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Crafting With Bwog: Banish Bad Vibes From Last Semester

Guess what I got on this test

Guess what I got on this test

No, it wasn’t just you. Yes, last semester was really bad. You’ve been trying to get a fresh start this time around, but with the specters of past failures, drunken encounters, and mishandled emails hanging over you, how is anyone to move forward? Below, our guide to banishing bad vibes—with literally no one knowledgeable’s approval or input.


  • A Blue Book from the last final you did badly on
  • Sea salt
  • Honey
  • Cinnamon and assorted chewy seeds your mother sent you to keep your breath fresh
  • An anthropomorphic figurine (to symbolize Alma) (in this case, St. Francis)
  • A mirror
  • A camera, the older the better (this is what my parents used in the ’80s)
  • Water and a small tray (not pictured)

The Ritual

Obviously, the best place to channel your energy is the building that has, without complaint, housed your 8:40s and swallowed your many sighs. For many of us, that’s Hamilton, which is by large a benign building, cheerful even when we enter at 10 pm. Others might prefer sinister, vaguely foreboding Butler. But since we’re in Hamilton, let’s go all the way up to the 7th floor.

From here on, the steps are simple.

  1. Place your Blue Book on the surface before you.
  2. Sprinkle salt, signifying earth, at each corner of the book.
  3. Place your fake Alma at the center, and then surround her with the various fragrant seeds and sediments you have in your possession.
  4. Pour your water (symbolizing, well, water) into the tray and place it on the Blue Book, above fake Alma.
  5. Then, breathe on the mirror—make sure it fogs up. Place it on the Blue Book, below fake Alma. This represents air.
  6. Finally, sweeten your mouth with honey.

Here’s the part where you recite the incantation. Feel free to customize!

Rain, rain...

Rain, rain…

Begone, fly away,
Don’t come back another day.
Alma, I invoke thee:
Encircle me,
In water, earth, fire, and air.

To the Inferno, banish these demons.
To Charybdis, deliver this evil.
To you, I bequeath:
My youth, my meal swipes, my dawns in Ref.
To you I pray
For that high GPA.
Alma, I invoke thee.

This is the step that seals it all in. Take a picture of all your arrangements with flash on. This is the flame that consumes all that is old, decaying, fetid, unwanted, making room for the green undergrowth of the new semester. Breathe in deeply. Your work is done. If just on a symbolic level, you have exorcised your demons, and yes, banished all bad vibes.

When we conducted this ceremony, we ended at exactly 10:20 pm—how’s that for symbolism?

Remarkably, the flash in action. Goodbye evil!

Remarkably, the flash in action. Goodbye evil!



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