Mad in Pursuit Notebook

charms and amulets

Charms: Looking for Enchantment

Aug. 13, 2017. Searching for something, but not sure what. We've had many good weeks of gardening, crouching close to the earth, learning the names of growing things, and tending our compost bins. We made dandelion wine. I experimented dyeing fabric with our rampant Wood Sorrel and Chameleon. With Plantain, Yarrow, Comfrey, and St. John's Wort, we made medicinal salves. I love the act of transformation -- the mystery and the learning. I'm enjoying this new connection with the natural world. But as the quiet August days drift by, I'm also ready for a breakthrough.

If you explore medicinal plants, it won't be long before you stumble upon herbal magic, with its rituals and formulas for helping you find love and good fortune. The ancient arts are intriguing, but too many YouTube videos of unhealthy-looking women in dark rooms don't inspire me.

I catch a frisson -- a little shudder -- of loneliness. Ever since I was a child, I wanted a tiny friend in my pocket to have conversations with. Was I inspired by Tinkerbell or Jiminy Cricket? Having a friend to text message back and forth with on a cell phone kind of works, doesn't it? But I think a serious pocket friend would ALWAYS be there and JUST FOR ME. Like Dash has Dot [doodle from 2011]:

Dot and Dash

I came across the concept of "mojo bag," derived from African Hoodoo practice. Articulate an intention. Red bag. Insert special herbs, seeds, stones, etc. Breath life into it. Seal it up. Keep it alive through feeding rituals. Well -- it's really someone else's thing. But hey, I live in a house of charms! I must have something that will give me a pocket friend!
I went around gathering up various small "charms" I might "do something with." I laid them out on a tray (see image above): some stitched "crossroads" squares, Coptic crosses, Mexican yalalag cross, Tibetan "eye" charms, a couple "pocket saint" dolls I made... Now what?

Okay, here's the thing. If I actually wind up quickening a pocket friend, a secret sharer, I won't be able to tell you, will I? You would start worrying about me, thinking I'd crossed the line into delusion. Or maybe I could say I'd found Jesus. You'd still put me away, wouldn't you?

Maybe you'll just see a gleam in my eye and figure my wine is well poured...


THE SUDDEN SILENCE: A Tale of Suspense and Found Treasure (2015) Thailand: lovers of ancient treasure tangle with international black markets. Delia Rivera pulls Martin Moon back into the game and their quest turns deadly. In paperback and Kindle editions.

TRIBE OF THE BREAKAWAY BEADS: Book of Exits and Fresh Starts (2011) Time after time, Mary asks herself: Do I go or do I stay? She finds her power in her ancestors: Smart women turn discontent into action. An illustrated memoir in paperback and Kindle editions.

PASSION AND PERIL ON THE SILK ROAD: A Thriller in Pakistan and China (2008) The twin forces of revenge and redemption drive Nellie MacKenzie and Taylor Jackson on a crazed adventure into the heart of Central Asia. They grapple with issues of ethics, trust, rage, and bitter heartbreak -- as well as the intrigue of the international antiquities trade. In paperback and Kindle editions.



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All pages in this website by Susan Barrett Price are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. [The snowstorm image at the top of this page came from Wikipedia, under a Creative Commons license.]