Apr 1, 2016


 The importance of sexuality and fertility in human history, almost to the point of exaggeration, is perhaps best presented by the examples of ancient gods. Greek god Priapus, son of Dionysus and Aphrodite, a deity with an extremely large phallus, is the classic symbol of the cult of penis worship which is out of control and sense. Before him the cult of Pan was known, Roman Silvanus or the Illyrian Vidasus, which in its essence celebrates unrestrained sexuality but also emphasises the importance of maintaining uninterrupted continuity of fertility as the basic need of all humanity.


In folk religion of BiH the penis was compared to a stick i.e. wood. In certain magical rituals during a friends marriage, a joke was usually done by his friends who would quietly sneak upon the grooms house and uttering a magical formula overturn a wooden stick inside his yard, and according to stories the groom would be unable to achieve an erection.

Bosnian men pay special attention to their penis, probably because the folk name for it is usually "male strength" and sometimes "anguish", because of the traditional obsession of men with their penis. Besides indicating strength, the phallus has pronounced prophylactic characteristics. That we are talking about a great force which will chase away all evil when uttered is demonstrated by the following example from the ritual practice of our stravarke. While pouring molten lead into water stravarka from Velika Kladuša utters:

Fear be gone, you are chased by the father's thing!

With the phrase "father's thing" one alludes to penis. In the exorcist formula from Tešanj the following is mentioned:

A dark dog crosses the water with four legs,
fifth tail,
sixth penis and seventh testicles.
No saddlebag in the testicles
nor a stick in the penis....
nor spells on my child!

Though, according to folk belief, there is no way that someone can cast a spell on the genitalia nor cause a disease since they are parts of the body that no one can see, men have a primal fear from all forms of sexual powerlessness. Based on this we can conclude that identification of men with the penis often crosses all normal forms and often becomes an obsession. In the description of the magical protection of the penis, the man holds his penis while going to the bathroom and utters:

My penis,
you are the boss of the entire castle (estate),
may no one hurt you.

If a man becomes impotent he will undertake all necessary things to bring it back, even if he has to use magical recipes. In Visoko a man wishing to restore his potency would eat roasted sparrows with rice.

In accordance with fertility represents happiness in the narrowest sense, which is then again identified with life itself, sexually functional penis is a source of life happiness and vitality for every man. Looking at him through spread out fingers the man talks to him with a magical formula:

My penis, I'm looking at you through my fingers;
you have small eyes but great powers,
you see in the darkness as you do in light,
please give me luck
and may you never grow tired
and may you always make me happy.

Another interesting thing is that the ritual of looking through the fingers is typical and characteristic of Bosnian love magic, for example when a girl or wife spreads her finger and looks through them at the man she desires or loves, followed by a small love formula. A woman would secretly look through the fingers of her right hand and would repeat this formula three times:

You look at me (the name of the man) lovingly,
string pearls,
give your soul for me,
elzalif amin veledalin amin.

For a man to be generally happy with his penis, besides a good erection one strives for plentiful sperm which in itself guarantees fertility itself. But, besides the fact that sperm is among the folk known as "seed of life", it too has prophylactic powers like the penis, especially ones which need to protect him from spells which women perform against his sexual powers. When a man masturbates and finishes, he would follow the act by this magical formula:

As I had come,
so too may my luck masturbate (walk, go) across the world,
and never let a female put a spell on me.