The Ethics of Glamour

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Passion to the Third Degree.

For a magickal person, I’m quite unfond of glamours. I’ve most often seen them used for dishonest reasons. Some mere trickery, some expensive lies, and other times… just playing with people. That’s not to say I haven’t tried them once or twice.

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A glamour is a trick of presence. It’s a way of making yourself look another way to someone, some way that you aren’t.

I’ve done it myself a few times as a protective measure. I’ve been in somewhat dangerous situations where I did not want to be noticed. So I put out the energy of being…well, not invisible exactly. Just not worth noticing. A ceremonial magician friend of mine calls it “thinking very small thoughts.”

I’ve used it in tense situations where I’ve actually had to shake hands with someone who wanted to rip my throat out, but a trick of body language and a strong thought pressed into the air around me of “I’m no threat to you” rendered a sudden change in attitude and the other person decided I was harmless and went on to put their claws into the aggressive person next to me. It’s the same as I’d do around a growling dog, though.

I have seen others, particularly women, use the glamour to confuse their quarries, making men project their desires onto them. Almost like something out of one of those old Star Trek episodes…”I am for you, Spock.” It’s a talent that gets them what they want, but they have to move quickly when they’re using it.

You see, here’s the thing about a glamour. Most people who can do it can’t do it for very long. I’ve seen men be such gentlemen in the public eye and have to let the glamour down when they’re with people they trust, and that’s when they become monsters. It’s true of women who use it to get what they want, too. It takes a lot of energy to hold such a glamour, and as soon as they have what they want, they begin to let it droop and they show themselves for who they really are.

It’s been suggested that I use the talent to attract a mate. I refuse. It’s been suggested that I use the talent to attract other things into my life, too. But I still refuse.

I am who I am, and I don’t care to expend the energy to create a facade to make someone think otherwise. Most people will look at me and see me as something else—occasionally a super-serious suit-wearing bureaucrat or the neighbor in a T-shirt and shorts in her garden or a mom engaged in animated conversation with her daughters over dinner while flicking straw wrappers at each other. They’ll see just those facets of me and think that that facet is all of me.

But I’m all of those facets and more, and I won’t hide who I am or try to make anyone think I’m something else unless I’m in fear for my safety. I have enough energy that I could hold a glamour for quite a while (not right now while I’m sick!), but it’s a misappropriation of energy and an abuse of truth.

I say this not to any one person but to anyone in general: I am who I am. Deal with it. Because if you don’t want me for who I am, I don’t want you in my life.

I guess technically that makes me glamour-free.


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