Monday, March 19, 2018

Workplace Voodoo Dolls

This week's magick post was The Office of the Readings, but I had to put it up on Sunday rather than today because we were doing the Invocation of Horus last night and I was announcing it as part of the post. So this is kind of a weird news post in that it is weird and I found it in the news. Still, I have some real magick thrown in at the end.

A recent study has found that voodoo dolls can have a positive effect on workplace morale. In particular, employees who took out their feelings of anger regarding abusive treatment by their supervisors felt less resentful about their work and performed better on cognitive tests. In particular, their feelings of injustice resulting from the situation in question were reduced.

Some 229 employees who participated in a recent study were asked to think of a workplace interaction that involved "abuse" from a supervisor or boss. As part of the study, some were then allowed to take out their job frustrations on a makeshift voodoo doll carrying their boss's name by sticking pins, burning it with candles and pinching it with pliers. OK . . . now I'm starting to get a little nervous.

The theory is that people (i.e. employees) who feel wronged sometimes wish they could lash out at their abuser (i.e. their boss . . . now just hold on a minute!). The study wanted to prove that giving employees the opportunity to take this anger out on an inanimate object is therapeutic for them - and potentially less painful for employers like me.

And you know what? It worked. A third of the study's participants reported "lower feelings of injustice" and said they were "far less likely to still feel bitter" about their supervisor. Not only that but they performed better on cognitive tests as well.

So let me just get this straight. There is a real study out there that shows employees can be made more productive by giving them a voodoo doll of their boss to abuse. That means employees can make a legitimate argument for bringing a magical implement into the workplace with official sanction from their employer. Sure, it's "harmless," but only so long as the doll remains magically inert and unlinked from any target.

This is interesting from a psychological standpoint because most studies find that "venting" or acting out anger is entire unproductive. It makes feelings of anger worse, not better, and makes the person more likely to act out in the past. The idea that anger is an "energy" that has to be "released" is one more piece of psychoanalytic twaddle that has infected our culture, but which has no scientific basis whatsoever.

So with a voodoo doll something must be different. I would propose that even if a voodoo doll is not empowered in any way and entirely harmless, people still believe on some level that punishment meted out to the doll will have some effect on the boss in question. You know, just like how more people than you might think will tell you they don't believe in magick, but still get freaked out at the idea of being confronted with the real thing.

Here's my "modest proposal." Obviously, what we magicians should do is create a line of these voodoo dolls that actually work. The dolls should resemble every other on the market so as not to tip anyone's hand to the target and should be made from natural materials that hold magical charges better than, say, polyester. Better still, advise employees on magical methods to make any doll supplied by their employer functional. Just like this:
  1. On two small pieces of paper, draw the kamea for Mars and the Kamea for Saturn.
  2. Draw the characters of Mars and Saturn from Agrippa onto the kamea.
  3. On the Saturn kamea draw the sigil of Cassiel, and on the Mars kamea draw the sigil of Zamael.
  4. Take your boss' full name, convert to Hebrew, and trace onto both kameas.
  5. Use a Mars operation to empower the Mars square, and a Saturn operation to empower the Saturn square. As your charge, state something to the effect that when the doll containing the square is damaged a related curse will be visited upon the boss named on the square. Make sure to anchor your operations on the paper talismans, not on yourself.
  6. Cut a small slit in the seam of the voodoo doll at your office and slide the two paper talismans inside. You may want to come up with a clever way to close up the seam so it won't be obvious that you've tampered with it.
  7. Sit back and enjoy the fun.
To be clear, I don't necessarily know that this will work, or how it will manifest. The results will probably have a lot to do with the combined intents and magical aptitudes of the individuals stabbing the thing or attacking it in other ways. But what I suspect is that once this spell gets going, the consequences for the abusive boss will become quite dire. If the boss dies, you can take out the squares and dispose of them, or just get rid of the doll entirely.

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