4 spells of mirror magic for transgender people
The following spells face dysphoria heads-on. #3 deals with the deepest insecurities one may have about identity. This practice can feel very uncomfortable, sometimes downright terrifying. Please take care, and be sure to have access to your support network before trying your hand at mirror magic.
Noh theatre has shamanic roots, and the ‘mirror room’ before a performance is still a place of adorcism. Photo credits: Kanzan University Kanze Club.
A spell to break the curse of the assigned gender
Works best when you have already seen yourself at least once, so you know what it feels like. To be cast when you’re looking at the mirror and seeing the image as the wrong gender.
🪞 To Flip the Gender of the Mirror Self 🪞
If you glanced at the reflection in passing or by accident, don’t look away. Stop. Look at it. Look at it.
Breathe deep, three times.
See the mirrorself as if it was the image of somebody else, somebody you’re meeting now. Start the spell with a greeting. ‘Hi, I’m $name, and I’m a $gender_noun’ (girl, boy, man, femby etc.). Say it out loud whenever possible. The boy/enby/woman/etc. in the mirror is another person, telling you that. Do you believe them? Do you respect their gender out of politeness, or do you believe them?
(If you have too much voice dysphoria to speak out loud, let mirrorself say the following exact words: ‘This is my voice, and it’s a $gender_noun’s voice, because I’m a $gender_noun’.)
Mirrorself is fully confident in their (her, his, faer etc.) gender. They’re demonstrating it to you visually, like a model at a photoshoot. Don’t look away. Look deep into their eyes. Let them pose. Let them tilt their head, make funny faces, laugh and scowl and get angry; they’re showing you a $gender_noun laughing and scowling etc. Change angles, make gestures, postures, let the body bring forth body language symbolic of who you are (girlish, motherly, non-conforming? a kitten, a dilf, punk insurrectionary, egirl? Whatever you are, show it in body language. Don’t be afraid of being a caricature; in this there is power.)
Keep doing this until the gender in the mirror reflects you – until you have acquired a reflection. Bow or nod to thank mirrorself for their (his, xir, her etc.) help.
A spell of power for transfeminine people
For myth-resonance reasons this is best applied for transfeminine people. A masculine or NB version is possible, of course, but I don’t feel able to choose which myth to use. Contributions welcome.
This is an adorcism spell to banish fear. Adorcism is the opposite of exorcism; that is, it’s the deliberate embodiment of demons. The spell works against the fear of not being your gender, the fear of dysphoria, the fear of mirrors in general, the fear of things unseen in the dark, the fear of a very real hostile world. It is called…
🪞 The Bloody Mary Spell 🪞
- Required preparatory reading: Margaret Killjoy, Afraid of the Woman in the Mirror.
- Recommended preparatory reading: Susan Stryker, My Words to Victor Frankenstein Above the Village of Chamounix.
Bloody Mary is a murderous, violent feminine entity summoned by those fool enough to look into the mirror and call her name three times (or seven times, or nine), at which point she punishes them severely. Maybe you have to call her in the dark for it to work; maybe you have to hold a candle. This ritual has many local variations, and if you’ve already heard one, that’s the one you should use. Otherwise just duckduckgo ‘how to call Bloody Mary’ in your mother language and follow the first instructions that appear.
(In my corner of the world she’s the ghost of a schoolgirl, the Blondie of the Bathroom, and you call her by throwing three strands of your hair into the toilet; flushing it three times; cursing three swearwords; locking the door, turning off the lights, and finally staring at the mirror to call her title thrice).
Prepare and perform the ritual exactly as the instructions say. When it comes to the part of the calling, look straight into the mirror. Don’t look away. Breathe deeply, three times. Call her name, close your eyes for a moment, then open up again. Look into the mirror, let the chills rise up your spine—she’s there! It’s your reflection. Turns out you are her. You are Bloody Mary. You were the monster all along. The little superstitious people afraid of you can’t do anything to stop you. The most disturbing ghosts in the dark are your folk and your friends. She’s in your body, moving through you; let it go, allow her to manifest, to be, to be you. Smile. Laugh.
It is helpful at this point to recite real quotes that conservatives have said about trans people: ‘I am a nuclear weapon. I am the death of gods. I am the advent of a new species, part human part machine. I am a new kind of sin. I have disfigured the face of man and woman. I am the end of this world. I bring chaos from order. I annihilate the concept of Nature. I am the downfall of $country. I have changed the meaning of gender, sex, marriage, family and society’, etc. etc. Let your intuition riff on it; don't worry about the exact words. Even if you think you're just some depressed girl lying in bed all day: the conservatives are right, and this is all true. You are Bloody Mary. Know it in your heart.
A pop-magick spell to reconcile with your past
Resurrecting the dead is an incredibly distressing experience. Don’t do this unless you feel compelled to. Most trans people want their dead selves to remain very dead and buried deep. And that’s good and valid.
If you go through this initiatic experience, you won’t be afraid of the dead anymore. You can look at the dead without paralysis and pain. But do heed this word of warning: summoning the dead may leave you haunted. You might even find in the undead a friend.
🪞 To Talk with the Dead 🪞
When you’re alone with yourself. When you feel the draw to do this. When you hear the wails of the undead rumbling under the ground, when you can all but see the revenant’s hand reaching through moist, dark earth, about to break through the surface.
Look into the mirror.
Breathe deeply, three times.
Don’t look away at any point, and recite out loud the following invocation seven times:
What is dead may never die.
As you speak, let the voice of your dead self take over. By the time you finish the seventh chant, you'll be staring at them (her, him) in the mirror. Greet them with the dead’s name. You can now talk.
Talk to them in your shared mind. What you talk about is up to you. Some good questions to ask are: How do they feel about this whole transition thing? Did they want to bring you about? What did they do for it, how much did they work to make it possible? Do they want to come back? Do they want to live again, reänimated, aboveground? Are they ashamed of who they were, do they carry guilt, and if so, is there a way for this guilt to be addressed? Do you want to detransition and let them take the wheel again, do you want to have multiple identities, do you want to be multigender or gender-fluid or to change your expression or performance of gender? Bring forth your honest feelings about this, consider all possibilities, as if in a maze of mirrors, self talking to self.
Finally, bind your future with the undead. When you accidentally glimpse them in the mirror, how would they want you to feel? What message are they sending you? When you’re shown the dead’s name, old memories, photos – what do they want you to keep in mind in these situations? Ask them, and listen.
Should the undead wish to go back to resting, thank them courteously and politely. Say goodbye. Close your eyes. Count to nine, open your eyes, and see yourself. If you’re still seeing them, don’t panic, this is normal, banishments are hard. Perform the gender-flip spell together in a friendly manner until they’re back below the earth and you have a reflection again.
A Love Spell of Reflection
To be done immediately after you’ve shared a day with somebody who loves you for who you are. Somebody to whom you don’t have to perform gender, somebody who you can truly believe sees you for what you are, and wants to be with you. Somebody whose company you love and cherish and treasure.
🪞 The Mirror Love Spell 🪞
Before going to sleep, when you go to the bathroom, go alone. Close the door. Feel their presence still with you anyway. Allow yourself the joy of their continued presence.
Look into the mirror. Breathe deeply, three times.
Look at the image in the mirror. This is what they see when they look at you. Put your attention on the reverberations of their energy in your body, emanating through the surface of your skin. Close your eyes, imagine your body resonating with the waves of their energy, and ask permission to borrow their eyes. Visualise your eyes physically becoming theirs: their colour and shape, their eyelashes and brows, their face, their body shaping around them. Visualise their body standing here on this ground instead of you. When you open their eyes, you won’t be the looker, but the looked; you’re the $gender_noun on the other side of the glass, and you will be being looked at by them. Open their eyes. See the image with their eyes. It’s you, and all they can see you as is a $gender_noun, and you are loved. You are cherished. You are treasured.
For the Bloody Mary spell: Deepest thanks to Killjoy and Stryker who have given us so much strength, and to the femby darling who randomly brought up Killjoy's blog post just when we were researching mirror magic.
For the reanimating spell: The line drawing is Fernando Sabino’s own cover to his children’s classic The Boy in the Mirror, a book which mom wrongly blamed for our mirrorphobia. Our bad, Fernando. (Cthulhuan witches may prefer to do this one with the Yog-Sothoth invocation, which should work great.)
Credits to the love spell to all our trans and queer loves who have made the mirror feel like that, spontaneously, more times than can be counted.
Thanks to our badass shaman popmagician hot ex-bf for occult advice in general, may we have the chance of meeting again soon, biblically.
Otherworldly credits to the pombagira demoness who gave us guidance through this, transforming the mirrors from a lifelong phobia trigger straight into instruments of power. Mojubá Carmen 🔱🔥💃
See further: A mirror-magic spell for self-exploration