The Midnight Sun – A Generous Invitation to the Marriage of the Spirit and the North Winds. Slavic & Balkan Traditions of Kolyadky & Auseklis

By Phoenix of Elder Mountain and other contributors, edited by Sarah Burnt Stone – The Midnight Sun in the pre-pagan traditions of the Moon Cultures which includes the pre-shamanism cultures of the Dreamers. The Moon lights our way through the Winter which is all year long…

The Languages of  symbolism is very deep, rich and very ancient, as it comes long before written languages ever existed, and has been used in mainly the communications of art in all its forms. Symbols are able to saturate a story, and if you understand symbolism, you can read a cave painting, or symbols on traditional textiles, translate dreams accurately and live a full live without books. So, too understand how old our soul truly is, who needs to talk or read? Not us.

It is our connection to nature, and the unconscious living events that requires stillness to experience great observation within the realms of self awareness in the living and natural world that reflects who were are at our core. If you cannot dance with the earth, she will not show you these treasures. Shamans over the millenniums that are pure, are female and are from a pre-patriarchal tradition, can extract various stories and understandings without needing to study.

Why is this important? Its important because it contains wisdom of where we have come from as souls and where we are going without being corrupted or manipulated in our feminine half which has been hidden, abused, lost and marketed for power by grandfathers of all nations for four thousand years. I think we’ve had enough of that in order to be able to heal our elusive souls… yes souls, we have quite a few. 

If writing is under the inventions of the language of the mind and all that it comes with that… symbolism is the language of the soul and all that it comes with it. It is the root language of the empaths, the dreamers, the artists and the shamans which existed long before any creation of runes, astrology, record keeping, mathematics. We didn’t need it and some of us still don’t. Nothing is really older in language than our own palm lines on our hands, these are the oldest symbols in humanity, but symbolism is a counterpart to such ancient languages.

This communication of the symbol above can be seen in almost all ancient clothing designs, a reflection of our “subtle bodies” (our souls) or the “root or bones” of our “emotional and energetic” language expressed through image, dreams, art, symbolism, imagination (manifestation of image) and intuitive energetic intelligence such as synchronicity and natural magic (nature).

We don’t need to explore anymore, we need to take the journey back to our past and past lives to heal our fragmented souls. That is the future you should invest in. When winter comes, the north winds blow and the midnight sun is the moon light of half the year that is cyclical to our emotional nature.

The Midnight Sun is the Moon of Winter, photo via telegraphcouk

Dreamers need to understand our empathic and old soul natures of prehistory for their own future. This is a path of a full spiritual journey (not just mind-body) and the thirst this lifetime starts from birth and lasts our whole entire life. In the beginning ages of the last 7,000 years it was body & soul (sun & moon), in the last 2,500 years it was body and mind (sun). Now we enter Soul & Nature again (Earth & Moon) and it is self understanding and reclaiming, first our human and its karma and then our nature (animism, celestial and elemental).

For most old souls it will just be a flexing of such reality, taking back what fairy tales and legends stole from us. Believing but not really believing (experiences) and to understand prehistory rites and movements with nature of symbolism, dreaming symbolism (not dream symbolism and there is a huge difference). And the subtle ritualistic art of dreamtime as a real language.

My focus is always on healing our individual Souls and how we get there from mind/body and emotional body. My focus is also in divination terms, one of the symbols of my ancestors which is called the “Star” or what was in prehistory called the “Midnight Sun” – and it is equaled to the ancient sacred Swastika and Sauwastika but with dual doorways (8 sides) instead of single arms and doors.

This has to do with the consciousness (of mysticism) called nature herself in a more balanced feminine and masculine attribute to our bein, instead of just male or masculine so dominant since the 3rd century ce. The midnight sun is connected to the equinoxes and solstices based on nature’s teachings, not human. That is why its only retained in art and artistic expressions.

Russia. Chuvash national embroidery of the 18th.jpg
Russia. Chuvash national embroidery of the 18th century.

One of the Midnight Sun people are the Polish Kashubian or Kashubs also spelled Kaszubians, Kassubians, Cassubians who are a West Slavic ethnic group in Pomerelia, located in north-central Poland. The Kashubian people are believed to be an original Baltic tribe who have held onto their own language, which is similar to the Polish modern language.

They have resided on the shores of the Baltic Sea since the 7th century ce. The landscape of mountains, meadows, sea, lakes, and forest and there is a legend that the lands and its people are protected by a Griffin who guard them forever which is much like the Fu Dogs who protect the Mongolian Indigenous tribes (not the military cults).

Kashubian traditional folk art is inspired by what was and still is around them, the flowers, the bees, butterflies, trees and sea life. Like many ancient cultures, portraying their identity through their art forms, the Kashubian Star represents the ancient “Midnight Sun of the Winter Solstice” and only specific more ancient tribes have such a symbolism.

The Auseklis – Midnight Sun, Goddess of the Dawn (now called a Star) and in kolyadkyUkraine traditions, its called the Mysteries of Kolyadky…

This Midnight Sun (or Star as its called), is the the Season of Night which is Autumn and Winter. It is also the Season of Fire – Spring and Summer. I live within this prehistory dreamers language in my shaman’s life and my healing wok, dreaming life and each moon cycle and how it effects dreams, dreaming and dreamtime.

One of the symbols sacred to the Latvian Balkan, is the Auseklis – The Midnight Sun, Goddess of the Dawn (now called a Star). In Ukraine tradition, its called the Mysteries of Kolyadky. The Aurora (Auseklis) is the Midnight Sun, Goddess of the Dawn is the oldest of all Slavic and Balkan countries symbols and its meaning, even older than all the pagan gods.

It has magical meanings in Latvian folklore of the ancient understanding of the secrets of magical nature, the magical self in relationship to nature. If your bed sheets are covered with this symbols then bed sheet protect though the symbol the dreamer from any shadow or evil wandering souls in the vicinity.

The symbol is also associated with ancient medicine, the straight or turned cross style. Auseklis is used commonly in folk and peasant usage of the Latvian culture. This is the most important ancient symbol to them, which is with the references of the night. In Latvia, its the Night Sun or Midnight Star as it is associated with Winter, the Winter Solstice and the protection from evil and shadows of the underworld.

Kolyadki - Traditional Slavic Winter Solstice celebration - Elder Mountain Dreaming

From Dawn Maid and Sun Maid: Celestial Goddesses among the Proto Indo Europeans by Miriam Robbins Dexter Antioch University, she writes: “The Indo-European Dawn Goddess appears in Northern Indo-European, particularly in Baltic folk songs. Proto-Indo-European Aus-tero gave rise to several cognate dawn goddesses, including Lithuanian AuSra, Latvian Auseklis, Old Prussian Ausca, and Roman Aurora. Throughout these folklore and mythology, the Goddess of the Dawn is often perceived as a woman and the Latvian daiqas, or folk songs, excuses are made for the late arrival of the dawn goddess.

Kolyadki sun and mKolyadki Winter Midnight Sun with moon and GoddessLatvian folk songs are very creative in their excuses for the goddess of the dawn: Where is the Auseklis of the Morning, Whom I did not see rising? Auseklis [is] in Germany; She is sewing velvet skirts. The Lithuanian dawn goddess AuSra is often called AuSrelt (dear dawn), employing the very common Lithuanian diminutive of endearment. She is also called AuSrint a form which utilizes the adjectival suffix; AuSrinis means ‘morning’ and AuSrint Zvaigzdt is the ‘morning star. The Latvian Goddess of Dawn in Baltic myth, was the Mother of Mēness The Moon God.

The moon was either married to Saule, the Sun Goddess, or her daughter, Saules Meita. In another folk song, Saule has given her daughter to Ausekis’ son. The Slavic Goddess of the Dawn, Zarya is not linguistically cognate with her Baltic sisters. The moon god, according to Gimbutas, was unstable; not only did he fall in love with the daughters of the sun, in Latvian myth, he also married Saule herself and fell in love with Ausrine as well.”

Midnight Sun Alatar Slavic Symbol

Perhaps the most curious of the Kolyadki is a Carpathian song in which we find the following description:

Once there was neither heaven nor earth,
Heaven nor earth, but only blue sea, and
in the midst of the sea there were two oaks,
There sat there, two birds,
Two birds on the two oaks,
and they began to take
counsel among themselves,
to take counsel and to say…

“How can we create the world?”
Let us go to the bottom of the sea,
Let us bring thence fine sand,
Fine sand and blue stone.

We will sow the fine sand,
We will breathe on the blue stone.
From the fine sand the black earth,
the cool waters, the green grass.

From the blue stone the blue heavens,
the blue heavens, the bright sun,
the bright sun, and the clear moon,
The clear moon and all the stars.

~ Afanasief, Poeticheskya Vezzyeniya Slavan

 We find a similar motif of Aurora in the primitive Sardinia, Italian language that Aurora, which is equivalent to Greek Ἕως, the rosy-fingered goddess, is no coincidence the Romans made it the hypostasis of gold (aurum > Aurora) for the splendor with which it appears. But aurum > Aurora was only a paronomasia, as the Latins had lost its oldest meaning, which turns out even in the Sumerian language, from a’u ‘one who drags ships, boats’ + ru ‘structure ‘+ ra ‘sun, splendor of the sun’: A’u-ru-ra which means:

‘She who pulls the boat of the Sun’ or life giving sun of the waking human life. Ἕως has the same origin, by Sumerian e ‘take out’ + u ‘sleep’, meaning ‘(the one who) brings out of sleep (the Sun)’.

Aurora is a Sun Goddess, but when the patriarch began to change all mythology into their new mythology she became the wife or consort and the male ended up in a higher status as the all life giving Sun God and from him all the gods rose, like Helios, Apollo, Mars, etc. The Aurora or Auseklis – The Midnight Sun, Goddess of the Dawn has magical meaning in Latvian folklore and it means you understand the secrets of magical nature, the magical self in relationship to nature.

If your bed sheets are covered with this symbols then bed sheet protect though the symbol the dreamer from any shadow or evil wandering souls in the vicinity. The symbol is also associated with ancient medicine, the straight or turned cross style.

Latvian Auseklis at her root, is a Celestial Goddess, collective rather than personal goddess or woman self-hood, and she and her symbol has much power, but like any ancient symbol, you do not get its power, you must match its power within your life and that is a long and painful journey. No symbol is power given, it must be completely earned and most times its given power by peoples shadow (their need for attention, jester or magic tricks for attention, the ego, false strength of the warrior etc).

These are all superficial and not in harmony with the feminine and goddess from which they were birthed. The symbol represents the complex eight-sided star, which must be drawn in one continuous line without lifting your hand to receive the benefit of his blessings.

Simplest form of star is simple cross which symbolizes as elements, the Fire and the Light which are basically the same thing, called Spirit. Pagan Latvians believes that magical rituals can be performed with this symbol and it often has a great meaning to those who use it in a sacred way

During late paganism eras (after the 8th-10th century), with the influences of Christian and Catholic Religions, the Midnight Star has been called Koliada in Ukraine and other Slavic and Balkan pagan winter traditions, which is most important as ancient winter ceremonies and celebrations and then later into Christmas and Christian Religions. The Midnight Sun (star) as a simple art image today, in the basic Christmas ritual.

Shaman Women, Ukraine, by Illustrator Vera Pavlova

The main attribute of Christmas and the Mysteries of Kolyadky is since ancient times, as it was pagan octagonal star, called by the ancestors as Sura (from al-atar “white or heat-combustible”) in Ukraine. Star-Sura is a Ukrainian eight pointed star which represents the eight major cycles of nature within the four seasons. Its characteristics are within folk ornamentation, especially the Hutsul.
Overall, this symbol is found in every area of folk art in Ukrainian pysanky, Ukrainian embroidery, folk carving, etc.Esoteric, Sura is oktahramu: projection diamond (heavenly light) to the square (the material world) and their mutual peresikannya. It connects all corners of the world and marks the absolute balance, harmony and balance, making a powerful healing effect. 
The very high star attached to a pole firmly and rays swirled around the axis using the power and extended in lace from him. On one side of the star depicting the human face or the sun, the second kolyadky scene. Inside sometimes inserted a candle, creating a sort of “magic lantern”. In making this week the stars came from the time because their produce in advance.

23Belarus: Каляда, Kalada, Kalyada
Bosnia, Croatia, Czech, Slovak, Slovene: Koledsa
Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia: Коледа, Коледе
Kashubia: Kòlãda
Latvia: Auseklis
Lithuania: Kalėdos, Kalėda
Poland: Kolęda, Kolędowanie
Old Polish: Kolenda
Old Church Slavonic: Колѧда
Romania: Kolinda
Russia:  Коляда, Kolyada
Ukraine:  Коляда, KolyadáTo understand any spiritual teaching of earth at its root, one must walk backwards into the past and prehistory of self, not the present or knowledge and definitely not forward or the future. To understand ancient cultures rituals before grandfather, we must go inward, inside to our emotional body and soul bodies gifts:
1. Visions and Out of Bodies, 2. Singing or Creativity and 3. Ancient ritual art. One question is: “Were the origins of the Winter Solstice Ceremonies Dances or Songs or both” Koleda is always celebrated with carolers, but the root of the term “Carol” actually refers to “dancing” rather than its common connotation regarding song or singing. In Old French, “carole” is translated to “dance.”
Similarly, in both Latin (choraula) and Greek (choraules) the root of the term means “to dance with the accompaniment of flute”. Thus caroling can actually be traced to more archaic traditions of solstice ritual dance much like kukeri, the bear dances or mummer’s purification dances (in some purer villages) in its shamanic roots.
In Pre-Christian eras, Northern Europeans and Eastern Europeans would travel in order to join together to sing and dance in honor of the sacredness of the Winter Solstice. Although after the 13th century most carols centered around religion or pagan celebrations. These dances were directly birthed from the sacred shamanic dances of women that occurred during the winter moons of the time of peace when the oceans became calm and they were joined in dreaming by all their shaman and sacred sisters around the earth, called dream incubation of the cave eras.
Before wars descended upon the earth, men also had their essential roles and parts in the great rituals of the tribe and clans. Their rites (like most cultures) are historically viewed as war dances, but in actuality there was no war-based intentions in their origins, that was propaganda, a myth projected as real when they were just dances.
Kolyadki Winter Midnight Sun Goddess Kievskaya Vasilisa Kolyadki akvarely cvetnye karandashi

The ancient tradition to bring it forth into our personal lives is the acts of creating art, be it dance, singing, natural art such as talisman (to be worn) and amulets (to be placed or hung) or longer period of a living art like Marzanna effigies.  As the Christian stories of the “Son of God” swallowed us whole as women, or Muslim and Jewish Religions, they gained cultural momentum, and their symbols and symbolism began to tell men’s stories imprinted on women, maidens and grandmothers. That is fine for the smaller minded or hearted souls, but for the wise winds of the older souls it was never enough, what was sacrificed of our story is the biggest crimes of earth.

As we regain some personal balance with mother earth, we often found on these amulets and talismans lost in their reference to the fertility of woman that did not have anything to do with a child or christ child or virgin, of both the Fire Goddess of the summer solstice and her twin mirror the Night Goddesses of the winter solstice and her heavenly fertility.

Although the original meaning of the Midnight Sun was displaced, the symbol remains present in Slavic celebrations due to tendency of Slavs and Balkans to bring their own traditions into Christianity rather than lose them. As religion became the leading influence of commerce for artisans, traditional craftsmen and women were given work to change these ancient symbols and adapt them to support both the new power of religion and male power in general. The work of these artisans combined with the domination of written pagan-god culture is what ultimately transformed the meaning of these shamanic symbols.

Północ Gwiazda (101)The verb ‘koliadovat’ means to go from door to door, singing ritual songs, asking for sweets and the pagan aspects of wearing animal masks. Koliada is the time between Korochun (the Winter Solstice) and the first week of January.

Lighted fires and candles are to light the darkest time of the year which was to echo the ancient pagan custom of banging the sparks from the burning Budnik ritual log, that is lit up at Koliada, much like the English Yule log. Sviatky in Russia is equivalent to yuletide and is celebrated in January where all the young girls and women in the family would practice folk divination, which is mostly melted wax into a water bowl.

Koliada in its older traditions is the name of a cycle of winter rituals that aligns with the new moon stemming from the ancient Calendae. The modern term of children and caroler’s singing is called kolyadovannya in Ukrainian and is now applied to similar Old East Slavic celebrations. In Bulgarian and Macedonian traditions of koleduvane (коледуване) or koledarenje (коледарење) which are also around Christmas and the Kolyadka (songs) are sung as well.

Koleda is also celebrated across northern Greece by the Slavs of Macedonia in Florina to Thessaloniki which is called Koleda (Κόλιντα, Κόλιαντα) and Koleda Babo (Κόλιντα Μπάμπω) which means “Koleda Grandmother” in Slavic and this directly ties Koleda (Winter Solstice) to the Winter Goddess Marzana making it the most archaic Koleda. This is a ritual of gathering in the village square and lighting a bonfire, followed by local Macedonian dancing. There is also a dance from Dubrovnik called “The Dubrovnik Koleda.”

Północ Gwiazda (92)Wigilia is the traditional Polish Christmas eve celebrations and sometimes called “gwiazdory” which is reference to the “Star” carriers. Before the 11th century they were all pagan celebrations and rituals and the oral traditions which were passed down for millenniums for generation to generation were lost and all we have left is a very small narrow culture of religious songs that lack the mystery. Poland’s Koledy, like other Slavic countries still bright Star along with the singers and folk musician spreadng seasonal good wishes.

Hieroglyphs, Petroglyphs, Cave Drawings, Ancient and Contemporary Art, Esoteric, Divination and even major business logo’s all draw from nature-based symbols (images of artists and dreamers) and contain a root language of our past and our souls journey. Traditional oral stories can be traced to these sources of images throughout history and prehistory and their original meanings can be understood when one recognizes symbolic language as their “first language.”

Symbolism as a tool, has been birthed forth from sacred dreamers, shamans and artists since the dreamers societies and this continues today in a less elaborate and less powerful and less meaningful shamanic ceremony. But at least fragments still exist and can be built upon for the future.


villagers from zakalnoe, sing kolyadki of the winter-midnight-sun-goddess

The Sun Goddess (in both Balkan and Slavic cultures) has a far more ancient symbolic meaning, than what is used in today’s rituals of the recent pagan past. In the past several thousand years her symbol evolved to be regarded as a “star” and this is a relatively recent concept. Prior to the evolution of astronomy, astrology, science and religion, the eight pointed star (associated with the Sun Goddess and Goddesses like Ishtar, Tanit and some older archaic goddesses) it represented the Midnight Sun of the Winter Solstice here on earth, not in the sky and that is the most important of all.

bronze_slavic_early_medieval_female_jewel_pendant VESNA, Slavic pendant, Moravia Magna Empire, bronzeThis star can be seen in the symbolism of folk ritual, folk art, rich textiles, pysanky eggs and sacred art of both the Slavs and the Balkan people. One later example is the early Medieval Slavic Moravia Magna (Moravian Empire) and it’s 8 pointed Vesna symbol which looks like a “flower”. Vesna is the Goddess of life, beauty, love and the spring and associated with the Goddess Lada.

Because the earth was woman’s only focus prior to men’s teachings (paganism and religion) the symbols and images belonging to woman’s prehistory were actually quite different and in many ways an opposition of what we have today in the meanings of symbols. If we release the associations created through these dominant teachings of the Sun Cults (which began to around 2,200 bce) we can begin to see the symbols come alive and express a more healing and magical meaning, which came forth from women weaving connectedness to the immediate surroundings and to accepting the dark winters without rushing to bring any light forth ahead of spring. In these ways we were accepting of the dark night and the time of silence. We were accepting to go inward and enter the night forest of mother earth and to heal the deepest during this time.

postIf we look at the Rozhy as a sacred symbol, which emerged from ancient earth-focused artists (who were generally the healers and enactors of rituals and leadership)  we can see that the eight-pointed Ruzha (ружа) is not a “star” but a “flower”. The Rozhy (mallow flowers) are so often similar to the eight-pointed star motif that during the shift from feminine to masculine-dominated teachings to see everything linear, the flower took on the connotation of the solar god and began to be regarded as a representation of the sun itself.

Today this symbol still represents the feminine, and woman’s sensitivities of the beauty of nurturing, and symbolizes love and caring for others. The Sun Goddess’s symbol, which retains both the meaning of the “Sun” and “Flower” allows us to trace its origin to the archaic symbol of the “Fire Flower.”

One of the most beautiful symbols of the Winter Solstice (which remains passed down from a direct lineages of the Matriarchal structures) is the 8 pointed Midnight Sun (or Fire Flower) that is carried atop a ritual staff by Ukrainian carolers at Christmas. Long ago shamanic ritual and Fire Dances would have accompanied these singers in their solstice celebration. The names of the Mallow flower (which is representative of the Fire Flower) in various Slavic and Balkan countries are:

Bulgarian: Горски слез (Gorski slez)
Czech: Sléz lesní
Croatian: Sljez crni, Sljez divlji
Estonian: Mets-kassinaeris
Georgian: ბალბა (Balba)
Macedonian: црн слез
Polish: Ślaz dziki
Romanian: Nalba de culturä, nalba de padure
Serbian: Crni slez
Slovak: Slez lesný
Slovene: Gozdni slezenovec
Ukrainian: Мальва лісова

christmas star

In China, the mallow flower is called the “power of magic” for its abilities to ward off shadows and shadow-natured humans who walk between the worlds (this world and across the veil into the dream worlds which are all on earth). A similar reference is found in Polish mythology which mentions Fire Flowers in much of their folklore. The ritual of the Vesta is a distinct Fire Flower rite and is a shamanic ritual in origin. The rite of the Fire Flower wasn’t a game or a celebration, but a real shamanic initiation which could last five to twenty years.

In today’s pagan ritual its said that to find the Fire Flower the seeker must enter a forest before midnight on the Eve of Kupala of the Summer Solstice. Blooming precisely at midnight, the brightness of the flower is so brilliant that no person can look at it directly. The reference of both “Flower” and “Midnight” in these stories also connect to the observance of the solstices.

For this powerful flower to be harvested, a circle had to be drawn around it. The seeker would encounter demons who would try to distract or prevent him/her from completing this task. It was said that if you answered the voices, or faltered during the task the cost would be your life. Anyone who succeeded in possessing this flower gained the ability to repel all evils. Thus, within the folklore of this Fire Flower lies the symbolism of the spiritual tests of the Shamans from these regions.

Midnight Sun symbolism of the Winter Dark Goddess

The ancients like myself as a shaman recognize and live by these two seasons: Summer and Winter and when one tries to relearn alignment with the celebration of these two seasons of earth, rather than the four we have come to regard as wholeness, one begins to be in rhythm with the rhythms of their emotional body as the earth herself does. These two-halves of the (whole) year are divided into two :

FIRE (spring-summer / solstice) Light half of the year from Spring to Autumn

NIGHT (autumn-winter / solstice) Night half of the year from Autumn to Spring


These two halves of the year are marked by the solstices and correlate with the north and south axis of Earth. These axis are the gates where dreamers, dream walkers, and soul bodied astral traveling shamans and humans exited and entered the mystical veils of earth (not off earth, like the new 4,000 year teachings of star lore wishes you to believe). Once the pyramids were built on earth, these were to disrupt magnetic energy and  slowly eradicate your dreaming and this ability through the magnetics of your emotional body and soul.

The demarcation of two halves of the year is one of the main differences between prehistory dreaming rituals and tribes and the rituals that have taken their place in the the past 4,000 years. This resulted in the loss of our connection to our dreamer and night dreams as real and powerful  which our astral body crosses back and forth. Woman’s prehistory rites and rituals, link directly to the power of dreaming itself and these celebrations involving the Spring and Autumn Equinox seasons are actually intended for our ordinary and mundane life of the waking world and not for the in-between worlds of the shaman, dreamers or mystics.

Many pagans who observe Halloween and Samhain celebrations would find this odd because (due to the rising power of the men of both Paganism and the Religious Sun cults) much significance has been placed on observing the Equinox and Religions over-took the Solstices and changed them to the mundane world. Nonetheless, the Spring and Autumn Equinox celebrations are important and mark significant turning points in the year, but not the spiritual in-between the worlds’ year.

Kolyadki Winter Midnight Sun Goddess 1903 Kolyadki Festive table in Podolsk villages

Another important facet of the Midnight Sun (or reverse sun sometimes called the second sun (core magma of the earth’s center) is its role as symbol of the feminine power of the internal fire and nature’s core of fire. Connected with the archaic Goddess figures of Marzanna and even how she rolled into the Black Madonna, this symbol can be traced back to the lineages of the shaman or cave grandmothers era’s of earth.

The Midnight Sun or Central Sun as some new age groups call it, it is the fire in the belly of the Mother Earth (which is fire). One of the ways to reconnect to the root of Woman’s prehistoric teachings (which have been both lost, destroyed and corrupted) is to reclaim a path of the Powerful Self which is our inner Fire. To do this requires both a healing journey, and a purification process involving working towards the unification of both perception (emotion / souls) and perspective (mind / beliefs) when living our mundane and creative life.

Kolyadki Winter Midnight Sun Goddess Різдво на Україні ukraine christmas sun

fire-%d0%bf%d0%be%d1%82%d0%b5%d1%80%d1%87%d0%b0%d1%82%d0%b0-1963Like most cultures, celebrations which contain vestiges of the original Solstice rituals have changed. Many of the Singing Carolers of Ukraine carry images and amulets of the Svarha (сварга) or Swastika during the Winter Solstice. But before pagan eras, this symbol denoted the movement of Ursa Major across the heavens and the four seasons in symbol form were the four spinning arms of transformation. As Pagan and then the Sun Cults (religions) came into power the symbol began to represent the Sun’s travel across the sky. In Slavic culture this symbol represented the Midnight Sun of the Dark Goddess (like Marzanna) of the winter and would then in later eras symbolized Dazhboh, a benevolent Sun God, in the Summer.

When i look at modern pagans today of both Slavic and Balkan countries, I see a lot of war loving viking imagery and associations and male dominance in the leadership, I see the same in men’s religions. If women are to heal themselves and work with their soul, they must begin to find a way to incorporate the more personal meanings of the moon, the sun, nature and personal ritual that weaves them together, both with intentions of health and letting go of what no longer serves their spiritual paths.

Kolyadki Winter Midnight Sun Goddess 32

Kolyadki Winter Midnight Sun Goddess Matonka

When the complex multi-spoke designs of the “Star” of Christmas became popularized, the rites of the women and grandmothers were eventually conferred to rituals enacted by children. By the 17th century the star lost most of its reference to its previous symbolic meaning and women were no longer allowed to participate in many of the solstice traditions.

The creation of amulets or star symbols, once used in the shamanic rites of women to protect their villages from shadows, were ultimately demoted to a child’s craft activity of Christmas folk art at local museums or schools. But this will change as more and more Slavic pagans return to their origins peacefully again.

All photos and images belong to their rightful owners and shared for women’s dreaming educational purposes only. Afghan embroidery handiwork which is very close to Ukrainian ornamental. Alatyr is a hekatompedon slavic symbol of fertility and the Goddess Rhoda’s symbol connected to the “living stone”.

The Midnight Sun is the Moon of Winter, photo via telegraphcouk

Sources: Fire Потерчата, 1963, Polish traditional stars, The coloring in Ukrainian by Puzyrna Galyna; Ukraine Illustrator Vera Pavlova; Illustration by Nadia Starovoitova; Verteps parade in Lviv, Ukraine;, via 




12 Comments Add yours

  1. Thank you for once again presenting such an interesting and informative article. The star-pattern is also an traditional pattern in Norwegian knitting, on mittens, socks and pullovers. Probably because it make a thick fabric, resistent to water and cold in winter. But also because it’s an old pattern that granny’s teach when we learn to knit our first mittens. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree Ingrid, I know the symbol is in Skandinavien cultures and used in all folk art and I love those too~!


    1. Nobody needs to defend the earth. The earth, she goes through four seasons, winter, summer, spring and autumn and each season is 300,000 years long. During the changes from one season to another, its natural that the ice melts. Ice ages and melting of ice ages happens naturally over and over through the millions and millions of years. Humans just like to worry. Heal your worry.


  2. Julia Newton says:

    My grandmother’s family emigrated to America from near Lviv in 1922. I grew up immersed in Ukrainian traditions, but the emphasis was always on Catholic faith. Over the past few years I have delved into the rich history of my ancestors, all the way back to Trypillian cultures. As an artist, it has been deeply meaningful to me to continue ancient traditions like pysanky, embroidery, and cultural foods. Through the Web I have been able to discover other traditions like Kupala, Dziady, montakas, folklore, and now these beautiful stars. Thank you for the incredible gift– restoring my heritage to me. I will continue my journey by learning, making, and reflecting on my many generations of ancestors. Slava!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beautiful! Slava Yulia … thanks for sharing… my family is polish but my ancestors who lived in southern poland were actually Ukrainian because that land was ukraine (and poland now after the early 1700s)… so i am half ukraine and half polish by ancestors and family, but in my heart i love all cultural traditions of eastern europe and balkan peoples!


  3. Helena Wolkonowski says:

    Back in the day, when I was young, we all participated in the Ukrainian tradition of Koliada (коляда ) It was one of the time honored festivities that was brought to America from the “old country”. Sadly, here in Rochester, NY it’s quickly disappearing for several reasons. Death of our Elders, Many moving out of the area and also a disinterest among the young. I remember my mother talking about what they did in their village during the festivities. Unfortunately with the beginning of WW2, so many of these traditions were obliterated. Even with research today, it’s difficult to find any information on pagan, pre-pagan folklore.. Interestingly, I was able to pick up tidbits here and there but never from the church’s holier than thou people , lol. So I thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Helena I appreciate your share. Yes most must come back as women who are called to lead circle – reintegrate it in our work! I do, i am sure many are starting to again. War has always been to destroy the feminine and control the feminine (resources) but this is about to change as the era of the dictators is completed and karma begins to rise for those leaders who try to repeat old behaviors of military bullying.


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