The Balkans has maintained an incredibly rich history of necromantic attitudes and practices, especially those geared towards placating, nourishing, and elevating the ancestral dead. One persistent motivation that drives many of these offering rites is the fear that the untended dead will, in their hunger and grief, transform into vampires, nightmare spirits, and numerous other such creatures of the dark—if a witch or devil-spirit doesn’t bind them to become their familiars first. This class will cover the history, lore, and magic surrounding these spirits, the half-human offspring they sire with the living, and their relationship to practices of sin-eating and witchcraft in the context of rural Balkan folk beliefs.
About the Presenter:
Katarina Pejović is a doctoral graduate student at the University of Toronto, researching the legends and grimoires of the sorcerer saint Cyprian of Antioch. In addition to her work on St. Cyprian, she writes on various topics including grimoire history, folk Christianity, Western occultism, and traditions of divination, witchcraft, and magic in Eastern Europe. Her lifelong passion for the unique folklore, sorcery, and spirits of the Balkans form the roots of her personal praxis; watered by ancestral veneration, enflamed by Quimbanda and dragon-fire, and nourished with an endless curiosity of mystery.