Do you know a guaranteed love charm recipe?

Dear Cecil:

In high expectation of Valentine's Day, I'd like to get a guaranteed high potency love potion recipe and corresponding love spell. How about it, Cece?

Cecil replies:

No sweatski, Barbikins. I provide below a handy recipe for an herbal love charm, devised by Miriam “Starhawk” Simos of San Francisco. I should point out that this is an all-purpose cluster-bomb-type love charm, to be used only if you’re not fussy about who your prospective manchild turns out to be. If you already have some particular target in mind, there’s probably some more salubrious method, but I don’t know what it is, not having gotten that far in my witchcraft book yet. One thing at a time.

Love charm recipe

Ingredients: A circle of rose-colored or (for more sexually passionate love) red cloth; acacia flowers, myrtle, rose petals or buds, jasmine flowers, and lavendar; a red felt heart, and a copper coin or ring. To tie them all up (in seven knots), use a blue thread or ribbon.

Directions:

(1) Assemble all materials on your altar (we’ll assume you have an altar).

(2) Cast a circle. Easier said than done, judging from the instructions. You have to recite an incantation about the Red Lion of the noon heat and all this other stuff, plus you have to make mystical gesticulations with your sacred witch’s knife. Pretty cornball if you ask me. Personally I’d go with, “I hereby declare this circle cast. Amen and hallelujah.” No muss, no fuss.

(3) Light candle (incense optional).

(4) Raise energy, it says here. In other words, get psyched.

(5) With mortar and pestle, grind together herbs.

(6) Gather herbs and other objects into cloth. Twist top and tie together with thread.

(7) Breathe on charm, charge with air. Charge basically means recite more incantations. If I were you, I’d chuck the incantation jive, but for those who insist on it, here’s a representative sestet:

HAR HAR HOU HOU

DANCE Ici DANCE La!

JOUE Ici JOUE La!

HAR HAR HOU HOU!

DANCE Here DANCE There!

PLAY Here PLAY There!

Whatever floats your boat. Moving on:

(8) Pass charm through candle flame, charge with fire.

(9) Sprinkle a few drops of water on charm, charge with water.

(10) Dip into salt, or touch to pentacle (I gather the pentacle comes with the altar), and charge with earth.

(11) Hold charm in hands, breathe on it, and charge fully with whatever energy is left over from 7, 8, 9, and 10, concentrating on your visualization.

(12) Drop to the ground, relax, and earth the power. (I know this is cryptic. It’s in the nature of witchcraft to be cryptic. If you want easy-to-follow directions, buy a box of cake mix.)

(13) Visualize tying knot. Actually tie knot (total of seven, remember). Recite as follows: “By all the power/Of three times three/This spell bound around/Shall be./To cause no harm/Nor return on me/As I do will/So mote it be!” Hip hip hooray, etc.

(14) Open circle and await arrival of love. For further details, see The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess by Starhawk, available at fine occult bookstores everywhere.

Send questions to Cecil via cecil@straightdope.com.

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