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Freda’s Almanac

Published August 9, 2014 by Annie Oliver

old diary

Some predictions for the week ahead from my trusty almanac. Pay heed, my dears.

Tomorrow is an excellent day for weaving dreams. Take ten long spiderweb strands, some common garden mint and infuse with the wind of moth wing (best captured in tupperware). Shake ten times anti-clockwise and inhale the resulting vapour before bedtime, whilst thinking of the thing or person you wish to dream about. Note that I say anti-clockwise. Failure to adhere to this will result in night time incontinence, which is most inconvenient.

Wednesday is a terrible day. Stay at home. If you must go out, say, to work, do so with great care and don’t speak to anyone if you can help it.

Thursday, however, is an excellent day for casting hexes on those who have wronged you. Hexes are always best carried out by a professional, but if you must DIY, then speak the hex into the north facing end of your garden for truly excellent results.

Good days for Glaring: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday

Good days for wish granting: This is not a good week for granting wishes. Wish at your peril!

Good days for hexing: Thursday. I shall be working late for a small surcharge should you wish your hex to be handled by a professional.

 

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Apprentice Wanted – Apply Within.

Published July 10, 2014 by Annie Oliver

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As you may or may not know I have an apprentice godmother. Apprentices are most useful for doing all the stuff us godmothers don’t have time or can’t be bothered to do. For example, drying out worm dung or infusing breath of dog with hair of crone for galloping vomit hexes, or even collecting wild ferrets (which requires both quickness of feet and toughness of skin).

My current apprentice is just about adequate after nearly three years under my tutelage. I almost smiled at her the other day but then thought better of it, as I have a reputation to uphold.  It doesn’t do to smile too much. It encourages lightness and prettiness, neither of which are skills best suited to a fairy godmother, despite what the stories might say. So thanks to my intensive teaching on the skills of Glaring, Hexing, Spellcasting and Wish Granting she is almost ready to go it alone and will be leaving me next March. Which leaves me with a problem.

Who will do my donkey work?

I have, of course, advertised in all the spellcasting periodicals in my homeland of The Shade, however, I thought it would only be fair to give my readers in this land a fair shot as well. So I have decided to reach out to you on the world wide webbe to advertise the position. Please read carefully and if you think you fit the bill, are tougher than a midwife and already have a Glare that can break windows, please do apply.

 

APPRENTICE  GODMOTHER WANTED.

You must be of eccentric appearance with at least one exaggerated facial feature. Prominent noses prefered but chins of great stature will also be considered. Must have basic experience in Glaring, although full training will be provided to progress to intermediate and then expert level. Spellcasting and Hexing experience not required as this godmother likes things done her own way and does not take kindly to young upstarts trying to teach their granny how to suck eggs. Full training on all aspects of Spellcasting and Hexing will be given on commencement of the apprenticeship.

Cleaning of magical items experience not essential but would be beneficial. Magic Mirrors are a hard enough item to command as it is, never mind if they are not properly attended to. If you miss a bit, they will sulk and if they sulk, I sulk. You must also have a natural affinity for foraging, whether it be for snail silk or ferret dung.

You must not cry easily as I can not be bothered with hysterics every time I grimace at you for boiling the pigs nails up at the wrong temperature or letting the squelching boil hex overcook, as you will likely make many mistakes. Tough skin is a must and not least for dealing with the ferrets and the cats. You must also not scare easily as we have many phantoms, ghouls, witch attacks and – even worse – door-to door salesmen, to deal with at Thistle Cottage on a daily basis.

Training in Wish Granting will not even be started until you have mastered all of the above, for ’tis a complex skill and generates many complaints which I can’t be bothered with.

Accommodation is provided at Thistle Cottage, but you will work for your keep and – be warned –  if the house doesn’t like you it will eject you via the window. I have lost many a good apprentice this way.

If you think you fit the above description, please send me a letter/email  attaching a picture of your best Glare and detailing;

1. If you could hex anyone who would it be and why. What would the hex be?

2. Why you would make a good fairy godmother?

Please note: This position is exempt from the Sex Discrimination Act, 1975 because it is for a godmother, not godfather and because I said so. Anyone wanting to take umbrage with this is most welcome to put it in writing and send it to the male wizards who have been excluding godmothers from their society for years, but have secretly been stealing all the godmother spells and hexes while getting paid more for it.

 

Good luck.

 

Freda x

 

 

Ask Freda – To Hex or not to Hex?

Published April 8, 2014 by Annie Oliver

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Here’s one I get all the time…

Dear Freda,

Someone has upset me and I would like you to hex them for me. Actually, its my ex-boyfriend. He dumped me for someone else. Ideally, you could hex both of them, but if you can only manage one then just hex him. A nice few weeping, puss-filled face-boils or cursing him with fish breath would do. If you could send me the hex I’ll do it myself.

It would make me feel a lot better. Name your price.

Helen, Edinburgh.

 

Dear Helen,

A word of caution. While I do love a good smite I do have to make sure that it’s a genuine smite and not a spiteful one. The reason for this is simple.

AN UNDESERVED HEX WILL BOUNCE BACK UPON YOU THREEFOLD.

Yes, ducky. So if you don’t want the breath of a trout or weeping sores to sprout in unpleasant areas, you need to think long and hard about your motives. A bit of common sense might be best applied to this situation. One of the worst things to be is unhappy. Perhaps he was just unhappy and knew it wasn’t going to last between you.  ‘Twouldn’t have been fair for him to continue pretending. There may be someone even better awaiting you around the corner, in which case, he has done you a favour, my love.

Hexing is really best left to those who have studied it for years. ‘Tis a complex skill requiring great judgement, patience and the ability to see a situation clearly without festering upon it.

For those reasons, I’m out, although, if you are feeling really put out, a tiny little Glare wouldn’t do much harm and can be most potent when applied correctly. See my previous posts for some tips on Glaring. Withering Glares are particularly appropriate in this situation.

The best hex on an ex is happiness. Put your best frock on, get your hair done and paint your face pretty colours. Then get yourself out and enjoy life. This is a more powerful message than any curse you might put upon him.

Freda x

 

 

Freda’s Almanac

Published April 5, 2014 by Annie Oliver

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I told my writer friend Annie not to get her hair cut on a Friday in March but did she listen to me? No. Now she has the locks of a forest elf and only herself to blame. Hmph. The almanac never lies. So here are my predictions for fortuitous and unlucky events over the next week. Ignore them and you shall suffer my withering glare.

– ‘Tis a Waxing Crescent moon tonight. On no account look at yourself in the mirror while combing your hair, lest you want to wake in the morn with twice as much hair as you went to bed with. Unless you need more hair, then that is exactly what you should do.

– Tonight is also a perilous night for hexing. All hexes will bounce back on you three-fold, and that goes for ill-wishing too. Save your hexes for tomorrow, when they will have ultimate potency. Especially vomitous ones.

– Beware men with curly beards on Tuesday unless they carry a ferret, in which case they will bring you great luck.

– Wednesday is particularly fortuitous for anyone with red hair to win pointless arguments.

– Friday is a good day for wish granting, however I am only working a half day so please do not be disappointed if I am not able to manage your request. Godmothers need a work-life balance too, you know. And if you send me any more wishes with the words ‘true love’, ‘money’ or ‘marriage’ in it I swear I shall vomit myself into next week. I yearn a good smiting, so if there is anyone you know who truly deserves a really good hex I shall be only too pleased to oblige. Genuine cases only.

Good days for hexing – Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday.

Good days for Glaring – There is no unfortuitous day to Glare this week.

 

Freda’s Journal – A pox on my house!

Published March 29, 2014 by Annie Oliver

old diary

Well you may have noticed that this old godmother has been quiet of late. I’m almost ashamed to say it but I’ve been most dastardly hexed! It all started when I stopped to help a bonny young maiden. She was a-struggling with bags of shopping up the winding hill which leads to Thistle Cottage, where I live. As I reached to take some of the bags from her, quick as a flash, she leaped out and grabbed my wand, which was tucked neatly into my best checked apron. The liberty!

No-one steals Freda’s wand, though many have tried. We had a tremendous tussle – let me tell you, just because I’m old doesn’t mean I can’t pull some wrestling moves –  and the wand snapped clean in half. I grabbed the two halves and held tight and she knew she was beat.  I was weakened, though and she slapped a hex right on me before running off, cackling.  I can’t believe I was fooled by a stinking witch! Either I’m losing my touch or those witches are getting more and more crafty because there wasn’t so much as the slightest scent about her. Usually, witches smell of sour milk and cat fur. Usually, witches are thin and pale and have the look of a nurse. You can tell them a mile away. Not this witch. She was plump and pretty, with red lips and long curling locks. The cheek of it!

The wand-breaking alone cost me a weeks worth of wish-granting, which was no good for my reputation. Of course, the wizard I sent it to for fixing gave me a courtesy wand, but it was an obnoxious thing and not at all used to my crooked finger, so the hex was unleashed. First, the gum-boils sprouted. I couldn’t even get my false teeth in and enjoy a nice bit of toffee. The two days following, the whole house was laid up with the galloping vomits. However, my nose was also hexed to grow another quarter inch and form a sharper point, so every cloud has a silver lining. ‘Tis a useful weapon, my pointed nose.

I tried to get the courtesy wand to unhex us, but I might as well have used a twig from the garden as tried to get any magic out of that useless thing. My sister Edna had a try at unhexing us, but she often gets her words mixed up. She ended up chanting ‘re-live us of this curse’ instead of ‘relieve us of this curse’ and the whole thing started again with a vengeance. Anyhow, I eventually got my wand back and unhexed us all and then I went about counter-hexing the cheeky young bint. Strange thing is, I could not find her to hex. Our magic mirror searched through the Earth, Shade and beyond for her, but there was no sign. As the mirror is a haughty, obnoxious creature who must always be right, of course he would say that she does not exist, but I saw her with my own eyes! Edna suggested that I fell over and knocked myself out, accidentally hexing myself and snapping my wand. I told her not to judge my daftness by her own.

Either what Edna says is true, or there is a new breed of witch on the loose. A witch who can hide in plain daylight and can’t be sniffed out by the nose of a fairy godmother with hundreds of years experience. I can tell you plain that this has unsettled me.  There is either something dark afoot or I’ve finally turned as fruity as my daft sister. Either way, I’m sleeping with my wand under my pillow this eve…

Freda’s Almanac

Published March 9, 2014 by Annie Oliver

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Once again, ‘tis the time of the week to offer some good advice from my trusty Godmother’s Almanac. Ignore it, and you’ll likely end up in peril, begging me to unhex you from a deadly sleeping curse or such like.

–          ‘Tis a young moon this eve. An excellent evening for casting spells and granting wishes. If I may make a suggestion, though…when sending me your wishes please try to at least be original. Should I see one more letter for true love or a fancy ball gown – I swear – I’ll develop the galloping vomits.

–          Do not, under any circumstances walk under a low stone bridge on Tuesday while wearing a red hat, lest you wake the Grimblestone troll. He is a terrible bore and you will be there until Thursday listening to his tales and trying not to yawn.

–          Friday is an auspicious day to make a truth brew. If you suspect that the one you love is not true, simply take a handful of cobwebs and brew in a cauldron (a decent blender will do) with some ground newt’s dung and rose water. Infuse for one hour with some hair of ferret and nail of rabbit. Stir clockwise, thricely, in the light of the moon. Whisper into the cauldron ‘The truth will do, do you be true?’  The resulting potion is now the liquid form of a lie…and only a liar can swallow a lie. Add three drops to your beloved’s drink. If they seem happy and well then they are most certainly a rotten cheat and liar. If they vomit incessantly for three hours, then they are true and you need not worry.

Good days for Glaring – Sunday, Wednesday

Good days for Grimacing – Monday, Tuesday.

Hexing and Spells are best cast on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.

Once again, let me remind you that today is an excellent day for wishing. Anything wished today with a pure and open heart will undoubtedly come to you.

Happy wishing,

Freda x

Freda’s Journal

Published February 28, 2014 by Annie Oliver

old diary

Today I have mostly been gadding about and tending to my garden. My garden is most important because ’tis there I grow the herbs and plants that I need for my spells and hexes. Let me tell you a little about the garden of Thistle Cottage…

A creaking gate leads to a twisted path which is surrounded by the largest, pinkest thistles you ever saw. They wave in the wind as though to greet you, which is quite pleasant when you return from a busy day godmothering to spoilt brats. However, just lately they have been taking liberties and creeping out over the path. Growing like wildfire, they are. So, this morning I simply took out the garden shears and waved them at the Thistles while Glaring. By tea time they were in their rightful place again. Even gardening can be done with the right kind of Glare and a threat.

From the front path, Thistle Cottage gives you a crooked smile, with its oversized front door and lopsided windows. It is made of stone which Edna and I collected ourselves from the Enchanted Mountains of Aurelia. ‘Tis no normal stone, as it moves and changes according to the mood of the house. You see, my dearies, Thistle Cottage is as alive as you or I. But more of that later…

Around the back of Thistle Cottage the garden really comes alive. The garden is not a wide one; rather it winds and turns like a crack in the Earth which has been filled with flowers and grass. A tunnel of whispering trees leads to stifling darkness. Beyond the tunnel has never yet been explored. ‘Tis rumoured that dark enchantments lie there. Folks that have journeyed there have never returned and ’tis rumoured that one tree grows for every person that has been lost there. If you look closely at the trees they do appear to have faces, and they do seem to sigh a little… All I know is that standing at the edge is like facing a dark abyss. It makes my head itchy. There are some secrets that even Thistle Cottage cannot share and I am not about to start being all nosey about them. That would be asking for trouble.

Mind, I can’t keep my goddaughter Scarlett away from the tunnel of trees lately. What with the night-time whispering I am hearing from her room and the strange atmosphere around Thistle Cottage I am fair worried about her. I have told her to stay away from the trees but something keeps drawing her there. Three times this week I found her at the bottom of the garden, staring into the darkness. I shall have to watch out for her. One day I might have to find out what lies beyond, but for now I have far too much to do to be ending up a tree if it doesn’t work out.  I don’t trust Edna to unhex me, either. She couldn’t even unhex her way out of  the mobile phone contract that some smarmy salesman signed her up to. There are worse hexes in this world than in mine and they are called ‘contracts’. From what I have seen, they are used to perform great evils and place people in never-ending binds.

To the left side lies my snail farm, which I have to feed with leaves once a day. Snails are a rare creature in my homeland of the Shade so imagine my delight when I came here and saw all the snails slithering around in broad daylight. ‘Tis wondrous for trade and I often slip into the secret portal that lies beside the snail farm to my own land, to barter the precious snail silk I collect.  You call them snail trails and find them fairly worthless, but they are an essential ingredient in many potent spells.

We also have a spider farm in an old lean-to. Cobwebs are most useful for spinning into a fabric we in The Shade call spingleweb. ‘Tis the fabric used in many a magic cloak or fancy ball gown but it only lasts a few hours before turning to dust. This is why a certain spoilt princess should have listened to her fairy godmother when she told her to be home by midnight…

Well, I’ve rambled quite enough for today and the frogs feet won’t pickle themselves…

Freda x