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Although ancient Roman penis amulets are well known and contemporary Thai penis amulets come in numerous forms, charms or amulets that depict the anatomically-correct vulva are relatively uncommon. There are two reasons for this: First, since Neolithic times, the entire human female body (or at least the torso) has been used as a votary figure -- as in the famous Sheela-Na-Gig images of Ireland. Second, the subtle folds of the female genitals are more difficult to render than are the bold cone-cylinder-and-spheres of the penis and testicles.

The metaphoric vulva is the most common form in which this ancient protective charm is found. The British say that old shoes are lucky. The Arabs see protective value in the crescent. A used horseshoe or horseshoe wall plaque is also a stand-in for the vulva, especially when, as in most of the world, it is displayed pointing downward. Likewise the ancient Egyptian buckle of Isis or tit amulet, while not a vulva per se is the next closest thing to it -- the menstrual pad of the goddess Isis.

The sterling silver vulva amulets above were commissioned by the Lucky Mojo Curio Company Occult Shopto fill requests from the American sex magick community for symbolic counterparts to contemporary Thai penis amulets. Sculpted by Oberon Zell of Mythic Images, they are modelled from life and are weighty, fully dimensional, wearable art in silver. There are two styles, shown from both the front and back. Each amulet depicts an anatomically accurate vulva flowering from a naturalistic sea shell.

The plain version, at the left, is 1 /12 inches long and has a jump-ring for suspension.

The one at the right is 1 3/4 inches long and features a hooded cobra emerging from the vulva -- an image found in certain ancient Hindu Tantric temple sculptures -- and is also embedded in a sea shell. Its hanging loop is behind the cobra's head, so that when the pendant is suspended, the snake's head rises up above the necklace cord.

At right is a modern vulva amulet that is artistically hand-carved of fossilized walrus tusk ivory and inset with an opal. It is 1 3/4" long and is designed to hang from a cord. Its slipper-like form evokes the metaphoric substitution of shoes for vulvas in fairy tales and literature. A one-of-a-kind piece, it was marketed as fine jewelry and has no counterpart in the popular culture flea market of lucky charms. It is not for sale, but comes from a private collection of amulets.

Another unique vulva amulet is this 2 1/4" long bone carving, from the image-collection of Rufus C. Camphausen, whose books "The Yoni" and "The Encyclopedia of Erotic Wisdom" are reviewed in the Sacred Sex Bibliography, letter "C". Created between the two World Wars, it was an insignia used in the ritual garb of the Dutch branch of the occult order A:. A:., founded by Aleister Crowley. The sex-magicians of the A:. A:. practiced ritualized cunnilingus, which was performed in a religious setting. The downward-pointing triangle circumscribing the vulva is evocative of Hindu symbols of the great goddess. Traces of red paint in the labial folds signify menstrual blood.

The meaning of the vulva -- whether natural or metaphoric in form -- is always that of magical protection and luck. Specifically, the vulva protects women and children from the evil eye and bestows the joys of fecundity and plenty upon those who carry it. As a remnant of ancient goddess-worship, the sacred vulva has proven persistently popular. Even as late as the middle ages, carvings of the sheela-na-gig -- a thin, impishly smiling woman holding open her enormous vulva with both hands -- were placed at the doorways to Irish Catholic churches, so that all who entered might touch the sacred vulva and be blessed thereby.

For other lucky charms in the form of genitalia or copulating couples, see:

sexual amulets
indescribable lucky charm, American
Kama Sutra amulets, Nepal
munachi charms, Quechua
penis amulets, Thai
penis amulets, Roman
phallic charmstone, California Indian
raccoon penis bones
Sheela-Na-Gig pewter pendant, modern
vulva amulets, modern

If sex magick interests you, you may enjoy visiting the portion of my web site devoted to Sacred Sex, Karezza, and Tantra Yoga.


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Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic by cat yronwode: a materia magica of African-American conjure
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
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Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
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Hoodoo and Blues Lyrics: transcriptions of blues songs about African-American folk magic
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Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
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Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Yronwode Institution: the Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology