The shop opens at 1pm. Winter hours are 1-6pm Thurs.-Mon. Featured photo by Ken Gagne. [workshop]
[posting at 6pm] Rain gauge at noon on 3/24 – 0.2in. Despite the forecast for cloud, we’ve seen a lot of sun! 60F, wind at 0-6mph and gusting, AQI 11-42, UV4. Chance of rain 16% today and 41% tonight. Today(51/45) cloudy, Sat(55/47)AM showers, Sun(56/46) cloudy, Mon(51/41) AM cloud, Tue(54/44)partly cloudy, Wed(50/41) showers, Thu-Fri(51/40) partly cloudy, Sat(59/45) Partly cloudy, iow a very mixed-wup week! 7 firespots.
Tuesday night I spent at the shop, writing all night and I’m not caught up. I got a nap around 6am, (Wed, morn.) then Tempus got there before 8am and we rolled home and fell into bed. I was up at noon for about an hour, then crawled back in and slept until past 5. Tempus finally got up when I woke him at 8pm! I had been working on a soup all day. It only lacked an onion, so Tempus got that then made us air fryer potatoes. I had mine with cold chicken. I think he had cheese and then made a sandwich to take with him for later.
Mostly the chores that happened at home were small, although he spent some time on dishes. I mostly got the laundry ready to go and sorted papers and a few books, and then some quarters. I’m still working on my state quarters book, probably 1/2-way through what I’ve been saving. My tablet finally got online and I was happily listening to music all evening, but could it just be that opening the front window made the difference?
We fell into bed and then Tempus got up a little past 1am. I read for a bit, embroidered a little until I realized I had gotten the pattern wrong and need to pick out what I’d done, then got the soup put away, minus a serving for myself. It’s almost more of a stew with kale, lots of greens, chicken, mushrooms, a bunch of fridge leftovers, and so on. I’m thinking I might add some other things from our vegetable box, although Tempus probably had to head out for the bulk route too early to get some of those. I know there are parsnips and carrots in there, at least. The box was out front of the shop when we got there. …and I started prepping an orange for my water-bottles. I get the zest into a plate to dry, then peel it, then get just the insides of the segments into a jar with water. I got 1/2-way.
I was watching for leaves on the drive in. A lot of things including coast willows, alders and the fruit trees are starting to leaf out. A bunch of others are changing away from the silvery-brown of winter branches to grey-green at the least and I think there’s one oak (I’m not sure that’s what it is since it doesn’t have much in the way of leaves, yet, and what’s there is tattered) that’s shoving off the old to make way for new!
I spent most of the early part of the day, catching up, then sorted some office stuff, did a few books and by then it was time to start this. We had one family in, hunting tarot and crystals and then left with quite a bunch. I had a phone call from someone hunting the Czech glass bottles for ashes, and embarrassed the bleep out of myself thinking “fireplace ashes”… oi… in my defense I hadn’t had coffee yet, at that point…. Tempus was out doing laundry for most of the afternoon.
I got my sanding blocks, finally, and my state parks quarters book, so those will be in use and veg prep and so on. …and more orange…
Today should be close to a normal day, but it depends whether Tempus needs to run to Newport for errands during the day. If he doesn’t, I’m hoping to work on the book inventory.
Today’s Plant is Sweet William, Dianthus barbatus. It is often called Carnation, just like others of the dianthus species and I’ve seen it misnamed “phlox” on plant tags at Fred Meyer’s. The difference is the scent. It still has a sweet scent, but not of clove, like gillyflower, or no scent, like phlox. The flowers are edible and attract butterflies and bees, and the seeds will draw birds, who sometimes will also go after the flowers. They’re good as cut flowers, lasting a decent while, being tall, and a cluster, rather than multiple stems. Cate Middleton had them in her bouquet as a nice touch when she married her “Sweet William”. They have the meaning of “Gallantry”. – Masculine, Sun, Air, Venus – All-purpose protection, in healing for strength and energy. Magickally it is very similar to Gillyflowers.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_william
The Hilaria, the festival of Joy, is part of the celebrations in the Roman Republic and Empire surrounding Attis. What a wonderful name for a festival! Today, however, is the feast of the Mother of the Gods, Cybele and the resurrection of Attis that was held on the first day after the Vernal Equinox when it could be seen that day was longer than night. It was celebrated with games, and later in Roman history with processions and masquerades. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilaria and more on Cybele here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cybele
Winter hours are 1-6pm Thurs.-Mon. Need something off hours? Give us a call at 541-563-7154 or Facebook message or email at firstname.lastname@example.org If we’re supposed to be closed, but it looks like we’re there, try the door. If it’s open, the shop’s open! In case of bad weather, check here at the blog for updates, on our Facebook as Ancient Light, or call the shop.
Love & Light,
Today’s Astro & Calendar
Waning Moon Magick – From the Full Moon to the New is a time for study, meditation, and magic designed to banish harmful energies and habits, for ridding oneself of addictions, illness or negativity. Remember: what goes up must come down. Phase ends at the Tide Change on 3/31 at 11:24pm. Waning Crescent Moon – Best time for beginning introspective magicks that are more long term (full year cycle) A good time for beginning knot magicks to “bind up” addictions and illness (finish just before the Tide Change of Dark to New) and “tying up loose ends” God/dess aspects – Demeter weeping for her Daughter, Mabon, Arachne Tyr. Phase ends on 3/26 at 11:24pm.
This morning, Venus forms the tip of a triangle with Mars and Saturn in the predawn sky. An hour before sunrise, the trio is about 8° high in the southeast; Saturn and Mars float in Capricornus, while Venus sits just over the border in Aquarius. Highest in the sky is Venus, shining at magnitude –4.4. To its lower right (southwest) and near the 4th-magnutude star Theta (θ) Capricorni is Mars, magnitude 1.1. To Venus’ lower left (east) is magnitude 0.7 Saturn, standing directly above Gamma (γ) Capricorni. Venus is now a 52-percent-lit crescent, easy to view through binoculars or a telescope. Mars’ small, ruddy disk will show little detail, particularly while it’s so low in the growing twilight. Saturn’s disk spans 16″ and its rings stretch roughly twice that, offering a stunning view through a small telescope. The planet is surrounded by several moons, but these will be hard to pick out due to the low altitude and brightening background.
The Big Dipper glitters softly high in the northeast these evenings, standing on its handle. You probably know that the two stars forming the front of the Dipper’s bowl (currently on top) are the Pointers; they point to Polaris, currently to their left or lower left.
And, you may know that if you follow the curve of the Dipper’s handle out and around by a little more than a Dipper length, you’ll arc to Arcturus, now rising in the east.
But did you know that if you follow the Pointers backward the opposite way, you’ll land in Leo?
Draw a line diagonally across the Dipper’s bowl from where the handle is attached, continue far on, and you go to Gemini.
And look at the two stars forming the open top of the Dipper’s bowl. Follow this line past the bowl’s lip far across the sky, and you come to Capella, however, the Moon’s light will interfere and we’ll need to wait until our satellite has passed from this part of the sky to look deeper.
Focus in on the Moon, and you’ll enjoy stunning views of stark shadows along the terminator separating lunar night from day. As darkness slowly falls across the Moon’s face, features are lit from the opposite side as during the waxing phases. Look for features just on the bright side of the stark terminator, such as the long, sweeping curve of the Apennine Mountains in the north or the several smaller craterlets inside the large crater Clavius, located in the lunar south.
Later in the morning as sunrise nears, Venus still sits in roughly the same spot between Mars and Saturn. The bright planet has moved only slightly northeast (left) since yesterday — can you spot the difference?
Mars, vastly fainter at magnitude +1.2, continues to hang 4° or 5° to the lower right or right of Venus. Look for Mars early before dawn gets too bright. It currently shines with less than 1% of Venus’s light.
Runic half-month of Berkana/ Beorc, 3/14-29 Half-month ruled by the goddess of the birch tree; a time of purification for rebirth and new beginnings.
Celtic Tree Month of Fearn/Alder, Mar 18 – Apr 14. Fern (FAIR-n) Alder – The common alder (Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertner) is common along lowland rivers, where it grows with aspens, poplars, and willows. Like willows, alders sprout from stumps. This allows them to regenerate after heavy flooding. In protect sites they may grow to 20 m (65 feet) tall. Their leaves are more blunt-tipped than most North American alders, which look more like the grey alder (A. incana (L.) Moench). This species is more common in the mountains of Europe, and is not restricted to moist soils. Like ashes, European alders are not widely cultivated in North American (they are often sold as black alders), but several native species are. Alder wood is said to resist rotting when it is wet, and was the wood of choice for pilings in many regions. Alders are members of the Birch family (Betulaceae).
Fearn – Alder Ogam letter correspondences
Letter: F, V
Meaning: Help in making choices; spiritual guidance and protection.
Ogam letter correspondences to study this month – Ailim – Silver Fir
Color: Light Blue
Meaning: Learning from past mistakes; Take care in choices.
Tides for Alsea Bay
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Th 24 High 5:08 AM 8.0 7:11 AM Rise 2:30 AM 66
~ 24 Low 12:32 PM 0.1 7:34 PM Set 11:00 AM
~ 24 High 7:15 PM 5.6
F 25 Low 12:05 AM 3.6 7:10 AM Rise 3:38 AM 55
~ 25 High 6:11 AM 7.6 7:35 PM Set 12:00 PM
~ 25 Low 1:47 PM 0.2
~ 25 High 8:44 PM 5.7
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Ask for help, they laugh. Do it yourself, they hate.
Journal Prompt – Personal Interests and Experiences – What game or toy would you like to have that you don’t have? Explain your choice.
~ It is not peace we are seeking but meaning. – Lawrence Durrell
~ The more wise and powerful a master, the more directly is his work created, and the simpler it is. – Meister Eckhart
~ All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them. – Galileo Galilei
~ Our senses don’t deceive us: our judgment does. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I have heard it all my life
A voice calling a name I recognized as my own.
Sometimes it comes as a soft-bellied whisper.
Sometimes it holds an edge of urgency.
But always it says: Wake up my love. You are walking asleep.
There’s no safety in that!
Remember what you are and let this knowing
take you home to the Beloved with every breath. . . . – Oriah Mountain Dreamer, from the book The Call
(Dedicated to the courageous people of my native country Ukraine who are bravely fighting against a foreign invasion and to my family members who are currently seeking refuge from the bullets and bombs in dirty, wet, and cold basements)
Protection during military actions or from casualties while at war constitute a massive layer of Slavic folklore and encompass many incantational traditions. To Slavs, war was the time of chaos, the time when survival of an individual, a family unit, and community became the main moving force within society. People who headed out to defend their country deserved the most respect and admiration, and often incantations for protection while at war were applied to them.
Below, I am sharing some XVIII-XIX century incantations recorded by ethnographers in different regions of Eastern Slavic lands (the exact origin of them, unfortunately, is unknown to me, as ethnographers, whose works I’ve been using while preparing this post, unfortunately, failed to mention this data in the records).
Some of these incantations were very short – warriors recited them directly before heading into battle; others were lengthy – a warrior, his mother, or a cunning person recited those incantations prior to the soldier had to leave home to go to war. You may notice that many of them may be used not only for protection of someone involved in a physical battle but as a means of protection against war casualties and fatalities while the country is in a state of war.
A Short Ukrainian Cossack Spell Spoken before Heading to Battle
“Strengthen me!” («Кріпи!»)
Incantation of a Ukrainian Characterist (Cossack Sorcerer) Recited before Heading to Battle (very old, possibly XVI century)
“I dress myself in Volos’s robes; my skin is iron armor; my blood is strong ore; my bone is a steel sword. I am faster than an arrow, better sighted than a falcon. Armor upon me – God is inside me. So be it!”
During this incantation, Characterist practiced paced breathing while envisioning all the transformations to his body described in the incantations very clearly, then headed to battle in complete confidence that his body is the best armor there could be. It is no secret that Characterists were said to head into battle with a naked torso, and this old incantation provides a clear explanation to this phenomenon.
Note: Veles or Volos is considered a Patron of male and battle magic presiding over warriors skilled with magic and granting them power. A later version of this incantation replaced the name of Veles with Jesus Christ.
Short Warrior Spells Recited before a Battle
1.“Man walks on the road, carrying a log along. Gunpowder’s dirt, pellet’s dust; he won’t kill me, yet he won’t escape my shot.”
Prior to the battle, a warrior recited this spell three times while holding a log; after the third time, he threw away the log, in some cases – into the fire.
2.“You are no shooter – you are a monk; you have no rifle – you’ve got a poker; you have no gunpowder – you’ve got a stick stuffed with hay dust.”
Prior to the battle, a warrior recited this spell while holding a poker; after the third time he threw the poker into the hay dust.
3. “A hog went to the woods, hog son of a hog, his wife is a sow, his son is no smarter than them both, stands like a stump and strikes a stump; gunpowder’s soot, iron’s earth, now and forever!”
Prior to the battle, a warrior recited this spell three times over a hot coal; after the third time he threw the coal into the water.
Another version of this incantation was said when one needed to hide away from the enemy:
“A hog went to the woods, hog son of a hog, his wife is a sow, his son is no smarter than them both, stands like a stump and strikes a stump; gunpowder becomes soot; iron becomes earth; be gone, go blind, my enemy, lose your mind. Spit is drying out; blood stops flowing out; I go into hiding, and my enemy cannot see or find me! Now and forever!”
After saying the incantation, the one who needed to hide spit three times over the left shoulder.
4. “I, (name), am going to hunt wolf; beasts (possibly, by saying “beasts” they mean “dogs”) are behind me. Stand before me, my enemy, as I stand before you! Become deaf, become mute, become petrified, and I will say svolok, forty words; as I say, so it will be! All the rights are mine! So be it!”
This incantation was and sometimes still is used for protection against aggression and physical attack. It could be recited over jewelry or an amulet containing the energy of Wolf: wolf teeth (the ones made with metal), jewelry with wolf images upon it, etc.
Note: a word “svolok” is translated as “insulation”, a “soft blanket” which describes the action of this spell upon the enemy – as if insulated, wrapped in a blanket, and thus – immobilized and disarmed.
While some of these spells may sound rather aggressive, they were not considered malevolent magic when used for self-defense in instances of real danger to life and health of the caster.
From these short “battle” spells, we progress to longer spells for protection in the face of war. These spells reveal a whole layer of folklore here, calling upon Spirits and Gods for protection against any form of death and harm, often expressed as beings from Slavic mythology.
Incantation to the Ancestors for Protection against Epidemy, Starvation, or War
This incantation was recited on Dziady (last week of October-first week of November) or on November 12 (Chickadee’s Day) in front of a white candle lit in honor of Ancestors:
“Native Gods, my Grandfathers! We honor and respect you! Our great defenders and assistants in grief, sorrow, and any need, hear me, (name), rid me, (name), from any wicked situation.
Also, send peace upon our cities, towns, and villages and rid us of foreign attacks, civil conflicts, and any argument and scandal! Also, save us from starvation and all maladies, and give us plenty of green fruit, assist with breeding animals, and provide us with everything we need for the good of all people. May there be peace in this place, health in the bodies, and joy in the souls! So be it!”
As we can see, this is a prayer for welfare for not only one person or one family but the entire community.
Incantation for Protection of Those at War (XVIII Century)
“Save Gods and have mercy, protect and defend (list names of those you wish to protect) those suffering from flying arrows and any iron, steel and stone, and green copper, and any metal wire, from any native and foreign trees, from honeysuckle (used to craft arrows), from army rifle and warrior rifle, from arrows and cannons, from self-made guns and copper cannons, and tin cannons, from any stone, from cannonballs made of stone and tin, and lead, and from any pellet, and from any gunpowder native and foreign, and from any wood, and from any untimely death in this world from east to west, from earth to south, from all the four sides, and from any feather from any bird, and from any death by Cheremisy and Tartars, Bukharians and Kreznians, Lithuanians and Cherkasians, Latins and Germans, and by Russian people peaceless, and from any unholy family, and from any enemy and rival. So be it!”
Note: nations listed here describe the people that Eastern Slavs fought with in XVIII century – nothing personal in regard to their descendants; we all live under the same Sun.
While in general situation (when protecting multiple people and even communities), the incantation may not need anything else but an offering and a lit candle to be recited over, when trying to protect someone specific, an offering of blood from the finger of the caster may be required (after all, saving someone’s life is no simple feat). Cunning women tie a knot with an incantation that is very similar to this one (it calls upon Goddess of Fate Makosh and mentions a knot within the text of the spell), and after pricking their finger, smear blood over this knot. The person meant to be protected wears or carries this knot along after this.
Incantation of a Mother Parting with her Adult Child (XIX Century)
“I, (name), burst into tears and cried in a tall house of my parents at the red dawn in the morning, as I looked into plain field at the sunset of my precious child, my bright sunshine (name of the child). I stayed there until late dusk in the evening, in sorrow, in despair. I did not find joy in self-destruction, but I thought of enchanting my wicked, fatal sorrow. I went into plain field, took my marital cup with me, took out my ring-exchange candle, got my wedding cloth, collected water from a spring from over the mountains. I stood amidst a thick forest, traced a protective line around myself, and spoke in a loud clear voice:
“I enchant my dear child, (name of the child), over marital cup, over fresh water, over wedding cloth, over ring-exchange candle. I wash my dear child’s clear face; with wedding cloth I wipe his sweet lips, his bright eyes, his brooding brow, his red cheeks; with my ring-exchange candle I light his well-fitting caftan, his ornamented sash, his handmade shoes, his sandy curls, his young man’s face, his speedy pace. May you, my dear child, be brighter than the bright sun, nicer than a spring day, lighter than spring water, whiter than fierce wax, stronger than flammable Alatyr Rock. I guide away from you horrific demons, chase away raging twisters, distance you from one-eyed Likho, from Leshi, strange Domovoi, wicked Vodyanoi, Kievan witch and her wicked Murom sister, from Blinker-Rusalka, from tri-accursed Baba Yaga, from flying fire zmey; I wave away from you a wise raven and a cawing crow; I shield you from Kashchei-Yadun, from sly blackbooker, from spell-binding kudesnik, from fierce volkhv, from blind znakhar (cunning man), from old vedunya. And, by the power of my strong word, may you, my child be – at night and at midnight, at hour and half-hour, on a road, on your way, in sleep and awake – be you hidden from enemy’s forces, from un-clean spirits; may you be spared from vain death, from grief, from despair, protected from drowning in the water and burning in the fire. And as your mortal hour comes, then remember, my child, our tender love, our luxurious bread-and-salt, turn towards your glorious homeland, bow to it seven times seven, say good-bye to your family and relatives, lean upon the moist earth, and fall asleep with a sound, sweet sleep that no one wakes up from.”
And be my word stronger than water, taller than a mountain, heavier than gold, firmer than flammable Alatyr Rock, mightier than the mightiest man Bogatyr. And whoever plots to enchant and hex, and hurt my child, may that wicked person go over Ararat mountains, into bottoms of hell, into boiling tar, into flaming heat. May their charms be no charms, their enchantments – no enchantments, their hexes – no hexes.”
Note: Kashchei (aka Koshchei) here represents early, untimely death, Baba-Yaga – challenges that may bring upon death, Likho – a spell of bad luck, Leshi, strange Domovoi, and Vodyanoi – death away from home: in the woods, in someone else’s house, and in the water, respectively.
A Spell against Death and Injury by Military Weapon (XVIII-XIX Centuries)
“An eagle flew from over the Khvalyn Ocean-Sea; the eagle threw flints and fire strikers all over the steep shores and cast his Thunder Arrow into the Moist Earth. And as a tiny spark was born from the flint and the fire striker, and a hot flame was born from the Thunder Arrow, and as a storm cloud was coming out, and as strong rain was pouring down so hard that saltpeter-gunpowder obeyed to them and became quiet and peaceful. As rain did not harm water, may my steed and I not be harmed by sparks and bullets, and my body become harder than white [Alatyr] rock. And as stones bounce off the water, may arrows and saltpeter-gunpowder pass me by. My word is strong!”
Note: Mentioning of eagle, Thunder Arrows, thunderstorm, and rain hints that this incantation calls upon the power of God Perun, who, despite being a Warrior God, never was a God of War.
A Spell Upon Iron, Steel, and Copper (i.e., metals used to make weapons, XIX century)
“Mother-Moist Earth, you are a mother to any iron, and you, iron, go into your mother Earth; and you, wood, go into your mother tree; and you, feathers, go into your mother bird; and you, bird, fly into the sky; and you, glue, go into the fish, and you, fish, swim into the sea, and I, (name), would have space upon entire earth. Iron, steel, and copper, do not go against me, turn sideways and backwards. As blizzard cannot fly straight and become stuck to any tree, may you all become unable to fall upon my steed and me and become stuck to my steed and me. As grinders spin in the mill, may iron, steel, and copper spin around me without hitting me. May my body spill no blood; may my soul remain unblemished. My spell is strong and long!”
Spells for Those Heading to War (Recorded in XIX Century)
(Very bright, fantastic examples of folklore, IMHO, easily comparable in colors to fairytales)
1. “I ride upon a tall distant mountain, over the clouds, over the waters, and on the tall mountain stands a wealthy manor; in this wealthy manor sits a beauty, a fair maiden. You, maiden, love of all youths, I go to the army to fight for you against my rivals, wicked enemies. You, maiden, take out my father’s treasure sword; obtain, you, maiden, my grandfather’s armor; unlock, you maiden, Bogatyr’s helmet; unbolt, you, maiden, a black steed. Treasure sword, be my friend; grandfather’s armor – be my dear brother; Bogatyr’s helmet – be my wedding crown; black steed – be a skillful youth. You, maiden, come out into plain field, and in this plain field stands a mighty army with countless weapons among them. Cover me, maiden, with your veil: against enemy’s force, against rifles, against arrows, against wrestlers, against fist fighters, against army soldiers, against trees native and foreign: against oak, against elm, against maple, against ash, against spruce, against rowan, against long log and short log, and quarter log, against linden, against honeysuckle, against willow, against pine, against apple, against buttercup, against hazel, against juniper, against hay, against straw, against bone, against iron, against steel, against copper red and green, against wire, against silver, against gold, against bird’s feather, against disloyal people (there they continue listing all the nations that they used to fight against – many of these names are outdated, and therefore, impossible to translate).
You, trees, turn away from me, (name); you, iron and copper, steel and gold – bounce off me; you, disloyal people, run away from me. And as I return from war alive and well, I will brag about you, fair maiden, show off my youthful step. Your veil is as hard as flammable Alatyr Rock; my youthful step is as strong as water in the mill. Spirit is spirit; everyone becomes kicked; no one around me, and it is just me alive and well.”
Note: The “fair maiden” called upon in the spell is none other than Molonya, Lady-Lightning, sister-in-arms and spouse to Perun, also known as Perunitsa, Firemaiden (Ognedeva), and Diva-Dodola, Goddess of Rain.
2. “The sun rose from over the Khvalyn Ocean-Sea; the moon rose from under the blue sky; the clouds gathered from afar; gray birds gathered in a stone city, and in this stone city, my own mother gave birth to me, and as she was in labor, she said: “Be, my child, alive and unharmed by cannons, rifles, arrows, wrestlers, fist fighters; warriors would not demand you; military weapons would not hurt you; spears and double-spears would not stab you; axe and berdish would not hack you; a haft would not beat nor ever kill you; a knife would not cut you; old men would not deceive you; young men would not harm you; and you be a falcon before the, and they be the thrushes; and may your body be harder than a rock, you shirt sturdier than iron, your chest stronger than Alatyr Rock; and you be a good father at home, a skillful youth in the field, a brave youth in the army; may other people admire you; may young maidens adore you; may you have no slyness at your wedding; may you have peace with your father and mother; may you know mutual love with your wife; may you know mutual agreement with your children.”
I enchant my enchantment with my mother’s words; and be it as she said and never broken. The army is mighty; my heart is flaming; my enchantment would overcome it all.”
Note: berdish is a type of battle axe with a long handle, originating from Danish axe and popular among Russian and Polish military in XIV-XVII centuries.
3. “I come out into plain field; I sit down in a green meadow; there are mighty herbs in this meadow, with power immeasurable. I pick three weeds white, black, and red. I toss the red weed over the Ocean-Sea, onto Buyan Island, under the treasure sword; I roll the black weed under a black raven that made his nest upon seven oaks, and in this nest lays an ornamented woven bridle from a Bogatyr steed; I tuck the white weed in my ornamented belt, and into this ornamented belt, a quiver with tempered arrow, my grandfather’s, Tartar’s arrow is sewn and woven. The red weed will bring me the treasure sword; the black weed will obtain me the ornamented woven bridle; the white weed will unlock the quiver with tempered arrow. With this sword, I’ll fight back against foreign force; with this bridle I gain a fierce steed; with this quiver with tempered arrow, I’ll break the enemy-rival.
I enchant warrior (name) in the face of war with this enchantment. My spell is as strong as Alatyr Rock.”
4. “Under Khvalyn sea stands a copper house, and in this copper house, a fire zmey is chained, and under the fire zmey lays a seven-pood key from prince’s palace, Volodimer’s palace, and in prince’s palace, Volodimer’s palace, Bogatyr’s armor is hidden by Novgorod Bogatyrs, allies of brave youths.
Down wide Volga river, down steep banks, a princely swan is swimming, from the prince’s yard. I catch this swan; I capture it; I grab it. You, swan, fly to Khvalyn sea, peck at the fire zmey, obtain the seven-pood key, the key from price’s palace, Volodimer’s palace. “My wings would not fly to Khvalyn sea; it is not in my strength to peck at the fire zmey; it would not be my legs that would carry the seven-pood key. Out in the Ocean-Sea, on Buyan Island, there is a raven, a big brother to all ravens; he will fly to Khvalyn sea, peck at the fire zmey, and obtain the seven-pood key, but the raven was placed there by a wicked Kievan witch.”
In a still forest, in a moist wood, stands a cabin, with no rafters, no roof, and in this cabin a wicked Kievan witch lives. I go to the still forest, to the thick wood and enter the wicked Kievan witch’s cabin. You, wicked Kievan witch, tell your raven to fly under Khvalyn sea, into a copper house, peck at the fire zmey and obtain the seven-pood key.
The wicked Kievan witch resisted and worried about her raven. “It is not an elder like me thar should walk to the Ocean-Sea, to Buyan Island, to the raven. You tell with my sacred words the raven to obtain that seven-pood key.” The raven broke the copper house and pecked at the fire zmey and obtained the seven-pood key.
With this key, I unlock princely palace, Volodimer’s palace; I take out the Bogatyr’s armor hidden by Novgorod Bogatyrs, allies of brave youths. In this armor, rifles won’t kill me, nor arrows, nor soldiers, nor wrestlers, nor Tartar, nor Kazan armies.
I enchant a warrior (name) in the face of war with this mighty enchantment. Chur, my spell is ended, my deed is finished!”
Note: In the image of the wicked Kievan witch, one can easily recognize Baba Yaga, a mighty powerful patroness and guide of those in war and/or experiencing other challenges of life.
Other notes: zmey is almost the same thing as a dragon – a giant snake, sometimes with legs and wings, sometimes without them. Pood is an ancient measure of weight; 1 pood = 16.38 kg = 36.11 lbs
5. “On the Ocean-Sea, on Buyan Island, a fair youth sits imprisoned. I come to you, fair youth, to pay my respects. My own brothers send me, lonely and unmarried, out to prince’s army, and in prince’s army, my life would not be good. Enchant me with your youthful word. “I would be happy to stand for you in the field, you poor orphan, but my captivity is strong, but my sadness is bitter. I enchant you, (name) to go to war just like my own father taught me. And as you become a warrior, you would be safe from axe, from berdish, from rifle, from Tartar’s pike, from red steel, from wrestler, from fighter, from enemy’s soldier, from the entire Tartar force, from Kazan army, from Lithuanian bogatyrs, from dark god’s people, from women’s evil eyes, from sly fatigue, from all illness. And you will have against you an axe that is not axe, a berdish that is no berdish, a rifle that is no rifle, a Tartar’s pike that is no pike, red steel that is no red steel, a wrestler that is no wrestler, a fighter that is no fighter, the entire Tartar force that is no force, Kazan army is no army, Lithuanian bogatyrs are no bogatyrs, dark god’s people are no god’s people, women’s evil eyes are no evil eyes, sly fatigue is no fatigue, all illness is no illness.” I spin and turn away from axes, from berdishes, from rifles, from Tartar’s pikes, from red steel, from wrestlers, from fighters, from enemy’s soldiers, from the entire Tartar force, from Kazan army, from Lithuanian bogatyrs, from dark god’s people, from women’s evil eyes, from sly fatigue, from all illness.”
Note: As the “fair youth” of this incantation is described as “imprisoned”, it is fairly easy to relate him to Koshchei, God of Untimely, Justified Death, who is often portrayed in Eastern Slavic fairytales chained in a dungeon, and it would be Him that the caster of this spell calls upon to spare him in battle.
Other notes: The term “dark god’s people” may possibly refer to foreign clergymen praying about the success of the foreign army. Bogatyr means a “mighty man”, a “hero”.
6. “I, (name), tie five knots to each peaceless marksman, disloyal in rifles and bows, and any military weapon. You, knots, block all the roads, all the paths to the marksmen, lock up their rifles, tangle their bows, tie up all the military weapons. Make it so that marksmen would not hit me from their rifles; their arrows would not reach me; all the military weapons would not hurt me. My knots contain mighty power, snake power, from twelve-headed zmey, that terrifying zmey that flew over the Ocean-Sea, from Buyan Island, from the copper house; the very zmey that was killed by the twelve Bogatyrs under the twelve Murom oaks. A wicked stepmother sewed up the zmey heads into my knots.
I enchant warrior (name) in the face of war with this mighty enchantment strongly and firmly.”
Note: Judging from the text, we can tell that the incantation was accompanied with tying five knots on a piece of rope. This enchanted nauz was given to the warrior as a protective obereg (charm) or amulet.
I hope you will find these traditional old incantations highly educational in regards of our ancestors’ culture and beliefs.
Stay strong, Ukraine! May your defenders never lose their strength! Ще не вмерла Україна! Будьмо!
Yours Sincerely, MagPie (aka Olga Stanton)
Silliness – For The Kids Doctor Doctor!
Doctor, Doctor will this ointment clear up my spots?
I never make rash promises!