Ancient Romanian Folk Culture Traditions by Phoenix of Elder Mountain – This article is about the Romanian traditions of the folklore rituals and shamanic connections with the Wolf Clans. I have divided it into a simple basic history and history of the ancient wolf people called the Dacian Tribes, my own shamanic ceremony similar to the folklore, wolves who turn into werewolves and why, and a recent dream of wolf.
Romania has two specific animals that are still celebrated in Winter Rituals, one is the Wolf and the other, the Bear. The more ancient Dacian tribes, the Kingdom of Dacia was a territory encompassing today’s Romania and the lands adjacent to it. The Dacians are one of Eastern Europe’s few indigenous peoples who have never left their inherited lands. They show a religious syncretism between the wolf, the dragon as well as the serpent. The history of the Dacians is little known and the historical records are sometimes contradictory. Fortunately, though, part of this history is written in stone.
The wolf is the symbolic animal of the Dacians, who also called themselves “Wolves”. The legend says they could turn into wolves (animism) and some legends say that a big white wolf fought next to the Dacians when their capital Sarmizegetusa fell to the Romans. Even if the history of the Dacians is quite evasive and we mostly rely on legends and myths to decipher as much as we can of this intriguing civilization, the truth is they were fierce warriors, but also a diligent people, who thrived in the lands in and around the Carpathian Mountains.
“Our peasants will end in life after life, but men of Empires will end in death after death. Angels wear Joy, while Demons wear Empire Clothing and will wear Mourning.” ~Romanian Petre Tuțea.
Modern Romania is a merging of two principalities named Wallachia and Moldova and they had become one in 1859. In 1877, Romania gained independence and four years later, Romania became a kingdom (constitutional monarchy) and enjoyed decades of stability and progress. The nation itself was only officially established in 1918 – the year that all three principalities, Wallachia, Moldova and Transylvania came together. In 1947, King Mihai I was ousted from power and what followed was half a century of communist rule. After the 1989 Revolution, Romania parted with the communist past and in 2007 became a member of the European Union. Although Romania has always consisted of a large majority of ethnic Romanians, the ethnic minorities that settled over the centuries have all influenced the social, economic and ethnographic landscape. (http://www.folkwearsociety.com)
“Eternity was born in the village” says one of the most famous quotes by Romanian philosopher, poet, playwright and novelist, Lucian Blaga. In his poem “The Soul of the Village” talks about the scenery of the Romanian village and its connection to the Romanian peasant, where “every thought is slower, and the heart throbs more slowly, as if it beats not in your breast but deep down somewhere in the earth”.
The female mythical representations related to Dochia of Romania who honor the Neolithic Mother Goddess who dies and is reborn on Spring Equinox. In our Slavic traditions we called her Marzanna, Morena or the Celts Morgana. Beginning with Dochia’s Day, March 9th, the equinox of the old almanac and the female representations of divinity are grouped into three generations (Triple Goddess): The Old Goddess (Grandmother) Dochia; Mother Goddesses: Mary the Virgin, the Woods Mother and the Caloian’s Mother; and Maiden Goddesses: Floriile, Sanzienele, Dragaicele, Lazaritele, Ielele.
The traditions for the night of Saint Andrews are a legacy passed down from the Romanian ancestors, the Dacians – or the wolf warriors as they were known given their battle symbol in the figure of the wolf headed dragon, a custom shrouded in mysticism. Old legends say that the wolves accompanied the warriors when Sarmisegetusa fell, and that the one who was their leader watched over apostle Andrew through the wilderness of Dobrogea to the cave that was offered to him as shelter.
The Wolves of Midwinter is another legend of the winter traditions but much later than the Dracians. This one was compiled by Romanian writer Ion Ghinoiu. The Serbians also have a strong prehistory connected to the wolf clan as well that still remains in smaller villages of the elder women who do rituals for and in a positive way of their relationship to wolves.
My focus is to help others understand that relearning our relationship to our shamanic soul and to the natural order of nature can sometimes be returned if the person’s fate for this lifetime is specified y our soul at birth. Otherwise we can make great headway in our healing journey that deals with our human soul, rather than the more advanced animism souls. Human karma must be lived and then healed first, otherwise the shadow aspects of shamanism leave the soul vulnerable to the karmic astral demonic aspects, which then the animism soul can be taken over in shadow sides. Shamanism is a vast , deep and complex reality and each step is a lifelong process and shouldn’t be thought of as simple or easy or even attainable past human and human karma.
The “Wolves of Midwinter”
The Wolves of Midwinter is a prehistory Shamanic, then ancient Pagan, and then Christianized celebration called Sânpetru which falls around the third moon of winter (January 16-20), its also called the Wolves of Saint Peter. The Folk Tradition tells us that the Wolves gather in packs at howling places where they start singing to call their great divinity (mother earth, then god, then saint) to distribute their share of prey to which they are entitled for a whole year.
This divine one arrives at midnight on a white horse and allots each wolf its prey: a lamb, a sheep, a deer or a human. The wolves would spare no morsel of the shares promised. The story is told of a shepherd being curious to see how wolves meet their divinity. To find out he climbed up to a howling place in broad daylight, and hides himself among the branches of a high fir-tree.
After the wolves had gathered and howled their calling, Saint Peter arrived on a white horse and quietly distributed the prey to each, but before the end of the meeting, a lame wolf came limping. Seeing him, Saint Peter barked at him: Since you didn’t come on time, you should eat that human over there, hiding in the fir-tree. Within a year’s time, the curious shepherd was eaten by the lame wolf. (19 Ghinoiu, 1997, p. 45).
Because Romanian culture like most older pagan and shamanic cultures didn’t live by calendars in pagan times, but lived by seasons, they divided winter into a several rituals and ceremonies and the “Wolves of Midwinter” was one of them. The Peasants say if they give back to the middle of winter, then winter will give back in the form of returning spring on time. Sânpetru believers say that the wolves were and still are an intricate part of the cycle of winter and a protection against evil.
In the Folk Almanac, the winter was a time of casting and binding magic spells and charms; foreseeing the weather and how rich the new year will be. At this time, it is believed that the Heavens open and animals speak and that treasures burn. In reaction to this, purifying magical practices, hallowed waters (consecration by the priests) and rituals are predominant. In North-Eastern Transylvania, they light fires (Ardeasaâ in Bucovina); spreading of bad-smelling substances; fumigating people, cattle and household. In their fight against evil spirits people got help from the “Midwinter Wolves” which they say are able to see the demons and chase them and tear them with their teeth. Frightened by the wolves, the devils jumped into waters and those men who were brave enough jumped after them.
Priests would throw their hallow waters with consecrated water and would throw in the cross driving away evil spirits is also horse running or horse chasing. Once every year in Midwinter the two rivals: the Wolf and the Horse, the former being master over winter and the latter being master of summer, fight for a common cause, namely driving away the demons and devils.
January 29 is the Winter “Phillipiesâ” (phillipies) are divinities who protect wolves and are celebrated by shepherds until the beginning of February. In the Folk Almanac the Winter Phillipies mark the end of a long mating period for wolves, having started about eighty days before in Autumn.
Ancient Romanian “Nedeia Wolves” (Night wolves get offerings)
Similar to the Winter Ceremony Sânpetru, the Romanian Legends say that in the middle of the night, called the “Nedeia Wolves” Night Wolves get their share of food for the whole year. The deity or saint rides the white horse, bringing offerings to wolves. That when the wolf clans gather, they howl and gather usually at the crossroads: “We are going to eat the sheep of this village” but tonight, at the midwinter, one important night of the year, guided by the divine Peasants leave good out for the wolves to honor them. Then the Priest (and what used to be the Grandmothers but were forbidden after Religion came), is that they put their sheep in the stables with belief that their animals will now be guarded by wolves all year long.
My Ritual Shamanic Work…
I completed a six month ceremony a few weeks ago on a local werewolf and aware of who its human is. In animism, the soul of the animal, bird etc. can be possessed by the human karmic shadow astral body (demon) which would then turn a wolf into werewolf. Because our shadow human body is in the underworld or free and roaming the dream planes, the mystical connections between our light or dark soul and our animal soul has an evolution that started long ago from the past and its past lives. That is the simple explanation.
I was surprised when I found this folk almanac today, that was a Romanian shamanic custom which I was doing without knowing a few weeks ago. That made my day and brought a smile to my face. The story of the werewolf of my shamanic work started six months ago, as I began to hunt a werewolf shadow soul after it attacked me on the full moon on the land. I did most of my shamanic work in that Gemini moon cycle six months ago and when the Sagittarian Moon arrived (its opposition) in late November, early December, I waited for the signs in order to complete this job. Of all the work I have done that is not collective, but individual, the werewolf soul is by far the most dangerous.
Having finished most of the work, the werewolf shadow soul of this human was reduced into a smaller size (the raccoon) through the slaying, which carried what was left of the demonic human soul drastically reduced. After that work, again the chickens were killed in the Sagittarian Moon cycle but not eaten.
I then did the final ceremony with my apprentice to call both the Bobcat clan in and the Coyote clan who live close to us, to assist me in catching this raccoon, and I also said some intentional prayers asking the Ancestral bobcat and coyote clan ancestors to help as well. We left the ancestors and the bobcats and coyotes, all five of the chickens which had been killed at “Midwinter” as an offering. And for them to guard the remaining goats and chickens and honoring them for helping us. It took three days – but finally the bobcats and coyotes came and took all the dead chickens.
Yesterday the dead raccoon was on the road and the werewolf roaming the dreaming or energetic fields (in-between the veils) is slain completely now and its human counterpart, remains unharmed and untouched. I have done this job with two Skinwalkers and they were easy compared with the werewolf, but Skinwalkers are Coyotes, not Wolves. Wolf is a whole different complex system of clan, family and the more root of animism because of its complex social system. Up until now, as long as this human person’s demon owned his werewolf – he receive no karma, only other people have. That time is over now in his lifetime and he continues his path as a human without the power of the werewolf.
In my shamanic work I live by the ancient Slavic traditions and do my work according to that practice over the years along with the cycles of the moon as timing and synchronicity of my work. I live by the 1/2 Year of Fire (spring and summer) and the 1/2 Year of Night (autumn and winter). Wolves have just returned here the Pacific Northwest, where I live, so eventually with their return, this shamanic origin ceremony will be preformed by me in the future if they come near the area, but I will still do it with coyotes and bobcats as well to honor them in Midwinter from here forth. To have a relationship with nature and its wildness is mandatory in the ways of respecting and honoring wolves, bears, coyotes etc.
Two High Schoolers had a Dream…
A high school Maiden gave me permission to share her dream, I will call her Cloud… Her Dream: Cloud went to help her friend Dex confront a giant black and red eyed demon. She saw Dex shifting into a wolf partially, mostly just facial features, eyes, cheeks ears etc. Cloud remembers being in a house that she knew her mother was at in the dream with Dex. A great room with a huge kitchen counter island.
Dex was holding Cloud in a protective way as they hid under the counter facing a huge wooden door. There were lots of younger children and Cloud was telling them everything was ok and sending them out to different areas of the house. But when they were all gone she told Dex “we may die you know” and he said “yeah I know”. Then Cloud saw the bolts and screws holding the wooden door closed securely start to twist their way out on their own and she told Dex, that the demon was trying to get in.
So Dex moved next to the door and hunkered down like a wolf and that’s when she saw his face start to shift… he took off his shirt and she saw that he had a tattoo on his upper middle back that was healing, like it was done recently, like an iron cross type of design and two smaller tattoos on each shoulder blade. Then the door blew off the hinges and slammed into Cloud pushing her against the wall and she saw the demon walk in. It was about 9 or 10 feet tall, red skin like a frogs skin and black marks on its face with an elongated pointed chin and large slanted red eyes and huge protruding muscles like the hulk.
She heard Dex scream her name in shock when she got slammed into the wall by the door and hearing him she popped out of the dream. She got out of bed crying and went to the bathroom and saw she had a red mark on her forehead where the door hit her in the dream.
My work as a Shaman: Dex is in High School and does a lot of drugs, because of that, he has freed his past life shadow demon human soul fragment from the underworld and its now roaming free in its dream space. Cloud was his best friend and that is why she showed up in his dream. Dex of course has a “undeveloped” shamanic wolf soul, but now with the demon free, its going to want to possess that part of Dex soul and once that happens, there is no longer a wolf, but the transformation of demonic karmic astral human demon body, merged with the wolf soul = werewolf. If that happens, then he gains power, but dark power and being so young, he won’t know the difference between good and pure evil, because the werewolf will entrap and control in the dream realms that effects him and his relationships in this world.
The ego in this world then gains power until they meet someone like me… a dream shaman who has the power to slay it and free the human. Most people do not let it get that far, or they start having accidents to push the demon away further and hopefully during recovery the person makes changes in their behavior. Sometimes they don’t and eventually the shadow human fragmet wins and the werewolf is born. If the person was on the verge o losing it in a previous life, then this lifetime is make it or break it.
Dex has no power to fight it off. One would need their second level animal soul (mine is a black jaguar) to fight any “real” demon off. Regardless of what you hear out in the world, no one can fight a “real” demon until they have and own their second level soul animal or bird and can shape shift into it. A bird like an eagle or hawk would never be able to take down a demon the size of a werewolf, but my black jaguar can because its more equal in size and power. Dex is about to loose his birth rite wolf, if he doesn’t stop doing drugs.
Animism and Human Souls
In order to protect this part of our soul (whats left from our karma and our past life destruction) is the real healing work, sobriety, working with personal fear, being open with asking for help or accepting it. Those must be done to work with our conscious and unconscious shadows and then into our astral body shadows of our more demonic self that caused the karma in the first place. If you think advanced dreaming beyond lucid or flying is safe… think again. Shamanism is a very powerful realm and those who ingest plants, subdue their emotional body, which would give warning but she is in bondage when you do shamanic drugs and you haven’t a clue. This realm is hidden from you and it cannot be entered without sobriety, because its your soul’s realm or jurisdiction which sees requires that.
“Wolf” and the Wolf Clan people in relationship to the shadows are inseparable today. One you lose an animism soul in past lives or this lifetime its ripped out of that part of your soul and you do not get it back. Most already have lost their soul aspects of this nature, but a few have not. Always remember that men’s Patriarch has been soul crushing for this level alone, regardless of pollution or over population or global warming. Mother earth takes care of herself, we should do the same. For example, there are an estimated 3200 tigers left in the wild in 2017, which means out of 8 billion humans, there are only 3200 humans alive who have a tiger soul. And only about 2 even know it.
The werewolf is one of the darkest and most powerful karmic animism souls to deal with and this destruction from wolf into werewolf began with the rising powers of the Kingdoms and Chiefs of earth. It first began in the spread of the war cults such as Rome, Greece, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Jerusalem, North Africa (Egypt), Iraq or any country that built a religious-war machine over the last 7,000 years. America was the last to join the ranks.
“In ancient Arcadia, it certainly seems to be have been an important center of wolf worship. The story of king Lykaon leads us to Zeus Lykaios (another Arcadian “wolf god” who was Apollo Lykaios). Zeus Lykaios is the “Wolf Zeus”. In his honor, a religious festival called the Lykaia was celebrated on Mount Lykaion, the “wolf mountain.”(David Romano and Mary Voyatzis, suggesting ritual activities on Mount Lykaison since circa 3,000 bce – via http://ralphhaussler.weebly.com/wolf-mythology-italy-greek-celtic-norse.html).”
A historical example of where the wolf soul of a human being is destroyed and lost, and the werewolf returns much stronger and ten times more powerful…
“Regarding these sacrifices during the Lykaia, we are also having the incredible story of an Olympic boxing champion that Pausanias (6.8.2) tells us: “Damarchus, an Arcadian of Parrhasia, (…) who changed his shape into that of a wolf at the sacrifice to Zeus Lykaios, and how nine years after he became a man again”. He allegedly was turned into a wolf after he ate the flesh of a boy that was sacrificed to Zeus Lykaios by the Arcadians; Pausanias, writing in the Roman period, tell us that he “cannot believe what the romancers say about him [i.e. Damarchus]”. Pliny’s Natural History (NH 8.34): “Agriopas (…) informs us that Demænetus, the Parrhasian, during a sacrifice of human victims, which the Arcadians were offering up to the Lycæan Jupiter, tasted the entrails of a boy who had been slaughtered; upon which he was turned into a wolf, but, ten years afterwards, was restored to his original shape and his calling of an athlete, and returned victorious in the pugilistic contests at the Olympic games.”(http://ralphhaussler.weebly.com/wolf-mythology-italy-greek-celtic-norse.html).
There were no werewolves in goddess and (early) pagan cultures, so there were no historical references to werewolves in the early Rome or Greek writings, only poetic historical accounts of the shifts of culture from shamanism and animism into paganism and religious kingdoms approximately around 2,500 bce until the 2nd century bce. History is based on written accounts and the soul history is based on ancient art and oral tradition and folklore. But shaman history is not recorded when it comes to the soul, the animism souls because it falls under the mysteries and rites of the shaman. Even I, outside the context of my apprentices do not share that much.
Myth narrates a sacred history; it relates an event that took place in primordial time. In short, myths describe the various and sometimes dramatic breakthroughs of the sacred (or the “supernatural”) into the world. It is this sudden breakthrough of the sacred that really establishes the world and makes it what it is today. ~Romanian Mircea Eliade
Romanian Folk Almanac
Romania, as I have discovered, never lost its connection with nature and especially to its forests, its “forest woman spirits,” to its wolf, bear and other inhabitants that populate the pantheon governing early animistic beliefs. Villagers, past and present-still, remain faithful to such symbols knowing that “She” protects and preserves the fertility and creation of all those who inhabit this cosmic space. The magic of life generated by these great forests resonates in the passages shared with us in the “Folk Almanac.”As we read them, they become instantly recognizable, and fascinating, as an unending umbilical cord stretching back into Neolithic or even Paleolithic times.
“The Romanian Book of the Dead, another landmark of spiritual culture of the Carpato-Danubian people, contains sacred texts initiating the soul of the dead into a mythical journey on the path separating this earthly world from the world beyond. These texts are sung by a women’s choir at particular places and at significant moments of the funeral ceremony. The messages are addressed to the dead, to the goddesses of destiny (Zorile) and to the surviving husband. The Goddess of Death appears in the shape of a bird of prey (the kite, the raven, the vulture) or as a goddess that looks human (the Old Fairy, the Virgin Mary, Mother Irodia).
The texts to the songs contain, one by one, providential guides (the wolf, fox, or otter), well intentioned customs, as personified means of orientation (the willow tree in bud, the apple tree in blossom), psychopomp characters (the horse, the stag) and finally, in the world beyond, the dead person’s relatives.”
“Arcadia: The story of wolf transformation spread more widely and seems to have become quite popular during the Roman period. We learn about the entertaining story of Niceros who, during Trimalchios’ fantastic dinner party, told this story about his friend, a soldier, who transformed into a wolf in a graveyard: “He stripped himself and put all his clothes by the roadside. My heart was in my mouth, but I stood like a dead man. He made a ring of water round his clothes and suddenly turned into a wolf.
Please do not think I am joking; I would not lie about this for any fortune in the world. But as I was saying, after he had turned into a wolf, he began to howl, and ran off into the woods. At first I hardly knew where I was, then I went up to take his clothes; but they had all turned into stone…”; and later he became a human again, returning to Nicoros’ house (Petronius, Satyricon, 61f, c.AD60). ( Pliny’s Natural History 8.34 via http://ralphhaussler.weebly.com/wolf-mythology-italy-greek-celtic-norse.html)”
Sources: http://www.beyonddracula.com/the-wolf-warriors; Photo of wolf via danais.ro; Romanian basic history from http://www.folkwearsociety.com – Folkwear Society is a not-for-profit initiative, founded by social anthropologist Ana Bogdan; The Romanian Folk Almanac compiled by Ion Ghinoiu Translated by Doina Carlsson from the Comoara Satelor: Calendar Popular, All Rights Reserve, Published by BTFF, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Copyright 2010, Ion Ghinoiu; http://ralphhaussler.weebly.com/wolf-mythology-italy-greek-celtic-norse.html; SIM. FL. Marian – the holidays the romanians, 1898