Heritage

This is a blog post, transferred from my previous blog site.

 

So this is an unusual thing. I’m sitting in my parents kitchen, surrounded with family. My two grandmas drinking tea and coffee with us. Both of them here is a rare event. Specially since my other grandma lives in USA and we don’t get to see her often – every couple of years.

This is a moment for me to soak up my heritage. My magickal heritage.

The rituals and spells my ancestors used for healing and manifesting wealth.

It is unusual because my family is muslim and the old ways show an interesting mix of pagan ritual and use of arabic prayer from Kur’an. As I look back on it there are origins from the old ways of the tribe of Japodi – Ilir people of Slavic Balkan area. As far as the fierceness of magick goes, the magick of Ilir people was always known to be very fiery. Some even say the fiercest of all.

Well anyone who knows people of balkan and the slavs knows how much fire we carry in us. We have it in our blood – the daring will power that makes us fight for our lands, our people, our families. And that my dear is a dangerous thing to be meddling with.

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So I listen to their words carefully. With patience while I write down the words of power and try to comprehend and understand every thing my grandmother is saying. I am so anxious and hoping not to miss any detail she shares. Today I am learning about the old ritual of lead melting.

It is an old Bosnian ritual that cures the consequences of spellbound eyes (the evil eye), fear, black magick, influence of demons, certain skin diseases and different blockages such as the inability for someone to get married or a pupil to achieve success in school. Also – only in Bosnia stravarke and stravari know how to use this ritual to help people which are far away from them, without physical contact, even on another continent. That is why it is known that Bosnian stravari are the best ones in this area.

tin-divination-ladle

In support of the originality of the ritual the data that lead melting was familiar in Bosnia since the old days and that there is no data in any ethnographic chapter which would disprove these claims. According to individual anthropologists lead melting is an ancient ritual of the Illyrians which knew how to use metals and how to shape them but also to use them for purposes of magic. 

This ritual is a combination of four elements – fire, earth, air and water, because the human body is made of them as well. The representatives of the elements in this ritual are a bowl with water (water element), burning wooden sticks (fire), lead itself (earth), and as the stravarka is blowing her breath to the water the air element is incorporated as well.

There is also a classical way of unification of the elements, by washing the body with the ritual water in following order: face, right arm, left leg, left arm and right leg; so it represents a unification in a pentagram.

The ritual itself is shortly described as having a bowl of water, melting lead, burning wood and uttering prayer as well as blowing air into the water. The words of power that are used in the ritual itself vary. 

Uttering prayers above the surface of the water which is located in the bowl is an imitation of the mythological creation of the world which was, according to Bosnian mythology, created by a supernatural being (God) or more of them (gods) uttering a magical formula i.e. basma above the sea and then blew into the water out of which then came life. Still today there is a belief, that there is a secret and universal basma, the one that created life, the one which if found out by humans and uttered, would allow him to become the master of the entire planet earth. Bosnian stravarke believe that earth “stands” or exists on the power of the basma and the surface of the earth, on which people walk and from which they get food, rests on the strength of the prayer Ihlas from the Qur’an.

In magical practice prayer Ihlas is often combined with a basma in order to produce a magical effect. It is always repeated in the beginning three, five or seven times and then the basma is repeated three times. With that, through the ritual, one connects into a whole things which are theoretically inconceivable – basma as a pagan element with Islam i.e. prayer Ihlas whose content is the most important message of monotheism – There is only one God. Symbiosis of magic and religion doesn’t stop there instead it culminates in the formula which is called “Backwards Ihlas”, whose content has a few versions of the text, but every one of them starts with the identical words of the basma and ends with the first words of the prayer Ihlas. Power of this basma is extremely large which confirms folk belief according to which all those that know the text of this basma can rule over the forces of magic and can cast spells. 

There is a certain secrecy to the ritual itself or more precisely – to the words of power. I have been given the words by my grandmother and advised not to share them around. I tried to google it and haven’t really found a legitimate source about the words of power (yet). So there really is even a bigger respect growing in me for these rites. I hope I will carry them out with grace and make my ancestors proud.

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