Bosnian magic

Mystical Bosnia and Herzegovina


Bosnian spiritual medicine

All across Bosnia and Herzegovina stravarke, and also some Imam's, claim that a much smaller percentage of physical and mental issues are caused by the effects of black magic in comparison to four supernatural phenomenon to which people are subject to on a daily basis. We are talking about spellbound eyes (envy and jealousy), fear (stress), ogroma (direct contact with spirits) and wind. While there are relatively few people that possess skills of black magic, since such practice requires a large knowledge and capability of communication with spirits, the mentioned four phenomena exist regardless of magic, even though they comprise its main components. All of the above mentioned is tightly connected with our lives through an everyday tempo, meetings with other people but also our surrounding, which is increasingly polluted by waste and faeces, which is a favourable surrounding for the spread of wind (activity of evil spirits) i.e. effects of unseen forces and energy. All our encounters with such apparitions, if we're not protected by an amulet, have a negative effect on the psyche but also human health. This is why most people are confused when coming across with spiritual healers (stravarke) who claim that their disease or issue are not a result of some wizard practicing black magic but that their state was inflicted on them by accident or by their carelessness. We should point out that all people are not subject to the effects of the mentioned spiritual phenomenon but a large percentage is, especially sensitive persons with lighter skin and eyes, for which the Bosnian stravarke usually say are like "magnet for evil spirits".



According to the claims of Bosnian folk doctors there are a few types of wind i.e. there are a total of nine and they are named as follows: red wind, black wind, yellow wind, Satan (Jinns), pasji sugreb, scabs, measles, itch and wild fire. By the intensity of activity some are weaker and some stronger. Even though there are numerous ways for a man to come into direct contact with them the most frequent one is when passing next to garbage. If at that moment, the man is passing by a load of rubbish. If at that moment, while the man is passing by the rubbish, a wind blows over the rubbish and hits the person there is a large possibility that the person unawares has suffered a direct hit with negative energy, whose effects will be seen later after some time. Winds of smaller intensity require a certain time period in order to accumulate enough strength capacity in the human body i.e. to develop. Frequent symptoms of their effect are headaches, and from some vomiting. From most of the enumerated types of wind a man can get a skin disease such as measles, spots, skin redness or even psoriasis. Out of some stronger winds a person can even die. So called black wind falls into this category since it causes cancer with its negative effect and in a lot of cases it encompasses a small portion of the neck. Curing the effects of wind usually take longer, sometimes even years. If a shorter period has passed from the appearance of the disease, for example three years, then the diseased can be cured in a year, etc. It is considered that the winds are actually manifestations of invisible beings such as Jinn and faeries, which don't have to be evil or antagonistic towards humans, they could be startled by a passer-by, who has accidentally walked into an area which they consider to be their own, where according to beliefs they spend their time, dance or eat, and they answer to this provocation by attacking. That's why whirlpools of wind, places where dogs urinated, waste dumps, or places where there is blood, urine, hygienic pads, bones, etc. from the old days are considered to be places where invisible, usually negative, beings gladly gather and spend some time. Traditionally such places are being avoided or when one is passing through he is praying to God for protection.


Ograma or nagaza

Ograma or nagaza is a folk name in BiH which explains that a person crossed over a place where invisible beings are gathered or through items of black magic i.e. across a place over which dirty water has been spilt, often a ritual of neutralising black magic. Namely, according to an ancient rule, a person that is under the influence of black magic from a stravarka or Imam receives a talisman which is submerged in a bottle of clean water and after a few hours one bathes with the water and the residue of the water is then spilt on an intersection or street. First person that passes by will become a victim or better to say, negative energy will pass onto him. That magic transmission is extremely familiar in rituals with lead when a piece lead along with a bank note is brought onto an intersection and leave it with the goal of a random person picking it up. Ograma also happens in other instances, especially when one passes over dirty places. Many of us, especially those that do not take off their clothes when entering their home, can accidentally bring on the souls of their shoes a small item or a blood stain, urine or something else and in such a manner accidentally summon evil into their home. Ograma, just like winds, has a very negative effect on the human body and often causes inexplicable pain in the legs, headaches, restless dreams, and over time it can cause panic attacks, suicidal thoughts, etc.


Spellbound eyes

Another negative manifestation which like all the others comes usually by someone accidentally coming into contact with people or living environment are spellbound eyes. All cultures of the world are familiar with the belief of detrimental effect that spellbound eyes or words have on people. That's why there are countless ways of defending and protecting against it. Evil eye is defined as the influence of mental forces and their ability to produce a negative effect on a material level, especially on live beings and especially man. Moving force of evil eye from various places but it is often induced by the feeling of hatred, envy, contempt but also love, passion, etc. For that reason human eyes can harm another person consciously or unconsciously. We all have that ability and it is wrong to consider that only negative people can harm someone with a gaze. Bosnian stravarke claim that urok i.e. effect of evil eyes occurs in combination of a gaze full of positive or negative emotions which follow similar words or statements. Three days are necessary for such supernatural effect to develop inside a human and for it to start causing some of the following symptoms: headache, raised temperature, nervousness, insomnia, weakness of the body, depression, etc.



We divide fears to conscious and unconscious. Conscious fears we recognise and we know of what we are afraid of. However, unconscious fears are different. It simmers inside of us, even though we do not register it. It lives in our soul subtly and drains its energy. Fear is one of the biggest "thieves" of positive feelings. With fear we spread negative energy. It seeks our weak points and in such a manner it drives us and our thoughts. One of the biggest energy consumers is stress. Also low, but chronic level of stress, reduces the level of energy, it can drain a person both mentally and physically, even if that person spends its day in bed. Fear and restrained rage are basic segments of all stress, which has an extremely destructive effect on our physical and mental state. Classic syndrome of fear is the ability to change mental but also physical state of a person. In Bosnian folk medicine people are warned that fear is extremely harmful for humans since the body of the person subject to great shock or long term stress is tightened, shrinks, the body is tense and is in a way changed i.e. deformed. Though there is a lot of harmful manifestations of fear these are the most frequent: nightmares, panic attacks, nervousness, loss of self-confidence, arrhythmia, sexual issues, frequent headaches, stomach issues, etc. Fear also blocks people in all areas of their lives and they become unhappy and unsuccessful both in love and in their professional career.


Protection of the house

Besides people, the place of dwelling, house or apartment, can often be epicentres of negative energy which enters the house mostly through visits by persons who are envious or hypocritical. Similarly, on your shoes or clothes, or even directly with you, in the space in which you live, negative energy finds ways to accumulate. When it reaches a certain degree it causes a series of unfavourable things such as restlessness, nervousness, feeling of unease or insomnia, fights which start without any real reason or even an unusual apparition inside the house. Besides, if a burglary happens, besides a material loss causes a block of wellbeing and general luck and often one or even more persons have issues with money or lack of success. Of course, behind all of the enumerated negative phenomena, someone's magical activity might be hiding, whose consequences can be extremely serious. Item which is used for performing black magic is usually discretely placed inside the house or its vicinity in order to send negative energy from that hidden place into the house and its inhabitants. Its activity in the beginning is usually of a weaker intensity but it strengthens as the lunar phases gain strength and range of action. Due to such a situation the inhabitants start to get sick, in the beginning we are talking about headaches, fatigue and insomnia, so in time these phenomena become more serious and debilitating such as blockage of luck and peace, constant fights, discord, sudden accidents, loss, etc. Though it is very important to find the source of negative energy and remove it from the house, in order to eliminate the influence, a house which has "soaked" negative energy must be "cleansed" because otherwise the energy will stay in the house and cause issues. The best way of cleansing the house is by a ritual known among the Bosnian stravarke as "house water" where one uses tap water and extinguishes matches above it while uttering a long exorcist formula. Use of three basic elements, fire and water, those words i.e. air, is the essence of white magic in Bosnia and represents the strength of number 3. Spraying all rooms in the house according to a precise defined ritual in a very short time, one achieves neutralization of the effects of negative energy after which a channel for flow of good luck and wellbeing is open which was blocked up until that moment.

Bosnian magic
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