Gypsy Folk Tales: The Vampire

• January 19th, 2009

Sacred Texts

THERE was an old woman in a village. And grown-up maidens met and span, and made a 'bee.' 1 And the young sparks came and laid hold of the girls, and pulled them about and kissed them. But one girl had no sweetheart to lay hold of her and kiss her. And she was a strapping lass, the daughter of wealthy peasants; but three whole days no one came near her. And she looked at the big girls, her comrades. And no one troubled himself with her. Yet she was a pretty girl, a prettier was not to be found. Then came a fine young spark, and took her in his arms and kissed her, and stayed with her until cock-crow. And when the cock crowed at dawn he departed. The old woman saw he had cock's feet. 2 And she kept looking at the lad's feet, and she said, 'Nita, my lass, did you see anything?'

'I didn't notice.'

'Then didn't I see he had cock's feet?'

'Let be, mother, I didn't see it.'

And the girl went home and slept; and she arose and went off to the spinning, where many more girls were holding a 'bee.' And the young sparks came, and took each one his sweetheart. And they kissed them, and stayed a while, and went home. And the girl's handsome young spark came and took her in his arms and kissed her and pulled her about, and stayed with her till midnight. And the cock began to crow. The young spark heard the cock crowing, and departed. What said the old woman who was in the hut, 'Nita, did you notice that he had horse's hoofs?'

'And if he had, I didn't see.'

Then the girl departed to her home. And she slept and arose in the morning, and did her work that she had to do. And night came, and she took her spindle and went to the old woman in the hut. And the other girls came, and the young sparks came, and each laid hold of his sweetheart. But the pretty girl looks at them. Then the young sparks gave over and departed home. And only the girl remained neither a long time nor a short time. Then came the girl's young spark. Then what will the girl do? She took heed, and stuck a needle and thread in his back. And he departed when the cock crew, and she knew not where he had gone to. Then the girl arose in the morning and took the thread, and followed up the thread, and saw him in a grave where he was sitting. Then the girl trembled and went back home. At night the young spark that was in the grave came to the old woman's house and saw that the girl was not there. He asked the old woman, 'Where's Nita?'

'She has not come.'

Then he went to Nita's house, where she lived, and called, 'Nita, are you at home?'

Nita answered, ['I am'].

'Tell me what you saw when you came to the church. For if you don't tell me I will kill your father.'

'I didn't see anything.'

Then he looked, 1 and he killed her father, and departed to his grave.

Next night he came back. 'Nita, tell me what you saw.' I didn't see anything.'

'Tell me, or I will kill your mother, as I killed your father. Tell me what you saw.'

'I didn't see anything.'

Then he killed her mother, and departed to his grave. Then the girl arose in the morning. And she had twelve servants. And she said to them, 'See, I have much money and many oxen and many sheep; and they shall come to the twelve of you as a gift, for I shall die to-night. And it will fare ill with you if you bury me not in the forest at the foot of an apple-tree.'

At night came the young spark from the grave and asked, Nita, are you at home?'

'I am.'

'Tell me, Nita, what you saw three days ago, or I will kill you, as I killed your parents.'

'I have nothing to tell you.'

Then he took and killed her. Then, casting a look, he departed to his grave.

So the servants, when they arose in the morning, found Nita dead. The servants took her and laid her out decently. They sat and made a hole in the wall and passed her through the hole, and carried her, as she had bidden, and buried her in the forest by the apple-tree.

And half a year passed by, and a prince went to go and course hares with greyhounds and other dogs. And he went to hunt, and the hounds ranged the forest and came to the maiden's grave. And a flower grew out of it, the like of which for beauty there was not in the whole kingdom. 1 So the hounds came on her monument, where she was buried, and they began to bark and scratched at the maiden's grave. Then the prince took and called the dogs with his horn, and the dogs came not. The prince said, 'Go quickly thither.'

Four huntsmen arose and came and saw the flower burning like a candle. They returned to the prince, and he asked them, 'What is it?'

'It is a flower, the like was never seen.'

Then the lad heard, and came to the maiden's grave, and saw the flower and plucked it. And he came home and showed it to his father and mother. Then he took and put it in a vase at his bed-head where he slept. Then the flower arose from the vase and turned a somersault, 2 and became a full-grown maiden. And she took the lad and kissed him, and bit him and pulled him about, and slept with him in her arms, and put her hand under his head. And he knew it not. When the dawn came she became a flower again.

In the morning the lad rose up sick, and complained to his father and mother, 'Mammy, my shoulders hurt me, and my head hurts me.'

His mother went and brought a wise woman and tended him. He asked for something to eat and drink. And he waited a bit, and then went to his business that he had to do. And he went home again at night. And he ate and drank and lay down on his couch, and sleep seized him. Then the flower arose and again became a full-grown maiden. And she took him again in her arms, and slept with him, and sat with him in her arms. And he slept. And she went back to the vase. And he arose, and his bones hurt him, and he told his mother and his father. Then his father said to his wife, 'It began with the coming of the flower. Something must be the matter, for the boy is quite ill. Let us watch to-night, and post ourselves on one side, and see who comes to our son.'

Night came, and the prince laid himself in his bed to sleep. Then the maiden arose from the vase, and became there was never anything more fair--as burns the flame of a candle. And his mother and his father, the king, saw the maiden, and laid hands on her. Then the prince arose out of his sleep, and saw the maiden that she was fair. Then he took her in his arms and kissed her, and lay down in his bed, slept till day.

And they made a marriage and ate and drank. The folk marvelled, for a being so fair as that maiden was not to be found in all the realm. And he dwelt with her half a year, and she bore a golden boy, two apples in his hand. 1 And it pleased the prince well.

Then her old sweetheart heard it, the vampire who had made love to her, and had killed her. He arose and came to her and asked her, 'Nita, tell me, what did you see me doing?'

'I didn't see anything.'

'Tell me truly, or I will kill your child, your little boy, as I killed your father and mother. Tell me truly.'

'I have nothing to tell you.'

And he killed her boy. And she arose and carried him to the church and buried him.

At night the vampire came again and asked her, 'Tell me, Nita, what you saw.'

'I didn't see anything.'

'Tell me, or I will kill the lord whom you have wedded.'

Then Nita arose and said, 'It shall not happen that you kill my lord. God send you burst.' 1

The vampire heard what Nita said, and burst. Ay, he died, and burst for very rage. In the morning Nita arose and saw the floor swimming two hand's-breadth deep in blood. Then Nita bade her father-in-law take out the vampire's heart with all speed. Her father-in-law, the king, hearkened, and opened him and took out his heart, and gave it into Nita's hand. And she went to the grave of her boy and dug the boy up, applied the heart, and the boy arose. And Nita went to her father and to her mother, and anointed them with the blood, and they arose. Then, looking on them, Nita told all the troubles she had borne, and what she had suffered at the hands of the vampire.

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Gypsy Folk Tales: The Five Trades

• January 19th, 2009

From Sacred Texts

Once there were a sailor and other four men. One was a smith, and the other was a soldier and a tailor, and the last was an innkeeper. The sailor asked the smith to come upon the sea. The smith said, 'No, I must go and do some work.' 'What is your work?' 'To heat iron,' says the smith, and make it into shoes for horses.' The sailor asked the other three to come on board his ship. The soldier said he must go to make facings and marchings; and the tailor said, 'I must go and make clothes to keep you warm.' And the innkeeper said, 'I am going to make beer to make you drunk, that you may all of you go to the devil.' That's all of that.

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Mantra for Inner Strength

• January 19th, 2009

As told to me by a friend.

I am healthy, well and full of energy,

Competent, capable and highly motivated,

Calm, cool, collected and easygoing,

Strong, secure, happy and optimistic,

Intelligent, independant and free.

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Before Time Was

• January 19th, 2009

From The Standing Stones Book of Shadows by Scott Cunningham

Before time was, there was The One; The One was all, and all was The One.

And the vast expanse known as the universe was The One, all wise, all pervading, all powerful, eternally changing.

And space moved. The One molded energy into twin forms, equal but opposite, fashioning the Goddess and God from The One and of The One.

The Goddess and God stretched and gave thanks to The One, but darkness surrounded them. They were alone, solitary save for The One.

So they formed energy into gases and gases into suns and planets and moons; They sprinkled the universe with whirling globes and so all was given shape by the hands of the Goddess and God.

Light arose and the sky was illuminated by a billion suns. The Goddess and God, satisfied by their works, rejoiced and loved, and were one.

From their union sprang the seeds of all life, and the human race so that we might achieve incarnation upon the Earth.

The Goddess chose the Moon as her symbol, and the God the Sun as his to remind the inhabitants of Earth of their creators.

All are born, live, die and are reborn beneath the Moon and Sun; All things come to pass thereunder, and all occurs with the blessings of The One, the Goddess and God, as has been the way of existence since before time was.

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Charge of the God

• January 19th, 2009

Listen to the words of the Horned God,

The Guardian of all things wild and free, and Keeper of the Gates of Death, whose Call all must answer:

I am the fire within your heart... The yearning of your Soul. I am the Hunter of Knowledge and the Seeker of the Holy Quest; I who stand in the darkness of light; I am He whom you have called Death. I am the Consort and Mate of Her we adore, call forth to me.

Heed my call beloved ones, come unto me and learn the secrets of death and peace. I am the corn at harvest and the fruit on the trees. I am He who leads you home. Scourge and Flame, Blade and Blood these are mine and gifts to thee.

Call unto me in the forest wild and on hilltop bare and seek me in the Darkness Bright. I who have been called; Pan, Herne, Osiris , and Hades, speak to thee in thy search. Come dance and sing; come live and smile, for behold: this is my worship.

You are my children and I am thy Father. On swift night wings it is I who lay you at the Mother's feet to be reborn and to return again.

Thou who thinks to seek me, know that I am the untamed wind, the fury of storm and passion in your Soul. Seek me with pride and humility, but seek me best with love and strength.

For this is my path, and I love not the weak and fearful. Hear my call on long Winter nights and we shall stand together guarding Her Earth as She sleeps.

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Charge of the Goddess

• January 19th, 2009

Traditional by Doreen Valiente, as adapted by Starhawk:

Listen to the words of the Great Mother, Who of old was called Artemis, Astarte, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Diana, Arionrhod, Brigid, and by many other names:

Whenever you have need of anything, once a month, and better it be when the moon is full, you shall assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of Me Who is Queen of all the Wise.

You shall be free from slavery, and as a sign that you be free you shall be naked in your rites.

Sing, feast, dance, make music and love, all in My Presence, for Mine is the ecstasy of the spirit and Mine also is joy on earth.

For My law is love is unto all beings. Mine is the secret that opens the door of youth, and Mine is the cup of wine of life that is the cauldron of Cerridwen, that is the holy grail of immortality.

I give the knowledge of the spirit eternal, and beyond death I give peace and freedom and reunion with those that have gone before.

Nor do I demand aught of sacrifice, for behold, I am the Mother of all things and My love is poured out upon the earth.

Hear the words of the Star Goddess, the dust of Whose feet are the hosts of Heaven, whose body encircles the universe:

I Who am the beauty of the green earth and the white moon among the stars and the mysteries of the waters,

I call upon your soul to arise and come unto me.

For I am the soul of nature that gives life to the universe.

From Me all things proceed and unto Me they must return.

Let My worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals.

Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.

And you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.

For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I am That which is attained at the end of desire.

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The Wiccan Rede

• January 19th, 2009

Bide within the Law you must, in perfect Love and perfect Trust. Live you must and let to live, fairly take and fairly give.

For tread the Circle thrice about to keep unwelcome spirits out. To bind the spell well every time, let the spell be said in rhyme.

Light of eye and soft of touch, speak you little, listen much. Honor the Old Ones in deed and name, let love and light be our guides again.

Deosil go by the waxing moon, chanting out the joyful tune. Widdershins go when the moon doth wane, and the werewolf howls by the dread wolfsbane.

When the Lady's moon is new, kiss the hand to Her times two. When the moon rides at Her peak then your heart's desire seek.

Heed the North winds mighty gale, lock the door and trim the sail. When the Wind blows from the East, expect the new and set the feast.

When the wind comes from the South, love will kiss you on the mouth. When the wind whispers from the West, all hearts will find peace and rest.

Nine woods in the Cauldron go, burn them fast and burn them slow. Birch in the fire goes to represent what the Lady knows.

Oak in the forest towers with might, in the fire it brings the God's insight.   Rowan is a tree of power causing life and magick to flower.

Willows at the waterside stand ready to help us to the Summerland. Hawthorn is burned to purify and to draw faerie to your eye.

Hazel-the tree of wisdom and learning adds its strength to the bright fire burning. White are the flowers of Apple tree that brings us fruits of fertility.

Grapes grow upon the vine giving us both joy and wine. Fir does mark the evergreen to represent immortality seen.

Elder is the Lady's tree burn it not or cursed you'll be. Four times the Major Sabbats mark in the light and in the dark.

As the old year starts to wane the new begins, it's now Samhain. When the time for Imbolc shows watch for flowers through the snows.

When the wheel begins to turn soon the Beltane fires will burn. As the wheel turns to Lamas night power is brought to magick rite.

Four times the Minor Sabbats fall use the Sun to mark them all. When the wheel has turned to Yule light the log the Horned One rules.

In the spring, when night equals day time for Ostara to come our way. When the Sun has reached it's height time for Oak and Holly to fight.

Harvesting comes to one and all when the Autumn Equinox does fall. Heed the flower, bush, and tree by the Lady blessed you'll be.

Where the rippling waters go cast a stone, the truth you'll know. When you have and hold a need, harken not to others greed.

With a fool no season spend or be counted as his friend. Merry Meet and Merry Part bright the cheeks and warm the heart.

Mind the Three-fold Laws you should three times bad and three times good. When misfortune is enow wear the star upon your brow.

Be true in love this you must do unless your love is false to you.

These Eight words the Rede fulfill: "An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will"

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