So a few months ago, I wrote a piece entitled “On Forget-Me-Nots, and Creating Your Own Meaning”. Its purpose was to outline how correspondences can shift from one practitioner to the next, and how you can use your personal experiences to create stronger bonds in the way you do witchcraft. I’d recommend giving it a read before continuing with this article, as it might become a little clearer.
I thought it would be interesting to take that idea and do it again, this time with a non-plant ingredient. So a few days ago, I bought these:
Porcupine quills! Specifically from the Old World Hystricidae family. I’ve been wanting to get my hands on a few for a while now, and I recently got the opportunity. Let’s go over a little about porcupine quills beforehand:
- made of keratin
- extremely sharp
- extremely strong
- extremely varied, no two are alike
- usually grow in bundles embedded in the musculature of the animal
How can we apply it to witchcraft? Let’s do some brainstorming, shall we?
- made of keratin: strength, grown from the porcupine itself. Inner strength, relying on yourself for protection, defense, attack, etc
- extremely sharp: I can’t explain to you how sharp they are without actually having them placed in your hands. Definitely not toys; could be used as natural pricks for bloodwork? — just make sure they’re sterilized
- extremely strong: won’t break under pressure, good to use in long-term spellwork,
- extremely deadly: In the wild, if you get a quill stuck in your body, it’ll follow your bloodstream and slowly travel throughout your body until it has to turn and will either A) kill you or B) exit however it can. Usually through your skin again. Not a nice process. Good for slow cursing, if you use curses.
- extremely varied, no two are alike: good for when you need something specialized, something to make an impression. Statement ingredients, if you will.
- usually grow in bundles embedded in the musculature of the animal:
So after all that brainstorming, here is what I, as a personal practitioner, would suggest you utilize porcupine quills for:
- defense, specifically group defense and support
- cursing/hexes/crossings, especially slow-acting ones
- spells that require a calm demeanor under pressure
- inner strength
I find it’s really helpful to do an exercise like this every few weeks or so with an ingredient you’ve never used before. It keeps the mind in witchcraft mode and lets you stretch your creative muscles, keeping your spirituality in shape.