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Sunday, January 31, 2010

MIPC: How to Kill a Witch

Conspire to steal a blouse or dress which belongs to the witch in question. Place this upon a dressmaker’s mannequin and pierce the heart with a silver pin.

The Twilight Zone
Episode Title: Jess Belle
Original Air Date: Feb 14th 1963

Commentary: I think that it is fair to say that this is a straightforward example of sympathetic magic. Sympathetic Magic works on the principle that ‘invisible bonds connect all things’. It can be divided into two categories, Homeopathic Magick and Contagious Magick. The Scottish anthropologist Sir James G. Frazer first described these types in his book The Golden Bough (1890).

Homeopathic Magick holds that “like attracts like.” A classic example of this type of magick is the melting of a waxen image of an enemy resulting in his or her death. Visualization is a form of sympathetic magick, instead of creating a physical image of your goal, you create a mental one.

Contagious Magick holds that “things once in contact with one another continue to exert an influence on one another after they have been separated.” An example of Contagious Magick from a folk magick remedy to cure a wound would be to rub some medicine on the object which caused the wound in the first place. People who believe in contagious magic fear that an enemy can gain power over them by obtaining parts of their body. Therefore, they carefully dispose of their nails, hair, teeth, and even their body wastes.

The most popular and well-known form of Sympathetic Magic is the use of poppets, or dolls. It’s not surprising that the heart must be pierced by silver since silver has long been prized for its protective qualities. Owning to its shiny-ness, silver is said to confer protection by deflecting negativity back to its source.

In addition, silver is known for its purification abilities. People once drank from silver chalices in the belief that the silver would negate any poison. Sailors used to place silver coins in water to keep it from becoming stagnant.

It is interesting to note that in the story quoted above the witch in question was once a mortal girl who became a witch to gain the love of a certain man. Once she gained his love, she discovered that the price was her own soul resulting in her becoming cold and heartless. During the episode when the pin is struck into the heart of the witch’s garment, she appears inside the dress and then fades away dead. This could mean that the silver inserted into her heart purified her soul and allowed her to find peace in the afterlife.

As I have said above, this is a fairly straightforward spell, one which I feel has the capacity to be successful when performed by the right person under the right circumstances. There is a correlation to this spell in the Hoodoo Tradition whereupon a rootworker was known to drawn the silhouette of the person who allegedly put a hex on his client. He would then attach the drawing to a tree and have the victim shoot the drawing with a silver bullet. While I cannot, at present, find the exact page at lucky mojo in which I read of this practice, I am fairly confident that it was quoted as having appeared in the Hyatt material.

Carolina Dean

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