The following story was told to me by Hyacinth Ashley on St. John USVI
Magic Noir – St. Lucia
The occult science of Obeah is alive and well on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia where supernatural practices and beliefs have become incorporated into the fabric of everyday life.
Obeah came to the Caribbean on the hellish slave ships that brought captured Africans across the Atlantic to toil on the plantations of the New World.
Some practitioners of Obeah follow a dark and deadly path while others are dedicated to the light, to warding off evil spirits and harmful spells, and to aid their fellow man on the often difficult and treacherous journey of life. It is said that the evil ones can grant great power, wealth and worldly delights. It is also said that they can cast evil and wicked spells bringing pain, sickness, insanity and death.
Magic, like anything else in the universe, does not occur without consequences, and with consequences comes responsibility. Most Obeah men and women are considered mediums or intermediaries between the individual wanting a spell cast and the person who receives that spell. It is widely accepted that the initiator of the spell is accountable for the consequences of the magic. Sometimes, however, the Obeah priest or priestess acts on their own for their own purposes. In this case, they must bear full and total responsibility for the consequences of their actions. This is the story of one such Obeahman, who corrupted by the power that he possessed, practiced his dark arts in order to satisfy his own wanton and selfish desires.
The Obeahman in question had long ago withdrawn from society and lived as a recluse near a secluded swamp surrounded by a dark forest. On one of his rare visits to the village, he became obsessed with desire for an attractive young married woman. The next new moon, at the stroke of midnight, the sorcerer performed an ancient ritual that allowed him to leave his body in the form of an evil spirit.
Unseen and unheard by any of the villagers, he made his way to the door of the woman’s house. He knocked on the door. The woman’s husband opened the door. The evil spirit then blew a magic dust that he was holding in his hand into the face of the unsuspecting husband.
The husband then fell into a profound sleep; one which seemed more like a coma or death than ordinary sleep. The spirit then took the woman, bewitched her with a spell, and had sex with her until just before the dawn. Before the sun arose, the spirit took leave of the house and returned to the shanty in the swamp and back into the body of the Obeahman.
Both husband and wife awake shortly after dawn. Neither remembered anything of the night before, The woman, however, felt drawn and ill at ease and was troubled by a deep scratch that itched and burned.
On the evening of the next new moon the spirit generated by the Obeahman returned to the couple’s house. The husband was again rendered unconscious and the woman bewitched into having sex with the spirit. As on the previous month, neither husband nor wife remembered anything and the only evidence left by the evil spirit was the disturbing scratch that itched and burned.
The woman began to feel unexplainably ill and depressed. One day the woman’s brother came to visit and noticed that something was troubling his sister. He asked her what was wrong and in the course of describing her feelings she showed her brother the scratches that refused to heal. Suspecting that his sister was under the influence of an Obeah spell, the man took her to see a white magic woman.
The Obeah woman immediately recognized the scratch as the mark of the evil spirit. She told the woman what was happening and gave her an herb, which her husband was to brew into tea and drink at dusk on the new moon to counteract the effects of the magic powder.
On the next new moon the spirit returned. He blew the dust into the husband’s face, but this time the man did not sleep, he only pretended to. The spirit then took the wife and began to have sex with her. Her husband taking hold of a long sharp knife, which he had kept hidden and ready for this very moment, plunged it into the spirit’s back with all his might. The evil spirit uttered a horrifying shriek, jumped from the bed and ran out the door. Returning to the swamp, the wounded spirit reentered the body of the Obeahman who could now feel the life force draining from his body. The Obeahman knew that there was no hope. No doctor or no hospital could save him, neither could his magic incantations, because his spirit was mortally wounded and as a result the body could not go on living. The Obeahman locked his door, sat in his chair and waited for death.
Some weeks later, a hunter passing by the swamp was struck by a nauseating odor emanating from the shanty. When no one answered his calls, he broke down the door and found the decaying body of the evil priest.
Just as it is in the physical realm, so it is in the spiritual realm. Balance will inevitably be restored. The laws of karma can be as rigid as the laws of physics, and the Obeahman, who had abused his powers, had to bear the responsibility for his actions, for which he paid the ultimate price.