No Crone Unturned
Back in the mid-80s, in my
obsessive quest for the secret of comping success, I used a Ouija board to seek help from the ‘other side’. It turned out that the departed were rubbish at estimates and not much better than my sister’s dog at OOMs, so I ditched the board and spoke to some white witches, one of whom assured me that magic rituals would help to produce winning ideas for tiebreakers. She also indicated that waves of positive thought beamed at the judges would not go amiss. I gave it a try and
presto - I won my first car! Coincidence? I’m not sure.
I do believe there is magic in the mind which can’t be called up with a peremptory snap of the fingers. But whether or not this magic extends beyond mere creativity is a trickier question to answer. To borrow a line from Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe: ‘At first I thought yes, then I thought no. The more I thought, the less I knew.’ And therein lies the problem. Using logical thought on
these things is like wading into the shallows to look at the fish: every step drives them into deeper water. But it doesn’t matter how the microwave works as long as it cooks the chicken, so why worry? Just switch it on and enjoy the meal.
A useful ‘mind-concentrating’ technique used in white witchcraft is visualisation. Induce a state of complete relaxation, preferably without the aid of alcohol, and then imagine yourself enjoying the desired prize in all its
glorious detail. See it, feel it, smell it. Start this well in advance of doing your entry, and it may work magic on your creative (or other!) powers.
Also useful is a ‘treasure chart’ - a piece of card on which you place pictures of the item you want to win. You keep this wrapped in a black cloth inside a special container, and only take it out once a day when you chant the spell given in the box below. The ritual is best done while alone in a quiet
room at night with the light out. Use a candle for illumination and to create the right atmosphere. If you can’t see the chart, use two candles.
Of course, if you go muttering in the spare room every night and emerge reeking of incense and burnt tallow, your family will think you have gone peculiar. On the other hand you could win some handy kitchenware, etc.