In their book The Rede of the Wiccae: Adriana Porter, Gwen Thompson, and the Birth of a Tradition of Witchcraft (Olympian Press, 2005), Robert Mathiesen and Theitic discuss the “regular-meter” structure of traditional “Lore-Text”: “the metrical stresses fall on only the first, third, fifth, and seventh syllables, not on the second, fourth, and sixth. We write this pattern as ['-'-'-'].” (p. 59) What Mathiesen and Theitic recognize as “regular meter,” a Shakespearean will call “iambic meter”; meaning a line of verse, composed in alternating “STRESSED/ unstressed” syllables: “ONCE more UN-to THE breach, DEAR friends, ONCE more!” being the first line from the “Once more” speech from Henry V (Act I, scene iii), taught in Shakespeare Schools as an example of perfect “iambic pentameter.”
Shakespeare tends to write in “iambic pentameter,” meaning five groups of “iambs” (STRESSED/ unstressed syllables), resulting in a line of ten “beats” altogether. As Mathiesen and Theitic point out (p. 62), “In the English-speaking world, rhyming couplets in regular meter- as we have termed it- are traditional for literary representations of spells, as in Shakespeare’s Macbeth.” Mathiesen and Theitic go on to examine the “regular meter” structure (the “iambic” structure) of the “Eye of Newt and Toe of Frog” speech, from the Cauldron Scene (Act IV, scene i), as well as various other examples of Witch “Lore” such as Isobel Gowdie’s “Horse and Hattock” Charm, and an 1850s Healing Spell, before going to to consider the “regular meter” structure of some of the more antique of the rhyming couplets found in The Rede.
However much a Shakespearean will recognize “iambic pentameter” (a line of ten beats, of “STRESSED/ unstressed” syllables) as the Bard’s accustomed speech-pattern: Mathiesen and Theitic point out that “Witch Spells” tend to be rendered in sequences of seven; achieved by the tricky and witchy habit of ending each line on a “broken” iamb. Such an example we find in the “Weird Sisters Charm” of Macbeth (Act I, scene iii):
“THE weird SIS-ters, HAND in HAND” [the first line of the Charm, consisting of seven syllables, in alternating "STRESSED/ unstressed" pattern, ending with a "broken"or an unfinished iamb]; “POST-ers OF the SEA and LAND” [ditto, as Mathiesen and Theitic say]; “THUS do GO, a-BOUT, a-BOUT” [note the "witchy trickiness" in emphasizing "About, About" at the end, which is a phrase often found in English Witch-Incantation]; “THRICE to THINE, and THRICE to MINE” [again, seven syllables of iambic "regular meter"]; “AND thrice A-gain, TO make UP NINE!!” [The last line requires eight syllables, leading to something interesting-]
The “Weird Sisters Charm” of Macbeth (Act I, scene iii) consists of four lines, of seven syllables each, before concluding in an eight-syllable line, with the Magickal Number of “Nine.” If you do the math: 4×7=28; 28+8=36; 3+6=9.
If you work your way through the text of the Charm: you kind of can’t help making your way through some sort of Magickal Labyrinth, towards some sort of Mystical Conclusion. At this point: “Peace, the Charm’s Wound Up.”
As Mathiesen and Theitic go on to note, the Witches resume this pattern of speech during the famous Cauldron Scene of [Act IV, scene i]; all of which suggests a habit of Witches deliberately speaking “Witchcraft” in a very “BOOM boom BOOM boom BOOM boom BOOM” way: which becomes somewhat hypnotic in a sense; a little meditative; a bit reflective; a little suggestive of rhythmic clapping or even the steady beating of a drum.
Following the example of the “Weird Sisters’ Charm,” at a minimum, you may wish to experiment with writing out “regular metered” Charms, each line of seven syllables, ideally ending with a rhyming couplet [two lines, whose two ending-words rhyme: "A drum! A drum! Macbeth doth come!" is actually a rhyming couplet.] You may wish to experiment with “the Charm” outright (I have some observations for you, if you do, as Part 3). At another minimum: consider the story told in “the Charm.”
The Weird Sisters (who are also “Posters of the Sea and Land,” meaning that they can travel with great velocity- almost like riding Magickal horses- over both sea and land; basically, they can fly) join “hand in hand,” forming a Circle. Now they “thus” go “about, about”: they begin to spin in a Circle. Following the instructions of the text, they go first “one way” three times; then they go “another way” three times; then they conclude “back this way,” three times.
Why do they do this? “Peace. The Charm’s wound up.”
They have “wound up a Charm.”
Now consider what Gerald Gardner says in Witchcraft Today (Magickal Childe Publishing, p. 20): “Witches are taught and believe that the power resides within their bodies which they can release in various ways, the simplest being dancing round in a circle, singing or shouting, to induce a frenzy.”