A wonderful jacket photo promises so much - and so does the subtitle: "spells, rituals and recipes for a healthier love life." But how healthy would you be after devouring, for example, chicken livers and eggs? Pork chops Valaria (take two large thick pork chops)? Or Eggnog Erotica... four eggs, a pint of heavy cream, bourbon and cognac.... Happy, yes, but primed for anything more energetic than an evening glued to the couch? Hmmm.
Yes, it's a witchy recipe book, courtesy of a pair of New York based witches writing in 1971. And the food looks good. Interspersed with the Fanny Farming, however, are sundry charms, spells and rituals for everything from "turning a quickie into a longie" to getting rid of a Freddie. (Fans of My Fair Lady will understand.)
Or try this one, from the chapter "Food & Charms for Carnal Calisthenics." Take a hot shower, stand in a hot room until you've worked up a sweat, and then cover yourself in flour. When it dries,scrape it off and use it to make cakes. Serve them to your lover and make sure he eats every crumb. "This will bring you everlasting luck and happiness." Yum yum.
One further element of this particular charm fascinated me. Back in my schooldays, a fellow pupil fancied himself (very convincingly) as a Black Magician, and delighted in scaring the younger kids with his Evil Eye and a wealth of charms and spells he'd picked up who-knows-where, a five letter, five word chant that could conjure up the greatest demons of all. You probably know it as the Sator square, a Latin palindrome that may be Mithraic, might be early Christian, and was later used by the Pennsylvania Dutch as a charm to protect cattle.
SATOR AREPO TENET OPERA ROTAS
Abragail and Valaria include this same charm in the above piece of spellwork, to be written on a piece of paper before the cakes are baked. Now all I want is for somebody to come forward who has actually tried this.
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