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Why did the Slavs feed the wind, how they scared away evil spirits from the Sun and other beliefs in ancient Russia
Why did the Slavs feed the wind, how they scared away evil spirits from the Sun and other beliefs in ancient Russia

Nowadays, you will not surprise anyone with solar and lunar eclipses, lightning, winds and other natural phenomena. All this has a simple scientific explanation. But in Russia, all this was considered the tricks of the devil, sorcerers and the wrath of the Almighty. To avoid bad weather and to settle everything, the peasants resorted to special rituals.

Fire of heaven

Thunder and lightning in Russia were compared with heavenly fire. Lightning was considered the most powerful tool of the Lord, because it sparkles as if it were made of metal. Lightning was called an arrow not only because of its color similar to metal, but also for its rapid flight, one might say, lightning fast. It was believed that when the Almighty fought with all evil spirits, he illuminated the sky. This was necessary in order to make it easier to see the devil or the devil, in order to hit them with his burning arrow.

The Slavs believed that lightning and hormones are God's wrath

There is even a legend that speaks of such a version of the origin of fire on our land. Legend has it that when the Lord kicked Adam and Eve out of paradise, he got angry and struck the devil with lightning, but accidentally hit a tree. This is why fire appeared on our planet. It was believed that when the Almighty aimed at the devil, he hid in horror in a human body or behind some tree. Therefore, many trees suffer from lightning and people die. By the way, if a person was killed by lightning, then he was considered a sinner, so often he was not buried in the cemetery, like suicides.

It was also believed that not only God could kill the devil with the fire of heaven, but also his henchmen: archangels, angels and various saints, for example, Ilya the Prophet, who was revered in Russia. In many villages, it was believed that lightning was a trace from his chariot or a whip with which he urged his fiery horses. There was even a sign that every year, on the day of memory of the prophet Elijah, which is celebrated to this day on August 2, thunder is almost constantly heard. But if it is not there, then there will be trouble this year, for example, because of lightning, someone's house may burn down or even someone will die from it.

Thunder in Russia was a favorable force for fertility, because basically it was followed by rain, which moistened and nourished the soil. The first thunderstorm of the year meant the onset of real spring, as well as the beginning of the awakening of nature after hibernation.

To protect themselves from thunder and lightning, there were special rituals among the people. During these natural phenomena, it is necessary to kneel down on the street and pray, then light a candle, which is necessarily consecrated in the church, and go around all your possessions with it. It was also forbidden to perform any work on major church holidays, otherwise it could kill with lightning.

There were also rituals recorded in ancient herbalists to combat human fears of a thunderstorm. They did this with the help of various fossils and mineral rocks, since it was believed that this is the fiery arrow of the Most High frozen in the ground. The bottom line was this: a frozen arrow of heaven must be lowered into a vessel with water, if this stone lies calmly in the water, without moving, then the person is not afraid anyway, and if he is trembling, then it is necessary to drink this water.

Abduction of the heavenly bodies

Eclipses of heavenly bodies in those days were a bad sign, because it was believed that all this was the intrigues of evil spirits. People believed that witches and various demons wanted to destroy the sun and moon. And they hide their light so that it would be more convenient for them to kidnap people in the darkness.So, when an eclipse occurred, or even just a sun went down for a long time behind a cloud, the people were already sounding the alarm that an evil sorcerer had stolen it. Moreover, people believed that witches steal even stars from the sky, then put them in clay pots and put them in a cellar or a well.

There was another belief that the heavenly bodies disappear as punishment for the endless sins of man. It was believed that the Lord God thus sows fear in people so that they feel the burden of their sins. By the way, in many villages, the sun and the moon were represented in the form of a boy and a girl who, with an eclipse, seemed to cover their faces with their hands to hide the misdeeds and sins of people from their eyes.

The Slavs believed that any eclipse had a detrimental effect on both people and livestock. Many diseases and even death were attributed to the eclipse. It was believed that if you catch an eclipse in a field, then this person will soon die. In a word, in those days, an eclipse was a harbinger of a terrible disaster. Disease, death, epidemics, war, crop failure, hunger - all this was the result of this phenomenon.

The color of the moon was also indicative of some events. A crimson (bloody) shade indicated that somewhere in the distance a terrible bloody war was going on or would begin very soon, and rich yellow was a harbinger of serious illnesses and epidemics.

The crimson color of the moon was called bloody and it was believed that it was colored because of a war that was taking place somewhere at a given time

In his book "Poetic views of the Slavs on nature", Alexander Nikolaevich Afanasyev, a Russian collector of folklore and a researcher of Slavic culture, wrote that in all cities and villages during eclipses, people worried that the sun and moon might someday completely disappear and never return … Many thought that in this way the time of the Last Judgment comes, so they came to the priests to repent of their sins. In his book, Alexander Nikolaevich described an example of how he once visited a fair in Chernigov. According to him, as soon as the solar eclipse began, people threw all their goods and fled wherever they looked. In this commotion, cries about the last day of the world and calls to repentance for their sins were heard. But as soon as the sun appeared again, everyone calmed down and continued to go about their business.

To avoid eclipses, people tried to drive away evil spirits from heaven. To do this, they began to make a lot of noise. People gathered together in a large crowd, shouted for urine, stomped, fired weapons, clapped their hands, knocked on various objects. In some villages, to protect the luminaries from evil spirits, the Slavs wore clean robes of light colors, lit candles consecrated in the temple, then fumigated themselves and everything around with incense.

Rainwater is a panacea for everything

Rain at all times has been considered God's grace and a force that brings prosperity. Alexander Nikolaevich Afanasyev said in his book that rain, mainly in spring, gives good health, heroic strength, unprecedented beauty to all who wash with it, and also helps with childbirth. Rainwater was considered a cure for many diseases. They gave it to the sick to drink, and also bathed them in it and made compresses. It was also believed that if it rains on the wedding day, then a life full of happiness and prosperity awaits the young.

Rain is a real helper for people at all times

If there was no rain for a long time, it was believed that sorcerers would not let it in. It was believed that they could steal clouds or drive them away with their power. There was also a belief that the sinful souls of drowned and suicides had power over precipitation, since they were the masters of rain clouds. It was also believed that a drought occurs when the earth does not want to receive departed sinners. Or there was also a version that the buried were tormented by a terrible thirst, so they drink all the moisture of the earth. To improve the drought situation, people appealed to drowned people and suicides, begging for rain from them or watered their graves with water so that they could get drunk and not suck more moisture from the soil.

Also, the reason for the long absence of rains was considered the punishment of the Lord for the sins of people.In order to quickly cause rain, the icon depicting St. Elijah was dipped into a body of water, preferably not with stagnant water. His name was associated not only with a thunderstorm, but also with its companion - rain. According to legend, all the water on earth is closely intertwined with the moisture of heaven. It was believed that the rainbow draws water from earthly sources in order to then shed it as rain. They treated the water with respect, so they prayed to the saints near wells and reservoirs, and also cleaned abandoned springs.

Violation of the prohibitions has also been linked to drought. For example, it was impossible to spin and sew for the holidays. If someone was noticed in this case, then the violator and the machine were doused with water.

Harvest can be spoiled not only by drought, but also by excessive rainfall. The blame for this was women who killed or threw their illegitimate children to someone. It was believed that if you find this child, the rains will calm down. If such cases were not identified, then healers were instructed to stop the rains with the help of objects that were associated with earthly fire, for example, a stove or burnt clay dishes.

Nourishing the winds

The wind in Russia was a mythological character. He was even endowed with a certain human appearance. It was believed that he was like a bulky, powerful old man with a large head and a large mouth. Many imagined him as a rider on a high-speed horse. According to legend, the wind lived in thickets, hills, mountains, ravines and in the tops of trees.

The wind among the Slavs was endowed with the appearance of an old man with a large head and a huge mouth

The winds were divided into two types: evil and good. The evil winds were strong, destructive, causing storm, whirlwind, tempest and hail. In general, everything that could harm homes and crops. People also believed that winds can bring all kinds of ailments, especially mental anguish. It was believed that sorcerers send damage down the wind, due to which various epidemics and misfortunes begin. But good winds were helpers for people, they brought rain clouds during a drought, and also gave a little coolness to people working in the fields. And they also turned to the wind with requests to take away an illness or some kind of trouble.

Based on legends, the air has always been closely associated with the human soul. People believed that the wind accompanies all evil spirits, as well as the spirits of the dead. If the wind is strong, it means that somewhere a person was killed, or somewhere very close there are the spirits of evil and sinful people. But calm winds, on the contrary, brought the souls of good people.

To appease the wind and turn it to help oneself, and not to misfortune, there were certain rituals. For example, sailors, in order to inflate their sails, caused the wind with a whistle or singing, and then in gratitude fed it with bread. In some villages, the wind was placated with leftovers from the festive table, such as cereals, meat or sweet pastries.

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