It was a sweltering midsummer day in north-central Morocco, and my friend and I had walked for over an hour on a dusty mountain road to reach the witch’s house. Still sighted, I stood to one side while the old woman ushered us over the threshold and listened as my friend explained her situation, relishing the shade, breathing in the sweetly perfumed air, and surveying the cramped but tidy tiled rooms, the Tarot cards, the candles. My friend had brought a box of candles, too, as well as cash, a white scarf, and several other gifts wrapped in small bundles. She desperately wanted her boyfriend to marry her and intended to shower the old woman with gifts so she wouldn’t short-change her.
A donkey peering over a wall