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We've had some drama and are currently doing some internal housekeeping and rewriting here on Gypsy Magic.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Letters

On receiving a love letter that has any particular declaration in it, lay it wide open; then fold it in nine folds, pin it next to your heart, and thus wear it till bedtime; then place it in your left hand glove, and lay it under your head.

If you dream of gold, diamonds, or any costly gems, your lover is true, and means what he says; if of white linen, you will lose him by death; and if of flowers, he will prove false. If you dream of his saluting you, he is at present false and means not what he professes, but only to draw you into a snare,

Found in:
Encyclopaedia of Superstitions, Folklore, and the Occult Sciences

Romany Valentine's Day Divination

By tradition many species of birds begin pairing off at this time. The Romanies say that if you are unattached, a bay leaf placed under your pillow on St. Valentine's Day will induce you to dream of the person you will marry.

From: The Good Spell Book

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Romany Folklore, Magicks, History, and More

If you are interested in the history of and folklore about the Romany people, if you are curious about their magick, beliefs, and etc, you are on the right page. Here we have a complete listing of posts on all of the above and more.

General Info

Customs and Folklore

Romany Spells and Cures

Gypsy Food

Romany Holy Days, Feast Days, and etc

Book of the Wisdom of the Egyptians

The Book of the Wisdom of the Egyptians - that's the title of this small story found in "Romano Lavo-Lil" by George Borrow. It's a wonderful collection of sayings, stories, anecdotes, and explanations. Enjoy!
  • The young people often ask: What good is there in the Romany tongue? I answers: Ye are all fools! There is plenty, plenty of good in it, and plenty, plenty of our people would have been transported or hung, but for the old, poor Roman language. A word in Romany said in time to a little girl, and carried to the camp, has caused a great purse of money and other things, which had been stolen, to be stowed underground; so that when the constables came they could find nothing, and had not only to let the Gypsy they had taken up go his way, but also to beg his pardon.
  • His term of transportation has now expired, and it were but right in him to come home, if it were only to take care of his poor old wife: she has been a true, true wife to him, and I don't believe that she has taken up with another man ever since he was sent across.
  • When one's pitched up one's little tent, made one's little fire before the door, and hung one's kettle by the kettle-iron over it, one doesn't like that an inspector or constable should come and say: What are you doing here? Take yourself off, you Gypsy dog.
  • On the first Friday of July, before the public-house called the Bald-faced Stag, on the hill above the town of the great tree in the Forest, you will see many Roman people, men and women, lads and lasses.
  • Do you know my old friend Mr. Stanniwix, the old gentleman that wears a pigtail, and made fourteen thousand pounds by smuggling?
  • He went on talking and talking foolishness till I said to him: If you goes on in that 'ere way I'll hit you a hot 'un on the nose.
  • You ask me what are patrins. Patrin is the name of the signs by which the Gypsies who go before show the road they have taken to those who follow behind. We flings handfuls of grass down at the head of the road we takes, or we makes with the finger a cross-mark on the ground, we sticks up branches of trees by the side the hedge. But the true patrin is handfuls of leaves flung down; for patrin or patten in old Roman language means the leaf of a tree.
  • The true way to be a wise man is to hear, see, and bear in mind.
  • The man who has not the whip-hand of his tongue and his temper is not fit to go into company.
  • The Bill to take up the no-man's lands (comons), and to make the poor people die of hunger and cold, has been flung out of the House of Commons.
  • The name they gives her is "Luck in a basket," because she carries about a basket, which every night, when she goes home, is sure to be full of stolen property.
  • This here, brothers, is the title of a book, the head-work of an old king of Roumany land: the Tribunal, or the dispute between the wise man and the world: or, the death-sentence passed by the soul upon the body.
  • When the rope was about his neck they brought him his pardon, and let him go; but from that day he would wear a neck-kerchief no more, for he said it brought to his mind the rope about his neck.
  • Jack Cooper could read enough to know all that was upon the milestones and the sign-posts.
  • Roman way to cook a fowl is to do it up with its feathers in clay, and then to put it in fire for a little more than half an hour. When the clay and the burnt feathers are taken from the fowl, the belly cut open, and the inside flung out, 'tis a food good enough for a queen to eat without salt.
  • When the Gentile way of living and the Gypsy way of living come together, it is anything but a good way of living.
  • He told me once that when he was a chap of twenty he killed a Gentile, and buried the dead meat under ground. He was taken up for the murder, but as no one could find the cold meat, the justices let him go. He said that the job did not sit heavy upon his mind for a long time, but then all of a sudden he became sad, and afraid of the dead Gentile's ghost; and that often of a night, as he was coming half-drunk from the public-house by himself, he would look over his right shoulder and over his left shoulder, to know if the dead man's ghost was not coming behind to lay hold of him.
  • Do you know the Gypsy way of taking the hand?
    Aye, aye, brother.
    Show it to me.
    They does it so, brother.
  • A tramp has more fun than a Gypsy.
  • You have heard the word pazorrus. That is what is called by the Gentiles "trusted," or in debt. In the old time the Roman who got from his brother money or other things on trust, and did not pay him again, could be made to work for him as horse, ass, or wood cutter for a year and a day. At present the matter is not so. If a Roman got money, or other things, from my hand on credit, and did not repay me, how could I make him labour for me as horse, ass, or stick-cutter for one day, not to say for a year?
  • Do you call this a fair? A very pretty fair is this: you might put it all into your pocket.
  • It is not a wise thing to say you have been wrong. If you allow you have been wrong, people will say: You may be a very honest fellow, but are certainly a very great fool.
  • Where are you living?
    Mine is not living; mine is staying, to say the best of it; I am a traveller, brother!
  • When Roman people speak to one another, they say brother and sister. When parents speak to their children, they say, my son, or my daughter, or my child, gorgiko-like, to either. When children speak to their parents, they say, my father, or my mother.
  • My father, why were worms made? My son, that moles might live by eating them. My father, why were moles made? My son, that you and I might live by catching them. My father, why were you and I made? My son, that worms might live by eating us.
  • All farmers are fools. When they hear a citizen in the country say: That's a fine horse! they say: 'Tis no horse, 'tis a mare; whether the thing's a horse or not. The simpletons don't know that a mare's a horse, though a horse is not a mare.
  • No one like Gypsy Will's wife for dancing in a platter.
  • When Constance Smith died, she was a hundred ten years old.
  • Do you know Mrs. Cooper?
    I knows her very well, brother.
    Do you like her?
    I loves her very much, brother; and I have often, often said to the other Gypsies, when they speaking ill of her: She's a gentlewoman; takes care of all of you; if it were not for her, you would all go to the devil.
    What does she do for a living?
    She tells fortunes, brother; she tells fortunes.
    Is she a good hand at fortune-telling?
    There's no Roman woman under the sun so good at fortune-telling as Mrs. Cooper; it is impossible not to have your fortune told by her; she's a true witch; she takes people by the hand, and tells their fortunes, whether they will or no.
  • 'Tis no use to go seeking after Gypsies. When you wants to see them 'tis impossible to find one of them; but when you are thinking of other matters you see plenty, plenty of them.
  • I will swear neither falsely nor truly against any one; if they wishes to find out something, let them find it out themselves.
  • If he had been transported for a great robbery, I would have said nothing; but it makes me mad to think that he has been sent away, all along of a vile harlot, for the value of three-and-sixpence.
  • When he had committed the murder he made haste, and ran into the wood, where he hid himself in the hollow of a great old tree; but it was no use at all; the runners followed his track all along the forest till they came to the tree.
  • How many fortunes have you told to-day?
    Only one lady's, brother; yonder she's coming back; I knows her by the black lace on her gown.
    How much money did she give you?
    Only one groat, brother; only one groat. May the devil run away with her bodily!
  • Hear the words of wisdom which Mike the Grecian said to Mrs. Trullifer: Mrs. Trollopr, you must live by your living; and if you have a pound you must spend it.
  • Can you speak Romany?
    Aye, aye, brother!
    What is
    I don't know what you say, brother.
    Then you are no master of Romany.

Gypsy Spell To Have An Object Returned

These are easy remedies that will help you to regain an object that someone has failed to return.

Pick a convenient time of day when you will be able to sit undisturbed for five minutes. Use the power of your will to bring the object back to you. If your will is strong, the thief will begin to feel uncomfortable, and will finally bring the missing item to you.

Another method is to place an iron nail on a window-sill. It should be pointed north, south, west, or east, in whichever direction the person who has the object lives. Simply will the object back every time you look at the nail. When the object has been returned the nail should be buried or restored to the tool kit it came from.

Another Romany remedy is to place a rose beside an object similar to the one that is missing. Love, symbolized by the rose, will prick someone's conscience and the object will be returned. Because you want the person's conscience to be pricked - be sure the rose is NOT a thornless variety.

From: The Good Spell Book
At Amazon: Iron Nail, Rose

To Discern the Thief Who Robbed You

Take the seed of sunflowers, which you must gather in the sign of the Lion in the month of August. Wrap the same up over a wolf's tooth; then take a bay leaf and wrap the tooth therein, then take the tooth, put it above your head, and you will see the thief.

From: Encyclopaedia of Superstitions, Folklore, and the Occult Sciences of the World

What is Cauring?

Cauring is an old gypsy trick - here's how it works:

The Gypsy has some queer, old-fashioned gold piece; this she takes to some goldsmith's shop, at the window of which she has observed a basin full of old gold coins, and shows it to the goldsmith, asking him if he will purchase it. He looks at it attentively, and sees that it is of very pure gold; whereupon he says that he has no particular objection to buy it; but that as it is very old it is not of much value, and that he has several like it.

"Have you indeed, Master?" says the Gypsy; "then pray show them to me, and I will buy them; for, to tell you the truth, I would rather buy than sell pieces like this, for I have a great respect for them, and know their value: give me back my coin, and I will compare any you have with it."

The goldsmith gives her back her coin, takes his basin of gold from the window, and places it on the counter. The Gypsy puts down her head, and pries into the basin. "Ah, I see nothing here like my coin," says she. "Now, Master, to oblige me, take out a handful of the coins and lay them on the counter; I am a poor, honest woman, Master, and do not wish to put my hand into your basin. Oh! if I could find one coin like my own, I would give much money for it; barributer than it is worth."

The goldsmith, to oblige the poor, simple, foreign creature (for such he believes her to be), and, with a considerable hope of profit, takes a handful of coins from the basin and puts them upon the counter.

"I fear there is none here like mine, Master," says the Gypsy, moving the coins rapidly with the tips of her fingers. "No, no, there is not one here like mine - kek yeck, kek yeck - notone, not one. Stay, stay! What's this, what's this? So se cavo, so se cavo? Oh, here is one like mine; or if not quite like, like enough to suit me. Now, Master, what will you take for this coin?"

The goldsmith looks at it, and names a price considerably above the value; whereupon she says: "Now, Master, I will deal fairly with you: you have not asked me the full value of the coin by three three-groats, three-groats, three-groats; by trin tringurushis, tringurushis, tringurushis. So here's the money you asked, Master, and three three-groats, three shillings, besides. God bless you, Master! You would have cheated yourself, but the poor woman would not let you; for though she is poor she is honest": and thus she takes her leave, leaving the goldsmith very well satisfied with his customer - with little reason, however, for out of about twenty coins which he laid on the counter she had filched at least three, which her brown nimble fingers, though they seemingly scarcely touched the gold, contrived to convey up her sleeves.

This kind of pilfering is called by the English Gypsies cauring, and by the Spanish ustilar pastesas, or stealing with the fingers. The word caur seems to be connected with the English cower, and the Hebrew kãra, a word of frequent occurrence in the historical part of the Old Testament, and signifying to bend, stoop down, incurvare.

From: Romano Lavo-Lil

What is The Hukni?

The hukni is an old Gypsy trick - here's how it works:

The Gypsy makes some poor simpleton of a lady believe that if the latter puts her gold into her hands, and she makes it up into a parcel, and puts it between the lady's feather-bed and mattress, it will at the end of a month be multiplied a hundredfold, provided the lady does not look at it during all that time. On receiving the money she makes it up into a brown paper parcel, which she seals with wax, turns herself repeatedly round, squints, and spits, and then puts between the feather-bed and mattress - not the parcel of gold, but one exactly like it, which she has prepared beforehand, containing old halfpence, farthings, and the like; then, after cautioning the lady by no means to undo the parcel before the stated time, she takes her departure singing to herself:

O dear me! O dear me!
What dinnelies these gorgies be.

The above artifice is called by the English Gypsies the hukni, and by the Spanish hokhano baro, or the great lie. Hukni and hokano were originally one and the same word; the root seems to be the Sanscrit huhanã, lie, trick, deceit.

From: Romano Lavo-Lil

Gypsy Fortune Telling

Gypsy women, as long as we have known anything of Gypsy history, have been arrant fortune-tellers. They plied fortune-telling about France and Germany as early as 1414, the year when the dusky bands were first observed in Europe, and they have never relinquished the practice. There are two words for fortune-telling in Gypsy, bocht and dukkering. Bocht is a Persian word, a modification of, or connected with, the Sanscrit bagya, which signifies 'fate.' Dukkering is the modification of a Wallaco-Sclavonian word signifying something spiritual or ghostly. In Eastern European Gypsy, the Holy Ghost is called Swentuno Ducos.

Gypsy fortune-telling is much the same everywhere, much the same in Russia as it is in Spain and in England. Everywhere there are three styles - the lofty, the familiar, and the homely; and every Gypsy woman is mistress of all three and uses each according to the rank of the person whose vast she dukkers, whose hand she reads, and adapts the luck she promises. There is a ballad of some antiquity in the Spanish language about the Buena Ventura, a few stanzas of which translated will convey a tolerable idea of the first of these styles to the reader, who will probably with no great reluctance dispense with any illustrations of the other two:-

Late rather one morning
In summer's sweet tide,
Goes forth to the Prado
Jacinta the bride:

There meets her a Gypsy
So fluent of talk,
And jauntily dressed,
On the principal walk.

"O welcome, thrice welcome,
Of beauty thou flower!
Believe me, believe me,
Thou com'st in good hour."

Surprised was Jacinta;
She fain would have fled;
But the Gypsy to cheer her

"O cheek like the rose-leaf!
O lady high-born!
Turn thine eyes on thy servant,
But ah, not in scorn.

"O pride of the Prado!
O joy of our clime!
Thou twice shalt be married,
And happily each time.

"Of two noble sons Thou shalt be the glad mother,
One a Lord Judge,
A Field-Marshal the other."

Gypsy females have told fortunes to higher people than the young Countess Jacinta: Modor - of the Gypsy quire of Moscow - told the fortune of Ekatarina, Empress of all the Russias. The writer does not know what the Ziganka told that exalted personage, but it appears that she gave perfect satisfaction to the Empress, who not only presented her with a diamond ring - a Russian diamond ring is not generally of much value - but also her hand to kiss.

The writer's old friend, Pepíta, the Gitana of Madrid, told the bahi of Christina, the Regentess of Spain, in which she assured her that she would marry the son of the King of France, and received from the fair Italian a golden ounce, the most magnificent of coins, a guerdon which she richly merited, for she nearly hit the mark, for though Christina did not marry the son of the King of France, her second daughter was married to a son of the King of France, the Duke of M-, one of the three claimants of the crown of Spain, and the best of the lot; and Britannia, the Caumli, told the good luck to the Regent George on Newmarket Heath, and received 'foive guineas' and a hearty smack from him who eventually became George the Fourth - no bad fellow by the by, either as regent or king, though as much abused as Pontius Pilate, whom he much resembled in one point, unwillingness to take life - the sonkaypè or gold-gift being, no doubt, more acceptable than the choomapé or kiss-gift to the Beltenebrosa, who, if a certain song be true, had no respect for gorgios, however much she liked their money:

Britannia is my nav;
I am a Kaulo Camlo;
The gorgios pen I be
A bori chovahaunie;
And tatchipen they pens,
The dinneleskie gorgies,
For mande chovahans
The luvvu from their putsies.
Britannia is my name;
I am a swarthy Lovel;
The Gorgios say I be
A witch of wondrous power;
And faith they speak the truth,
The silly, foolish fellows,
For often I bewitch
The money from their pockets.

Fortune-telling in all countries where the Gypsies are found is frequently the prelude to a kind of trick called in all Gypsy dialects by something more or less resembling the Sanscrit kuhana; for instance, it is called in Spain jojana, hokano, and in English hukni. It is practised in various ways, all very similar; the defrauding of some simple person of money or property being the object in view. Females are generally the victims of the trick, especially those of the middle class, who are more accessible to the poor woman than those of the upper. One of the ways, perhaps the most artful, will be found described in another chapter (What is The Hukni? and What is Cauring?)

From: Romano Lavo-Lil

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Violet Magick

Ruler: Venus
Type: Flower
Magickal Form: Flowers, essential oil

One of the customs surrounding fresh violets is that they must be stolen or they won't grow. Wild violets increase happiness. Potted violets prevent accidents and soothe the nerves. The fragrance of violets brings enormous comfort and is used in love and healing spells.

Violets are often assigned as the flower of the month of February.

From: The Encyclopedia of Magickal Ingredients

Cats and Magick

If you are interested in cats, cat magicks, cat lore, spells and omens specific to cats, this is the jumping off point. This page offers a complete listing of everything posted to date about cats here at Gypsy Magick.

Omens and Other Lore
Healing and Herbs
Cat Magicks
Associated Dieties

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