It is known that on this land, the night before St. Andrews (the night of November 29th) is a magical one. The legend says this is the night when lost souls (vampires, werewolves, ghosts) transcend the border between humans and souls and come back home for a night. In the village where my grandparents lived, it is believed that this night, witches can do powerful spells, lost souls dance around the cemetery or at the crossroads at midnight, and is bad luck to walk alone at night as an encounter with lost souls can cange completely your destiny.

About witchery I’ve heard since I was a kid. Our folklore is full of pagan rituals, spirits legends (ghosts, fairies: “sânziene” or “iele“, werewolves: this night used to be called the night of the wolf in ancient Dacia, vampires, “strigoi” or “moroi“), witches, enchantresses, spells and witchcrafts.

In almost every village used to live a witch and witchcraft was a lifestyle.

Today’s story is about the magic of two witches I’ve met in my childhood. They had great powers and that’s why people went to see them:

  • Healing people with food, plants and herbs;
  • Taking pain away using curses, tapping, massage or a combination;
  • Reading (divination) about future, love and lovers, best choices to make;
  • Driving away curses or spirits, attracting love and abundance.
Photo credit: Jaroslav Devia on Unsplash

I was fascinated by their work and lifestyle. Luckily, I could observe them while working, as they were kind of our neighbors.

They had a special connection to the Earth and everything around. The plants seem to talk to them. They knew precisely when they need to harvest the magic herbs for tea or potions, when to plant and water them. They recognized the right flowers in an open field with million similar species around.

The animals were their friends too. One of the witches had a cat – a mystical animal indeed. The other observed a snake around her house and she claimed to be her pet. But honestly, all animals were listening to their thoughts and words.

I doubt they went to school or ever learned to write or read. In the 1920’s – 1930’s, education was not accessible in Romania for peasants. Instead, they could read the sky and the stars to tell one exactly what is the best period to cast a curse, to cut energetic cords or to drink their herbs and potions. The moon was their north star, the sun their mighty protector and the ground… the ground was their home.

When performing divination, their state altered. They seemed connected to a different dimension, a paralel universe. I used to think that they just fool people telling them what they need to hear, and charging for it. Yet, I remember that they were deeply connected to the person in front of them. They were stepping into the mind of their client, bringing back clues and images that helped people seeking truth or resources to make new brain connections. They were paying a lot of attention to synchronicity around, interpreting every nature sound or move and turn it to a new clue for their curious customers.

Their language was unspecific, inviting the minds in front of them to co-create and clarify aspects of their conscious dilemma, guiding people to find their own answers. This way they unveiled some pieces of information they did not knew they knew.

I remember I was playing with their grandchildren around, but sensed something like a “siren” sound when they connected to that universal wisdom. We would then stop playing and stare, being captivated and drawn into that energy, hearing and seeing their play instead of ours. Then we came back to our games like nothing happened.

After finishing with their clients, they would start fire and tell us stories about magical fire and lights pointing to hidden treasures, mystical herbs able to open any locks and heal deep wounds, or bringing back dead ones. We would look at the sky and show us Ursa Minor, North Star, Big Deeper and telling legends about the morning star, teaching us to make a wish when we saw fallen stars. We were amazed by their stories, tired of so many new things we learned. They would say a good night “spell” and we would go each to our homes and beds to have the most wonderful and restful sleep.

My holidays seem like a Narnia trip, tasting many miracles of the earth seeds, fruits or flowers, drinking fresh waters, walking bare foot in the grass, bathing in the sun and in the river all summer long, or playing all day in the cold icy snow, building imaginary castles or real skate rings in wintertime. And believing in magic!

I am curious what magical memories were unveiled for you?

Stay safe.