“How to Make a Magic Mirror” by Lorraine Schein


NOTE: The following piece is a found poem, excerpted and rearranged by me from an out-of-print book on magic.

How to Make a Magic Mirror

  The natural fluid condenser is composed of a number of natural materials that have been powdered and mixed together in roughly equal proportions. Each of the ingredients has its own potent and unique association with the Moon. It is not strictly necessary to use all of the things listed, but at least half a dozen of the ingredients, or reasonable substitutes for them, should be combined. Very little powder is needed, scarcely more than a pinch. It is sprinkled evenly over the back surface of the mirror glass onto a bonding medium that locks it into the body of the mirror.

  The following readily obtainable materials make a superior fluid condenser:

1 part: fine silver filings

1 part: powdered rock crystal (or amethyst or beryl)

1 part: powdered salt

1 part: powdered dried willow leaves (or agnus castus)

1 part: powdered dried peony leaves (or white rose)

1 part: powdered dried toadstool

1 part: powdered oyster shell (or clam shell)

1 part: finely cut cat hair


It is desirable that you use nine ingredients because nine is the strongest number of the Moon. If you cannot get one or more of the above, the following materials may be substituted:


1 part: powdered white eggshell

1 part: powdered fishbone (or scales)

1 part: fine filings of staghorn

1 part: finely cut crow feather (or seabird or waterfowl feather)

1 part: powdered crab shell (or lobster shell)

1 part: fine filings of cow bone

1 part: spiderweb

1 part: powdered wasp nest

1 part: powdered silver dogwood leaves


It is best if you do the final mixing of the nine, or 13, substances on the night of the Full Moon, when the Moon is at its high point in the sky. Failing this, be sure the Moon is in the waxing phase. Monday is the best day to combine everything, and if the Full Moon happens to fall on a Monday night, this is the best of all.


Lorraine Schein is a NY writer. Her work has appeared in Strange Horizons, VICE Terraform, Syntax & Salt, and Little Blue Marble and in the anthologies Tragedy Queens: Stories Inspired by Lana del Rey & Sylvia Plath, and Spectral Lines: Poems About Scientists. The Futurist’s Mistress, her poetry book, is available from mayapplepress.com.





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