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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