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
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
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:
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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