By Phoenix the Elder (and compilation) – I love the Spring, equal to all the seasons and the older I get, I find it funny that Spring folklore can sometimes be filled with shadow things equal to autumn or winter. I personally always try to see through the corruptions in folktales from my experiences, mystical experiences, visions and dreaming perspectives in order to encourage a love of nature, not a place of fear & fright.
In basic demonology study and folklore, large groups of creatures were called water daemons (not demons) residing near rivers, lakes, swamps, oceans and rain. Any water interactions with humans, sometimes had a negative consequence, and equally a sense of fertility with emotion. It does make much sense that spring would have the positive-negative forces such as forceful winds and storms in that context.
Water is both a symbol for the fertility of the earth and the feminine, or the female souls within all of us, and was once a great blessed spirit daemon, a blessing for humanity and a blessing from earth (the goddess herself).
Magical water practices at the wedding of the Russian North
Based on the book “Russian Wedding of Zaonezhie” – The Russians, on the day before the wedding, arranged a ritual bath. The bath was usually prepared by the older girls. The bride soon to be a married woman knew magic tricks. The objective of this ceremony was to marry the young girl so that her family life would be successful.
Firewood for the bathhouse on this day was selected especially dry and not too tarry, so that the fire would burn evenly, and the logs would not be fired with coals, because this is a bad omen. Aspen, which according to popular beliefs attracted “everything unclean” to itself, was not suitable.
Luchina for flooding was chosen even and dry, so that everything in the girl’s life would be “smooth.” The bride crossed the threshold of the bath with caution, trying not to touch his hem/ In the dressing room over the bride, they broke the cake and looked at which part of it turned out to be more: if the left is, then the wife will prevail in the family, if it is the right husband.
The sorceress washed the bride with the words of love and blessings. For example, “Lakes dry up, swamps dry, a grassy grass dries, save you (name of the groom) by (name of the bride). Show her to him more beautiful than the red sun, lighter than a bright month. As the stars bake in heaven, so would (the bride’s name) bake the bridegroom so that he couldn’t eat bread or drink without her, live without her. ”
The bride sat on the seat putting on pants and a shirt, prepared as a gift to the groom. At the same time, she said: “Just as the body cannot live without a shirt, so (name of the groom) could not exist without me, the red maiden (name of the bride).” In order to bewitch the bridegroom’s relatives, the bride sat on a tablecloth, which was then covered with a wedding table for these guests.
Part of the water ritual was washing poured into the wedding kvass “so that everyone would love her”. When the bride was ready, the girls took her by the arms, and led them home to lingering songs. Mother met the bride with bread and salt, and, hugging her, led into the hut. Here on the bench, near the stove, the bride mourned her maiden will, which she lost in the bathhouse.
In mythology and daemonology, Bolotnitsa (omutnitsa, lopatnitsa) are the maids of water and depending on where they live, they get the appropriate titles of “Spring Maiden” if the water is pure. Water maidens also can live in the swamps, called Bolotnitsa.
A lover of whirlpools – omutnitsey and have behaviors and characteristics which resemble mermaids. Brodnica – are Bereginya guarding the fords as the water maidens prefer to settle in the quiet backwaters. According to legend, they coexist with beavers.
Brodnica built of sticks fords and keep them in order. If the enemy pochuyut imperceptibly destroys a ford, they confuse, zavedut and begin a maelstrom. “… And the water Brodnica, floating quietly unworried in blue waters can enter the deep bowels of Charu, called navoe or dark graves”(AM Remizov. “By the Sea-Ocean”).
Kostroma is an East Slavic Goddess that is the embodiment of spring and fertility. In ceremonies of spring, Kostroma are young woman who are wrapped in white cloth, with an oak branch in their hands, accompanied by a round dance. Slavs also made an effigy of Kostroma of straw and arranged the death ritual ceremonial winter goddess just like Marzanna.
Her name is derived from костёр (kosteor), Russian word for bonfire. Both these rituals symbolize nature’s death and rebirth or revival. In the oldest goddess rituals, the year was cut in half, winter (night) ruled one half and summer (fire) ruled the other half. These were one goddess who transformed between the two halves of the year.
Swan Maidens long ago represented death, the souls flight to the other side at death, but in modern times she turns into the water maidens, and can be found on the edges of water. Swan maidens initial values are the personification of Spring, rain and clouds; together with bringing down legends about celestial sources on the ground, swan-maids are the daughters of the Ocean Sea Goddess. Swan Mothers give prophecy of wisdom; and are a supernatural task force to subdue the very nature. Swans are one of the oldest impersonation of the white summer clouds, as the adult women and grandmothers expressed the swan nature in their prophecy and prophetic cloud seership.
Foresight given to them as the gift of the immortal wellspring water drink, which they possess; dance, music and singing (metaphors swirling eddies and howling storms). Spring of joy and fun of the water spirits; excitement and eddies as a consequence of their dances. All these features: are the vescheyu power are a tendency to dance, sing, create music and songs as they approach to aerial beings of violent thunderstorms to sooth them.
Bolotnitsa (the swamp maiden) is the drowned maiden living on a bog. She has long black hair and is cleaned by a sedge and forget-me-nots. The swamp maiden is pale and green-eyed, always naked and ready to entice people without any special fault to tickle them to death and to sink them in bog. Bolotnitsas can send shattering storms, torrential rains, destructive hailstones; steal canvases, cloth and threads from the women who have fallen asleep without a prayer.
In the older traditions of the shamanic past, she was a weather shaman and kept the village and towns clear of shadows and visitors or groups with bad intention.
Brodnitsas (the ford maidens) are spirits the protectresses of fords. Legends of the brodnitsas live together with beavers in the peaceful creeks. They protect the fords made of brushwood, repair and guard them. When the enemy secretly steals up, Brodnitsas hides the fords and directs the enemy to a bog or in a whirlpool.
Chislobog (goddess of the moon). She holds the moon in her hand, calmness, regularity, dispassionate struggles. Her time is from early twilight to dawn, but despite this, she is indifferent to evil powers. Beholding the validity, she imperturbably counts seconds and centuries.
Dana (goddess of water), a pale goddess. She gives water to the tired travelers, and cleans a wound of those who are hurt. She also rises into the sky, falls a fertile rain to fields. She was considered as the kind goddess giving a life to all living.
Karna (Karina) (goddess of emotional grief) the goddess-mourner, sister of Zhelia. If a person was lost far from home, Karna is the first who mourns.
Kupala (goddess of water), Herbs, and Magic. Her festival takes place on the day of the summer solstice. Her worshipers bathed themselves in rivers and springs on this day to purify themselves. They also brought offerings of flowers, which they set adrift on the rivers. Another means of purification was jumping through bonfires built in Kupala’s name. Her name means “to bathe”.
Morjana (sea maiden) a maiden of sea waters, daughter of the sea. Swims in depths of the sea and can turn into a fish and shifts into her dolphin form. She appears on the coast in peaceful evenings.
Pharaonkas (fish maidens). The name faraonka is connected with secondary interpretation of the traditional image of the mermaid. She is a shape shifter who can be both a woman and a fish, where mermaids are dolphins who remain so.
Rusalka (maiden of water) is one of the most popular legends, wife of the nix. She is the tall, beautiful girl living at the bottom of a pond. The rusalka has no fish tail. At night she laps on a water surface. The maiden of water has the power of death or can lead one away from death.
Vodjanitsa (the water woman) is the wife of the nix, but the drowned woman from christened that is why does not belong to undeads. Vodjanitsas prefer forest and mill whirlpools and like deeps under mills where the rapid mixes the water and washes away holes. Under mill wheels usually sleep with nixes.
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