Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Apotropaic Genitalia

Knock on wood. Here is a picture of a fascinus, a penis charm to ward off evil. 

One wonders why Mr. Spock from Star Trek (himself bearing a resemblance to Satan or some other dark elf from Fairyland) found everything fascinating. Lots of distracting bonerific stuff out there in the galaxy to distract the gaze of the evil eye, I guess.

So, how did I end up checking out boner, buttock, and vulva charms? Well, this rabbit hole started out with the news item about the arson of a house in Poughkeepsie, NY. The house was a "Halloween house" used by the Church of Satan. Someone burned it down. What caught my eye was the house was located in the "witchcraft district" in the city. This lead me to read about the witch houses of the Hudson valley. This article documented the strange objects hidden behind walls or secret rooms or voids within the houses built by the early Dutch colonists of the Northeast. 

Many of these artifacts were eventually recognized as apotropaic totems or objects to ward off evil. I myself, helping with the rehab of an old 19th century house in NW Indiana back in the 90s, came across objects and carvings in the walls . At the time we were incurious and only moderately creeped out and paid it no mind. But now, I recognize it all as a method to ward off evil. Not all the objects are house wards. Witch bottles, containing human hair, finger and toe nail clippings, bent nails and broken pins, were used as personal charms to distract evil spirits from inhabitants, especially children. The idea being a spirit would be lured to the bottle via sympathetic human remains, there to be trappped an injured or killed by the "dead" nails and pins.

Anyway, this lead me to read about apotropaic genitalia in all its forms. Penises are used but also vulvae and buttocks. This no doubt is why so many vagina dentata carving sare found throughout the world. Bare buttocks were also utilized, such as the Aphrodite Kallipygos statue.

So, in American culture, perhaps the strictures against nudity go beyond mere prudish or squeamish Puritanical bias, and recognize the power of the naughty bits.


  1. A robot penis is a fascinus, otherwise they'd all be fembots. Or maybe the fembots are the cavalry to the penis or dildo bots artillery. Which leaves the buttocks for infantry.

  2. I think buttocks is definitely front line defense. We all have one, so it's fair game no matter your gender qualifications.