Peasant Dreaming: The Ancient Spirit of Wołogór, Dreamer of Ox Mountain

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By Phoenix of Elder Mountain, Edited by Sarah Burnt Stone – As a dreamer, Dreaming is my first language and has been since my birth. I live the life of a dream walker, which means I dream awake (in the waking life) and there is no longer a veil between that and my midnight dreamer (night dreaming). Because of this, I do not follow the mythology of what is often suggested in the world religions, esoteric teachings, paganism or even much of indigenous teachings because these have very similar stories/teachings under grandfathers leadership over all things sacred. 

Many teachings speak of the World Tree or what is referred to as the “Tree of Life” in Paganism, New Age Spirituality and the Kabbalah. As a Dreamer I live within the realms of the just as ancient, World River of the Golden Baba: The River and its wisdom that flows from the earth’s Sacred Mountains and that relationship to our souls.

The World River is nature’s mysticism of water: clouds, moisture (air not earth), the descending rain, lightening, thunder and the hovering fog of mystery which is the mysticism of the feminine soul. These were the ways of my pre-history Slavic and Balkan ancestors, and I am the descendant of these mysteries of the elements.

This article is about the lore of Wołogór the dreamer of Ox Mountain. What impresses me most about this is Wołogór (who is strongly connected with the bull) is not associated with any men’s hunting rites. The stories are not about the quest to overpower the bull or about being given the task of killing him, which are themes found in many Greek and Babylonian Bull mythology.   

lands of Wologor

Wołogór’s exit from the Slavic lands (when humanity fell asleep) contain a great deal of gentleness and respect. The gentleness that characterizes everything about this tradition shows us he is an oral connection to the matriarchal cultural lineages of pre-history’s Grandmother Shamanism. Many people try to claim and hold onto a specific cultural story but I do not because Wologor is like other Oxen and Bull cultural stories around the world. 

Legends about the Mountain Spirits of Karkonosze are mostly from the written accounts of the Middle Ages and were recorded historical folklore from previous oral traditions, but some of them have an older shamanic culture feel, in which they were born:

Krakonoš (Wind Spirit and later a Dwarf who is a Guardian Spirit of the Mountains). This is a Czech Republic folklore, and described as ruler of the winds which makes it shamanic, and a daemon spirit who punishes indiscriminately, making it a pagan lore. In later depictions he was a righteous champion of the poor, shown more as a dwarf and capable of transforming to any creature or object, making him a magical being. He too, like the others is a guardian of the mountains and protector of the people. He has connections to both paganism and shamanism because he can shape shift and shape shift into storms (weather or elements). The first illustrations comes from the Krakonoše, Helwigovy maps of Silesia from 1561. (Wiki).


Rübezahl (Mountain Spirit) is a German folktale and he is also called Woodwose who lives in the Krkonose Mountains (Giant Mountains), a mountain range along the border between the historical lands of Bohemia and Silesia.  The Woodwose is a wild man of the forests and woods, a mythical figure comparable to a Faun or a Wildman. He doesn’t really have much in common with Wologor and is strictly pagan. He derives from the 12th century (in written languages) and depicted as being covered with hair all over his body. He is closer associated with Green Man after the 16th Century. (Wiki).

Liczyrzepa (Mountain Spirit) is a Polish folklore who was originally a personification of the forces of nature, associated with the culture of Swantewit. This Mountain Spirit was later called “Lord John” (Dominus Johannes) a resulted from the introductions of the cult of St. John the Baptist and the existing pagans. The Polish name Liczyrzepa is a direct translation of the German name Rübezahl, introduced by Stanisław Bełza in 1898. It became widespread in Poland after 1945, when Józef Sykulski started to translate tales of Rübezahl from German into Polish. In one Silesian folktale, he is called “Prince of the Gnomes” from a legend dating back to the Middle Ages. In early pagan summer solstice rites, he resembled a Deer standing on its hind legs. (Wiki).

Spring blessing of cattle in Poland

Wołogór

Wołogór is a Polish folklore and legend which is a Mountain Spirit from the Karkonosze Mountains who in its animistic and shamanic past was a guardian to both the mountains and the inhabitants of the mountains of that region. He has a definable shamanic past because his appearance of an ox and the body of a man. He wears his natural clothing and carries a magical staff and the most important, one who dreams and experiences love. According to Lamus Dworsky, Wołogór in the Polish tradition, was said to have been given the task of guarding the small region near Wołowa Góra (which translates to Ox mountain) and reporting the condition of the area to the Great Mountain Spirit.

It is in this context that Wołogór is most vividly depicted as having an ox head and carrying a decorated staff that endows him with magical powers. Peasants would say that this spirit ensured everything was in working order and the people living nearby were safe and showed respect to nature. Sometimes he was known for assisting the locals or showing the way to lost visitors. He appears in only the local villagers’ dreams to let them know he is there to help.

The people of Budniki, Poland who do their Wołogór celebrations call them, the Welcoming the Sun and Farewell to the Sun which makes them an Autumn and Spring Equinox ritual.  Because rituals have lost their original real “rites”, what we have left today is more a gathering to honor something of our past, which includes food, music, dancing or gatherings. The very earliest of humans who lived in Dreaming cultures without written languages, connects to the simplicity of Wołogór. As time went on, these dream cultures transformed into shamanic cultures which connects the simplicity of

Shamanic cultures transformed into Goddess cultures and Goddess cultures turned into Paganism. Paganism became Patriarchy and Patriarchy is the structure that underlies most present-day folklore, religions, political and philosophical paradigms.

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As eras of time moved forward, cultural changes combined with the growing popularity of alcohol and drug myths (Dionysian Cults). This began to change mythology, especially in the way it depicted the sacred masculine. The increasing amount of tribal and spiritual leadership that was taken over by men who worshipped the proud warrior archetype (based on the Unconquered Sun God myths) further served to expand the gap between the style of old mythology and the new. As battles, politics, science and military became the new masculine, we saw we saw many myths lose the gentleness that can still be found in the roots of Wołogór’s folklore.

The most ancient of folklore always depicted a peaceful and magical earth, where men were helpers to women and children; where there were no warriors at all. We can see how some of the tales of Wołogór actually reflect the changing eras of world culture, particularly in the way sacred masculine love was transformed into depictions of the struggle of unrequited love and rejection.

Wołogór and his human love with a woman started as an act of seduction in her dreaming. However, she loved someone else and rejected Wołogór’s advances in her dreams. He decided to appear in her home in person.

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He came with so much love that fire fell out of his heart which is symbolic for our spirit connected to nature (elements) and set her house on fire. Wołogór understood his mistakes of passion out of control, and he decided not to intervene in human lives again. The woman got married and had children and continued her life, rejecting the magical ancient earth and what it had contained. This shows that both men and women had agreed that the old ways were not wanted anymore and that the dominance of the church and their urging women to have lots and lots of children and the binding of marriage in elaborate bride rituals without any spirituality of ancient female rituals, was the new men’s church fashion… in other words, control.

Wołogór saw that the people were changing in this way and that the sacred rivers that flowed from the spiritual mountains were not wanted anymore, in fact it became superstitious if anyone revealed the old ways as judgments were harsh. The people he had always protected and loved started to decline as they fell asleep in the great sleep of humanity. Wołogór’s magic (represented by his staff) slowly began to lose its magic. It was time for him to retreat back into the dreaming, because there’s no one left for him who believed anymore.

WołogórIt is said he went up a spring called Malina near some waterfalls, and there he pushed his staff and his right foot against a huge boulder leaving the shapes in the stone. He was never seen in the dreams again, but locals believe he might return when they are in need.

The folklore of Wołogór is very strong in small mountain cultures where ancient oxen (bull) once roamed free and there are still many Polish folk traditions that include the Ox symbolically.

budnikach staff

Kolęda, which is a practice of caroling at the winter solstice is a ritual that is still strongly associated with the Ox even today (and which sometimes has been substituted for a cow, but never a goat). During this time, villagers will walk around visiting homes with someone dressed as an ox and carry elaborate Christmas Stars. (See article on Elder Mountain called the “Midnight Sun”, the Koliada Star).

Some cultures have replaced the older ox with the new pagan goat in ritual and folk stories (a substitution that comes from more recent Dionysus/goat cult inspired traditions, even the Slavic peoples). The ox is the more archaic version of the animal associated with this ritual and is the indigenous Slavic animal associated with the rites of fertility. Legends like Wołogór and the Mountain Spirit of Karkonosze help us reclaim what was forgotten during the changing of cultural rituals and awaken to where we fell asleep due to religious forbidding rites connected with these dream cultural experiences.

For dreamers and old souls, times are changing for the better and we can now accept the possibility of our return so dominated by scholars, universities, archaeologist, authors or book writers who have brought limitation of what our ancient past was. We return to these rituals and these ancient ways without persecution and begin to live the rituals, perform them not as carnival or festival, but small ancient sacred ceremonies in which they were, and include the leadership of grandmothers.


A poem about Wologor on Wołowa Mountain …

Enigmabudnik

You may think I was dreaming,
But in this wasteland, life sparks,
Not only thickets and conifers,
but deer, birds or other animals.

Rocks falling from the slopes
or mountain rushing streams,
Footprints of a stray wanderer’s shoes …
No, more real life!

Some time ago, several centuries,
You can hear the children here
Absorbed in care free fun
Yes, there were children here
so you already know yourself.

Where the children, there parents and family,
homesteads, houses and chimneys
Smoking; In a word: a real settlement,
Yes, a village was here, it’s not overdone.

Village? How is it? Seriously?
A village – I say – listen carefully!
And it is not a fairy tale nor a legend
by the fire the righteous talk.

Well, it was during the great turmoil,
When the world was engrossed in
religious movements,
  when the defenders
of faith took their heads,
 they were
fighting and dying.

Not for God’s sake, but for mammon,
After all, when the mind is asleep,
the demons wake up …

So wise people sought refuge,
They ran in their legs, without
a moment’s respite.

When they reached this place,
they rested for a moment,

Do you run away, they probably thought?
And this place is charming, peaceful,
They realized that somehow they
would survive the war.

Thirty years have passed; The war ceased,
The village has grown here, the village has been here,
They could come back safely, as they knew,
They could come back, but somehow
they did not want to come back.

Here they found their happiness 
Happiness must be guarded,
do not abandon it.
  It will grow and
flourish generously,

Life will be sweet and calm.

And so it probably was, we guess,
And exactly how it was – we do not
know that anymore.

And we’ll never know for sure,
Because history usually does
not betray everything.

Feeding the imagination, leaving some myths,
Poets, artists, magicians and fortune tellers,
Dreamy hearts about a child’s mind …
The rest is silence; this is strictly confidential.

What are some old photos betraying,
Tales kept in the attic, in the closet
I’m afraid of history, sometimes dulled
Echoes of ancient legends from
the cave under the forest.

The name to find one is the hard work:
Forstlangwasser, Forstbauden or Forest Buddy,
Forest Clamps or Foresters’ Houses,
The definition of this place we have a few.

And lastly, as the chronicles say
It is commonly known today as Budniki.
With such a wealth of names – what to do?
Well here not to overdo it?

Each of us reads the secret differently.
Let anyone who arrives in this area,
depend on your heart and your understanding,
Let her name – best as she can …

What do you think you will say about yourself?
After all, the name is just a name, letters,
What matters more is our experience
our Dreams, imagination, not the word “life” …

But there are also signs of time, unfortunately,
Hearts are very different from the poet’s heart,
In a place like this they feel different,
Thoughts are cool – profits are calculated,

Everything they want to cash in, invest everywhere,
Capable to sell everything, straighten nature,
Even the sliced secret would cut,
Without regretting for a moment,

In Budniki and houses to rebuild,
And people sold tickets to them …
When what is priceless will be priced,
This whole spell is going up and everything is over.

It will not be then a magic place,
Become more popular, more touristy
And it will be quite different than it used to be,
And no one else will dream …

But luckily there will always be something for us,
Because the place is certainly older than the slaughter,
Who knows what was happening in the old days,
What kind of sleep in the surrounding woods.

That no one will examine and will not answer us,
Maybe the camps had wild Celts here?
Because the older they are, the darker the cards,
Unforgettable myths in the earliest of times.
I am neither a seer nor a scholar,
Maybe Wologor on Wołowa Mountain
He will echo through the hole in the cloud …

Enigmabudnik, the Enigmabudnik…
Wake up the secret; Let Budnik silence continue!
Because in the silence the Heart hear Izbica Spruce,
In the veins to feel the raspberry, in the eyes of a Spark …

Poem: Izbicki’s Bride (2015.9.29)

Ox, Oxen, Bull in Mythology, Folklore, Legends  – Oxen in other legends – In many cultures, the symbolism of the Ox is interwoven with a story that connects a male and female character.  One of the most famous stories is the Chinese myth of the Heavenly Weaving Maiden with the Ox herding boy. It is said that the Ox herding Boy and the Weaving Maiden must live separately their whole lives except for one day of the year when they can walk across a celestial bridge of Magpie birds to be together. This day is celebrated on 7th day of the 7th lunar month in many Asian countries and is their modern “Valentine’s Day” equivalent. This festival has been celebrated since the Han Dynasty (206 BCE). There are many stories online with older contexts than the modern Valentines Day stories.

Ox (Bull) in ancient cultures and its symbolism is also strongly featured in the Cretan myths. King Minos of Crete competed with his brothers to rule the land. Minos prayed to Poseidon, the Sea God, to send him a snow-white bull as a sign of support. He intended to kill the shamanistic woman’s era bull to show honour to the man’s human deity, but decided to keep it instead because of its beauty. He thought Poseidon would not care if he kept the white bull and sacrificed one of his own. To punish Minos, Poseidon made Pasiphaë, Minos’s wife, fall deeply in love with the Bull.

Goddess Cultures of the Middle East, Achaemenid period ca. 550 - 330 BCE

Pasiphaë had a craftsman (Daedalus) make a hollow wooden cow, and climbed inside it in order to mate with the white bull. Their offspring was the monstrous Minotaur. Pasiphaë nursed him, but he grew and became ferocious, being the unnatural offspring of a woman and a mythical ox. Minos sought advice from the Seers and Oracle at Delphi, who advised him to construct a gigantic labyrinth to hold the Minotaur. Its location was near Minos’ palace in Knossos.

The story of the Cretan Bull (which historically some scholars have suggested it as the strong female bull and its destruction of an earlier era) and the Maidens who danced upon her or him connecting their labyrinth of feminine fertility which is the connection between the solid earth and our physical life, relative to housing our Soul’s Dreaming, its Intuitive Oracular Gifts and the sight of the Seer of the ancient Body & Soul.

Budniki Forstbaude archaeological site archaeological excavations October 2014, Budniki Schronisko Forstbaude wykopaliska archeologiczne październik 2014: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cee-HeJbuc

Note: The Golden Babas (grandmothers) article on Elder Mountain Dreaming: https://eldermountaindreaming.com/2016/11/08/stone-grandmother-каменные-баба-kamennaia-baba


Wonderful Sources: The Budniki, Poland people are the main source of a “living” ritual for all of us to enjoy Wologor, you can find them here: https://www.facebook.com/Budnikipl;  Special thanks to Lamus Dworski and her scholarly (written folklore) approaches of her translations and researched version of Wologor, you can find her article of Wologor on her web page here:

Sources: https://lamusdworski.wordpress.com/2016/11/12/wologor; budniki.pl, karpacz.pl, karawaier.pl, Budniki Poland’s website: http://budniki.pl; Budniki Forstbaude archaeological site archaeological excavations October 2014 – Budniki Schronisko Forstbaude wykopaliska archeologiczne październik 2014; Gorlitz Museum Krakonoš (Rübezahl-Museum). Wiki, Vlastivědný Proceedings, Vol seventh Museum Podkrkonoší in Trutnov Trutnov, 1983, Photos and images included in this article are from the celebrations of the people who live in Budniki Poland; Baba and Bull Spring blessing of cattle in Poland; Karol Nienartowicz Polish Photographer of the Karkonosze, Gianni De Conno, Poèmes à la Lune, Polish Wiki, Various sources translated from Polish websites, Karkonosze (karkɔˈnɔʂɛ) National Park, Poland (Bohemia, 1518), Image of the large statue of the Bull in the Middle East of the Achaemenid period ca. 550 – 330 BCE.

Elder Mountain – If you are interested in learning more about the rites of a shaman, and the empowerment of our dreaming culture and how it can help be integrated into your emotional healing journey, solar, soul or moon work, or creative practices, we welcome artists, dreamers, healers, shaman apprentices (those under 50 years old) to learn and join into our community. We will be offering work-creatives, sacred retreats and ceremony on the equinoxes and solstices in Ashland, Oregon starting in the sparing of 2019. ElderMountainDreaming@gmail.com

Personal note: 
My sharing of cultural weaving with my shamanic fated life of experiences over the past sixty years, is to enlighten the heart and soul of the readers beyond knowledge, study, university or book knowledge of pagan, religious tales, myths and teachings. I encourage to spark your spirit and soul with a time before the rulership of pyramids and kingdoms. Those who visit here and those who come to Elder Mountain in person, I only have respect to your traditions and learnings, and to celebrate them with you from your cultural past. My first language and culture is dreaming, and the gifts of dreaming, dream walking, soul work, soul healing, time travel (astral travel) as a pure (non drug non plant) shaman. I am most certainly grateful for all writers and authors as they share the approaches of time shared folk knowledge, from older books, old articles or library and university resources. I am very grateful to my own Polish/Ukraine lands that were once indigenous in the Carpathians and were some clues still exist from the pre-tenth century, one in which Wologor himself belongs like myself. I share, regardless who the source is, be it Wologor himself or a writer, dancer, singer or gatherer of information who all sharing the same living or re-birthing journeys of the joys of cultural traditions through the arts. All are blessed because of it, including me. 

Karelian Magic

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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

Marzanna Ritual – Autumn Equinox to the Spring Equinox

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Phoenix’s Marzanna, beginning stages of building her. Then on the Winter Solstice when she will be taken out to the field and ceremony for protect of land/town for 3 months of Winter 2016/17.

By Phoenix of Elder Mountain – It is the season of Maržanna, Mara, Maržena, Morena and all her Slavic names associated with the traditional Folk Ritual of many Slavic countries. I have invited our patrons on this page Grandmother Moon and Slavic Folklore Dreams over the years to participate with us. Most of you have made your personal small Effigy doll and done it in the tradition of your healing journey of what you need over the “season of night” (Autumn and Winter).

My work as a shaman with Marzanna each year is a six month (moon) ritual and ceremonies that is mandatory for the protection of our land here at Elder Mountain. Most Marzanna traditions are still practiced today, but like all ancient traditions, they have lost their shamanic ritualistic power of real protection and for the relationship to the consciousnesses of the earth mother (nature) and what roams between the worlds that we shamans experience and how to keep the winter moons safe.

Religions of the middle ages which challenged the world indigenous populations that were white, red, yellow, black and brown nations, could not have any competitors of their newer symbol of the “dying on the cross” and Morena and Marzanna represented a threat to their power and control, so she had to be forbidden, they only wanted the symbol of women as compassionate and loving mother, not powerful goddess over death.

So as in direct competition to male religions, this much more ancient ritual (which there will be no physical proof because she is burned in a ceremonial fire) she had to be banned and eradicated and even in some villages… corrupted. Even still, her rituals still survives today all over the world by balto-slavic people. The word Mor is the root of a very old Slavic word Mor meaning Death.

Morena a powerful grandmother (later changed to a beautiful young maiden), is the cold winter goddess of death and ruler of the underworld, who must journey to the underworld (shaman) and cross the river Smorodina (Smorod, meaning stench from the dead souls), through which you can only flee, guide and get to the other side. In many ways this small story is the story of all true shamans who cross the veils of life and death, where the karmic souls are prisoners in the underworld.

This is why many cultures do Autumn and Winter shamanic rituals to protect the waking plane from roaming shadow spirits. But now most are just light festivals or like Marzanna, reserved for fun and school children on one day of the original six months.

tumblr_o4200qlac91uc488jo1_500Today in modern times, Marzanna is still alive and well, but more associated with children and festivals of Spring and most of the tradition is focused around Spring and the end process of burning her to release winter. I do a serious shamanic working ritual each year not only for my own protection as a shaman because of the veil I am exposed to wherever I may live.

She is also a protector of the land in which we live and the clearing of what energies roam locally during the winter months, especially at night and around the full moons. I focus not on Spring (the end) but the entire six month process as a whole ritualistic ceremony. Its a very serious ceremony, in which children are not allowed because of the adult nature of shamanism of protection and healing.

My process is a duration of six months is the old prehistory rituals, when the season of night (Autumn and Winter) and the season of fire (Spring and Summer) where the two seasonal rituals of the ceremonial grandmothers. I start my building of my Marzanna each year on the day of the Autumn Equinox and do ritual and ceremony with her foundation or basic structure and set the intentions with each piece of what we need in Autumn and Winter. Every year is different for me because nature’s communication with the wind, the clouds, rain, snow, rivers, creeks and ponds all speak their magic and are all a part of the power that Marzanna will carry into the dark phase of the year of Winter.

My Marzanna seems simple as she stands around six feet tall, and when I her out to the field on the day of the Winter Solstice as she begins her work which represents the decades of my work and healing work put into her. When the Spring Equinox arrives, she is treated in the same traditional way that modern Slavs do their Morena or Marzanna and we welcome Spring and the rebirth of the year and is burned and thrown into the water.

Women have made effigies and talisman for thousands of years and today they are called dolls but still basically serve the same purpose when that doll effigy is not about anyone but you. When that doll becomes about someone else, outside the context of healing work, then its black magic and voodoo and reverse negative karmic action.

Those who ponder why we sacred artists do this, inspires curiosity about our past lives when we did the same things for the same reasons. Modern times are no different than today except we all have lifetimes of karma and we have used natures gifts inappropriately and brought death to the surface here with digging for oil. Well what comes with that death and power of the archaic grandmothers of the primeval eras of humanity.

photo-by-czlowiek-kamera

To be connected to the awareness of birth, living, transformation, death and rebirth is a person who honors all things and understands natures cycles by working with it personally and with nature herself. This is a living planet with a natural mysticism that is alive if you can ‘see’ and if you participate in ritual enough years it becomes easier to see. These effigies are an expression of our soul and our ability to create and heal out of hardships and death. Beyond that, archaic ritual is a shamanic reality and before that, a dreaming culture reality, which all of this has sprung forth from our soul’s dreaming power because our soul exists beyond the physical, metaphysical.

In ancient times we used embroidery thread and in prehistory, we made effigies with  actual braided hair. In modern times after the 12th century that was associated with black magic and voodoo, but most things were corrupted in the middle ages. Later horse hair was used in some fine weaving, and then eventually textile fabrics such as embroidery and tapestry dominated cultural life that was more domesticated.

My Marzanna is done the way it was done in prehistory, with some of my own hair I collect all year long. When I lead shamanic soul retrievals I also do a ritual with having those who come for the evening to snip off a piece of their hair and I burn it with the sage. I do this because in winter, we practice letting go which is physical sometimes but also symbolic of our “old growth” that needs to be released in order to prepare for the new, when spring arrives.

I attach some of my sacred necklaces, textiles and talisman and painted symbols to Marzanna and then remove them before I burn her. I also add things I have made or worked with during the year, like the leftover stalks of the lavender I harvested, the strings of rosehips and wild flowers I collect for my smudge. I add pieces of the abundance of nature such as pine cones, tree branches, wild grasses, twine, sticks, berries and more. I add each piece in a ceremony and work on building her for three months.

In this video you can see my Marzanna burn and in the flames the soul energy burnt by seeing the faces in the fire. I take my work extremely serious when building her with each piece, and the things I put  on her is for a specific reason in what roams between the veils and the rituals that we do here in the north, south, east and west directions of the edge of the property.

Your Marzanna of course is more traditional of what is done today in most Slavic countries and as the winter soon approaches I encourage you to join in the artistic and healing aspects of Marzanna. This is an amulet or effigy which reflects both you and the great mother (light and dark) goddess. Take photos and share if you want and I will add to this photo group.

Traditional Marzanna or Morena Folk or Peasant Rituals

6ad3b3ae222a95d2e20a194a71d6447aMarzanna (in Polish), Morė (Lithuanian), Morena (Czech, Slovak, Russian) and also Mara, Maržena, Morana, Moréna, Mora or Marmora is a Baltic and Slavic Goddess associated with seasonal agrarian ancient death and rebirth rites of nature. She is associated with death and winter and is often described as the Goddess of death. To this day in some regions of Poland, there is a festival held where an effigy of Marzanna is made in the month of March, and is burned to welcome springtime from winter.

This is known as The Burning and Drowning Ritual of Marzanna. The tradition of burning or drowning an effigy of Marzanna to celebrate the end of winter is a folk custom that survives in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. For many years, the Burning and Drowning of Marzanna was held on the fourth Sunday of Lent and it was not until the 20th century that the date 21 March was fixed, which coincidentally is the day of the vernal equinox (20–21 March). The rite involves preparing a doll dressed in female clothing, which can then be set on fire, drowned in the river, or both.

The Church tried to Christianize the tradition of Marzanna and replace it by burning Judah or throwing Judah puppet from the churches’ roof on Holy Wednesday. This tradition is cultivated in some Polish regions, but Marzanna tradition is known much better all through Poland. In the Czech Republic or Poland, this is often performed during a field trip by children in kindergartens and primary schools.

The effigy, often prepared by the children themselves, can range in size from a puppet to a life-size dummy. This ritual represents the end of the dark days of winter, the victory over death, and the welcoming of the spring rebirth. It concerns the “drowning of Marzanna,” a large figure of a woman made from various rags and bits of clothing which is thrown into a river on the first day of the spring calendar. Along the way, she is dipped into every puddle and pond …

Very often she is burned along with herbs before being drowned and a twin custom is to decorate a pine tree with flowers and colored baubles to be carried through the village by the girls. There are of course many superstitions associated with the ceremony: you can’t touch Marzanna once she’s in the water, you can’t look back at her, and if you fall on your way home you’re in big trouble. One, or a combination of any of these can bring the usual dose of sickness and plague.

Grandmother represents the Winter Stage (Dark Moon) phases of life, the Death and Rebirth stages of life and in this very ancient Ritual of the Burning of Marzanna during the first few days of Spring, she represents the archaic dark primordial grandmothers releasing winter into the rebirth of the maiden’s spring. The Winter Goddess, who is the original Snow Queen is a Slavic Goddess associated with seasonal agrarian rites based on the idea of death and rebirth of the nature and woman herself.

She is associated with death and winter and often described as the goddess of death. The 15th century Polish chronicler Jan Długosz likened her to Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture. Her name is derived from the same Indo-European root as Latin mors ‘death’ and Russian mor ‘pestilence’. Some authors also likened her to mare, the celestial horse spirit of Slavic folklore, associated with dreams and sleep paralysis (astral travel). In some Russian dialects the word ‘mara’ means ‘phantom’, ‘vision’, ‘female Prophet’ or female Visionary.

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The tradition of burning or drowning an effigy of Marzanna to celebrate the end of winter is a folk custom that survives in Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Typically taking place on the day of the vernal equinox, the rite involves setting fire to a female straw effigy, drowning it in a river, or both. In Poland, this is often performed during a field trip by children in kindergartens and primary schools.

The effigy can range in size from a small doll size effigy to a life-size goddess statue out of straw. This ritual represents the end of the dark days of winter, the victory over death, and the welcoming of the spring rebirth.

The “Drowning of Marzanna,” a large figure of a woman made from various rags and bits of clothing which is thrown into a river on the first day of the spring calendar. Along the way, she is dipped into every puddle and pond … Very often she is burned along with herbs before being drowned and a twin custom is to decorate a pine tree with flowers and colored baubles to be carried through the village by the girls, mothers, women and the baba elders.

Carrying out Morena (Marzanna) is a Slovak Tradition, a custom first written down in the 16th century, from previous folk traditions of the Goddess. It says that the youth carried an effigy of the Goddess, made of two wooden sticks in the shape of a cross in tangled harvested wheat and straw. This effigy dressed in festive traditional costume and a singing by the whole village as they carried her to the river.

Behind the village threw her off a bridge into the water, or burned in a bonfire as the symbol of winters end, and springs renewal, that from death comes rebirth. While people believed that death, winter was to be survived, the goddess cultures influenced this folk custom of local slavic regions to make it through long winters. The original faith of ancient Slavs and Slovaks were banned by male religions and many withdrew into seclusion for fear of persecution with their ancient honoring of a goddess.

98ce1f6e043de2e8c6b1549c1f5a53d7Morena in winter gains power as the old sun god Dažbog experiences his death. Her flying chariot drawn by snow-white swan represents death and those who dream of large spirit swans will have witnessed a loved one’s soul carried over to the other side (from old Slavic folk lore).

Marena is dressed in white as snow as the keeper of gates to heaven and the hair and complexion of her is the same. Her Ceremony is in late winter until spring, where the underworld experiences natural cycle of decay, and we honor Morena, to pay respect to the forces of mother nature, and then in the spring honor the growing Dažbog. Morena’s animals and avian are wolves, ravens and swans, as a symbol of winter’s death and then its rebirth. Her Majesty marks the time when we honor our ancestors by paying respect to all the Slavic the Goddesses.

Sources: Photo by Czlowiek Kamera; Dragovid; Wiki, Elder Mountain, Slavic Folklore Dreams; “Morana” by Игорь Ожиганов; beksinski.dmochowskigallery.net

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Grandmother’s Ancestors – Siberian Effigies

Article By Olga Gertcyk for the Siberian Times

20,000 year old prehistoric effigies shows people of all ages and the larger figurines of the basic large grandmothers (which in all archeology are so inappropriately called Venus). These Siberian art effigies include men, women, teenagers and children, the new research shows. It’s true that in the past some of the woolly mammoth tusk carvings were known to be clothed as they were dressed for protection from the Siberian winter, and are possibly the oldest known images anywhere in the world of sewn fur clothing.

Figurine back

Siberian archeologist and historian Alexey Okladnikov in 1957, found the Paleolithic art from the Buret excavations in this collection. Carved of mammoth tusk, these female forms rested in the ‘moist and warm soil’ soaked by a recent night thunderstorm. Seemingly enchanted and using language veering from the strictly scientific into the lyrical, he hailed this figurine as ‘not a dead piece of long-vanished world, but something soulful and full of life’. Entranced by the ancient vision, he lauded her ‘narrow, Mongolian slanted eyes looking at us, the people of the twentieth century, mysteriously and even somewhat ironically.’

Siberian Venus

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Famous Mal’ta and Buret are located in about 25 kilometers from each other, close to Lake Baikal. In rich poetic vein, he continued:

Her face, carved so unexpectedly gentle and tender, had a barely noticeable smile. The feeling of vitality and mystery coming from this fragment of mammoth tusk was getting even deeper because the statuette radiated the warmth of a living creature as most likely all cultures ruled by women were.

It wasn’t yellow or brown, like dozens of ancient sculptures from mammoth tusks that lie behind the museum glass window. It was pink and almost warm, like a live human body. This is exactly how a piece of a fossil ivory looks, soaked with the millennial Earth’s juices.’ But now deeper study using modern technology has been conducted by Dr Lyudmila Lbova and trace analysis specialist Dr Pavel Volkov.

‘In the collection of Malta figurines, the overalls are more typical for small sculptures (those of 2-4 cm in height), depicting children.’ Picture: Lyudmila Lbova

And a striking new light has been cast on the Mal’ta and Buret figurines – found from the 1920s to the 1950s by the Angara River close to Lake Baikal in modern-day Irkutsk region. Notably, the research disputes the widely-held believe that some of the figures are nude.

‘There were many attempts to understand the idea of these figurines, and their symbolism,’ she said. ‘And there were many interpretations. Totally there are 40 known figurines found both on Mal’ta and Buret: we have (so far) studied 29 of them, using microscopes and macro shooting.


Figurines

She explained: ‘We worked with sculptures from the collections of the State Hermitage Museum at St Petersburg. First, we found out how these figurines were made and checked our conclusions with experiments. Some of the figurines are just work pieces, to the finished works. In other words, they are prototypes and ‘this allowed us to reconstruct all the steps in their creation.

‘Yet the most unexpected result was that we saw traces on the surface of the figurines that were not spotted earlier, as they are not visible to the naked eye, due to the ravages of time. These traces showed more details of clothes than we had seen previously: bracelets, hats, shoes, bags and even back packs.

Dr Lyudmila Lbova

Dr Lyudmila Lbova: ‘We decided to pay more attention to some material things, to study the surface, to understand how these figurines were made. This approach allowed us to reveal many interesting new details and review some ideas about these sculptures,’ she said. ‘Previously, there had been different approaches to the classification of these figurines, but the basic was a division into ‘dressed’ and ‘naked’. ‘Our research showed that all of them are more or less ‘dressed’. We saw the different types of hats, hairstyles, shoes and accessories, which were depicted with thin lines. The ancient masters used different techniques to highlight the different materials – fur, leather, and decorations.

Face close

‘In the realistic elements of clothing and hats are obviously seen the details of traditional outerwear of Nordic peoples. The most ‘popular’ outerwear on the figurines are fur overalls’ – similar to ‘kerkery as worn by Koryak children and women in the extreme east of Siberia. ‘In the collection of Malta figurines, the overalls are more typical for small sculptures (those of 2-4 cm in height), depicting children. Besides, all the figures dressed in overalls have a disproportionately large head.

Mikhail Gerasimov on excavations

Mikhail Gerasimov [the archaeologist who found the first figurines] on the excavations at Mal’ta in 1958. ‘Such proportions we see in children under 5 years old, dressed in overalls with high hoods. These sculptures show small childfren in clothes typical for them and in the right proportions. ‘On other sculptures, we can see overalls made of guts, probably from fish or seals, which women wore in summer along with short parkas. We see similar ones in the culture of the indigenous people who live in the Russian north-east, like the Koryaks and Itilmens.’

Figurine's head


Face

The most common are these fur hats that cover the head, neck, ears, cheeks and chin.

The detail spotted on these figurines is intriguing.  ‘Most interesting are the hats and hairstyles. There are fur ‘hats’ meaning a hat that covers the head and shoulders – ‘hats and hoods.

On the figurines ‘we can also see the bags and in one case an  outline of a traditional back pack with two straps. It has not so much detail, and it is not clear if this is male or female, yet the proportions of bodies show that this is definitely a younger person.

‘All the figurines were found within the living facilities of ancient settlements, some of them even in ritual places in the home: they were covered with mammoth scapula bone or sprinkled with ocher.’

‘What we can say for sure is that these realistic details of clothes, accessories, hairstyle clearly show that ancient masters made the figurines of some real people, maybe their relatives. I strongly doubt that these were the images of abstract goddesses or spirits’ in the sense often used.

Source: Dr Lyudmila Lbova is a researcher and Dr Pavel Volkov is a leading researcher both at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, part of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.  The research was conducted by the Laboratory ‘Interdisciplinary Study of Primitive Art of Eurasia’, which is a joint project of Novosibirsk State University’s Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography and University of Bordeaux. The Laboratory is based in Novosibirsk State University. Pictures: Kunstkamera Museum, Lyudmila Lbova and Jokersy/Panoramio

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Animism 101

Susan Seddon Boulet (1941—1997) родилась в Бразилии

Definition: An·i·mism is the attribution of the metamorphosis of the soul into animals, birds, fish, insects and natural phenomena. In other words it is real shape-shifting. There is a whole world out there that takes a word like animism, without ever having experienced it in their life and continues the knowledge that is not very in-depth. I even saw a blog speaking about Christian animism… the three mainstream religions (Christian, Jewish and Muslim) are the main ancient organizations that actually destroyed it.

Starting at the beginning, rather than the end of anything, much less shamanism, magic or paranormal, is always a wiser path. When your ready after you have done your studies, throw out all those books and ask mother earth and life to show you the long and winding paths. Always start with your own human soul (the emotional body and its karma) and the decades to purify that first before seeking everywhere on earth for some unknown random spirit or soul, its wiser that way. Start with the self first, and throw out any star seeds, the universe or history… then you might be able to find the path to understanding.

Art: Top Susan Seddon Boulet (1941—1997); Vision Desde Arriba by Pancho Peskador.

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Ukraine’s Night on Bare Mountain

On the eve of May 1, in the Walpurgis Night, Kiev witches gathered for the Sabbath on Bald Mountain
May 1st is Walpurgis Night in Kiev as witches gather for their Sabbath on Bald Mountain.

Lysa Hora was the Legend of darkness of the rising powers of men, both pagan and christian, both politician and military at Bare (Bald) Mountain in Kyiv, Ukraine. People tend to think one is good and the other evil, but when you look at the destruction of white, red, black, yellow and brown indigenous cultures, its all the same. I wrote a poem once, that said: “Christians have the blood of Pagans on their hands and Pagans have the blood of Shamans on theirs – and we all have the blood of woman on our hands and now she has the blood of Mother Earth on hers…

The Ukraine Witches were no different in their losses of their goddess culture and their persecution like everywhere else on earth.  P. Efimenko is one of the most famous Ukrainian ethnographers who said: “Belief in witches is so common in Ukraine that in every single village, you can find one or two witches. This case is no exception even in large university cities like Kyiv and Kharkiv.” In Ukraine, they believe that “scientists” are responsible for taking their knowledge of the old witches and the proverb says: “Witch in the house, better be damn ready.”

Some witches can harm a person, but its something the witches prefer to “work out” or “settle” issues, but “scientists” not only do evil but they are unconscious of it because unlike spiritual people, or withes, shamans, magicians, they do not undergo the difficult spiritual tests and the shaman’s tests of nature. They are also not associated with icons, prayers, reading the “opposite” or “upside down” and reverse of all things presented. Most Slavic spiritual people including myself always include doing and the reverse doing (chaos), for some witches, the bind and the unbind, which covers the patterns of karmic, reincarnation or aspects of the wrath of nature within oppositions of life. Science and the Military, including their children, Corporations, cannot understand these principles when they mess with the forces of mountains, water, nature and women.

This protects us from our own karma by doing double the work, healing our own karma and working our spiritual life out, a walking forward and a walking in reserve (of the ancestral self). Otherwise karma will return at a later time in ones life or another future lives with much more impact and severity. Doing both clockwise (work) and counter-clockwise (self work) helps increase awareness of what is internally happening equally with the external happenings of our life, other people or situations – and its generally not focused on when one is learning the path but when they begin to actually walk the path.

Ukraine Witch

Ukrainian Witches, Shamans, Sorcerers and Magicians are no different in this type of work, they do it to recognize and see when a shadowy & evil shamans, witches, sorcerers or magicians are creating near them or in their circles. Bald mountain, according to tradition, is said to be the gathering place of Chernabog (shadow god) and his followers on Walpurgis or All Hallows Eve night, similar to Halloween. Under his spell, they dance furiously until the coming of dawn. The Slavic creation myth talks about the Yusha Snake created by Svarog, the god of celestial fire, which holds the Mother Earth inside the World Egg and above the depths of the eternal ocean by coiling around it and biting its own tail. The place where the snake’s teeth and tail meet is located at the mount Lysa Hora  – the Barren Mountain, or Bald Mountain – in Kiev. But Bird and Serpent has always been a woman’s medicine, totem and soul long before Paganism and this is where Paganism was destructive like Christianity.bm3

Until now, Lysa Hora remains as it always used to be – completely devoid of any signs of civilization. The place doesn’t even have light posts, which are present anywhere in a city. The biggest action at the mount usually happens in the month of May. Groups of pagans, satanists, and the ones who deem themselves to be warlocks gather at Lysa Hora to celebrate the pagan holiday Grudie Rosnoe, the days when Volhvs – the Sorcerers would bring sacrifices to the god Rod.  Naturally, the local police is not very fond of these gatherings, since a third  of all suicides takes place precisely during these dates. Not so long ago, tolkienists and LARP enthusiasts took a liking to the place as well, in fact, all who have strong karmic past lives, will be attracted to this place.

According to the legend, the Sabbath on the mount were plentiful with witches and ghosts of deceased women partaking in shadow work and orgies with demonic men. As usual, the shadow of those in power in Ukraine, were and still are sitting on the throne, and if a witch, male or female did not do enough evil throughout the year, the top ranking shadows of people would abuse her or him.

The folklore divides Lysa Hora into three areas.

The first is called Rusalka (Mermaid) Ravine, since it is located by the Lake that was once sacred in Paganism where Mermaids used to live in peace.

The second is the Ravine of the Witches, where the Sabbaths took place after the Dionysus Cults of darkness intervened and brought their shadows from the Middle East, Russia and Greece.

The third and the biggest part of the Mountain is called the Dead Men Grove, where many ancient burial grounds were discovered.

Prior to the introduction of Christianity, Kievan Rus was a Pagan religion, and Lysa Hora was the place of worship for the followers but once alcohol of the Dionysus cults began the shadow, evil and darkness swallowed them up along with the other civilizations. Pagan priests and priestesses as a last effort, carved out dungeons in the mountain, where they stored books, sacred artifacts, and gold.  After paganism was officially banned over a long period of time, the priests moved into those dungeons, in hopes to create a new gospel, which would combine the old Slavic and Christian beliefs together, to accommodate the confusion of people during this change.

Their gospel was passed down by word of mouth, and is reflected in many Slavic myths and fairy tales of the patriarchal male Pagans, which turned into a men’s religion just like Christianity was.  The church regarded this gospel as a non-canonical Apocrypha work. Even now, stone plates with apocryphic inscriptions are still being discovered around the place. The second half of Paganism in Slavic culture was not connected to the Goddess, like it was in the first half of paganism. Over the centuries, the apocrypha writers left the dungeons and sealed the underground passages. After them, the Christian monks started visiting the mount to perform penance and prayer, and to build their own underground monastery, which connected Lysa Hora with Kiev Pechersk Lavra.

The Pagans were having a few chaos things happen, women were being burned as witches, men were try to control women with rituals of dark sexual magic and alcohol being introduced into ceremony and Christianity was trying to convert and convince men to join their God because their women would have to go along. Chaos is what was occurring and great change. Christianity had fell upon an already failing and darkened system. Lysa Hora has had enough tunnels dug into it more was to come, and during the times of Peter the Great who ruled from 1689-1725, it was decided to build a defensive military Fort for the city on top of the mount.  The Lysogorskaya fortress was a very clever construction with the underground reservoirs to store water from the river Dnieper, more underground passages and dungeons. In the case of defeat, the fortress would be flooded with the help of the reservoirs. Besides that, the reservoirs were also the place to drown the disobeying peasants – about 3000 human remains were found there.

Lysa Hora Tunnels

In the first half of the 19th century, the area around Lysa Hora was populated by monks, who peacefully cultivated fruit, vegetables, and engaged in bee-keeping. In 1897 the fortress on top of the mount became a warehouse, where issues of power again by men would surface, the gun-cotton industry, was a highly flammable explosive, and it was stored there – the locals had no clue that they could blow up any minute. Everything exploded in 1918, destroying a big area of the Pechersk region. That’s when the military moved their ammunition and it was sealed once again.

In the beginning of the 20th century, the fortress served as another dis-functional and negative organization… a prison and the area around it as the execution grounds. More than 200 criminals were executed on the mount. In the Soviet times it was fashionable for the local officials to invite foreign government representatives to the mount, in order to woo them with the fact that any wish they thought of would come true. And of course, they would.  A notable case happened when the China and Tibet conflict was at its peak, and Dalai Lama sent a number of Buddhist monks to the Mountain to wish for the end of war. On the third day of their praying, the leader of China, Deng Xiaoping, died. During the German occupation, the mount used to be the Tiger tanks base, and some researchers often came across the German military reports, describing paranormal phenomena.

All of this profanity from the late Pagan eras, then the Religion/Military eras, then the Government eras and lastly the Military/Government eras has totally destroyed all sacredness of this area. Today, Lysa Hora has a real underground city in its depths, which consists of caves from several historical periods – from the cells of the Slavonic to abandoned military bases. Besides the treasures and books deep in the mountain, all kinds of things are believed to be inside of it of the cave cultures, which are passages to other worlds, supernatural energies, skeletons of ancient adventurers and now totally controlled by the military (ufos) who crossed the veil in the 1930s and dominate this place.

y tree

The corrupt social groups like the Military and huge religions and eastern religions including paganism have used sacred places to further their own agendas, rulership,  power and control for good or greed. All of the sacred places like Lyra have been darkened because of Pyramid societies and we are ending our final process of these eras. There are no doubts that all kinds of terrible things happened at Lysa Hora – during the excavations, archaeologists found a pit with burned books, skeletons of chickens, plaques with inscriptions and human remains. The adepts of paranormal military studies believe that there is a passage to the astral (dream) worlds through the mountain, and like all great mountains and volcanoes like Shasta, Fuji and Maui, once sacred are now demonic because of the US, Soviet and Saudi advanced shifting technologies to break the veils.

Legend says anything be it evil or good, can manifest there at any time at Lysa and bewildered people with the rising shadow occult phenomena over the past 300 years try to stay grounded.  Moreover, since Lysa Hora used to be a place of blasphemy, godly and pagan godly corruption and desecration, this emanates the energy of negative ancestral energies  for all who decides to take a stroll there after sunset.

Video: Night on Bald Mountain (Russian: Ночь на лысой горе, Noch’ na lysoy gore), also known as Night on the Bare Mountain is a series of compositions by Modest Mussorgsky (1839–1881). Inspired by Russian literary works and legend, Mussorgsky composed a “musical picture”, St. John’s Eve on Bald Mountain (Russian: Иванова ночь на лысой горе, Ivanova noch’ na lysoy gore) on the theme of a Witches’ Sabbath occurring on Kupala *Summer Solstice rites, which he completed on that very night, June 23, in 1867. Together with Nikolay Risky-Korsakov’s Sadko (1867), it is one of the first tone poems by a Russian composer

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