19 commenti

Spirits, magic and witchcraft

Ourmes or Ursitory: they are similar to the Latin Fates Parcae or the Greek Moirai, the goddesses of fate, and Gypsies are afraid of them above all in Central Europe. They are also known as White Women as they wear white dresses and they go in groups of three. They intervene when a gypsy baby is born to determine the child’s fate: one is good, one brings bad luck and the third plays a neutral role.


The night after childbirth, a furrow is dug around the tent where the mother and child are and it is filled with holly to prevent the Ursitory being intimidated by evil spirits. Obviously, the ritual can differ depending on the country the Gypsies come from. When all is ready everybody must leave the tent apart from the sorceress who remains near the door, because she is the only one that can see these creatures, “and she will sing songs and whisper prayers until morning to attract good luck and health towards the baby”.

Kechali (or fates of the woods): their influence over people’s destiny stems from their virginity because they can have a love story with a human but it would be a total catastrophe. In fact, he would be driven crazy, she would lose her powers and their child would be born dead. This is the reason why the Kechali try to disappear by hiding themselves in the mountains.

As legend goes, the Queen of the Kechali Ana married King Lotcholico to prevent her people from being exterminated. They had nine children called Pathogen Daemons which are responsible for the presence of witches.

Holypi (witches): are possessed by the devil by having sex with a daemon. Their most important characteristic is the capacity to transmit the daemon spirit to men or animals and the numerous legends on them are the result of a combination of Gypsy beliefs and those of other populations (i. e. the annual festival of witches is celebrated on the night of Pentecost).

In addition to these categories, the mediator between the spiritual and earthly world is the sorceress, the real priestess of the Gypsy religion. A woman becomes a sorceress through inheritance combined with a suitable education, or by having sex with a Nivaci(water spirit). She has to predict the future, pray to the spirits or heal illnesses caused by bad luck, because Gypsies have to know what they must not do if they do not want to have a tragic fate.




19 commenti su “Spirits, magic and witchcraft

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