Being the enormous magick nerd I am, with a blog that discusses precisely that sort of topic, I felt it was high time I posted a spell here. Now truth be told I do not use magick much for myself, mostly because I rarely have time or occasion to do so and to be perfectly honest there are many bloggers and podcasters who have much more experience than I do at spellcraft i.e. Cory and Lane over at newworldwitchery.com, Aticus Hob over at http://www.orphansalmanac.com/, and of course one cannot forget the inimitable Catherine Yronwode over at http://www.luckymojo.com/. If you have any questions or any desire to learn about American witchcraft I highly recommend any and all of them. Much of what I have learned about the craft over the past three or four years has come from those wonderful sources. I also have to recommend the book Staubs and Ditchwater by H. Byron Ballard and give a big shout out to her for getting me in touch with some of my own Appalachian heritage in magic. All that said there is one little spell that I have developed, or rather rebooted, that I figured I would share with you all and that is a modern, safe, fixed nutmeg.
For those of you who do not know a fixed nutmeg is a traditional southern good luck charm that involves putting a small drop of mercury inside a hollowed out nutmeg and sealing it inside. For obvious reasons this is a bad idea; heavy metal poisoning is no joke. However there is a very safe way of handling mercury and that is inside a sealed glass container. So when I first heard about this old spell I always thought it would be cool to do the same old spell except with the mercury sealed inside a small vial or bead of glass and put that vial or bead into a hollowed out nutmeg essentially creating the same old spell in a much more safe way. Well I ruminated on that for a couple of years but I never could find a suitable tiny glass container of mercury, until last summer I found this:
That is an old school thermostat and inside that thermostat:
is a tiny vial of mercury exactly the perfect size to fit inside a hollowed out nutmeg. This is actually a fantastic source for a couple of reasons. First it's safe; it is a small hermetically sealed vial of mercury so you do not have to worry about handling the gorgeous but dangerous metal or about the fumes. Secondly you are recycling an outmoded piece of equipment that would probably otherwise be simply tossed out. Thirdly by preventing it from being thrown in a dumpster you also prevent that little vial of mercury from shattering in some landfill and leaking into your local water supply.
So here it is my little guide to making a modern fixed nutmeg with a little bit of mountain flair.
Here's what you'll need:
1 Nutmeg, 1 Vial from an old mercury thermostat, 1 small whittling knife with a blade about the width of the mercury vial, 1 $2 bill, and some crown of success oil or some other luck oil such as fast luck or money drawing oil.
Alright first things first, the nutmeg needs to be hollowed out. This is a tedious process that takes patience; DO NOT RUSH THIS PROCESS. You must use a knife and not a small drill bit because a drill bit will crack the nutmeg before you can even get the hole started:
Take your knife and start at the top of the nutmeg around where the little nub is:
Now start twirling your knife to slowly make a conical hole in the nutmeg:
Once the hole is about this big:
Start on the other end:
Keep going on the other side until you have broken through:
Now begin to carefully widen the hole. Be sure to take material evenly from all sides so you do not end up with one side thicker and one side paper thin and easy to break. Keep going until it looks something like this:
Now carefully begin trying to fit the vial inside the nutmeg. DO NOT RUSH THIS PART. If it doesn't quite fit don't try to force it or you'll end up with this:
and have to start over again from scratch. Keep scraping at the sides until the vial slides snugly into the nutmeg like so:
There you have it, a fixed nutmeg! Now for a bit of mountain flair. In mountain magick instead of small cloth bags, many spells are deployed in small paper packages called sachets (pronounced sa-chet not sa-shay). So to keep the nutmeg safe and protect the mercury vial further I made a little sachet out of a two dollar bill. Take the bill and fold it over width wise so about two fifths of it's length are folded up against about three fifths, then fold the edges towards the front side then again towards the back creating a small origami style seal all the way around the edges. Finally fold the top in a little triangle and you should have a little packet that looks like this:
Put the fixed nutmeg inside:
Then fold the top flap and tuck it inside the sachet ending in a nice neat rectangular sachet:
Consecrate the charm as you see fit. Anoint it with your chosen oil as needed for luck and carry it in your pocket. I have used this curio with a crown of success oil of my own recipe to some pretty amazing results for dealing with difficult tests in college, but it would work just as well with any other luck or money draw oil. The nice thing about applying oil to a paper sachet is over time the paper absorbs it giving you a nice sturdy wax-paper feel that keeps from coming open easily.
So that's it! I hope you all have enjoyed this little foray into spell-craft and I hope to catch you all next time. Until then I remain,
Yours in service to the Morrigan,
Achija Branvin Sionnach