Previously: The Compass Game.
There are some things you should know before you learn how to summon La Cegua. She’s a Central American figure, for one; the many iterations of her story are told most commonly in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, although she may also be encountered under other names in countries such as Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
As for what that story is, though? Well, it can vary. In some versions, she’s simply a monster disguised as a beautiful woman who lures and then destroys lecherous men who offer her a ride home on their horses with less-than-pure intentions in mind — sort of a riff on the old Vanishing Hitchhiker legend, albeit with a much more gruesome conclusion. In others, she’s a woman scorned — a beautiful girl who was seduced by a roguish soldier and then not only cast aside, but also betrayed: The soldier is said to have revealed her participation in witchcraft, resulting in her either escaping and becoming a monster, or in being arrested, tortured, and killed before becoming a monster. She’s usually described as being dressed in leaves, her clothing having rotted away, with her long, dark hair covering her face and a mask covering her lower face. The mask, it’s said, hides the teeth she lost when the soldiers who arrested her beat her.
[Like what you read? Check out Dangerous Games To Play In The Dark, available from Chronicle Books now!]
But while her stories typically center around unwitting victims encountering her in the wild, according to Redditor u/masayan8639 and a few other sources, she can actually be summoned, too. If you’re successful, she’ll grant you three magic objects — but these aren’t objects for protection. Oh, no. This isn’t a ritual you undertake unless you’ve got wicked ideas in mind.
As always, play at your own risk.
- One principal.
- One partner (optional).
- A large bowl made of glass, ceramic, or another easily shattered material.
- At least four palm fronds.
- Several strands of dark-colored, human hair. Black is recommended, but dark brown is also acceptable.
- A candle.
- Matches or a lighter.
- A container of mustard seeds. The container should be completely opaque. A wooden box with a lid or a dark-colored cloth bag is recommended, but any container which is easily opened and not see-through will work. The container should NOT have a person’s name or initials written anywhere on it.
- Three squares of black cloth measuring at least eight inches by eight inches (20 centimeters by 20 centimeters) each.
- An offering. Choose something small and beautiful. Do not expect to get it back.
- Begin at night.
- Open all the doors and windows of the room in which you are performing the ritual.
- Fill the bowl with water.
- Position the palm fronds such that they form an enclosed box or circle on the floor. The enclosure should be big enough for you yourself and all of the other required items to fit inside it.
- Place the bowl of water inside the enclosure.
- Place the candle and matches or lighter inside the enclosure.
- Place the container of mustard seeds, the strands of hair, and the squares of cloth inside the enclosure.
- Place the offering inside the enclosure.
- Turn off the lights.
- Sit on the floor inside the enclosure. If a partner is present, they should remain inside the room, but outside the enclosure.
- Light the candle.
- Position the bowl of water directly in front of you.
- Position the container of mustard seeds to the right of the bowl.
- Position the strands of hair to the left of the bowl.
- Position the squares of cloth in a horizontal line in front of the bowl of water, making sure they remain inside the enclosure.
- Extinguish the candle. From this moment forth, DO NOT speak or make any additional noise until the ritual has been concluded, with one exception (see: The Meeting, Step 5).
- Look into the bowl of water.
- If you see the bottom of the bowl or the reflection of the ceiling above you: Do not proceed. See: If Anything Should Go Wrong.
- If you see a jungle-like habitat: You may proceed.
- Continue looking into the bowl of water. At this point, a woman wearing a mask on the lower half of her face should become visible in the distance.
- Continuing looking into the bowl of water. The woman should be moving towards you.
- After the woman reaches the “edge” of the water, she will begin to emerge from the bowl. Allow her to do so, but do not make eye contact with her, do not tell her your name, and DO NOT permit her to remove her mask. If any of these events should occur, see: If Anything Should Go Wrong.
- When she has emerged from the bowl as far as her shoulders, speak the following phrase: “Quiero tres objetos mágicos.” Do not say anything else or make any additional noise.
- DO NOT permit her to emerge further from the bowl than her shoulders. If this occurs, see: If Anything Should Go Wrong.
- Place the offering in the bowl of water.
- If she continues to rise from the bowl of water: Do not proceed. See: If Anything Should Go Wrong.
- If she begins to retreat into the bowl of water: You may proceed.
- Wait until she has retreated completely into the bowl of water. The offering should also be gone. Empty the container of mustard seeds into the bowl.
- Leave the enclosure. Take the bowl of water with you. Leave everything else.
- Completely dispose of the contents of the bowl. It is recommended that you pour it down a drain or flush it down a toilet. DO NOT allow any mustard seeds to remain in the bowl, in the sink, clinging to the sides of the toilet, etc.
- Take the bowl outside the building and break it. Dispose of the broken pieces. Do not allow any piece of the bowl to re-enter the building.
- Return to the room in which you performed the ritual.
- Close all the windows and doors to the room.
- Go to sleep. Do not get up or leave the room until after the sun has risen. If a partner is present, they should do the same.
- After the sun has risen, you may rise.
- Go to the enclosure. Look underneath the squares of cloth.
- Take what you find.
- Use them wisely.
Branches from other types of trees may be used in place of the palm fronds; however, it is possible that doing so may summon something other than La Cegua. Proceed with caution.
Do NOT use animal hair instead of human hair. She’ll think you’re calling her an animal. And she won’t take at all kindly to that.
The phrase “Quiero tres objetos mágicos” may be translated into English as, “I want three magic objects.” However, for the purposes of the ritual, the phrase should be only be spoken in Spanish.
Although having a partner in the room while performing this ritual is optional, it is recommended. The partner may be able to aid in executing the failsafe (see: If Anything Should Go Wrong) if necessary. However, note that the partner should not speak at any point after the candle has been extinguish, nor should they fully enter the enclosure at any time.
Concerning the Mustard Seeds:
It is possible that a quantity of rice, salt, or sand might work; in numerous legends in a variety of cultures, these substances serve the same purpose as the mustard seeds do in this ritual: That is, should an entity encounter them, it will be compelled to count each individual grain, thereby slowing them down and allowing the potential target (or, in the case of ritual games, the player) to escape. However, these alternatives have NOT been tested against La Cegua. It is therefore NOT recommended that you use anything other than mustard seeds while playing this game.
If Anything Should Go Wrong:
Immediately empty the container of mustard seeds into the bowl of water, remove the bowl from the enclosure, and completely dispose of the contents of the bowl. As in The Meeting, Step 9, emptying it down a drain or flushing it down a toilet is recommended. DO NOT allow ANY mustard seeds to remain — not in the bowl, not in the sink, etc. Then, take the bowl outside, break it, and dispose of the pieces. Do not allow any piece of the bowl to re-enter the building. If she has not taken the offering, dispose of that, as well. Leave the premises and do not return until after sunrise.
Concerning The Items Under The Squares Of Cloth:
They will likely not be pleasant, but they will be very powerful indeed. Know, however, that they are not meant for benevolent purposes; the magic one might perform with them will only cause harm.
Do not use them unless you really, truly mean it.
[Photo via sandid/Pixabay, available under a CC0 1.0 Universal Creative Commons license; remixed by Lucia Peters.]