A beautiful illustration of Charles Perrault’s version of the Sleeping Beauty Fairy Tale, La Belle au Bois Dormant, when Beauty / Aurora / whatever her name was falls into a swoon from pricking her finger on a spindle. A spindle, by the way, is a device used for spinning fiber into thread. It is shaped like a long spike, often with a portion that looks much like an old-fashioned wooden spinning toy top. None of the ones that I have seen has been particularly sharp. Certainly not sharp enough to draw blood. Unless, I guess, you really stabbed at yourself with it. But maybe they were made differently back then, or its a type I’ve never seen.
I suppose that, if I can suspend my disbelief to accommodate fairies, curses, 100 years of sleep, thorny woods that cover over a castle in a few minutes, and finding a prince worth a damn, I can allow for a particularly sharp spindle.
. . . the spindle immediately ran into her hand, and she directly fell down upon the ground in a swoon. Thereupon the old woman cried out for help, and people came in from every quarter in great numbers: some threw water upon the princess’s face, unlaced her, struck her on the palm of her hands, and rubbed her temples with Hungary water; but all they could do did not bring her to herself.
From the story “The Sleeping Beauty”
Henry Altemus Company: Philadelphia. 1908.
This necklace was made by me and can be found in my Etsy shop, Two Horse Shoe. It was inspired by the Sleeping Beauty Fairy Tale and is made from an oxidized brass colored, choker length chain, two wire-wrapped glass specimen vials, and a rusty vintage key. The shorter glass vial is filled with dried rose petals and sealed and adorned with brass colored wire and tiny peridot chip “leaves”. The longer glass vial is filled with needle-sharp honey locust thorns and sealed and adorned with beads of blood red garnet. The key is a very old steel key with a time-worn, beautifully rusty patina.
*** The honey locust thorns are lethally sharp Sharp enough and strong enough to puncture a car tire. While the vial is corked and sealed with wire, please use every caution necessary to keep these away from kids, pets, and other pierce-able valuables. By purchasing this item, you agree that neither my shop nor I will be held responsible should you injure yourself or someone else. The purchaser assumes sole and full responsibility for keeping the contents of this item secure. Should the vial break, handle the thorns with extreme caution and dispose of them responsibly. ***
La Belle au Bois Dormant translates as “The Beauty Sleeping in the Woods” and is the title of the French version, written by Charles Perrault, of the Sleeping Beauty or Little Briar Rose Fairy Tale. A good version of the Perrault tale can be found HERE
But I should warn you… It involves witchcraft, illicit love affairs, and ogres attempting to eat children. And still it is considerably more child friendly than one of the earliest versions of the Sleeping Beauty tale, “Sun, Moon, and Talia”, recorded by Giambattista Basile. Disney wouldn’t touch THAT version with a 10 foot pole. In fact, I would call it more of a horror fable. It involves extramarital love affairs, rape, cannibalism of children, attempted murder, and suicide via being eaten by wild animals. It would give my kids nightmares for months! But you can read it HERE
There are several uses for thorns in Voodoo and Hoodoo rituals – trapping evil spirits, as pins in voodoo dolls, for protection and revenge spells, as tools to inscribe spells on various materials, and many more. Rose petals are also widely used, typically for love spells of various kinds. In this particular story, you could easily say that the spell that.caused the rose and thorn thicket to engulf Briar Rose’s castle was used to protect and preserve her until her “true love” could arrive.
The gemstone, Peridot, was once more valuable than diamonds. In fact, its name comes from the Greek word, peridona, which roughly translates as “giving plenty”, something of a theme in this particular tale.
Garnets are tradionally used as symbols of affection and loyalty. These themes are also quite important to this tale. But even more interesting is their purported ability to warn the wearer of the proximity of evil or danger. If your garnet ever loses its luster, beware!
The rusty key is my own symbol for Briar Rose’s imprisonment, both in sleep and in the impenetrable thorn thicket. I thought the rusty patina was appropriate for a key that had been unused for 100 years during the princess’s cursed slumber.
Oh, Hai, Snot Fairy! Who invited YOU to the party?
In case you missed my last post, the germ factories that are my children’s classmates bestowed upon me the special gift of a head cold.
In the usual fashion of the tragi-comedy that I like to call “mi vida loca”, it became a sinus/double ear infection. Otherwise known as a gift from The Snot Fairy.
So my plan for this post was to write about a Hindu goddess I came across in my research a few months ago. But because The Snot Fairy has replaced my brain with a quivering mass of goo, I now cannot remember her name.
The main point though, was that this particular Goddess, possibly something like (but not exactly like) Maya or Mari, was very very strong. She was so strong, in fact, that one of her jobs was to help keep the world clean. One of the ways that she was worshipped was by placing things that were “unclean” – sewage, dead animals, cremains, the really Nasty (with a capital N) stuff – in the isolated, magical places that she liked to visit. She would then eat the Nasty off this stuff. Because she was so strong, she could ingest all this without becoming unclean herself, while rendering the Nasty stuff harmless and/or making it go away altogether. Now, isn’t that thoughtful?
Speaking of Goddesses brings me to the Celtic goddess Brigid, in her Healer aspect. Her appearance in Ireland is a bit of a strange story, even for a Goddess. The sources I consulted say that she appeared with the Tuatha de Danaan. The Tuatha were the fifth foreigners to invade Ireland. They – get this – arrived in Ireland by riding in on dark clouds, through the skies, landing on top of Conmaicne Rein mountain and casting a magical dark shadow over the sun for 3 days. Brigid was the daughter of Dagda, their leader and when she was born, a magical fire shot out of her forehead all the way up to the heavens. Now ~that~ is a grand entrance.
Anyway, Brigid was associated with poetry and writing, healing, and metalsmithing. Quite an unusual assortment, but whatevs. She has been worshipped continuously in Ireland since Druidic times, even surviving Christianity, so I guess she can be in charge of what she wants. One of the ways she has been worshipped is by keeping her sacred flame lit, which has also actually been accomplished continuously since Druidic times. You go, Girl!
Flames and healing, Goddesses who make unclean things go away… All this brings me to my plan.
Tomorrow, I am going to go out into the unclean area of the backyard (you know… where the dogs go). I’m going to take all my tissue paper wrapped gifts from The Snot Fairy, and I’m going to set them on fire for a ritual sacrifice combo to the Hindu Goddess whose name I can’t remember and Brigid the Healer.
And maybe, just maybe they will combine forces with the modern God, Azithromycin and kick The Snot Fairy’s germ-ridden, goo-covered ass into submission. And I will whoop with joy, then probably cough a little because the germs will have moved into my chest by then.
(Sources: I can’t remember where I heard about the Hindu Goddess, otherwise I would have her name. Info on Brigid: http://www.orderwhitemoon.org/goddess/Brighid.html and http://www.angelfire.com/journal/ofapoet/brigid.html )
* If you happen to be Hindu or Druid and find this post offensive, I blame the Acti-fed, 101 degree fever, and the sleeping propped up like Joseph Merrick for 3 days so I don’t drown in my own effluvia. If you worship The Snot Fairy, I respectfully request that you go to hell.