#86 Eye of Newt & Toe of Frog
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So, what’s for dinner?
Eye of newt, & toe of frog,
Wool of bat, & tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, & blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, & owlet’s wing,—
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil & bubble.
Double, double toil & trouble;
Fire burn, & caldron bubble.
This line, uttered by the three ugly witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth as they stir their boiling cauldron*, is one of the most familiar phrases associated with traditional witchcraft.
Brew up eerie smoke & fog for your Halloween photos
Spook up your Halloween photos with awesome smoke effects. I don’t mean photoshopping it in, but using real smoke. It’s exciting & fun & far more realistic, plus any models in the shoot have a blast.
Grab your cauldron & brew this witch’s recipe into an eerie fog. Or if you don’t happen to have any eyes of newt or frog toes in your pantry, there’s a much simpler way to achieve a bewitching Halloween smoke effect & it looks even spookier.
Shutter Bombs — no cauldron required
Recently I came across Shutter Bombs, a company that specializes in making sensational smoke bombs specifically for photographers. Their range of smoke effects & colors is amazing & so is their customer service. Create ghastly Halloween effects with Shutter Bombs, like this:
Witch’s Brew Recipe & Shopping list
Here’s the modern-day grocery list of what’s really in Shakespeare’s cauldron. You might have to seek out a specialty shop for some of these items, but they do exist. I’ve added a special ingredient too, but that one’s really hard to find:
- Eye of newt — mustard seed
- Toe of frog — buttercup
- Wool of bat — holly leaves
- Tongue of dog — houndstongue
- Adders fork — adders tongue
- Blind-worm — an actual tiny snake thought to be venomous
- Tail of ampersand — a curly little friend of ours (You don’t mind, do you, Bill?)
Throw everything into your cauldron, fill with liquid, & boil. Distilled spirits works best, of course.
Casting the spell
When practicing black magic, mustard seeds (particularly the black seeds) cast a spell of strife, confusion, discord & disruption. Interestingly enough, though, other types of mustard seeds are thought to provide protection against witches. Legend goes that witches are predisposed to counting & picking up things, so if you scatter mustard seeds around your front door, bed & property, the witch will never have time to get to you as she will be busy counting mustard seeds.
About that newt — is there such a thing? Were there poor little critters hopping about without eyes?
Actually, all of the ingredients in the witches brew are ancient terms for herbs, flowers & plants. Some say witches gave these items gross & disturbing names to deter other people from practicing witchcraft.
It turns out “eye of newt” is simply the seeds for a popular hot dog mustard. However, the classic scene from Macbeth just wouldn’t be the same if his characters spoke of boiling mustard seeds, buttercups & holly leaves. Adapted from http://people.howstuffworks.com/is-eye-of-newt-real-thing.htm
Speaking of spell, note the spelling of “caldron” in the work of Shakespeare, in contrast to the American English “cauldron.” Sans-“u” is also common among British. Earlier, however, there was no “l” either: in Middle English literature c. 1250 – 1300 you’ll read “cauderon.” Basically, it means “warm” from the Late Latin “caldāria.”