Black Magic, 9 to 5

From "The Office Witch", by Laurel Olson, in the Beltaine 1991 issue of the Lavender Pagan Newsletter, a quarterly published in Oakland, California. Beltaine is a pagan holiday that occurs on May 1.

The topic of the day is photocopiers, which have some pretty strange things inside them that enhance their ability to catch and hold psychic energy. The corona wires, for example, are twenty-four caret gold, and some of the lenses can take a "charge" as well as a crystal can. So obviously, copiers are very sensitive to negativity; frequent breakdowns are the result.

My solution is to hang a totem behind the copier to attract all the loose, unfocused energy that is directed at the machine. I take four one-inch-wide strips of black construction paper and string them all together with cotton twine. With my glue stick, I draw a counterclockwise circle on each strip. (The glue stick is the wand that binds the spell.) Every two weeks or so I put up a new circle. I take the old one to a public waste receptacle at a busy intersection near work, dump it in, and go on my way without looking back.

While nothing except divine intervention can make a copier completely breakdown-proof, what this spell does is alter the energy in the room where the copier is located. Users have a calmer attitude, and breakdowns due to "operator error" are reduced to nil.

reprinted in Harper's magazine, January 1992