Weaving Gold

Mokosha, Anastasia Sophia, and Me, Natalia . . . while the books are written

Ukrainian Fire Myths, Beliefs, and Superstitions

iu-2Hutsul Beliefs about Fire

Source: У що вірили гуцули: звичаї, традиції та вірування

The attitude of the highlnaders toward fire is especially reverent. Signs and superstitions concerning fire are many.

  • Going out onto the mountain glad with the flock, the shepherds should also ignite the so-called living fire: the flame is extracted by rubbing together two pieces of soft wood. The bonfire must be maintainted the whole time they are on the glade.
  • If bread is passed over a fire to a child, he or she will surely grow up a thief.
  • If someone spits into a fire, a blister will form on his tongue.
  • It is considred a sin to throw hair into the fire.
  • When the fire in the oven is cracking loudly, the Hutsul will say that an angry person will come into the house.

A Ukrainian Fire Legend

Source: UkrainianBooks.com Про Вогонь

The fire of one master found itself with the fire of another master, and they began to speak amongst themselves. The first says: “Life is good with my master, for he treats me well – when needed, he lays some kindling, and not needed, he takes a clean water and douses me. So it is good for me.” The second says: “For me, things are bad, for my master gives me poor quality firewood, and when I am not needed, pours washwater over me. I want to make him aware that I shall walk over his farm.” The first one says: “When you walk, do not burn the wheels of my master, which are found in your master’s yard.”

And so it happened that at night, a fire started at the homestead of the second master, and everything burned down, but the wheel of the first master rolled away and survived.

Do you know other Ukrainian fire lore? Beliefs from other traditions? I’d love to hear. Comment below.
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unknownAn embroidery of Mokosha (also Makosh, Mokosh, et al) is used as a talisman to help in the manifestation of dreams and for protection from negative forces. Mokosha ancient eastern Slavic goddess, patroness of handwork and other traditionally women’s skills and talents.

Mokosha is a patroness of the lady of the house, contributes to the prosperity of her home, and rewards zealous work. This amulet does not have to be carried on the person, but should be found in the house of the mistress whose it protects.

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Creation in Six Words

Alla blew multi-hued sparkles into materiality.



I stumbled onto Ronowan’s Haiku Challenge and dipped my toe into the WordPress writers’ community. Clicking and reading, I discovered great writers and fun challenges. The above is in response to the magnificently named Sometimes Stellar Storyteller’s Six-Word Story Challenge. It is inspired by a scene in the second volume of The Weaving Gold Chronicles (my WIP), wherein Talitha is learning to create creatures, plants, and crystals.

Reading the replies is illuminating. As I learn how other writers transmit emotion in three lines or tell a story in a few words, my writing improves.

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Talitha Emerging

Center-of-the-Earth-1000.jpegThe time to resurface announced itself when a draft pulled the smell of loam into the cavern. A tendril snagged my hair and a low whooshing roused my heart. Elation and trepidation reverberated through my being.

Darkness, silence, and solitude had saved me. The prospect of returning sunshine, noise, and people exhorted me to run, but a root slid under my feet, elevating me enough that I paused, and inhaled. The aroma of leaves and needles and life wafted through my nostrils, filled my lungs, stirred memories. I looked up, covered my eyes against a sliver-shimmer of light, reached for a sturdy root, and stepped up.

Moving slowly, I hugged great roots. I rested my cheek against them, thanked them with tears, licked them in awe. Brightness gently intensified. Sounds amplified: insects chewing wood, chipmunks scampering, birds tweeting.

I climbed faster, hoping to hear the cry of an eagle. I did not know if Garett lived, but I dared to hope. I did not need him to save me again, but I longed for the comfort of companionship.

I reached the surface inside a stately, safe hollow of a massive tree. Eighty days had passed since Iljan’s death, forty since I entered the cave. The sun was graciously, mercifully setting, muting its brightness, infusing my sanctuary with diffuse, pink light. I inhaled the beauty, then stepped back into the world.


photo prompt: boab tree


I used Ronovan’s prompt to write a passage for my WIP, Spinning Stardust.


Meeting Talitha

I lay on the floor of my living room in Wisconsin, a phone headset covering my ears. My friend Kelly was on the other end of the line, doing energy healing for me.

“What do you see?” she asked.

My eyes were closed, but I saw. I smelled. I heard. I was immersed in the a scene that was definitely not 2009 Wisconsin.

“A little girl. She looks about seven. She’s wearing a dirty, white tunic. There is dust in the air. It’s hard to breathe.”

“What is she doing?”

I see the girl on her knees, scraping at the dirt.

“She’s burying something. A doll.”

“Do you know her name?”

I strain to figure it out, to ask her.

“I think it’s Talitha,” I reply. But I start doubting myself immediately. Did my brain make up this name, Talitha, because it shares sounds and letters with my given name?

The healing session ends. I Google “Talitha” and the search engine produces few results, but Wikipedia does have a short entry.

Talitha is an uncommon feminine name meaning “little girl” in Aramaic, given in reference to the Biblical story in the Gospel of Mark in which Jesus Christ was said to have resurrected a dead child with the words “Talitha cumi” or “Talitha kum” or “Talitha koum,” meaning “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”

My world rocked. Kelly and I had been working on healing my Inner Child.

My writing practice was dormant for many months. I am delighted that the energy has shifted and I am called to write. Talitha and Anastasia Sophia have not been telling me their stories, but the urge to write returned and I am willing to play.

To stay inspired and stay on track, I signed up for Julie Tallard Johnson‘s On-line Class, In The Spirit of WritingI’ve worked with Julie in a year-long program before and highly recommend her excellent coaching.

Meet Talitha by clicking the Talitha button on the right.

Click for excerpts of Talitha’s story.

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I Am That I Am (Talitha)

I am Talitha, of starry byways and golden rays. I lived on your planet, which became mine, for tens of thousands of years. This is the story of the girl part of me once was, the woman I became, and the golden web I wove into and through the Earth. It begins in a time and place so ancient that scientists will never find evidence of its existence, though I plucked it from the dusty soil myself after manifold millennia. Of course, absence of remains does not preclude actuality. Echoes of our coming abide in stories of people surfing the Milky Way in great canoes, of goddesses cloaked in stars, of gods as planets and planets as gods. Pick up sacred texts, ponder the carved stones of old temples, contemplate legends. You shall find evidence aplenty of truths you harbor deep within your memories. The Illiad was thought to be fairy tale until Heinrich Schlienmann considered the text as a literal map and excavated nine layers of earth to unearth the city of Troy, called ancient, though young, so young, in the history of Earth. What else will be found when you remember, when you acknowedge what you know? What will be known when existing authorities have been reconsidered and the debris of obfuscation swept out of the way?

Florida Winter 2009-2010 168.jpgI urge you to take care, for in denying our origins lies the source of disempowerment of humanity. The evolution of human consciousness stretches back long before my time. My story tells of one ray emerging from the subtle, hidden, and unseen into the material, visible, and physical. Mine, is one of many emanations, many threads, many stories. My genes intertwine with those of homo sapiens. That was, after all, our reason for coming.


Dragonfly in Amber (Talitha)

a32527a4b657e59fb3fb174290a84368When you are seven, skipping in the rain is as luscious as rolling in the grass on a sunshiny day. When you are seven, chores are small, and duties trivial. When you are seven, play and reckless abandon are birthrights. Unless, you are me. My seven was weighted by an invisible crown and a mantle of responsibility, which culminated the day I stepped toward high table in the cave-sacristy. I wore a sunshine-yellow pallium woven from the silk of thousands of golden orb weaver spiders. My people fanned out behind me, watching the graceful flowing of my robe as I lifted my arms.

“Hohm. Hohm. Hohm.” Their droning strummed through every cell in my body, pushing outward. I reached into the oblong well which ran the length of the altar and sifted sand through my fingers, extracting pebbles and impurities, and setting them aside.

“Ahllhi. Ahllhi. Ahllhi,” the people chanted with escalating pitch and volume. I had to command air to flow in and out of my lungs, as I selected tawny nuggets of amber from a glazed bowl and carefully arranged them in spirals on three narrow, charcoal boards which served as foundation and fuel for the sacred fire. I had practiced twenty times, but the cave’s darkness and the sound bouncing from its walls befuddled me.

“Uugalaghi! Uugalaghi! Uugalaghi!” the words billowed around me, faster and louder. Guided by training, following the urgings of my soul, I placed more amber slivers on the planks to complete the patterns. The crowd’s excitement threatened to squish and smother me.

Tears gathered in my eyes when I placed the final stone. My distinction within the tribe announced itself as a torrid wave in my bowels, but I continued without pause. Bringing my palms together in front of my thudding heart, I bowed, and withdrew from the altar. Three steps back, and two steps left, brought me to the waiting spot. One breath in, two, on my third breath, Tomas stepped forward. He extended his arms fully. The small torch in his hand cast a pool of pale light on the ceiling. He dropped to his knees, bringing torch and forehead to the chapel floor. He waited sixty heartbeats, then rose, touching the flame to the charcoal, and coaxing it to kindle.

As grey smoke curled up, the first drummer struck his instrument. A deep tone reverberated through the space, then more rhythm-makers thumped and rattled their instruments. My body tingled and sang, expanding beyond the confines of skin, weaving and dancing with the congregation.

Mara, resplendent in her shimmering gown, raised a fist-sized chunk of amber over her head. Inside, a dragonfly was preserved, mid-wing-stretch. The percussion ceased abruptly.

“The Essence of Life,” Mara intoned.

“The Essence of Life,” the people replied.

Lowering her arms to stretch straight out from her body, Mara continued, “The Mystery of Life.”

“The Mystery of Life.”

“Transformation. Transmutation. Release.” Mara turned and lowered her hands into the through. She opened her palms, and let the resin-encrusted dragonfly drop onto the glowing boards. She kept her hands domed over the creature, contained for millennia in hardened sap, until the honey-colored lump warmed, smoldered, and turned to ash, releasing a gentle scent of pine. Mara maintained her position without flinching or swaying. The pregnant silence was shattered by the crackling and hissing of hot-burning wood.

I had mentally recited the names of the stars and constellations, weaving a path from east to west, and was halfway through naming every color frequency I knew, when the heat reached the dragonfly. The insect flared in the fastest, most intense sequence of changes I had ever seen: fire orange, a yellow burst that went bright green, and a flash of violet-white.

“Transformation! Transmutation! Release!” the people shouted, then clapped and stomped the meter of the words: clap-clap-clap-clap, clap-clap-clap-clap, clap-clap.

Mara faced the gathered, and raised her arms. Peace streamed from her palms, restoring calm. Some people panted, others sighed. All focused on Mara and the tendrils of smoke that curled behind her. I gazed, mesmerized, at the clear crystal pendant swinging from the long chain around Mara’s slim, bronze neck. Back and forth it moved, hypnotizing those receptive to being swayed. In this group, every person was willing, and soon we breathed in easy synchronicity. Mara pointed skyward and traced a circle in the air with her forefinger. A ring of stars materialized, twinkled for an instant, then began spinning.

“We come from the Sun and the channel of connection is forever available,” said Mara. A column of iridescent light poured from the halo. Several young children reached for it. Their parents permitted them to pull their fingers through the shiningness, but held the younglings firmly at their sides. “You chose to come,” one mother whispered, restraining her toddler from lunging into the light. “Stay a while longer. You are too young in the Earth body to choose to return. Feel the Earth.”

“Accede your communion with the Light of Heaven,” Mara commanded. The Sun Tribe swung their hands skyward and down three times, then each reached into the tube of brightness, pulling a filament of light into his or her heart. Each left hand was pressed into the center of the chest, each right laid over the left, shimmering tendrils stretching between people and light column. All eyes remained fixed on the fading light. A few of the oldest Sun Tribe dropped their hands and opened their palms, releasing the sparkles, preparing for The Return.

When darkness and tranquility settled in the room, Mara chanted, “Hohm. Ahllhi. Uugalaghi.” The group echoed the sounds, then dropped their hands. The ceremony was over.


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