The use of curses and their removal, protection from the Eye and its deployment—these two interrelated fields comprise the most sought services from healers, sorcerers, witches, and trance-mediums in the Balkans. Drawing on extensive oral lore and personal ethnographic experience, as well as a medley of eye-witness accounts and recorded charms, this lecture will explore the ways in which various powers are solicited to prevent and to inflict harm upon others. From removing the demons of fear and madness using molten lead, to bargaining with witching trees and the dead to haunt and destroy a hated enemy, we will consider not only the techniques but the ritual landscapes of these actions, delving into what they tell us about the contents and assumptions of myth, history, and the sociological and folkloric settings of revenge. Additionally, we will take note of the prevalence of house spirits in these rites, from the protection they provide to their ability to steal away the boons and powers of others for the families and homes they keep, whether willingly as allies or unwillingly as the shades of those who died to magic, becoming entombed within the houses themselves in the process of their capture.
About the Presenter:
Katarina Pejović is a doctoral graduate student at the University of Toronto, researching the legends and grimoires of the sorcerer saint Cyprian of Antioch. In addition to her work on St. Cyprian, she writes on various topics including grimoire history, folk Christianity, Western occultism, and traditions of divination and witchcraft in Eastern Europe. Her lifelong passion for the unique folklore, sorcery, and spirits of the Balkans form the roots of her personal praxis; watered by ancestral veneration, enflamed by Quimbanda and dragon-fire, and nourished with an endless curiosity of mystery.
**Attendees will have access to this recording until the end of 2021 - class recording links will be emailed to attendees within 7 business days of purchase. To protect the IP of our presenters, class recordings will not be downloadable.**