A Modern Guide to Shaping and Using the Folkloric Power of Three in Spells, Charms, and Incantations
by Robin Artisson
I walk through a green forest;
There I find three wells, cool and cold;
The first is called Courage,
The second is called Good,
And the third is called Stop the blood.
– Ancient Folk Charm
What follows is a reworking of a chapter from Robin Artisson’s book “The Coven Book of the Hollow Hill”, with further elaborations and explanatory notes on American folk magic to aid in this description of a powerful system of traditional conjury or charming.
An “ancient folk charm” or conjury is given above, which invokes a scene of a walk through a green forest. The walker finds three wells, and gives them each a name, the final being “stop the blood”.
This healing spell is from John George Hohman’s book “Long Lost Friend”, an old manual of Pow-Wow or American folk magic, published several times over the last century, but originally published in the 1880. The American folk magic world is the child of European folk magic, naturally, though with hints of Native American lore mixed in. When one studies American folk magic, it is easy to find countless references to concepts, objects, entities, and other aspects of European folklore. The reasons are self-evident; colonists and other settlers from Europe brought with themselves the European-folk soul which settled down to mix with the ancient lands of North America. Sometimes, that mixture was disastrous, and at other times, it was almost uncanny. Powerful complexes of “magic” or sorcery rose up, finding a genesis in the mixture of two worlds.
Few “elements” of European folklore, and pre-christian European faiths have survived and emerged into the modern day as the concept of the “sacred three”. Aided in a large part by the Christian belief in the Trinity, which itself can be seen as an accomodation of many powerful Pagan cultural trinitary holy powers, the power of “Three” is ubiquitous in historical Pagan magic and in Folklore.
Native Americans tended to have a notion of a “sacred four”, more than a trinitary spiritual logic. Most people who study pan-tribal systems of Native American spirituality, or who study the various cosmologies of Native American nations discover a strong emphasis on the Four Directions or even the “six” directions, which are the four usual directions plus “up” and “down”. Medicine Wheels and Hoops are actually equal-armed crosses in circles, making a perfect balance of four. Sioux spirituality is particularly focused on this concept. The influence of Native American spiritual thinking on modern Paganism is much larger than most people realize, and most modern Paganism of any mainstream brand is strongly oriented around the concept of “quarters” or the four directions.
The idea of “threefold” (or its derivative “ninefold”) logic in revivalist European Paganism is usually neglected, even though the Indo-European pagans clearly held “three” and “nine” in the same regard that Native Americans held “four”. From the Threefold division of Upperworld, Middleworld, and Lower, or the “Nine Worlds” of Germanic Paganism, to the trinity of “Land, Sea, and Sky” by which the ancient Celts swore, we have a vision of a threefold spiritual paradigm in ancient Europe. The Indo-European tribal society was divided into three divisions, according to many writers on the subject.
Powerful trinities of Gods and Goddesses emerge from the pages of Indo-European mythology- from the dreaded Triple Morrigan to Eire, the Goddess of the Land of Ireland who appeared to the Milesians in her threefold form of Eire, Banba, and Fodla, from Odin or Woden, who along with his two brothers Vili and Ve shaped the world and bestowed shaping and spirit on the first man and woman, to the Irish smith-God Goibniu, who appeared in a trinity with Credne and Luchtainel. Other Pagan cultures give us plenty of Trinities, to make us realize that on some level, deep below the surface, something about triplicity was essential to our European ancestors’ spiritual thinking.
Three shows her face at the moment of every creation. For there to be any perception, for instance, you must have three things- The perceiver, the object perceived, and some sense or knowledge that they are not the same. “Knowledge” is precisely the point here- when you hear a bird sing, there is the sound, the ear that hears, and the knowledge of the hearing. Though people put a lot of emphasis on “duality” when it comes to perception, they often forget the hidden, quiet knowledge that itself arises when duality appears- there may be a seeming of “object” and “perceiver”, but a further knowledge is required for the perceiver to know or feel that he is perceiving.
All of perception is a trinity. All of creation is a trinity, as well. If there are “things” apart from “me”, then the mysterious “third arm” of the trinity is the common reality that we both spring from, the common reality that we are still both parts of, even if we can’t perceive that directly, only intuitively.
In countless European folk-tales, witches and fairies and other supernatural creatures gain power (or lose it) at the threefold repetition of charms and spells. To “name something thrice” is a common feature, and to repeat a wish or a spell three times was seen as a magically powerful thing to do. To swear an oath “three times” or on the power of three things, was seen as magically binding.
Many christian prayers, as well as their crossing ritual, end with “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.” This is a form of binding each prayer, entrusting it to the Trinity, or the power of Three. The manuals of many Christian mages in the middle ages never cease to try to force spirits to obey the magician “in the name of the Holy Trinity”.
But by far the most powerful “trinity” in human spiritual history is the trinity of the Fates themselves- the Three Sisters who were seen by most all Pagan cultures as the spinners of Destiny. To invoke the Three is to invoke the very power of Creation itself, the weaving force that makes all things come to be- Fate. Whether they were the Wyrd Sisters, the Norns, or the Parcae, we are dealing with a central power of reality that even the Gods had to obey. We are dealing with the power of reality itself.
There is no way to separate ourselves from the overpowering belief, buried at the most fundamental level within us, that the concept of “Three” is powerful, binding, and magical.
Traditional Charming or Conjury
As all “conjure-folk” and rural sorcerers knew, creating your own spells and charms is a must. For some rural cunning people, just making a good show was enough to convince their clients that they were buying some strong magic. But for those of us who have more scruples, and want to give people who seek our help actual spiritual aid, we have to consider a method of using the vast wisdom granted to us by folklore in a manner that is consistent with the long spiritual traditions behind it.
There is a method for creating charms and conjurations following the “model” given at the beginning of this essay. Why we would want to do so is simple- all true acts of Traditional Craft and Conjury have to have a verbal component. This is not optional; the power of the Word is ubiquitous to every human culture. The idea of speaking “properly” or “powerfully” is known to all people who study traditional magical practices, folk-cures, and charming. Among the ancient Germanic peoples, the art of Galdor or singing magical songs and chants is a powerful fixture in their native magics. The Skalds or poets of the ancient Germans had the same powers as Celtic Bards- the power to use words and sounds to magical affect.
When a person “soothsays” or “says sooth”, says “the truth” or recounts “visions” seen while gazing into the unseen reaches of the netherworld, they are “fixing” what they saw into the web of Fate by using their words. They are actually making a “bridge”, using mind and mouth, mind and body, to allow the power of what they experienced to “bridge across” from the unseen into this world. When a sorcerer tells you a vision, makes a sooth-saying to you, he or she is channeling a power that first appeared to him or her as a vision or as a pure mystical experience. The words that they use are then a PART of that experience, and the means by which the experience’s power is transmitted to you. Such a transmission can have a profound affect. This is the key to the magic, to “Making what is unseen to become actual”.
The human voice, the human mind, and the human spiritual will can and must work together, to phrase, in a powerful manner, what “changes” a Witch or Conjure-master wishes to affect. Naturally, it’s more than just “words”- anyone can speak what they wish to be. But to make something be, to create a powerful conjury or a chant that shakes the Web of Fate or Wyrd with enough power to cause far-reaching changes, is the work of a poet and a mystic.
Poetry may be just what we need- if you would care to read the charm given above, you will notice how striking it is. It’s really quite beautiful. I shall re-state it:
I walk through a green forest;
There I find three wells, cool and cold;
The first is called courage,
The second is called good,
And the third is called stop the blood.
This is a healing charm, once used to help stop blood flow from an injury. But look at how it begins- with an invocation of a green forest. The conjurer is asked to help a person who is bleeding crimson blood, life blood, out of their body, and what does he do? He brings up the image of a green forest- a very relaxing image, and an interesting contrast to the bright red of bloodflow.
He goes on- on his walk in this beautiful greenwood, he encounters three wells, sources of water, which are described as “cool and cold”. In contrast to the crimson heat and panic of an injury, we have a calm, green forest running with cool and cold water.
Then he names the wells- and notice, that there are three! He calls them “courage”, “good”, and finally, “stop the blood”. One by one, qualities needed for the situation at hand are called forth- courage for the injured person, a sense of overall goodness, and lastly, most importantly, the stopping of the bloodflow.
From this Trinity of Wells, which itself represents the power of Three and the power of Fate, and from the invocation of the Green Forest, with streams of water running from wells, a healing is called forth. The charm is very powerful, and when you read it, you can see that it has a “magical” effect on the mind- it is both beautiful and striking. It has a mysterious “hint” of “true magic” to it, a folkloric feel of maturity and it feels “very old”, which it is.
The creator of this charm did one final thing- he or she used a near-rhyme to “tie together” the lines. “Cold” and “Blood” very nearly rhyme together. Rhyme is very powerful in these sorts of charms; the last word of the second line and the last word of the fifth line SHOULD rhyme. It brings together the entire charm and makes it into a “circle”, a pleasing flow. This adds power.
It is possible to create your own charms using this pattern, and it is not difficult to do so. Naturally, you need to do more than just SAY your charm to make it work- you will have to find a “power source” to give your charm strength, a source of power in the Unseen world. The Witch or Healer who used the above charm to stop blood was not merely using words, and nothing more- they were drawing on their power-sources to give their charm strength, using secret methods known probably only to them. We will discuss this very thing, below.
Weaving a Charm with the Three
You will notice that the blood-stopping charm began not with an invocation of three, but with an invocation of nature itself- the realm of the woodlands.
This is no accident- the Land itself has been seen since time immemorial as the source of plants, healing herbs, nourishment, and all that was needed for the persistence and flourishing of human life. Immediately, we can see that this charm invokes the Green Forest not only for its soothing effect, but because it is a manifestation of the Sacred Land, which is the source of healing. Waters that flow from the Land, from sacred wells and springs, have ALSO, since time immemorial, been seen as fountains of healing. There is a reason for this- when I was in Ireland, I visited the Tobernault Holy Well in Sligo. Drinking from that well made me feel a sensation of peace and power that I could barely contain myself over.
Cults to healing wells are common worldwide, and the idea of water having the power to cleanse and heal is simply a part of human spiritual thinking.
The creator of the blood-stopping charm either consciously or unconsciously called upon the nourishing force of the Land and the healing power of water, while also calling upon the qualities of peace and coolness. Then they moved on to the heart of the magic- the invocation of Three.
Using the already powerful image of a holy well giving forth cool, cold water, they tripled it- made it Three Wells, and then named each one, giving each one the name of a quality needed- Courage, Good, and lastly- the most important of the Three- “Stop the Blood”.
You may recall what I said above regarding threefold logic- I talked about a basic truth of our perception, and gave the example of hearing a bird sing- when you hear a bird sing, there is the sound, the ear that hears, and the knowledge of the hearing. The last “leg” of the trinity is the knowledge- the most important of the three. The LAST of any trinity is the real power, because while the first two represent a duality, the third represents that mystery that they both arise from, both “come from”.
In ancient Irish Mythology, the Milesians were approached by the Goddess of the Land of Ireland, Eire. She appeared to them first as Banba, then as Fodla, and last as Eire. All three Goddesses made the same request- that the Milesians name the land after her- and they swore to all three that they would. And yet, they only named the land Eire-Land, Eire’s Land, Ireland. Why? For the very reason I have spoken here- the final “leg” of the Trinity or the Triskele, is the most important.
If you were building a cauldron, you could attach two legs to it, but it would not stand. Without the third and final leg, it won’t stand; that last leg you attach makes the cauldron a workable item. Three, and the Last of Three, is a symbol, a timeless pattern of pure power and manifestation.
So, when you create your own Threefold Charms, remember that the deepest purpose of your charm ALWAYS falls to the final “naming” of the three. Now we must move onward.
Realms of Nature
The creator of the blood-stopping charm first invoked a forest, the Land, wells, and water. But not all charms will need those things- they will need to invoke “realms” or scenes that give the mind access to other realms of Nature. I would like to give a short list of “realms” that can be invoked, pursuant to your own poetic imagination, that give access to traditional “needs”. You will use this short list to help you create your own Charms, and after this, I will give a full example of the whole process, using a real life demonstration.
Realm of the Earth: Fields, Forests, Gardens, Crofts, Hills, Pastures, Mountains
This “realm” conjures the healing power of the ground itself, of the Land. If you need to heal people or yourself, if you need to sooth, calm, cure sickness, make the ground itself fertile for crops, or speak with the dead (who are folklorically seen as merged with the ground or in the ground of their graves, or under the ground in the Land of the dead) you would begin making your charm by invoking this realm in one of its many shapes or forms.
For instance, if you had a sick friend, you can begin by invoking an herb garden that has the herbs you need to heal them in it- a person with a headache may require an invocation of a forest of willow trees, (as willow bark can be taken to soothe headaches). You are invoking the land and the spirit of the willow tree, for this power it has. A good knowledge of herbs, wortcunning, and herb-lore will help you to call upon specific plants for their known virtues. In the case of your friend with the headache, you can guess that you’ll probably be calling upon THREE willow trees, naming them each with qualities that you want, the last being called something like “No pain in the head”. But we must move on before we give a full example.
Realm of Waters: Rivers, Ponds, Oceans, Streams, Wells, Springs
In folklore and magical practices, water from wells and springs bears healing power, but water in general has another power- it’s association with the moon and the deep mind makes it powerful for gaining mystical knowledge, visions, and prophecies, as well as dreams of the future, and admission into the dreams of others, or the power to shape their dreams.
Realm of Fire: The Greedy Flames, Bonfires, Hearths, Burning Fields, Torches, Lamps
The fire is destructive. Yes, it can be used to warm and nurture, to cook food and light our way, but fire is dangerous, and this should not be forgotten. This “realm” is used to create the “hot” curses, the use of the burning fire to destroy foes.
Many people in the modern day, under the influence of the “white light” and “fluffy” dominant neo-pagan paradigms, are often put off by this kind of talk. But what they fail to realize is that the power to heal and create IS the power to hurt and destroy. Fire does destroy things, but it can be used to destroy harmful things, thereby creating a healing or making someone or something safe. If a person has wronged you- truly wronged you- and you cannot address your grievance through legal means, you can turn to these charms to create another sort of justice; fire can be called to burn up their happiness, their fortune, or even their internal organs, to death. On the flip side of that, a disease or virus that is killing or hurting a friend can itself be burned up and destroyed, thus healing them.
Realm of Ice and Destructive Storms: Hail, Ice Storms, Freezes, Frost, and Snow
Like fire, ice too, is destructive. It kills crops, makes roads dangerous, stops machines from working, and smothers the bodily heat and vitality of living creatures, making them more susceptible to disease, and can even kill them. Ice and cold slows things down, makes things more difficult. It brings about the opposite of the great energy of fire- it brings stasis.
Like fire, ice and the things associated with it are used mostly for curses- “cold curses”- to freeze a person’s activities, freeze their fortunes, their efforts, their will. It can literally destroy their possessions or their bodies. But it can be used to good effect as well- to slow the advance of diseases, and other such.
As I pointed out above, the maker of the blood-stopping charm called not only upon the forest, but upon a poetic description of a scene that invoked qualities- a calm, green forest. A person can call upon ANY landscape that brings to mind qualities of the situation that either exist, or which they need to change the situation. An example will be given below, in “finding friends”.
Sources of Power
To make any of these charms effective, you must understand that a person alone cannot do it. You must call upon powers in the Unseen world to give their force to your charm. You will always do this simply by weaving the “Threefold” logic into your charm, along with the final rhyme- however, a further step must be added- either the power of a ruling spirit in the Unseen world, such as the Queen of Elfhame or the Master of Witchery must be called upon (Christian folk magicians liked to call upon the trinity, which suits their beliefs, and as I pointed out, MAY have allowed their charms to work because they are inadvertently calling upon a magical concept that was first expressed by Pagans) or you must call upon the powers of a dead person or persons in the Land or in the Grave, or you must call upon the Powers of the Land itself. You must propitiate them, after calling upon them in a formal rite, and give them food and drink, binding your charm TO the gifts of food and drink that you then give to the Land itself. We will discuss this in detail further down.
Now we must move on to an explanation by which all of these “strands” can be brought together, and I demonstrate how this works with some examples.
In this example, a person is lonely, perhaps just moved to a new place where they are a stranger, and desires companionship. For the sake of this example, the person will be a sorcerously-inclined person who is wise to folklore, who wishes to indulge in a bit of personal conjury to help their situation.
The person is lonely, walking a lonely road in life- so that is where they begin their conjury, stating a vision of the “realm” that they now inhabit, poetically, and then calling forth, in the power of Three, those qualities they wish to bring into their life. Here is their charm:
I walk down a lonely lane
I find three coins, lost on the road
The first is called Joy
The second is called Companion
The third is called Friend to my soul.
Coins are often dropped onto roads. These three coins express what the conjurer wishes to bring into his life. On that lonely road, the conjury poetically discovers joy, companionship, and most importantly, a “friend to the soul”. Note that “road” and “soul” meet the rhyme or near-rhyme qualification.
What I have not given here is the full ritual that would make this conjury “work”- but I will give that next, when we save the life of Sarah Massey.
Saving Sarah Massey
Sarah Massey is sick, and may die. Death is certainly a possibility, and she is going into surgery soon. You are approached by a relative who cares for her and wants you to use your special “charms” to make it more likely that she will survive. This is a darker example, for it contains an element that I have not yet discussed, but will discuss below- the danger involved in mucking with the powers of life and death. I will discuss it more below, but first, let’s look at a possible charm, and the full process by which you might make use of it.
Sarah has breast cancer and needs surgery. The relative asks you to help save or heal her. Immediately, you know that you must either turn to the realm of the Land or the Fire, for healing and nourishment, or for an aggressive “burning attack” against the cancer itself. For this example, we will go with the Land.
You imagine a garden of healing herbs- you don’t even need to name them, but if you did, especially those herbs that deal with fighting cancers, you would increase the power of this charm tenfold.
But your initial image is of a full, powerful garden of healing herbs. This is an invocation of the healing and nourishing power of the Land itself. Let’s assume that you are pagan, and believe in the Queen of Elfhame- the Queen of the Underworld, whose hidden realm sends plant-life “up” through the Land, where they grow. The Queen of Elfhame, in folklore, is the supreme teacher of Herbalism and Wortcunning. She rules over this craft as the “Rose Queen” or the “Dame Venus” under the Venusberg, and in folklore, she taught the secrets of plant healing and cursing to those who were able to penetrate into her realm below the ground.
So, you wish to include her name in your conjury- a very good idea, as it adds much power.
I wander the green garden of the Queen of Elfhame
Three healing herbs she plucks and gives to me:
The first is called Good Fortune
The second is called Peace of Mind
The third is called Spare the life of Sarah Massey.
This is a good, powerful charm. Now, it must be put to good, powerful use.
You must go to a lonely place, out on the Land (if you can help it) and make a fire or have a lamp or candle. You must bring a cup of wine and a bowl of some bread, and a parchment. The closer you can be to Sarah Massey when you do this, the better- if she is inside her home, and you can do this on her Land, that is best.
At a powerful hour in the evening, light your candle and walk in a counterclockwise circle around it nine times, calling upon the Queen of Elfhame to notice your rite, to come to the guiding light that you have made. Then go to the center, before your fire, and chant your charm three times.
Lift the cup of wine, and dedicate it to the Queen of Elfhame. Lift the bowl of bread and do the same.
QUEEN ELFHEN, FILL THIS CUP WITH YOUR BLESSING
QUEEN ELFHEN, THIS BREAD WITH YOUR POWER MAKE RED
Then, take a sip, and take a bite of the bread, and pour the remainder of the wine into the bowl with the bread. Look into the mixture and say:
Where you are cast, the power of the Unseen will follow.
Then sit, and begin drawing the charm on your parchment- this is very important. Literally DRAW the Queen’s herb garden- it doesn’t have to be good. Just draw plants, and if you want, her. No one else has to know what it is; as long as what you draw, however crude, is meaningful to you, it WILL work.
Make sure that you draw Three of the herbs bigger than others- you only need to draw the leaves. Under the first of those three, write “Good Fortune”. Under the second, write “Peace of Mind” and under the third, write “Spare the life of Sarah Massey”. While you are drawing and writing, you must ALWAYS be chanting your charm.
Then, sprinkle some of the wine from the bowl of mixed bread and wine ONTO the parchment. Don’t pour it on, sprinkle it on. Then fold up the paper, and put it in a small bag, and tie up the bag with a cord. You have created a charm empowered by the Elfin Queen herself, and must now give the final invocation- hold it up, and chant your charm THREE times powerfully. This is where you truly give the charm power, and how you give power to your healing-bag.
Then, just as importantly, you must take the bowl of wine and bread and pour it out there, on the bare earth. Let that wine soak into the ground, down to the Underworld, where the Queen will receive her portion, and know your intentions, and make your charm powerful. By drinking the wine and eating the bread blessed in the name of a ruler of the Underworld and the Land, you have made your own intentions and words and actions powerful. By chanting your charm constructed according to the tenets of this powerful folkloric sorcery, you have used the power of Three to weave your will.
Take the bag and give it to Sarah Massey. Have her wear it around her neck or carry it on her person, such that it contacts her person as much as possible. If you can’t do that, get it near her; hang it over her bed, put it in her house, or in her hospital room.
If you can get some of Sarah Massey’s hair, all the better- during your charm creation process, when you finished drawing on the parchment, you should put her hairs on it, then sprinkle it with the blessed wine, then fold it up so that the hairs are captured inside. That would especially bind its force to her.
This is how these charms are made, and it is a sorcery that is very powerful, as I can attest. What happens to Sarah Massey is now up to Fate, but your charm is a part of her Fate now, and may change things.
This ritual pattern given here is the same for all these Charms. Use it. You don’t have to call on the Queen of Elfhame, of course, but it was sort of important for Sarah Massey, as the Queen of Elfhame is the Queen of the dead, and she has a lot to say about whether or not Sarah Massey is going to be coming to her kingdom soon or not. But in lieu of her, you can call upon (as I said) the Witchfather, the powers in the Land, or a dead relative who is buried nearby, or merged with the same land upon which you stand.
The Boatman’s Toll
There is one more thing that has to be mentioned in the case of Sarah Massey. It may be that Sarah Massey is supposed to die. You might say “then she will die, if it is meant to be”, but you would be forgetting something- It could be that you, the conjurer, were meant to die, and Sarah’s sickness and the relative’s weeping that came to you, and your working, became the dark Fate-twist that led you to die.
How? Fate is power. It was believed by some that “any deal” was possible with “Fate”, as long as power remained balanced. Instead of Sarah dying, it was believed long ago that another person could offer to die in her place, thus sparing her life. Vestigial remains of this are still with us- in bad situations, christians are always pleading with God, saying “God, don’t let this happen and I promise that I will be a better person!”
They might not realize it, but they are trying to bargain with Fate. They are offering a power in return for another power NOT happening or being lost. If they offer ENOUGH, it may be that they get their wish- however, if they break their end of the deal, they may lose it all.
An example might be a criminal who is caught, and facing life in prison. He begs “God” to spare him in court, to have him found innocent, and in exchange, he will straighten up his ways. Essentially, he is offering a lifetime of goodness to offset the lifetime of bad power that will befall him- he’s offering the SAME magnitude of power in exchange for stopping another. If he was to win his case, then relapse into a life of crime, he is naturally violating his vow, which was fixed into Fate- he can expect a dark ending. Power has to answer power and fair is fair.
Can this “bargaining” work? Why would Fate allow it? Because there is always an off chance that Fate appeared the way it did, SO that the person would offer something. Fate is tricky in that manner, and impossible for humans to really “out-think”.
So, the wise person might ask themselves, “how do I know that Sarah Massey’s illness wasn’t a Fated occurrence, to get me to do something to spare her life, using magic- and how do I know that my charm won’t work AT THE COST of myself?
It may. Sarah may live, and you, the sorcerer, may die so that she can. Why you? Because you conjured. Conjury is dangerous, playing with Fate, a system we don’t fully understand, is dangerous. What seems like a good thing can turn bad, quickly.
There is only one way to avoid this, and you must consider doing this “precautionary” measure anytime you do a working where you are trying to save someone from possible death. You must get the Boatman’s Toll.
Ask the person who comes to you for help to bring a small coin, like a penny. Get them to clean it in front of you, or clean it in front of them. Then tell them to put it under their tongue.
You must then ask them to say something to the effect of:
“If Fate will spare a life only at the cost of another
Here is the toll for that one, the toll for me.”
Then take the coin from them and put it away in a safe place, never returning it to them or giving it to anyone. That coin represents the mythical “money” that the boatman of the dead or the coachman of the dead needed to take a dead person to the Land of the Dead. If Fate turns deadly over the working you do, deadly for a person who is NOT the subject of the working, it will rebound on the person who had the coin under their tongue when they said the above words, not you. Try to put the coin directly into a box or a bag, without washing off too much of their spittle.
If the client refuses to do this, either they just don’t love the person they want to save enough, or some other problem exists- either way, I wouldn’t do the working for them unless they did. Call it insurance. Later on, the person who asked you to help save Sarah Massey may tragically die, while Sarah Massey recovers. It may be that way. The point is that you did what you were asked, and saved a life. Few things come without sacrifice, and this simple, darksome truth rules over the craft of the Wise.
This system of charming and conjury is very powerful, and very traditional. I wish you all well with it. Please realize that it can be used for very dark ends, and if you must do this, be certain that your use of it is justified. You don’t want to deal with the dark implications of unjust curses, even though they are sadly common. If a man were to violate your daughter, and get away with it in the legal courts, who could blame you for this:
I walk through a withered field, to a hateful croft
I find three bitter herbs, powerful for strife
The first is called Vengeance
The second is called Torment
The third is called End his life.
Or even this:
I come to a ring of fire, burning hot
Inside I find three stones, glowing red
The first is called Nightmare
The second is called Despair
The third is called He lies dead.
I certainly couldn’t blame you. I couldn’t blame you for taking your well-made charm and slipping it into his pocket, or hiding it on his property or in his home in a place where he won’t find it, or putting it on the Land near his living place in such a manner that the elements cannot reach it. I couldn’t blame you for walking up to him with the charm-bag and striking him with it, which would give him quite a baleful dose of the power. I wouldn’t blame you for getting an image of him, a picture, and putting it inside the charm; that would be harsh, as well.
But of course, as I said, be certain that the man you Hex is the man who has wronged you and then gone on to evade mortal justice. Fortunately for all of us, Justice is a real power and it is a power beyond mortal laws and courts, and everyone- everyone- gets what they deserve.
Copyright © 2006 by Robin Artisson
All Rights Reserved.
Robin Artisson is a proponent of Traditional Paganism
and author of ‘The Witching Way of the Hollow Hill’
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