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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Love Spells

"I do not unmarry Ahab. But I marry myself. I take my fate as within."
from Sena Jeter Naslund's book-- Ahab's Wife.

When I started to read Phyllis Curott's last book, The Love Spell, I thought it would relate to the subject of witchcraft, which I intend to write about, and I knew it was about a search for a soul mate but was surprised how deeply it went into relationships and what makes them work. It was one of those books I buy and set aside for the right day. That day came; and once I began reading, I didn't want to put it down as it was so apropos to what I had been thinking and just written about-- soul mate love. I see it as synchronicity when it happens and try never to ignore it.

While I have written about the practical side of soul mates-- the friends, family, and working partnerships that can benefit from such connections, I know for most of us, when the subject of soul mates comes up, the belief is it's the ultimate love connection, the kind of story about which they create myths, poetry, books, songs, and movies.

The Love Spell is an erotic memoir which means it might not be everyone's cup of henbane tea especially if you see witchcraft as evil, have a belief that sex outside of marriage is always a sin, or are offended by reading graphic sex.

The writer is a lawyer and practicing witch in New York City, and her memoir is about a spiritual and physical search for love, to find the man of her dreams to fulfill her life. She feels something is drawing her to him. Is it a daemon, Dionysus, or James Dean? Hey, it's a modern memoir. Since she is a witch, she uses what spells and potions she believes will work to bring a soul mate to her, and it works.... or does it?

Her book begins with a quote by Rainer Maria Rilke: "Ever since I heard my first love story I began looking for you, not realizing how futile that is. Lovers don't finally just meet somewhere; they are in each other all along."

I also believe with soul mates we feel them whether we are physically together or not; and if it's a strong connection, probably very like that quote. Does that mean the relationship itself will work out? Not necessarily. But it does mean it'll be quite a ride while it lasts. Soul mate loves probably aren't ones you would say were based on practicality but rather on strong feelings that can override good judgment. (They can be confused with lust with which they have a fair amount in common as in lack of commonsense accompanying desires.)

Her book tells a story of the kind of search where you begin with the burning desire to be with someone to fulfill you. If you do meet them and it's all you had hoped, the magical time of it being everything only lasts a set time. When the clock strikes twelve, the partner better be one with whom you can get along, where you have things in common, share values and goals, or it will be over. The magic can get you there but it can't keep you there.

Although she uses ritual to try to create magic, she makes it clear such rituals cannot bring a certain person to you. Eventually she sees ritual is not required to draw the right energy. It is (as my friend said in those earlier blogs) a way to focus and that's all. She writes witchcraft could become a substitute for real experience. Sound familiar? Religions of all sorts can help us focus, get on the path, be emotionally and sensually satisfying; but if they stay the end-all, be-all, they are going to cheat us of genuine spiritual experience.

She learns that to find her ideal soul mate love and have it work, she has to be the woman she was born to be. When she marries herself, the earth, all around her, then she is ready to have a lasting soul mate relationship. At that point, being complete within herself, she would not need one; but she might still desire it which makes it stronger if it happens.

Toward the end of the book, her mentor states it well: "You can have happily ever after-- all it requires is the right person to create it with. He exists-- you're not creating him, you're sensing him. You have your soul; you'll find your soul mate. That's the journey of love."

The quote I used at the start of this, it is what I have written on the first page of my journal as something I never want to forget. We have to be our own soul mate even if we are fortunate enough to find that special love and are blessed to have a full life with them.


Anonymous said...

Very nice review..Thank you. I am going to put that on my list of books to read

Dick said...

That does look like a good book and I agree with this that you wrote: Toward the end of the book, her mentor states it well: "You can have happily ever after-- all it requires is the right person to create it with. He exists-- you're not creating him, you're sensing him. You have your soul; you'll find your soul mate. That's the journey of love."

But, for some of us, one of the two may die too early. What I now hope is for that same "magic" to come to me a second time in my life. I suppose I am having some problems letting loose of what I had, too. I guess I need to learn how to live with Annie as a part of me forever but to still be able to also be "everything" to another woman, without her having to share me with a ghost. I'm not sure I know how to do that yet.

Diane Widler Wenzel said...

"Love Spells" sounds like a very wise book. but I am not at all sure that a love relationship out of marriage is good. It brings to mind the "Bridges of Madison County" written by the lady. I remember the man, the lover photographer renting a studio next to my studio in the Clover Building. He was having a hell of a time trying to change his life so that he could go back to his lover and ask her to marry him. He just couldn't settle down with a business that gave a steady income so he could go back and ask his lover to marry him.

Anonymous said...

I really think this book is interesting would love to get myself a copy because of the way Love Spells are explained here. Nice information Thanks

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Love Spells

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