As we all know, Spain has been invaded by many different cultures in its history. The Goths, the Visigoth’s, the Vikings, the Arabs and many more have shaped our so colorful culture. Each one of these civilizations brought superstitions and, let’s say, weird believes.
Different belives north & South
Southern Spain is the land where the Gipsy community settled after centuries of nomadism. It is believed that the first gypsies arrived at Spain in the XIV century coming from India. The magnificent journey that the gipsies took, imprinted them with the knowledge of all eastern cultures. As they learnt from all the world, we believe that gypsies have magical powers. They can predict your future by reading the palm of your hand, but they can also put a spell on you by lighting two black candles. I think I need to write a separate article talking about my so loved Spanish gipsy community.
Northern Spain is the land of witches, sorceress, elves and fairies. I guess our Celtic heritage has a lot to do with it….
We attribute magical powers to certain nature related events. For example, we all know that in Ireland when you reach the end of the rainbow you will find an Elf with a pot full of gold. Here in northern Spain, we believe that if you ever go under a rainbow, you will change your gender.
Regarding our witches, here in the north we don’t think that they have made a deal with the devil, in fact in each respectful family has at least one very loved witch.
A witch in the Basque Country is called “sorguiñe” and it really has nothing to do with death or spells, in fact it means “the one who brings life”. The sorguiñes were the women who would assist at birth, their job was to help the mother and the newborn and try to reduce labor pains.
In Galicia, the northern most and western most region of Spain, the witches are called “meigas” and they are the ones who will clean your soul in case of need. The meigas know all about healing and protecting. They prepare a magical potion that purifies the darkest souls, it is called “queimada”
The queimada is an alcoholic beverage that is set in fire and while the flames are burning part of the alcohol, a horrific spell is said.
The queimada, is probably the most melting pot drink in Spain. The Arabs brought the sugar, the Vikings the tradition of warm alcohol and the Celts shared the tradition of the spells.
Ingredients for the queimada:
- Orujo (Grappa style liquor) – 4 Cups
- White sugar – 1 Cup
- Coffee beans – 10 roasted beans
- Lemon or Orange peel – 1 complete
Here is the “horrific” queimada spell
Owls, toads and witches.
Demons, goblins and devils.
Mist that covers valleys Filled with lost Spirits,
ravens, salamanders, and sorceresses.
Erect black cat tail
and all the spells of the witches…
Rotten logs with holes,
home of worms and vermin.
Fire of the Holy inquisition.
Evil eye, black curses.
Stench of the dead.
Thunder and lightning.
Satyr’s snout and rabbit’s foot.
Fox barking, sable´s tail,
dog’s howl, herald of death…
Sinful tongue of a bad woman
married to an old man.
Hell of Satan and Beelzebub.
Fire of burning corpses.
Fatuous fires of the night of San Silvestre.
Mutilated bodies of the indecent,
and farts from hellish asses…
Roar of the raging sea,
harbinger of shipwrecks.
Sterile womb of a single woman.
Meowing of cats in search of cats in heat.
Dirty mane of a poorly calved goat
and twisted ram´s horns…
With this firing pot
I will raise the flames of this fire
like the ones in hell
so, witches will be purified
of all their wickedness.
some will run away
riding their brooms
to go diving
in the sea of Finisterre.
Listen! Listen to these roars…!
They are the witches who are purifying themselves
in these spiritual flames…
And when this delicious concoction
down our throats goes,
all of us will also be free
of the evils of our soul
Forces of air, land, sea and fire!
I make this call to you:
if it is true that you have more power
cleanse our evil spirit
and do that here and now.
Also, the spirits of absent friends
Will be sharing with us this queimada.