Sexuality, courtship, love, and even marriage between folkloric beings and humans is an enduring motif in Balkan folk tales and oral lineages of magic. From thunderous dragons who seduce and rear children with witches to the fairies and devils that spirit away eligible bachelors, these stories not only serve as sites of meaning-making for the understanding of particular lustful spirits, they also embody protocols surrounding desires and their dangers in the liminal landscapes of the spirit world. This lecture will cover various historical examples of love and marriage between spirits and humans, drawing on both oral and literary sources, to paint portraits of the individuals and their ethereal spouses, successful versus unsuccessful unions, protocols for divorce and separation, and the nature of the children born of these encounters. From long-term spousal contracts, with the spirit becoming a respected and feared member of the village community, to brief and infrequent sojourns spent in trance over saint feasts, we will explore the realms of witchcraft, transformation, persecution, celebration, pleasure, and longing in the overlapping worlds of love—wherein the human partners of these mysterious lovers become themselves turned by their passion into something other.
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 and witchcraft 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.
**Attendees will have access to this recording until the end of 2021 - class recording links will be emailed to attendees within 7 business days of purchase. To protect the IP of our presenters, class recordings will not be downloadable.**