Linking your favorite traveling artists across the globe
The essence of Romany Witchcraft - or more properly Sorcery - is in the mindset born from the nomadic way of life and the resultant eclectic culture. Preserving Shamanic traditions from India, the Sorcery of the Near East, and ancient Eurasian and Western European beliefs and practices, Romani tribes can be said to be a major source and conduit of magical tradition for those who practiced Historical Witchcraft. Traveling throughout Eurasia and beyond, and adopting local traditions, they can be regarded as important carriers in the transmission of ideas throughout the history of Witchcraft.
Some caveats are first needed before we proceed however. As observed by skeptics, Romani and Gadjo alike, most Romanis do NOT practice magic or fortune telling, or any of the other stereotypical habits of Gypsies. Even whole tribes have lost the art. However some tribes in every nation do contain, in varying degrees, clans that specialize in sorcery. For example amongst the British Romnichal and Welsh Kale tribes the Lee and Stokes clans are believed to contain many hereditary sorcerers (hence the number of fortune tellers who adopt this surname).
The practice of sorcery is a closely guarded secret revealed only to the initiated, even within Romani society, and so many do not know their own heritage (particularly in the modern westernized state). However all Romanis know the Bari Hukni, or 'Great Trick', the deception required in order to survive in a hostile environment. The first manifestation of which being the 'lie' that the Gypsies were on a seven year Christian pilgrimage in Europe, and so had the right to freedom of movement. All 'Christian' Romani wore crosses, but called them 'Trushul', derived from Trishula, the Trident of Shiva (symbolizing birth, life and death). The making of a sign of a cross to ward off evil was also used by Romanis, some say they introduced it and that it has nothing to do with a crucifix. From this 'Great Trick' was spawned the many 'little tricks' (the origin of huckstering from hukni?), which ranged from poaching (from poachy, Rom for pocket), to fake 'fortune telling', or Dukkerin, and 'magical' confidence tricks (such as treasure finding or curse removal). Due to this most Romani regard magic as a mere trick for Gadjos.