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Gar Rune

See those diamonds with x's in the corners of the safe and the door?

curse box safe

You can also see it on the corners of this curse box, both from 7x16 Out With The Old episode:

curse box gar

It's the Norse rune "Gar"
Gungnir

"It is the beginning and end of the Runes and serves to seal magical formulas. Gar which means `spear` in Germanic represents both the spear of Woden, Gungnir and the holy lance of the sacred Aryan blood carried by Parsifal." (x)

"...serves to seal magical formulas" is just what this rune is doing in 7x16, helping to bind the magic that is holding the cursed objects within. Very cool!

"Another description of Gar says it means spear, referring to Odin's spear, but this is actually a "kenning" or wordplay on the World Tree, Yggdrasil, the shaft on which Odin hung, speared and bleeding, until he found the Runes. There is no evidence as to what its glyph means, but those who work with it are convinced that it is a picture of the World Tree, Yggdrasil. To draw Gar is to be told by the Universe that this is not a time to be second-guessing its plans. Instead, one should wait and watch and learn, and let things settle out. The World Tree branches out in many directions, and it is much larger than we are, and we cannot always see what is coming. Instead we must wait, hanging on its branch like Odin, until wisdom chooses to reveal itself to us." (x)

Not sure how this correlates to the cursed objects in particular, but perhaps if we stretched it, we could say that by cursing an object, taking away it's intended purpose, one has "second-guessed" the original intended plans and by binding them with Gar, it may one day return to it's origins. Perhaps it's also a warning to let the magic within the circle, letting wisdom reveal that there is danger inside. It's a stretch but the above description was too cool not to include it!

And of course, you can find Gar in the Lazarus Rising barn, right in the middle of Dean and Bobby!
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We are all more than aware of this symbol now that we have been introduced to The Men of Letters:

bunker key box

The unicursal hexagram is a six-pointed star that can be drawn in one continuous movement (This is significant when forming figures in ritual magick, where a continuous line is preferred to an interrupted movement). Its points are not equidistant, and the lines are not of equal length (unlike a more standard hexagram). It can, however, fit inside a circle with all six points touching the circle. (x)

men of letters circle

Like the pentagram, the lines are used to evoke or banish planetary, elemental, etc. forces depending on which way the lines are drawn:
on-the-formulae-of-the-unicursal-hexagram-8-t
See THIS LINK for a much more in-depth look and explanation of these movements. The article shows not only the elements but each planetary force drawn to invoke and to banish.

Before the MoL, we did see the symbol in the barn during Lazarus Rising:
unicursal hexagram

and on Mary's charm bracelet:
unicursal hexagram charm

This is also the main symbols for Thelema, a religion based on a philosophical law developed by Aleister Crowley. I would like to do some separate reading on that and a separate posting to see if anything connects with Supernatural or specifically, The Men of Letters.

Quincunx

The five spot, sometimes called a Quinonce.

Two weird accidents lead Sam and Dean to the Pierpont Inn. For the first part of the episode their working theory is a hoodoo curse after spotting a five-spot on an urn.

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The best information I found was a conversation with someone who practices hoodoo and was answering a question from a Supernatural fan. Quite simply he described it as such:

The Qincunx has FIVE points, corners and then the center. Five is an uneven number and therefore has great power. ...The reason why we use the Quincunx is because it sets up what you might call a sacred space, it helps contain, draw and focus energies into a single point.

The practitioner then describes how you could put a Quincunx on vases and put them in four corners of a room or house. You can then set up your fifth vase, set it aside, but bring it back to the center when needed.

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Non-perminant Quincunx's are created by placing oil, sachet powders, washes, perfumes, cologne, waters into the corner or center. The powders are sucked away in vaccumns or are slowly wafted away as time goes by and the oils and such are often evaporated. Spellcasting Quincunx's are a bit different, they are usually formed on the altar or on a petition paper. (or perhaps as a necklace like below?)
 
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Hoodoo deals with a lot of crossroads and sometimes access to a crossroad isn't always easy (meaning there might be people watching) so that is the point of the Quincunx, as a portable crossroads where ever you go to help divide the bridges between the world and commune with the spirit realm and work your magic.

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Trishula

In season 8's As Time Goes By, Henry Winchester goes to a shop in hopes to get the ingredients for a spell to get back home.

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As he walks by the store window you get a peek of this symbol called a Trishula.
From Wikipedia: The trishula is wielded by the Hindu God Shiva and is said to have been used to sever the original head of Ganesha (wouldn't the Winchesters and Crowley love to do that to Abadon!). Durga (Hindu) also holds trishula, as one of her many weapons. There are many other gods and deities, who hold the weapon trishula.

trident in window

The three points have various meanings and significance, and, common to Hindu religion, have many stories behind them. They are commonly said to represent various trinities—creation, maintenance and destruction, past, present and future, the three guna. When looked upon as a weapon of Shiva, the trishula is said to destroy the three worlds: the physical world, the world of the forefathers (representing culture drawn from the past) and the world of the mind (representing the processes of sensing and acting). The three worlds are supposed to be destroyed by Shiva into a single non-dual plane of existence, that is bliss alone.
trishula

In the human body, the trishula also represents the place where the three main nadis, or energy channels (ida, pingala and shushmana) meet at the brow. Shushmana, the central one, continues upward to the 7th chakra, or energy center, while the other two end at the brow, there the 6th chakra is located. The trisula's central point represents Shushmana, and that is why it is longer than the other two, representing ida and pingala.

Cat's Eye Shells

I think the only time Cat's eye shells are mentioned was in the pilot episode. Sam and Dean just discovered their father's hotel room and begin to look around when Sam says: Salt, Cat's Eye shells... He was worried.

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The shells are used for protection, just like salt, but more specifically for the evil eye. The evil eye is usually given by someone who is envious, jealous, or covetous which could very well fit the pilot's Woman In White. Constance Welch's husband had been unfaithful to her and as a Woman In White she went after men and accused them of doing the same.

The Cat's Eye is a sea-snail called a Turban Shell or Turbo (I know, I instantly thought of the movie too!). They became very popular in the Victorian era and where often made into jewelry. The shells can also be part of mojo and gris-gris protection bags as well as hoodoo.

catseyes

The other side of the shell is known as "the eye of Shiva" and represents the 3rd eye of Shiva.
The spiral of the Eye of Shiva represents development and positive energy, again protecting and guarding. The talisman is also known in other cultures as "the Eye of Buddha" in Buddhist Asia, as Mermaid's Money" in southern Africa and as "Eye of Santa Lucia" in Italy. (X)

cats eye

The Devil's Pitchfork II

The origin of the Devil's pitchfork is uncertain. There are similarities with the trident, in that the fork is usually seen with three tines. But rather than a fishing implement or fighting weapon, the Devil's pitchfork is more likely to be an oversized toasting iron - too big for a slice of bread but big enough to roast a sinner over the flames of Hell.(X)

pitchfork

A less subtle approach to the pitchfork symbol but it makes sense. My first Google search of "roasting in the pits of hell" brought half theology questions and half are recipes for pig roast.... hopefull not long-pig. Eeps!

Even the Quaran mentions sinners roasting in Hell: "...Enough is Hell for a burning fire. Those who reject Our Signs, We shall soon cast into the Fire. As often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for fresh skins, that they may taste the penalty. For Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise" (4:55-56). (X)

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Sun Connections II

Continuing to explore the the many meanings of the sun as a symbol...

Of course there is the anti-possession tattoo, but the sun also has a prominent place on Sam and Dean's ribs when it was part of the Enochian protection writing:
sun xray

The symbol of the sun appears in every civilization and mythology since man drew on cave walls. At the cut, see just a small example from our diverse world.

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The cross in Faith

Layla Rourke: I'm okay. Really. I guess, if you're gonna have faith, you can't just have it when the miracles happen. You have to have it when they don't.

Sue-Ann Le Grange didn't have faith when her husband was ill and took it upon herself to call up and try to control a reaper in one of my favorite season one episodes. The symbol you see her holding is found throughout the episode. It's on a tarot card, Roy's alter at the church tent, Sue-Ann's black altar in the basement, the black book she found the spell in and on the amulet she kept.

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Algiz - Rune of Protection

It would make perfect sense that among the several sigils, seals and symbols to call out whatever thing that dragged Dean out of Hell, there would be some protective symbols too.

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The Algiz symbol, also known as the "Rune of Watchfulness" represents protection, assistance, defense, warning, support in adversity. It may also indicate a spiritual helper or guide. It is used in magic to make hunting more successful*, although I don't think it means the same kind of hunting as the Winchesters!

It is associated with the Norse myths of Heimall, a protector and guardian who watches the gates between worlds and who holds his sword in one hand and his horn in the other guarding the divine realm of Asgard.

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There is a variety of other attributes associated with Algiz, including some that really fit the Supernatural mythology story line and characters:
- Mystical and religious communication with non-human sentient beings
- Reversed: vulnerability and sacrifice without gain. There are people who deceive and mislead you and may you become the scapegoat for the failures of others. (x)
- Algiz signals that protection may be expected from an outside source in a conflict that is either forthcoming or is already ongoing.

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Bobby had painted the rune at both ends of the barn. You can see it next to the doors that Castiel enters and at the back where Dean learns who had gripped him tight and raised him from perdition.


*SYMBOLS by Sandra Forty, page 74.

Tulpa

In season 1's Hell House, Sam and Dean realize that they're not dealing with a normal spirit, but instead, an accidental Tulpa, created by a made-up urban legend, the symbol below, and thousands of internet fans.

Tulpas are found in both Indian and Tibetan Buddhism and means: To build, to construct, a magical emanation, a conjured thing created through sheer spiritual or mental discipline alone. The term "Thoughtform" is a Western concept/interpretation of a tulpa.


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The most famous of Tulpa manifestations came from Alexandra David-Neel a french woman who heard of Tulpa's and went to Tibet to learn more about them and to conjure one up on her own:

"Once the Tulpa is endowed with enough vitality to be capable of playing the part of a real being, it tends to free itself from its makers control. This, say Tibetan occultists, happens nearly mechanically, just as a child, when his body is completed and able to live apart , leaves its mothers womb. Sometimes the phantom becomes a rebellious son and one hears of uncanny struggles that have taken place between magicians and their creatures the former being severely hurt or even killed by the latter.

...I chose for my experiment a most insignificant character: a Monk, short and fat, of an innocent and jolly type. I shut myself in tsams and proceeded to perform the prescribed concentration of thought and other rites. After a few months, the phantom Monk was formed. His form grew gradually fixed and lifelike looking. He became a kind of guest, living in my apartment. I then broke my seclusion and started for a tour, with my servants and tents.

The Monk included himself in the party. Though I lived in the open, riding on horseback for miles each day, the illusion persisted. I saw the fat Tulpa; now and then it was not necessary for me to think of him to make him appear. The phantom performed various actions of the kind that are natural to travelers and that I had not commanded. For instance, he walked, stopped, looked around him. The illusion was mostly visual, but sometimes I felt as if a robe was lightly rubbing against me, and once a hand seemed to touch my shoulder.

The features which I had imagined, when building my phantom, gradually underwent a change. The fat, chubby-cheeked fellow grew leaner, his face assumed a vaguely mocking, sly, malignant look. He became more troublesome and bold. In brief, he escaped my control. Once, a herdsmen who brought me a present of butter, saw the Tulpa in my tent and took it for a living lama.

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I ought to have let the phenomenon follow its course, but the presence of that unwanted companion began to prove trying to my nerves; it turned into a 'day-nightmare.' Moreover, I was beginning to plan my journey to Lhasa and needed a quiet brain devoid of other preoccupations, so I decided to dissolve the phantom . I succeeded, but only after six months of hard struggle. My mind-creature was tenacious of life. There is nothing strange in the fact that I may have created my own hallucination. The interesting point is that in these cases of materialization, others see the thought-forms that have been created."

Alexandra David-Neel
Magic and Mystery in Tibet (1965)

(David-Neel story source)

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