Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Four:

Case File No. 20-176

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AMBER LOVE 28-SEP-2020 Find out how all this began. Catch up on Year One, Year Two, and Year Three cases at the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency. Thank you for all your financial and social support! Oliver and Gus are looking forward to bringing you more fascinating discoveries and investigations into the chipmunk mafia, the blue jay gang, the neighborhood critters, and cryptid sightings.

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Where We Left Off:

Our last case file was a collection of interactions with mice found both indoors and outdoors. Things got particularly tricky when we discovered newborn babies under a tree.

This case file comes with a Snake content warning in case anyone reading has a phobia.

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Female Jungle:

We’ve had quite a few cases about the dark, mysterious creatures called Gorgons. Gus gets a lot of credit for finding this evidence back in June and it reopened the files about the snake-women lurking all around us at any given time.

squirrel on bird feeder

Gus and I were in the junkyard. He jumped over to the stack of cinder blocks at the end closest to the boulder. This spot is great for stakeouts. It gives a clear view of the small maple tree with one of the bird feeders. In the colder months there’s a better view of Bunny Hollow when Garter Snake Ridge isn’t a jungle of wildflowers. Sometimes we also get glances of Chipcent Donofrio and Munka Kelly. The snakes go up the steep albeit small hill to cross over the trail and slide into the woods. They can be so tiny that I don’t even see them until they’re in my peripheral vision and it makes me jump. In general, I don’t find them scary. They just have a knack for startling me.

Gus and Snake

On top of the cinder blocks, Gus found a snake skin. He brought it to my attention, but he didn’t think there was any reason to be alarmed. I wondered why it was in that particular location up on top of the blocks. Do snake creatures prefer a rough surface like that to help their shedding process? I don’t know much about regular snakes. Gus encouraged me to bag up the snake skin as evidence so we could examine it with Oliver back at the offices.

Gus on gorgon snake skin

Even though I suspected the skin belonged to a Gorgon, it was better to make sure and have a unanimous agreement among us. Gus could tell it was a Gorgon by a distinct smell of the magical spell used when they shed and grow. Since they start out looking like regular snakes, it would be hard to tell with only a visual inspection. The Super Smeller is never wrong. Oliver was excited to see this new piece of evidence and ushered us to the lab.

Gorgon snake skin

Oliver was thorough with his battery of tests. I’m not sure why this was something that required more than his standard assays. I followed his instructions. A sample of the skin was placed in a dish. On top, I added small pieces of black and white feathers used to reveal secrets and codes. The last step was to add drops of a special solution (a proprietary recipe of the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency). The reaction was chemical and magickal. It was hard to see, but there was indeed red smoke rising from the dish. We had confirmed that this was not a mundane garter snake skin. The red smoke also indicated that the transformation was fairly recent of Gus discovering the skin.

Gus and snake skin

Snake skins are ruled by the element of Earth and the planet of Saturn. As you would guess, they can be used in making talismans or other tools when transformation is desired. I thought about ways to craft such a talisman and have a couple of ideas. First, one could get into the resin jewelry craft which takes a two-part epoxy and a mold to form a plastic shape. If you use a clear or transparent product, whatever objects placed in it while pouring the resin will stay put like insects in amber. The other method I thought of is more old school in crafting: decoupage. Whether you use actual decoupage supplies or simply take household wood shellac, you can place your object like a snake skin on a piece of balsa wood and carefully cover it. Pour on shellac might be better for this, but I’m not sure. The Grumpy Old Man tried using pourable shellac on a wooden sign I made and it did not hold up well to the elements. Perhaps if it’s for a wearable piece or an inside/altar decoration, it would work. Don’t blame me if you ruin your only snake skin! Ours in currently in an evidence baggie inside a wooden box.

witchcraft wooden talisman
Example of a Talisman


Besides the obvious correlation to transformation, the body’s kundalini is represented with a snake. It means “coil” and some folks take that too literally as if snake energy is in the root chakra at the pelvic floor; but other things coil too, so your mileage may vary. Snakes have been getting a bad rap for millennia.

Oliver believes we would be able to trace the family connections of this particular snake skin the way other detectives trace DNA. We would need something to compare it against though so running the tests on that won’t actually get us anywhere unless we can put together a Gorgon tracking database like shark researchers do for their studies on marine life. I don’t think we’ll be able to find a Gorgon willing to wear a body cam for 24 hours either so any dreams of making Gorgon Week an international media phenomenon are unlikely.

Case Findings:

As of now, we accept our results that this skin belonged to a young Gorgon going through growth transformations. We have no other identifying data. I am considering making it into a talisman, but I don’t have solid plans yets.

Case Status: Closed

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