Monday, April 13, 2009

Coach Suspended Over Snake Spell

With the Thelemic Holy Days wrapped up, it's back to our usually scheduled blogging.

As I've mentioned previously, athletes use magick all the time. Sporting events are situations where the difference between success and failure is often so small that every edge you can get counts. This fine line between success and failure may be metaphorically similar to the survival conditions faced by primitive humans, where the ability to use magick effectively would have proved a significant evolutionary advantage.

Along those lines, here's another odd spell from the sporting world. Apparently if your baseball team is losing, the solution is simple - kill a snake and bury it on the field.

A Palm Harbor University High School second baseman said the coach told the team last week that they were "snake-bitten" and needed to stop their losing streak.

So, the student said, the team bought and killed a snake, then buried it on the field during the school's spring break.

It's unclear whether or not the coach suggested the spell or if the students simply took his comments literally and acted upon them. It also is not clear if they tried to look up magical research suggesting that the snake spell might work, because as far as I know there isn't any.

Twin serpents are associated with both the path and sphere of Mercury in Liber 777, but that doesn't seem like a very good fit. Mercury can be invoked to win certain kinds of contests, but killing a snake doesn't strike me as a very good way to do that. Reptiles are associated with Scorpio and therefore the Death trump in the Tarot, so maybe you could get some mileage of out killing a creature that represents death - if you equate death with losing games. The Death trump can also represent transformation, though, so the symbolism could easily backfire. Maybe by killing a creature symbolic of transformation the actual result might be that your team magically continues its losing ways.

Regardless of the justification for the spell, school administrators were not amused and the coach was suspended pending an investigation. I suppose they'll lift the suspension if the team suddenly starts winning.

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Suecae Sounds said...

To the best of my knowledge: There are some grimoires that mention sacrificing animals. But it does strike me as something that best be transcended. There are better; less violent, means for accomplishing the same goal.

Scott Stenwick said...

Yeah, and I'm guessing there are some ritual forms involved with actual spells from the old grimoires. I'd be very surprised to hear that a bunch of baseball players actually sat down, did the research, and then performed their spell properly according to a set of authentic source directions. But I suppose stranger things have happened.

The death of an animal liberates a certain amount of spiritual energy that can be channeled toward a goal, but it's not all that much compared to what you can conjure up by running energy through your body's own meridians. So you might as well study Qigong instead - you'll raise more energy and it's a lot less messy.

List with Laszlo said...

It's as valid an appeal to a spritiual source as xians who hold prayer before a game. They should then suspend all coaches who lead their kids in prayer.

Scott Stenwick said...

That's a good point. When Christians are praying for victory they're using magick too, even if they won't admit it. But since the majority of Americans are mainstream Christians prayer isn't subjected to the same scrutiny as other spells are.

Most likely it's the animal sacrifice aspect that weirds the administrators out the most. It's an important part of many spiritual traditions, but in America it's considered pretty far out of the mainstream, at least by those who don't know much about communities in which it's commonly done.

Suecae Sounds said...


Yup. Older ceremonial magic often demands a dedication that I would be extremely surprised that people at random would just pick up.