Romanian Folk Magic at Midnight

Maramures, Romania

By Phoenix of Elder Mountain – Magical practice at the stroke of Midnight are symbolic practices and are the gifts of our ancient ancestors of the distant worlds and Romanian women have always kept these traditions alive. The older pagan cultures of the Slavic peoples celebrate the New Year on the Spring Equinox (and Ukraine still does). One such magical practice of the spring new year, which you could use at any equinox or solstice eve, is the tradition done the night before the Spring Equinox…

Goddess celebrations of Spring, in many cultures would last an entire week, from the 19th until the 23rd of March, because the energy of the Spring Equinox is at its strongest then. You can still do the rituals here, just make sure you set your intention clearly and simple…

At the end of the night light year in-between the old and the new year, at 12:00 midnight before the dawn turning into the Spring Equinox…. go and look at the night sky and count  the new stars you see and what will be your destiny. You can also go in the house, put a ring of gold in a glass of water, place it in front of a candle and behind the candle a mirror. They say the one who looks in the mirror sees an opening of the door of their destiny.

Magic Slavic Shamanism Pre Pagn 2Leave a small night light on or a candle in a lantern all night long when you go to sleep and dream, the gates are open to get luck as the old year leaves and the new returns the next morning on the Spring Equinox. They say, if your soul is clear, the opening of the door of the heavens will give you a glimpse.

Maramureș is a geographical, historical and ethno-cultural region in northern Romania and western Ukraine and these village people at midnight lean wood pieced against the home’s outside wall. Each piece of wood represents every soul in your house until morning and when you go outside in the morning to check on them, if any fell over, that’s considered a tough year for the person it was intended for.

Villagers also read the whole year’s weather with onions – cut an onion in half and set out 12 pieces of papers (one for each month of the year). Salt each of them in equal amounts. Set the onion in the center and circle the paper around the onion. Let them sit overnight and in the morning, depending on the amount of water collected, its said that the moisture or dryness of each paper represents the dry or wet months.

I imagine you can also do this with your moon ritual on the day of the spring equinox, if you want and set the intention of difficult moons (wet) and easy moons (dry) and then keep track of your moon cycles the entire year.

On the spring equinox morning ritual take a bath and wash yourself before sunrise. In the water put a silver penny, some basil and a branch of a tree and wash yourself for lucky year and blessings of abundance.

Enjoy and keep the Magic alive, Phoenix

Sources: Iulia Gorneanu, University of Bucharest; first photo a compilation photo including Romanian grandmothers called Baba Dochia and a selection of an image of one of Douglas Girard, figurative Landscape painter; Maramures, Romania Maiden;

Blue Door Folklore

By Phoenix of Elder Mountain – The color Blue is associated with dreams, peace and clarity, both the day and the night sky. Both green and blue have an intrinsic effect on our human emotions and causes a calming chemical reaction to occur in our brain. Earth green is soothing, while blue is vibrant yet calming and when you combine both green and blue you get the ultra calm yet vibrant turquoise.

If you see a tree as blue, then make it blue.”– Paul Gauguin


Water is the greatest calming energy and vibration on our planet and it effects our mind, body and especially our emotions and soul, as the clear liquid reflects its environment bringing a triple relaxation to our psyche. The folklore of a blue door is said that those who paint their doors blue enjoy peace and value truth. They are well grounded and true to themselves.

The darker and midnight blue of the night has the same effect on some people as blue does in the day, they feel connected to the earth and a part of nature and value their dreams at night when the sky is dark blue. But unfortunately for those who are sun seekers, daytime lovers, or those who need a lot of sunshine and vitamin D, the night blue has an opposite effect. In modern times, people can sometimes not see that city lifestyles, drinking at night over long periods of time, can greatly upset our natural rhythms of our dreams, our sleep and rem patterns.


The night blue has an effect of sadness or even for some, depression or feelings of being alone, disconnected. This can also for some who need the sunshine, warm colors such orange and red or party a bit too much with alcohol. The energy of the moon in the dark blue sky, effects the flux and chaos of the emotional body of those who do not deal well with too much emotional truth or expressions of emotions. These can all have effects of having the “blues”.

We have the most positive effects for everyone from nature’s blue wild flowers such as blue cornflower, blue iris, blue hyacinth and rocket blue larkspur. The blue spruce and some bluer pine and blue-green foliage also has a powerful calming and peaceful effects on us as human beings. The other auspicious colors are the bluish junipers and bluish palms, blue fescue, rue and hostas foliage. Those who plant blue in their garden tend to have a resting or calm garden along with their wind chimes and statuary that promotes peace.

Teresa Misopoulou’s article, The Color Blue for Repelling Evil, she explains some world traditions of blue and blue-turquoise…

In the Cyclades, next to white color, the prevailing color is blue color. The preference comes from an old belief that the sky-blue shade had the power to keep evil away.  The radiation of the color composed an invisible shield, which prevented the approach of bad spirits. Blue church cupolas, windows, doors, walls, staircases and fences, but also blue “belts” (samaria) around the buildings, will provide protection.  Blue stones on jewelry, belts will safeguard people and animals and even plants (chaimalia) against evil. Blue “eyes” and blue stones mounted on gold and silver are presented to babies and small children as a talisman for protection.

On the murals of Santorini island (about 1700 bce) bracelets for the wrist, the arm and ankle, and necklaces, are made of precious or semiprecious stones, while the shaved part of the head of young people (male and female) is painted blue.  It is amazing, that on traditional Chinese New Year’s cards, one can see the same fashion copied since thousands of years ago.

Small children also have their hair partly shaved in similar arrangement (two or three locks of hair) with the shaved part also painted blue.  The artist used the color believing that it would provide protection for his heroes. Also, on special occasions like birthdays, initiation of adolescence, the shaved parts of their heads were smeared with blue paint, their face with white and their lips and cheeks with red (like actors used to do).


The ancient Egyptians were furnished with the turquoise-blue stone (cyanus, lapis lazuli) from the Sinai peninsula since the 4th millennium bce. The precious material is found in abundance in Tourkestan where its name originates.  It was also known in Cyprus but according to ancient writers, the best quality was the Scythian blue-turquoise, whose origin was most probably Chinese.

Today, it is mined in North America (California, Arizona) in Central America (Mexico), in Australia, in North Africa and in Siberia. In North America the artifacts of the Indians decorated with the precious blue stone are well known.  In Europe the stone is imported mainly from Iran (province of Isfahan), where the best variation of the stone is found.  Its shape is opaque and very hard, but porous, and changes color (it turns to green) and “dies”, when it comes in contact with perfumes and cosmetics.

In Athens, at Omonia square, on Dorou street No. 1 and on Stadiou street No. 58, blue friezes surround restored neoclassical buildings. Similar friezes are found in the Ionian islands, in the Cyclades, in the islands of the Argosaronic gulf and in Macedonia, in the villages of Mt. Paghaion.

kefalonia-assos-village-03Above: Village of Assos in Kefalonia, a Greek island in the Ionian Sea

The custom is of worldwide dimension, because even today in provinces of Spain (like in the Mancha of Don Quixote) buildings are decorated with blue bands and designs. Also, houses in Egypt, in the Arab villages of Israel, and entire villages in Morocco, have blue walls. The same color decorates the houses of Mexican Indians and strongly speaks of common universal civilization features.

blue-door-key1Traditional American South Blue: Haint Blue is a traditional paint color with a Haunted History  –  Painting porch ceilings blue is a practice originally adopted in the old South, inspired by several myths and superstitions.  The Southern tradition made its way north and has had a revival with new generations of homeowners.  There are a few interesting and compelling reasons you might choose to carry on this American ritual and paint your porch ceiling and other parts of your home haint blue or some other shade resembling a clear blue sky.
The color haint blue got its name from the belief that it could ward off evil spirits.  The term “haint” was originally a variation of the word “haunt.”  Haints are lost souls or the dead’s restless spirits.  According to the Southern belief, blue paint applied to the porch ceiling as well as door and window trim can keep haints away.

It’s reported that haint blue paint was first used by African slaves in the South.  According to Gullah culture, the color haint blue is representative of water; and evil spirits aren’t able to pass over water.  (Gullah culture is from a group of people in the coastal areas of Georgia, South Carolina, and northern Florida who were of African ancestry.)

blue-door-keyHaint blue is also believed to have the good purpose of deterring spiders, wasps, and other insects from setting up house on porch ceilings.  The myth is that the insects are fooled into thinking that the blue ceiling is an extension of the big, blue sky; and they move on instead of settling in.

There was a time when this belief was more than just a myth.  In early days when the blue paint was made with milk paint formulas, an ingredient that was used actually did repel insects.  The formula for milk paint lacked durability and has long been replaced with other paint formulas which don’t have any inherent qualities for repelling insects.  But the belief lives on that you’ll have fewer insects on your porch with haint blue paint.

Sources: Houses above: Traditional Folk Painting and the Blue Door in Zalipie, Poland; Wiki,, Greek Travel Pages, Slavic Folk Museums

blue door




Folk Art Nettle Fiber

Nettle, Hemp, Flex and Willow Fibers

NettleIn spring some stalks of grasses and nettle are broken by the wind or too dry in summer, some places have to exfoliate the top layers of the cortex, which contains the fiber. Their flexibility and strength is long appreciated by the birds for example, the crossbill or wren are always looking for it, for their winter nests. Sparrow fill the cracks in their previous nest that hangs over the water on a the branches of willow. The natural grass fibers are so strong that it is not destroyed for several years. I am sure these birds crafted and advised humans in ancient times to use the stronger elastic fibers like flax, hemp and nettle – the oldest fiber plants, which we have learned to handle.

nettleFrom long and strong fibers produced yarn for fabric on tailoring, sails and sacks. From it are woven carpets, ropes and woven fishing nets. On the western shore of Lake Ladoga was found by archaeologists ancient fishing nets, woven from the threads of nettle in the Stone Age. Many will recall Andersen’s fairy tale about how a girl rescued from the evil spell who turned into wild swans. On the advice of her fairy grandmother she took nettle, mashed its stems and strands, and then produced from them her clothing. In the fairy tale it reflected the old people’s pagan faith in the miraculous properties of the fabric of nettle fibers that can protect people from evil spells and the evil eye, and to heal various diseases. Wonders of nettle yarn to knit socks that are worn for rheumatic pain, belt, used for sciatica and migraines.

Gradually capricious stinging nettles pushed to the more compliant flax and hemp. However, the memory of nettle as a fiber plant is still preserved somewhere in the depths of our oldest villages and the consciousness, sometimes appearing in children’s games. In an ethnographic collection of the 19th century, it was reported:

“In the villages of the province of Ryazan, Russia, girls spun fibers from nettles to produce thread, which was made for the dresses of their dolls, the mother threads were not allowed to be used.” Perhaps, from a pedagogical point of view of the mother acted very wisely, not only because it reminded of the need to save, but because inadvertently teaching children to do needlework, crafting as an important ancient craft of women and way of life that contributes greatly to the community. How the girls became known to spin properties of nettle fibers, which adults had long forgotten is unknown… Iti s fair to say that nettle fibers were much more ancient but not forgotten by all adults. Even today, they are used for spinning yarn by the indigenous people of Kamchatka and the Amur regions.

Nettles should be only harvested in the autumn season and dried, then soaked for many months and again dried, to obtain finally the most trust (the so-called-dried and peeled stalks of fibrous plant), from which it is extracted for spinning fibers. And if you collect nettles and wait until winter and in the first half of spring, you’ll have nature’s rain, dew, frost, fog and winter thaw do the hard worked for you.

Nettle stalks should be well dried, spread out on the stove or next to a radiator or a fire. Then, remove the twigs and dried leaves. To check the quality of the resulting trusts, knead it with your fingers and breaking in several places and it should break apart in your hands with a slight crush of the fiber – separated from the woody parts of the stalk.

Not domnesh Mälk: (do not take the spinning wheel) warned the peasant proverb. Myalitsa or Mälk can be made for the treatment of a small number of trusts in the home and it consists of four parts. By the wooden base 20 mm thick attached screws E two boards with a saddle notch. From inside the cut out in each field plates mowed at 45 degrees. Lever or beater, slightly tapered bottom and fastened to Myalitsa with the bolt. In turn, strengthen the foundation of the Myalitsa screwing on the bench or any other stable support. For a time in the Myalitsa can knead just one handful of trusts, that is as much as can fit in the hand. Begin to trust press down with one of the ends, put her in the saddle-shaped cut-out with a raised arm. Each time you press and the subsequent lifting of this trust lightly rotate and advance forward slightly. So do as long as a handful of trusts will not be fully obmyata. Fig. 68


Obminanie trusts is more disputed if instead Myalitsa use homemade three-shaft or twin-shaft Mälk (Fig. 68 b). Although the work for them and one can, together still more convenient and faster. One lays the trust between the shafts and the other turns the handle and takes wiped stems.

To remove from trusts boon – the wooden part of the stem is broken down into small pieces – it swinging has the shape of a large wooden knife or mower. Trepalki (Fig. 69 a) are cut from solid oak, maple and birch. When applying frequent sharp blows, how to knock cleaner jammed in the fibers boon. Then put on a stump and carefully puncture. (Fig. 69 b). Usually after such treatment the remaining particles easily flake off. They just have to shake out, striking with a round wooden stick (Fig. 69) or the edge of the bench.


To understand the essence of this method, you need to pick up a small bunch and fray the nettle and tightly clenched fingers, rub against each other (Fig. 70 a). Usually they immediately begin to separate and fall down the smallest fines. Freed from these fibers they become clean and silky. If you have to handle a considerable amount, bundles are comfortable to hold without hands, and tongs (Fig. 70 b).


Forceps consist of two birch slats connected by a strip of sheet steel. Oshmygivanii At one end of the beam can be clamped in povesma Myalitsa lever-Bill. However, much more convenient to use for this purpose a special clamp to the roller-cam (Fig. 70). Especially because this clip you will need in the next stage of processing fibers – carding. Fixed fiber grab tongs near the clamp. Obshmygivaya section by section, moving gradually from one end to the other. In the next step the fiber bundle is inverted and secured to the other end of the clamp. Now there is only the end of the forceps handle released from the clamp and move on to the carding fibers.


Prepared by carding fibers called sliver. Nettle and hemp sliver composed of long, medium and short fibers. The longer the fiber, the thinner and longer the yarn. To separate the long fibers of the medium and short in the old days we used the large maple ridges on a pedestal. But it is especially long and clean the fibers obtained after the re-carding so- called mykalkami – small combs and brushes made of pig bristles. The process of combing and smoothing or lobes, called closure. It demanded a lot of patience, perseverance; and I had carefully combed and smooth out every single strand of fiber. Hence the famous expression “roam”, “Woe to knock about. Nettle fibers set out in the clip, you can comb the conventional metal and plastic combs, commercially available.

The fabric obtained from filaments went into dresses, shirts, tablecloths, towels, bedding and other products. From finished yarn that runs on a rough canvas to sewing quilts, bags, all kinds of capes for the carts. Out of the same fibers were spun and then woven fabric with a rare weaver spindle used for household needs. Fig. 71

Of coarse fibers that were not treated and scratched or combed, can be used for the ropes and cables, used as a tow to reach between the crowns of log house, as well as caulking grooves between the logs. Canvas, woven from yarns bleached in the dew and snow, and digested in the wood ash. Ropes, twine, burlap, and other similar products sometimes soaked day in  oak bark to increase the strength and resistance to spoilage microbes. Sometimes soaked in oak would stain it in black. To this end, the rope and burlap dipped in water or a rusty iron sulfate solution. These ancient methods of bleaching and coloring can be successfully used now, along with the modern.


Willow The willow contains salicylic acid, the precursor to the aspirin. In 1897, Felix Hoffmann created a new drug from the willow, named formally Acetylsalicylic… But before this,  Willow was often called “wild hemp” and in the ancient days of the Willow, herb fibers were called Willow Ropes and the matting  produced horse harness, some burlap and more. This emphasized the similarity of its fibers and hemp fibers, cultivated in Russia and Belarus in the ninth century.

Quite often used and other fibrous plant growing on vacant lots and burned areas – Cyprus uzkolisty, popularly called Willow-Tea. With stalks of harvesting willow – tea, carefully remove the peel, divide it into fiber, dried and removed for storage. Part of the harvested material are stained broth collected in the swamp moss rusty containing iron oxide black. To make fibers gloss, staining solution added to fish oil. Alternating in a certain order light and dark fiber, masters decorate the surface of articles in geometric patterns.

Hemp & Flax

Nowadays Hemp its used and manufactured by the Military, of marine rope, canvas, tarpaulin, fire hoses and all the uses of the government. But because of the narcotic substances contained in the plant we suppose the government chose to push that aspect so they could use the plant for themselves, telling us peasants and textile people that hemp was a narcotic disgrace. There is a return to nettle and the uses of hemp back into the cultural life again in greater numbers, but for now, following the example of our ancestors is always the first and second steps.

Strong and durable threads go on weaving bags, baskets and a variety of boxes. In the manufacture of traditional products they used willow twigs, wild rye stalks (tuveyki) and elm along with nettle threads to bind them together.

Application of Burlap – “Sacking (ryadnina) this “rough rustic canvas”, is a sparse manner and with the lightest surf (reeds)”. The production of burlap is made from the natural plant fiber called jute, the southern fibrous plants of hemp and flax. Generally, cloth bags presently woven jute having coarse fibers. From hemp and flax fibers are made into a thinner fabric (ryadnina) used in clothing, furniture and other industries. Decorative burlap attracted the attention of artists who began to use it in their ancient or original applications. Expressiveness of these applications are determined by the beautiful natural color of plant fibers from greenish-gray to brownish-yellow – and grainy texture, due to the structure of the tissue.

For folk art applications, old burlap bags must first be washed with soap or detergent, ironed, and then cut the healthy parts of burlap. Scraps burlap are stacked pyramid. It is more convenient to look for the appropriate size of the flap. The remaining cloth trim on the need to dissolve the thread and pull up into a ball. They will be useful to perform a wide variety of parts.

Work requires scissors, cutter, wire brush or brush, screw terminal, bristle brushes, glue, tweezers and knitting needle (Fig. 72/73). Use scissors to perform cutting burlap and cutter undercut thread in limited areas blanks. A wire brush or brush comb strands of burlap, severing them at the finest fibers. A wire brush made of thin steel wire having good elasticity. Identical stretches of wire folded in half and tie a strong thin thread. From the tin from the tin roll so-called cap and connecting the edges overlapped, soldered at the joints. The capsule should be tightly crimped wire beam. Then put the capsule with a beam inserted therein wire on a metal plate and a hammer attached to it a flattened shape.


Pour in a little capsule of epoxy resin and put on pre-harvested wooden handle nailed to handle with small shoe nails. Brushes can be used in about a day, when the resin is completely cured. When combing vegetable brush blank burlap fibers clamped in a simple wooden clamp (Fig. 72/73 a). Screw clamp made of two wooden slats of beech, oak, birch, in which holes are drilled and connected with two screws with wing nuts. Bristle brushes are used to apply glue on the blank of the burlap and the substrate. The prepared adhesive is conveniently while working to keep in a tin in which the sides have to do special cuts. They provide a comfortable support for the hands at the same time using them with a brush to easily remove the excess glue.

Forceps are required in those cases when it is necessary to pull out the yarn from the burlap only in a limited area, and the yarns during bonding to a substrate. Spokes with rounded con Chick during adhesion laid yarns according to the conceived pattern. Use can be ordinary knitting needle. But it will become more versatile tool, if one end of the lay flat and bent at a slight angle. Flattened part of the spokes when pressed gluing individual sections of the thread to the background. You can do otherwise: to spread a thin needle on a wooden stalk, cut it to end at a slight angle. Assigning the same slice as the flattened end of the spokes.

The basis on which the paste application elements can be made of various materials, for example, made of boards, plywood and cardboard. To plywood and cardboard does not warp, they are glued under pressure or under the weight of the slats on stretchers. You can also nail plywood or cardboard to the sub-frame with nails. Nails nail as close to the edges in such a way that their hats were subsequently closed with bias frame. Form the foundations of applications can be very diverse – rectangular, square, round, oval, etc.

Elements application of burlap more clearly stand out against a dark background – black, dark brown, dark cherry red and dark green. When painting is necessary to consider the background burlap color shades. Sacking may have a natural coloring with cold gray-green or brownish-yellow warm shades. For example, cold colors can be at the sacking of flax fibers, and warm – from hemp and jute. Color burlap also largely depends on the conditions in which it is stored, how it was used. During the operation it could burn in the sun and become faded or, on the contrary, darken from moisture and so on.

If you have a sacking with a cold color, the background to do the warm dark cherry, dark red, and warm – cold: black, dark blue, dark green. For coloring the background you need to take a paint that would penetrate deep into the fibers of the wood or cardboard. The black base can be painted with ink. The other colors are painted wood and cardboard and stained with aniline textile dyes, usually used for dyeing. The desired color and color tone are obtained by mixing several dyes or colors superimposed one on another. For example, the first base dye black ink, and then, after its complete drying, the paint is applied cherry. As a result, the background will be dark cherry, almost black color.

It is necessary to ensure that paint particles do not remain on the surface of wood or cardboard. Therefore, after the applied paint is absorbed into the coloring material, the substrate surface should be wiped with a slightly damp cloth to remove the remaining dye particles on it. If lying on the surface of the paint particles are not removed, then the gluing burlap they can be mixed with glue or paste, and contaminants applications. When the paint dries, it is desirable to base a little glue, inflicting on its surface a wide bristle brush a thin layer of paste.

Begin to sketch the development is possible only if you carefully examine the possibility of the material – as they say, feel it. After material application, in this case, burlap, to a large extent dictates the plastic solution or ornamental scene composition. Hessian is a rare weave, so they kept it very poorly. This feature, on the one hand, makes it possible, pulling in a specific order the individual filaments receive details applications with a simple open-work pattern, such as square or rectangular cells, alternating rhythm strips, etc… On the other hand, when cutting parts applique artist forced to find their contours such that the line would be possible were in the same direction as the intersecting threads of the fabric. It is necessary that in some areas the short strands do not crumble. However, such a forced limitation gives applications of burlap with nothing incomparable originality and special decorative convention.

Gather scraps of burlap with scissors in hand, follow the simplest elements of applications. Suppose you need to cut a tree leaf (Fig. 73 b). When cutting a sheet of loop Make sure that one thread burlap were located along the sheet, and others – across. Then, with the longitudinal edges of the thread delete leaving only the middle three or four threads. If necessary, you can fluff burlap thread. This method is appropriate to use, for example, when the application ode Vanchikov. The flap of burlap clamped in wooden tisochkah and combed yarns wire brush or broom. In its request the artist can give free strands of burlap conceived direction, creating a pattern of wavy lines, curls and spirals. This technique is applied directly adhered application components on a substrate.

In the development of the sketch should always keep in mind all of the features of burlap. First, perform a small sketch of no more than exercise book, drawing which is then transferred to a sheet of paper having a life-size. Then from the sheet along the contours of the figure cut out all the parts of the image. They will serve as a sort of pattern. Patterns are applied to burlap and encircled colored chalk. Cut elements applications need to be expanded on the basis developed according to the sketch. However, before the details of burlap are pasted to a substrate, they must be further processed, that is, pull, where necessary, the extra yarn.

The most convenient for sticking latex adhesive application elements or PVA. They do not leave stains on the bonded materials, relatively dry quickly and form a strong bond. It can be used as various pastes. The paste is particularly indispensable for gluing all kinds of curls, spirals and other contour elements of burlap fibers. To prepare the paste is necessary to take a glass of water 2 teaspoons of flour or potato starch. Flour or starch to dissolve in a small amount of cold water and pour a thin stream of boiling water to cool, stirring constantly. Once the paste is brewed, it is allowed to cool, it must be remembered that the paste can be in working order, without losing the adhesive power, for about 10 hours. Then it becomes watery, or vice versa, thickens. Therefore it is necessary to brew just right on this day the amount of glue.

The plot background in place of overlay scraps of burlap grease with a thin layer of glue or paste. Then, from the back side, seal cutting from burlap and place it on the base. Smooth and press it with his hands, and the little details to push through his fingers. Then, apply a top load. If you have a fast drying glue, the load can be removed after about 5-10 minutes, and if a paste – an hour. Until the end of glue or paste should dry without load for a few hours. Burlap yarns that are intended to make the wavy wound into rings or spirals and stick last (Fig. 73). Threads liberally smeared with paste, and then, holding his left hand, with the help of needles give them a desired pattern. Dry them freely without oppression. If after drying glue a thread portion lag behind the background, it gently pasted fast-drying glue.

Images: Russian Source: Part 1 & 2from

White Eagle Legend of Poland

Polish Slavic Chicken Woman in traditional dressThe White Eagle is the oldest symbol of Poland, but there was always another half to this story that was missing, forgotten and not kept in the hearts of women to keep it alive or maybe they were made to stop speaking about it. This was the Grandmothers half of the legend, that few today know about. The legend started long ago, about 27,200 years ago to be exact, its now time to fill in the missing half…  by Phoenix of Ashland

Three cave grandmothers were preparing for their long winters sleep again, which always lasted around 2,500 years. And as they prepared for their long rest in their sacred cave, they had 1,000 years to create a symbol that their ancestral grandchildren in the future would connect with and display proudly to all their future children. The grandmothers had to make sure that this was the right symbol to announce their return when they awoke from their long slumber. Since they were bird tribe women, the bird symbol had worked last time they prepared their children, so again it would be a path they they must take.

Still nomadic, and eternally sacred, they lived in the cave in the winter seasons and wandered the lands in the summer and spring seasons for millions of years, before even a hint of any written language was created to even call themselves Polish Grandmothers. Sometimes they would wander in the flesh in the physical world, appearing to those who were older souls, and sometimes they would appear in their pure white light bodies appearing as not ghostly, but divine which Slavic people know as Zmora or Breksta or even the Black Madonna who is honored today. Other times the grandmothers would appear in forms of very large birds of course, but also animals.

Many stories were told about their existence, but since these were from oral tradition, handed down from generation to generation of granddaughters of grandmother chiefs and leaders, as the millenniums went by, very few listened. In the last three thousand years many said those were the old ways and not wanted anymore, we wanted pagan men to lead and honor only maidens and mothers who served men and gods just like religious men were starting to do as they watched the pagan men take over grandmothers positions in community.


These three grandmothers had tried to think of a way to warn their people of the time of the great shift, which would be swift in nature’s seasons, but slow in human time, as the veils would slowly fade away like clouds revealing all. They wanted to prepare their future children, for the return of the great dreaming when the Sun would go black again in it’s cyclical winter stage that lasts approximately 300,000 years). The grandmothers knew that their children (the old ones who were reincarnated) must be able remember them and how to again master the ability to dream and be able to see in order to prepare for this Magic of the Midnight Sun, and its symbol in the form of a star, still held proudly in their hands in the winter solstice.

The Midnight Sun is the oldest teachings of the ancient peoples, it is about how the sun goes black with the solar system, the winter phase. For the last few thousand years, its a powerful symbol, legend and folktale . Pagans call it the Alatyr and its used as a protection symbol, others speak of the ancient legend called the Stone of Alatyr and it is in almost all Slavic and Balkan traditional folk clothing and art. This Midnight Sun is the core fire and heat of the core magma at the center of the earth, her belly which always keep her children warm and connected them to her, not to drift off into the stars and space or universe and get lost in their mind and thoughts.

Earth’s primordial soup where the mystery is always unfolding from here, right on earth, not “out there” in the stars somewhere. No one remembered these grandmothers, except for a few wise shaman grandmothers who see them appear sometimes at the birth of their own grandchildren. These three grandmothers are as old as the earth herself, they could appear older or appear as beautiful maidens if they wanted, not for any other reason except that they could and still can.

Slavic Polish Art 18

These primordial bone mothers, the grandmothers – knew if they appeared to their children in the future around 900 ce, that the men would be frightened and try to kill them. The grandmothers had already seen the future ancestors fear them, those who already forgot how to pay attention to her stories, her gifts of dreaming, and for messages and didn’t care enough that they didn’t even really dream anymore to understand the other half of their life. This made the grandmothers worried the most and they knew they had to send a symbol powerful enough, that it would help them begin to dream again.

That night the grandmothers had laid down to sleep and all three dreamed of a white eagle and saw it fly and land on top of a huge tree visiting their future children. They woke up and each had shared the same dream, knowing that this would be the symbol and the sign to send forth into the future.

The second eldest Thunderbird grandmother had said to her two sisters… “which one of us should appear as a white eagle? We can’t all three appear, it would confuse them.” The eldest, the Firebird (who was originally a Polish ancestral legend, not a Russian), said: “I will appear as the White Eagle and leave our realms to cross the gates and barriers of these dream worlds, to where they exist and appear to them. The two of you will make sure that I am guided back here safely because its so far away in the future, I might not find my way back. They all agreed.

The Grandmothers were the first Wind Spirit and would visit their female shamans every five generation or so and remind the female shamans who would retell the legends of the white eagle grandmother who would appear, as a sign from the grandmothers return. Generation after generation went by and finally when ten thousand years had gone by, it was time…

The year was 900 c.e. and it was time for the grandmother’s White Eagle to come. It was time because their were no longer any grandmother shamans in the villages and they were not allowed to practice anymore, and the elder females were forbidden to lead community or teach their stories of the Eagle around the fire. So the Firebird grandmother prepared for her long journey and then flew into the realms as fast as she could across the veils, and when she arrived she shape shifted into a white eagle.

Now soul children, here is where Grandfather’s story started long ago, the one you only know as legend throughout his story (history)…

Three legendary brothers :

Lech, Czech and Ruś, leaders of their Slavic tribes, were wandering looking for a place for permanent settlements. Czech became the founder of the nation and state of the Czechs. Ruś went east and became the founder of the nation and state of the Ruthenians. Lech went further north. One day, he and his tribe stopped for a rest at the edge of a great forest. Looking around Lech spotted a large white bird, majestically circling overhead, a white eagle landed on a nest in a large oak tree.

Lech took the presence of the white eagle and its nest to be a good omen, it is in my blood and I do not know why, but he turn to his Lechitians and said: “Here will be the place of our permanent settlement which we shall call Gniezno (the old Polish word for nest) and the White Eagle shall be our symbol.”

The declaration was enthusiastically acclaimed and accepted by all the Lechitians. The men had not remembered their previous incarnations, but the grandmothers did not care, all they knew was that their ancestral grandsons saw the omen.

The next 200 years was a period during which Poland became divided into various provinces, each ruled individually by dukes of the Piast line. However, the White Eagle, that ancient sign of strength, power, majesty and royalty, was retained by most of them, including the dukes ruling Kraków, as their personal coat of arms. This fact played an important role in the reunification of the divided nation. Also, it was during this period that the White Eagle became refined into the heraldic form we are familiar with today.

white eagle 2

An important date in the history of Poland and its White Eagle emblem was June 26, 1295. On that date, Przemysł II, duke of Wielkopolska, assumed the crown of Poland in Gniezno, thus bringing about the reunification of the country. On the day of his coronation, he acquired the seal of majesty. The obverse of the seal shows an image of the King sitting on the throne with the crown upon his head and a globe and a scepter in his hands.

The reverse of the seal bears the Latin inscription: “Reddidit ipse deus victricia signa polonis,” that is, “God himself restored Polish signs of victory,” and a shield with a crowned Eagle on it.

In conclusion…

Well, the Grandmother said… “We don’t need to tell anyone that it wasn’t God – do we Sisters? No, but even though the men had long forgotten about us, they had received our sign and gave it great importance, and that is all that matters in fate and destiny. It made them very happy and they are very proud of our grandsons.

Now all is in place, our children can prepare, we will first appear to the shaman women again, then the dreamers, and lastly the very youngest in their dreaming letting them know we are returning, but this time we will not return as white eagle, we return as ten million Grandmother from all nations as Thunderbirds!

Also around 900 ce, another group called the White Croats (Old Rus, Bѣlyy Croats and Croats) were a Slavic tribe that lived in the 5th through the 10th centuries on the territory of Western Ukraine, Southern Poland, Northern Slovakia, the Czech Republic and the northern part of the eastern of Germany who were all Pagans.  The first time the name of the tribe called White Croats were mentioned was in connection with the City of Tanais, which was located at the mouth of the Don River at the confluence of the Sea of Azov.

Historical chronicles written in Greek in the 3rd century BCE. The Croats are mentioned during the reign of the ruler Tanais – Sauromates II (175-211). “White Croats” in the domestic chronicle appear in the story “The Tale of Bygone Years” on the settlement of the Slavs of the Danube, territories north of the Danube, Tatra and the Carpathians. These guidelines serve to steady basis for the notion of “White Croats” in the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains.

“… Croats now living in the lands of Dalmatia, descended from the unbaptized Croats, called “white” including Serbs who were unbaptized. In 907 ce, Croats Carpathian Rus Tribe mentioned as involved in the campaign of Oleg Constantinople: Croats (Horoti, Horiti) appear as the north-eastern neighbors Moravia. The tribe of Croats “Harvatyn” refers Arab historian and geographer Al-Masudi (second quarter of the tenth century), calling it among the Slavic tribes living to the north and west of the Carpathians “marava” “dulaba “” sarbyn “(Lusatian Sorbs),” manaban “(mazovyany?)” valinana “but, unfortunately, without giving a specific location.

Perhaps the White Croats dissolved into new ethnic group, because after the 10th century in written sources mention the people were all missing. At the end of the XX century in Galicia was discovered more than 40 settlements, most of which have an area of over 20 hectares (mostly Stilsko settlements), built in  7th – 10th century and correlated with white Croats. Some of the settlements existed until the 15th cetnury. Research conducted by archaeological expedition Verhnodnistryanskoyu NAS of Ukraine.

 Shamanochki Horned Kichka – The Evolution from Grandmother Shaman Chief to Maiden Bride


I am particularly interested as a shaman, in my ancestral grandmothers and their ancient prehistoric rituals which were dominant before the 5th century. These went back many millenniums of her story which came forth from the cave eras. Clues left from ancient rituals are all over the world in archaeology, but also hidden in the subtle, such as images, stone art, middle ages textiles and folk art, modern textile folk clothing, headdresses, bridal wear, folk songs, round dances and aspects of older pre-pagan symbolism, hieroglyphs and petroglyphs.

One particular ancient shamanic lineage still has a modern tradition is the Russian headdresses of the Baltic-Slavic shaman women who wore what is called today, the Russian or Slavic “Horned Kichka.” These also have similarities of the traditional Norwegian Headdresses, including Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Balkan headdresses of Georgia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, all resemble a basic folk traditional headdress that are remarkably alike.

Kichko Horned Kichka Kika кика (головной убор) Headdress via Olga Vinnikov
Kichko, Horned Kichka, Kika, кика.

The original prehistory or shamanic headdresses were made from animal antlers, from large to small Moose, Stag, Elk and Ram’s horns attached to her headdress defining the clan leadership of the women. For example, the Grandmothers who were the most experienced shaman or leader, wore the biggest horns, the Mothers (adult women) wore smaller ones and the Maiden were not allowed to wear any horns.

These ancient headdresses today are now limited to maidens who are getting married and wear the brides hat. Today’s tradition of Bridal headdresses are called Kichko, Kokoshnik, Kika кика (головной убор). Woman’s mysterious rites of pre-pagan shamanism were later defined in pagan era’s as the silver-haired sorceress, the beautiful goddess spinner Mogosa, as her skirt made of coarse cloth, embroidered with symbolism and head as goddess of fate, crowned by her shaman’s Horned Kichko.

These headdress are made up of two horizontal horns. The Horned Kichko (Kika and sometimes Kichka) in particular of all Slavic and Russian headdresses, Since the 13th century, rather than loose these origins of her shamanic past of which the horned kichko symbolizes, the women would integrate their headdresses into modern religious or pagan ceremonies (weddings) as a way to keep the original horned headdress alive (without the animal horns.)

Kichko or Kichka and “Chelo kichnoe” was first mentioned in a document in 1328 when it was worn mainly by women in the southern provinces of Tula, Ryazan, Kaluga and Orel and the women were still wearing the headdress in the form of Elk, Ram, Moon, Deer or other horns which appeared in ancient times and regarded by the elder shaman women as a sacred talisman. These horns were worn by the female shaman elder warrior for its community and clan.

Women shamans also wore them as a way to protect themselves from the shadow souls of living humans that wandered from peoples clans and then villages. Kichko had a large distribution in the regions of Arkhangelsk and Vologda province in Russia and were very dominant and in later periods of rising clans, the Finno-Ugric ancestors (X – XIII centuries), which had some of the same kinds of female headdresses, originating from indigenous white Slav and Balkan women.


Young women (maidens or younger girls) were  not allowed to wear any such headdress, especially in tribe ceremonies, they would be horn-less as the longest horns of the Kichka are only worn by the eldest grandmother shaman leaders and the smaller horns by the mothers and adult women for ceremony. These horned headdress would never be worn outside of ceremony. The Russian nation was formed originally from two basic ethnic groups, the Slavs and the Merja and the Merja were the originators of the Horned Kichka and that is why they are so different and more ancient with the references to animals (shamanic cultures). The Woman’s headdress or ancestral inheritance of the Merja tribe is shown in these Kichkas.

Grave find non-wedding headdresses, ancient Shamanic Headdress - 10th Century with adornment place on the skull
Grave revealing an ancient Shaman’s headdress of women before the 10th Century.

There is also the “Magpie headdress” and like the Kichko it is without the horns defining the aspect of Maiden. Unusual “magpie” headdress of a chief or a peacock’s tail, wore representative ethnographic group Novosilkih Cossack Women, who lived in several villages of the former county Novosilski Tula. Investigated in 1902 this region N. M. Mohyla wrote: “Magpie – Old Russian headdress of women and was widely distributed in the central parts of Russia, as well as some groups Mordovians. It was the richest of women’s hats; to the beginning of the XX century until the “Forty” headdress fell into disuse.

The Magpie as a Headdress is the structure of the Kichko (Kika, Kichka) but over her forehead a little lower, and laterally several inches higher than the normal Kichko. The main objects that form a Magpie, goes together in this headdress were Kichko, Forty, Pozatylnik, Nalobnik, and the Handkerchief . Additional – various ornaments from beads, feathers, ribbons, artificial flowers were added also.” Magpie can be defined as the cut and always decorated with embroidery on it. A piece of cloth that is worn “over” the horned Kibalko (Kichko / Kichka). Magpies, which are particularly a certain cut that is flatter and the sewn part (like a case), worn on the horns Kichko also or the basic structure of it – stick these horns back or stick them up in the Peasant headdress of women.

Russian Headdress

Русские народные головные уборы – Russian folk hats
Сорока (головной убор) – Forty (headdress)
Кокошник (головной убор) – Kokoshnik (headdress)
Повойник – Povoynik (headdress)
Ширинка (головной убор) – Zip Fly (headdress)
Сарынь на кичку – Saryn on Kichko (headdress)

HORNED KICHKA, KICHKO  – and it’s variants below: Kichko is a soft canvas cap on the front of which was reinforced solid elevation. Elevation on the front of Kichko, called Kichka has specific horns. There is also the (spade Kichko), the horse hoof (hoof Kichko), horns upward (horned Kichko), as well as in a circle or semi-circle (kotelkoobraznye Kichko). In the same area every day life could kichek different options. Also called a Kika – Kichko woman’s headdress, in ancient Russia had the appearance of an open crown, in which the front part was called Tskoy or brow Kichnym, decorated with precious stones.


Horned Kichka

FORTY – The Forty headdress is a crown and binding worn on top of the hat (worn over the Kichko base). It is usually made of calico, silk and velvet on a linen or a cotton lining. Forty-ligated usually of two or three pieces of cloth. The front part of it called the forehead, hu, the brisket ; side parts – wings ; rear – the tail . Along with the magpies in the form of caps were also common magpie, stitched not completely: there were only connected with hu “tail” and “wings” with hu.

tula forty
The Tula Forty Kichko headdress.
Forty Dankovsky county
Forty Headdress from Dankovsky Region.

Forty Ryazan district, on a gross basis. (Archive Geographic Society).

Forty Headdress from the Shebekinsky District
Forty Headdress from the Shebekinsky District.

Forty decorated shitёm or precious stones called fathoms ; was also forty- winged (with lateral lobes with strings, or wings): hair pulled together sderihoy at the nape. Sometimes front magpie was added and pearls (podvyaz) on to the forty. If on top of magpies tied a handkerchief , then she called it “forty- Povoa .”

POZATYLNIK pozatylen, podzatylen, shoes – a rectangular piece of cloth glued or sewed on a solid foundation of cardboard, bark, quilted canvas and so on covering the hair on the back of the head and the neck, and fastened ribbons around Kichko or Magpie .

NALOBNIK naloben, podchelok, nalysnik – a narrow (3 to 8 cm) strip of canvas, coated braid, beads, beads, stacked around the head so that one edge of it was covered by a magpie, and another covered part of the forehead, temples, tips ears. Nalobnik ends tied under pozatylnikom.

HANDKERCHIEFa necessary accessory on the Magpies and appeared as part of the headgear from the second half of the XIX century, taking the place of towels and pants .

Headdress called lobaznya from the Orel province
Headdress called Lobaznya from the Orel province.

MAGPIE – The most mysterious headdresses are the Magpie Kichko. Both Chinese women  and Slavic women have nearly the same horned Kichkas in their respected traditions, they also have a similar rounded headdress. The Chinese Ancient Wei, shu and Sui-shu said about their tribal Tochars (Tu-ho-lo) we have a similar headdress worn by the Bashgali-kafirs in the west and in the Chitral Yarkande. So, here the horns on the headdress of women symbolized her power in the shamanic cultures of women which tells me some of the ancient indigenous pre-Russian grandmothers and pre-Chinese grandmothers had exchanges, in some of their shamanic ritual headdresses.

magpieThe Magpie in Chinese teachings is spiritually about the bridge of Heaven, between bride and groom (symbolically meaning between mind and soul). The magpie as a totem, spiritual means unity of the self within one’s own soul – much like the eastern religious paths of modern Buddhism. In Slavic traditions in the Medynskiy county, Kaluga Province it is said in the customs that virtue of the”Magpie is to pronounce the bride-groom” (Zelenin Opis. manuscript. 579). These two traditions have a cross over in the earlier shamanic cultures of women and have small pieces left in after the tenth century, and certainly was not a religion’s tradition of marriage.

Like the Kichko without the horns, the “magpie” was the headdress of a grandmother chief and in later centuries was worn by a representative of the ethnographic group in Novosilkih by the Cossack Woen, who lived in several villages of the former county Novosilski Tula. Investigated in 1902 this region N. M. Mohyla wrote – “It is much better to preserve female costume in some villages of Novosilski county, for example, in the village of Vyshnii Zalegoshch these folk dress were used in female “Ritual” and is preserved to a remarkable fullness and diversity, and still enjoys vesobschim recognition.

A small amount of silver in the thread of a “Spool” on the headgear is the cause of their mass mortality and again refers to the Magpie bird. It’s necessary to look at the individual parts of the headdress. Like the term Kichko, the Great Soróka word is used in two different meanings. The first is the general name of all the headdresses as a whole; it’s the same piece, which is more often called the Kichko, and in some places it is called a special term of Srýza (Sapozhok county of the Ryazan Province.) This piece consists of a large number of 8 to 14 individual parts (Materials on the ethnography of Russia, 1910, p. 7, Art. Mohyla NM).

The second meaning – the top part of the gear, consisting of decorated in a different way, and especially the cut pieces of fabric. Here is a list of all parts of the hat as a whole, which in our days were called sayanki (the local name for a particular group) in the village of Býzets Demetrius County Kursk Province. The Kichko rózhki which is put directly on the spit, lying on the head in the form of a wreath; Kichko advances down to half of the forehead.

Central Asia, a Saukele - Kazakh headdress ©Peter the Great's Museum
From Central Asia, a Saukele – Kazakh headdress

After the Kichko, a thick silk strongly reminiscent of the usual maiden braids is woven in only four strands instead of three strands; on the back of their hand which hangs on the back. In short, the link, a sort of artificial braids and they almost are a relatively new fashion (the hair and the kichko connection), borrowed perhaps in the 18th century. Linking these sewn items, is their upper ends by a narrow ribbon called Plánochka, three in a row, and this ribbon is tied to the horns of threads of Kibalko; on the horns of this often made even special scars and connects the Magpie Bridge of the Chinese references of the women of China.

The upper edge of pozatylnya in the variety of Magpies is the most important part of attire known name actually Soróki. In this area Soróka is somewhat different from magpies. We have already said that pozatylen here represents a separate part of the magpie hat. The main thing about forty, is its very close to the cut of Ryazan, cross-linked as a cap, and only back seams (stitching) does not reach the bottom of almost half of the height-dress, with ties remain. Ryazan Magpie can easily sew the same way, in the form of caps, but then it would not hanging back down pozatylnik surrounded by colored tassels. Voronezh soróka is very close to the described Kursk, but much lower than its advance and has more rounded top.

In general, the degree of cross-linking of its parts of the Magpies in different areas are not the same. They range from completely unfolded cut to full caps, with the latter, especially if it is not made of matter, light, and of velvet, is already generally kokóshnika name. Then there are the so-called Makýshki which takes between 10 and 25 is short and wide silk ribbon, which in the direction of several tapering upwards; the lower ends of them edged with fringe. The upper parts of the tops, like linking, sewn onto a narrow ribbon (plánochka 7). This planochka with tops tied to the bottom of the backside of magpies, a little above pozatylnya; fringe at the bottom of the tops down on pozatylen, closing the top of the viewer, devoid of embroidery, a part of it.

Project Gutenbergs The Evolution of Fashion by Florence Mary Gardiner
The Evolution of Fashion, by Florence Mary Gardiner – Russian Bride

Worn in such a way as to Forty (tied-to-head) in red silk handkerchief, an advance harness covers the Magpie of embroidered nalobnik (hu); posterior which is associated with the ends of the handkerchief as it falls under tops and covered by the latter, so that the node is not visible at all. – Under a handkerchief on the right side of the head made of worsted, silk and feathers; it is consistent with the pen on the ladies’ hats. – Complete complex piece plaits or péysiki duck feathers, which closes the lower end of a piece, and the upper end, an annular, descend on the cheeks – between the eye and the ear. Annular feather from the tail of the drake is often inserted into the stem of a goose feather, and the rod is twisted colored woolen threads. Thus, we counted in the Kursk Greenwood (forty) 10 pieces, with 10-25 considered the tops in one piece, as well as the linkages 10, too, for one part.

horned kichSometimes, wings were sewn on the front of the Magpie headdres, which is called: Nalóbnik, Ochéle (from seq. Forehead – forehead) chólyshko, nachélok, nadbróvnik, prichёlok. In this same area (Rykov Sloboda 8 miles from the mountains. Ryazan, described by N. Lovtseva in 1850 from the archive of the Geographical Society) in hu are three parts:

The lower border is above the eyes, is called: Tarachkov (fringe) over her podzór – a narrow pattern, and above it Soróka – wide, the main pattern on the forehead.

Above are pálchiki – white ribbons on a red field, in the form of straight narrow strips. More vérhnik above, which has no decorations and covers, in the form of the fitted, top of the head on. Behind her kolódka a covering is worn in the form of the head; in other places is called: zadók, nazatylen; kolódka name probably explains its hardness: sewn onto a splint or even a thin board. Finally, comes the tail, which differ pozatylnik and terry, cords with tassels on the ends.

Parts of magpies are the wings and tail, chtó and unites it with the Magpie Bird. Penza Krotkov an author wrote in 1854 about the local Magpie Saransk district, “if you look at the back of the head-dress of women, it is like looking at a bird sitting with bent wings’ (Zelenin Opis. Manuscript. 976).

Vitebsk Belarusians often sewed her magpie of different pieces of calico and other fabrics: in the same magpie perёd red, blue back and sides are yellow, or: perёd silk, paper back and sides worsted (Ethnographic Collection Geographic Society, II. SPB . 1854, p. 133).

grnadmotherThis diversity, as well as the diversity of embroidery at the Forty also brings this piece with the Magpie bird, although it can also appear in the explanation of the name. Finns removed Slavic named headdresses considered its name for a Magpie bird, harakka. If we take into account the abundance of bird names for women’s hats of different nationalities, then the origin of the name of all of these Headdresses except the Horned Kichko, is from the name of a bird. For all that, certainly as far as the origin of the name of a bird, the Russian kokoshnik is the name of the bird Magpie.

Of the horned Kichko, existence of such a crest and is the main distinctive feature of the Great Headdress known as: kokóshnik. The very name kokoshnik emphasizes its connection with the chicken comb. The Slavic word meaning kókosh is hen and rooster. Formed from the word * kokóshnik represents itself: chicken, apparently in the sense of – Fitted with chicken comb; another similarity with chickens in kokoshnik not. – If the magpie (more precisely: A Magpie) consists of a ridge of horns, the headdress had lost touch with the horns of origin. Inside the crest kokoshnik often hide braids on top of the head, and in this circumstance, you can see some similarities with the function of the crest features a horned Kibalko.

Horned kitchkoThe main types of kokoshnik differ different positions of the ridge. The oldest type is necessary to recognize that, where straight comb sits across the head from ear to ear. In our opinion, the cut of this kokoshnik was created to be worn on more horned Kichko, two horns which stood up on end and were connected to the top of the gables; In other words, we see in this type of cross-linked kokoshnik magpie lingering here sometimes being tied in the back once again bring together this type kokoshnik with magpie. The antiquity of this type of headdress with one transverse ridge, evidenced by the fact that it is the most common type of kokoshnik; it is equally common and yuzhnovelikorussov, and severnovelikorussov; from his last borrowed, among other things, the Permian-Finns.

Eastern Slavs wore the two-horned female headdress and is best preserved. Of the two main varieties of this hat, one horn sticking straight up, and the two horned, they are addressed in recolonization of the ancients. Its horns were made from actual elk, moose or stag horns, later from bast, from wood or canvas tightly molded. Kichkos were often camouflaged usually with magpie but often the front of the cut out in the form of magpies horns were similar to the two cases for them.

Even covered with a magpie, Kichko produced a vivid impression of the horned headdress afer the 13th century, and this gave rise to some rural priests who kept the secrets of the previous grandmothers rituals, and sometimes even the church forbid women later to do their own rituals, so much so, that the peasant women had to change their horned Kichko into a hornless or simple scarf. Historical evidence of this kind of struggle against priests and landowners with horned womanish Kichko collected for the second half of the XIX century, was from the book DK Zelenin” Velikoruskie dialects “etc. (St. Petersburg. 1913, p. 71-72).

horned kitchko 2At the upper end of high horns of the Kichko sometimes hung behind a white silk light blanket (from the Don Cossack, the image Evl. Katelnikova beginning of XIX century., In his book “Historical svedenie of Upper Kurmoyarskoy village in 1818.” Novocherkassk, 1886). On the edge of the horns were put colored ribbons beams in the form of brushes and sometimes the tops horns were joined by a rope or stick, which had tied ribbons to it (Ryazan Province.). In his book: Istoriya or narrative about donskih kazakah. M. 1846, the Kichko had high horns of Nekrasovsky (Living Old, 1896); The Kichko was of gold brocade, with her ears down about suspension of silver chains with different pendants high horns thrown over a yellow silk transparent veil. Nekrasov Cossacks in the late 17th century.

Another variation of the horned Kichko has short horns and not facing up, and more or less straight back. This kind of horned Kichko is close to Kibalko as in cut, and especially on the function. It is natural to see the fusion of horns Kibalko. We tend to see this sort of horny Kichko a new kind head wear, with a more fashion and culture change, and began to wear the horns so they are not stuck up, and lay flat on top of the head and watched their sharp ends back more than upwards.

* Sources: Various paragraphs from different websites, wiki-russia, my own writings and Handmade Kokoshnik Dolls Charms “shamanochki” are made by Karakiske ( from the Republic of Altai Mountains; group photo of Kichko, Horned Kichka, Kika, кика (головной убор) headdress by Olga Vinnikov. The unmarked flat illustration is of the Forty from the Ryazan district is via the Archive Geographic Society.  Photo of Central Asia, a Saukele – Kazakh headdress via © Peter the Great’s Museum. 

Spring Folk Waters

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 the corruptions in folktales from my shaman and dreaming perspectives, and 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 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). Slowly the darker and more sinister souls which began to rise around the eleventh century, there was a shadows caste and daemon went into the powerful demon, appearing as the unsettled dead souls of the earlier wars of the rising kingdoms misuses of power. This eventually lead to a great fear of the night, and a guilt of guarding the treasures of mother earth from greed and lastly the superstitions and rejection of nature and the moon tales unless they were supporting the shadows.

A good example is the Valkyrie Maidens, who take those who kill to heaven. Just not true and more of a powerful wishful thinking. And characters of the beautiful maidens who danced, not to dance for pleasure or for sacredness women’s rituals which were real, but to enticed unwary young and old men alike and hurt them… seems a bit far fetched as folk. The elemental symbol of the core of the feminine is water.. once a most honorable ritual of all women.

Slavic and Balkan water folklore

In 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.

To read more of the older article on Elder Mountain, visit:

Latviešu Tradīcijas | Latvia Traditions


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