Pennsylvania German Powwow

Faith Healing and Folk Magic of the Pennsylvania Germans

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Magic Mirrors in PowWow

Posted by Rob Phoenix on April 19, 2013 at 8:15 PM

Within PowWow there are several variations of magic mirrors (erdspeigel) used for divinatory purposes.  In most cases, these mirrors are used to discern the identity of the witch who has cursed you.  There are a few different sets of instructions for these charms in the old grimoires.  Consensus amongst the practitioners is that a mirror must contain the following inscription in order for it to be useful:

 

 

 

S Solam S Tattler Echogardner Gematar

 

 

 

The meaning of this inscription is unclear and may very well be what is known as 'barbarous' language; meaning it is nonsensical and used only for this purpose.  The words may have had meaning at one time, and were poorly translated over and over again, in which case their original meaning may be lost forever.

 

The library of Kutztown University has record of two such mirrors in possession of writer Ann Hark.  In her examples, the above inscription is included and the mirrors were given to her as a gift.  No mention is made of the inscription's meaning.

 

The mirror is used as a means of discovering the identity of an individual.  The instructions are to engrave the barbarous words on the mirror and hide it within a crossroads during an uneven hour.  Keep it hidden for three days time.  On the third day, return to the mirror at the same time you hid it.  Make sure you use the mirror on a night without a moon (the new moon, I assume), in total darkness, and you must cover both your head and the mirror in black cloth so as not to allow any light at all to penetrate.  There is to be total silence (no speaking at all) while you use the mirror.  It is believed that the individual's face will appear in the mirror.  Further instructions state that you should not be the first person to look into the mirror but rather allow a pet (cat or dog) to look into it.  As a pet lover myself, I would not want to subject my animals to any sort of magic that may potentially be dangerous, so therefore I looked into my mirror right away.  I took the risk and my mirror works just fine for me.

 

I have a personal mirror that was created slightly different than the above instructions, but used for the same purpose.  I felt the need to add a protective circle around my mirror as I have no desire to test the limits of hexerei, even if it is just a reflection of the individual.  If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's to never trust a hex!

 

 

The inscription listed above "S Solam S Tattler Echogardner Gematar" is on the back of the mirror.

 

Another symbol that is inscribed onto the back of the mirror is the protection pentagram as pictured below.

 

 

 

The German word "heilig" translates as Holy.  The word "Elohim" means "Lord".  The phrase is familiar from the Christian hymn "Holy, holy, holy Lord".

It is best to keep the mirror wrapped in black cloth and hidden away, only to be used to discern the identity of a witch who has verhexed an individual. 

 

 

 

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