Romanian Folk Magic at Midnight – Elder Mountain Dreaming

Magical practice at the stroke of Midnight are symbolic practices and are the gifts of our ancient ancestors of the distant worlds and Romanian women have always kept these traditions alive. The older pagan cultures of the Slavic peoples celebrate the New Year on the Spring Equinox (and Ukraine still does). One such magical practice of the spring new year, which you could use at any equinox or solstice eve, is the tradition done the night before the Spring Equinox…

Goddess celebrations of Spring, in many cultures would last an entire week, from the 19th until the 23rd of March, because the energy of the Spring Equinox is at its strongest then. You can still do the rituals here, just make sure you set your intention clearly and simple…

firebird2

At the end of the night light year in-between the old and the new year, at 12:00 midnight before the dawn turning into the Spring Equinox…. go and look at the night sky and count  the new stars you see and what will be your destiny. You can also go in the house, put a ring of gold in a glass of water, place it in front of a candle and behind the candle a mirror. They say the one who looks in the mirror sees an opening of the door of their destiny.

Leave a small night light on or a candle in a lantern all night long when you go to sleep and dream, the gates are open to get luck as the old year leaves and the new returns the next morning on the Spring Equinox. They say, if your soul is clear, the opening of the door of the heavens will give you a glimpse.

Maramureș is a geographical, historical and ethno-cultural region in northern Romania and western Ukraine and these village people at midnight lean wood pieced against the home’s outside wall. Each piece of wood represents every soul in your house until morning and when you go outside in the morning to check on them, if any fell over, that’s considered a tough year for the person it was intended for.

Maramures, Romania

Villagers also read the whole year’s weather with onions – cut an onion in half and set out 12 pieces of papers (one for each month of the year). Salt each of them in equal amounts. Set the onion in the center and circle the paper around the onion. Let them sit overnight and in the morning, depending on the amount of water collected, its said that the moisture or dryness of each paper represents the dry or wet months.

I imagine you can also do this with your moon ritual on the day of the spring equinox, if you want and set the intention of difficult moons (wet) and easy moons (dry) and then keep track of your moon cycles the entire year.

On the spring equinox morning ritual take a bath and wash yourself before sunrise. In the water put a silver penny, some basil and a branch of a tree and wash yourself for lucky year and blessings of abundance.

romanian girl, mihaela noroc, theatlasofbeauty dot com

Enjoy and keep the Magic alive, Phoenix

Sources: Iulia Gorneanu, University of Bucharest; first photo a compilation photo including Romanian grandmothers called Baba Dochia and a selection of an image of one of Douglas Girard, figurative Landscape painter; Maramures, Romania Maiden.

Source: Romanian Folk Magic at Midnight – Elder Mountain Dreaming

Advertisements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4wXgG0P3to

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

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

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

Source: http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com