Of Pandas, Death Gods and Birthdays Presents

As some of you might know, I’ve recently celebrated my birthday. And, amongst the various presents I got, there was one that felt very close to heart: a box. What made this box so special was that it was specially made for me. A reminder of what I am and what I can become. A place where I can go into to rest or to gather my strengths and even find help for problems that might arise. A talisman, if you’d like.



On the top, there are three black spots on a white background, which represent the black spots of the giant panda, an animal I find very close to my heart, up to the point of seeing myself as a sort-of panda. The same spots are repeated on the bottom part of the box.

On the sideways, there were a mentions to two cards, a Hoodoo deity and my astrological sun sign. As you can see in the picture above, the words “the fool” and “The World” are in consecutive sides of the box, linked “over the abyss” by a line that stretches from the letter L of the fool to the letter “T” in “The World”. It reminded me of a jump of faith, the jump the fool makes so many times into the unknown, with due to carelessness or to faith. Since the words are joined, I like to think that in this case, it is because he believes in his goals. He goes after them not stopping just because there might be a problem or two. Your mind is set on your goal. Your path is drawn in the sand. Follow it, no matter where it takes, and let both your heart and your vision guide you right into your goal. Confidence. Faith. Adventure. Vision. These are some of the things I take from this. I like it that there is no dog. No need of warnings, as if nothing bad can come of it. In fact, the only animal is the panda, which has its similarities with the fool. Go forth and reach your goals, knowing you’ll stay true to yourself, this seems to say. Go forth and be yourself.

Be yourself. Be a Sagittarius. Be blessed by Jupiter, and dream of the sky. Shoot for the stars, the arrows seem to say. Go after your dreams. I’ve never seen this Jupiter sigil before. And, from what I’m told it’s a modern sigil redesigned by Jason Miller from the classical planetary sign. If it is, they sure did a good job. The lines reaching upwards again brings me that reaching for the sky. But the sigil also reminds me of a flame. Burning with passion and desire. A giver of light and warmth.

And, on the forth side, the Veve from Baron Samedi. I first encountered Le Baron when I saw Nick Philips and Kim Huggens’ Sol Invictus Tarot, and I was immediately drawn to the card. I was surprised to find it was a death god, as the card seemed to be about parties and drinking and sex and generally having a good time, all things I enjoy doing. But then I learned that he wasn’t your typical death god. Sure, he could be moody and serious when necessary, but treat him right, give him a cigarette and a nice drink and things will go as smoothly as a nice cold drink on a hot summer day.

Baron Samedi, or "the Nurturer of Wands", from the Sol Invictus Tarot
Baron Samedi, or “the Nurturer of Wands”, from the Sol Invictus Tarot


As attracted as I was to the card, I ended up working with him. It seemed so easy to do so. Just thinking of him and lighting a cigarette or having a drop or two of my favorite drink, a fortified wine we have around these parts called Favaios (do try it, if you have the chance) and there he is …

But a box has 7 sides and I’ve only six. The six external sides of the box. The ones that are visible from the outside. Which leaves us the inside: the box came empty and for it was up to myself to recognize it as mine and make it mine. If it truly was to become a reminder, a talisman, so it was up to me to charge it and fill it with my stuff. With everything that I found it appropriate. But how could it be any other way? It’s my energy that has to stay there. Mine and everything else I hold personal or precious or of importance. Mine to fill with olive tree branches or cigarettes or rings or figurines or anything else I might fancy. And so it was. It so it remains. A little treasure trove of everything I hold dear. And personal. And myself.


4 thoughts on “Of Pandas, Death Gods and Birthdays Presents

  1. Yes, I like that box and it’s so personal. These are the special things, the boxes and symbols in our lives.

    I tried and tried to get the Sol Invictus because of Socrates (who is dear to me) but I never could find a copy. I even wrote Kim but she never wrote me back. I have this thing about Socrates after reading the chapter on him in Alain de Botton’s book “The Consolations of Philosophy” (which is a good book if you’re interested.)

    1. Hi JJ

      Thank you for your reply. That box was indeed very special. It’s amazing what one can do with some paint and a little heart. And, in the end, that’s, I think what magick is all about: to make us value ourselves and the world around us. To makes us interact with the world in a way that brings forth the best part of both parties and allows us to deepen our connection with everything around us 🙂
      You can still find the Sol Invictus tarot at Amazon. Here’s the link:
      It really is a wonderful deck and you’ll probably enjoy it. and I hear that Kim and Nic are working on a companion deck to that one: the Piscis Sophia, exclusively dedicated to the Goddess.
      Thank you for you’re recommendation on Alain de Botton’s book. I will check it out 🙂

  2. Thanks for the link. Unfortunately since it’s coming from the US I can’t get free shipping so with shipping and currency conversion it costs close to $70 CAD, maybe more like $80 with duty and admin fees. I don’t think the set is worth that. Well, I don’t think any set is worth that, it’s unreasonable.

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