[Behind the Scenes] Venus Erycina

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As some of you may know, I have just turned forty.  So, I’m doing all kinds of things for my first forty days of forty to set the next decade right.  One of them was to select a Limited Edition Ritual Oil to be released on my birthday.  I was in the car with my mom, sister and nephew (who is now super into Harry Potter) with my phone trying to navigate to the restaurant for my birthday dinner while also putting up the listing for Venus Erycina because I was determined to put it up on my actual birthday, even if I was deep in Tax Organizer Land in The Copy Room all day.

Initially, this Limited Edition was going to be Venus in Furs because I love the image of her completely glammed up in furs, but there’s no escaping the von Sacher-Masoch association. While I am obviously a very sex-positive feminist, I cannot cannot stand most traditional classic kink literature because I think everyone acts like a jerk and not a person with actual feels.  I get that was the point of that particular literature at that particular time so everyone could get super into the fantasy the perfect D-type, the perfect s-type blah whatever but it’s not my thing.  I like connections and how people actually interact with each other and that weird little thing that’s only completely key called communication.  I like the song too because it’s got that hella cool New Wave vibe, but again we’re back to the literature issue.

So I started thinking about titles of Venus and wondered if I could find one that’s a better fit.  I like Venus Erycina for a few reasons.  One, Sicily.  I love how much of the Roman pantheon is centered around Sicily.  Venus Erycina is a Sicilian hometown girl and it reminds me of my trip to the Mother Noodle last summer which was so life changing and meaningful for me there.  As a visitor, I found that Sicily is just this gorgeous goddess cult full of all of my favorite goddesses’ vibes.  I definitely felt Venusian energy like whoa when I was there from the beautiful sea + land to the food to the temple ruins, through my flirtation with a local politician (We’re Sicilian!  We are a people who flirt like a sport!  Jow knows, he’s Sicilian too!), just flowing through everything.  I wanted to bottle those sexyhappy vibes, so I did.

Second, because Venus Erycina is a girls’ girl.  She had temples for the wealthy matrons to visit, she had temples for working class girls and (sex) working girls to visit.  I love the idea of her breaking down boundaries between women so hard, especially during a time where class (and your role in your class) was something that everyone had to abide by.

So then, I started thinking about what scents I wanted to bring me into this new chapter of my life – jammy roses, bonfires, sexy sweets, luxe honey and started formulating from there.  The oyster shell used in the picture was smuggled from part of my 40th celebration with the girls and then of course, her signature green and lotus blossom.

While all the scents I make are meaningful and my process is always thoughtful, I’m especially excited to see what kind of mischief and magic you get into with this one, Sister Queens!




Deborah Castellano
Deborah Castellano's book Glamour Magic: The Witchcraft Revolution to Get What You Want is available for purchase through Amazon, Llewellyn and Barnes and Noble.
Her frequently updated catalogue of published work is available on Author Central.

She writes about Glamour Magic here at Charmed, I'm Sure. Her podcast appearances are available here.

Her craft shop, The Mermaid & The Crow specializes in old-world style workshop from 100% local, sustainable sources featuring tempting small batch ritual oils and hand-spun hand-dyed yarn in luxe fibers and more!

In a previous life, Deborah founded the first Neo-Victorian/Steampunk convention, SalonCon which received rave reviews from con-goers and interviews from the New York Times and MTV.

She resides in New Jersey with her husband, Jow and their cat, Max II. She has a terrible reality television habit she can't shake and likes St. Germain liquor, record players and typewriters.  


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