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Bosnian magical formula against Evil Eye

Stravarka repeat three times Surah Ikhlas and then the following  formula:

In my Aliye there are nine spells;

not nine of them,

there are only eight;

not eight of them,

there are only seven;

not seven of them,

there are only six;                                                                  

not six of them,

there are only five;

not five of them,

there are only four,

not four of them,

there are only three,

not three of them,

there are only two,

not two of them,

there's only one;

there's not even.

Veledalin amin!


Bosnian Folk Medicine

Just few decades ago, every settlement in Bosnia, no matter how big it was, had its traditional healers, herbalists, stravari, faladžija, Nowadays, situation is completely different and traditional occupations and crafts are condemned for disappearance. Disinterest of newer generations to preserve cultural heritage is not a problem only in Bosnia but in the rest of Eastern Europe.

1. Klinčići (hidrokela): a sickness that is present in newborns aged up to one year. It is manifested through a swollen scrotum which causes crying, nervousness and lack of sleep. The old Bosniak women regularly control their grandchildren's scrotum out of fear from them having klinčić. They are looking for water inside of them, if they are swollen or if they have changed their colour. This is done for the simple reason that the klinčić wouldn't evolve into a kila (hernia).

Derviš Husagić

Klinčić can be cured in several ways. The most famous way of treatment is for the child to be brought to a folk doctor which possesses the gift of healing which he received from Allah. That gift can only be bestowed upon those children whose father dies before they are born. In Bosnia it is believed that they possess the gift of healing.

The treatment method is very simple; the sick child is laid down on the floor, his legs are raised so that his scrotum is free. The folk doctor makes a circle three times around the scrotum with his heel, clockwise, and the he lightly touches the scrotum with his heel. The therapeutic process is repeated three times. Then the doctor exits the room leaving the parents to dress their child. There is a rule for him that he mustn't turn backwards and that he must say "Alahimanet!" when the parents leave with their child. The most successful doctor in curing Klinčić is Derviš Husagić from Kakanj.

2. Strunjen želudac (Gastritis) If a person feels pain in his stomach right after eating then it is believed in Bosnia that his/her stomach has been moved out of its natural position, to the right or left side of the stomach. One determinant that the stomach has been moved is the pain under the ribs. The Bosniak women that treat such problems are called Želudarice. Before treating the ill they touch their right hand, the part between the index finger and the thumb, and if they feel a knot in form of a small pellet, then they are certain that there are problems with the stomach. That uncomfortable and painful experience can be caused by various factors but the most common are; if a hungry person lifts heavy weight, bad diet, stress, emotional problems, falling and hitting oneself, strong coughs, etc.

Stomach problems can be treated with massages, vacuum or magic. All three methods warrant success.

3. Namještanje pršljena: A large number of people have the "atlas" moved (their first vertebra) which can cause various psychophysical problems. This problem is often first encountered in childhood, caused by falling or sudden head movements. The movement of atlas is noticeable by a barely visible blue line across the nose, it looks like the capillaries burst. A few days after the injury, the child loses appetite and has problems swallowing food. As soon as that happens, the neck should be returned in its natural position so that the vertebra can straighten, because if they stay in that unnatural position, they will cause many problems in the man's life.

If a child falls down suddenly, there is a practice that his mother or some other person, takes his head with both hands near the ears and lifts it off the ground, in such a way the vertebra will be returned to its place.

Podizanje tjemena (angina tonsillaris): when a small child falls off the bed or from somewhere else, he can usually "padne tjeme", it is sometimes called the "third tonsil", this causes a lot of vomiting and loss of weight. The woman that deals with such problems, dips her middle finger in oil, places it into the child's mouth and pushes it upward towards the roof of the mouth. When she completes this process she then massages the child behind the ears, then takes it by the legs and turns it upside down and shake's it a little. This completes the healing process.

4. Vađenje truna: Hava Čebić from Banovići is one of the last practitioners of this ancient method of curing the inflammation of the eye epithelia. When a small piece of wood, stone, metal dust, hay or something else falls into a person's eye then epithelia gets irritated, the eye reddens and hurts. Before the treatment, which lasts less than half a minute, Hava rinses her mouth with alcohol and then holding the eye lids of the patient she searches for the foreign object in the eye with her tongue, as soon as she finds it she removes it with her tongue.

Hava Čebić

5. Warts are treated among the Bosniak people in various ways and the most common one is to rub the warts each morning with one's own saliva. If one persists in such a treatment he warts will soon disappear.


Sending back the spell (sihira)

Traditionally in Bosnia and Herzegovina the spiritual healers, stravarke, bule and hodžas, annul all those psychological and physical problems that can be caused by negative energy (black magic) by writing zapise (notes), hamajlije (amulets), by spirituality (da'ira) or salivanje strahe (melting lead). However, the effects of black magic can be neutralised by certain exorcist rituals that are specific to Bosnian magic. In the ritual all the power of the spiritual healer comes to the forefront, where the healer, without coming into contact with the patient, annuls the negative energy and sends it back to the one who created it by simply using the patients name and surname.

Since the old days in Bosnia there was a rule that when a patient's medical results claim that he is healthy but he still feels ill, that then it is time to visit a spiritual healer. Today the belief in the power of magic is similar to that one of the old days. The only thing that has changed are the names for the occult processes, and instead of the term sihr or black magic, evil eyes the terms negative energy is used, and instead of ograma, nagaza the term astral attack is used, etc. When a spell is cast at someone, then that person changes its behaviour quickly, all of a sudden it loves or hates a certain person, falls ill, divorces or experiences a series of accidents both business or family related.

Stravarka Nisveta B. from Zenica is one of the people who has a lot of experience when it comes to Bosnian magic, its disadvantages and its benefits if it isn't misused. Besides being known for the ritual of salivanje strahe (melting lead) she is very successful in falanje u grah or throwing beans. Her specialty is neutralising black magic and returning it to the sender.

-Black magic can be returned to the sender in a few ways. In my work I use the ritual with chicken egg and lime (Calcium oxide). The ritual is best performed during sunset, between 17h and 22h.

Nisveta places a half of kilo of lime in a metal dish and places an egg in the middle. Before she continues with the more aggressive part of the ritual she finishes her religious washing (ablution) and reads a couple of verses from the Qur'an such as Fatiha, Ikhlas, Falaq, Nass, Jinn, Mohammed and Ya'sin. After reading the mentioned verses, Nisveta blows towards three corners of her room, the fourth corner is left intact to serve as an astral portal through which the negative energy will go back to its sender.

After she has finished with the part consisting of prayers stravarka Nisveta pours a glass of water on the lime then takes a wooden stick which she uses to stir the mixture in a circle, around the egg, the mixture is stirred until the egg bursts because of the heat of the lime. While she stirs the lime Nisveta repeats the exorcist formula:

"Dear Allah, as the egg cooks in the lime so also the enemy of XX (here the name of the patient and his parents needs to be said) cooks in pain and agony. Let the magic be returned to the one who made it and who sent it!"

The moment when the egg bursts, the ritual is finished. The black magic has left the spellbound patient and has returned to the sender.

Sometimes the egg bursts in the first ten minutes of the ritual but more often it happens after half an hour to an hour. The success of the ritual is usually dependent on the person that is performing it. It is necessary to achieve a perfect focus, calmness and complete emersion into the ritual. The ritual is done with God's help and belief that only with His will the evil can be banished. For that reason it is necessary to achieve a mind and body state that resembles the one of an actor. If that is achieved often tears come to one's eyes. In the end it is a reliable sign that the ritual will be successful.

The witch or wizard immediately feel the effects of the ritual on themselves. It is manifested in smaller or bigger reactions depending on the strength of the black magic that they just created. If it's a weaker form of magical effect then the witch will usually have uncontrollable fits of laughter or crying, insomnia, bloated stomach while in the case of stronger spells she can experience serious health issues or even delirium.

<< 12/2012 >>