Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, What is Glamour After All?

posted in: glamour | 6

One of the charming comments I’ve gotten elsewhere is that my definition of glamour magic is wrong. Super cool that you know more than me about a magic that is very rarely written about and that you can tell me how to do the magic that’s already working for me in my life.

Still.  I figured it would be best to clear things up.  Merriam-Webster gives two definitions:

1: a very exciting and attractive quality

2: an illusionary magic spell

I can understand why some are thinking more of the second definition.  I watched The Craft too and it is indeed super fun watching the girls change their eye color, their hair color and sometimes even their entire faces.  But here’s a spoiler: they had a special effects department hard at work to make it look effortless.

I suppose if you had decided to give up television/video games/whatever your dirty little secret time waster happens to be, you could truly work on definition 2.  I would even say that it’s possible with enough time, effort and energy you could get other people to believe your illusion.

I will ask however, which seems like a better use of your time: (a) spending a decade to possibly learn to change the color of your eyes or (b) figuring out what qualities you actually possess that are very exciting and attractive to your optometrist so that she will be inclined to give you a discount on colored contacts, bringing them into your price range?

I’m still working like three jobs and stuff?  So I would pick (b).  Maybe you have much more time in your day to devote to appearance based illusions and if you do and that’s your jam, far be it from me to keep you from such .  . .academic based occult driven pursuits.

I got really interested in glamour for a few reasons: (a) no one talks about it and almost no one writes about it (b) it is not something that comes naturally to me (and after observing in the wild, I would say that it really only comes naturally to maybe 1 in 10 people.  Here’s a hint: It’s probably not natural to you either) (c) once you get the hang of it, it’s a quick working kind of magic.  (d) I can tell when it’s working.

To be effectively glamorous you need to have a few things going for you.

1.  You need to look put together.  Put together doesn’t always mean J. Crew but it does mean that other people can tell that you put some effort into how you look.  I know that sounds vague and it’s intentionally so.  Does it look like you got dressed in the dark or does it look like you coordinated an outfit?  Does it look like you take care of your face in some way or does it look like you’ve never washed or moisturized?  Does your hair look styled or like you just rolled out of bed (and not in the sexy way)?  I can feel myself losing about half of you here already.  Here’s a hard truth: You are regularly being judged by how you look, just like you’re judging the rest of the world by how they look.  You are not a special-princess-firefighter-pony who doesn’t judge people based on their looks.  Sorry.  I can tell you that I get treated very differently now than I did when I was heavier, dressed in sweats, my hair up in a ratty ponytail and unmoisturized.  We can cry about how the world isn’t fair or we can use what we have to our advantage.  There are lots of well coifed people of all sizes and shapes.

2. You need to have your life put together.  People are attracted to train wrecks of course, but after awhile most people slowly back away from them.  It’s okay to be going through a rough patch, but if someone hasn’t died recently, if you are employed enough to pay your bills and you’re not going through a divorce then . . .pull it together.  Magic will not pull your life together.  You need to do that, sport.  Once you have your shit together, magic will help you get that much closer to accomplishing whatever you’re trying to achieve.  Here’s a good question to ask yourself: Do people come to you for assistance in various aspects of life because they admire how you are managing or are people more inclined to ask you if you need help?  If you’re getting more b. than a. then you need to get it together.

3. You need to have some genuine confidence about #1 & #2.  Not bravado.  Confidence.  Bravado: telling people how awesome you are, how great your life is, how often people find you attractive, look at my car/purse/girlfriend.  Confidence:  Bitch, I don’t need to tell you any of those things.  I already know it and I’m showing it just by showing up and having those things.  If you don’t notice, that’s fine.  I know.

I want you to take some real time and use some real effort to see if you are where you need to be with 1, 2, and 3.  Here’s a hint: you’re not.  Why?  Because no one is.  I’m not.  I’ve been whining to myself all day about how I don’t have any time to write and how I’m too tired to go to yoga.  So I ate a cliff bar and used my lunch hour to write this and I’m going to sack up and go to yoga even though I’d rather repeatedly stab myself in the hand.  Because this is how shit gets done.

Marinade on this for a while and then we’ll talk more tech.

Deborah Castellano
Deborah Castellano's book Glamour Magic: The Witchcraft Revolution to Get What You Want is available for purchase through Amazon, Llewellyn and Barnes and Noble.
Her frequently updated catalogue of published work is available on Author Central.

She writes about Glamour Magic here at Charmed, I'm Sure. Her podcast appearances are available here.

Her craft shop, The Mermaid & The Crow specializes in old-world style workshop from 100% local, sustainable sources featuring tempting small batch ritual oils and hand-spun hand-dyed yarn in luxe fibers and more!

In a previous life, Deborah founded the first Neo-Victorian/Steampunk convention, SalonCon which received rave reviews from con-goers and interviews from the New York Times and MTV.

She resides in New Jersey with her husband, Jow and their cat, Max II. She has a terrible reality television habit she can't shake and likes St. Germain liquor, record players and typewriters.  


6 Responses

  1. Good post. Good reminder. Real world skills and considerations that work in conjunction with Magick… One saying I have always lived by: You never get a second chance to make a first impression!

  2. Love. It.

    Glamour is not at all my great magical strength, but I’m clever enough to appreciate it. Honestly, why does magic always have to be high woo-woo stuff, anyway? Does nobody think about charm (ahem) or charisma anymore?
    Stacey recently posted..Smothered Hope/April is the Cruelest MonthMy Profile

  3. Getting better at both 1 and 2. Don’t quite have all the bills paid just yet – but maybe by May? (My suplementary-job interview went well today, but I know they won’t be making any phone calls until the Summer stuff starts coming in). As for not looking like a hot mess… Getting there. A mix of self-tayloring my clothes to fit properly (mostly so they’re the right length – shocking) and getting rid of anything that I’m only hanging onto for reasons of Laundry Day. (Not sure how a “Mandatory Wearing of Store Items” retail job will effect that, but we’ll see…)
    As far as 3 goes… Honestly, the confidence comes when my clothes come off (since I model naked, that’s handy, so hey), but getting that when I’m dressed is a little trickier. It’s getting easier, mostly as #1 gets closer to where I want it to be.
    Meliad recently posted..New Moon – Cold Moon BeginsMy Profile

  4. Love this. I started wearing color-coordinated ties matching the color of the planet of the day after reading your stuff on glamour the first time around. That’s been a useful magic, and people have noticed; I have gotten ties from students as gifts in the color of the day of the event that I ran for them. And lately, the change in food and exercise has helped a great deal too.

    And it helps to be competent/confident. It’s one thing to be impressed with yourself, quite another to be good at what you do… and much, much better to be both.

    Happy to say that you’ve been a good teacher in this regard, and I’ve learned much.
    Andrew Watt recently posted..Design Lab: SawhorseMy Profile

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