Mythology

Slavic Magic – Religion And Magic Intertwined

Slavic magic

Magic and religion in Slavic thought are connected. Magic is used by men to control the nature and mystic forces with spells and chanting and in religion that control is taken over by divine beings without influence of men. Freud says that magic is just a technique of religion.

Slavic Magic And Sorcerers

Slavs saw magic acts as actions done to incite a positive (white magic) or negative (black magic) outcome in the future and all other protective actions done to protect a person from the magic influence of others.

Slavic magic is almost like a craft. Nobody’s born a sorcerer but they learn and earn their powers over a long period of time. They learn spells to control the forces of nature, learn about natural and man-made objects that enable or make control over nature easier, they learn about mystical meaning and powers of every ingredient in every magic ritual or spell and in general, sorcerers are always working to perfect and improve their powers.

There are exceptions to the rule that magic must be learned. There are very rare occasions where people are born with some kind of ability that could be classified as a magic power. Persons that are born with some kind of magic power also appear in folk tales and folk songs. For instance, it is believed that a legendary Serbian folk hero, Srdja Zlopogledja, had evil (urokljive) eyes that he could use to petrify people and even fairies.

The “power” of evil eyes was well known among all Slavs and if anyone wanted to protect himself from that power he would go through the same rituals and chants, wear the same amulets and charms or even get the same tattoo that he would need to protect himself from any other harmful magic. In practice, there’s not a lot of difference between the craft of magic and magic powers someone was born with. Other examples of magic users that are born with their powers are: vidoviti, aloviti and zmajeviti.

Tribals In Pliny The Elder’s Natural History

The Roman writer Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, better known as Pliny the Elder in his famous workNatural History”, in which he chronicles fantastical stories about many different nations, tribes and people, says that Tribals have the power to “enchant or cause a death of a person, especially if that person is older, if they look at that person long enough without blinking”. Chronicles of the Byzantine Empire equal the terms Serb and Tribal through almost all of the Middle Ages.

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