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girdle measuring An old technique of magical HEALING by wise women and men, wizards and witches involving the measuring of the patient's girdle or belt. Changes in girth revealed the presence of evil spirits or FAIRIEs which had invaded the body to cause the illness. After exorcising the entity, usually through CHARMs, the witch took another measurement to verify that the spirit was gone. Some cures involved the recitation of charms, cutting up of the girdle and burying the pieces in the ground. Girdle measuring was a widespread practice in Europe and the British Isles through the end of the 16th century. See spirit exorcism.
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