On Love Spells and Longing

23 01 2014
Glorious Sachiel,
Angel of love,
Open your wings and guide from above,
Guide to me my soul’s twin flame,
Together, as one, we live again. 

It is worth saying something about the difference between desire and longing. Wanting is clear, purposive, urgent, driven by the will, always with its goal clearly in view. Longing, by contrast, is something that ‘happens’ between us and another thing. It is not directed by will, and is not an aim, with the ultimate goal of acquisition; but instead is a desire for union–or rather it is experienced as a desire for re-union.   – Iain Mcgilchrist

Conversation with Eleanor, age 6.
–       Who are you?
–       I am a witch. These are my potions.
–       Oh, I see. And what will you do with these potions?
–       They are love potions—to make people fall in love. Some of the girls are already in love but not all of them so I’m going to cast a spell on them.
–       And what will happen to them once they receive your love spell? What will they feel?
–       They will be in love, silly.
–       I see. And how long will your spell last–will they be in love forever?
–       Mmmmmm. That, I’m not sure really.


Conversations with Philomena age 3,4,5,6, and 7.
Philomena age 3.
–       Mummy, when I grow up, I’m going to marry Maxim.
Philomena age 4
–       Mummy, when I grow up, I’m going to marry Maxim.
Philomena age 5
–       Mummy, when I grow up, I’m going to marry Maxim.
Philomena age 6
–       Mummy, when I grow up I might marry Maxim but I might also marry Theo.
Philomena age 7
– Mummy, do you know why I can’t decide if I am going to marry Theo or Maxim? It’s because Theo lives here in London—he’s close by and Maxim lives really far away. Do you think I’ll never see Maxim again, Mummy? Because Australia is so far away, isn’t it? Will we ever visit Australia?

Who has not, gazing up at the starry night, held out hope that their “other half” is out there somewhere, gazing up at the same heavens and dreaming of them? That one day they should be brought together by a divine plan, a destiny to become one again, to become whole. Be careful what you wish for. Love spells cause a great number of side effects: Tightness in chest, racing heart, obsessive thoughts, aching mind, awestruck worship and a terrible sense of longing that leads to something disembodied, something beyond conscious experience. A kundalini rising.

Most of us have experienced it at one point or another in life—that bewitching moment when we engage in conversation with someone for the first time and feel a sensation of connectedness so profound that the stranger standing before us can no longer be considered a stranger. That bewitching moment when we look deep within the eyes of another and realise that we have (as Mcgilchrist mentioned above) been reunited with our other half, with the soul mate we hadn’t even realised we were searching for. That bewitching moment when any semblance of reason gives way to an almost painful longing to be close, because we feel understood, deeply understood, for the first time. That bewitching and seductive moment when we are at first stirred and then bound by an electrical current, some higher spiritual energy, a force that leaves us no other choice than to love at once, unconditionally.

Plato portrayed this twin-soul image twenty-five centuries ago, in a legend filled with androgynous creatures. In Plato’s Symposium, Aristophanes speaks in praise of love, relating how Zeus struck the soul into two opposite halves, each to wander the earth in search of the other. The belief is that each one of us, on a deeply subconscious level, knows that something is missing within ourselves, and we seek wholeness.

And when one of them meets with his other half, the actual half of himself, the pair are lost in amazement of love and friendship and intimacy and one will no be out of the others’ sight even for a moment. These are the people who pass their lives together; yet they could not explain what they desire of one another. For the intense yearning which each of them has towards the other does not appear to be the desire of lovers’ intercourse, but of something else which the soul of either evidently desires and cannot tell, and of which she has only a dark and doubtful presentiment.   

 If Hephaestus, son of Zeus, were to ask the pair: Do you desire to be wholly one, always day and night to be in one another’s company? For if this is what you desire, I am ready to melt you into one and let you grow together, so that being two you shall become one, and after your death in the world beyond you will still be one departed soul instead of two—I ask whether this is what you lovlingly desire? – and there is not a man or woman of them who, when they heard the proposal, would not acknowledge that this melting into one another, this becoming one instead of two, was the very expression of their ancient need. And the reason is that human nature was originally one and we were a whole, and the desire and pursuit of the whole is called love.


My daughter Philomena is very romantic. She let’s everyone know, “my name means love.” There is no question in her mind that one-day, she will meet her soul mate and they will marry. In fact, she is pretty convinced that she has already met him. At age 3.

Is that possible? Is it possible to meet your soul mate so young? That Philomena’s soul is somehow connected to this little boy Maxim’s who she’s been obsessed with for so long? We’re going on 4 years now since their first encounter and she continues to talk about him with such certainty.  I do hear about this kind of thing all the time from the many mothers I meet. They tell me of their toddlers falling madly in love and holding on to that love despite time passing (over many years, irrespective of whether the children have moved on to different schools, different countries). It seems so extraordinary to me.

My youngest daughter, Luna, also seems to have found a soul mate. Not in a boy she wants to marry but in her best girlfriend, Haruka. They too met at age 3 and have since moved on to different schools, but every week Luna produces a piece of art-work to send to her friend. Every week she asks when she will see Haruka next. I feel the longing in her voice. She often cries and tells me how much she misses her.

Plato’s mythical tale does not present an argument that we are destined to be with our soul mates in marriage or romance. It is a tale about the search for our other half—the part of our self that is missing. Maybe the uncontrollable longing to melt into one with someone we meet for the first time—when we feel that bolt of lightening—is more about self-realisation than anything else. A mirror of love reflected back upon us. A shared reflection of love.

Perhaps too often we grown ups misinterpret what it means when we finally meet our soul mate—or when we appear to be meeting our soul mate again and again, as the case may be. In this age, where people are finding it hard to connect and forge lasting relationships, the idea of the soul mate, of a cosmic quest, may actually prevent people from being happy with the person they are with and from finding joy in the little things — the normal, nonmystical, yet beautiful things that couples must do to make a relationship work.

Does the belief in and search for a soul mate create unrealistic expectations of what true love is all about? What do our children help reveal about the unexplained sense of longing and connection we feel towards others? Should we melt into one with our soul mate or are our souls meant to be split? Perhaps they are only meant to come together from time to time to reassure us that we are part of a whole?



2 responses

23 01 2014

Beautiful, Niki. I think it is a privilege to come together from time to time knowing that we are already whole but ready to share it. For me, longing is still self-driven and from a place of absence- very human and often exquisite to experience but inalienable from loss, the search for true fulfillment starting within… Love all this, love it. xxx

27 02 2014

Words of wisdom (not mine!):

Look for the love that you are yearning for inside of you first, in every cell and electron of your heart and soul. Begin first to develop a relationship in unity consciousness within yourself. It is all there awaiting your attention. Your divine counterpart lives within you as well. The relationship that you are seeking is nothing more than the reflection of your direct relationship with your own divine Self. When you learn to love yourself in every aspect of your essence, every aspect of your divinity, every aspect of your human experience, then that divine love for Self becomes the ruler of your heart and life and you will no longer look anywhere else. You will know that you have found it and it will not really matter what form it takes. Your heart will feel full and completely satisfied.

At that stage of development in your spiritual life, the mirror or reflection of perfect love for Self will manifest itself tangibly in your life. If you do not have it manifested in your life, either you are not ready for it or on the inner planes you have chosen to wait. It will show up in your life in divine timing, and any waiting period will not matter because you have already united in your heart with the object of your yearning and your love. Once you have attained this state of divine love in your heart, nothing can be withheld from you, not even your twin flame.

Whenever you are looking for someone to give you the love that you are not willing to give to yourself, you create need. You do not embody the appropriate balance that will magnetize to you the type of relationship you are yearning for. The relationship you so desire is then based on neediness rather than oneness. Remember that in an unbalanced relationship both partners mirror to each other these imbalances of neediness, of ownership, of unrealistic expectations, control, manipulation and so on.

Whenever two people are whole and complete within Self, with a balance between their feminine and masculine energies, they are so much in love with themselves that they are not needy for someone else to fulfil their emotional needs. They feel whole, happy and successful. They exude the joy of life with or without a partner. They do not feel the lack of love and the emptiness within that those who are needy and unbalanced feel.

When this balance is achieved, then and only then will the “I AM” of your being issue the call for the right relationship to show up in your life; and only if it is your desire and your present pathway.
(Telos, volume 1)

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