Monday, June 25, 2012

Mirror Mirror on the wall spell

A Young Girl Looking in a Mirror

The body is a sacred garment.” ~ Martha Graham

“If anything is sacred, the human body is sacred.” ~ Walt Whitman

“Know that your body is the temple of the living God; there you may seek communion. There you may seek counsel as to the choices to be made, the directions to be taken.” ~ Edgar Cayce

“You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” ~ Anne Lamott
1) I have never been able to scry.  Nor was I able to see my true love on Imbolic night.  2) I have a love/hate relationship with my mirror.
Phew that is out of the way…..
I consider myself a typical woman who was brought up in the 1960-70’s with the Disney Original Three:  Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.  I remember how I’d sit with my dolls and my brother’s borrowed GI Joe (casted as a Prince) and reenact the movie plots including the happy songs.  Little did I know, I’d been mesmerized by the subtle messages these tales gave me about beauty, body image and women’s relationships with one and other.  You might say, I’d drunk the Kool-Aid or would that be looked into the mirror and became like the poor angry Queen in Snow White - struck with body anxiety each time I caught my reflection in the mirror or look at another woman. 

Traditionally, fairy tales were a form of moral lessons.  They were mostly told by women to entertain their children while they spun or did housework.  When these oral stories were finally written down, some of their essences were erased.  Yes, the plot lines are roughly the same, but there is evidence showing how writers like Charles Perrault and the Grimm brothers changed the stories.  In Perrault’s case, he made the heroines more appealing to the Seventeen Century French Royal Court.  The heroin’s character was re-written to emphasize model virtues for a sovereign wife: enjoys and volunteers for housework, obedient and doesn’t display having any opinion, exhibits physical beauty that includes being demure, petite, kind, an ability to communicate with animals and plants, and depends on others to help her change her situation, and needs a male for life fulfillment – especially one who will sweep her away to happily ever after.  And the supporting actresses?  Fairy Godmother, Step-mother/ evil queen and step sisters - no one wants to be cast as the last two characters based the narrative descriptions: mean, ugly, untalented…

Disney isn’t the only one to blame for this spell’s endurance.  The Mirror Mirror Spell is very complex and is embedded in our society’s intricate social, economics, and political networks.   The “Beauty Industry,” an outcome of this spell, is an international, multi-billion dollar industry luring women with “Hope in a Jar Elixir.”  Their commercials echo the prevailing culture by feeding on women’s sense of deficiencies.  They offer self-improvement tutorials: sharing the celebrity beauty secrets of Ellen Degeneres and Queen Latifa (Cover Girl); touting the latest weight loss plans of Marie Osmond (Nutrisystem) and Jennifer Hudson (Weight Watchers).    Television reality shows like “The Swan,” “The Biggest Loser” or “What Not to Wear” are mini-seminars done by shaming and embarrassing the ‘contestant’ into conforming to the ‘ideal.’  Before and after pictures are always included showing the results which anyone can achieve they put in the money, discipline and effort.  The body becomes just another consumer good changeable like re-decorating a house.  Victims of this spell become locked into believing that happily ever after is dependent on these 400 year old notions

For me, the Mirror Mirror Spell began to unravel in my late twenties when I read the Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth and similar work done by Jean Kilbourne, Diane Stein and Z. Budapest.  Similarly, it began to fall apart even more when I began to reanalyze the belief that the Body is a Temple for the spirit (Note: a belief found in many faith traditions) that honors Motherfather Spirit by sharing its unique gifts and talents with the Earth.  I began to look at how I treated my body in relations to supporting my physical health to do this work.  I began to examin the foods I ate, identify my methods for handling stress, and the types of exercises I needed.  Each of these points was about me and not about looking or policing other women.  (Note: there isn’t a one size fits all – we weren’t created that way).  It also made me carefully examine the self-hating mental tapes re-running through my mind about my - name the body part that needed to be changed   ("Is that a zit on your chin?”  “Your hair is too straight and brown.”  “Maybe you should get a nose job.”  “You’re getting kind of round around the waist?”).  These recordings showed no respect, value or Divine worship for my Temple.  These recordings only reinforce the Mirror Mirror Spell. 

Dove Campaign - Love your Body
I’m a firm believer that education and mass media campaigns (i.e., Love Your Body) can be used to unravel this spell, but I don’t believe this will be sufficient to crack the mirror. Likewise, I don’t think there will be a wave of the wand moment when the spell is transformed and we all are considered having beautiful bodies and get happily ever after.  However, I do believe we each have a role in making this change in ourselves and helping others like their Temple.  Z. Budapest writes in Sage Woman:  “Women’s Liberation is achieved when I assume responsibility for myself and extend this to other women....Liberation cannot come until you are responsible for yourself.  You assume total responsibility for your choices....When a woman is empowered she finds her mission in life.  An empowered woman looks after civilization, creates art and comforts, and nurtures all that she is invested in.  As she learns more about her own womanhood, she realizes all women are her sisters.”

There are many wonderful self blessings:

This is my favorite done by Fran Frazier of Central Ohio.  She teaches young high school women to do this daily. 
Materials: lotion – your favorite scented or unscented. Or better yet – create your own scent with essential oils (Essential Oil Scents for self love - frankincense, sandalwood, angelica, cedarwood, jasmine, lavender, rose, neroli, rosewood, and myrrh.)

Done daily after getting out of the shower. 

Put dime size amount of lotion in your hand and rub it into your foot saying aloud: “I love my foot.”  Put another dime size of lotion in your hand and do the same with the other foot saying aloud: “I love my foot.”  Continue with each body part telling it aloud that you love it.  (i.e., caves, thighs, hips, bum, stomach, breasts, hands, arms, shoulders, back, neck, face, neck….)

Celebrate National Love Your Body Day - October 17, 2012

For my men friends - you too have been caught in this spell and I would need to write another post on this injustice - check out the work by Jackson Katz - he is doing this work.  


  1. You make a number of veryn good points. I came to the realization late in life, but it finally happened. I can't say I love the way I look, but I have accepted the way I am and the fact it that I don't plan to change.

    I wish there was a media campaign to counter all the negativity.

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    2. Ila - Totally agree - Since accepting and loving my body the way it is - I feel more in tune mind/body and spirit. I have found out if it tells me - hey you need to get out an move - I hear this more than the negative tapes - and the movement seems to work out in energy terms an area of the unit. Or - it often tells me the amount of chocolate cake isn't making me feel really good eat a piece of fruit please. I end up feeling better.

      I think the whole key is - everyone is different and everyone's temple needs something different. We didn't come to earth one size fits all. Likewise we didn't come to earth a one size fits all with talents and gifts to share.

      I believe that we were given a body to suit the work we have down here on this earthy plane. And, we need to take care of it the way it wants to be taken care of - so bottom line we need to be in tune with our bodies.

      Hard thing - when our inner ears are competing with what our outer ears are hearing.

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Hi all - I really like your comments, but have had a change of heart regarding anonymous comments. My CCWWW beliefs are that you need to stand behind what you say and what you do. Peace out.