Bouissou, Madame Michael - The cursed leeks
Type of spiritual experience
A description of the experience
The Life of a Sensitive – Madame Michael Bouissou
A woman came to visit me one day, mysteriously carrying in a basket a bundle of leeks. On the ground floor of her house, she told me, lived a woman ("the sorceress", she called her) who cast a spell on her every time she passed her door; the harmless leeks - and these alone among all the vegetables - proved to be carriers of spells.
She assured me that she was seriously ill each time she ate them and that she had repeated the experiment several times in order to make sure.
From her terrified expression, her rolling, frightened eyes, I felt that she was dominated by an appalling idee fixe. I pretended to countenance her fears, forbade her to eat leeks, but in order that the sorceress might not cast her spell on another vegetable I told her to buy a few occasionally. Then, in very simple terms, I explained that the fear she felt of this woman increased her power and that if she made an effort to be kind and said good-day to her sorceress she would break the spell. She left slightly reassured and I saw her some time later.
She thanked me very sweetly and said that the spell had been lifted.
“One Saturday, Madame, I was passing the flat where the sorceress was enjoying the fresh air at her window. I had some leeks in my bag as you told me and I saw at once that she was poisoning them with her glance. At that moment I remembered your advice and I said to myself, No, you're not going to get the better of me. I'm going to be the stronger, and to prove it, you shall go for a fine walk with me tomorrow. And I wasn't afraid. Well, perhaps you won't believe me, Madame, but on the Monday she was still talking of our walk and asked me if I would like to repeat it next week. The spell had been broken, I felt that I was the stronger and I could not help laughing as I went up to my own flat."
The idea of poisoning by a spell is very common among simple people if the circumstances lend themselves to it: the physical appearance of the alleged sorceress, gestures the person thinks are aimed at him, sometimes threats or quarrels have the same result as real poisoning.
The source of the experience
Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image
Observation contributed by: Francis Keeble