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WITCHCRAFT IN BOSNIA - PART II

Thanks to Bogumils who at one period of the BiH history used to be dominant religion and, in the same time, worshipers of Nature, the old cults managed to survive. By their credit we can, today, follow the leads of old days witchcraft performance, which, after so many centuries still exist through various beliefs and practical performance.

 


Time of the ritual

In Bosnia, the most powerful and the most dangerous days are considered to be those between 30th of April and the 13th of May in which, accidentally or not, the witches holiday Beltane (1st of May) happens to be. In this very period the regeneration of Nature is at its peak, as well as farming works. In the middle of this period there is a Jurjevo or Hidirlez (6th of May) Christian-Moslem holiday of Pagan origin that is traditionally put in the context of Nature and water which is under the influence of the Moon. The worshiping of water as one of the manifestation of the Goddess is well reflected in two customs that are practised even these days in some parts of Bosnia. This is about the celebration of the first Tuesday that precedes Hidirlez Holiday called Boni Tuesday (Boni utorak) entirely devoted to the water treatment (of the sick). During Boni Tuesday, healing springs in the Nature are being visited; the sick drink the water and wash their bodies with it. The first Tuesday after the 6th of May is called Dovni Tuesday (Dovni utorak) and on this day prayers are to be chanted for the wellbeing of individuals and the community as a whole. Clearly speaking; the believers used to pray or, better to say, thank to the ruler of the water (the Moon) for its support, aiming to get its protection throughout the year. Of course, by the appearance of Islam all that referring to the old Cult had to be suppressed and assimilated into the new religion. The Goddess had been changed to the prayer to Allah, although it is clear at the very first glance that those rituals have nothing to do with the Islam.


 

 


Light and the darkness

Even today in the 21st century the Bosnian witches follow the ancient guidelines in their magic performance. The part of the day when the Sun is setting and the night falls down between Aksham and Jaci ( „između akšama i jacije“ ) is still considered to be the best period for the magic performance, especially for the love magic.
Analysing in detail the information why the sunset period is the most important period of the day to the Bosnian witches for performance of the magic ritual, is to be sought in the very roots of European witchcraft history. Two of the most important holidays Beltane and Samhain celebrates the beginning of the shiny & dark part of the year. Both holidays are the moments of the most celebrated celebrations and most powerful rituals related to the divinity of the Nature. Similar to that, the end of the day and the beginning of the night represents the miniature alteration of light and the darkness, Beltan and Samhain. According to Bosnian believes , immediately after the sunset Jinny get the power, they wake up and go active, what is coincided with the belief that in the night of Beltan and Samhain the door of the spiritual world open from which various spirits and demons come to he world of human beings.

 



The Moon Cult

Although small number of ethnological data on magic inheritance of Bosnia & Herzegovina can be found today, from what such data disclose it can be clearly found that in the past existed several types of cults among which the Sun and the Moon cults dominated.
Even these days, when they see a New Moon, some Bosniak women perform the ritual in which the influence of Islam and the old days Moon cult interlace with each-other. While gazing to the moon, a woman, lifts her arms to the chest level, with her palms pointing the sky, chants 5 Qu'ran-s prayers, after what she wipes her face with the palms. In the continuation, a Moon Cult ritual follows; a woman points her right forefinger to the Moon saying: “The way you Moon grove and transform so renew my form (existence)”. Apart from this ritual there were dozens of similar rituals amongst Bosniak women that were passed from one female generation to another. In another ritual woman prays to the New Moon for a good health of her children, in which case she directly alludes to the Goddess of the Moon; the protector of fertility and children. Another interesting belief alludes to the old times idea on divine characteristic of the Moon, namely; it is believed that when the New Moon is seen for the first time the formula:“ I see New Moon, Mashallah!“ should be chanted, as in contrary a bad magic of “evil eyes” can strike the person. In traditional Bosnian beliefs small kids are most vulnerable to the influence of the evil eyes what leads to the idea that in the old days the New Moon has been considered as a divine child,i.e. freshly (re)born Goddess, which her followers need to protect; in the faze when she has no enough strength and power.


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The Bogomils

When Christianity commenced to spread in the East and West, in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, it intermingled in the East with the learning of Zoroaster, which reigned in the Persian Empire as the official religion of the state. By a mixture of both creeds, the Persian prophet Mani (216-276) fashioned a new teaching, known after his name as „Manichaeism“, and adopted the the principal ideas of Zoroaster, as for example, the old Aryan dualism, and rules for foodstuff. Thus when this new creed began to spread speedily through the Byzantine Empire, it was severely opposed by the powers of state which caused a dispersion of the religion and atomization into many sects. One form of persecution of the adherents of the new religion took the form of sending them to western confines of the Empire to be used as „cannot-fodder“ against invading Bulgars, who menaced the Empire from the 6th to 10th century. But the heretics, instead of waging war against the Bulgars, fled to them and spread amongst them the new creed. Thus, during the first half of the 10th century there appeared in Bulgaria a man named Jeremija, who found a new religion, based on Manichean teachings and old Slavic customs. Jeremija took the name of „Bogomil“ meaning „Dear to God“; it was he who named the new religion Bogomilism. It soon spread all over Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia and finally reached Bosnia. Bogomils thus came to Bosnia directly from Bulgaria and established therein a powerful bulwark.


 


 


Bosnian Wor(l)d
http://spirituality.blogger.ba
25/01/2013 10:08