When I was 10 years old, my elementary school teacher, Mrs. Eggen, showed me how to cure hiccups. She was a wise, sweet, and gentle soul who saw in my spacey demeanor the possibility of intelligence. She actually taught a number of us in her class this method, along with a few other things, including how to hang spoons from the ends of our noses (a skill which I have demonstrated repeatedly to the embarrassment of those close to me). The method, which she described in some detail, and which she assured us “always worked” went something like this: take three sips of water, and a small breath, repeat this until the lungs are entirely full, and then hold your breath for a count of thirty. In the decade plus that I have been using this method, I have never found it to fail. I knew in my heart that this was due mostly to its effect on the mind. Nothing was actually effected by the actions themselves except a tenor of mind that allowed me to relax my diaphragm and stop hiccupping.
This weekend, at a wedding in South Carolina, I ended up eating a number of jalapeno peppers. Now, jalapenos (indeed, most extremely spicy foods by themselves) give me hiccups and I’m walking down this street and I don’t have any water. I don’t have any water and these hiccups are driving me nuts, so how can I get rid of them?
And it suddenly occurs to me – if this cure is all in my mind, then the actions aren’t really necessary at all. All I need to do is imagine myself doing the “miracle” hiccup cure, and it will be accomplished. So, OK. I do it. And it works.
This is the first magickal act I have ever done. I internalized the ritual and manifested the results. Belief, imagination, and no more hiccups.
Sounds stupid, right? But that’s how it starts.