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 Evil winds

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KomentarNaslov komentara: Evil winds   Evil winds Icon_minitimeFri Nov 27, 2015 4:23 pm

Belief in the sinister power of the wind can be found in mythological legends of the ancient Babylon where names and descriptions of wind demons are mentioned which spread disease and bad luck around the world. The scariest of them all was Hammurabi, a strong demon of storms and cyclones which demolishes everything in front of him. However, such archaic beliefs never disappeared, instead they became an integral part of numerous mythological traditions around the world, and they have deeply influenced folk notions about the evil spirits of disease.

In GZM from Sarajevo (1903), there is an interesting text in which an unknown author writes: "Bosniaks see, as I already mentioned, god's punishment in a disease. They also believe that the souls of dead evildoers, evil winds, which disperse measles and other rashes, can also enter humans, torture and weaken them. Magical formulas serve as a cure, and stravarka is a type of a doctor. In an old song (guidance) from the year 1069 according to Hijrah, it is said:

"There are a lot of exorcist formulas which cure diseases of wind; people use them since a word (wise) cures diseases."

In Bosnian traditional belief a whirlwind of air in the form of a circle, which usually arise when winds blow, often caused fear based on the belief that such a manifestation is not natural but supernatural and that its triggers are evil spirits, which can be furious or even happy and playful. During the pagan times of Bosnia these manifestations were interpreted as faeries playing, hence the name faery wind, while with the advent of monotheism people primarily saw demons in the whirlwind. For that reason man, whether Muslim or Christian, still today, makes some religious sign while uttering a prayer as soon as he sees a whirlwind in front of him, in order to protect himself from danger.

According to narratives from stravarka Ajša Bahić there are various types of evil winds, nine  in total out of which some are of a stronger and some weaker intensity. A person can die from those which are of a great strength. When an evil wind hits a man, depending on its strength, symptoms of a disease appear. Wind of a weaker strength develops for days and spreads across the human body and causes headaches, some even cause vomiting.

Otherwise, headache among the folk is usually experienced as the most common human disease, which, as she claims has minimum ties with the mental causes, it is exclusively a result of the influence of negative energy represented in the form of evil spirits, spellbound eyes or black magic.

Analysing other segments of Bosnian magical tradition I concluded that the basis for this belief could be in the occult symbology of the human head and its dominant role in ritual practice. Namely, the largest percentage of ritual actions in curing is based on the head as the starting point, whether we're talking about the ritual of melting lead, impotency spell or even neutralising black magic. The basic model of such procedure is based on the idea that magical force is best restrained and controlled from the epicentre, where the human mind is located, but also its "star" which represents spiritual connection of the material and spiritual world. Therefore it is very realistic to presuppose that the head is the most frequent target of evil spirits because of this dominant role.

In accordance with this, headache among the Bosnian folk was often cured by visiting priests, usually Imam's, with the aim of the priest uttering a prayer or invocation, or even create an inscription (talisman). Prior to this one undertakes a classic procedure of the ritual of fire and water, in order to try and influence on the disease to recede, by extinguishing three, seven or nine embers in water, because of the assumption that headache can appear because of spellbound eyes of a person in the vicinity.
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KomentarNaslov komentara: Re: Evil winds   Evil winds Icon_minitimeFri Nov 27, 2015 4:28 pm

Dobarac, mujasil, red wind

Dobarac is a type of headache which is recognised by having pain only in one half of the head. It is considered that it comes from an evil wind. As is claimed among the people, both the doctor and Imam send the patient to a stravarka admitting that it is not a case for them. Treatment is best performed when the disease starts, usually a day after the headache appears, but in the afternoon, when the sun is setting, in order to allude to the disappearance of the disease. Exorcism is usually done, using four stones and sometimes using certain plants, and in both cases by repeating the healing formula:

I'm not calling you,
but wind and dobarac behind you.
Let it exit the fat into the bones,
from the bones into the flesh,
from the flesh into the skin,
from the skin into the hair,
from the hair into hali (empty, deserted) mountain;
where the rooster doesn't crow,
where the call to prayer is not heard,
where the cow doesn't give birth,
where the mare doesn't foal,
where the sheep doesn't give birth.
Come, this trouble, around the world,
as a bee on the flower and world!
Kozalac - dobarac, ijed - med!

Beside headaches, another specifically negative influence of an evil wind in the human is that the human will bloat while the wind is developing, i.e. the stomach of the person will be bloated, regardless of the intake of food and water. Such a person feels that he is losing energy fast and that often he is grumpy. With that the evil spirits reveal their presence to humans and it is necessary to perform an exorcism. Firmly believing in the healing power of formulas among the Bosnian folk, which can overpower a demon, is perhaps best presented by the belief i.e. taboo that it is a great sin to utter a healing formula without a cause, which was potentially alluded and that it is unacceptable to upset the world of the spirits. With all this, stravarke considered that by unnecessarily uttering words of power she would lose her credibility by those who answer and obey her - demons.
Evil spirits are according to folk belief, the main culprits for all skin diseases from measles, spots, eczema, pruritus all the way up to erysipelas and psoriasis. There are a lot of ways in which a human can come into contact with evil winds and one of the most frequent situations is by passing by a garbage dumpster. If at that time a wind blows over the garbage in the direction of the passer by there is a big possibility that he will be struck by an evil wind, which contain demonic beings.
Wild fire is a special form of the evil winds activity. It occurs in places where there are a lot of wooden stakes which are rotting and decomposing. If a person passes by such a place there is a large possibility that he will "step on" i.e. cross a place which is claimed by evil spirits, with his feet, where from the name "nagaz" stems from. According to mythology spirits have their favourite places in which they like to spend their time or generally live, and they will attack all those that enter their territory, uninvited. As numerous stravarke claim, every wound can turn into a wild fire, they also say that children often get crusts on their heads from the wild fire, especially the face. For every wound which is inflamed or a lot of heat radiates from it, one would claim that it has turned into a wild fire.
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KomentarNaslov komentara: Re: Evil winds   Evil winds Icon_minitimeFri Nov 27, 2015 4:32 pm

Majasil and red wind are other forms of disease which according to the opinion of people come directly due to the harmful effect of winds. Majasil can be recognised by the skin on the face and hands cracking and pealing. It usually appears in spring when the grass grows. It can last a very long time, even ten years. It is considered that official medicine doesn't have effective methods in curing majasil, but that stravarke and folk doctors can achieve good results with magical formulas and various balms.

Red wind (Erizipel) is manifested on the skin through blisters which "itch and are inflamed as if a fire is inside the man". It can be treated in various ways, and one of them is - by burning. Namely, with a short exorcist formula stravarka would place small balls of tow on places which have been infected by the wind, this fibre is a product of dried hemp plant, she would then burn these balls, one by one, repeating this formula:

Selam alejk, Hazrat Fatimah!
Alejkum selam!
What are you doing?
Setting fire, to set it aflame!

Though this treatment is a bit risky for the patient, since skin damage is possible due to combustion of tow, in the past the ritual was performed frequently, which can mean that it was effective.
The most efficient cure against diseases spread by evil winds was considered to be exorcist formulas, which in combination with lead melting and extinguishment of embers can completely eliminate all negative traces of wind. One of the formulas is this one that stems from Velika Kladuša:

Whirlwind, wind from the dead,
stops nowhere,
stops at the mountains,
stops in the deep valleys.
What have you brought with you wind,
you have left in the valley.
N. receives onto himself god's command (emer),
he takes off the evil winds from his body,
N summons water, nagaze from his body he repels.
Wild fire has not even become nor on N. has it stayed.
N. calls angels and from his body repels evil winds,
Jinn and whirlwinds.
With god's command (emer) evil winds and wild fire fall off,
since live fire extinguishes,
water saves N, all lichens, itching and rashes extinguishes.

How damaging and fatal the winds are, is best attested by the process of healing itself, which is pretty lengthy and often takes a couple of years. If it is interrupted in the meantime, the disease will reappear quickly, stronger than before.            

Author: Raif Esmerović

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 Similar topics
» Fear and evil eyes in Bosnian folk medicine
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