A Spell to Return a Lover

We get a lot of requests for love magic here at the apothecary; people need help finding a new lover or reconciling with one from the past. Here is an old spell from the turn of the twentieth century using dragon’s blood to fetch the love partner from a distance when you are separated.

“To fetch a lover from a distance, get a pennyworth of ” dragon’s blood ” from the chemist. Cut a piece of red flannel into the shape of a heart, and stick three pins in it for Cupid’s darts. The three points of the pins must point to the centre. Sprinkle the dragon’s blood on the flannel. At midnight, burn it on a gleedy fire [a fire of hot, glowing embers] just as the clock strikes twelve, and, as it is burning, repeat these words :

‘Tis not this blood I wish to burn,
But ‘s heart I wish to turn.
May he neither rest nor sleep
Till he returns to me to me to speak.

“It should be done on a Friday night ; on the first Friday in the month it is supposed to work the best. Friday is always the most witching night, and you must be alone. K. H., of Burton-on- Trent, who is now about twenty-seven, tried this, and fetched her present husband by train from a distance. They had had a quarrel, ” Why, whatever has brought you ? ” she said, when he arrived. ” I couldn’t rest,” he said, ” I felt as if I must come. I thought something must be wrong with you. Something told me I must come.” K. H. tried to persuade another girl to try it only last summer. (A. O., 1902. )”

This spell, published in Folk-lore : A Quarterly Review, Volume 20 in 1909, continues an old tradition of love spells that border on cursing. Christopher Farone’s “Ancient Greek Love Magic” contains many fascinating examples of this type of spell from the ancient world. The directive to neither rest nor sleep means the target of the spell will not be able to get you out of their mind, going over the argument you may have had, longing to clear the air and make things right.

The spell is performed on a Friday night, the day of Venus, mistress of the matters of the heart. I suspect the mention of the first friday of the month does not refer to the calendar month, but instead the lunar month, in which case the moon is waxing. As the moon swells and grows, so will your lover’s thoughts of you, until the pull of your spell, like the moon on the tides of the ocean, cannot be resisted.

We sell two different kinds of dragon’s blood at the apothecary. One is the glassy dark red resin from the fruit of a palm (mostly growing in Indonesia) which smells sharp, piney, and slightly acrid, much like frankincense. The other is the dried sap of a tropical tree and looks like a dull, dark red myrrh. When burned, its scent is woody and spicy and kind of metallic. We have no idea which resin you would have gotten from a chemist in Britain in 1909, but for the purposes of this spell, we’d recommend using the former Indonesian Dragon’s Blood.