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Thursday, September 17, 2009

MIPC: To Make Oneself Invisible




Selena: Such a pretty world, I can't wait until its all mine.

Nigel: The only way to to rule the world is to become invisible my pumpkin.

Selena: Invisible? You'd almost know how to make me invisible wouldn't you?

Nigel: Oh I do know. Take five black beans and the head of a dead man. Place one bean in his mouth, two beans in his eyes. Then...."

Selena: (annoyed) Nigel....

Nigel: But it works, you can get anywhere, do anything!

Supergirl (1984)


Commentary: Invisibility has been on humanity's wish list at least since Amon-Ra, a deity who could disappear and reappear at will, joined the Egyptian pantheon in 2008 BC. With recent advances in optics and computing, however, this elusive goal is no longer purely imaginary. In spring 2001, Susumu Tachi, an engineering professor at the University of Tokyo, demonstrated a crude invisibility cloak. Through the clever application of some cheap technology, the Japanese inventor has brought personal invisibility a step closer to reality.

Tachi's cloak, a shiny raincoat that serves as a movie screen, showing images from a video camera positioned behind the wearer, is more gimmick than practical prototype. Nonetheless, from the right angle and under controlled circumstances, it does make a sort of ghost of the wearer. And, unlike traditional camouflage, it is most effective when either the wearer or the background is moving (but not both). You don't need a university lag to check it out: Stick a webcam on your back and hold your laptop in front of you, screen facing out. Your friends will see right through you.

An old rite to make oneself invisible and which is referenced in the movie mentioned above states that one should collect seven black beans. Begin the ritual on a Wednesday before sunrise. Then take the head of a dead man and put one of the black beans in his mouth, two in his eyes and two in his ears. Then make upon his head the character of Morial. Afterwards bury the head with the face upwards, and for nine days before sunrise water it each morning with good brandy. On the eighth day you will find the spirit mentioned, who will say to you: 'What wilt thou?' You will reply: 'I am watering my plant.' Then the Spirit will say: 'Give me the Bottle, I desire to water it myself.' In response, refuse him, even although he will ask you again. Then he will reach out with his hand and will show you the same figure which you had drawn upon the head. Now you can be certain that this is the right spirit, the spirit of the head. There is a danger that some other Spirit might try to trick you, which would have evil consequences—and in that case your operation would not succeed. Then you may give him the bottle and he will water the head and depart. On the next day, which is the ninth, when you return you will find that the beans are germinating. Take them and put them in your mouth, or in that of a child. Those which do not confer invisibility are to be reburied with the head.

A process has been prescribed in the Srividyaarnavatantra (Hindu Text) for making oneself invisible to others. With five wicks, one each made of the fibers of arka (Calatropis gigantea), shaalmali (Salmalia malabarica), kaarpaasa (Gossypium heraceum) [i.e. cotton], patta (cloth), pankaja (lotus) [dipped in] narataila (human oil i.e., oil extracted from a corpse) one should kindle five lights. These should be placed, one by one, on five human skulls. Then the combined black ashes, obtained from the above lights, should be applied to the eyes while one is in a temple of Shiva. The ashes are first consecrated with the following mantra, recited 1008 times:

Om hum phat kaali kaali mahaakaali maamsa-shonitam khaadaya khaadaya devi maa pasyatu manuseti hum phat svaahaa.

Modern witches have learned to make themselves invisible by other means including but not limited to the following:

1) Herbal lore dictates that fennel carried in one's pocket will hide you from evil.

2) So long as you hide an opal in a fresh bay leaf it will keep you hidden as well.

3) Many witches visualize themselves fading out of their own surroundings until they are not there at all, when done properly they often find that others do not notice them. This is also the form of invisibility that many modern spells for this purpose will offer.

Finally, in the Hoodoo Traditions, there is speak of the black cat bone which when ritually harvested is said to bestow upon its bearer one of two powers. The first is said return a lost love and the second is said to confer invisibility when placed beneath the tongue.


Carolina Dean

Links:

Supergirl (wikipedia entry)
See the Scene (Video)
Supergirl at the Superman Home Page
The Book of Ceremonial Magic, A.E. Waite

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