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Witches' Counsel: I Want To Get A Summer Bod

A recurring ~magical~ advice column.

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Hi! We're Arianna and Katie and we like casting spells and giving advice. So we're combining those interests here, in Witches' Counsel, where you can send us any problems, hang-ups, fears, etc., and we will do everything in our ~power~ to help. Reach us at witches@buzzfeed.com.

Dear Witches,

Maybe you guys can help me with this dilemma. I'm trying to get a summer bod before beach season begins but no matter what I do, I can never find the will in me to get myself to the gym. Is there a spell or enchantment that will inspire me to work out on a regular basis?

Fabulously Flabby

Dear Fab Flab,

We would be remiss to ignore what we consider to be the elephant in the room: that everyone's bod is a summer bod, and that no amount of fabulous flab — and it is fabulous! so soft and delightful! — can take that away. But we also believe in individual autonomy, and understand that some people just feel more comfortable in their body when it looks and feels a certain way. So, you would like a summer bod, which your letter implies requires going to the gym. And working out is great for so many reasons. The endorphin rush! The increase in energy! The ability to deadlift all of your enemies! (*One day, fingers crossed*) So why is it so damn hard to do it?

Well, because you're busy, and because it's easy to put working out at the bottom of your priorities when it doesn't feel like a necessity. Or maybe because, even though you know you'll feel better after running for a half hour, right now you feel GREAT in bed, watching Netflix. This is a matter of willpower, motivation. As nice as it would be to light a candle and recite an incantation and — boom — have a super tight body, it's neither realistic nor what you're even asking for! So we went for a spell designed for goal achievement from Dorothy Morrison's Everyday Magic. (Herbs and oils purchased from Enchantments in NYC.)

[WITCHES' NOTE: For our powdered incense, we used a mortar and pestle, and a blender to grind sawdust, so that the powder will burn on its own. You can leave out the sawdust and, instead, burn the powder over a charcoal block. You can also use saltpeter instead of sawdust, but this is for EXPERIENCED WITCHES ONLY, as it is highly combustible. For recipe amounts, we, as the book describes, "follow our nose" rather than measure strictly, but be sure you only use a drop or two of the resins or oils (frankincense, myrrh, patchouli).]

First, we mixed allspice, cinnamon, frankincense, myrrh, patchouli, and powdered sawdust in a mortar and pestle to create incense meant to inspire success. Then, we wrote your goal on a small strip of paper, placed it in a ceramic bowl, sprinkled the incense over it, and lit the paper. As it burned, we concentrated on your goal (namely, getting to the gym) and said:

Smoke into the Cosmos go
So the Ancients will now know
[Your name] needs assistance to achieve
This goal that we have set for him.

We did this once, and will continue every night for seven nights, while you continue working toward your goal in earnest. (That part is equally important!!) We hope it helps, but we also hope you let yourself enjoy this and all following summers regardless of how often you're working out. We promise you are your own harshest critic. And honestly, a summer bod does not a summer make.

Goddess bless,

The Witches

Dear Witches,

I live in Ecuador and although I'm still young (19), this is and will forever be the story of how I fell in love.

He's one of my best friends' brother, and has lived alone in England to chase after his dream of becoming a Formula 1 race car driver. (He's at the point where people on the street ask him for his autograph now.) We met at a party when he was back in town. We instantly connected and I felt something I hadn't felt before, with anyone. We stayed up and talked for several hours. It wasn't until his mom called to say he had to pack since he was leaving that day for England, that we parted ways. That was the start, the start of the best and worst months of my life.

We went on to talk everyday over the phone and when he came home (which thankfully was every 4 weeks tops) we would spend every second together. We never really DTRed. Because of the long distance thing, but labels never really mattered to me anyways. The fact that I was the first person he had ever said I love you to just made it 300 times more meaningful. But these amazing moments also came with the heartbreak of having to say goodbye every time he left. I think we both knew it couldn't have worked; I was moving to Argentina, and he had races almost all year. So we parted ways: I left for Argentina and he went to Russia for a race. Of course I was devastated. On top of everything, I didn't hear from him for about a month. Over time, it faded away.

Flash forward to the present day, I started to feel something for someone else. Nothing compared to him, but I settled for a crush. I don't know how or why but he contacted me again, he appeared out of nowhere, and said "I miss you every moment, but I know we can't do nothing about it." I got so furious; he is always doing this — he disappears then comes back saying he loves me but we can't be together, and then he walks away. I do miss him everyday. I feel pathetic. I'm angry at him for always showing up every time I think I have a chance to forget him, but I'm way more angry at myself for allowing me to feel this way.

So, Witches, I no longer know what to say. I sincerely hope you can help me forget him.

Sincerely,

Exhausted in Ecuador

Dear Exhausted,

You are not pathetic. You are not dumb. You are not wrong to have fallen for an international race-car driver. What 19-year-old among us would not, in your shoes? What 30-year-old, for that matter? What you have described is an extraordinary, exciting, star-crossed romance. Seriously. No wonder that it would take you some time to move on from this.

What we will say, though, are that there were always some pretty significant complicating factors here. You know them all. You don't live in the same place most of the time; you are both very young; he is in the process of acquiring fans, many of whom are female; you have your own life. You have accepted in your heart that this relationship is not meant to be, and that is the single most important step you can make. Don't feel pathetic; you have already proven yourself to be so strong.

As to this young man's resurfacing: they all have a bat signal, we swear. Without fail, every time you start to get interested in someone new, or start to feel over it, your ex can feel it, and will decide to pop back into your life. This is almost always a power move on their part — a way to make you think about them without them having to do very much at all. It's an empty gesture. And because you know you two are done, and because you want to move on, the best thing you can do is to ignore it. Or try. It's hard, we know. This thing — the resurfacing ex — is a curse, and if we knew the spell to undo it, we totally would.

What we CAN do is to perform a heartbreak spell on your behalf. We lit a pink candle — for matters of the heart — and carved it with your name, letting it burn through the night on a Monday, which is the day for healing and "uncrossing," or removing negative energies. We also carved the candle with the nauthiz rune, for acceptance, and the Wiccan symbols for healing and rebirth (on this page, found under health and spirituality). We burned the candle with love healing incense from Enchantments, and spoke a modified version of this spell:

We ask that this flame heal [your name]'s heart
And help her make a new, fresh start
We bless it now with light and love
And energy from below and above

Another charm to try is to rub the doorknobs on the outside of your home and bedroom door with patchouli oil, to help keep away unwanted people. But in truth, the greatest tool at your disposal is time. It will get easier to let go of him with time. We promise.

Goddess bless,

The Witches

Got a problem for the Witches?

Send your questions and concerns to witches@buzzfeed.com.