Yassamin blinks as she takes in the sight that greets her in the shabestan.
"You are not serious."
Jaffar but grins at her, his prick waving hello to her as he sits naked, cross-legged on the floor in his magic circle.
But his isn't the only prick now greeting her: for this magic circle consists of twelve different phalli, all arranged in a perfect circle around him. Phalli of all shapes and sizes, crafted of stone, gum, leather, wood; most of them but pleasure-tools she is intimately familiar with, but she thinks she can spy a few ritual ones, too, as if this entire display wasn't horrendously pagan to begin with.
She puts her fists to her hips. "Care to explain this, husband?"
Jaffar encompasses the circle with a flourish of his hand. "Twelve pricks, one for each sign of the Zodiac, representing the signs' respective qualities," he says.
And indeed, the pricks sit neatly in the carefully drawn wedges and squares that make up his magic circle, all of these wedges filled with sigils and symbols astrological and alchemical.
Again, Jaffar twirls his hand; with an elegant finger, he points to a large, golden dildo. "This majestic fellow here is Leo--as you can see, it represents the Sun and power and light. Conversely, the black stone linga--"
"Which you pilfered from which Indian temple?!"
"--represents Scorpio," he continues breezily, ignoring her muttering the creed under her breath, "and this flexible, narrow, arrowlike thing--your favourite--was the most perfect fit for Sagittarius in both shape and... well, it is your sign. Very apt."
"Let me guess," she says, pointing at a double-ended dildo with her toes. "This one is Gemini--"
"Be careful with that one! Zainab wants it back tomorrow!"
She pulls back her foot and tries to peek around his shoulder. "But surely, Virgo hasn't a prick?"
Jaffar tuts and points to the most heathen-seeming one, a bizarre silver-coloured ritual phallus with animal limbs, carved full of sigils in some foreign language, making it look rather like a strange mix between a penis and a leopard. "Virgo is ruled by Hermes, Mercury and Thoth! Therefore, it's the most transformative, most alchemical, most magical of all signs. Don't touch that one without gloves, however; it is made of stabilised mercury. Very powerful."
She scoffs. "What's it going to do? Transform me into a man?" She crosses her arms over her chest. "Is this all merely for meditation, or is this another one of your massive ritual operations?!" she groans. "I've told you to tell me about these things in advance, so that I can prepare for the worst! For heaven's sake, the last time you tried to cast a spell on your cock, you spent two weeks clucking like a rooster before the energy wore off!"
Jaffar raises an impatient eyebrow, drumming his fingers over his knees. "Oh, ye of little faith."
She coughs pointedly, the cough maybe or maybe not homophonous with the word "kaffir."
Jaffar sighs and begins to explain the matter with exaggerated patience, as if to a child. "This is what the ancients called phallogomancy, my dear. The science of predicting the future through the language of the phallus. Our bodies constantly experience different cycles both cosmic and macrocosmic; you know this. And as I am sure you'll agree, pricks have lives of their own and can, at times, behave in a manner most erratic. This ritual is to give me--well, us, seeing as you are intimately involved," he grins at her groin and licks his lips, "a better idea of what to expect from the next days, weeks, even the whole year concerning my penile health and temperament."
She pulls her tunic down with a shudder. "I am glad the womb is at least a little more predictable."
He nods. "Mmm. The male reproductive organs go through similar cycles, I have found; only they are infinitely more subtle. Doubtless you know your most fertile, most lustful and most frigid days simply by listening to your body for a few moments?" he says, having experienced the difference first hand thanks to his sex-changing experiments. "But this blasted thing," and he looks at his prick, "never warns me about his holiday plans beforehand!" he mutters and pokes it. "I'm glad you arrived, actually," he chirps at her, "now, he's really paying attention."
She measures the clocklike circle. "Do you need me for the rite, then?"
He nods with his prick once more. "A lover's presence is not essential, but it helps tremendously," he grins and extends his hand. "Come. Sit here with me."
She begins to strip, starting to more than warm to the idea, but once down to her under-drawers, she hesitates. "Aren't you going to tell me how it works?"
He makes a mock-pout and flicks up his eyes, tilting his head. "Well. You are supposed to close your eyes, take yourself in hand and... invoke the phallic energy by 'meditating upon the act of love' until you have 'reached a frenzy,' it is said." Again, he waves his hand around the circle. "And then 'give yourself unto the energy with wild abandon,' wild enough to 'generate convulsions of passion and thrashings of limb,' your eyes still firmly closed; this will result in the pricks being knocked this way and that by the love-energy. It's like casting dice, but it's Love doing the shaking and casting, and it's your body that's being used as the die-cup. And at the end of it all, you read the patterns of the scattered pricks, by whichever sections they will have landed on. Simple enough, no?"
She but shakes her head as she casts off her drawers and steps into the circle. "Rather an elaborate seduction technique," she says, reassuring herself that she is but humouring him. Besides, she is feeling altogether too amorous by now to not indulge in a little afternoon play. "I would not be fooled for a seco--oh!"
He murmurs happily with a mouthful of her breast, having just tripped her up into his arms, one dildo already rolling on the floor. "Mmmm. That's Aquarius done."
But then his words break into a moan as Yassamin takes him inside of herself, sitting in his lap and wrapping her limbs around him. "Close your eyes," she tuts and kisses him, putting on her best imitation of Jaffar's lecturing voice. "Magic is serious business, my sweet," she murmurs and begins to take him with a deep and thorough ride.
"Oh, no!" Jaffar groans as later, still stark naked, he sits on his work-table and flicks through a chart of astrological correspondences, comparing it with Indian and Chinese charts on the pathways the vital spirits take through the body. "Look," he moans and points to a schematic of a cross-eyed man with various Sanskrit syllables painted onto his body; then, he nods at the leathern prick representing Libra, the one with the carefully weighted metal spheres inside of it. "This points to cold and dry qualities dominating my prick in Libra's season, meaning impotence come September! We might not have an orgy on Mehregan this year after all," he says, forlorn.
Yassamin stretches in the circle; she is too blissfully sated to care about rewriting a few of the predictions as she does, nudging her own particular prick onto a section denoting moisture and heat. "Are you so sure about that?" she asks innocently, nudging the Libra-dildo towards a better spot as well--but weighted as it is, it refuses to budge. Damn it, she curses inwardly.
Jaffar steps back into the circle, careful not to disturb the dildos. "I suppose I could use one of these fellows to ravish you and Zainab instead," he mumbles.
"Like you always do," she grins, despite his glare. "Come, it does not make such a big difference to me," she says, tracing her fingers down his breastbone as he lies down beside her. "It's still you making love to me; only the means and methods change. That's what I always tell the women at the baths, you know."
"You tell them WHAT?!" he sputters.
She rolls her eyes. "I do not tell them about the toys, you fool. I but boast of the variety and the creativity of my husband as a lover," she says, "even if he is a superstitious fool and worries about not only the movements of the stars in the skies, but also fancies himself an augur of the flight of pricks!"
"Laugh if you like!" he runs his hand up her belly with a tickle until she curls up and yelps. "But you won't be laughing any more come Mehregan," he says and fastens her wrists and ankles to the floor with a swift rune, "once I take all of these to you, my child," he grins and brings the jade dildo--representing Pisces--to her cunny. "Now, what do you say to that, my sweet?"
"I am not taking that mercury thing inside of me. And none of the pagan ones either!"
He juts out his lower lip. "Very well," he shrugs and begins to take her with the jade, bringing his mouth to her clitoris. "More dildos for me, then," he mumbles as he begins to suck at her rhythmically, uncaring of her groans.
But it's May still, and at least tonight, the stars are smiling upon them: she nuzzles the mighty, sturdy ivory phallus of Taurus beside her, pointing benevolently to the sky. Her toes curling in sweet anticipation against the awaiting gum of Capricorn and the firm horn of Aries, she surrenders herself to pleasure once more.