondering if you could tell me about witches’ marks?
Me: Absolutely! Are you referring to the supposed marks found on the bodies of the victims of the Salem Witch trials that was used as damning evidence of their deals with the Devil? Those were generally moles on their bodies, where Satan supposedly drank milk/blood/life force from them. In reality, it was circumstantial evidence that made it easier to convict those poor people and steal their property after killing them horribly.
Customer: No, that’s not what I am asking about. I mean when a witch curses you and leaves a mark on your body?
Me: ….?
Customer: I think my ex-girlfriend cursed me and I have this mark on my side. Can I just show you?
Me: <with trepidation> Sure….
Customer: <lifts shirt to expose a circular patch of lighter skin, with a couple smaller circles around it> It looks like a skull and I have been freaking out, and I don’t know what to do about it. <if you tilt your head and squint it could look like a skull>
Me: Well, the good news is that is not a curse-mark. That looks like a fungal infection. I suggest going to the doctor so they can prescribe a topical treatment to get rid of it.
Customer: I’m pretty certain its a curse. What do I do about the curse?
Me: If you are worried about it, why don’t you start with a sea-salt bath, then a cleansing of your home. This sage and copal blend can really clear the energetic slate. We have some reversing candles, but please, go to the doctor.

Moral of the story:

Not everything has a mystical or witchy source. It’s best to start with the most rational, scientific explanation and work from there. Your health can be harmed if you ignore something like this out of fear. Doctors are there to help you, and it’s possible to find some who are open to more alternative healing methods if that is your preference.
Links: WebMD, or Wikipedia

Witch-hunters often had their suspects stripped and publicly examined for signs of an unsightly blemish that witches were said to receive upon making their pact with Satan. This “Devil’s Mark” could supposedly change shape and color, and was believed to be numb and insensitive to pain. Prosecutors might also search for the “witches’ teat,” an extra nipple allegedly used to suckle the witch’s helper animals…Moles, scars, birthmarks, sores, supernumerary nipples and tattoos could all qualify, so examiners rarely came up empty-handed. Link to source.


By the American Poultry Association [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By the American Poultry Association [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In Search of Black Rooster Blood

Customer: I am looking for an ingredient for a spell, can you help me?
Me: Certainly, what are you looking for?
Customer: I need black rooster blood.
Me: We don’t sell animal blood, as I can’t imagine the regulations on that. If I am not mistaken, any spell for which this ingredient is needed, would require you to kill and drain the rooster yourself.
Customer: <with frustration> Do you know where I can get a black rooster?
Me: So much Nope!

Moral of The Story: Magick will often require sacrifice. If you aren’t willing to get your hands dirty and do the hard work yourself, why should you reap the reward? Spells done by sidestepping those sacrifices won’t work as expected. Besides, if you don’t already understand all this, then you shouldn’t be meddling in this sort of magick.
Links: http://hoodooyoudoo.blogspot.com
Black Rooster Blood in HooDoo War Waters


By Philip De Vere [CC BY-SA 3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons
By Philip De Vere [CC BY-SA 3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

Thor Me Not

Customer: I’d like to look at this Thor* Statue, please.
Me: Sure, but this is the God Tyr, he has an axe.** Thor is usually shown with his hammer, Mjolnir.
Customer: <Completely talking over me> As a Christian, I shouldn’t really be getting this Thor*, but he’s really pretty, and I can’t stop looking at him and I think it’ll be okay if I just place him in my house as art, right?
Me: I don’t think it works like that. Yahweh is explicit on how he feels about ‘idols’ and ‘graven images’. It is one of the 10 Commandments, actually. This is Tyr. He is a God of Justice, who would probably disapprove of you flouting the rules of your religion.
Customer: It’s just art! And I know that I can’t leave this Thor* statue here. I loved that movie.

Moral of The Story: Tyr and Thor aren’t the same deity at all, firstly.
Secondly, willfully ignoring the tenants of your religion is generally not a great choice to make. If you feel called to consider other religious and spiritual options, there are ways to do it respectfully for all involved.
Lastly, we behind the counter generally know about these things from first hand experience, and when we tell you what something is or isn’t, we aren’t just guessing.
Links: Here is some handy information about the Norse Gods Thor and Tyr.

How Yahweh feels about graven images of other Gods.  “The reference to graven images may be found in several locations throughout the Old and New Testaments. The main prohibition to graven images is found in the Ten Commandments as located in Exodus 20:4,5 and also Deuteronomy 5:8.”


What would you like to know more about? You may post a question in the comments, and we will do our best to answer.

Until next time,

~Heron

**Originally we wrote that he was “accompanied by a boar.” This two year old memory may have been fuzzy…more likely that it was a wolf? It was a four legged creature of some sort, but now we can’t find a picture of the actual axe-wielding Tyr statue of years past.

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