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Sexuality and witchcraft

Eroticism is prominent in Bosnian witchcraft, the rule is that a considerable amount of the ritual, especially the one from the domain of love magic, is performed naked. That is the standard practice of every witch coven in Europe, since the whole system of paganism was based on the cult of fertility in which nakedness and sexual relations between men and women weren't tabooed. The concept of witchcraft is based on glorification of intimate relations between the goddess and god, which in their eternal cycle connotes the creative power of nature. Among the Bosnian witchcraft the nakedness of the witch represents certain exhibitionism since she goes outside naked and encircles the house or frees herself of her clothing in nature, some grove or near a river, subject to danger of someone seeing her.

When a witch wishes to utilise evil spirits for her own goals she goes to a graveyard, strips and lies on a certain grave in order to offer her body for the entrance of spirits which will in turn help her achieve a certain goal. This form of supernatural prostitution is not reserved exclusively for witches since among the ghosts, as among humans, there are female and male demons whose sexual urges are quite potent and are directed towards humans. In exchange for sex, which takes place on a different plane from the one between two human beings, the witch or wizard gain allies from the world of ghosts and in such a way they achieve grand magical effects.

The pronounced sexuality is a common occurrence among witches which is confirmed by numerous examples from the real life where women who actively pursued magic were known as promiscuous individuals. Various affairs were often linked to them, they were considered main culprits for divorces, especially if the witch served as a lover, etc. The sexual urges of the witch don't wane over time, she uses her magical knowledge to win over younger men as lovers. We can conclude that witchcraft frees women from the false morale which was thrust upon us by monotheism, whose doctrine specifically imposes feelings of shame - in order to be "good Samaritans" we need to feel shame for our bodies and sexuality. Sex is exclusively allowed in marriage as a method of continuing the species. Even then the enjoyment in the sexual act isn't viewed favourably especially if the woman dominates. She needs to show submissiveness and shame during the act.

The tendency but also the possibility of the free life of witches usually carried with it reclusive lifestyle. Namely, a large part of women who actively practiced magic were usually widows or they never married. Usually most of them never had children. In folk lore about witches it is claimed that ghosts - lovers are the ones to blame for the witches infertility. Apparently, each witch has a "husband" among the ghosts which don't allow her to have children with another man. The primary goal of the demon lover is to impregnate the witch with his child which would be a mixture between a demon and a human. Here we come across perhaps the most mystic tradition among the Bosnian people and it is the one about the birth of snijet.

It is considered that snijet is actually a dragon's baby, because according to belief in Bosnia among the dragons there are no females but only males and the only possibility for the continuation of the species is for the dragon to impregnate a woman or a cow. But, also among such stories we can hear the ones that do not fit the framework of the classic description of the birth of snijet. Namely, individual women didn't even give birth to a snijet since their pregnancy was normal but it had one key difference. After nine months a child wasn't born nor was it a snijet?! There are numerous such descriptions of phantom pregnancies throughout history and one of the best examples is the pregnancy of the English queen Mary (of England) Tudor. Among our folk there are stories about phantom pregnancies which always ended in the same manner - the woman would go to sleep at night with a large stomach and in the morning she would wake up with a normal stomach, as if the pregnancy never took place.

The whole event was tabooed in the past by silence and no questions were asked and no explanation was sought. Usually all was finished with the claim "that snijet was born!" Of course, there was infanticide in such cases and snijet was a good excuse to hide the crime, but some stories, especially from women that lived through a phantom pregnancy talk about a completely different background. They believed that "something" was born that night and disappeared or ran away not wanting to show it true face. Among such women, according to stories from older people, there were a considerable number of them for which it was believed that they practice magic and that's why the possibility that there was a demon lover responsible for the phantom pregnancy imposes itself.

20/10/2013 14:37