Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Spell Failure

These days I don't put up many articles about African witchcraft. For a while I did, but the same basic themes kept coming up - some poor outsider in the community who was accused of witchcraft for no clear reason, and then run out of town or killed by an angry mob. I also put up a few posts about lawmakers trying to rectify the ongoing situation, and how fundamentalist Christians were usually the ones egging the mobs on. It got old, and it got sad, and it was hard to say how much things were really changing and how quickly.

But here's a story out of Kenya that's more embarassing than tragic. A woman accused of stealing money from her employer went to a professional magician for a spell to keep her from getting arrested. Unfortunately for her, the spell was a bust. Police showed up in the middle of the ritual and hauled her off to jail. When police arrived, the magician kept up his chanting so that they would be unable to see the suspect (who was right there in the room) but this likewise proved ineffective.

Detectives have arrested a woman suspected to have stolen Sh4 million from her employer three weeks ago. The suspect, according to the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti, was nabbed at a witch doctor's house in Gachie, Kiambu County, during a ritual to help her evade arrest. She was accompanied by her husband as she sought protection from police arrest. "The detectives arrived in time as the suspect was being immersed in a basin containing a concoction of blood drawn from a dead fowl, whose features resembled those of a cockerel," Kinoti said.

"Upon noticing the detectives, the elderly witch doctor pronounced endless incantations in an attempt to keep them at bay, but that did not deter the sleuths from executing their mission much to the bemusement of Mwelu, who had closed her eyes expecting the sleuths to vanish. She couldn’t come to terms with reality after the in-charge of the operation told her ‘mama bado tuko hapa vaa nguo twende (We're still here, put on your clothes and let's leave)."

This is a good point to segue into a word about how invisibility spells work. They are sometimes misunderstood as magick that bends light around a person and makes them impossible to physically see. The truth is that they work by directing the attention of others away from you or your target. With an effective invisibility spell you really can walk through a crowded public space without anyone taking notice of you. They physically see you, but the spell prevents them from paying attention to or remembering you.

On the other hand, these spells won't fool a security camera because they don't affect the light around you or how it refracts. They also won't generally work in a situation where the people you are trying to disappear from know where you are and specifically come looking for you. A really good invisibility spell might have worked if the suspect had actively tried to hide, since these spells can influence others to overlook particular hiding places, but otherwise the suspect was pretty much guaranteed to be caught.

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Alex Scaraoschi said...

Should've used the sixth pentacle of the Sun for invisibility. Or the fifth to quickly teleport her out of there. Or maybe the seventh to get her free if she happened to get arrested quickly. Heard these pentacles work miracles if they're being made and consecrated by the book by a master solomoniac with the Force by his side and a lion skin belt around his waist. Oh well... Too bad you can't find those in every phone book...

Scott Stenwick said...

They work even better when made by a conjurer wearing cheetah-skin gloves. Cast like a master but faster!

Alex Scaraoschi said...

Oh, no argument there!