I’m a witch now, don’t mess with me
My love life right now is dismal. If you want to know exactly how it’s going, I tried to open Bumble today and I got the COVID-19 Tracer app instead. To take my mind off my woes, I went up to the sixth floor of the Gen Lib with my laptop and notebooks, all ready to settle in for some study.
After sitting for an hour, I decided to take a break and do some browsing. There were plenty of interesting books, but one in particular caught my eye.
The particular tome was called Ancient Greek Love Magic. Was it a sign? Was divine intervention telling me to get laid already? Or was I just itching to slack off my uni work? Either way, the little book came home with me, and I eagerly cracked open its pages.
Sadly for me, there was no literal book of spells awaiting me, but after an hour’s perusing (learning some very cool concepts about love and gender roles in Greek society), I had some real Ancient Greek spells to try.
Ok, so this one isn’t technically applicable to me. Women in Ancient Greece would use these to prevent their husbands from having affairs with others. I’m not gonna lie, this reeks of toxic heterosexual culture, but luckily, I didn’t actually have an S.O to do this on. I figured I would substitute a target this time.
But who? It struck me: I’ve recently slept with a serial cheater, and I have many regrets. In that spirit, I decided to do the binding spell for his girlfriend. So here’s to you, and sorry for sleeping with your partner (lol).
This spell involved carving the “victim’s” name into a wax tablet, rolling it, piercing it with a nail, and then burying it underground. I did not have a wax tablet lying around, but I did have the sad end of a candle I was using. So I dug it out of the pot, carved their names into it, rolled it up (but really just crumbled it… oops) punctured it with my fingernail (because who has a nail just lying around?) and then buried it in my garden.
Godspeed to them. It’s been a week, and no new reports of cheating have come through. I can’t say if this spell works or not, but here’s a hot tip: if you have to use a binding spell, you should probably just dump them.
These ones are kind of mental. They are related to Greek curses, and the idea is to make your victim incredibly horny for you—to the point where they can’t achieve anything else, and will destroy their lives for you. These spells involve burning some herbs, spices, household objects or incense so that your target will “burn with passion.”
Not all these spells were user-friendly, and many of them involved torturing animals, which I did not want to do, for obvious reasons. However, the simplest and most achievable form of these spells was burning incense and saying an incantation. It’s kind of like praying—the only difference being I don’t usually pray for someone to stop eating out of an overwhelming desire to bone.
Let me explain—in Ancient Greece, being stupid horny was considered akin to mental illness.This isn’t completely compatible with modern understandings of mental illness or being horny, but as someone who has had many depressive wanks, I can see where the link was made. Once these spells are cast, your victim should be overwhelmed with desire for you, and not be able to eat, think or sleep until they come to you.
In light of this love-spell-as-curse idea, I completely pivoted my targets. Wouldn’t it be great if someone was so distracted by horniness that they couldn’t do anything? I decided my target would be Judith Collins.
A 4th or 5th century tablet revealed one of these spells. It reads:
“Aye, lord demon, attract, inflame, destroy, burn, cause her to swoon from love as she is being burnt, inflamed. Goad the tortured soul, the heart of ___, whom ___ bore, until she leaps forth and comes to ___, whom ___ bore, out of passion and love…”
It goes on like this for another paragraph, and I read the whole thing, substituting the respective names over some burning myrrh incense in my backyard. Try drafting more racist speeches now, Jude.
Crusher Collins? Crushed by my incense. Until we sleep together, I guess.
In Ancient Greece, this “spell” was more like a courtship ritual. Instead of today’s version of “courting” where a sweaty dude corners you in the mosh at a gig, Ancient Greeks made the sweaty dude in question stand at a respectful distance and throw an apple at you instead.
The apple would be carved with some symbol or words, and then an incantation would be said over it three times: something like “my crush will love me” or “oh God I’m so alone”. Then, the apple would be thrown at your target. If they caught it—or better yet, ate it—that implied consent from the other party. Women would usually catch the apples that men had thrown.
However, it’s not Ancient Greece anymore, it’s 2021 baby! I can throw my own apples, thanks, and we now all (hopefully) have a more nuanced understanding of consent.
Sadly due to my lack of dates I was unable to throw an apple at anyone I was actually interested in. However, I did throw an apple at my friend while going to… collect something from his house. Can’t say if he’s in love with me, but we’ll just say I got what I wanted ;).
Probably one of the more simple charms around, this spell involves knotting three strands of blue thread together, chanting as you make each knot. Then, you tie it around your waist, and let the magic happen. This one is more general, and makes “whoever looks upon you… glad to see you.”
As a rural NZ 10/10 and an Auckland 7.5/10 with too much confidence, I didn’t notice much difference with this one. As with most people, my friends and family are usually glad to see me, so this one is probably a placebo effect at best. Still, knotting some thread for half an hour while screaming “I am hot as fuck” probably won’t hurt your self-confidence, so I say go for it.
Listen, the Ancient Greeks weren’t as onto it as us, ok. Ancient Greek Love Magic notes that most of the love potions used back then probably included mandrake, oleander or cyclamen–all of which are toxic plants. They were also super gung-ho about spiking drinks, which is how these “love potions” were usually administered. There’s even records of women who were acquitted of murder based on the argument that they were actually trying to poison their husbands into loving them again. Aw, romantic, right?
However, as someone who definitely doesn’t advocate spiking drinks or poisoning people, I gave this one a pass. Luckily, the Ancient Greeks considered wine to be the simplest love potion around. I didn’t even need to test this one. Maybe it’s just me, but a couple glasses of red wine is definitely enough to get my fanny-a-fluttering.
So if anyone wants to take me on a date, bring some Shiraz by the Craccum office… and maybe throw an apple at me.