Bosnian magic draws strength in its entirety from nature of which man is an inseparable part, therefore we shouldn't be surprised that witches pay more attention to the signs and symbols which they receive from nature. Since the times of the Illyrians and ancient country Bassania the cult of snake was worshipped, the snake was represented as the most perfect animal in nature and that's why it became their symbol. All Illyrian tribes dispersed across the vast Illyrian kingdom (Illyricum) considered the snake as their national and religious symbol, totem, with which the traditional legend about the genesis of the people was tied to.
The Illyrian cult of the snake remained in Bosnia and Herzegovina after the departure of the Slavs in the seventh century as a cult protector of the house and family and with it numerous beliefs about the snake. One of the beliefs is strongly implanted into Bosnian witchcraft since in essence it represents directions according to which a witch receives an answer from nature itself, embodied in the snake, if supernatural forces are inclined towards her or not. Namely, at spring, when encountering the snake for the first time, that year the Bosnian witch would receive an answer if in the following period she will be powerful and full of strength or will she have to reach for some rituals and techniques to acquire the necessary magical strength for reaching her occult goals. If she sees a live snake it is a very good sign which promises her the blessing of nature, that year she will be full of strength and health, but if she sees a dead snake the opposite will be true.
However, if she happens to come across a dead snake the witch can, with the help of magic, again asking for help from forces of nature, rectify her unlucky future, reaching for certain magical rituals.
According to beliefs, evil witches have the power of transformation into a black snake which you can come across in graveyards or you can see her crossing the street. In such circumstances you shouldn't touch that snake, you should allow her to go where she wants. Unlike the black, the white snake is considered to be good among the folk and she can open the door to the spirit world for an experienced witch. Even though in the past there was a greater number of witches, today there are only a few and the information about their work is rare and short, reduced to the level of a common gossip. The last information which correctly speaks about their practice dates from 1996 when a case, which can be characterised as a medical miracle, happened.
A husband of one of the witches got cancer which appeared in the throat of the unlucky man. Since the doctors didn't offer any other solutions besides chemo therapy and surgery, not leaving a lot of room for optimism and a happy ending, the witch decided to use an ancient ritual which exists since the time of ancient Illyrians. In the forest she searched for a white snake, she beat it with a stick and brought it home. She placed the dead snake in a metal bowl and then cooked it in a fire until the body of the snake turned into coal and dust. She placed the dust into a glass and went with it into the nature. She searched for a place where she couldn't hear human voices nor that of a rooster, a place that has a wide meadow that borders with a large forest. All these conditions are not accidental, they correspond to the representation of the place where energy and forces are in their full capacity and where one can only accomplish a contact with the spirits of nature.
When she found that oasis of magic the witch placed some of the snake dust under her tongue and uttered an ancient prayer to the spirits of nature so they can answer her call and open the door for her. She didn't wait long for the fulfilment of her wish. Suddenly she heard one, then two, three and then more whispers which reached her ears. When she got used to these small voices she could then clearly hear what they were talking about and she could communicate with the forces of nature and she could ask them to reveal to her which plants will heal her sick husband. The epilogue of this story is a happy one, the spirits revealed the secret of the cure to her with which she cured her husband from the unlucky disease in a short time. When, after some time, she visited her doctor he was amazed because he couldn't believe that cancer in an advanced phase could recede and disappear?! The only explanation that the patient offered to the doctor is that he cured himself with some tea which his wife made for him. The husband himself didn't know what she used to get the recipe. I think he will never find out since magical secrets are reserved only for those that don't have prejudices.