Aug 26, 2011

Orthodox Christian’s ( folk ) magick and Mother Mary

The spell ( rather custom ) suggestions are made according to folk magick, as practiced ( here, where I am ) in Balkan. This does not mean they are reserved only for Christians ,or Balkan people, by no means that’s so. If You do not mind, the Christianized versions of these folk spells, You can use them , regardless on Your spiritual path and preferencess. These spells ( let’s call them that ) are before all folk spells, originating from Balkan peninsula folk magick, and have attained Christian elements later, but with good reasons, as experience has taught Eastern European cunning folk , how very proficient is to include Christianity in their magickal practices. I should just add here , that ( in short ) the folk magick of Balkan Penissula and most of the Eastern Europe is based on Slavic paganism, Magick of Vlasi ( tribe called Volos by Romans that had once inhabited southern Balkan peninsula, and some still do ), old ( not clearly defined ) magickal system associated with Druids that had once lived along the river Dunav, and folklore of Celt s and Romans that had lived there at certain point. In the very south of Eastern Europe ( Central and Southern Montenegro , Southern Croatia ) there are archeological findings of earliest form of Viking runes and certain spells, that are saved from oblivion by what’s now nearly lost oral tradition. With the Christianization of Balkan peninsula, ( being ) highly practical cunning folk of Eastern Europe, saw the power of Christian religion, and included it in their rituals, so You can find incantations calling both power of such chthonic creatures as Destinies ( org. in Serbian language Sudjaje, literarily ; those that judge )and Holy Trinity. So called “red letters” ( Orthodox Christian Saints feast days , dates in calendar when they are venerated ) became like Solomonic time and Hour correspondences in Western occultism, honoring both Saints and sometimes also chtonic spirits or even animals. These ( along with the eight holidays of the wheel of the year ) were/are seen as time of power, a opportunity to tap into the source of powerful and useful spiritu al energies. Folk of Balkan saw the amazing power of Christian G’d and Saints, and incorporated these in their spirituality, both for empowerment and social acceptance. See, in Balkan peninsula church has never executed a single witch ( or alleged witch ) but people did, and many of them. Furthermore Orthodox Christian ( as prevalent on most of Balkan ) church was highly against burning or drowning of people, accused of witchcraft. Acknowledging and respecting G’d and Saints meant that such practitioner is kind and practices magick for healing and uncrossing purposes mostly, so such people were left alone by ignorant and enraged villagers, seeking someone to blame for calamities that would happen form time to time.

I aimed to make a brief post with few suggestions, but as usually got sidetracked, by discussing historical ( folkloric , anthropological ) backgrounds of folk magick and or ethics and reason of/for the same. Sorry about that, I just wanted to help those who might be unfamiliar of occult practices in the Eastern Europe ( and Balkan ) to get a better idea of ways of beliefs of locals there . And without further ado, here are spell suggested to be performed on 28th of August, a day associated with The Most Holy Virgin Mary in Orthodox Christian calendar :

Midnight and Noon prayers

It is customary ( especially by women ) here on Balkan, to go out in Mindinght between 27th and 28th of August, and in secluded place pray to Mother Mary to guide them and aid in resolving of any problems. Then on noon ( Midday ) of 28th of August they repeat the prayer.
It is believed that on this day Mother Mary had fallen asleep, and that her soul had ascended miraculously to Heaven, leaving the room where she was illuminated, and odorous with scents from beyond physical world. So Eastern European keep this day in mind, as miraculous, with extremely strong wish energy, and as such, a brilliant chance for prayers directed to Mother Mary to be “heard” and answered. Some people visit up to 50 churches dedicated to Mother Mary, leaving prayers written on paper addressed to “Virgin Mary” or “Theotokos” , seeking healing, deliverance or simply some good fortune.
Catholics on Balkan peninsula venerate this day on 15th of August ( difference between Gregorian and Julian calendar ), and they have a custom to go herb gathering on this day, as they believe each herb gathered on this Holly day is even more powerful medicine, and charm.

Onion peel uncrossing water

On this day, Christian folk would ( early in the morning ) get out , and search in gardens ( their own or neighboring ones lol ) and pull red onions . And not any onion, the first onion plucked from garden for that year. Some would additionally pluck nine more onions , after that first one, to use in making some sort of uncrossing oil. The first onion plucked, is than peeled, and the peels are boiled in water for half an hour ( I use about a liter of spring water ). Then the infusion is left to sit for 3 hours. After that “Prayer to the Venerable Cross” is read over the pan with water, above which Cross signs are made with hand, often, as prayer is spoken/read. The water is then strained to bottle, through a cheesecloth, and kept in cool and dark place until needed. Some people also read prayers to Virgin Mary, as the onion bulbs are considered to be ( among some other plants ) sacred to Mother Mary, hence why plucking them on this very day. This water is therefore considered sort of “Holy water” , used for healing, warding off evil and blessing.

It’s used to wash heads those afflicted with unnatural ( magickaly induced )conditions, added to baths, or used as house sprinkle ( white walls might get stained though ). If the dwelling was heavily afflicted with bad energy, harmful magick or hauntings , some of that water would be poured in a vessel ( let’s say a bottle , I myself use few teaspoons of Onion water on 1/2l bottle ) and 3 pinches of salt, sugar and garlic ( preferably powdered or finely chopped of grinded ) were added to it, over that tap water was poured to fill the vessel, and the resulting potion was used to kill the power of evil conjuration targeting that particular house /dwelling/room. Such “spiced” onion water was considered to be among the best “cures” for Haunted and demonically y or poltergeist infected houses.

"Triple power" Basil

The following custom is most likely to be originating from Greek Orthodox church. Basil is believed ( by Orthodox Christians ) to be a Holly plant, that grows in paradise along with Roses in astonishing amount. It’s also a sacred plant to Virgin Mary, and by one of ( many ) myths associated with it, started to grow on Virgin Mary’s grave. Be it how it was, on 28th of August, Basil is taken ( potted or in sprigs ) to Churches, which are are decorated with it, but folk will have some to hold in hand during the service , and to take home with them afterwards. The priest will bless all the Basil plants present in the church during the service, meaning, ones used for decoration and those that faithful people brought with them. Such ( blessed ) Basil was/ is believed to have apotropaic powers, that could ward of or destroy even the most powerful malignant forces, and strengthen highly any love or prosperity spells, charms or incantations. Some people place it in small red pouches and carry on themselves or hung in and about the house for ongoing protection. If potted it may be kept in pot in room, to secure no evil may remain place hollowed by plants presence.

Prayer candle

A large beeswax candle can be afixed to the bottom of some fireproof vessel, then the spring water is poured inside, Basil leafs crumbled, St John wort as well and finally, Lilly flower is added. Then one prayes for Blessings, protection and fortune. Prayers or hymns to Mother Mary can be used too, such as

"It is truly meet and right to bless you, O Theotokos,
Ever blessed and most pure, and the Mother of our God.
More honorable than the Cherubim, and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim,
Without defilement you gave birth to God the Word.
True Theotokos, we magnify you!"

Then the candle is left to burn itself out, and the water used to sprinkle house and to wash people, and the remaining wax and plants are left somwhere in Your own yard.

NOTES: This article was written and composed by myself, based on folklore and beliefs of people where I live , and with some help of Anthropologic literature available to me ( authors such as Dr Kazimirovic, Jasna Jojic Pavlovski , local authors highly respected ) among which „Kalendar za srećne dane – verovanja i obi-čaji evropskih naroda" by mentioned Jasna Jojic Pavlovski, which was the source for Onion water information and custom of Midnight and Noon prayers information. Otherwise text was composed by myself, and reflects my own experiences and ways I was taught by cunning folk I've been fortunate to speak to ( or rather interview them lol ) or is result of my own insight and inspiration. Therefore should You desire to use any part of this text elsewhere, feel free but do give credits ; or direct link to this post.
[1] The Hymn and the image are from , with no ill will used, presented here for educational purposes.

Many Blessings, Shadow


Kallista said...

I still use Our Heavenly Father as one of the means to ward off the Evil Eye :)

Thanks so much for the post Shadow!

Anonymous said...

I have a question about the Slavic magick. So magick practiced in Balkans could contain some old Slavic magick and Orhtodox's belief, how about Slavic magick in Russia nowadays? Is it the same as the Slavic magick that practiced in Balkans?