Ukraine Ancient Traditions of the Spring Equinox Rites of Vorotar (Gatekeeping) – Elder Mountain Dreaming

Source: Ukraine Ancient Traditions of the Spring Equinox Rites of Vorotar (Gatekeeping) – Elder Mountain Dreaming

autumn slavic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Gandalf Frees Theoden – secretsoftheserpent

By gserpent

Source: Gandalf Frees Theoden – secretsoftheserpent



Gandalf freeing Theoden from the grasp of Saruman is an awesome representation of just how much the deceit in this world has a hold of people’s minds. I have said in previous writings that Saruman represented religion, but this Grima character represents the archetypal sycophant, liar, flatterer, and manipulator. So Grima represents religion, politics, media, corporations or any other inauthentic person.

Grima means mask and all of people in the categories I just mentioned wear masks to deceive. The inauthentic person is the worst because they really believe the lies they have been told. That is what the Mardi Gras type masks that are used in plays, operas and worn at celebrations symbolize. The unauthentic person hiding behind their unknown mask. The scene with Gandalf freeing the mind of Theoden is a representation of what happens when someone who wants a free mind is finally shown the truth. I will use religion in this example. Tolkien used the name Saruman because it was very close to Solomon. Keep in mind that religion isn’t the only thing that has a vice on the mind of the masses.

The scene actually starts with the guards taking the weapons of Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli. Gandalf talks them into letting him keep his walking stick. As they walk toward Theoden, Grima is telling Theoden what he should think. A perfect analogy of how we are brought up in this world. We are told how we should think and act, mainly from religion, most of our life. Then we parrot what we have been taught without even thinking twice. Religion will call you evil, satan or  conjurer if you do not go along. Gandalf stands up to Grima and tells him “I have not passed through fire and death to bandy crooked words with a witless worm”. Remember that fire is the element of intellect or knowledge. Death is referring to the enlightenment process(see Gandalf and Balrog). Being enlightened he has no more patience for the lies of this world.  Calling him a worm means he is no serpent.

Gandalf goes up to Theoden and tries to release him from the spell. Theoden says “You have no power here Gandalf the Grey”. Gandalf rips his robe off and shows everyone he is Gandalf the White. This is a very important part of the story. On your journey it is said that you meet “The White Goddess of Truth” when you become enlightened. Once you have become enlightened, it’s up to you whether you use it for good or bad. Most truly enlighten people in this world have used it to control others. You can think I am exaggerating about this, but the people you call elites know the true history I revel in my work. Have you heard one word of truth out of any of them? NO!!!! Instead they spew lies and spend millions, if not billions, of dollars looking for some football player’s shirt! Brag about it on the media and the masses are so relieved that this football player got his shirt back. And I’m the crazy one. Saruman tries to tell Gandalf that if he goes Theoden dies. Gandalf went through the wake up process and knows that it feels like you are going to die, but strong minds will make it through. To show that this whole scene is about the mind, Gandalf hits him in the forehead to free him from the poison.

Theoden is released from the spell and he regains his strength. Gandalf tells him to “Breathe the free air again my friend”. This part is playing on what Sigmund Freud said about religion. Religion is the reason why people have the poor little me mindset. People give their power away and believe that some bearded man will take care of them. They rot in the misery of the man-made guilt. Guilt is the worst thing ever invented by religions. It literally cripples people mentally and physically. What is good and bad is not for some bearded man to decide. Good and bad, right and wrong are only in the mind. What one person thinks is good or right, another person thinks is wrong or bad. Theoden is the person that went searching for answers and like most people fell into the trap of religion. His mind was poisoned with lies and guilt. Gandalf frees his mind and he finds his power.
Gandalf giving Theoden his sword is symbolizing he has found the sacred masculine, but to have found the sacred masculine he had to have found the sacred feminine. Eowyn represents the sacred feminine and this is why she was able to kill Sauron(see Rings and Aragorn). In case someone didn’t get that Theoden had found the goddess, the next scene shows him putting Grima on a horse and sending him back to Saruman. The horse has always symbolized the Goddess. They were sending a message to Saruman that the Goddess was now here. This is why Saruman tells Grima “You stink of horse”. Patriarchs do not like the Goddess(horse).

I love Lord of the Rings for so many reasons, but the main one is that Tolkien was trying to show you how powerful you really are. That is what Frodo and the hobbits represent. No matter how small you think you are, you can achieve anything. We have to start realizing that no one is going to save us. No bearded man, no extra-terrestrial, no politician or any other infantile ideology. This mentality of a savior only encourages ignorance, complacency and weakness. It is the reason the world is in the shape its in. Everyone is waiting for someone to come along and fix everything. This will NEVER happen. The outside savior is a sham on so many levels. It is time to grow up. We are who we have been waiting for.

Nasturtium 101 – Good Witches Homestead

Source: Nasturtium 101 – Good Witches Homestead

COMMON NAME:  nasturtium
GENUS: Tropaeolum
SPECIES: T.major; T. minor
FAMILY: Tropaeolaceae
BLOOMS: summer
TYPE: annual
DESCRIPTION:  Very colorful, five-petaled blossoms grow on short or trailing plants. The leaves are round and attractive. Blossom colors include red, pink, and yellow and hues in between.
CULTIVATION:  Nasturtiums are very adaptable and can grow in poor soils and under drought conditions. They need well-drained soil and plenty of hot sunshine.

The genus name, Tropaeolum, is a Greek word meaning “to twine” and is descriptive of the growth habit of many species within this genus. Another possible explanation for the origin of this name is the Greek word for trophy, tropaion, for to some people the flowers looked like a Roman helmet or round shield.
T. minor, first found growing in Mexico and Peru, has been in cultivation since the middle of the sixteenth century. Nicolas Monardes, a physician from Seville who wrote the first herbal about New World plants {Joyfull Newes Out of the Newe Founde Worlde}, introduced nasturtiums to England in 1574. He called them Flowers of Blood, a translation of their Spanish name. Because of the tartness of the leaves, the English called this new plant Indian cress. Its larger cousin, the T. major, was not introduced to the garden until over a hundred years later. Other common names included canary flower, yellow larkspur, and lark’s heel.
The name nasturtium is from Latin words meaning “nose twister.”
Pickled-nasturtium-seeds-recipe-Poor-Mans-Capers-Decorators-Notebook-blog-5Nasturtiums have been used extensively for their taste and medicinal value. Sailors took barrels of pickled seeds on long voyages and ate them to combat scurvy. The pickled seeds were eaten like capers. Eating nasturtium blossoms was said to soften the muscles, or keep them from getting stiff. Oil from the seeds was rubbed on the body after exercising for this same purpose.
Eating nasturtiums are still popular today. The leaves can be eaten raw in salads, and the blossoms serve as colorful holders for dips or sandwich fillers.

To make Stuffed Nasturtiums, mix together 8 ounces of cream cheese, one small can of drained crushed pineapple, and 1/4 cup of chopped pecans {or walnuts}.
Form this mixture into small balls and carefully stuff each ball into a large, firm nasturtium blossom.

nasturtium cordialNasturtium Cordial

Nasturtium cordial is a stunning and refreshing summer drink when diluted with sparkling water and can also be used as a syrup for flavoring cocktails etc.

200grms of organic caster sugar

225ml of water

50 nasturtium flowers

large sprig of lemon thyme or lemon verbena (a small piece of finely chopped ginger is also a great addition)

a squeeze of lemon juice

Pop all the ingredients (except the lemon juice) into a pan and gently bring to the boil stirring until all the sugar is dissolved. Cover, take off the heat and allow to sit for until completely cold and then strain out the flowers and herbs.

Decanted into a clean sterile bottle and the cordial will keep for up to two weeks in the fridge.