Meet Scarlett C. Dancer the empowering jewelry designer behind indie jewelry brand Mercury Hour, a magical line of talismans designed to invoke the power of the scorpion. In our interview, Scarlett discuses her journey from domestic abuse survivor to becoming a courageous business owner giving back one piece of jewelry at a time.
Hi Scarlett, can you share with our readers how Mercury Hour got started?
MH: Mercury Hour was started during a really rough time in my life in 2014. I was living in Arizona (I'm originally from New York State), my time spent there was pretty intense and the next thing I knew I was a domestic violence survivor. In the weeks following while going through the nightmare that is the superior court system I thought back to a time I was happiest, and it was when I was making jewelry. I decided to go into the desert, and catch scorpions to create jewelry as talismans for my personal rebirth and survival, to make something beautiful for myself during such a tragic time. The name Mercury Hour actually came from a book I was reading then written in the 70's about Solar Returns (and how to map them to see how each year your life varied from your Natal Chart), the name really spoke to me and truly felt like a new beginning.
The scorpion is a very powerful, sacred, and transformative animal, in magick it;s symbolism represents death, and I’ve read that you actually use molds made from real scorpions! (yikes!) What is the significance of the scorpion for you why have you chosen to work with this animal?
MH: Yes they are! As a Scorpio I've always naturally had a deep appreciation and love of these creates and what they symbolize. Scorpio has always been represented by death and concepts of rebirth. It felt only fitting during the time I was experiencing in my life, having been told I should have been dead forced me to look inward and the scorpion is what I saw staring back at me. That adaptive, powerful survivors awakening is why I'm here today. We get a lot of stories from our amazing clientele that reinforce how strong of a totem these pieces are for them and were grateful to lend the same strength we've found to those who need it too.
On a beautiful October night I went to the base of a mountain in Arizona with a friend, using salad tongs, U.V flashlights, jars and a back pack we caught scorpions together, I then dried, pinned, silicon molded, wax poured and casted all the first pieces. It was a personal challenge to go out there and collect these creatures from the wilds as I have a huge respect for natures divine work, but I don't believe in supporting the mass insect breed to kill markets that exist online. I didn't want that kind of energy attached to what I was making, I wanted from the ground up for these pieces to be from the earth and my two hands. We actually still use the same molds I created all those years ago today, those 6 scorpions have created over a thousand pieces of jewelry and counting.
What minerals and stones do you enjoy working with the most? Do you you integrate healing stones/minerals into any of your personal self-care rituals ?
I like to be very conscious of the stones we use in every piece. Rose Quartz, Moonstone, Turquoise, Onyx, these are all stones that in some way help with grief, or sorrow and promote self love. I would have to say that if I'm playing favorites our Crying Scorpion Ring's stone is my personal choice, Black Star of India is constantly apart of my daily wear. It's a stone that holds a ton of meaning, known also as the "crying stone" it's believed to help heal trauma, along with alleviating stubbornness and helps to aid in creativity and self reflection. If you move this black stone in the sun light it also creates the faint shape of a silver North Star.
I feel like wearing these pieces constantly and being so aware of them is my way of carrying those self-care messages with me, but it doesn't hurt to keep a few extra stones/minerals in my pocket if I'm in a certain vibe that day.
As an artist and small business owner, what’s an average day for you like? What are some of your daily rituals?
An average day for me never seems to feel average, haha. I never was a super organized person before, as most artists you meet have some sort of Chaos energy to them. When you're running a web shop, talking whole sale, doing customer service, planning events, taking social media images, managing influencers, dedicating yourself to hand making every single piece, creating new concept samples and constantly pushing yourself to be ready for anything that could arise it gets scary! I have a pretty strict list of daily To Do's that I stick to normally involving tackling three of those things listed above each day. But I also make sure to take time to go to the gym for some self love and do 15 minute morning meditation ritual when I wake up as a must.
What does the word "witch" mean to you? Would you consider yourself a witch? Who is your favorite witch btw?
I feel like the word "witch" is so transformative, it's constantly evolving and changing. It's become a term that can now be associated with more of a woke sense of understanding, of not only your place in the universe but also the gratitude you have for the universe. Far away from the notions of pointy hats and brooms. I consider myself to be a witch as these are all things I believe in strongly. Right now I've been enjoying the works of Janet and Stewart Farrar and Debra Lynne Katz to name a few, but picking a favorite is difficult because we create our own path through the understanding of many other roads.
Do you have any new items or collaborative projects coming up that we should keep an eye for?
Fall is going to be so exciting for Mercury Hour! My family on my mothers side is Bangladeshi and Croatian, tracing back to the beginnings of the Romani Trail. My great grandmother when coming to America as a Psychic and Medium from Croatia taught my grandmother, who also taught me as a child. The newest collection coming is my homage to my great grandmothers legacy and her stories which have been passed down. These pieces have been in the making for so long and bringing them to life has just been such an incredible journey. Here on the East Coast in NYC this collection will be released in September. Along with us doing an amazing collaboration with the talented girls at Babe Coven coming in November for their Witches Night Out gathering.