The Demon Lover: `Aisha QandishaOne sort of love-possession seen in Morocco is of a less poetic sort than experienced by Majnun, but its sufferers are described with the same epithet--"majnun," possessed by jnun. Experience of the jnun, invisible beings with whom humans share the earth, is pervasive in Morocco. Crapanzano, whose work on the ethnopsychiatry of possession in Morocco is the best in English, has presented several examples of possession by the most distinctive of these beings, the jinniya (singular female of jnun) `Aisha Qandisha (Crapanzano 1973, 1975, 1977). Capable of appearing in visible human form, she is the most commonly named of the jnun, who are most often referred to generically. Males are the usual victims of Lalla (Lady) `Aisha, as she will often be called to avoid the risk of explicitly naming her. She dwells near wells and water-courses and may appear either as a seductive and attractive woman or as a hideous hag. If the victim does not notice her cow or goat feet and plunge an iron knife into the ground, he will be struck (mdrub) and inhabited by her (mskun). He is then likely to become impotent or to lose interest in human women, and he may suffer a variety of physical or psychological effects unless and until his possession is brought under control by the intervention of one of the popular Moroccan curing groups.
Source: Possessed by Love: Gender and Romance in Morocco, Douglas A. Davis and Susan Schaefer Davis, 1995, at www.haverford.edu/psych/ddavis/romance.html