Karelian Magic

marppa-martiskainen-embroidering-a-ritual-towel-kaspaikka-in-ilomantsi-karelia

By Phoenix of Elder Mountain – Various folk shamanic tradition practices are called Folk Healing, like the Grandmothers in this video (in other traditions its called medicine woman). The Slavs, Balkans and North regions like the Karelians pretty much have the same basic rituals for healing. The feet are important because they are both where the greatest amount of our detoxing of sickness releases and our root on the earth and grounds our body to the earth.  The folk singing (chanting, spells its called in some traditions) are the direction in which the healing “intent” of the energy is given as a direction.

Akseli Gallen-Kallela (Finnish, 1865-1931) - Karelian Mother
Akseli Gallen-Kallela (1865-1931) – Karelian Mother

Song, movement, specific parts of the body, water and fire rituals, all work together as the root foundation, be that medicine chanted or spoken into sacred clothing through  embroidery, or the folk healer (who whisperers) a directional energy, or our relationship to the spirit (benevolent energies) of earth to work with the healer (in shamanic way), which is closest to our body and soul of the sick.

The Karelians are a nation that belongs to Baltic-Finnic ethnic group that are currently living in Finland and Russia. In Russia Karelians mostly settle in the Republic of Karelia and in other north-western parts of the Russian Federation. There are also significant Karelian enclaves in the Tver and Novgorod regions of Russia, as some Karelians migrated after 1656 because of war.

In Finland they traditionally settle in the regions of Savonia and Northern and Southern Karelia. The historic homeland of the Karelians has been the Karelian Isthmus, Ladoga Karelia, Olonets Karelia in Russia and the provinces of Northern and Southern Karelia and Savonia in Finland. Many became refuges from German Occupation (of ww2) and their numbers are very small today.

Photograph of Marppa Martiskainen embroidering a ritual towel, käspaikka, in Ilomantsi, Karelia which is very similar to Russian or Slavic Embroidery of the Goddess Makosh.

Akseli Gallen-Kallela (Finnish, 1865-1931) – Karelian Mother

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.

Zmora

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.

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.

mermaid

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:

https://eldermountain.wordpress.com/2015/10/30/slavic-folklore-boskie-vs-antiboskie-daemonlogy-vs-demonology/

Dreaming Forest Women

The song in this video, Lúčnica – Omilienci, is a Slovak Folk Song, and this ancient Spring Ritual of song and dance is from the Village Važec, which involves women forming a human chain with song while rhythmically walking (movement of directing energy). This type of dance is known as “chorovod” and the Chorovod Omilienci of the Slovak tradition is particularly dedicated to the celebration of Spring and is unique to this Village.

mirror cubes in sweden hotelThe Movie Clip: Лісова пісня. Мавка – Ukrainian Forest Nymph film scene. Україна. Here is the original Movie in its entirety: Lesnaya pesnya, Mavka (Yuri Ilyenko, 1981)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_pBrHupM2I. Cover photo of our video is a Lithuanian Model and Photographer is Nils Vilnis, http://www.vinils.lv, and the Chorovod share was from DokuDoki.

Latviešu Tradīcijas | Latvia Traditions

3rd Moon of Winter

Kulning is the word for the ancient Swedish women used as a herding call for the Reindeer Clans, that has its roots in shamanic cultures. Jonna Jinton shows us how its done with her strong voice.

Kulning or herding calls (called kauking and kaukning in some parts of Norway, in the province of Dalarna in Sweden and the former Norwegian provinces in Sweden, Jämtland and Härjedalen, a domestic Scandinavian folk music form, often used to call livestock (cows, goats, etc.) down from high mountain pastures where they have been grazing during the day. But before livestock it was shaman female’s gift to call forth an animal, avian or reindeer or to let wolves and bears know that she is close.

The song form is often used by women, as they were the ones tending the herds and flocks in the high mountain pastures, and were the shamans connected to the spirit and souls animals and avian of prehistory – just like the Ural Mountain regions with prehistoric origins.