Hal Wyner

A Few Irreverent Thoughts

"Certain shades of limelight wreck a girls's complexion. Even if a jury gave me the Purple Heart, this neighbourhood holds no future: they'd still have up every rope from LaRue to Perona's Bar and Grill -- take my word, I'd be about as welcome as Mr. Frank E. Campbell. And if you lived off my particlar talents, cookie, you'd understand the kind of bankruptcy I'm describing."
Holly Golightly (from Breakfast at Tiffany's, by Truman Capote)

In her real life, [Lana] Turner was easy to lie to: her last two marriages were to younger men who dipped deep into her pocketbook...Her last husband, Ronald Dante, whom she married in her late forties, was a nightclub hypnotist who appeared at her door on a motorcycle: "I had never been on a motorcycle before, but I was game. He told me to climb on behind him and hold on tight. Then we sped off through the hills of Malibu. I loved it!" In the course of their marriage, she confides, he embezzled from her, stole her jewelry, signed her name to documents, and produced a document (thrown out by the court) in which she promised to pay him two hundred thousand dollars in the event of a divorce. He really was a hypnotist.
John Updike, "Legendary Lana," The New Yorker, February 12, 1996


Ingredients: Orange juice, kitchen matches, paring knife, coriander seeds, white taper candle.

Serve your man a glass of chilled orange juice each morning to purify and tone down an out-of-control sex drive. As he heads out the door, stash some coriander seeds in his pockets. Coriander is known to ensure fidelity. Kiss him and wave goodbye seductively, then take a kitchen match, strike it on the heel of your shoe and whisper: "Be true." In your bedroom, light a white taper candle into which you have carved both your initials with a paring knife.
Shelby Loosch, "Keep your man from straying by casing a quick spell," National Examiner, April 2, 1999 (review of The Supermarket Sorceress, by Lexa Rosan [New York: St. Martin's Paperbacks,1996])

"Ritual, the final step for making a talisman, is one of the most important ingredients, as an actual empowerment of the herbs can then occur through the will or strong intentions of the person transmitting them. The ritual is done to induce a deep meditative or intuitive state where we contact our Source, which is also the Source of the plant. The ritual creates a deep focus of intention, which is then transferred from ourselves to the plant, resulting in a powerful magnet and transmitter of healing properties.

"Examples of rituals include lighting a candle, fasting with the plants, meditating, drumming and chanting, reciting prayers, smudging, blowing the breath on the herbs, sprinkling them with some special water from a sacred stream or river, adding a special stone or any other single or combination of ceremonies. Choose whichever rituals will create the alpha consciousness that generates the necessary energy to connect with the Source of Life."
from Lesley Tierra, The Herbs of Life, The Crossing Press: Freedom (California), 1992.

Apposite selections from The Golden Ass

at ego curiosus alioquin, ut primum artis magicae semper optatum nomen audivi... (II,6)

quos me sedulo furtimque colligentem tonsor invenit et, quod alioquin publicitus maleficae disciplinae perinfames sumus, arreptam inclementer increpat: 'tune, ultima, no cessas subinde lectorum iuvenum capillamenta surripere? quod scelus nisi tandem desines, magistratibus te constanter obiciam.' (III,16)

haec singula Psyche curiose dividit et discretim semota rite componit, rata scilicet nullius dei fana ac caeremonias neglegere se debere, sed omnium benivolam misericordiam corrogare. (VI,1)

quodque cunctis est extremius, varias opiniones, immo contrarias nobis attribuat, ut et malus boni viri fama glorietur et innocentissimus contra noxio rumore plectatur. ego denique, quem saevissimus eius impetus in bestiam et extremae sortis quadripedem deduxerat, cuiusque casus etiam quovis iniquissimo dolendus atque miserandus merito videretur, crimine latrocinii in hospitem mihi carissiumum postulabar. quod crimen non modo latrocinium verum etiam parricidium quisque rectius nominarit. nec mihi tamen licebat causam meam defendere vel unico verbo saltem denegare. denique ne mala conscientia tam scelesto crimini prasens viderer silentio consentire, hoc tantum impatientia productus volui dicere: "non feci". (VII,3)

nec ullam uspiam cruciabilis vitae solacium aderat, nisi quod ingenita mihi curiositate recreabar...nam et ipse gratas gratias asino meo memini, quod suo celatum tegmine variisque fortunis exercitatum, etsi minus prudentem multiscium reddidit. (IX,13)

tunc spretis atque calcatis divinis numinibus in vicem certae religionis mentita sacrilega praesumptione dei, quem pradicaret unicum, confictis observationibus vacuis fallens omnes homines...(IX,14)

non sum barbarus, nec agresti morum squalore praeditus nec ad exemplum naccinae truculentiae sulpuris te letali fumo necabo, ac ne iuris quidem severitate lege de adulteriis ad discrimen vocabo capitis tam venustum tamque pulchellum puellum, sed plane cum uxore mea partiario tractabo.(IX,27)

unus e curia senior prae ceteris compertae fidi atque auctoritatis praecipuae medicus, orificium urnae manu contegens ne quis mitteret calculum temere, haec ad ordinem pertulit: quod aetatis sum, vobis approbatum me vixisse gaudeo, nec patiar falsis criminibus petito reo manifestum homicidium perpetrari, nec vos, qui iure iurando astricti iudicatis, inductos servuli mendacio peierare. ipse non possum calcata numinum religione conscientiam meam fallens perperam pronuntiare. (X,8)

quid ergo miramini, vilissima capita, immo forensia pecora, immo vero togati vulturii, si toti nunc iudices sententias suas pretio nundinantur...(X,33)

Finally, for the interested, Jacqueline Onassis' will can be found on the net.