Effigies Blog
Episode Five

Warning This Section Does Contain Spoilers

In the Spell Instructions that Grace has given us she speaks of two things that are familiar to us, one is a labyrinth and the other is Isabella's effigy. After using the password "labyrinth" to unlock the "Effigies" blog, we are given the following passage:


Effigies are a peculiar kind of magic. They work sympathetically.

Like, being nice to someone?

More through similarities. You use a green candle in money spells because money is green, too. You can use a doll that looks like someone to influence that person. Granny and I make a little figure every spring, the green lady, out of saplings and other kinds of new growth, to make sure everything that grows on our land grows well that year. I think I took a picture of the one we made this year. But it works for the same reason-the figure is made of plants, so what happens to her will affect the plants. If she is well cared for through the growing season, the forest will be fertile, but if she is destroyed, the forest will not thrive.

It sounds like a metaphor, kind of?

Yes, exactly! Because this is like that, one can affect the other. It's really a powerful way of making connections, when you think about it. These things might not seem related at all, but they are, if you look at them from the right angle. It means the things we have in common give us power to change one another.

That's also kind of scary, though, right? Like, there might be something out there that has the power to control me, just because it's similar in some way, and I might not even know what that similarity is.

Yes, that's true. I hadn't thought of it that way, but I suppose it could be unsettling. But, well, isn't that always the way? A power, any kind of power, not just magic, can be used to strengthen and uplift others, or it can be used to harm them. There's always the potential for darkness, always the chance that someone will take advantage of the tie that binds you to them.

It's funny, if you'd asked me a few months ago, I don't think it would have ever crossed my mind to look at it that way. But now . . . I see what you're saying. I do. There are some people who, if you gave them a lock of your hair, would use it to cast a malediction over you. But for other people, it would just be something to remember you by. I used to be that way. Innocent, I guess you'd say. I don't think I'm like that anymore.

I'm sorry, hang on, did you say HAIR???

Oh. Yes.

Someone can use my hair to cast spells on me?

Well, it's the same principle, isn't it? If something that's only like you can have power over you, then a little piece of you would be even better. Hair, fingernail clippings, a scrap of your clothing, even your handwriting, or something you used every day. Those things carry a little bit of your spirit with them. You live on in those things, whether you notice it or not.

Nope, sorry, I'm just gonna to go destroy every hair brush I've ever owned, BRB.

I'm sorry to tell you, it wouldn't matter if you did destroy all your hair.

Oh no, what now? Like, how can this get any worse?

Well, just that there are plenty of other ways of getting at people, beyond effigies of them. For instance, knowing someone's true name is another way of knowing everything about them, their purest and most powerful self.

We've talked about true names before, right? What's the deal there?

True names are one of the sacred mysteries of practice. I'm not allowed say too much about it, but we have a ritual where your true name is divined, and it's a sort of coming of age and a confirmation of your faith, in a way. Each name is derived from a symbol in an ancient alphabet we use for ceremonial purposes like this, and it represents your true self. For example, if your true name were "Sail", or "willow tree", it might mean you were flexible enough to endure harsh gales, or that you were a healer, since willow bark eases pain.

Do I have a true name?

Well, of course you do. Everyone does. You just don't know it, because you haven't been initiated.

Can you initiate me?

Maybe someday, if you advance enough in your studies.

What about yours? Can you tell me what your true name is?

No! That's private!

Not even a hint?

No! This is very serious magic! You'd be holding my whole life in your hand if you knew that.

Boo, you're no fun. Don't you trust me?

Well, of course I do. With anything, always.  


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