Poetry: How to Make a Magic Mirror, and other spooky poems by Lorraine Schein

Lorraine Schein


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: spider web

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.




The Book of Shadows


In her Book of Shadows, the witch pasted the penumbra of the Earth during lunar eclipse with milky white glue.

To the next page, she stapled the lingering shadow of last night’s dream with the new crescent’s sharp silver points.

In her Book of Shadows, she sutured in the X-ray shadow of a woman she had cursed with disease.

Next to that, she glued her cat’s shadow — familiar fluid silhouette.


On the last page, she put the shadows the rising flames will cast on their faces as they watch her burn.

Under it, she wrote a spell for changing all shadows into lovers who never left you, save you from the pyre to bed you at twilight forever.




Esoteric Epigrams


The occult wants you to know that it doesn’t want you to know.

“Reality” is bad for your health.

I respect science but prefer the occult.

The unknown does not know it is unknown.

God is one name we give to our ignorance. The other is magic.


The moon is a reminder of the almost forgotten.


Poets and witches are machines built for similar energies, but at different intensities.


Poets are receivers, witches are transmitters.

Magic is control of the cathode ray of reality, and some can tune in to any station.

There are imaginary, chimerical and impossible colors.

Atheists just lack imagination.


To have a body is to wish to transcend it.


The fascination with zombies and vampires masks a profound dissatisfaction with everyday life and a desire for the ecstatic.

How do we know what to ask about the unknown?

The origin of the universe is diabolical because it had to trick nothingness into being.

The witch can control the power that manifests in others as    madness.

The universe is a claw.

The universe is a conflagration that lit itself.




Lady Twilight


Some fairy women can never be seen — no mortal’s heart is that pure.

The fairies choose who will see them: in this green dusk, I see a door

between the worlds, where Lady Twilight wraps the West

in her gray mantle of fine mist.


She holds a goblet of lake water that soon darkens

reflecting the May Eve moon.

Voices behind her call my name, and hands reach out for me

from a world made of yearning, a world now possible to see.


This is the dangerous time, when the sidhe

can trespass into our reality.

Most women die when seized with longing for fairy things–

but a few are taken to Tir-na-n-Óg to dance with fairy kings.


[Note: Sidhe is the Gaelic word for fairies, and is pronounced “shee.”]



Lorraine Schein is a New York poet and writer. Her work has appeared in Syntax and SaltEnchanted ConversationStrange Horizons, and VICE Terraform and in the anthologies Gigantic WorldsTragedy Queens: Stories Inspired by Lana del Rey & Sylvia Plath, Phantom Drift, and Aphrodite TerraThe Futurist’s Mistress, her poetry book, is available from mayapplepress.com.



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