Saturday, January 3, 2009

Gypsies and their Enchanting Ways of Life...

I have a great love and fascination with the Gypsies, I always have.
For this reason I have decided to include some blogs about their beliefs, ways of life and some of their magickal practices.
Some of the following information was taken from my book:
Gypsy Witchcraft and Magick by Raymond Buckland.
If you have an interest in the Gypsies then I highly recommend this book. Buckland is one of my favorite authors of books on the old ways. He is a reliable source of information and I enjoy his honesty about the old ways.

Omens, taboos, and prophecies, it's all part of everyday life for the Gypsies. The traditional Gypsy uses herbal lore, basic magic, and divination for practical matters. In other words, magick was a part of their everyday lives.
The Gypsies earned a reputation as thieves, a reputation that still follows them till this day. It is an undeserved label and one that came from the belief that they held that everything that exists does so for the pleasure and delight of human kind. They believe the trees and flowers, the birds and beasts are all here for our enjoyment. Consequently, when a Gypsy passes along a road and saw an apple tree bearing fruit, he would think nothing of stopping and helping himself. Similarly, to trap a rabbit or a pheasant for food was to enjoy that which the Gods provided. How, the Gypsy reasoned, could a man, farmer, or landowner object to this, for surely no man can own that which is given freely by the Gods?
So the travelers helped themselves to what others saw as their property. It was no wonder that, in their innocence, the Gypsies earned a reputation as thieves.
That innocence did not last long. Later, and in the present day, thievery is a result of fighting to exist, rather then being due to any earlier philosophies.
So began the persecutions from which the Gypsy people have still not freed themselves. Throughout Europe they had become a major social problem, especially since it was virtually impossible to force them into a sedentary way of life.
King Ferdinand of Spain, in 1492, banished them from his country. Any who would not leave, he said, should be exterminated!
Can you imagine how that felt? To actually be banished from a country or be put to death?
Despite being looked upon as "dirty" people, Gypsies are very clean and very much aware of the necessity for cleanliness. Gypsies also strive to be spiritually clean. They believe in such things as the evil eye, curses, black magick, and the like, and have many ways to cleanse and exorcise.
Gypsies do not curse people for the fun of it, as late-night movies and bad novels might have you believe! However, they will certainly not hesitate to turn a guajo's (a non-gypsy) negativity back on him or her. In this they differ from the Wiccans in that they will not sit back and wait for the gods to direct retribution- they will take matters into their own hands and act immediately. If they feel that evil has been directed at them, and they don't know from whom, they have ways of cleansing themselves of it. The Gypsy witch, also known as the shuvani, is especially adept at this.
The Romany believe in the "evil eye". They believe it is possible for someone to put a curse on someone else merely be looking at this person. This may or may not be done deliberately, for there are those who possess the evil eye without even realizing it.
A remedy for the evil eye, found among many Continental Gypsies, is to take a kettle to a stream and fill it with water, taken with the current, not against it.
Seven pieces of coal are placed in the vessel, along with seven handfuls of meal, and seven cloves of garlic.
The kettle is put over a fire and the water brought to a boil. Then it is stirred with a three-forked stick and the following is said:

"Evil eyes that look on thee,
May they here extinguished be!
And then seven ravens
Pluck out the evil eyes.
Evil eyes now look on thee,
May they soon extinguished be!
Much dust in the eyes,
So may they become blind.
Evil eyes now look on thee,
May they soon extinguished be!
May they burn, may they burn,
In the fire of all good!

I plan on posting more blogs on the Gypsy way of life as well as spells, charms, and divination's.
Thank you for stopping by Magickal Enchantments blog.
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~ Jayne ~ said...

A particular Gypsy favourite, used to protect against evil forces,is rosemary.It is hung in their vans,tucked under pillows,combined with salt for wound healing,and is also a principal ingredient in the famous Gypsy tonic lotion,"Queen of Hungary's Water".

Ava said...

I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!!! Amazing! I have found Gypsies profoundly fascinating since I was a girl. I will definitely be following your amazing blog and your shop! Thanks for sharing all of these interesting topics.


Princess61470 said...

Another interesting blog! I need to get over to Ye Olde Witches Brew and see what you wrote there!! Always love stopping by and reading your blog!