Sorchia's Universe

Specializing in Bewitchment and Single Malt Scotch

I is for Incantation

An incantation is a spell—a chant or rhyme meant to have magical effect. It comes from a Latin word meaning to sing or chant. As time passed, the word took on the more specific magical meaning.
Partly for fun, partly to make this blog entry super easy for me, here is the best incantation of all time. From “the Scottish play” of course, and easily the freakiest thing you will see in the next fifteen minutes. You can’t really hear the words in the clip so I’ve posted them below—and yes that is Patrick Stuart who pops in at the end.

▶ Double Double Toil and Trouble – YouTube.

The weird sisters are raising power to do mischief. Shakespeare did a lot of, well, stealing is a harsh word. Let’s say he took old ideas and refashioned them—always with his own twist. Doing that well is a kind of magic, too, and I’m thinking J.R.R. Tolkein and J.K. Rowling here. In the case of the weird sisters, Bill may have had in mind an Old Norse skaldic poem in which twelve valkyries choose who is to be slain in battle. He might have been thinking of the Fates from Greek mythology who weave the fabric of life. He may also have been influenced by King James proclamation concerning witches, which was in effect when Willie Bill was writing the play, and for another 130 years. Who knows?

What he did was use the witches and their spell to lay the groundwork for the tragedy to come. They remind me of a Greek chorus, too, commenting on the actions though in this case they not only comment, they prophesy and maybe even cause things to happen. Theatrical legend has it that Shakespeare used a real witch’s spell and thus the Scottish play was cursed.
The incantation:
William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
from Macbeth
A dark Cave. In the middle, a Caldron boiling. Thunder.
Enter the three Witches.
1 WITCH. Thrice the brinded cat hath mew’d.
2 WITCH. Thrice and once, the hedge-pig whin’d.
3 WITCH. Harpier cries:—’tis time! ’tis time!
1 WITCH. Round about the caldron go;
In the poison’d entrails throw.—
Toad, that under cold stone,
Days and nights has thirty-one;
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot!
ALL. Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
2 WITCH. Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and owlet’s wing,—
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.
ALL. Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
3 WITCH. Scale of dragon; tooth of wolf;
Witches’ mummy; maw and gulf
Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark;
Root of hemlock digg’d i the dark;
Liver of blaspheming Jew;
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Sliver’d in the moon’s eclipse;
Nose of Turk, and Tartar’s lips;
Finger of birth-strangled babe
Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,—
Make the gruel thick and slab:
Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,
For the ingrediants of our caldron.
ALL. Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
2 WITCH. Cool it with a baboon’s blood,
Then the charm is firm and good.

 

H is for Hypnosis

I did this and it was (high-pitched voice) awesome.

Self-Hypnosis-and-Mind-PowerHypnosis is really a deep state of meditation. If you meditate, you are practicing a kind of self-hypnosis. The only difference between self-hypnosis and being put into a trance by a hypnotist is the guided imagery of the latter. A good hypnotist will lead you on your journey, giving you just enough suggestion to keep you moving.

I did a past life regression and my hypnotist was careful not to ask me any leading questions. Instead of saying “what kind of shoes are you wearing” which would suggest that I was, in fact, wearing shoes, she asked me to look down at myself and describe what I saw.

Can you be hypnotized so deeply that you won’t remember it when you wake up? Maybe—but my experience seems to indicate that would be very hard to do. I was conscious all the time and could stop anytime I wanted to. But I was an observer rather than an actor in a drama another person was describing. I remember it now like a very vivid dream with colors, smells—the whole shebang.

Is it possible to find scary things lurking in your subconscious? Yep, as a matter of fact, that may be just what you need to do in order to accomplish your goal for the session. A good hypnotist will have given you tools to use to deal with this, should it happen. I asked my gal about it since it happens in Just Like Gravity. Anna explores her past life and finds terrible things there, which lead her on a quest to prevent those things from ruling her current life.

If you decide to do this in a clinical setting:

  • Check out the hypnotist first. Find someone with degrees and an established practice.
  • Ask for recommendations and check them out, too. I have a guardian angel who watches over me and keeps me from doing terminally stupid things (at least so far), but you might not be so lucky.
  • Make an effort to find out a bit about the hypnotist. Talk about religion, philosophy, experiences so that you get a good feel for where he/she is coming from.
  • Ask about the process and theories he/she employs.
  • Then go home and Google all of that. Learn all you can about what to expect and how to prepare.

My experience was good and I’ve since done it on my own with equally good results. But what do you think? Ever been hypnotized? Want to? Leave a comment with your ideas on the subject.

 

For more info on my very own past life regression–keep an eye on current posts starting HERE with a Primer for Past Life Regressions.

Want to find out what terrified Anna? Just Like Gravity is available  HERE.

Cover by Oghma Creative Media

Cover by Oghma Creative Media

G is for Ghost

In Just Like Gravity, ghosts flit around an old house. One of them tosses books at Anna’s head, but another one shares important information with her. You can’t write a Scottish story without ghosts. My ghosts always wind up being charming and funny since I am charming and funny, myself. But what about the tortured, scary, pull-you-out-the-top-floor-window-and-laugh-while-you-fall kind of ghosts?

Do you believe in spooks?

Yes, photos and recordings are touted as proof, but it’s awfully easy to fake a picture or audio. And it’s too easy to make a mistake or interpret incorrectly. People look for connections and hearing a ghostly voice through static or seeing a face in the mist may fall into that category. On the other hand, the idea of ghosts has been around for a long time. And where there’s mist, there may be specters.

I’ve talked to otherwise steady and practical-minded people who swear they’ve had “experiences.” A game camera near an old cemetery caught odd lights on a cold November night. A security camera on a friend’s porch followed a black mist. An old woman at the side of the road at midnight disappears in a wink. Shadows and reflections where there shouldn’t be shadows and reflections send me running to turn on all the lights when I’m home alone, but it’s easy to creep yourself out. It’s one thing to sit around a fire with friends telling ghost stories and it’s quite another to be walking alone through the cemetery at dusk on Halloween. I did this kind of by accident and, spooks or no spooks, grass didn’t grow under my feet on that walk.

So DO you believe in spooks? Have a ghost story to share, an image, an opinion? Share it below.

And if you have not already visited my website at sorchiadubois.com, you might buzz over to grab a copy of Just Like Gravity.

Cover by Oghma Creative Media

Cover by Oghma Creative Media

F is for Fortuneteller

Welcome to the first of several A-Z blogs which will serve as shameless promotions for Just Like Gravity, my paranormal romance due out in March/April.  You have been warned!!

Cover by Oghma Creative Media

The protagonist, Anna, is a fortuneteller. She’s skeptical, though, and doesn’t really believe in divination though her mother taught her all the ways to do it.  Then the bad dreams start—dreams so intense they leave her shaken and terrified of what is to come.  She uses tarot cards to tell her own fortune and they lead her to Scotland. The book follows her on her quest to decode and overcome her nightmares, but also visits a couple of her previous lives.

As I did my research, I knew I needed to find a  fortuneteller.  I studied different forms of divination, but there just isn’t anything like the real thing. And I was skeptical, too.  First, it’s not easy to find someone here on the buckle of the Bible belt who will admit to being a fortuneteller–too many people itching to burn a cross on your lawn. Second, even if someone admits to it, how can you be sure he or she is legitimate and not one of the many frauds who prey on desperate people?  The answer for me was easy:  I got lucky.

I found a tarot reader at a writing group—I bet some of you know her.  She was auctioning off a reading as part of the group’s fundraiser and I got it.  The reading was amazing.  I went away with tons of things I used in the book.  She helped me with some nagging issues, as well. My kids are sure I’ve lost my mind and equally sure I was led down a garden path of some sort—you know, leading questions, offering too much info which gives a smart teller all she would need to tell me what I want to hear.  Didn’t happen, but it’s not my job to convince them.

Fortunetelling is illegal in some states—New York, for one, unless the reading is presented as entertainment only. It’s looked down upon by many religious groups who cite passages in the Bible condemning divination, though other passages seem to allow it (Google it). My experience was good and I plan to try it again.

If you get the chance, I would encourage you to try it.  Use your head before and after a reading and remember that the future is not set in stone.  Your own actions today create your future.  Divination can give you a heads up or at least make you consider your choices more carefully.  Anna, the protagonist in Just Like Gravity, followed the cards and found a tall, dark Scotsman—who knows what’s waiting out there for you.