Basque magic

This is where the magic comes from Basque. In the world of old beliefs, all beings and things have their image. Both are linked by a force, ADUR, and it is assumed that what is done to the image will occur on the being itself. This, like many others, was a popular belief in the country and there are many examples of this.

basque magic

Basque magic

A resident of Ataun (Gipuzkoa) approached a diviner from Tolosa to verify who had stolen the cow. The diviner then offered to take a candle, which represents the thief, and once it was extinguished, the thief was to die.

In Leitza (Navarre), a man sold a pig in secret to pay a debt. The wife, believing it to have been stolen, returned and burned a candle. Shortly after the husband died of an unknown illness. The success was attributed to the so-called "Adur".

In Sare (Labourd), a young girl who had relations with a young man threatened to burn a candle if he did not keep his promise of marriage.

In popular knowledge, the face represented in coins could be of any person. In Gipuzkoa, for example, it was common to twist a coin or throw it towards a chapel or even into a fire to harm someone.

In folk medicine, many remedies are of magical character. In Bizkaye, in case of dislocation, we put a tissue on the painful place while pretending to sew it while saying: "Stretched ligament, torn ligament, ligament comes back to your place".

To cure the skin disease called "mal de la rose", the patient had to go around a rose bush saying: "The rose, with the rose" and repeat this gesture for nine days. This action was said to heal.

It is the same with the names of beings. We assure that what is said in the name will prove to be. Thus the curses inspired great fear. In Dohosti (Lower Navarre) it was believed that the day had a precise moment to curse, but this is unknown. For this, a villager, wanting to punish a thief, spent the whole day repeating a curse so as not to miss this precise and unknown moment. It is said that thanks to this a thief jumped out of the window.

On the other hand there is evil of the eyes, (transmitted by the eyes), BEGISKO (of the eye). It was a wicked force that some people had the power to convey through their gaze. Normally a power attributed to witches, there might be people who had it, although it was unclear where they got it from.

The latter, unlike witches, could use it on people or animals without wanting to.

To protect themselves from this phenomenon, amulets were used. In some villages they were also hung on animals. This world may seem strange to us but before it was very clear. In Ormaiztegi (Gipuzkoa) they say: “Isn't it bad for your eyes? "There is a lot of it since it has been given a name".
(we come back to: everything that exists has a name).

People were very careful with these unknown forces as this saying goes:
“We must not believe that they exist, we must not say that they do not exist”.