Make sure you catch Jezmina's upcoming series, Divination 101: Tarot, Tea Leaf Reading, and Palmistry starting on October 11th, 2023!
Glamour magic can be many things: pampering elevated to an art form, luxurious ritual adornment, enchanted photography filters to obscure and reveal, self-devotion with floral baths and oils, self-protection spells and prayers for stepping into the world or into the spotlight, invocations for self-awareness and self love, and dressing in curated presentation and measured privacy. Glamour magic is the most helpful when we feel the least glamorous, and as someone who especially enjoys getting dressed up and adorning myself, this pandemic broke me down. I got Covid in early March 2020, which turned into long-Covid, which stripped me of my health. My body changed into something entirely unfamiliar. I’m only now starting to heal.
Then my mother and Aunt Zina died, in August 2020 and February 2021 respectively. They were my glamour icons and beloved matriarchs, and both believed that when you feel your worst, you should look your best, and the better feelings will follow. My mother would always put on red lipstick, especially when she was depressed, as she saw it as a good luck talisman, a protector, and a confidence enhancer. She used to refer to her bag of lipsticks as her “arsenal.” My Autine Zina, on the other hand, wore her lacy, feminine dresses when she needed to soothe herself, and leather miniskirts and vests when she needed to feel powerful. When she didn’t feel right in the world, Zina would spritz on her signature perfume, Poison by Dior, dress to the nines, and go dancing to amp up her energy, which she called a “spiritual experience.” This is the essence of glamour magic for me-- playing with external elements to create internal change.
In grief and illness, I tried. I opted for kaftans over sweatpants, and mocassins over slippers. I told my new curves that I loved them. I listened to the music I would have been dancing to, if my lungs were behaving all my back muscles hadn’t been pulled from violent coughing. I mostly remembered to wash my face. Grief and illness are difficult companions, however, and I had to be ok with not being ok, and not having the energy for anything. So I started thinking about glamour magic differently— what is glamour when you are struggling? For me, it was small gestures, like wearing my favorite perfume once my sense of smell returned, even when I was sick in bed all day.
Glamour spell for sleep: either create your own perfume with essential oils and water, or use your favorite scent. See if you can find the right scent that represents how you want to be, and how you want to be perceived. To do this, think of what the scent reminds you of-- power, romance, freedom, luxury, etc. If you are sensitive to scent, you can use spring water with a sprinkle of sea salt, and meditate on your intention as you hold it. Before you settle in to sleep, write down a goal connected to this ritual on a piece of paper. For instance, if you want to embody luxury, write down what that would mean for you in your practical life. Be specific. Spritz the paper with the spray you chose, and then tuck the paper under your pillow. You can spritz your sheets, yourself, and the top of your pillow as well, repeating the word or phrase that represents your goal. When you get into bed, ask to be guided through your dreams so you can be successful in your goal, and project what you need to project.
*Tip: Want a custom fragrance but don’t want to make it yourself? Try independent perfumer Cherry-Ka’s Trunk for a bespoke perfume.
While I was making peace with the struggle and trying to meet myself with compassion and acceptance, at the same time, I didn’t feel like I needed to be “not ok” publicly. As a fortune teller, writer, performer, and art model, some of my life has been in the online spotlight for work and self-expression, but I knew I didn’t want to spotlight this. It’s not as if I wanted to pretend my life was perfect when it wasn’t. It was just hard enough to be vulnerable with myself and my loved ones— I didn’t want to be vulnerable online too. It can be difficult being vulnerable and over-exposed as we often are, particularly with so many of us working and maintaining our social lives on the internet, a grand arena of strangers and loved ones, pitfalls and opportunities. Whether your face is out in public, or in a post, masked, or set to private, you are out there. And what a wonderful thing that can be sometimes. Glamour magic helps you scintillate in the pleasure of being yourself and a creature of the world, while also maintaining your privacy and energy. I found that I wanted to post artwork and images I took from my garden on social media in lieu of work centered on my own body in order to bring beauty into my social sphere. This allowed me to be authentic and still project the image I wanted to manifest, without divulging anything I preferred to keep to myself. It also allowed me to bring attention to creators I admire, which is always a good thing.
In the practical, and when you’re feeling up for it, you can add glamour magic ritual to any of your ablutions, or any way that you care for, make-up, dress, or present yourself. It is essential to first write down or mentally set your goals. What do I want to embody? What do I want to feel? What do I want to project? You might even like to do a tarot pull to explore this. And lastly, for each of these questions, ask, How? To begin, consider all the areas of your life that could benefit from glamor magic.
Environment-- Your decor has an influence on you. Surrounding yourself with visual elements that represent your goals or capture your aesthetic can make it easier for you to feel that change within you. For instance, in the before-times, when I was teaching college literature in person, I made sure to bring in a pretty teacup to drink from. It was a cheap find at an antique store, but it made me feel professional in an utterly eclectic way, like I was a professor who was also the witch of the woods. I imbued my intention to bring myself and my strengths into my classes in this little teacup, and this was emphasized with every sip.
Body-- Anything you use to care for your body or adorn it is fair game for glamour magic: clothing, jewelry, sprays, creams, oils, baths, lotions, potions, and more. You can custom make your own, or you can charge a product or piece that someone else made. Whether you’re wearing a power piece, or a rosewater mist, you can write an invocation or prayer for the tool to do the work you need it to. Katelen Foisy, @katelanfoisy on Instagram, has wonderful posts on Glamour Magic on her blog ranging from baths to enchanted mirrors, which I will include at the end of the article. If I don’t have time to make my own potions, these small Romani-run businesses, Luludi and Romani Roots, carry products that I love to use in a pinch. I’m obsessed with Luludi’s bath bombs and soaps, and the Romani Roots muscle rub, toner, and face oil. They are so luxurious and made with love.
Social Media-- Social media has a lot of power in it, and if it’s something you engage with, you want to make sure that you’re using it rather than the other way around. Pinterest, Instagram, and other platforms can be helpful for creating an aesthetic that you want to manifest in your life. There are also certain protections you can do for your own protection and well being on your devices. Kiki Robinson @opulentwitch on Instagram and co-creator of The Living Altar, has these wonderful visual spells for clearing and protecting devices and social media activity that you can use. Cleansing and protecting is an essential step before applying any glamour to your online presence.
Glamour Magic is fun with recipes and incantations, but it can also be very intuitive and spur of the moment. Speak an intention for your visage as you apply moisturizer to your body, blow into your tea three times making a wish before you take a drink, ask your body to create the reality you want when you dance. You know what you need, and you are perfect as you are.
For more reading on Glamour Magic
Jezmina Von Thiele is a Brooklyn-based fortune teller who reads tarot, tea leaves, and palms in her mother's Sinti-Romani tradition. She is an activist, educator, writer, and artist who loves to support the fight for Roma rights world-wide, and to share the diverse beauty of Romani culture. Find Jezmina on instagram here.
Make sure you catch Jezmina's upcoming series, Divination 101: Tarot, Tea Leaf Reading, and Palmistry starting on October 11th, 2023!Show more