“Little knife! They tore your iron
out of Mother Earth’s entrails,
built a fire and boiled the ore,
made it weep and bleed and flood,
hammered it and tempered it,
plunging it in icy water,
heating it inside the forge
till your blade was blood-red, scorching!
Then they made you wound the water
once again, and yet again,
till the steam was boiling fog
and the water cried for mercy.
And when you sliced a single shade
into thirty thousand shadows,
then they knew that you were ready,
then they called you subtle one.
But little knife, what have you done?
Unlocked blood-gates, left them wide!
Little knife, your mother calls you,
from the entrails of the earth,
from her deepest mines and caverns,
from her secret iron womb.
“Blood! Obey me! Turn around,
be a lake and not a river.
When you reach the open air,
stop! And build a clotted wall,
build it firm to hold the flood back.
Blood, your sky is the skull-dome,
your sun is the open eye,
your wind the breath inside the lungs,
blood, your world is bounded. Stay there!”
“Oak bark, spider silk,
ground moss, saltweed—
grip close, bind tight,
hold fast, close up,
bar the door, lock the gate,
stiffen the blood-wall,
dry the gore-flood.”
—Serafina Pekkala, in The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
What comes to your mind after reading this, my Wicked Luvs? I have read His Dark Materials several times—I seriously can’t remember how many—but I can tell you that Serafina Pekkala’s witchy spell moves me. I’m enchanted by the dark rawness of her chant, by how it goes for the gut of the matter.
Vanessa from A Fanciful Twist was kind enough to let me borrow this witchy cauldron.
Serafina’s spell, Vanessa’s cauldron, August’s end… Can you feel the pull of All Hallow’s Eve?