Witch way

In honor of Halloween, I run a spell-check
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  October 22, 2008

feat_CauldronSmoke_blueINS.jpg

“As I do this candle spell, bring thy enemy three nights of hell,” I timidly intoned, hoping my neighbors weren’t listening through our thin walls.

Of all the bizarre things I’ve done in the name of journalism, standing in my apartment dripping hot wax on a photograph of a co-worker while chanting a spell is probably one of the strangest.

“Candle black, black as night/bring him pains of flesh tonight./Lesions on his skin will afflict him,” and so on and so forth. Spooky stuff.

I did the spell on Saturday afternoon and he says that he didn’t feel cursed until I started pestering him about it on Monday morning, so I think the hex failed. That, and the fact that his skin is free of lesions. Damn. Possible explanations for said failure? I’d had to use a photocopy of his photograph (he wanted the original back), and I don’t actually harbor any deep hatred for the man (he was simply the first one who agreed to be the subject of a potential hex).

Or maybe it was because I’m not a believer; as with any spiritual endeavor, ritual is rather empty — and useless — if you don’t believe in its larger purpose. At least, that’s what I found as I embarked on a mission to live my life (for a week or so) by the spellbook in honor of Halloween. (Real witches, by the way, celebrate their “Samhain” in a variety of ways that don’t all involve spells and incantations.)

The source of most of my enchantments was Ileana Abrev’s White Spells (Llewellyn Publications, 2007), procured at Borders; the rest I found online. Materials used were things I already had in my cupboards, or picked up at the grocery store or at the Magick Closet, a spiritual-goods retailer on Forest Avenue.

I chose spells that entailed the least amount of extra work and mortification on my part. I was not, for example, going to sprinkle crumbled bay leaves around the head of a potential new beau while he slept in an effort to get him to like me more. (“Oh, sorry, it was just for work,” I can picture myself saying sheepishly as he collects his belongings and hightails it outta there.) Nor was I willing to risk incurring the ire of my landlord by sprinkling “fresh alfalfa sprouts” in the front and back of my apartment building “seven times every Thursday” — even if it would have increased my prosperity. (Who has time for this? And I’d definitely fail to prosper if I lost my job for skipping out seven times in one day in search of prosperity.) And I don’t even know where the closest rose bush is, much less have such a need to “attract love” that I would bury a piece of rose quartz beneath one, then dig it up “on Friday at the stroke of midnight and leave a seed of a flower behind.”

But despite my reticence to come fully out of the broom-closet (an actual term used to describe the “outing” of Wiccans), the idea of mixing up some herbs, lighting some candles, and taking a bath was palatable. My results were mixed.

1  |  2  |  3  |   next >
  Topics: Lifestyle Features , Business, Culture and Lifestyle, Religion,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY DEIRDRE FULTON
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE  |  July 24, 2014
    When three theater companies, all within a one-hour drive of Portland, choose to present the same Shakespeare play on overlapping dates, you have to wonder what about that particular show resonates with this particular moment.
  •   NUMBER CRUNCHERS  |  July 23, 2014
    Maybe instead of devoting still-more resources to food reviews, Maine’s leading news organizations should spend money on keeping better tabs on Augusta.
  •   BLUESTOCKING FILM SERIES SHOWCASES WOMEN'S STORIES  |  July 16, 2014
    Among last year’s 100 top-grossing films, women represented just 15 percent of protagonists, and less than one-third of total characters.
  •   CHECKING IN: THE NEW GUARD AND THE WRITER'S HOTEL  |  July 11, 2014
    Former Mainer Shanna McNair started The New Guard, an independent, multi-genre literary review, in order to exalt the writer, no matter if that writer was well-established or just starting out.
  •   NO TAR SANDS  |  July 10, 2014
    “People’s feelings are clear...they don’t want to be known as the tar sands capitol of the United States."

 See all articles by: DEIRDRE FULTON