Raven, Crow and Magpie, Totem and Animism

YATAGARASU

By Phoenix of Elder Mountain – As a dreamer (shaman), I have both a relationship to crow, raven and magpie through my own animism souls attained but know much of the totem aspects and relationship as well. The medicines of the soul-birds are a very powerful path for those who connect with them, or experience their wisdom. All I did in my path was bow deeply to mother earth, both her consciousness and her beauty to teach me. I served her for decades and passed all of her tests of both mysticism and her  wrathful initiations.

For those who get Crow, Magpie or Raven Totems including their feathers, you’ve been given a gift to listen to your intuition side regardless of its underdevelopment when young, or the peaks of experiences at your midlife transformations of your 40s or 50s. In animism, which is the deeper and much older teaching than totem, is a path or walk of living attainment through the decades of karmic purification of the emotional body, soul body, mental and physical body. Those who soulshift into raven, crow or magpie consciously like myself, we know them best and they never seem to get hurt by life, we on the other hand, must experience much pain if its a life lesson totem. 

Illustration by Plaksin for Russian Folk Tale, the Magpie-Crow, 1969, Soviet Artist.jpgLets go back into our story as souls first before the totem wisdom. The evolution of the loss of our animism souls and how the artists from ancient time to today show it in their work…

1. First was the animals (in which animal and human shared a separate soul that had a relationship to each other) the living animism through the forces of the shamans and medicine elders;

2. Beginning losses as the Sun cults rises in all cultures, even the indigenous. The ancient effigy’s and totemism of half bird half woman are the oldest of earth until the sun (god) cults began.

3. As the sun cult kingdoms were built by government (war, science and religion) the art began to shift of ancient artists, and rather than just a bird, animism was expressed in art as “half animal and half human” like the centaur, or lion with wings etc (zoomorphic). These expressed the several animal and bird souls of one human being.

4. Complete loss of grandmothers shamanic cultures in art is where the human, is “riding” the animal or bird” or being drawn by a cart like the goddess Freya, reduced to cats and pigs as the animals. Even in indigenous cultures were pretty much was destroyed between the 3rd and 8th century as well.

5. Modern pets and domestic animals, farm animals, which are in great abundance, and the lowest form of the “human-animism soul” of shamanism today is more prevalent. 

Crow, Raven and Magpie Totem and Folklore…

Crow and Raven can be either dark (shadow warnings or the inner self much change and become more aware). These feathers when give, have a karmic attributes, and a strength building story, or they can be light (a helpful friend, protector in the form of watcher or guide). With crows, what I have witnessed as a shaman is much darker than Raven when it comes to humans and their animism soul. Crows are very complicated, Ravens are not. But both have a strength and so the meaning of the feather when you receive one is to practice increasing strength and healthy boundaries in order to overcome some personal fears.

The magpie carries a unique balance of both and neither and is the great bridge of finding center between light and dark. Magpie is found only in a few cultures teachings, and has both black and white colors. Raven and Crow correlates to the struggle between shadow and light, good and evil, empowerment verses power, which is the relationship of soul (water) and spirit (fire).

This is why in mythology and folklore, the crow and raven shifted from the light side of shadow (white crow) into the dark sides of the dark in the sun cults (the sun) mythologies of all people. Societies and tribes alike were building and building more and more karma. War and killing is the main destroyer of the animism soul besides shamanic plants, drugs and pot.

The sun stories related crow and raven as thief (trickster), shapeshifter and messenger of both sides. The bird who was white and transformed to black, bringing luck to some and to others, a messengers warning of the presence of shadow. Magpie is always referred to as a Heavenly Messenger, this has to do with overcoming the duality of crow and raven’s light verses dark battles. Or its much more of a trouble makers than Crow himself.

This is the meaning of the “triple footed crow” behind the art of the Chinese, represent in their mythology. This also has been seen in some art in ancient coins from Lycia in Greece and Pamphylia, an Ancient Region of Anatolia. But like the Chinese they too pushed out the grandmothers older shamanic cultures.

The Chinese had lost their original grandmother shaman culture’s connection, so too Native American and Aboriginal when the sun cults arrived three-thousand years ago. What was left over from prehistory, is in all crow and raven teachings today and are all very similar. What also remains, especially in Chinese mythology, is the direct connection of the “three” (magpie, crow and raven) in visual ancient art connected to the older time before the sun cults, when moon and sun cultures ruled together before paganism and that is the “three legged crow legends.”

magpie

Raven and crow and magpie, all fall into neutral territory as a bird soul shamanism teaching, they live in-between the worlds in their respective order, and this makes me associate them with both the dawn and dusk goddesses and the shape-shifting of shaman’s animism reality. They are not truly night or day, I have seen ravens and crows out at night and the daytime, but mostly day, as they are not nocturnal. As a totem raven and crow can go both ways, they can be messengers to warn of shadow, to those of the light. Or they can be messengers of light, giving warnings to the shadow people or the walking dead.

In local modern folklore or folk teachings, I have seen many pot farms associated with the more shadowy sides of Crow (but not raven), which mean the more warrior aspects of men (dark side of the light) have crossed the line and gone over to the shadow sides (dark side of the dark). I have also seen groups of warrior types of people, native or non-native who have taken their dark side (karmic side of their own past life warrior killing) and carry that integrated past life of the demonic astral shadow body, into this life, again, Crow displays this but not raven.

All this is what makes raven, crow and magpie very unique as soul totems, and why they are associated with the double standards of Gemini. In the archetype of Gemini, is the symbol of magic, and trickery, and the self indulgent thief who can walk the two way doors of deception. An example is the charismatic spiritual leader who is really dark underneath, but those who cannot see, only see their charming or charismatic side. For those with the light side of crow and raven animism or totem, will always see the shadow of these people who use trickster medicines. This is why crow and raven are complicated totems, they are not straight forward and fall into the difficult spiritual task of overcoming “illusion”.

When it comes to the esoteric or mystery, crow and raven are self serving both to its shadow attributes and its light attributes and why its similar to coyote aspects of totems. Owl and Vulture are straight forward in their dealings with the dead and darkness.

Ravens and Crows are black representing the night, but live during the day in the Sun, and that has helped them to obtain mystical and then mythic status as the birds who govern both night and day, life and death, but not the underworld. Those who are stuck between life and death, or those who are the living (dead, because of their sickness, or addictions etc). Vulture, unlike raven or crow, is associated with the underworld and death, the dead and with lost souls and the nourishment or fertility that comes from the breaking down of the physical life into the spiritual. But raven and crow do not carry these qualities, they are strictly messengers like hawk.

So to sum up the Totem: Raven and Crow are dualistic in nature, they are either the “dark side of the dark” (demonic) or they are the “light side of the dark” (fighting against the dark for purposes and intent of the light) and why the black raven and crows colors, once white, not fight the dark, and their coloring is black.

Bird Shaman Animist woman Permian animal style VI-XII centuryPrehistory Shaman Grandmothers, into Goddess cultures and lastly the earliest parts of Paganism

In Japan, the Shinto Goddess, Amaterasu is sometimes represented as a giant raven, Yata-Garasu. The raven has long been used in religious and astrological symbolism across China and Japan, particularly among those involved with sun worship and onmyōdō. Raven represent heaven, the earth, and the soul (bird). Also while the crow itself represents the sun. This was a time when the sun was a Goddess who rules over wisdom and benevolence, since then many of the sun goddesses were changed into the sun God.

In England, tombstones are sometimes called “ravenstones”. Among the Irish Celts, Raven was associated with the Triple Goddess, the Morrigan, who took the shape of Raven over battlefields as Chooser of the Slain. Before pagan traditions in the purer or older Goddess traditions she sat as the grandmother who was protector of her female warriors, later in the pagan cults, she was a protector of warriors, such as Chuhulian and Fionn MacCual.

Raven in paganism and druid traditions is also the totem of the pan-Celtic Sorceress and Goddess Morgan le Fay, called the Queen of Faeries. In some tales, she is Queen of the Dubh Sidhe, or Dark Faeries, who were a race of tricksters who often took the form of ravens.

The Scottish Goddess of Winter, The Cailleach, also shape shift into raven. A touch from her brings death (rebirth). The Cailleach is also older than Paganism and in the Shamanic eras would be called a Bone Mother which the raven is the smallest level of the animism souls of the shaman, for there are many.

Before the Apollo political cult took over the oracle and mystery women’s temples and centers of pre-Greece, Apollo consumed Athena’s Raven. The goddess Athena turned Coronis white crow into a black crow like many of the worlds cultures did.

Raven had brought bad news of the changing societies of the Minoans, Dorians and Ionians and their destruction by the rising Greeks, so long to Athena that she changed the light side of the dark of raven, into the dark side of the dark (Coronis from white to black). Then the rising Greek men had banished the Raven altogether from the Acropolis because it spoke the truth of the political men’s destructive behaviors of building the Greek political agenda against the soul (birds represent the soul in ancient traditions.)

Raven and Crow are not oracular birds like the owl is because they are ‘day’ birds, they are messengers of the waking life when it pertains to shadow. Owl is oracular and prophetic as night birds (the soul at night). Athena use to carry both birds, making her older than paganism, of the earlier tribes of the Dorians, Ionians and Minoans and their shamanic tribes.

Prehistory into History

Кутх, Хантай и Пеликен представят Камчатку на всероссийском конкурсе сувениров

The Kamchatkans

Kutkh (also Kutkha, Kootkha, Kutq Kutcha, Кутх), is the Raven Ancestor Spirit traditionally revered in various forms by various indigenous peoples of the Russian far east. Kutkh appears in many legends as a key figure in creation, as a fertile ancestor and as the mighty trickster of the shaman female and sometimes male. Its a popular animist stories of the Chukchi people and plays a central role in the mythology of the Koryaks and Itelmens of Kamchatka.

Many of the stories regarding Kutkh are similar to those of the Raven among the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, a long history of indirect cultural contact between Asian and North American peoples. Kutkh (raven) is known among a wide group of people that share a common Chukotko-Kamchatkan language family. Raven is also known as Kutq among the Itelmen, KútqI, KútqIy, KúsqIy in the southeastern Koryak language; KúykIy or QúykIy in northwestern Koryak; and Kúrkil in the Chukchi language.

In Koryak it is employed commonly in its augmentative form, (KutqÍnnaku, KusqÍnnaku, KuyÍnnaku) all meaning “Big Kutkh” as creator, which is also a sun cult myth. The tales of Kutkh come in many, often contradictory versions. In some tales he is explicitly created by a Creator and lets the dawn onto the earth by chipping away at the stones surrounding her.

In others (sometimes out of an old fur coat) Raven takes pride in independence from the Creator. In some, Kamchatka, a feather is dropped while flying over the earth. In others, islands and continents are created by defecation, rivers and lakes out of her waters. The difficult volcanic terrain and swift rivers of Kamchatka are thought to reflect Kutkh’s capricious and willful nature.

The bringing of light in the form of the sun and the moon is also a common theme. Sometimes, tricking evil spirits which have captured the celestial bodies much in the style of analogous legends about the Tlingit and Haida in the Pacific Northwest. In others, it is Raven who must be tricked into releasing the sun and the moon from its bill. Kutkh’s children who are ravens, copulating with other animal spirits (animism) and creating the peoples who populate the world.

In the animistic tradition of north-Eurasian peoples, Kutkh has a variety of interactions and altercations with Wolf, Fox, Bear, Wolverine, Mouse, Owl, Seal, Walrus and a host of other. Many of these interactions involve some sort of trickery in which Kutkh comes out on top about as often as raven is made a fool of. An example of these contradictions is given to the Chukchi legend of Kutkh and the Mice….

The great and mighty raven Kutkh was flying through the cosmos. Tired from constant flight, he regurgitated the Earth from his gut, transformed into an old man, and alighted on the empty land to rest. Out of his first footsteps emerged the first Mice. Curious, playful and fearless, they entered the sleeping Kutkh’s nose. The fury of the subsequent sneeze buckled the earth and created the mountains and the valleys.

Attempts to stamp them out led to the formation of the ocean. Further harassments led to a great battle between the forces of snow and fire which created the seasons. Thus, the variable world recognizable to people emerged from the dynamic interaction between the mighty Kutkh and the small but numerous Mice. Although Kutkh is supposed to have given humankind variously light, fire, language, fresh water and skills such as net-weaving and copulation, raven is also often portrayed as a laughing-stock, hungry, thieving and selfish.

Ravens are often associated with death in mythology

In its contradictions, raven’s character is similar that of other tricksters, such as Coyote and sometimes Fox. The early Russian explorer and ethnographer of Kamchatka Stepan Krasheninnikov (1711–1755) summarizes the Itelmen’s relationship to Kutkh as follows:

“They pay no homage to Raven and never ask any favors; they speak of Raven only in derision. They tell such indecent stories about Raven that I would be embarrassed to repeat them. They upbraid Raven for having made too many mountains, precipices, reefs, sand banks and swift rivers, for causing rainstorms and tempests which frequently inconvenience them.

In winter when they climb up or down the mountains, they heap abuses on him and curse Raven with imprecations. They behave the same way when they are in other difficult or dangerous situations.” 

The image of Kutkh remains popular and iconic in Kamchatka, used often in advertising and promotional materials. Stylized carvings of Kutkh by Koryak artisans, often adorned with beads and lined with fur, are sold widely as souvenirs. The Chukchi creator-deity, roughly analogous to Bai-Ulgan of the Turkic pantheon. The Koryaks refer to him as Quikinna’qu (“Big Raven”) and in Kamchadal (Itelmens) mythology, is called Kutkhu.

eaglehawk and crow, aboriginal rock art

Australian Aboriginals

In Aboriginals tales of the raven is believed to have originally been a white bird who was scorched by the sun (cults). In Australian Aboriginal mythology, Crow is a trickster, culture hero and ancestral being. In the Kulin nation in central Victoria he was known as Waa (also Wahn or Waang) and was regarded as one of two moiety ancestors, the other being the more sombre eaglehawk Bunjil. Legends relating to Crow have been observed in various Aboriginal language groups and cultures across Australia.

Crow and Magpie – The various groups of Western Australia offer two versions of the same story about the Crow and the Magpie. The crow and the magpie are brothers (once brother and sister), both born with pure white feathers. Both were vain and would argue as to which was the most beautiful. Perched in a tree, they began to argue and then fought. The people with the crow as their totem will tell you the brothers fell into a fire below, the Crow getting burnt all over, the Magpie only partially burned.

One common myth concerns Crow’s role in bringing and stealing fire to humankind. According to a version of this story told by the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation, in the Dreamtime, fire been a jealously-guarded secret of the seven Karatgurk women who lived by the Yarra River where Melbourne now stands because women are the original fire keepers and do not misuse nature’s spirit. These women carried live coals on the ends of their digging sticks, allowing them to cook yams.

One day Crow found a cooked yam and, finding it tastier than the raw vegetables he had been eating, decided he would cook his food from then on. However, the Karatgurk women refused to share their fire with him and Crow resolved to trick them into giving it up. Crow caught and hid a number of snakes in an ant mound then called the women over, telling them that he had discovered ant larvae were far more tasty than yams.

The women began digging, angering the snakes, which attacked. Shrieking, the sisters struck the snakes with their digging sticks, hitting them with such force that the live coals flew off. Crow, who had been waiting for this, gathered the coals up and hid them in a kangaroo skin bag. The women soon discovered the theft and chased him, but the bird simply flew out of their reach and perched at the top of a high tree.

Eaglehawk and Craw – Bunjil the Eaglehawk, who had seen all of this, asked Crow for some of the coals so that he could cook a possum. Crow instead offered to cook it for him. Soon, a large group had gathered around Crow’s tree, shouting and demanding that he share the secret of fire with them. The din frightened Crow and at last he flung several live coals at the crowd.

Kurok-goru the fire-tailed finch picked up some of the coals and hid them behind his back, which is why to this day firefinches have red tails. The rest were gathered up by Bunjil’s shaman helpers, Djurt-djurt the nankeen kestrel and Thara the quail hawk. The coals caused a bushfire which burnt Crow’s feathers permanently black and threatened to consume the entire land, until Bunjil’s efforts halted its spread. The Karatgurk sisters, meanwhile, were swept into the sky where they became the Pleiades (the stars are said to represent their glowing fire sticks).

Those whom have the magpie as their totem will tell the story the same, but that the brothers fell into thick black mud, and the magpie only slightly stained his feathers, the crow covered in the mud. As for the crow, as in all Indigenous Australian totems, it is known for its cunning and intelligence, a trickster too, and old spirit with prescient knowledge or carrying old knowledge of many lifetimes (like reincarnation). Very powerful too, as in the totem itself is one of the ones with powerful natural magic, and depending on the language groups own mythology the holder of the totem will either carry great respect, or suspect.

Crow and Swamp Hawk – In another legend, Crow was travelling down the Murray River when he met Swamp Hawk. Deciding to play a trick on the other bird, he planted echidna quills in the deserted nest of a kangaroo rat and enticed Swamp Hawk to jump on them. The quills stuck and grew into Swamp Hawk’s feet, but the bird was pleased with this as he found he was now able to catch rats more easily. Some accounts have Crow ultimately leaving the earth altogether, having been called up into the heavens where he became Canopus, the second-brightest star in the night sky.

Crows attacking spirits on the way to the afterlife. The Yanyuwa people have a legend that says that as spirits of the dead approach the afterlife, they are attacked by crows carrying digging sticks. The crows are said to be angry with all people because people often chase them away from campsites when they scavenge. The spirits are saved by hawks and falcons.

Pacific Northwest Natives

Pacific Northwest Natives

Raven Tales are the traditional people and animals creation stories of the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast and are also found among Athabaskan-speaking peoples and others. Raven stories exist in nearly all of the First Nations throughout the region but are most prominent in the tales of the Tlingit and Tahltan people. Raven and eagle are known by many different names by many different peoples and is an important figure among written and oral traditional stories.

His tales are passed down through the generations of story tellers of the people and are of cultural and historical significance. It’s important to note that Native myths such as the Raven Tales, as opposed to tall tales and little stories for children, are not entertainment and are cultural property of the clan or individual that the story originates from. It is customary that others should not tell stories that are owned by another clan, especially if they do not live in the same area. While each culture’s stories of the Raven are different, there are even those that share the same title; certain attributes of Raven remain the same.

The Raven is always a magical creature able to take the form of human, animal, even inanimate objects. He is a keeper of secrets, and a trickster often focused on satisfying his own gluttony for whatever he desires. His stories tell of how worldly things came to be or offer suggestion to children on how to behave. Raven’s creative nature shows itself through circumstance rather than intent, through the desire to satisfy his own needs, rather than any altruistic principles. Raven is both the protagonist among the stories of some groups, and the antagonist of others; he is a hero and an amusement. Tales that feature the Raven as the hero are specific to areas in the north of the continent such as northern British Columbia and Alaska and their peoples, such as the Tsimshian and the Haida.

While Raven tales tell the origins of human beings, they do not address the origins of organized society. In tales which mirror development and organization of Native American societies, the hero is often humanity itself. Raven tales do not offer a detailed picture about the social relations and realities of life. ng the seashore all alone but would stop whenever he came upon a village. When he met people whom he saw take disadvantage of others or use their power for evil, he would kill in his efforts to deprive them of power.

Raven traveled for many years along the coast of the Tlingit territory, first travelling south, having started in the north until he had gone so far south, beyond Tlingit territory until he reached the Mink people at which point he turned around and continued back the other direction. He did this north south, south north journey for several years. Not until his work along the coast was done, did he head inland along the Stikine river all the way to its source. He also traveled along the Nass, Skeena, and Taku Rivers and all of their many streams never staying in one place for very long and never traveling far off from the water ways.

Through his inland journeys he met the Kaska, the Haida, and other nations to the east. Later in life, when Raven had done all the work he could do, he traveled back out to the coastal regions guided by the setting Sun until he disappeared mysteriously. The only suggestion is that he may have gone to live with the Kanu’gu and other ancient ancestors on an island far out into the ocean where they believed weather was created from.

The cult of Mithras

Paganism, then into History or World Mythology

The cult of Mithras is one of the earlier Pagan cultures of the Persians, and one of the most widespread and mysterious of the world’s cults. They’re mentioned as far back as the writings of Plutarch, but we know relatively little about what actually went on in their rites and rituals which tells us they were Grandmother shamanic cultures in their beginnings.

What we do know, however, is that the Raven played an integral part in the cult’s mythos. Mithras is credited with killing the sacred bull which was the destruction of the shamanic cultures, and, in doing so, creating life from the different parts of the bull. In many depictions of the moment of killing and creation, a raven is perched on the bull’s back.

For those who were initiated into the cult of Mithras, there were several levels through which they could progress. The lowest level, whose members were little more than servers during ritual feats, was called Raven (corax). Raven’s role in nature was messenger and as scavenger—these new initiates into the cult were scavengers of the thoughts, ideas, and knowledge of others, and it was also the raven were messegers for the Mithras, gathering information in the same way.

In Greek mythology, ravens are the ancestors of prophecy according to the political Apollo cult, and was victory for the rising kingdoms that overthrew first the tribes (shamanism) and then the pagans, this is why it became a symbol of good luck, success and messengers in the mortal world of trouble brewing. In the cult of Apollo also had a white raven (and crow) and they were used as spies against women, it was once Athena’s totem along with the owl but that had changed and only became symbolic rather than shamanic animism.

Ravens and crows in animism shape-shifting can be both shadowy or light. The demonic ravens and crows, whose animism souls have turned, because of the shadow human, will hang out in larger groups, especially those who are warriors gone bad.

The raven in Hebrew, are the first species of birds to be mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, and ravens are mentioned on numerous occasions thereafter. In the Book of Genesis, Noah releases a raven from the ark after the great flood to test whether the waters have receded (Gen. 8:6-7). In men’s laws, the Law of Moses, ravens are forbidden for food (Leviticus 11:15; Deuteronomy 14:14), a fact that may have colored the perception of ravens in later sources.

 

Raven from the Sutton Hoo shield Anglo SaxonIn Sweden or the Viking cults, Ravens were known as the ghosts of murdered people, be that from war and the military or from individual mishaps. In later paganism, the Vikings came, and in their Nordic traditions Odin appear flanked with two birds on a 6th-century bracteate and on a 7th-century helmet plate from Vendel, Sweden. In later Norse mythology, Odin is depicted as having two ravens Huginn and Muninn serving as his eyes and ears.

Huginn being referred to as thought and Muninn as memory.Each day the ravens fly out from Hliðskjálf and bring Odin news from Midgard. The Old English word for a raven was hræfn; in Old Norse it was hrafn; the word was frequently used in combinations as a kenning for bloodshed and battle. Which means in Religious and Pagan eras, the black was seen as a masculine attribute for killing and war.

Chinese Mythology and Legend

The three-legged raven or crow is commonly found in mythology and art of East Asia, specifically China, Japan and Korea. The bird inhabits and is a representative of the sun. It is a bird ancestor the earliest forms is a tripedal footed crow still found in modern-day China. 3 legged crowEvidence of this earliest bird, was the Sun-Bird motif (animism ancestors) or totems, excavations from around 5000 bce from the lower Yangtze River delta area. This Sun-Bird was also observed in later Yangshao and Longshan Cultures. The Chinese have several versions Sun Crow tales. But the most popular depiction and myth of the Sun crow is that of the Yangwu or Jinwu, the “golden crow”. According to folklore, there were originally ten Sun-Ravens or Sun-Crows which settled in ten separate suns. They perched on a red mulberry tree called the Fusang, literally meaning “the leaning mulberry tree”, in the East at the foot of the Valley of the Sun.

This mulberry tree (some say hibiscus), was said to have many mouths opening from its branches. Each day one of the sun crows would be able to travel around the world on a carriage, driven by Xihe the ‘mother’ of the suns. As soon as one sun crow returned, another one would set forth in its journey crossing the sky. According to Shanhaijing, the sun crows loved eating two sorts of mythical grasses of immortality, one called the Diri (Chinese: 地日; pinyin: dìrì), or “ground sun”, and the other the Chunsheng (Chinese: 春生; pinyin: chūnshēng), or “spring grow”.

The sun ravens would often descend from heaven on to the earth and feast on these grasses, but Xihe did not like this thus she covered their eyes to prevent them from doing so. Folklore also held that, at around 2170 bce, all ten sun crows came out on the same day, causing the world to burn; These are celebrated in the Mid-Autumn Festival for variants of this legend.

In Chinese mythology and culture, the three-legged crow is called the “sanzuwu” and is present in many myths. The earliest known depiction of a three-legged crow appears in Neolithic pottery of the Yangshao culture dated from around 5000 to 3000 bce.  The culture flourished mainly in the provinces of Henan, Shaanxi and Shanxi. The sanzuwu is also of the “Twelve Medallions” that is used in art, fashion, sacred robes, etc. Mural from the Han dynasty period found in Henan province depicting a three-legged raven.

 
Western Han silk painting funeral procession banner found in the Mawangdui Han tomb of Lady Dai (d. 168 bce), depicting the lunar three-legged toad and moon rabbit and the solar three-legged crow. The most popular depiction and myth of a sanzuwu is that of a sun crow called the Yangwu or more commonly referred to as the Jīnwū or “golden crow”. Even though it is described as a crow or raven, it is usually colored red instead of black.
 

f46ffd9de8bf0384f5ea3c26c8401c71In Chinese mythology, there are other three-legged creatures besides the crow, for instance, the yu 魊 “a three-legged tortoise that causes malaria”.  The three-legged crow symbolizing the sun has a yin yang counterpart in the chánchú 蟾蜍 “three-legged toad” symbolizing the moon (along with the moon rabbit). According to an ancient tradition, this toad is the transformed Chang’e lunar deity who stole the elixir of life from her husband Houyi the archer, and fled to the moon where she was turned into a toad.


The Fènghuáng is commonly depicted as being two-legged but there are some instances in art in which it has a three-legged appearance. Xi Wangmu (Queen Mother of the West) is also said to have three green birds (Chinese: 青鳥; pinyin: qīngniǎo) that gathered food for her and in Han-period religious art they were depicted as having three legs. In the Yongtai Tomb dating to the Tang Dynasty Era, when the Cult of Xi Wangu flourished, the birds are also shown as being three-legged.
 

Korea – Three-legged crow flanked by dragon and phoenix. In Korean mythology, it is known as Samjok-o (hangul: 삼족오; hanja: 三足烏). During the period of the Goguryo kingdom, the Samjok-o was considered a symbol of the sun. The ancient Goguryo people thought that a three-legged crow lived in the sun while a turtle lived in the moon. Samjok-o was a highly regarded symbol of power, thought superior to both the dragon and the Korean bonghwang.

 

Although the Samjok-o is mainly considered the symbol of Goguryeo, it is also found in Goryeo and Joseon dynasty. In modern Korea, Samjok-o is still found especially in dramas such as Jumong. The three-legged crow was one of several emblems under consideration to replace the bonghwang in the Korean seal of state when its revision was considered in 2008.[15] The Samjok-o appears also in Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC’s current emblem. There are some Korean companies using Samjok-o as their corporate logos.

 

threeleggedbird_han_dynasty
 

Japan – In Japan, the crow, with its three legs is a common depictions of Yatagarasu, or “eight-span crow,” an enormous crow of divine purpose, which was most likely a thunderbird in origin. It is divine itself and an ancestral crow. The appearance of the great bird is construed as evidence of the will of Heaven or divine intervention in human affairs.

In Japan, the crow has also been a symbol of the sun since ancient times, appearing in Japan’s earliest written works. It is a holy creature and a servant of the sun goddess, Amaterasu.  Originally Yatagarasu was depicted with two legs, but in the 930’s ce, the Chinese myth of the three-legged crow made the bird smaller and with three legs and thus merged into the story of Yatagarasu.

Although Yatagarasu is mentioned in a number of places in Shintō, the depictions are primarily seen on more modern Edo wood art, dating back to the early 1800s wood-art era. Although not as celebrated today, the crow is a mark of rebirth and rejuvenation.

 

Yatagarasu as a crow-god in later history, is a symbol specifically of guidance. This great crow was sent from heaven as a guide for Emperor Jimmu on his initial journey from the region which would become Kumano to what would become Yamato, (Yoshino and then Kashihara). It is generally accepted that Yatagarasu is an incarnation of Taketsunimi no mikoto, but none of the early surviving documentary records are quite so specific.

magpie ‘the cunning prophet‘ , they are associated with divination, prophecy and the symbolism of bridges.

Magpie

As a totem, Magpie is known as ‘the cunning prophet‘ and they are associated with divination, prophecy and the symbolism of bridges, walking from one world into the other and back. Its called the heavenly bridge which takes great strength and many dangers to overcome.

Magpies represent risk taking and come into our lives to help us use our instincts to our advantage which border the clever or even stealthy.  It represents the ability to balance, not only of physical, but the balancing of any strong opposites in our life.  The taking of joy in personal change, to let go the old and find the new with confidence and clarity.  Intelligence, adaptability and success are all traits of the magpie.

In Bulgarian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Russian and Slovak folklore the magpie is seen as a trickster and thief and is connected with human interactions and other animals which live around humans, wild and domestic.

In Slavic traditions, the Soroka, Wehtitsa-Magpie is considered a dangerous bird that is connected to the werewolf; and the shape shifting of a witch into a bird. The good witches can be harbinger, or fortuneteller.  Soroka is one of the usual forms of a witch, a mention that is constantly encountered in historical and literary writings. Witches as magpies fly home at night and steal still unborn babies, which of course is why Baba Jaga images always have a magpie in her stories and artwork. Of course that is all religious nonsense and corruptions to hurt pagans.

In Sweden, it is with Nordic pagan witches as one of their totems. Magpie is considered cunning and thievish, but also the bird of huldra, the underground people. Magpies have been attacked for their role as predators, which includes eating other birds’ eggs and their young. They are the ultimate trickster, much more than crow and raven. But there is no real evidence of effects, that as predators they dwindle songbird population growth rates.

In Europe, magpies have been historically demonized by humans, mainly as a result of superstition and myth. The bird has found itself in this situation mainly by association, says Steve Roud: “Large blackbirds, like crows and ravens, are viewed as evil in British folklore and white birds are viewed as good”. These are based on medieval European folklore, associated with a number of superstitions and surrounding its reputation as an omen of ill fortune.

In Scotland, a magpie near the window of the house is said to foretell death. In Korea, where the magpie is celebrated as “a bird of great good fortune, of sturdy spirit and a provider of prosperity and development” is a very positive omen. Similarly, in China, magpies are seen as an omen of good fortune and good luck. This is even reflected in the Chinese word for magpie, simplified Chinese: 喜鹊; traditional Chinese: 喜鵲; pinyin: xǐquè, in which the first character means “happiness”.

The thief, the cunning prophet or good luck omen, Magpie certainly plays both sides of shadow and light, and challenges your personal belief and folklore.

The Qixi Festival, also known as the Qiqiao Festival, is a Chinese festival that celebrates the annual meeting of the cowherd and weaver girl in Chinese mythology. It falls on the seventh day of the 7th month on the Chinese calendar. It is sometimes called the Double Seventh Festival, the Night of Sevens or the Magpie Festival.

The festival originated from the romantic legend of two lovers, Zhinü and Niulang, who were the weaver maid and the cowherd, respectively. The tale of The Weaver Girl and the Cowherd has been celebrated in the Qixi Festival since the Han Dynasty.[8] The earliest-known reference to this famous myth dates back to over 2600 years ago, which was told in a poem from the Classic of Poetry. The Qixi festival inspired Tanabata festival in Japan and Chilseok festival in Korea.

 
References: wiki, A shaman (goddess) on a horse with a bird on her shoulders. VII-VIII centuries. Kurgan of Cherdynsky district, Perm region. Bronze Permian Animism; heartmoonblog.com, aboriginal eaglehawk and crow, aboriginal rock art; Susa Morgan Black @ http://www.druidry.org/library/library/animal-lore-raven, magpie art: https://www.etsy.com/listing/206123540/magpie-otherworld-nordic-bird-viking; W. Bogoras. (1902) “The Folklore of Northeastern Asia, as Compared with That of Northwestern America” American Anthropologist, 4:4, pp. 577-683. Jump up ^ Menovschikov, G.A. (1974) Сказки и мифы народов Чукотки и Камчатки (Tales and myths of the people of Chukotka and Kamchatka) Nauka, Moscow. 636 pp. (in Russian) Jump up ^ S.P. Krasheninninkov (1972) Description of the Land of Kamchatka E.A.P Crownhart-Vaughan, (trans.) Portland: Oregon Historical Society. (originally published in 1755). D. Koester (2002) “When the fat raven sings: mimesis and environmental alterity in Kamchatka’s environmental age.” in People and the Land, Pathways to Reform in Post-Soviet Siberia, ed. E. Kasten. Berlin: Dietrich Reiner Verlag. W. Jochelson (1908). The Koryak. Leiden, E.J. Brill. D.S. Worth (1961). Kamchadal Texts Collected by W. Jochelson ‘s Gravenhage: Mouton.

Sacred Juniper

Elder Mountain Dreaming Juniper Tree and Berries 07

Phoenix of Elder Mountain – I collected some Juniper and have been stringing Juniiper beads the last few days, usually the seeds are hard and you can’t get a needle through it or need a tiny drill. I have tried but its so time consuming. This time I found a batch of junipers trees and thought I would give it another try and I must have picked them just before the seed has hardened.

Now I have to wait to see if they get dry and crumbly for the necklaces, which is the other issue I have had, once strung. I have juniper beads in all of my rattles and rattle making from the first time after I met an Apache man my age who we became friends and he took me deep into their lands to pick some from their shaman’s juniper tree. He asked me if I wanted to walk in the desert another two hours to meet his shaman but with my collective work entering its tenth year I was already exhausted just hiking the desert to the tree. I told him next time, I wished I would have had the strength back then to meet the shaman.

I also use juniper in some of my sacred ceremonies and some sacred art work, but mostly in bowls or adding it to my folk smudge. I hang my strings of any types of beads I make, such as Rosehips, Madrone or Juniper etc., in a dark closet, so they can dry and process with the night energy or moistness. I work with elementals of air, fire, earth water and night, day, sun, moon in all things I do as a shaman in seasonal cycles. Night  (dark drying), has seemed to help with most things I string in the way of natural berries into beads, and that helps it keep the moisture in.

Since night (moon) is moist (called fertility outside the context of women or birth or agriculture), and day (sun) is a dry or drying element within natures principles, I just apply the natural element to what even makes things grow and die. Also witch hazel took the stickiness off my hands and needle very easily after I was done. I found a nice article, and added a few of my comments along the way…

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Juniper – Originally published at Beltane in 1996 by Rowan:

 

Juniperus communis is a shrub, typically growing from 4 – 8 feet with the leaf form of needles. Its color ranges from a deep blue, to deep or light green and sometimes a bluish or blue-green tinge depending upon where it grows on earth. In some folk traditions, its called the needle yew. The berries are abundant, and usually take two to three years to fully ripen. When fully ripe, the berries are about the size of a pea and have a wonderful aromatic resiny pine scent.There is some evidence that the juniper may have been one of the first shrubs to grow as the ice sheets retreated 12,000 years ago.

Extremely hardy, juniper was able to establish itself on the emerging tundra and some even have thorns to have given protection from grazing animal to other, less well protected, trees. Hawthorne, a very old shrub tree as well, may have been one of the oldest tree shrubs also.

Juniper in the Kitchen

The Comanche and the Lakota American Indians use the berries of the eastern red cedar (juniper), eating them whole and also crushed as a spice for soups, meats, and stews. The berry is much smaller than that of the common juniper. It’s also sweeter and less harsh, without those “turpentine” qualities.

The berries can be eaten dried, fresh, chopped, or powdered to impart a sharp, peppery flavor to balance the richness of winter game, meats, soups, and stews. Right before using the berries, you can also grind and sprinkle them on meats as a seasoning, or make a juniper sugar for blueberry scones (add extra juniper spice if you’re using foraged eastern red cedar berries, as their flavor is more subtle).

Try chocolate sables with juniper sugar for a treat that’s not too sweet and more on the order of a European-style biscuit cookie. Juniper berries are also a traditional ingredient in making German sauerkraut and they pickle well on their own. On the savory side, the Wong family’s favorite is wintertime cauliflower soup with wild juniper. The pepperiness of the juniper balances the creaminess of the cauliflower exquisitely.

The whitish blush on the outside of juniper berries is wild yeast. You can make a sourdough starter by mixing a cup of flour, three or four berries and 1/4 cup water in a glass jar. Let sit in a warm place, loosely covered, until the mixture begins to form. Remove the berries and use the starter as you would any other sourdough starter. Some people have also brewed beer with the yeast from juniper berries. Whenever using wild yeasts, be wary of contamination by other bacteria. If you notice any discolored patches or growths in your starter, discard it immediately.

*Note:  Their are about 50 species of Juniper shrubs, trees and only a few that are poisonous, the only one I could find that was, is: Juniperus sabina, toxic and consumption of them is inadvisable.

Juniper Tree ©2006 Edith Krueger-Nye.

Juniper Medicinal

Common Benefits of Juniper Berries –
A source of Vitamin C and the mineral Cobalt. Juniper is used to address digestion problems including upset stomach, intestinal gas, heartburn, bloating, and loss of appetite, as well as gastrointestinal infections. It is also used to treat urinary tract infections and kidney and bladder stones. Historically, juniper berries have been used only to treat bladder or kidney issues and infections and were used in tea as a way to disinfect surgeon’s tools. The antiseptic properties of juniper berry helps aid in the removal of waste and acidic toxins from the body.

Improved Digestiom – If heartburn and indigestion are a problem for you, juniper could help ease your discomfort. Juniper is one of a group of herbs referred to as bitters or astringents because of their somewhat bitter flavor. The University of Michigan states one of the main benefits of bitter herbs is their ability to improve digestion. When you eat them, bitters cause saliva, digestive enzymes and stomach acid secretions to increase. This increase in the body fluids needed for digestion helps in the break down of food and, thus, improves digestion.

Diuretic Properties – In addition to improving overall digestion, eating juniper berries may relieve symptoms of bloating and water retention. According to the University of Michigan, juniper is a diuretic, meaning it increases urine output. Diuretics are useful when attempting to combat excess water retention in the body, which is often caused by eating too much sodium or from inflammation and injury. The University notes that because of its diuretic action, juniper may prevent urinary tract infections by helping to flush out toxins and bacteria in the urinary system.
Antimicrobial and Antifungal Properties – According to researchers at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, juniper berry combats both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. Gram-negative bacteria are the cause for E. coli, pneumonia and gonorrhea, while gram-positive bacteria cause Staphylococcus aureus. S. aureus is a common infection that people acquire in hospitals and it is often resistant to antibiotics; you have probably heard it called MRSA. Since pharmaceuticals are often ineffective at treating MRSA, juniper berry could be an effective alternative to help combat infections.
Elder Mountain Dreaming Juniper Tree and Berries 107Role as an Antioxidant – According to a study published in the medical journal “Pharmacology Research,” juniper berries contain high amounts of antioxidants. These compounds help to neutralize free radicals in the body, which eventually lead to the development of diseases like cancer, arthritis and cardiovascular disease. Antioxidants also maintain healthy, youthful skin by fighting wrinkles and lines, aiding in cell regeneration and reducing inflammation.
 

Juniper essential oil is used in alternative medicine, most commonly aromatherapy and say approximately 100g of berries are required to produce 1 g of oil, which is at its most concentrated just at the time that the berries finally ripen. Harvesting usually takes place around September and October when the berries tend to make the final “push” towards maturity. The oil is relatively light, of a greenish-yellow color and has a balsamic, woody and fresh scent. It tends to evaporate quite easily so must be kept well-stoppered and away from heat.

The Hopi native americans and the Navajo people boil up the green parts of the shrub and consume them to treat stomach disorders. A few drops of the oil may be used cosmetically mixed with distilled or spring water to produce skin care products which, used as a wash or cleanser, are useful for oily skins which are prone to infection. During the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic, which is believed to have killed some 20,000,000 people worldwide, a number of hospitals experimented with spraying vaporized essential oils into the atmosphere of flu wards in an attempt to prevent air-borne infection spreading.

Juniper was one of the oils which was found to be particularly effective – the others being lavender and thyme, which have both come back into use more recently as antiseptics and disinfectants. According to Robert Tisserand, juniper twigs and rosemary leaves used to be burned to purify the air as well as being widely used in Slavic (Yugoslavian) folk medicine for treating virtually everything.

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Juniper Peasant Traditions

Dreaming Folk Traditions – Some of the old records of divinatory significance of Juniper, say that the appearance of Juniper in dreams has several meanings: “If one of dreams of the Juniper Tree itself, there maybe a sickness that juniper berry or needles may help with. To dream of gathering the berries in winter, denotes prosperity and health.

To dream of the actual berries signifies that the dreamer will be appreciated for something. To a woman who is pregnant, to dream of Juniper foretells the birth of a male child.” The largest body of folklore concerning Juniper comes from Iceland where it was traditionally believed that Juniper and Rowan could not grow together because each creates so much heat that one or other of the trees would be burn up. For sage and folk smudge its a good combination if heat and fire is needed to purify shadow.

It was considered not a good idea to bring sprigs or the wood into the house together unless you particularly wanted your house or area to burn. (I can attest this to be true because when I brought some home to make necklaces and sprigs for my folk smudge, the hill around the lake near here caught on fire that night ~Phoenix).

Another Icelandic belief has it that if you are building a boat, you must either use both juniper and rowan wood or use neither of them in the boat, otherwise it will sink. In Wales it was said that anyone who cut down a juniper tree would be dead within a year, while in Newfoundland it was believed that wolves and bears are repelled by juniper wood and for this reason people who kept stock would ensure that juniper wood was used in building enclosures or stockades in which livestock would be kept.

Also in Newfoundland it is believed that you will always find water under a juniper tree, though this seems to contradict the natural history of juniper which, as mentioned above, generally grows best on limestone or chalk soils which are usually well-drained.

Juniper Mystical and Magic Traditions

Manifestation – for incense intended for use in rituals where manifestation is an important part of the working with charms, prayers, evocations, where lots of smoke is helpful to the working (which adds the power of the air element).

Purification – as an incense or “smudge” in most rituals of purification, including the blessing of houses and other buildings or land, and for dedicating new working areas and temples; for animals; and for purifying people, for example baby-blessing ceremonies, women’s initiations, sweat lodges etc.

Magical uses – From the point of view of witches and occultists, the juniper’s most common use is in the making of incense, for which both the dried berries and needles and the essential oil are used. The berries, having a relatively high oil content, tend to burn with a good deal of smoke and any incense containing them is likely to produce a good fug if that is what appeals to you. Paul Beyerl has little to say about juniper except that it is generally recommended for rituals connected to good health and banishing anything injurious to health, while Smith, gives the main correspondences as being with Jupiter and the element of fire and suggests that appropriate uses are in incenses for retention and strength.

A small bunch of twigs or a few berries in a pouch can also be hung in the rafters of a building or over the lintel of the doorway as a longer-term protection. They are used in rattles by the native americans, especially Navajo and Apache. Juniper in Folklore by F Marian McNeill records that in the Scottish Highlands on New Year’s morning, juniper was burned in both house and byre to purify buildings and inhabitants. This is echoed by the tradition in some parts of Cornwall and Brittany of using juniper wood in the Beltane fires, between which cattle and other livestock were driven as a means of purification.

Burning juniper berries in the house in the three days leading up to Summer, Autumn and Winter Solstice fumigates the house and welcomes new energy. In parts of Czech Republic and Slovakia, juniper berries are used to fumigate homes, churches and stables to expel demons and other unwanted soul roaming shadows. There was also a folk medicine custom in some parts of the South West of England of burning the wood and needles close to a sick person.

This practice is closely allied to the above New Year customs and presumably recognizes that the vaporized oil released into the air had some beneficial purifying effect to dispel infection. Like many plants, there was a definite ritual which had to be followed when pulling or collecting juniper so that the power and essence of the plant was not lost.

In the case of juniper, it had to be pulled up by the roots, the branches made into four bundles and held between the five fingers while intoning the appropriate prayer of thanks when harvesting. Unfortunately versions of pagan and goddess chants were heavily Christianized, but as we reclaim what was taken, we just repaganize or goddessize it:

“I will pull the bounteous yew, and give thanks for the elements, in the name of the ancestral mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers. I ask the power of the light of the tree (or great spirit) to keep one safe from drowning, dangers, confusion and shadow when the Juniper is used in sacred ways.”

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Juniper Folklore

Grimms’ Fairy Tales, The Juniper Tree: A pregnant woman eats the berries of the juniper tree which grows in the garden of her house, as a result of which she becomes ill and lives just long enough to give birth to a son. She is buried beneath the juniper tree and after a period of mourning the father remarries; in time a daughter is born and the stepmother becomes jealous, seeking to gain all of the father’s wealth for the daughter.

She first physically abuses and then kills her stepson and feeds his flesh in the form of a stew to his father. His half-sister collects his bones and lays them beneath the juniper tree in the garden, below which the boy’s mother had been previously buried.

Amidst a magickal mist and flames the bones are transformed into a bird, who is able through its song, reveal how he was murdered. By singing his song to various enchanted listeners, he is able to gather to himself the things he needs to dispense justice. He is clearly intended to be seen as a magical bird as his plumage is described as being beautiful and he is able to lift aloft a huge millstone which he subsequently drops onto his stepmother and kills her. Once justice has been dealt out to the stepmother, the bird is transforms back into the child and normality is resumed.

The shamanic initiatory elements within this story are unmistakable. The sequence of events may be summed up as: the initial death, the return to the womb, the transformation spirit fires (ie cooking pot), the stripping of the traveler’s flesh from his bones (dismemberment or the shamans wrath); and the consumption of that flesh by the traveler’s life guide/father, the return of the journeyer to the ancestors and the world tree, the shape-shifting and subsequent re-integration and return to the normal world.

The shamanic pattern is so strong that it seems the evil stepmother, was just a late edition corruptions added to this traditional story, which appears to have been strongly changed by the addition of a stereotypical evil woman or witch (projection by the Christian morality who always have to find someone else that is evil besides themselves). I am tempted to believe that this story originally concerned the first steps of youth, as a shamanic initiation of a young man and young woman, or, alternatively, puberty initiatory rites for the girl and boy. The essential magical or transformational elements all takes place around or beneath the eponymous juniper tree.

The image of the bird as a symbol of shamanic magical bird (soul) flight. In the context of The Juniper Tree has a connection to our shamanic past and to shamans themselves. And because water grows under the juniper tree, this correlates to the shamanic World River of the prehistory or grandmothers tradition, than it does the World Tree, because of the eternal evergreen and its moisture and water quality, that is self fulfilling. 

Finnish Juniper:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DFbvvta07w

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Three Juniper Trees are native to the Pacific Northwest

western juniper: most common; combination of needle with a white resin dot;
common juniper: grows primarily near treeline at high elevations;
Rocky Mountain juniper: northeastern Oregon; needles don’t have resin dots.

Sources: Photo’s of hand picked Juniper by Phoenix; Tree Juniper Tree ©2006 Edith Krueger-Nye; http://www.whitedragon.org.uk, oregonstate.edu/trees/conifer_genera/juniper.html; healthyeating.sfgate.com/medicinal-benefits-juniper-berries-7691.html, healthyeating.sfgate.com, Juniper berries by Kate at gardeningandgardens.blogspot.com

Ukraine Vinok (вінок) Seasonal Wreaths and their Symbolism

Sbu Zapobihla Kontrabandi by the border of cultural values of Kiev Rusy. A unique complex starovynnykh jewellery with gold and silver stayed in Ukraine.
Kyev Rus, Folk Ukraine, this is our story, this is our treasure.

All Slavic traditions and folk traditions include flowers especially during Kupala and Noc Kupala, but Ukraine exceeds them all in the abundant uses of flowers and symbolic flowers. The Ukrainian Wreath Vinok (вінок) is a crown made of wild flowers and herbs which is collected in the traditional ways.

There are different types of wreaths: a wedding wreath, a wreaths of love, monastic wreath, wreath of hope, wreath of devotion and kupala wreaths. The wreath of love was not only for marriage ceremonies but also divorce ceremonies. In Ukrainian culture the wreath was traditionally worn worn by maidens (unmarried) as a pagan tradition. 

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Ukraine “Summer” Vinok Wreath

In the more prominent neopaganism groups today during Kupala, more and more wreaths are returning back before religious influences and are worn by women of all ages. The wreath dates back to the old East Slavic customs that predates Christianization of Rus which still remains a valued part of Ukrainian national creative attire, worn on festive occasions and on holy days.

Flowers are a part of all their celebrations, traditional folklore, craft embroidery, women and their ceremonies, and even painted interior and exterior home decorations. They mark the seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. The pagans honor Lada and her daughter Lely and the wreaths are in their honor. Midsummer is the time to gather flowers and herbs to not only make wreaths but for healing herbs and for prosperity.

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Ukraine “Spring” Vinok Wreath

Some of the most common are the crown for summer solstice called Kupala and are made with cornflower, marigold, saffron, parsley, parsnip, Corollas mint, lovage, marjoram, cornflower and sage, which are all protections against shadows.

In the full traditional Ukrainian wreaths, there should be 12 flowers: Wormwood, immortal, lynx, cornflower, chamomile, cherry blossom, apple, gooseberries, mallow, peonies, cornflower and baptismal bells. Wormwood is a symbol of inertia and immortal, a symbol of the immortality of the human soul. The cherry blossoms are a symbol of maternal love.

The wreath varies in many of the regions as young women throughout the country wore various headdresses made with yarn, ribbon, coins, feathers and grasses, but these all had the same symbolic meaning. In parts of central and eastern Ukraine, the flowers were raised in the center front and multicolored ribbons were attached to the back.

Ukraine wedding crown
Ukraine “Bridal” Vinok Wreath

Custom weaved wreaths denote the seasons as the customs came to Ukraine from prehistoric times and garlands with flowers and herbs are one of the oldest Ukrainian symbols. In ancient Goddess images of women, she wore headdress of flowers, grasses, herbs and branches in her shamanic beginnings.

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Ukraine “Bridal” Vinok Wreath

Putting your wreaths into water is to tell your future and personal guidance but putting a wreath in the Sea and it will tell the fortune of your soul. Setting wreaths on the water usually accompanies folk songs, because that was the first honoring of the first goddess.

Its more popular today to wear the casual versions of the vinok. It is not uncommon to see women in Kiev wearing a headband embellished with flowers during the summer as a fashion statement or Ukrainian pride. Additionally, the growing popularity of the vinok has contributed to the increase of vinok specialists, as well as the demand of local florists

Ukraine flowers , herbs, color of ribbon and their symbolic meanings…
Braided wreath – Symbol of prosperity and fertility.

autumn ukraine wreath
Ukraine “Autumn” Vinok Wreath

Clover – Symbol of fidelity;
has the magical power to reconnect.

Elecampane – Root of nine forces,
strengthens and returns health.

Fern (Rozmai herb) – Attracts love.
Garlic – Protection, also weaved into
braids on the bride crown before the wedding.

Hatchets – Field grass is a symbol of healthy fields, cornfields and abundance.
Iris – Peace and vitality.

King-flower – Vastness.
Krinov (lily) – Magical symbol of the feminine because she is essentially moist energy. The ancient name of the flower Krinov means “well” as it treats heart ailments.
Kalina (raspberry, rose) – Three sisters, acrimony as a form of magical contact, when there is a prick of blood. Overcoming obstacles, after which comes the miracle and magical dream as the likeness of eternity.

ukraine autumn vinok
Ukraine “Autumn” Vinok Wreath

Loboda – Symbol of misery and poverty.
Lyubka – a symbol of beauty and youth doable.
Lovage – Love, harmony. Bathe in lovage.
Lions (sunflower) – Symbol of fertility, growth and fruiting, and, hence, yield.
Marigold – Mans beauty.
Narcissus – Protects ones health.
Nechuy-wind – Boundaries
Oregano – Symbol of maternal
love and care of children.

Pansies – Symbol of love of family.
Parsley (wormwood) – Spring
Pauline – Bitterness of life, is protection agai
nst shadows.

 

ukraine.jpgPeppermint – Guardian of children and their health.
Peonies – Flowering of maturity.
Poppies (red)- Beauty, purity and magical forces of protection.

Rozsa (Rose) – Symbol of goodwill, prosperity, and swarming bees.
Red mug – Beauty and cleanliness.
Roman Herb Forest (chamomile) – Love.
Rouget (Rose hips, mallow, rue) – Glory.

Ruta – Sadness and a bitter life.

Vasylko (marigolds) – Ceremonies.
Violets – Joy.
Voloshky (blue cornflower) – Symbol of beauty and goodness, modesty and tenderness.
White Lilac – Family life.
Wreath of Roses -Symbol of health

Colors of Ribbons

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Ukraine Grandmother Vinok

A wreath of flowers and ribbons protects she who wears that halo on her head, it has a magic. Our grandmothers knew and still know this magic well, lot of different secrets of when and how to weave a wreath passed down from her grandmother.

Colorful Wreaths of Magic which is the union of Mother Earth with the Spirit Sky (Sun) as the divine marriage of the powerful belief of immortality – the way of Love. A corolla of intertwined ribbons of different colors, each have meaning:

Light brown: Mother Earth
Yellow: Sun, Blue: Water
Orange: Bread, Purple: Wisdom
Crimson: Sincerity
Pink: Abundance.

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On the left side of the white ribbon is gold thread as the sun, and on the right, silver, as the moon (month).

Red Colors (ribbons and mug, carnation, rowan, viburnum) – Divination and charms, blood and fire. On the one hand it symbolizes beauty, joy and love of life, the other, vengefulness and destruction. Red is used for charms, tends to counteract evil spell.

Popular color in Pysanky eggs and also using red thread, beads and flowers in divination embroidery. The best way to protect children from evil spirits and evil souls in dreams, is to tie the hands of a child something red.

winter ukraine wreath
Ukraine Winter Vinok Wreath

Green – Spring, beauty of nature, transformation, envy.
Purple & Green – Wisdom and caution.
Red & Blue – Fidelity and love.
White & red – Reward and respect.

White (ribbons and flowers) – Purity, innocence, joy. White is associated with daylight and life. Our ancestors believed in the relationship with the divine worlds. White robes are worn women in circles and by ancient priests or magicians. During the first crop of our ancestors wore a clean white shirt. White is also associated with death. Our parents, grandparents deceased wore white clothes and covered with a white shroud. White robes and ghosts are dead people.

Black – Night, Powerful Ancient moon women. Yellow – Sun, gold. In ancient times perceived as sunlight. Blue – Water, eternity. It unearthly secrets of the world. Symbolizes honesty, good reputation and loyalty. In mermaids cold and recalls the shade.

Ukraine neopaganism-folk Vinok (вінок)
Ukraine Neopagan Folk Vinok (вінок).

Sources: http://1vib.co.ua

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; https://www.facebook.com/ElderMountainRetreats

Ukraine Ancient Traditions of the Spring Equinox Rites of Vorotar (Gatekeeping)

autumn slavic

This article is from http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com with my additions, from my Shaman’s perspective and experiences – The Ukrainian Spring Equinox is one of the earth’s oldest ceremonies and it honors the ancestors as a ritual of the beginning of the new year Velykden, when the “Day” (Spring & Summer seasons were called Fire) overcomes the “Night” (Autumn & Winter seasons called Night). Vesnianky-hahilky is also known in Galicia as haïvky, iahilky, hahulky, halahilky, iaholoiky, maivky, and rohulky. Ritual folk songs sung by maidens in conjunction with ritual dances in ancient times on the Spring Equinox.

When religion came to the Slavs, the tradition of Mara (Polish Marzanna) lost its origin and thus the demonology books of churchmen forever changed the once pure spring rites and traditions. Mara then, is a female figure in Ukrainian and other corrupted Slavic folk demonology,  who was believed to assume various forms—animal, plant, ghostly (older shamanic traditions), and inanimate or monstrous females to cause people harm. The name was occasionally used to refer to the devil or to a house demon known as a domovyk. But most shamans understand clearly, that woman’s shamanic traditions were corrupted and how the church rose in power and control.

Long ago these songs and dances were performed in the meadows, highlands, along the rivers, but in modern times they are danced and sung in village streets, churchyard and cemetery. Originally their purpose was to give thanks to the mysterious spirit and forces of mother earth (nature) to provide good relations in the shamanic cultures of women, later in pagan times they were to honor nature who would supply people food and a happy life.

The magical functions of the songs was eventually forgotten but in peoples hearts, even though the magical rites are not performed by the grandmothers and mothers, the maidens still perform the dances and songs. As more female Slavic shamans reawaken to their ancient medicines and rites before paganism the more the magic will return.

ukraine eggs 3The vesnianky season in ancient times opened as a rule with a farewell to winter on the spring equinox, but once the churchmen got involved it took place on Candlemas or at the first sighting of migrating birds. A straw or wooden image of winter called Smert (Death), Mara (Specter), or Kostrub (Slob) was burned or drowned to the singing of vesnianky, and then spring, sometimes personified by a girl in a flower and herb wreath, was welcomed with ritual dances, such as Mosty ‘Bridges’ and Vorotar ‘Gatekeeper’. In prepagan times it would have been the Mothers, not maidens who welcomed spring and the grandmothers were the gatekeepers, always have been and always will be regardless of religions.

The dialogue, ‘O Beautiful Spring, what have you brought us?’ ‘I have brought you summer, a pink flower, winter wheat, and all sorts of fragrant things,’ was sung. In some localities bird-shaped bread was baked and tossed by children into the air to represent birds in flight. Many vesnianky were addressed to birds, groves and forests and trees and flowers, asking them to assist the coming of spring.

The oldest vesnianky are those associated with ritual portrayal of plant growth Mak ‘Poppy’, Proso ‘Millet’, Ohirochky ‘Cucumbers’, Khmil’ ‘Hops’, Khrin ‘Horseradish’, Hrushka ‘Pear’, L’on ‘Flax’) and the behavior of birds (Horobchyk ‘Sparrow’, Soloveiko ‘Nightingale’, Husky ‘Geese’, Kachky ‘Ducks’, Kachuryk ‘Drake’), animals (Vovk ‘Wolf’, Lysytsia ‘Fox’, Zaichyk ‘Bunny’), domestic animals (Baran ‘Ram’, Kozel ‘Goat’), and insects (Zhuk ‘Beetle’).

The simple but moving melodies have a deep rhythmic structure punctuated with frequent exclamations. Ryndzivky, a form of vesnianky, were sung at Easter by young men in the Yavoriv area in Galicia.  In Soviet times, the vesnianky began to disappear after the Revolution of 1917 and all original folk traditions that were passed down by village grandmothers for thousands of years by oral traditions, were completely gone by the end of the regimes of the Nazis and the Soviets including the Genocide of Famine to starve the Ukraine people to death in 1932-33.

Source: Mykola Muchynka is still alive and in 1988 Czechoslovak television filmed Lety mii vinochku (Fly, My Wreath), with screenplay by Mykola Mushynka, based on the Ukrainian vesnianky of the Presov Region of Ukraine. He was born the 20th of February 1936 in Kuriv, Bardejov and is a Ukrainian folklorist. After graduating from Prague University (1959) he completed his graduate studies at Kyiv University and again in Prague in 1967. He worked in the department of Ukrainian studies at the Presov campus of Kosice University (1966–71) and founded and edited Naukovyi zbirnyk Muzeiu ukraïns’koï kul’tury u Svydnyku (1965–70) for the Svydnyk Museum of Ukrainian Culture.

Because of his contacts with Ukrainian dissidents and Ukrainian émigrés he was expelled from his job and forbidden to publish. He was not reinstated in a research position until 1990. He has written over 300 studies, articles, and reviews, mainly on folklore and the culture of Ukrainians in Czechoslovakia. He compiled two anthologies of Ukrainian folklore in Eastern Slovakia (1963 and 1967) and a collection of Folk Songs sung by A. Yabur (1970). Besides a study of the folklore of the Ruthenians of Vojvodina (1976) and biographies of Orest Zilynsky (1983) and Stepan Klochurak (1995).

In Ukraine today most songs and dances are performed by professional and amateur ensembles, but to return the magic, the prehistory ways, the shamanic traditions of Ukraine can be returned by those of true female shaman paths of our birth rite initiations, lead by women in great circles again. Much of this tradition is celebrated in modern times as Kupala at the Summer Solstice which is much more popular for the main stream.

Source: http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com

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Shoymanas, Rusallias and Sfinte Soimane

On Friday, February 3rd, 2012 Neptune moved into Pisces and will be in its own sign until the beginning of 2026 and will close the door it had opened 2,200 years before in the great circle, which started around 220 bce. What does the weaving of the “Order of the Sphinx”, a bunch of “Balkan Grandmothers,” the planet “Neptune” and a “Hawk” speak folk and myth legends weaves together? We dreamers, empaths and artists must understand the outside influences pressuring down on our emotional body and our sensitive nature in order to understand our path with clarity… Well, let me put forth, the soul’s language together for you…

the-cloud-appreciation-societyNeptune

All 3 outer planets have 3 phases, based on 10 degrees each, we have now completed the first phase and entering the second 10 degrees which will intensify. For those who have planets in Pisces or Virgo, you will be experiencing more than others. For those born with Uranus/Pluto conjunction (b. 1965-1969) you are coming of age with Neptune approaching its opposition, and dissolving the struggles that you have had as a world wide group.

Neptune has 3 main symbols, the first is the soul and it’s soul languages, emphasizing  the living energy of our soul’s spiritual and evolutionary life; our dreaming life; our karmic life and the “influences” of the “mirror” at three levels. The second main symbolism is the symbolism of self-bondage, self-sabotage, in which the military and wars are its expression. Remember, we are speaking of the soul here, the Military is a more Virgo earthy reality,0 in terms of Chiron (not Venus) and holds the opposing balance. Where we are spiritually wounded is where we are the greatest healer (once we heal our wounding  and past life woundedness). The third symbol which comes from the balance of the first two, is the great dreaming, dreams, dreamer and dreamtime as the soul’s freedom.

16473407_809120662579144_8710987552044047416_nIt is the dream itself in the family of planets including mother earth’s dreaming cycles, just like our dreams are influenced by monthly moon cycles, larger yearly cycles of nature and so forth. Great dreaming cultures have risen and fallen in the dawning and dusking of Neptune. Today, this energy begins in the great circle to rise again, as there is nothing to stop it because it is nature, the untamed nature that does not have to do with the physical plane, but our energetic plane here in which we all live with everyday. It has been dormant for now or controlled, that is about to shift.

Dreamer’s and their souls have been dead for a long, long time on earth because of our past (life) behaviors during “unconscious cycles” and now they have all accumulated, overfilled without enough work to purify. With the help of the energy of Neptune’s influences, which had begun the processes to wake up, as it closes the larger gates we must all atone, as they say. This atonement started when Neptune first went into Aquarius (Jan. 28, 1998 to Aug. 22, 1998) and then went direct until it entered Pisces in 2012. This ten years of prep, was a ‘flexing of dream energy’.

During that time from 1998 until around 2010, dreamers began awakening, heralding the end of the “Age of Pisces” and the doorways open into the “Age of Aquarius” by both constellation aspects of charting them through astrology/ astronomy and the soul aspects of rising of ancient healing including the rising of the dreamers. After 2010, younger people began to awaken around then, with lucidity and then astral travel began to share on the web has already been happening since the first Harmonic Convergence since 1987 for those of us whose dream gates opened then. The military had already begun to use the tools of dreaming to pre-plan their attacks on the dreaming fields when we sleep. I woke up to this in the late 80s and it got very strong in the 90s, working with the healing path of freedom of my soul to unbind my own past life karma. Its taken 30 years of daily work to accomplish this.

We are all aware of Neptune’s distant stories of our historical past, with the energy that allowed an opening at its beginning cycle of the Age of Pisces which started with Buddha and Christ’s enlightenment, the only two prophets of the five (Christian, Buddhism, Muslim, Hindu, Judaism), to reach enlightenment. This was when Neptune’s gate first opened 2,200 years ago around 220 bce to assist this ability and Buddha was teaching in Nepal around this time.

War was also entering the new age of Pisces and should have died at the end of the age of Ares, but it didn’t and it should have. Basically everything today is 2,000 extra years of the fullness of Military power on earth, started its very beginning seeds in the Age of Aries, the Dogs (Sirius) of War (2000 bce – 220 bce). Since the Military should have been shut down, in the first 0 point of the Age of Pisces around 220 bce, it wasn’t. It has grown to become the three monsters (devils) of God: Military, Science and Religion. There is not one human alive today who has not killed as a soldier in their past lives over the last 4,000 years, many turned away, myself included around 41 ce and we have all accrued the worst possible karma of the soul.

As we enter now the next circle on the wheel, the ending of the Age of Pisces and at the “0 point” we step into the Age of Aquarius (the great rebellious one for freedom and freedom of the soul), its going to get very deep on earth and this time, the Soul, not the military will win because Pisces rules the soul and it’s bondage. Aquarius rules the mind and its total freedom and for those who discipline the mind from the wisdom of the Buddha two thousand years ago, your soul’s freedom is next to be set free.

The dreamers emotions, the dreaming, our souls expansion, animism souls and nature’s soul consciousness is hit as a direct influence. This energy on a global level is also the great one who “dissolves” what seems to be truth, but is not. It dissolves matter to energy of the soul and dust to the mind, it rules the emotional systems such as the paranormal, the intuitive arts, the holistic healing energetics, even Buddhism’s manifestations of the divine within their teachings, all the way down to an over abundance amount emotion. Neptune’s smaller cycles within that big 2,200 year one is…

“… the last time that Neptune was in Pisces was within a few years after the planet of Neptune was discovered. Neptune moved into Pisces in 1849 and remained until 1862. This created a dramatic upswing in the spiritual awareness that gave birth to many new concepts at this time that continued to evolve. As it was reported that a surge of spiritualism began “… and by 1853, the Spiritualist movement had spread to San Francisco and eventually to London, and by 1860 there were Spiritualist churches around the world …”

her-em-akhetThe Order of the Sphinx

The Sphinx is a short story with a very long history, he was built at the beginning of the Age of Ares, the War Dog. He was the first monument built on earth to shut down the dreamers, the rest of the pyramids around the earth succeeded and won. The Greeks who did not know him, called him the “Sphinx” which means the “Strangler” in Greek. But he is in truth “Her-Em-Akhet”… The Rising Sun, in other words, the rising of the great Military Patriarch where men becomes god. This is the system at its fullness now and its nearing its end.

“Heru” is the name Horus is Greek. In Ancient Egypt the Sphinx was known as “Heru” (Hor or Har), which is translated as “The Distant One” or “The one on High” (from the preposition “hr” meaning “upon” or “above.” Early Dynastic Period and the Old Kingdom was from 3100–2181 bce and set the tone for the coming of the setting of the moon and the rising of the sun (patriarch.)

altay-turklerine-ainefis-bir-tanrica-umay-ana-tasviriHawk

Heru-ur; Horus the Elder. Heru-ur (Har-wer, Haroeris, Horus the Elder) was one of the oldest gods of Ancient Egypt. He was a sky god, whose face was visualized as the face of the sun. In the building of the patriarch, it was Horus who was built the first temple in Egypt, called the Sphinx and that is what the Order of the Sphinx is. The writings of Thoth so eloquently stated this in the “Halls of Amenti” which means:

You must travel to the greatest depths to retrieve the past life souls fragmented that had broken off of your soul, where you have both stole and destroyed in the eras of the building of the great patriarch itself in the age of Ares and Pisces.

Its pretty simple to understand, the time has come due for the debt to be paid. It all started in the era of the first Kingdom of Egypt, which is the oldest, and like all crisis healing, its time of opening is always perfect. And we heal, one day at a time from then forth.

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Balkan & Slavic Mysticism

Shoymanas, known as The Queen of Airs are mythological beings very similar and maybe the same as the Rusallias (related to the Rusalka and downsized nymphs were were once Goddesses and once women.) But you know how the myths are, they are collective and descriptive whether you can alchemize them down to the root core before the corruption of the power of the kingdoms of earth of our shamanizing reality that was once our great prehistory.

In Romania they are called “Sfinte Soimane” and are connected with the Huntress, Goddess of the Moon (Diana) which is basically the prehistory shamanic She-Bear Cultures of the Grandmothers before that was also corrupted. It’s possible that their name is connected with the Hungarian word “sholyon” and the Romanian word “soim”. In both languages it means “Hawk”.

It’s said that Shoymanas are connected with heaven, white clouds and rain.  Shoymanas are part of the legends of woman’s shamanic origins and these women are called Shoymanuasa. The difference between trance induced by the Rusallias and trance induced by Shoymanas is that there is no ritual for awaking from the trance.  The symptoms that some women display who fall into natural trance, are physical disturbance and a feeling of sickness. Cleanliness is most important for Shoymanas, because Shoymanas could not bare anything but purity of mind, body and soul.

A women who feels that she may fall into trance, makes the bed, performs a ritual bath, and dresses herself in clean white clothing. Before the trance the woman sings a nice and melancholic song. The most frequent one is a moon song dedicated to the Goddess Yana – local version of the Goddess Diana.  Trance begins with pain in legs, arms, chest, stomach, and with the breaking and lowering of the temperature. During the trance, women travel through talk with supernatural beings of the pure shamanic realms, not aliens, not ascended masters nor any of the pagan god or religious god humans realms, but mother earth or natures realms.

Women who fall into trance are great sorceresses (Balkan and some Slavic, call their shaman’s sorceresses), but their knowledge and skills are learned during trance and not from other sorceresses. Among their ritual equipment are various grains, mirrors. Shoymanas present to Shoymanuasa, pebble stones decorated with strange ornaments. Shoymanuasa believe that these ornaments are prints of the Goddess and “sainte” rings. These pebble stones are very powerful amulets and tools which Shoymanuasas use to come into contact with non-human intelligence.

Shoymanuasas use these stones for prophecy and for some forms of exorcism.  For coming into contact with the realms, Shoymanuasas use bouquets of flowers with a dedicated candle in the center. Herbs connected with Shoymanuasas are: Roman Camomile (Anthemis nobilis), Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), Geranium (Geranium macrorrhisum), and Dwarf Elder (Sambucus ebulas).  It is said that Shoymanuasas often, during trance, materialize things, unexplained. These things, the Shoymanuasas use later, most frequently for healing.

People testify that in one of our villages called Zagubica , there is a Shoymanuasa who can materialize butterflies from her hands.  Although Shoymanuasas are so powerful in the material world, they are powerless before the Shoymanas. Shoymanas can punish Shoymanuasas even for the smallest mistake, like: unperformed task, betraying the secrets of the rituals, and telling the fortune to the people who are unworthy or those who are unknown to have a lot of past life karma. Punishments are often very cruel. People have said that they have seen Shoymanuasas hanged on trees. Every hair on their heads were threaded into the bark of the tree.

People said that they had seen Shoymanuasas floating on the surface of the water and screaming. Also, they are tormented in the following way: they were unable to move as heavy, invisible rocks were placed on their legs.  One of the mild punishments is the unannounced and hasty awakening from sleep, followed by the command that the Shoymanuasa must repeat the magical formula “Intronsura Mare” nine times. This formula has 250 verses. After this the Shoymanuasa falls into am unconscious sleep.

“One month before Pentecost (which is the seventh Sunday after Easter), women able to fall into a trance feel some kind of excitement or even fear. Frequently, women begin to be very disturbed after they dye eggs, (on the first Thursday before Pentecost). Before some woman fall into trance she begins to look impassive and stunned and to talk ruptured and disconnected. Sometimes she begins a furious dance and howling. Then she passes into a trance. While these women are in trance they sometimes begin to speak and frequently these women speak prophecy. It’s believed that Russalias speak through them.The entire ritual from the beginning till the end of the trance state is accompanied by music and dance. These are the most important parts of the ritual. In fact, for women is enough to hear sacred Rusallia’s melody to fall in trance.”  As the ecstatic dancing reached fever pitch, the Rusalje would commence singing a sacred song, the words of which belong to a magical language forgotten by time.
 

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We have been misguided in the age of spiritualism in many ways, its just more “information” of the lineages of the philosopher’s stone. If you are truly a genuine “soul” seek the simple path of health, inner peace, understanding, unity, and the most difficult of all, the bitch truth which humans and humanity hates because it sounds like the high pitch of an ancient dragon.

Just keep it simple and grounded magic and mysticism, don’t believe everything you hear with fortune telling, sorcery and prophecy or anything far from our dreamer’s ability to image our path (imagination) of our gifts of sacred “creativity” – the inner creative connected to the source of the divine creative: Nature has no agendas.

“Do not invite nor let anything such as calling in spirit or spells or things that allow entrance to your home or personal space in this way.  Anything that is a soul wanderer or human out of body has the ability to posses your body, soul or mind. So be smart, keep grounded and do not be fooled by new age spiritualism, if its free or a free vision, its not worth it to sell your soul and that includes shamanic plant/drugs. Nothing is free in mysticism and magic or spirituality, there is always a price that one must pay.”

The media and shadow people never glorify their human side or the strength of the good, they glorify their own deceitful and shadow nature.Re-learn the soul’s language who listens to nature as a teacher, as we shamans do, it always speaks the truth and shows us, but only if we show we are worth of her messengers.

sanzioanaSource: Frater Gwydion from Serbia (http://www.oocities.org/athens/agora/8933/index.html) and was first published in Crystal Moon Magazine; and Gordana at http://modrodnovery.com; Cheikh Anta Diop (29 December 1923 – 7 February 1986) historian, anthropologist, physicist; Andra Samson at povesticumiez.com; o grota misterioasa cunoscuta sub numele de Templul Ursitelor, Templul Dorintelor sau Templul Dacilor (Mysterious Cave Temple in Romania called Sinca Veche).

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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