Weaving Gold

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

Wheel of the Year 

This page is a work in progress. I welcome your suggestions of resources and comments.

Slavs adhere to the solar twelve-month calendar. The main holidays relate to the solar circle and are associated with magic numbers. Holidays, rituals, and creativity of the Ukrainian people in all its manifestations have a noble goal: to magnify the person [and] the event, unite them with the world, and elevate bring them to luminous heights.

Primary Holidays

·         Різдво Божича, Коляда (24 грудня)

·         Великдень Дажбожий (24 березня)

·         Купала (24 червня)

·         Овсень Великий (25 вересня).

Magical/Mythological Holidays

·         Новий Рік (01 січня)

·         Водосвяття (06 січня)

·         Відання (20 січня)

·         Стрітення (02 лютого)

·         Велесова святки (11-20 лютого)

·         Рахманський Великдень (13 квітня)

·         Лельник (22 квітня)

·         Жива (02 травня)

·         Весняні Діди (15 травня)

·         Літній Стрибог (14 липня)

·         Перунів День (20 липня)

·         Рожаниці (08 вересня)

·         Покрова (01 жовтня)

·         Осінні Діди (22 жовтня)

·         День Сварога (01 листопада)

·         Свято Долі (24 листопада).


Winter Solstice – Spring Equinox

MagPie’s Corner – East Slavic Rituals, Witchcraft And Culture

Slavic Paganism, Winter and Death




20th — Baba Yaga’s Day


In Ukrainian, the word for February (лютий) also means “ferocious; savage; brutal; severe; wicked; diabolical; rampant; angry”

11 лютого – ВЕЛИКЕ СВЯТО ВЕЛЕСА (Сивий ЯР)
Джерело: http://spadok.org.ua/zymovi-zvychayi-ta-obryady/velyke-svyato-velesa-syvyy-yar © СПАДЩИНА ПРЕДКІВ

Veles’s Days
by MagPie (aka Olga Stanton) via Facebook Page MagPie’s Corner – East Slavic Rituals, Witchcraft And Culture

For Slavs, the beginning of February is marked by celebrations of Veles – an ancient Slavic God of Animals, Cattle, and Underworld. Veles wore three faces: as the God of Forest beasts, he assumed a shape of a Bear; as the God of Cattle, he was represented by a Bull; finally, as the God of the Underworld, he took form of a Snake. He is the guide between the worlds, God of crossroads and “twin” places (along with Chur), trade and merchants, shepherds, cunning men, and mathematicians.

Idols of Veles were found in hollows and dense woods, and Russian words “volhv” (Pagan priest) and “volk” (wolf) are related to the name of Veles (His other name is Volos). Despite His association with a bear, in many places, He was also called the Wolves’ Shepherd.

At the time of double-faith, St. Nicholas seemed to assume most of Veles’s functions.

February 3 was the Day of Veles, Matchmaker for the Wolves. Horses were honored on this day. Peasants believed that Dvorovoi, the spirit of the yard, rides horses on this day. But as He is not a very good rider – after His rides, horses return sweaty and exhausted – good masters would rather not have it happen at all, so they tied a whip, a pair of mittens and a pair of shoes to the horse (possibly to simulate a rider being already there).

At this time of the year, wolves’ mating season begins, and so the week following the Wolves’ Matchmaker is called the Lesser Veles’s Days or Wolves’ Weddings. Each day of this week had its own name and had a set of omens and ritual actions associated with it. For instance, February 4 was known as Cold Nicholas: “Snow piles into mounds on Cold Nicholas”, “Cold Nicholas is Mathcmaker for the wolves, sunsets are like poppies” – it is time for “animal weddings”. February 5 is Agatha the Cowwoman. “On Agatha’s, Cow Death (a magical embodiment of anthrax) walks through the villages” – it was time to enchant the cattle to in order to protect it from illness. February 6 – Vukol the Calfman: “Black cows give birth to calves on Vukol’s”. February 7 is St. Luke’s Day. “On Luke’s day bake pies with luk (onions)”. Due to its strong smell and taste that are known to kill bacteria, onion was known to ward off evil spirits, especially the ones causing illness. February 8 is Zachary the Sickleseer. “On Zachary Sickleseer’s check your sickles for the summer”; “Female grain harvesters pray to Zachary the Sickleseer.” February 9 is Nikifor and Pankrat’s Day. “Pankrat is not rich for bread”; “Starting from Pankrat, Winter retaliates at nights”; “Lapti (woven shoes of linden bark) are woven on Nikifor’s”. February 10 is Prokhor’s Day. “On Prokhor, Winter starts fussing”; “Prokhor and Vlas are here – spring is very near.” February 11 was St. Vlasiy (Veles’s Day), and most celebrations of Veles were done on this day.

One of the most interesting customs associated with Veles’s Days is circle-plowing («опахивание»). This ritual was believed to protect the village from Cow Death (anthrax). In folk imagination, Cow Death was seen as an old woman with rakes for hands that could take form of any animal or human being. Women chose one to be their leader – poveshchalka («повещалка»), usually an older woman. This woman walked from door to door gathering other women and warning men and children to stay inside. All the domestic animals were being locked up for the time of the ritual. Women washed their hands and wiped them with a towel that poveshchalka carried with her. Once outside, poveshchalka headed to the edge of the village while screaming “Ay-ay!” (“Ouch-ouch!”) and banging on the iron frying pan. Other women followed her, carrying brooms, pokers, pot-holders, and other long household objects that are usually in contact with the stove. Some could also carry sickles and clubs. Once outside the village, poveshchalka removed her shirt and recited an “oath” for Cow Death. After that, poveshchalka put on a horse collar, and a plow was attached to it. With this plow, poveshchalka drew a protective line upon the ground on the village, while other women followed her wearing only shirts, with their hair loose, carrying torches with them. All this process was accompanied with a song:

A person or animal they meet on their way would be in big trouble, as they believed it to be the embodiment of Cow Death. It is beaten with sticks and pokers. In old times, those who those women met would be clubbed to death… Rituals very similar to the one described were done during other epidemics, such as cholera, as well.

Other customs observed on Veles’s Days include baking ritual bread (palyanitsa) on St. Agatha’s day (February 5) – a day when Ancestors were remembered; baking ritual kozuli shaped like snakes to honor Veles; baking sweet milk pyshki (in my experience, it’s a dish very similar to doughnuts) – these pyshki were given to the children and poor, one of them a kept until the next year and added to cow feed is one of the cows ever gets sick; censing cattle with heather or juniper, thistle, and – separately, thyme (smoke from thyme is believed to make cows’ milk sweet); leaving seeds for planting outside for three mornings; slapping husbands with distaffs for spinning on Veles’s Day – February 11 (so that bulls would be obedient); combing hair with enchanted combs – young girls combed bull’s hair in order to receive a prophetic dream (dreams given by Veles were believed to be prophetic), while married women combed their husbands’ hair to protect them from illness and give strength and good health for the year; the best craftswomen would ride their distaffs down the hill like a sled, so that their flax would be tall this planting seasons; youth performed the “snake-dance” – danced holding each other’s hands thus forming a line that “wound” its way around similarly to a slithering snake.

Soon after the end of Veles’s Days, on February 15, Onisim Winterbeat was honored. Women would lay out their first skein of freshly-spun yarn “under the stars” so that their yarn (as well as fate spun by Goddess Makosh) would be white, strong, and pure. The next day, February 16, was devoted to Maremyana-Kikimora (Kikimora is believed to be a malevolent female spirit that inhabits human houses and… swamps).

Ritual dishes on Veles’s Days include milk, butter, porridge, mead, and beer.

Offerings to Veles are: butter, milk, honey, oats, bread, pretzels, pork, pork fat, chicken meat, wild grouse meat, mutton, goat-meat, pike-fish, cranberries, beer, water, wine, ribbons, pelts, money, wool, linens, leather, pots, flowers, grass, and seeds.


November 10: 10 листопада — Мучениці Параскеви, нареченої П’ятниця. ДОВІДКА. Інші назви свята – Параскева П’ятниця, День святої П’ятниці, Параска Мучениця. Параскева від грецького Παρασκευή — п’ятниця, християнська свята та великомучениця. Параскевія П’ятниця з одного боку мала багато спільного із християнською Богородицею, а з іншого – успадковувала Макош (Мокош), найдавнішу богиню слов’янського язичества: богиню-прялю, покровительку земного щастя. Параскева – жіноча заступниця. Весь тиждень, на який випадає Параскева – П’ятницький тиждень.
Source: http://lib.znate.ru/docs/index-207061.html?page=25



Свята Кола Сварожого

Свята сонячного кола – основа світогляду українського народу
Вадим Мицик, Рід і Віра (The Nation and Faith)

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Український Рік у народніх звичаях, веснянний цикль

« Mystical Motifs

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