It is known that the night before St. Andrews (the night of November 29th) is magical on this land. The legend says this is the night lost souls (vampires, werewolves, ghosts) transcend the border between humans and souls and return 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 it is bad luck to walk alone at night as an encounter with lost souls can change your destiny completely.

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.

Almost every village used to have a witch, and witchcraft was a lifestyle.

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

  • Healing people with food, plants, and herbs;
  • Taking the pain away using curses, tapping, massage, or a combination;
  • Reading (divination) about the 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 our neighbors.

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

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 1920s-1930s, education was not accessible in Romania for peasants. Instead, they could read the sky and the stars to tell one precisely the best period to cast a curse, cut energetic cords, or drink herbs and potions. The moon was their north star, the sun their mighty protector, and the ground was their home.

When performing divination, their state altered. They seemed connected to a different dimension, a parallel universe. I used to think they just fooled people by telling them what they needed 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 their client’s minds, 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, interpreting every natural sound or move and turning it into 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 answers. This way, they unveiled some information they did not know they knew.

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

After finishing with their clients, they would start a fire and tell us stories about magical fire and lights pointing to hidden treasures, magical herbs able to open any locks and heal deep wounds or bring back dead ones. Next, we would look at the sky, show us Ursa Minor, North Star, and Big Deeper, and tell 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. Finally, they would say a good night „spell,” and we would go to our homes and beds for the most beautiful and restful sleep.

My holidays seem like a Narnia trip, tasting many miracles of the Earth’s seeds, fruits, or flowers, drinking fresh waters, walking barefoot in the grass, bathing in the sun and 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.