Lightning Goddess Perunika’s Daughter – Lepa Mara

Lepa Mara means beautiful woman when she wakes up in March when the thunder god Perun, her father and the lightning goddess Perunika, her mother makes their first thunder and lightning together to open heaven’s gates in Spring for their daughter Mara. Mara and her Mother Perunika are symbols of feminine rebirth and resurrection of nature from its winter sleep into spring.

In the homes of the ancient Slavs there were small altars in the corner of the house with wax, amber or wooden figurines where girls and women used to offer sacrifices like flowers, ribbons, embroidered napkins, etc. A fire burns or candles here that could be put out only using your fingers, otherwise the peace of the house would be put out with it.

Mother and daughter also represent the feminine or female principle embodied of woman which are: The primal principles, the soul, the instinctual and intuitive, the feeling, the subconscious, the conscious, the dreamer, the seeker, the journey, beauty, attraction, desire, love, the moving force of the world.

Slavic Goddess Lepa Mara

Spring is the time when her future husband and twin brother, the mythical Green Man sets her free from a treasure chest and she descends from heaven in the golden bough of a mythical tree on the first full moon after the spring equinox.

She drinks dew and gets her strength from the spirit of the wind and her joy from the smell of flowers. She is tall and thin, has rosy cheeks more beautiful than a rose, black eyes like the thorn bush and walks making small steps like a quail.

She wears a white dress decorated with roses and stars, with golden circles embroidered on it, she has a crown of ocean pearls on her for head and around her neck. She wears a cape of flowers, leaves and moonlight. She is a sacred weaver goddess and an embroiderer, lace maker, knitter, keeper of the home fire, baker, inn keeper, shepherdess, coach woman, chaser of witches, medicine woman, poetess, moonlight, dawn, giver of light, love, happiness and fertility.

Suchá Kamenice
During the day she is a kind woman who sits on the branch of the mythical tree in the middle of Paradise or a flowering meadow and at dusk or during the night. In winter she is a woman whose together with her mother she is represented as an unknown, poor, fickle, proud, evil, cruel or ageing resident and ruler of the west or underworld.

Her mother is the Fire Lightning Goddess Perunika and is Baba Jaga/Luca/Roga/Yaga and the Lithuanian Rugiuboba who is the power of death itself.  The mother is then known as Jagbaba, Jez(i) baba, Marzana, Mokos, Vodanojka, Zimna (”winter”), Zderacica (”devourer”).

When her great goddess mother was banished as the keeper of balance of life and death, by religious fathers who corrupted her and turned her dark, her daughter Lepa Mara then becomes a stranger, a woman from Arabia, Greece, Turkey and the poor Cinderella, changeable moon or moonlight, a proud girl or cruel Morana. The name Morana comes from the Indo-European stem ”mer”, meaning ”to crumble” or ”to die”.

Croatian words ”mrijeti”, ”umirati”, ”umarati”, ”smrt”, ”moriti”, ”zamor”, ”odmor”, ”mrak”, ”Mura” all meaning death or tiredness (Mura is the name of a river in Croatia) and where the river got its name from. Since the Christians took over, both mother and daughter are inconstant like the time of day or the seasons. Changing their form from fairies into witches, into death, who they represent as the fragmented soul or dual spirit of nature.

Lepa Mara Slavic Goddess of Spring

Before Christianity they represented the place in-between both darkness and light, white and black, clear and cloudy, summer and winter, plenty and hunger, medicinal and poisonous, health and sickness, youth and old age, love and hate, care and carelessness, morality and greed, fortune and misfortune, good and evil.

She gives flame to the moon, and when man lets go and changes, it frees her of her chains, she marries Green Man on a white whinged horse and shares part of her flame but never to give man all of it again. She is a golden apple from the Paradise tree and her necklace, the first morning or spring light helps her remember how men enslaved her and her mother.

Green Man in return gives her a golden ring and both enable enchantment and love and thus make all living creatures grow and bear fruit. On each young Friday, that is the first Friday of the month celebrations and rituals connected with the fertility of the fields, orchards and gardens. In fact Mary of Fire and Beautiful Mara, although they are represented as mother and daughter in the Croatian oral tradition, show the bonds between mother and daughter and how the family flourishes or perishes.

They are represent the plants: basil, peach, birch, lily of the walley, ox eye daisy, apple, strawberry, fir, violet, poppy, olive, lime-tree, rose, rosemary, dog-rose and plum. When they are represented as animals they are the dove, quail, mare (horse), doe, cow, sow, cuckoo, purple marten (in Russian vernacular an expression for the female sex organ), hen, swan, weasel, swallow, butterfly, fox, bee, partridge, falcon, otter, she-wolf, snake, frog and woodpecker.

Mara is both a spirit and earth goddess, like her mother. At the same time she is a kind sister and a passionate lover. She and her mother Perunika (Lightning and Fire) are  goddesses of beauty, love, fertility, marriage, marital happiness and the house or hearth fire.

Zwezda Dnierca, Zwezda Wieczorniaia, and Zwezda Polnoca

The Zorya are the three Slavic Mythological Guardian (warrior) Goddesses, known as the Auroras. They guard and watch over the doomsday hounds (shadow people) who threatens to eat the constellations of the Great Bear and the Little Bear (Ursa Major & Minor). 

If the chain breaks loose, the earth’s time is said to end and completed and the dreaming time returns. The Auroras are the Morning Star, the Evening Star, and the Midnight Sun who are depicted as the goddesses Zwezda Dnierca, Zwezda Wieczorniaia, and Zwezda Polnoca.
 Zwezda Dnierca Zwezda Wieczorniaia and Zwezda Polnoca


Zwezda Dnieca – Maiden – Aurora of the Morning Star, a warrior maiden who opens the Gate of Heaven for the Sun every morning to emerge and bring the day light. She is the goddess of horses. A fully armed warrior Goddess, courageous in temperament in her youth.
 Slavs portrayed her each morning as the Sun rose just as the other pagan traditions of the world did with Venus. She is one who stands on the side and views death in battle, and her prayers were addressed as “Defend me, O Maiden, with your veil from the enemy, from the arquebus and arrow.

Zwezda Wieczoniaia – Mother – Aurora of the Evening Star, the great and powerful warrior Mother of the Zoryas. She closes the Gates of Heaven and Death each evening as the aged Sun God returns from across the skies. She is patron of protection and was, before the sun became too greedy, lineage to the shamanic cultures of her ancient people. The fullness of the night sky, its stars and star light, the falling and shooting stars of fate.

Zwezda Polnoca – Grandmother – The Midnight Sun, the Golden Baba (grandmother) of the Zoryas. She is the Zorya of death itself, keeper of the four seasons and one to whom the Sun God returns to die and who she gives life to again in the morning. She is death and rebirth, magic and wisdom, she the is the wise elder of the collective and the Night and the Sky Light and all its magic which belongs to nature. The warriors in battle fear her, for she judges not only their actions but also the wounds or bitterness in their heart. She opens the gates of the underworld to return them to sit and wait for their rebirth (reincarnation). She is closely related to Baba Jaga in prehistory (not pagan or religion’s views of her).

Evening Mountain

To read more about the Night Goddesses, Shamans who are Dreamers and the Mysticism of the Season of Night (Autumn and Winter) and the Midnight Sun: The Generous Invitation to the Marriage of the Spirit of the North’s Wisdom: “The Midnight Sun” Kolyadky and Auseklis

https://eldermountaindreaming.com/2015/12/30/a-a-slavic-winter-her-midnight-sun

Ukraine Traditional Folk Dress, Ivano- Frankivsk Region, Ukraine

 

 

Ivano-Frankivsk Region, Snyatyn District, Ukraine
Ivano- Frankivsk Region, Snyatyn District, Ukraine

For the whole series of each region of Ukraine go to:
https://www.youtube.com/user/FilmUaGroup/videos

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