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The Building of Magical Objects

step one

wash your future magical item,

whether wand or pendant, crystal or knife,

in warm salt water in moonlight,

crying over the life

you have chosen to give it

whether it is ready or not.

you must mourn it

before it can live,

for it will no longer be what it was.

step two

at dawn, work yourself to exhaustion

by ecstatic dance or exercise bike,

until your muscles ache and scream

and give way beneath you.

let your sweat drip onto it

so that it knows what work is

and what you will ask of it.

step three

light your candles at noon

with only the sun and your eyes

acting as reflecting lenses

until you can see through

your item. place it in

the fire until smoke rises,

the old, ordinary soul

of hard use driven out

to make way for something else.

do not let it escape

by burning away.

step four

hide in the long shadows

of late afternoon, holding it

close to you and whispering

the secret that will form its core,

shaping it.

a secret is not a secret

if two people know it, so

forget it, after.

it will remember for you.

step five

as the sun sets,

give it a name, a mission,

and the space to expand

fully into itself.

leave it overnight.

if it is not there in the morning,

start over knowing

both more and less than before.

if it waits for you

with dew-tears

then bring it home

and care for it.

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