When we delve into the myths and stories of the different cultures, lesbianism does not seem to have almost any kind of prominence. There are goddesses who can have some relationship with beings of the same sex, but this is usually somewhat anecdotical in their stories and more than lesbians they would be considered bisexual or pansexual since they usually also have relationships with men. If we know that homosexual relationships in both sexes are as old as humanity, where are the lesbian goddesses?
One of the most common requests that people who dedicate themselves to witchcraft or magic in some way are usually related to love. Since the Shrine was founded, we have received a large number of messages and requests about recovering an ex, making someone feel or stop feeling something for another person, amarres (mooring love spells), sweetening spells… All these requests tend to seek only love and happiness of those who do them and do not take into account or do not know how the magic they are requesting will work.
Conjuring love: how “love spells” work
There are many people who advertise promising to recover lost loves or that someone will miraculously fall in love with you, usually with amarres (mooring/tie love spells) or sweetening spells. These types of spells are often sold as enhancers of feelings that already exist between the two people to “restore harmony” between them. The truth is that they don’t restore any harmony or balance, but rather subjugate the will and feelings of the other person in favor of the desire or whim of the person requesting the magic.
Sweetening spells supposedly work by nullifying or minimizing negative feelings, and amarres create a kind of obsession about a person. Those who do this type of thing assure that there has to be some kind of feeling for the magic to work but as they act, any minimally positive feeling would work, even a friendship without romantic interest, because the person under its influence will be deprived of the rest of emotions towards whoever requests these spells and will only have a single feeling.
The will is actually overridden and deprives someone of their emotions just because of someone else’s desire or whim. The emotions of a person are their and they belong only to that person, wanting to control the emotions of others for own benefit is selfish and more than showing love shows the need for control as if that person were an object. Amarres and sweetening spells are a hijacking of emotions and are built on the same logic of the abuser that forces you to be with him even if you don’t want to.
Love Potions: From Emotional Toxic to Medical Toxic
Another of the most popular requests are the preparations of agua de calzón (literally panty water) and other types of “love” potions. For those who do not know, the agua de calzón is a type of potion that could be classified as a amarre that consists of boiling, together with other ingredients, the used underwear of the person who wants to attract with the one who requests the magic and is given drink the first one. Like the spells that we describe before, they are governed by exactly the same patterns of control and domination over the other, in addition, the freedom and free will of the person to whom the potion is directed will continue to be restricted.
But the agua de calzón has another problem, perhaps even more immediate: it is unhealthy. No matter how much the two pieces of underwear are boiled together, the bacteria, residues and other things can remain on them after being used still pose a health risk. Also other potions that use plants can be quite harmful, either because of the quantities of the recipes that are usually found or because they directly use poisonous plants or ingredients that are not suitable for consumption. It would not be the first time that someone comes saying that they asked to a supposed witch for a love potion and they believe that the witch has cursed them because they are physically ill, the fact it is that they have been intoxicated with what they believed to be a love potion.
The “love” created by magic will never be real love
Another of the great disadvantages of this type of magic usually comes as a warning by those who sell it: it is not permanent. Along with the expiration date, they usually remind their clients that this type of magic needs to be renewed from time to time if it is to continue working since if not to do so when its power dissipates the person could develop totally opposite feelings, what would we expect if we have forced someone to be by our side against their will?
Just as an abuser or a sect would do, this type of spells, rituals and potions nullify the will and convince the other person of what they are feeling. The moment the spell ends or is not renewed, the person is free from the influence of magic and can return to theyself realizing all the things that have been done to they during all that time because if they wanted to leave they would really do it for some reason. In addition, amarres, sweetening spells, agua de calzón and similar magic create an obsession, an addiction for a person, and the addiction can be dangerous and if you don’t how dangerous can be ask anyone who has had problems with drugs or alcohol.
How to get over a broken heart
Almost all the people who go to this type of magic usually do it after a break or when it is next. What they are living is, as the Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross said, the third stage of mourning: negotiation, that is to say, all possible means are used to reverse the situation that is causing us pain.
The pain of a broken heart, like the pain caused by death, is pain that affects all areas of our life. As the psychotherapist Cate Masheder, specialized in trauma and grief, said in the BBC series Like Minds: “In the past we thought that over time this pain would get smaller and disappear. But the focus now is that this pain it remains as it is, but our life grows around it.” There is no magic that can prevent us from pain, not in a healthy way, but if we can resort to magic that brings us new joys, that helps us to grow and develop our lives, so that we can heal naturally.
The magic of real love
So if all that they sell us as magic of love does not attract real love, does the magic of love exist? Yes, but don’t create love out of nothing. The magic of love has a different character, it has less to do with romantic love and more with self-love. If we want someone to notice us, we can make a spell that highlights our qualities and virtues, in that process we can not only make that person see us, but we will also be boosting our self-esteem by valuing who we are.
We all have good qualities that can be attractive to others but normally we do not take advantage of them because we do not value ourselves enough, the magic of love usually works at that level, in helping us to enhance those qualities. Even the true magic of love that involves others aims to reinforce, in a consensual way, the link that already exists, not to try to mend something that is clearly already broken.
Using magic to make someone fall in love with us usually means that we are seeking approval from others when we deny ourselves, that is not healthy. As the drag queen RuPaul would say: “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”; this does not mean that if you don’t love yourself unconditionally you don’t deserve to be loved, that means that love must be disinterested and no one can give you what self love can give you.
One of the most common problems when someone wants to get close to Eros is that the information they can find is limited and when they find it, it doesn’t even get to be all about Eros. The simplification and didactics to bring mythology to people of all kinds has made that when the figures of Eros and Cupid are explained they are equivalent and that the attributes of one and the other are interchangeable when they were not originally. But there is also a historical reason that to this day we continue to drag this error, an error that many people within paganism and witchcraft, when they enter the worship of any of these gods, fail to recognize because most of the more habitual sources usually repeat it.
We live in a time when we need to reclaim freedom and our rights in the face of oppression that does not seem backwards, but on the contrary it seems that every day wants to get bigger and stronger again every day. We need to counteract the efforts of those who want to undermine our freedom or who don’t move a finger because things get better. We must claim our freedom and our rights by all possible means such as demonstrations, protests, activism of all kinds, etc., but as pagans and withces we can also resort to our spirituality to give an extra boost to all this. This rite is intended within LGBTIQ + Pride week but can be used to support other movements such as Black Lives Matter, the feminist movement or any other movement that fights against oppression and deprivation of rights and freedoms.
As much as we search we will not find a goddess of freedom in the Hellenic pantheon as we find Libertas in the Roman pantheon, although we do find Eleuteria as a personification of freedom without worship or temples. And it is not that the Greeks did not have a concept of freedom, but it seems that they associated freedom with different gods and worshiped each of them because regardless of their main domain they had power over freedom. That is why we can find the epithet Eluterios or Eleuterias in different divinities, Eros is one of them and under this epithet the influence of Eros is extremely special.
Detail of “The Magic Circle” by John William Waterhouse.
A few weeks ago a trans man wrote to me because in an LGBTQ + group he joined, they began to try him crazy and insult him only for his transsexual status. The group in question was created to create community and support among the members of the collective but what community and what support can we expect from someone who discriminates against others because they are different? The answer is no so much. Just a few days ago, something similar happened in a witchcraft group where comments first came up against sexual and gender diversity and second against Wiccans, although fortunately the moderators and the administrator cut those comments down. Now, imagine that you are an LGBTQ + person and that you also belong to Wicca. How would you feel if they question and attack two parts of your identity as important as your sexual orientation or gender identity and your beliefs?
When this Shrine was founded on August 18, 2015 one of its objectives was to be recognized by the Correllian Nativist Tradition of Wicca as a Formal Shrine. This recognition is only granted to priests and priestesses who request it within the Tradition and after being initiated as a priest of first degree our guardian, the Rev. Roble Tormenta, requested the recognition of Formal Shrine being granted this only a few days later.
The way we handle our inner world drives everything, every aspect of how we love, how we live, how we relate and how we die. This is true, psychology supports it, this has a trap: extreme positivity, toxic positivity. Phrases like: “you attract what you are” or “think positively and only good things will happen to you” are based in a perverse way on how emotions transform our experience of reality, and yes, I say experience of our reality and not the reality itself. Because just as in magic, only the intention is not enough to transform our environment.
Pain, anguish, despair… are feelings that crowd in our interior in such an intense way that we look overwhelmingly for anything that relaxes our feelings. A broken heart and the feeling of exhaustion of love, of life, of relationships are symptoms of the end of a romantic relationship. This is a very typical time when many people turn to Eros to ease their grief in one way or another. If you really dare to take the step you will find much more than you expect.
The LGBTQ + community is underrepresented globally in society. But if we enter into the great rainbow spectrum that form the different sexual orientations and genres we see that bisexuality is still invisible even within the collective itself. As a result of this invisibility, bisexual people can develop many problems regarding their sexuality and their own identity, but witchcraft can be a way to heal those wounds.