Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Mysterious Implements and Mysteries....

We got a weekend trip to Memphis two weeks ago courtesy of Mrs. Macabre's insurance company and one of my favorite things to do is shop. I love to go through all the fun stores, all the tourist traps but especially counter-culture stores...and then sometimes I get lucky and find something a little on the 'mystical' side.
I've always been fascinated with magick although never have practiced any other than playing with a Ouija board when I was younger (I always pushed the pointer so I don't think that counts). I've always been fascinated with ghosts, the paranormal, and all the trappings thereof. I found in this odd tourist store in the middle of Beale Street that looked like an old dry goods store that displayed a row of paraphernalia that was, well, strange (and they ONLY took cash, there was an ATM right by the register, no debit, no credit cards). There were bottles of powders, like sulfur, saltpeter and charcoal as well as many dried herbs in little bags, some I readily recognized, some I had no idea what they were. So many fascinating things right there that I chose some of the more interesting of the lot:

Across the bottom is a row of soaps (I had to throw them away, they STANK!!! I kept the boxes), that promised protection from harm, uncrossing, fast luck and helping hand. Across the top is Black Cat incense with a prayer on the back and instructions to burn it every day and read the 23rd Psalms. Then we have 7 Holy Spirit Hyssop Bath Oil, again with instructions on what Psalms to read and have to use it. Strange thing is, I don't really think it says what the end result is to be, whether it is purification, healing, whatever? The little green bottle 0n top of the Black Cat stuff is just a cool bottle of bergamot (citrus orange) perfume. I should have burned the whole box of the Special Fast Luck incense BEFORE I went to Tunica Mississippi to the casinos!!! The Showers of Gold I can only guess that it would mean some prosperity inducing incense. Again, it has instructions on reading Psalms while the incense is burning.
Lastly....This. This is 'Special Oil'. No instructions, no explanation, no nothing. What is it? What does it propose to do? What do you do with it?
It has a distinct citronella scent. You shake it up and it separates again. A mystery.

All these things are a mystery to me. Do they work, do they not? Who is Dr. Pryor? What is in the Special Oil bottle and how is it used? Who would buy these things to use them in a solomn manner? To loosely quote Kevin Spacey in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil when John Cusack asked him why didn't he have a particular painting x-rayed to see what the underpainting was, he replied "I rather enjoy not knowing". Would I want to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that ghosts do or do not exists? I don't think I would. Would I want to know the existence of aliens or not? Probably not. Would I want to know that I was truly alone in a dark graveyard in the middle of the night?

Damn straight I would!

I am curious though, if anyone can shed any light on the implements, I would love to know about them!



10 comments:

Diane said...

haha i have no idea but i'm obviously a perv cuz Showers of Gold didn't make me think 'prosperity'.

i love all the bottles and labels! be careful with that stuff. you know, just in case!

Wendy the (Very) Good Witch said...

Okay...first, I LOVE all those things you got. That is JUST what I would have gravitated towards in that shoppe also. Kind of reminds me of all the witch shoppes in Salem. Second, I especially love the bottle of bergamot, the hyssop bath oil and the black cat incense. I love the labels on those. They would look mondo fab amid my 'Witch's Apothecary'. Third, Beale street is pretty cool...went there in 97 when I was pregnant with my first child. The BBQ in Memphis is great.

Now for the items....I too, LOVE magic of all kinds. And neither am I a practitioner, other than what I call 'mind magic' or 'manifesting my reality'! But I am forever intrigued by it in all it's forms. The fact that some of the items suggested reading Psalms make me think of the things some Catholics use to pray to Saints. Those soaps seem to possibly be of American Indian origin with the name and image. I was wondering if there were any Reservations nearby to the Casinos. And all of the items also remind me a little of the items in Voo Doo stores also, or possibly Santeria. Wish I could tell you more about them...better yet, I wish it were I who had been lucky enough to come across them for purchase...ha! Great finds Mr. Macabre, thank you for sharing these. :o)

Ghoul Friday said...

I don't know, but any product that wants you to chant "I shall not want" and "I walk through the valley of death" makes me think they are preparing you for low expectations and possibly some horrible physical reactions to the product ingredients ;)

It certainly is a lot of fun though. And you know someone - somewhere - swears by the power of these products (these are different from the people who ended up with terrible rashes).

The Frog Queen said...

Interesting shop...wish I had been there!

But beware.....be very afraid of the ATM so close....that is not a good sign. Even if I could help you with the other stuff....my marketing brain is completely distracted by the ATM machine.

That is something I woud do.....not a good sign. Hopefully a less "jaded" person could offer more sage advice. :)

Cheers!

halloween spirit said...

Nice finds! Can't shed any light on them but I love the labels. Especially Dr. Pryor's "Alleged" Special Fast Luck Incense. :D

PumpkinBrain said...

Interesting stuff. As everyone else, I have not even the slightest idea of these products use. I've always been interested by magic but I prefer not to dwell in this world. I have enough obsessions already.

DeadmansLog said...

I. Love. This. Post.

adelesspookyart said...

hummm...Very interesting...

~adele~

:P: said...

I just wanted to say "Hallo" - I like the "snake-oil" stuff very much - unfortunately there aren't many locations to get original ones. Nice photos and a very pleasing writing style...

Alice said...

That bergamot oil bottle is gorgeous! The label almost makes it look like it could be a mini bottle of absinthe. You know, like the kind you might get on a plane. Because they're totally serving absinthe on flights now...

As for the "special oil," since it doesn't have its own explanation, my only thought is that maybe it's an All-Purpose Awesome oil. Like, you could anoint your candles with it no matter what sort of spell you were casting (assuming it's meant to be used in a spell setting).

I agree with you, though. The pregnant mystery is much better than knowing for sure.