Greek Ritual Healing

1840 Words8 Pages
This paper is based on an interview that I conducted with my maternal grandmother who I currently live with. It is surprising to me that I thought I knew what hers responses to my questions would be because of my visit to Greece. Greece currently has a socialist system of medicine, much like many of the countries of the world, and very much unlike our current system of medicine in this country. Needless to say, I was wrong. I had no actual idea what she was about to report to me in our interview. Many rituals and superstitions that modern as well as Ancient Greek culture hold are the significance of holy oil and water. The Greek Orthodox Church has emphasized on the healing abilities of blessed oil and water and that people 's spiritual…show more content…
Cutting is a process by which a person skilled in village therapy makes several incisions on a recipients back, allowing a minimal amount of blood to be released, thereby extracting the evil spirit that brought on the fever that the recipient suffered from. What is interesting to note, this old world therapy has been supported by modern medicine as an effective form of treatment. She told us that this treatment was done with a straight razor blade that was disinfected by alcohol fire. When asked why they did that, she reported that they did it to remove the “bad blood.” While bloodletting 's roots are found in Greece is also found in many other parts of the world and other regions use it in many other kinds of ways. A primary way that different cultures such as Norway use bloodletting is through the use of leeches. The leeches would be placed on the recipients or patients back and they would filter the blood out of a person’s body ridding them of the "sick" blood that was in them previously. The end of the 19th century is when bloodletting took a turn down word as its use was regarded as ineffective for most of its traditional purposes. However in today 's world bloodletting is being resurrected as an extremely effective method of treating blood disorders such as the overload of iron and other nutrients (Ulvik…show more content…
Glass objects that demonstrate a series of colors imitating the look of an eye were kept nearby to ward off any spirit that would bring sickness and suffering. To determine if one was taken over by an evil spirit, the village therapist would recite prayer over two glasses of water, one having a drop of olive oil floating in the middle of it. Upon completing the prayer, the therapist would dip a finger in the oil of the one glass and make the sign of a cross over the face of the recipient, making sure the oil came into contact with the forehead, both cheeks, and the chin, symbolizing the image of the cross. The therapist would then re-dip their finger into the oil of the first glass and allow the oil to drop from their finger into the second glass that only had water. If the oil that dropped into the second glass stayed together in a circular pattern, the recipient was free of any evil spirit. However, if the oil spread out over the water and didn 't bind itself into a circular pattern, it was a sign of a possessed individual. Another common Greek home healthcare remedy that was used in my grandmothers village is found in two of the most abundant resources found in Greece. Water and sea salt are mixed together in order to form a solution that is then heated up until some of the water will dissolve to form an effective remedy. This remedy is to be gargled in the back

More about Greek Ritual Healing

Open Document