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The Conjuring of the Peach Epimelides

The sun was high, lapping its sweltering tongue across a brilliant cyan sky. Somewhere off Interstate 75, I carted myself towards a small peach orchard near Dade City, Florida. The windows rolled down, sucking out the thick late-July heat. The cicadas roared from the live oak trees, chirping their hazy song. My tires shake as I speed past 70 miles per hour, tires wobbling from past damage. Odometer climbing higher and higher, lingering the smell of sun-drenched asphalt, hot rubber tires, and motor oil. I didn’t want to get out of bed today. With temperatures of 97 degrees Fahrenheit, I debated on pursuing the Epimelides. I debated on calling it quits, taking the previous ‘no’ from a greedy local orchard owner who must have been on her last buck, or using the heat and my chilled constitution as an excuse. As it was the feast of Saint Martha, and I already contacted another peach orchard, I decided to persevere.

I pulled up to a small house in what seemed to be a rural town. Children's toys were strewn all over the yard, a middle-aged man shoulders-deep in a minivan. The owner of the peach orchard told me she had tenants on the farm, I just wasn’t expecting to be so close to a family who could easily see my ritual space from their back door. I contacted her, weeks back, telling her half-truths “I’m a perfumer…” “I’m a photographer…” “yeah, I’m working on a peach perfume, can I take photos at your orchard?” All was a go. I expected acres and acres of a large orchard, sprawling over the hills of west-central Florida. Instead, I was in the center of a suburban backyard, wading through rows of trees with a few bags of necessary ritual equipment, flower

s, fruits, etc.. Regardless, the spirits didn’t stop residing in their trees, simply because I wasn’t at the idealized version of their landscape. I faced west as the sun slowly began to set, letting the idea of purified nature fall away, and instead, began to notice the flies swarming a rotten fruit; The wind blowing through the peach trees ovate leaves; the shadow cast from the sun stretching it’s golden glow over a low tree line, providing a shaded oasis from the laps of solar rays.

I set up the working space and began the work. Omitting the exorcism of the working ground, as such a kind place- I knew- harbored no malignancy towards my being there. With the offerings cut, and the incense cast upon hot coals, the conjuring flame was set, the ritual was prepared. In keeping with some traditions, it is said that fairies and som

e nature spirits should not be conjured with a triangle or circle. The central flame, then, is the way in which the Epimelides (nymphs of fruiting trees, orchards, and protectors of flocks) should be met.

The Invocation to Pomona, & The Hours

Blessed Goddess, within orchard, reside,

In Summer’s noon, or in autumns-tide

In earth and tree, and orchard you preside,

Come Pomona, station this rite.

Come forth from the north,

From the west most pleasant,

Zephyr brought gently,

Softly announcing your presence,

In golden hour I invoke and conjure,

Come Thallo and Auxo

Dike, Karpo, Eunomia,

Come Eirene, Pherusia

Euporia and Orthosia

Herald blessed hours,

Golden shimmer sweetly, Witness here, proceed and entreat me,

Come Blessed goddess, bear witness to this rite,

Smile upon me, most vigilant light,

Grace me your presence and in joyful delight

Swell prosperous greatly, and bless this plight

The Pact


Pomona Pomona

Pomum Pirum Prunus

Pax Pactum Promissio

The Invocation to the Epimelides

Come verdant spirits

Shimmering bright,

Come verdant gnosis,

From wooded sprite,

That which cause protection

Both mighty and right,

White- haired, black haired,

Swiftly come to this rite

Swiftly fleeting from Vernalis doom

Kiss softly in hushed whisper

Thy heavens swelling bloom,

Come enter this fume,

And bestow upon thy wearer,

Beauty, grace, and abundance fore’r and ‘er

The Pact


With the pacts now set, promised, and later delivered, the peaches drained of their sweet juices, and the pomegranate split in half, the spirit conjured through trance and repetition of the invocation, the operation was completed. The sun set its golden glow at that moment. At last, the burn of the day relaxed into a smolder. Covered in sweat, I packed up the ritual materials, saving the fruit for the orchard, as offering to complete the operation.

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