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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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Dean's bed post

I think I let out an actual "Ooooo!!" when I saw Dean's bedpost from Bad Boys. I've been looking to see if this has a particular meaning, but I haven't seen it anywhere. I'm guessing like most sigils, it was created for a certain purpose.

This timeline was before the Winchester's used devil's traps and before Bobby gave the boys the anti-possession charms. I think Dean would have created a protection charm with what he knew.


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I also loved Sonny asking Dean "are you into the who heavy-metal-devil-worshiping stuff?" Again going to the timeline, it was an era of Tipper Gore's music rating system (PMRC) and those annoying warning labels on CD's. It was also a time where parents claimed heavy metal music had subliminal messages that drove children to suicide and/or "deviant behaviors". Once again the sign of the pentagram (in most cases the pentagram with 2 points up), seen on album and t-shirts of many bands, became associated with devil worshiping, etc.

Sonny's question to Dean was spot on with the popular thought of the time! Sonny had seen the bed carving and Dean's AC/DC t-shirts and thought Dean was another one of those stories Tipper had warned us all about.

Oct. 2nd, 2013

Sorry about the non-posting lately - I've been doing some research and will be using some of the material here for a panel/presentation I'm doing for winchestmidwest about cursed objects and the curse boxes!

Besides the rabbit's foot, I'll be covering cursed objects like James Dean's car, the Hope Diamond and the doll from The Conjuring (the real doll that inspired the movie). I have most of the information I want to cover, I just need to tweak and edit it so it tells a good and creepy story!

Although, I keep finding fun examples of cursed/haunted objects in the show....
mirror

Do you have a favorite? Like Dean and the ballet slippers LOL?!
ballet shoes

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Hand of Glory

To the Dead Man's knock!
Fly, bolt, and bar, and band!
Nor move, nor swerve,
Joint, muscle, or nerve,
At the spell of the Dead Man's hand!
Sleep, all who sleep! -- Wake, all who wake!
But be as the dead for the Dead Man's sake!

- Thomas Ingoldsby of Tappington Manor, actually a pen-name of an English clergyman named Richard Harris Barham

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A grisly magical charm popular with thieves in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the hand of glory was a candle made from the dried hand of a hanged convict through a complicated recipe that also included herbs, horse dung, peppers, and salt. The hand would be carefully mummified, and then joined to or turned into a candle using tallow from a hanged corpse. (whether this is from the same corpse is apparently irrelevant). Set alight, the hand was reputed to have the power to render the occupants of a household insensible, making burglary a simple task. (x)

In most legends, its usually the left hand that was taken, in Supernatural, however, it was the right hand of the unfortunate thief.

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Other beliefs:
~ Renders motionless all persons to whom it was presented.
~ The candle could only be put out with milk.
~ The hair of the dead man is used as a wick, and the candle would give light only to the holder.
~ Unlock any door it came across.

Want a couple of stories on the Hand of Glory? here's a couple. The only alleged Hand of Glory in existence today? At the Whitby Museum in the UK! As far as Dean's version of the Hand of Glory, well, that's a whole other website LOL!

Scarab Beetle

That's my best guess for this one. I looked up frogs but all the graphics have toe pads, the one on the barn does not. The Scarab Beetle would be very fitting to see in Lazarus Rising anyway because of it's rebirth and resurrection symbolism.

scarab beetle

Other meanings include protector, transformation, and some say the rolling of the balls of dung had something to do with the sun rising and setting (rebirth/resurrection). Most people connect the Scarab with ancient Egypt, but stories are found in other ancient communities such as Indian tribes from the Chaco (South America), a big scarab named Aksak modeled man and woman from clay. The scarab, who shapes dung into balls, is identified as potter. Among the Sumatran Toba, a big beetle brings a ball of matter from the sky to form the world. This beetle could be a scarab. (Egyptian and Greeks believed scarabs were able to fly while carrying a dung ball.) (x)

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The scarab was also used as a holder or medium for personal name seals. A figurine of a scarab would be carved out of stone, and then on the ruff stomach of the scarab, the engraving of a seal was made. Later, this oval image was used for the representation of the cartouche, or name/title seals. (x)

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Triqueta or Trinity

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triquetra compressed

Triqueta with a circle, like the bottom, right corner of the barn photo - This is where the protection, infinite, and eternity theory comes into play. A circle is drawn around the triquetra to signify spiritual unity. This is a protection circle; something that cannot be broken. (x)

The Triqueta has many different meanings, crossing several lands and beliefs.

Christianity: The Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)
Celtic: The Moon Goddess (associated with the lunar phases, when the moon was waxing, waning, and full)
Norse: Odin

Other Trinity associations:
~ Triple Goddess (Maiden, Mother, and Crone)
~ Three Realms (Earth, sky and sea)
~ The interconnected parts of our existence (Mind, Body, and Soul)
~ Family (Father, Mother and Child)
~ Life, Death, Rebirth
~ Past, Present, Future

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Scarecrow

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The Vanir were Norse gods of protection and prosperity, keeping the local settlements safe from harm. Some villages built effigies of the Vanir in their fields. Other villages practiced human sacrifice. One male, and one female.
(Love the graphic! Found it here.)

A scarecrow is more than just something one sets up in a field to scare the crows away, it is also a Jungian archetype and spiritual symbol. A scarecrow is a dimension of the Jungian archetype most commonly referred to as “the shadow.” This is because Scarecrows represent monstrous emotions and thoughts, which often provoke feelings of fear and dread. Scarecrows were used during harvesting rituals of the early tribes, such as the those for the spring equinox.
- Supernatural.TV - Inside The Legend

Supernatural-Scarecrow

I found this article called "The Great Scarecrow In Days Long Ago: Gothic Myths and Family Festivals" by Juliette Wood, a folklorist and professor at Cardiff University. She had referenced Supernatural in her article:
The television series, Supernatural, also used the ‘scarecrow and sacrifice motif’ is one of its episodes. In one episode the two brothers are sent to a village where people are sacrificed to a demonic presence that
manifests itself as a murderous scarecrow. All of this has little to do with folklore associated with scarecrows and a great deal to with the, essentially romantic and literary, traditions of the Gothic imagination. These are however, powerful traditions in their own right.


It's an interesting read and available as a PDF at the link above.

Reverse Cross

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Sam may have been stretching the timeline a bit when he said Satanist had been using the reverse cross for centuries. That's a relatively new view/meaning.

The Reverse Cross was originally known as The Cross of St. Peter: Historically, it has been a symbol of humility, a symbol of Martyred St. Peter’s refusal to be crucified in the manner of Christ, and his preference to be hung upside down.
St. Peters Cross


The inverted cross is actually the personal trademark of Saint Peter, the first Pope, and one of the most revered figures in Catholic lore. (x) Here you can see St. Peter's cross on the Pope's throne:
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Just like the pentagram, this cross has a long history of being seen as good in the Christian faith but now has an opposite response to most people. Even Dean had assumed that the old lady in season one's "Something Wicked" was evil because he had seen the upside down cross in her room! But she showed him, didn't she! LOL.