I remember during childhood, my mother’s fascination with certain movie stars. She would ‘fall in love’ with the characters they portrayed, believing they were wonderful people who she placed upon a pedestal. Occasionally, when she discovered information concerning their personal lives, that surfaced within the media, it resulted in huge disappointment and they ‘fell from a great height’ off the pedestal she had placed them upon. (I remember when she discovered that Rock Hudson was ‘gay’ she would no longer watch his movies). Unfortunately there are some individuals who are adept at hiding their ‘true selves’ and use their ‘personas’ as a tool to manipulate others.
In the Pagan world we have many ‘celebrities’ or renowned individuals using various titles to create an elite image, some are authors, speakers, organizers and entertainers. They portray a glamorous ‘persona’ and are selective concerning the information they reveal about themselves. Some are skilled in taking one grain of truth and embellishing that with misleading information. There are those who also imitate the persona and image of characters from popular magical movies by copying their attire and imitating their characteristics.
I have observed some who dress and imitate remowned witches e.g. Patricia Crowther, Doreen Valiente, Ithell Coulhoun and Alaistair Crowley to name a few. Their adoring followers, loving the magical fantasy of the character and the mystical land they inhabit, will believe without question all they are fed and place them high upon a pedestal. Observing this process has stirred my curiosity to research this particular subject.
The Dark ‘Arte’ of Glamour
Glamour began quite literally with magic. Growing from the Scottish gramarye around 1720, glamour was a sort of spell that would affect the eyesight of those afflicted, so that objects appear different from they actually are. Sir Walter Scott anglicized the word and brought it into popular use in his poems:
“Any calculated, carefully polished imaged designed to impress and persuade.“
Many magical operations are designed to impress and persuade. In some cases the spell has been directed at an individual that the worker is attempting to persuade or influence in some way. Attention given to personal glamour can be a deciding factor in the outcome of that working. Studies have shown that most people make a decision about a new acquaintance within the first thirty seconds to two minutes of interaction. It is within your power to influence that decision not only with magical action, but with a carefully crafted image, as well as communication skills. This naturally applies to interactions of both a personal and professional nature.