Out of the Broomcloset April May 2011

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Image "Self-portrait 1-23" by Dion Hitchings“Don’t you feel eyes moving over your body, Clarice?”  Hannibal Lecter, in “Silence of the Lambs”

While it’s wonderful to be able to move about outside without being layered in every garment from the hall closet, all this sartorial freedom might leave you feeling a bit vulnerable. For some of us, inquiring eyes might be wondering about when you plan on returning to the gym or the spa.  For others, who did maintain themselves while the rest of us let ourselves go (just a teensy bit), those same eyes might be asking, “Who does that bitch think she is?”

Sometimes, there isn’t much distance between admiration and envy, and despite your best intentions to not draw any untoward attention to yourself, your doings or good fortune may draw the attention of those who wish you ill, and, more to the point, those glances seem to leave some residue behind, which, when carried around, afflict you.

In situations like this, you have been the recipient of the evil eye (in Italian malocchio, but the concept spans the world’s cultures).  While we, living in such enlightened times as we do, are well aware that beams, or rays do not project from the eye to that being seen, there does seem nonetheless that there are certain individuals whose jealousy or  attentions do seem to somehow attach themselves, and cause mischief.

Various personal adornments have been employed to avert these effects, charms such as the figa (a thumb held between the index and third finger) a corno (a horn), or a hand with the index and pinky extended.  Greeks and Romans used these, as well as winged erect phalluses ( a fashion which could return).  All of these were thought to deflect the malevolent impact of being looked upon.

Other adornments will absorb negativity.  These include pieces of precious coral, turquoise, pieces of red fabric or yarn (yes, those expensive bits of red yarn worn by Kabbala devotees), and the Nazar, a glass eye amulet, manufactured in various sizes, Turkish in origin, but now seen everywhere.  They are considered to have done their job when they have frayed, cracked, or otherwise sustained damage, at which point they should be replaced.

If, despite you best efforts, some malign influence has attached itself to you, and been carried into your home, you may employ the spell below to remove such effects.

Frankincense blended with Cumin seeds is placed on burning charcoal, in a burner that may be carried around the house, fumigating every room, and over and under your bed.  The burner is carried in the right hand, in the left a steel blade or rod, which is used to stir the contents (gently, have a care to not set the house on fire), all the while saying;

Non buco questo incenso,

Me buco il corpo, l’anima,

e tutti i sentimenti,

del corpo di quelle infame (if the offender is known, and female) , or

del quello infamo (if the offender is male, or not known),

Che mi ha messa,

La mala fortuna,

In casa mia.

 

I do not cut the incense,

I cut the body, the soul,

And all of the intentions,

Of this evil one,

That has laid up against me

The bad luck

In my house.

 

After you have finished your perambulations, gather up the ashes, in a sheet of yellow paper along with a cross formed from two iron nails bound together, all of which is dumped into running water.

I’ll see you around!

 

Image "Self-portrait 1-23" by Dion Hitchings“Don’t you feel eyes moving over your body, Clarice?”  Hannibal Lecter, in “Silence of the Lambs”

While it’s wonderful to be able to move about outside without being layered in every garment from the hall closet, all this sartorial freedom might leave you feeling a bit vulnerable. For some of us, inquiring eyes might be wondering about when you plan on returning to the gym or the spa.  For others, who did maintain themselves while the rest of us let ourselves go (just a teensy bit), those same eyes might be asking, “Who does that bitch think she is?”