the scarab pendant

Speaking of objects I was entirely right to acquire, here is an antique wood and enamel scarab pendant I finally picked up after many months of watching from afar. The colors and visual texture are incredible, and it reminds me of the intricate scarab cabochons you see in the ancient Egyptian section of the MFA (or any such museum), which I always find arresting. Like to try to imagine how they would have been used and worn. It’s quite small, just a little over 1/2″ long. This green-leaning turquoise hue appeals to me in just about every context, really, but especially this one.

[Imagine a massive scarab to hang on the serpent necklace, see what I’m saying? How FIERCE would that be?]


I’ll get more into my love of the ancient Egyptian aesthetic later I’m sure, for now it suffices to say that yes: the creatures chosen for artistic representation, the blending of myth and nature and the mythical resonance of just about everything/pervasive symbolism, the crisp lines and bold colors, the prevalence of gold, eyeliner for all, and of course all those sphinxes…I love it.

I love, too, the process of building – borrowing and elaborating from the great pool of history and myth – my own mythology and establishing my own set of personal symbols, replete with any power I have channeled into them. I am drawn to the concept of the charm or the amulet (I recently lost my cimaruta, sadly), not because I believe in ancient or current systems of power, but because I believe in my own power (certainly over myself, conscious or no), and can derive comfort and strength from my personal totems and emblems. The scarab traditionally symbolizes the sun (another favored symbol of mine), and so growth, development, transformation, creation.


There is a glyph on the back, anyone able to identify? Maybe a stylized Arabic script?


some thoughts on acquisition

I return a fair amount of the stuff I buy online, I would say around a third of it or more. I really believe it is necessary to see something in person to know truly if it is wanted, and I try not to keep what I do not love, unless it is somehow unavoidable.*

*As in the case of some category of item where there is perhaps no ideal object available, or where its function is paramount (say, pliers), or in the case where there is an ideal, but I am not willing to shell out for it (because there is something else I want, which I am not willing to sacrifice).

I was trying on the clothes in a recent order and had done a particularly poor job of anticipating what would succeed with me, and what would fit. There was also some bad luck involved with fabrics not being pleasant, or construction being subpar, etc. I returned nearly everything – quite happily, as I am eager to eject what I don’t want with all possible expedition, space is tight as it is – but was naturally disappointed. One fills the cart with such hope! This is what I love about shopping: shopping is about the future. About creation and evolution and definition and hope…at least for me, shopping–especially for unnecessary things, which is, in a way, almost all I buy (almost all anybody buys)–is a pretty involved, potentially powerful psychic event, full of promise.

That hope is that I will receive the object I have imagined possessing, and I will love it. Where love here is shorthand for something like, I will instinctively sense that it is right for me to have it, and befitting of my character to wear it or use it, that it symbolically represents a rejection of all that I reject, and an embracing of all that I embrace, and that the object and I have come together at last [At last! How could I have not seen that I needed it before! But then, too, maybe I was not ready for it until now, and it is even better in this way (as we are lost without proper timing)], and think simply, YES.

Put another way, it will feel like I need it.

[Yet I make an effort to remember, as Buddhism and Jainism (and not Madonna) and good sense prompt me, that any significance bestowed upon the object traces back to me, and lies truly within me (and not in the object itself, any significance pertaining to which is a projection of a fragment of myself).]

This can be the force behind the oft-ridiculed ‘retail therapy’, and certainly almost always is for me. Distress (or just life) often requires some change or adaptation, the conscious changing of the self being a particularly tricky operation. We need help. [I need help!] Changing the environment is one tool, changing the immediate environment of the body being another even more intimate tool. I do not buy objects, mostly. Sometimes, at a very practical level, when something is not important enough to me to warrant the attention, I buy what will be nothing more than an object: a plate to catch water under a plant pot, cotton buds. This is rare, however, and I mostly buy not objects, not mere objects, but symbols. Rather, I have always chosen objects as symbols, and it is becoming less and less un/subconscious just what they symbolize and how.

I select certain things over other things because I have an idea of myself, a version of myself I want to bring to life. And these things are the catalysts, the tools paving the way. They might be a shortcut to becoming this future self, or they might be a carrot, inspiring me to some state a bit out of my natural reach. Perhaps these convoluted strategies are especially effective for me because I know that I am the kind of person who wants to be in environments that inspire me to live up to them, and that bring out the best in me (or even make me better). I use environment loosely here to mean everything I can perceive. This means the room I inhabit, the food I eat, the clothes I wear, the jewelry, the perfume, the objects I use, the books I read. Not just this room but the next room and the next room (and tomorrow and tomorrow). Is it not worthwhile to choose these elements with care and purpose? Can it be denied that the harmony of these elements has power? I say it cannot.

This is maybe all too obvious.

Anyway, here’s this necklace I bought, which I was right to buy.


A brass serpent with a quarter-sized limon quartz pendant, vaguely pineapple-esque (a vintage-thrift situation of mysterious origin).


It has a certain high priestess of the serpents aura about it, no?
Please to inform the serpents that I am available.