Chicken feet are one of the most useful (and easiest to prepare) magickal tools I’ve ever had or used. They’re cheap, simple to obtain, and can be used in nearly any magickal working. Of course if you’re vegetarian or vegan, you probably don’t want to handle them, or for them to be in your house, but that’s your loss.
The feet of many animals in magick for ages. A rabbit foot is still known as lucky, and (not so well known) the foot of an alligator is used for luck in gambling.
Chicken feet are something I find extremely versatile, since they’re downright perfect for sympathetic magick. They look like a human hand, so they can stand in for a targets’ hand, or stand in for a guardian’s hand. Their claws make them perfect as a weapon piercing an image or vessel, and make excellent vessels themselves (holding a toy gun hung over the threshold to protect the home, or grasping a going to ensure wealth, for example). I’ve also considered using them as a partial poppet- usually their tendons dangle precariously from the limb, and I don’t see why you couldn’t do a working to ease carpal tunnel by using the hand as a stand-in.
Chicken feet are often readily available at a Hispanic carniceria, usually prepacked by the butcher himself. Sometimes you have a language barrier, but if you ask nicely for “patas de pollo”, you’ll get an eyebrow raise and a good amount of feet. I paid $3 for about 1 1/2 lbs. Not bad, really.
I prepared the feet by plunging them into a large jar full of salt– about 5 lbs worth. I used cheap salt from the dollar store, so you don’t need anything super duper special. I’d put a layer of salt down, lay the feet flat (“palm” down), and then pour a good inch on top before going on to the next layer. At the end of putting them all in, I closed the lid and gave it a gentle shake to make sure the salt got into all the corners. If you do yours, give a shake every day or so to ensure the salt gets everywhere it needs to.
After a few days, I opened it up and took the few I needed for special positioning and took the half-dry feet (less slimy and much more malleable), and pushed the fingers into the positions I wanted. A grasping foot, and one flipping the bird (haha. Bird). Wrap them gently with thread to ensure the form stays put, and pop them back into the salt. If you’re looking for rock-hard feet at the end of this project, take this time to empty the entire jar out, pull the feet out, put your salt onto 3 baking sheets (you’ll need 3, trust me) in thin layers, and bake it at 200 for about an hour. You want to suck the moisture out of the salt so it can do its work faster. I skipped this step, because when I’m done with them, I want them a little malleable still, and they’ll continue to air dry strung up on the wall.
About 4 or 5 days later, you’ll open up the jar and be able to pull out your chicken feets, firm and ready for storage. I take them out one at a time and brush the salt off with a stiff paintbrush, then use a needle and thread to string them up for decor/ storage. I originally was going to put them in a jar, but the pickle jar was too big and the rest of my jars are too small. I’m working on it.
So, there you go. Chicken feet. Try ’em sometime!