The local Sunday paper has many articles of interest in its Classified Section. One curiosity that crops up every weekend, are unobtrusive little Ads for "Spiritual Services" put out by various self-anointed "clairvoyants". Services include casting custom spells, e.g., for employment, foreign travel, marriage, prosperity. Or, charms, talismans, for protection from "evil spirits", hexes to drive one into compliance (and screw up his life), and other more interesting forms of sorcery! But the main "talent" promoted is their "time tested" magic cure for impotency, undersized wiener, premature ejaculation, sterility, marital stress and depression for men; and for women, a solution to subdue a domineering, suspicious husband, a "sure-fire" cure for frigidity, quick temper, "evil" thoughts of infidelity (and other private temptations), and uncontrollable nagging. I suppose it's nice to be the only rooster in the hen house provided you're the rooster! But what else would one expect of the hen if the rooster is doing nothing else but roosting, eh?
Anyway, from what I've been told, marital reconciliation sessions by Spiritual Quacks are frequently scheduled "one-on-one" with the woman (since women are inevitably at fault!); and especially if she happens to be "progressive" and appealing! "There's many a Shrew we tamed thru' our secret methods " (Yup! But we won't tell; and she won't tell, either!). Such women are susceptible to be possessed by "evil spirits" who manipulate their erratic mood swings. Chances are, if the lady "patient" is pleased with the private "exorcism" session, the full range of (Ahem!) "therapy" is planned: frequent visits! Nothing secret. In fact, the concerned husband commonly transports the "ailing" spouse but waits some ways outside in safety from these nasty evicted demons now searching for a new habitat (while inside, the shaman does a quick makeover into a self-styled tantric)! Besides, the fees are discounted at some point in time, there's (gradual) signs of progress, and some welcome peace at home. Discontinuing the program at this stage would effectively invite even more vicious entities to invade the poor woman with disastrous consequences on the domestic front! (Mercy! Anything but THAT!).
Various factors would disqualify the woman for private therapy sessions mainly, besides her being "game savvy", if the "sorcerer" doesn't appear to have what it takes to make her juices flow. This would dismiss him to console himself with the "grapes being sour". Regardless, the husband, I am told, predictably switches to Plan B: he returns unaccompanied later to purchase the "time tested" Magic Love Potion which he plans to secretly slip in his spouse's food or drink! Aaahh...The sneaky little bastard!
So what is "MAGIC"? Is there such a thing? Does it work? THERE'S GOTTA BE SOMETHING TO ALL THIS mumbo jumbo that keeps bringing in the crowd.
An obscure curtain separates science and "magic" that makes for a decisive distinction confusing and, therefore, difficult. A few hundred years ago, if you happened to be (say) in Pharaoh's court and rigged up an electric circuit, flipped the switch and produced light, you'd likely be hailed as a magician until the people grasp the scientific principles causing this phenomenon which would then be classified as "Science"!
But such labeling is arbitrary and prejudicial since it stems from the consummation of one's own rationalization (or lack thereof) and acceptance of the causal factors influencing (or inhibiting) achievement of the end results. As one proceeds from "sleight of hand' deception and optical illusions (the usual coin tricks, "magic' with cards, ropes, etc.) to unlocking the "secrets" of behavior between various chemical elements in various states (e.g., harmless "water into wine" tricks to, say, progressively more spectacular chemical reactions of increasing complexity), at some juncture we realize our limitations to delve any further viz. into the obscure Supernatural the realm of serious, REAL magic which, in the right hands (actually, WRONG hands) has the capacity to exploit and manipulate events and involve others involuntarily.
Legend has it that Magic was taught to man, following a warning, as a trial and a test of his fortitude by two extra-terrestrial beings (angels): Harut and Marut. There are practitioners of Real Magic all over the world. It is practiced thru' differing rituals and referred to by different names; and has a decisive effect on the targeted person: either by him being killed, becoming sick, or his mind being affected and made to conform to certain actions involuntarily.
During my travels I had a few occasions to witness this remarkable phenomenon and its bizarre effects.The sorcerer would blow on tied knots uttering ancient phrases over them so as to command unseen entities/demons to do his bidding, using charms, numerology on geometric talismans, etc. There is magic thru' use of dolls/clay figurines that contain some ingredient of the targeted victim, e.g., hair, nails, menstrual blood, sweat, strips of clothing, even the sand upon which he/she had stepped on! The practitioner utters words, commonly offers a blood sacrifice to whichever entity/demon he commissioned for assistance; then, whatever he does to the doll happens to the victim. And no one becomes wise to the crime; not the doctors, not the police no one in our empirical, pragmatic world! A preferred method of controlling or eliminating problem people.
WORKING PHILOSOPHY: YOU CAN FOOL SOME PEOPLE ALL THE TIME. (These are the ones to be worked on!).
The erstwhile Princely State of Hyderabad (India) is unofficially recognized as a "Hub" for such clandestine practices (even though it is widely acknowledged that the "Ilm" (Art/Knowledge) practiced in Bengal has no equal). Hyderabad, boasting the world's very best, state of the art Hi-Tech facilities, is also generally recognized as a crucible for practitioners of the occult; some, who could baffle the judgment of even the most acclaimed physician. But also flaunting in the shadows of these accomplished beings are hoards of charlatans and tricksters out to make a quick buck! They offer a custom solution for your every problem!
So, one would ponder, "Why do a multitude of troubled clients from all walks of life (laborers, hookers, academicians, politicians, judges) patronize such 'shamans' if they are indeed mostly fraud"?
DILUTING ONE'S FAITH FOR MISERABLE GAIN - BARTERING THE SOUL TO CHANCE - CORRUPTING THE WORLD ONE SOUL AT A TIME:
Our proclivity toward harboring and acting upon the inexplicable (and often destructive) power of the occult stems from a crippling dependence on this physical world with its "mysteries" unfolding before our eyes that we can rationalize, understand, and, to some extent, work within our Space/Time limitations. But to circumvent or overcome these earthly obstacles to one's desires, we proceed to summon "more potent" assistance from the invisible, mystical, parallel world; "assistance" we hold to be more enormous and overpowering, undoubtedly because is not possible to neither witness this "other" World through our mortal eyes, nor comprehend its workings through our limited mortal capacity.
These mystics represent our tangible, visible link with the unseen, abstract "other world" and they certainly speak and dress the part (which makes it very difficult to distinguish between the genuine and the fake)! Nevertheless, we choose to put faith in these practices and practitioners like a drowning person grabbing at straws (when a lifebuoy is closer on hand).