Taboo Violation and Charming Initiation, as Expressed by Some Romanian Legends and Incantations Addressed to the Fairies

  • Laura Jiga Iliescu
Keywords: incantatons and charming practices, fairies, the Table of the Fairies, miraculous water,, sacred knowledge, nitiation, ecastasy, taboos, etiological legends, Romanian folklore, folk religion


Within the context of charmings, as it has been recorded among Romanians, the article aims to disclose the meaning of the theme of fairies’ taboo violation as a precondition necesary to gain sacred knowledge. In this regard, various certain incantations addressed to the fairies are examined, along with legends and third person accounts that underline the role played by these supernatural entities as numinous agents for initiation to the `secret` register of knowledge through a special form of communication, which in modern neuroscience terminology might be referred to as an ‚altered state of consciouness’, but which, in the emic terms of magic medicine is described as a disease, namely beeing taken by the fairies. In concordance with the idea of mutual exchanges between humans and the numinous, the one who accept the fairies’ authority and pay the price of being tormented by them, gain the gift of therapeutic and divinatory abilities.