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Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Looking Glass

Scrying is the practice of looking into a reflected surface as a mirror or water to determine one’s future. Although generally associated with the Halloween witch standing over a bubbling cauldron, every female has believed in magic at one time or another. I can remember standing in front of a mirror as a little girl, primping and dreaming of the future. Holding my purple ballerina mirror in one hand, I’d envision what I would be when I grew up. We all remember the whimsical song made famous by Doris Day. I can still recall singing along while gazing at my reflection.

“When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother, what will I be. Will I be pretty? Will I be rich? Here’s what she said to me.”

“Que sare sare. Whatever will be will be. The future’s not ours to see. Que sera sera. What will be will be.”

But despite the catchy lyrics of this tune, females of all ages are true romantics at heart. Whether superstition, magical spell or make believe, the idea of seeing one’s future in a reflection is irresistible. Dreams come true for those who believe. And isn’t that the main reason little girls can’t wait for Halloween each year? To dress up in costumes of their most revered fairy tale character? Eyes twinkle a little brighter when dressing as Cinderella, the Fairy princess or any number of the legendary characters made famous by the infamous Walt Disney. Little girls believe in magic and the magic of Halloween builds sweet and nostalgic memories she can pass on to her own children.

And on that same romantic whim, the practice of scrying possesses an aura of magical enchantment. There are a few variations on the enduring scrying ritual. One is for a young woman to go to her mirror at midnight, light a candle and comb her hair. According to legend, if she concentrated very hard, she would see the image of the man she would marry. Another, my particular favorite, is for a woman to take a stroll to a moonlit pond at midnight, lighting her way with a lamp and gaze into the water. The reflection that would materialize was said to be her future soulmate.

Do you believe in magic? What fantasy character did you portray as a child? What Disney character does your little girl want to be this year for Halloween?


Hywela Lyn said...

What a delightful post, Sharon, as children we are so full of dreams and wonder and so many things seem like magic. It's such a shame that as we grow older we lose our sense of enchantment and feel there has to be a logical reason for everthing.

For me I still find magic and wonder in nature - I wonder if a caterpillar ever looks into a raindrop and imagines what it would be like to be slim and beautiful, with brightly coloured wings, or if a little cygnet looks at its reflection and sees the image of the beautiful swan it will one day become?

Sharon Donovan said...

Chuckle chuckle Lyn! Leave it to you to wonder if a caterpillar would gaze into a raindrop and wish for a slim figure. No wonder you write fantasy! I used to wonder what cats and dogs thought when they looked into a mirror. They never seemed alarmed or curious...just took it in stride. Or maybe they couldn't see their reflections? That's another post for another day. Have a good one.

Teresa Reasor said...

Whenever I think of the mirror I think of the one in Snow White and the seven dwarfs. Mirror, mirror on the wall who's the fairest of them all.
I recently watched the movie again after many years and it was a little scarrier than I remember.
I still think I'd want to be Snow White. And wish my children could be young once again to go trick or treating.Halloween is my favorite time of the year.
Teresa R.

Sharon Donovan said...

Snow White brings back a lot of sweet memories for me, Teresa. And yes, wasn't that another catchy tune and one that we'd all chant to. Snow White was probably the first movie I ever went to see and would make for a great costume. One year my mom was a den mother and she dressed as Snow White and all the cub scouts were the Seven Dwarves. They all looked so cute. It's fun to go back in time to when life was one never ending fairy tale! How's the wee kitten? Demon or Darling today? LOL


P.L. Parker said...

I certainly didn't want to be Snow White - the wicked witch scared the heck out of me. I kind of leaned toward Sleeping Beauty - I still sing "I know you, I waltzed with you once upon a dream."

Sharon Donovan said...

Ah yes, Patsy. Sleeping Beauty--another favorite. I love that song and there is something so whimsical about those legendary fairy tales and fantasies that linger in the mind of the believer. The wonderful world of Make Believe!!


Mary Ricksen said...

If only we could keep all those dreams in our hearts and still grow up.
I'm with Lyn!
Only instead of the bug it was me.

Autumn Shelley said...

Ok I have to chime in! I love the post, and yes, I definitely believe in magic. I think sometimes if more us believed, we could realize all sorts of possible things (like clean air, good water and a healthy planet), but I digress:
As for favorite Disney characters from childhood, Snow White was my favorite hands down, which could prove that even then I was drawn to the 'darker' side of things because the 'wicked' witch didn't really scare me, she intrigued me.
BTW-Sharon, I loved the kitty post but it made me cry!

Sharon Donovan said...

LOL Mary. You are too funny girl! You always make me laugh with your off the wall come backs. Never change. You have a heart of gold and razor-sharp wit that will take you far in this life and the next!

Sharon Donovan said...

Good for you Autumn! A little magic goes a long way and is the heart and soul of Halloween. So the wicked witch intrigued you did she? No wonder you have such a vivid imagination! Sorry my Freddy story made you cry. It still brings tears to my eyes. He was my "Darling Demon" and every Halloween his presence lingers. It was his holiday, after all. That's why I prefer thinking of him and his twin frolicing through the graveyard doing the "Graveyard Scratch!"


Margaret Tanner said...

Wonderful post Sharon. I love that children have their dreams, it is just a shame that a lot of their dreams disappear as they get older.
Like believing in Santa Claus, it is just gorgeous seeing the little faces pressed up excitedly against the decorated shop windows, once your childrejn don't believe in Santa, a lot of the fun goes out of Christmas.


Sharon Donovan said...

How true, Margaret! If only the bubble of bliss we feel as children could stay with us forevermore, our world would indeed be a better place.