Hola mi Gente,
Why do we continue this idiotic, senseless madness with changing the hour? This weekend we “lose” an hour. I like the First Nation people’s take on this:
“Only a white man would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket and sew it to the bottom of a blanket and have a longer blanket.”
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Brujerias, Magic and Love Potions
True magic is the high knowledge of the more subtle powers that have not yet been accepted by science because the methods of examination that have been applied are not yet sufficient for their understanding and use, although the laws of magic are equivalent to all official sciences of the world.
-- Peter W Prellwitz, The Science of Magic
I have dated my share of brujas (witches). In fact, if I don’t date another bruja in my life, it will be too soon. And I don’t mean bruja in the euphemistic sense -- I mean real witches.
One ex was/ is a bruja in the Puerto Rican espiritismo sense, and I have dated Santeria priestesses as well as Wiccans and even one Haitian Voudun practitioner. It’s not that I seek out these women, rather, they seem to find me. I have been told by more than a few people that my spirit guide is supposed to be one bad-assed muthafucka in the spirit world -- very powerful. I had one girlfriend who was a daughter of a witch. When she introduced me to her mother, her mother ran screaming from me!
Let me state right out that I am neither a believer nor disbeliever in the hereafter. To me, discussion of such topics, as the existence of a God is a huge waste of time, for example. I have a very Buddhist take on such discussions: it doesn’t matter.
However, I have seen and experienced too many incidents to be cynical about all this. In fact, science tells us that the vast majority of reality is hidden from us -- undetectable and immeasurable by our current methods of measurement. I forget the estimate, but I think that more than 90% of reality is hidden from us. So, if you’re one of those strict empiricists, who dismiss anything they can’t see, then, my friend, you are a blind fool. Anyway!
Historically, the extent to which we have gone to put love spells on the objects of our affections is extreme. Potions and charms to make others fall in love are among the oldest recorded forms of magic. Brujas and Love Spells have been around since our ancestors dwelled in caves. The first recorded love spells have been found in Paleolithic rock paintings, but the first recorded love spell was used by men in ancient Sumera. They mixed the milk and fat from holy cows in a ceremonial green bowl, and sprinkled the mixture onto the breasts of a young girl, who was meant not only to become sexually available but to follow the man who had applied the spell. In much of the ancient Mediterranean and Near East, it was believed that the liver was the seat of the passions, and the liver of a young person who was killed while full of passionate arousal made for a potent love potion, as well as an effective aphrodisiac.
The ancient Greeks preferred using a wide variety of animal parts and organs to make love potions, including calves’ brains, wolves tails, snakes’ bones, the blood of doves, and the feathers of screech owls. Some potions were highly toxic, causing the Romans (who, along with everything else, adopted magic recipes wholesale from the Greeks) to outlaw love potions.
Today, Trobriand Islanders are encouraged from an early age to gain sexual self-knowledge. To the Trobrianders, magic is no different from the process of falling in love. Young men and women will court a person with spells that not only make themselves more attractive, but also carry enticing dreams of themselves into the beloved’s head. Trobriand Islanders greatly value grace and physical beauty, and use a number of magic spells to enhance their attractiveness on ceremonial occasions. Perhaps, considering our lucrative cosmetics industry, we are not that different from the Trobrianders. In fact, the word glamour initially meant “magic, enchantment” (especially in phrase to cast the glamor).
The Greeks, when confronted with a person who would not respond to their advances, would roast images supposedly representing their objects of affection over a low fire. They believed that people thus represented would become warmed with love. The point was to make the image soft but not to melt it, as this would break the spell on the beloved.
The most common method used to coerce love was to gain control over him or her by acquiring an intimate object of theirs, such as nail clippings or hair. On the other hand, the beloved could be brought into contact with an intimate physical part of the lover, especially a bodily secretion such as sweat, semen, or even menstrual blood. This latter practice is highly favored by practitioners of African-derived religions such as Voudun and Santeria. I know some Caribbean women (especially the Haitians) who would use menstrual blood as a way of keeping their men. So, if you’re eating spaghetti sauce prepared by a caribeña, you should think twice. Besides, Caribbeans don’t know how to prepare spaghetti to save their lives. I’m kidding!
One Santeria spell reveals a postmodern twist on how various influences converge to create culture. It is a fast-food love potion: “Prepare a hamburger patty. Steep in your own sweat. Serve it to person desired.”
A popular spell in Scotland had the lover draw a circle on a wafer with blood from the ring finger. The wafer was then consecrated, and half of it eaten by the person casting the spell, the other half administered to the beloved. This ceremony not only ensured that the object of affection became receptive, but that the passion of the lover did not wane.
Not all love magic was concerned with acquiring, or controlling a love interest. Much of love magic was full of medical advice ranging from cures for male impotence (Viagra can be said to be a modern form of love magic), to formulas for enlarging a man’s jade stalk (penis), or tightening up the jade gate (vagina) of a woman who had become enlarged. There were cures for women who experienced pain from excessive intercourse enjoyed by their overly enthusiastic husbands.
Love magic is found in some form or another almost everywhere, but it is less developed in cultures where sex is treated in an open and direct manner. Perhaps the reason for this is that there isn’t a need to control sexual behavior in cultures were sexual advances are rarely rejected.
My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…