November’s saint for the Saint of the Month Box is St. Martin of Tours, aka San Martin Caballero, whose feast day in the Roman Catholic calendar is November 11th.
He was a 4th century bishop in Tours but had once been a soldier, and this is how he’s almost always pictured in the art of Western Christendom – a soldier on horseback cutting his cloak in half to clothe a beggar. He had a reputation for miracles even while he was still living, and he was one of the first non-martyred saints to be venerated so widely.
Officially, he’s the patron saint of beggars, the cavalry (and equestrians generally), innkeepers, soldiers, and geese, and he is invoked against poverty and alcoholism.
In popular practice, however, especially in the Latin American tradition, you’ll find his image in restaurants, hotels, bars, shops, and anywhere else where the proprietors rely at least in part on strangers/passing travelers for their income. You’ll also find his image — and especially his horse’s horseshoe — serving as a fairly broad-based good luck token in all kinds of contexts. Folks call on him when they need a job, pray for his intercession to protect them from evil and change their bad luck, carry his package amulet or bundle when they’re gambling, hang his image in their homes for general luck and prosperity, even build a shrine with his horseshoe when they need a better place to live (and they are sure to give the shrine pride of place when they move into the new digs!)
You can get your very own cool box of San Martin Caballero stuff in the Saint of the Month box for November at Seraphin Station. They usually contain something you don’t already have because I’ve collected a ton of cool stuff over the course of my lifetime working with saints and spirits, and they will usually contain some item or product that you can’t get elsewhere or otherwise.
If you know me, you know I’m not a roses and jasmine type of person. So none of these soaps are made with any scent I would not personally wear. The sweetest are probably the Gold Rush and the Love Drawing; the former is a bright citrusy burst and the latter a blend of woods and citruses with the very faintest of floral topnotes. There’s nothing super-feminine or girly here, and while the Love bars are pink, they don’t smell pink 🙂 Anybody of any age or gender can use any of these.
Hyatt’s HCWR, V. 2, “Medicine-Show Man” from Sumter, SC.
p. 1097: “De great mistake wit de people today dey take too long tuh find de black cat. It do jes’ as well fo’ yo’ to ketch any cat and paint it black with any black powder or shoe polish. Ghos’es is some way crazy ovah whiskey…dat whiskey is a witch’ry anyhow. Anothah fine thing, doc.”
p 1100: “If yo’ kin git it, people take an’ use de thing dey call de black cat bone. Dat’s kinda hard tuh git, though. De real way–de ole time way lak a ole 65 yeah ole fellah lak me– but de mos’ lucky bone in de world is de black cat bone.”
“De real ole-time way to git de bone is — yo’ ketch a black cat.” [Actually, the details of how to make the fire in the woods are a bit much for me to type, but of interest here is that he says 1. you can catch a cat and paint it black, as long as its black when you cook it, and 2. you need to put a lid on it after you throw it in the pot alive, or else “he’s goin’ have mo’ power den yo’ think, boy.” Delightful. Anyway, also of interest is, “It dont’ make no difference whether he’s black all ovah or not, but de back of him must be black from his haid to his tail — an his tail.”]
“…dere is a bone dat will come on top of de watah an all de othah bones really goin’ tuh sink. Den yo’ take out dat bone whut come on top of de watah an’ dat’s worth a thousan’ dollahs to any man.”
p 1106: “On way — de ole time way of keepin’ de law out yore place is to — dat same black cat bone. Yo’ take dat black cat bone an’ sew it up into some kind of a good stout cloth…an’ yo’ tack him up ovah yore do’. In some cases, wherevah de black cat bone is kept, yo’ can afford to take a black cat bone an’ trace on a big cardbo’d jes’ de shape of dat black cat bone, an’ sew it up in a pad somepin lak a folding pocketbook, an’ tack it ovah de front do’ an’ one ovah de back do’, an’ dat keeps him out. Some of de bones is very scarce — sometimes yo’ use dem as a substitute, but dey’s not quite as good as de real bone itself. But yo’ can use it in cheaper form in dat way.”
Somebody remind me to post about the “graveyard snack.”