Slavic Celestial Beings (Stworze) and Demons (Zdusze)
Copyright © by Czesław Białczyński
Copyright translated© by Katarzyna Goliszek
http://www.najmici.net/stworza/index.htm (This page no longer exists)
The Old Slavic Myth of the creation of the world – a version from ”Slavic Celestial Beings (Stworze) and Demons (Zdusze)”
Webmaster Iwona Szymańska
Stanisław Szukalski (Stach from Warta) Ancestors
- · About the great pitcher of Zerywani.
- · About the birth of Skies and Earlier Celestial Beings
- · About the transormation of Earlier Celestial Beings into Celestial Beings and the birth of Demons.
- · Description of Celestial Beings
- · Older ones – the Kings of Celestial Beings, and Boginiaki – the offspring of Celestial Beings
- · Description of Demons
- · Closed circle
Many typically Polish names have not been translated into English as they do not have an equivalent in this language at all. Please, note that in Polish such endings as: ‘a’, ‘e’, ‘i’, ‘y’, ‘ie’ are plural forms, for example, Przestworza, Przedstworza, Milicze, Milcze, Zerywani, Boginiaki, Saszory, Bardzowie, etc.
About the great pitcher of Zerywani
Long – three or perhaps four thousand years ago – the tribe of Zerywani began to build the mysterious Great Pitcher. The Pitcher was, indeed, of a huge size and was not an ordinary pitcher, but the true copy of the Gold Pitcher thrown down by Gods from Heaven along with three other attributes of divine power: Perun’s Gold Axe, Prowe’s Gold Shackle and Rgieł’s Gold Lister. All these holy objects were a gift for the tribe consisting of numerous Zerywani kin. Only man who deserved to become a king was allowed to pick the object up from the ground. People feared to touch the shining gifts. Pirst – the son of old Kołb and wise Bauba turned out to be the only brave man. As a result, Pirst became the first king of Zerywani, the founder of the Pierwopalcowie (Pirsztukowie) who reigned long and happily.
After them, reigned Kuksowie who were then followed by Milicze (Milcze). Among them one – Mrukrza’s brother was cursed; his name was Zeł. He stole the heavenly Gold Pitcher and after being expelled he escaped to a desert with a group of warriors and women. Gods sparked off a dreadful tempest and lost nearly all the exiles while the Pitcher was covered with sand in the desert and although many wytędzowie made efforts to find it, none of them succeeded in doing so.
(wytędzowie (those who knew how to struggle with the indefatigable and how to defeat the undefeatable)
Mrukrza who was in power at that time, gathered chiefs of kin and they decided to reconstruct the divine gift. The reconstruction took many years. Many generations had passed till the whole Pitcher was ready. To make the Pitcher, a lot of kinds of clay from all the corners of the earth as well as many kinds of water from various rivers and seas were used . The whole Pitcher was covered by hundreds of pictures, convex sculptures and was decorated with ornaments, engravings and secret signs were written on it.
Finally, the Pitcher was painted with the finest paints of the world so that it shone like Denga-Tęcza (Tęcza – Rainbow), the Mistress of Diverse Colours. At last, for forty days and forty nights it was fire kilned and a ritual feast and ritual dance were all around. When the Pitcher dried up, it was fully filled with holy mead taken from even the farthest parts of Koliba (Zerywani’s Land). Then, a magnificent holiday began. The huge Pitcher looking like a mountain was surrounded by a circle. People were singing and dancing continuously for the whole month (from full Moon to full Moon), eating meat of White and Black Bulls and drinking mead from the holy Pitcher.
After that, the Pitcher was available for everyone for a certain time. Everyone could come whenever they wanted to admire the pictures, read meanings out of the signs and ornaments, think over the meaning of the scenes, touch every convexity, saturate the eyes with colours. But the Pitcher was soon covered with large banners onto the canvas of which the holy signs and pictures from the faces of the Pitcher were moved. Although nobody was able to snatch such an enormous vessel, or even move it, the Carers of the Pitcher feared that a spell could be put on it or that a shame could be the result of a hostile glance, or that someone evil or envious could damage the faces of the Pitcher and its drawings (like Zeł once did).
People soon started to plead with Gods and make sacrifices at the foot of the Pitcher, especially that the fire in which the vessel was kilned was never put out and it became the holy Fire of the Tribe. From then on, special people, the most venerable members of Zerywani’s kin, watched so that the fire burned forever, and in case they neglected it, they could face infamous death. It was those people who became priests (wołchwowie, zinisowie – magicians, żercy – priests, wróżowie – fortune tellers). They knew everything about the holy Fire and the Great Pitcher, they were also entrusted with making sacrifices on the Stone formed out of hardened remnants of the clay so that they were surely performed appropiately and so that Gods liked them. The priests explained the pictures and signs of the holy Banners, read omens out of fractures of the Pitcher and prophesied from the taste of the mead inside of it.
Being afraid of any damage that might happen to the Pitcher, Fire and Stone, the priests ordered to build a huge shrine which was to protect the place against evil eyes, burning sun rays, cold winter and heavy storms. Then, the temple was surrounded by a fence of a triangular shape. Three gates were built in the fence for priests, magicians and fortune tellers whilst all other people were forbidden to enter the place. Soon after that the fence was hidden behind an embankment. The embankment was surrounded by a palisade. The palisade was surrounded by a sacred grove, and the whole place was given a great honour and was highly worshipped.
Sacrifices and prayers at the Pitcher appeared to have been exceedingly effective. Well, the Pitcher was given such honour that only the priest who was purified by fast, fire and water was allowed to go inside the temple, having kept his breath so as no to sully the divine surroundings. The priest did not dare glance at the Pitcher itself, either. He was just permitted to scoop the mead from it and look at the banners.
At that time rituals were moved to the nearest clearing. A mount – bugryszcze was heaped where a post (called kumir) – a sculpture symbolising God was piled, the sacrificial stone was brought and a place for the fire was chosen.
Every time they kindled fire they took it from the fire in the temple and the priest also brought prophetic mead in a decorative horn from there. Only the insiders deliberated on the shapes and engravings on the Pitcher.
Slowly, people forgot about the sophisticated meanings of the drawings. The very existence of the Pitcher was gradually becoming a legend.
Centuries went by, the Zerywani tribe expanded and divided. Turbulent times came, wars, storms, famine, plagues and tempests sent down from Heaven. Internal quarrels started. One of subsequent wars brought on a real calamity – it was the War for Taja (Taja – Mystery). Local settlements and villages were burned down, the temple was demolished, and the Pitcher was broken by the enemies. It was the fight between two Zerywani’s kings from whom Bireło of Bardzowie kin brought on Gods’ anger on everyone. There was a lack of wild game in local forests, arable fields ceased to give crop, rivers stopped giving fish. Diseases multiplied and death decimated Zerywani. Then the steppe took fire which went from the ends of the earth echoed by the sound of a horrible earthquake, and next rainstorm flooded the area as high as the tops of the mountains. The Zerywani spread from Koliba into all the sides of the world. The survivors of the enormous disaster gave rise to all the peoples of the earth. One of the tribes that went to the sunset stopped in Legiel Territory, in a mighty flood water in a large river, at the foot of the rounded hill. They were given the name Plemię (Tribe) and were led by Bełt of the Bardzowie Kin and Sława (also known as Swawa) of the Stawana (also known as Słowana) Kin. After Bełt’s and Sława’s death Eight Tribes migrated into four sides of the world, and each of them took some pieces of the crock that were left after the Great Pitcher.
What is the Pitcher that is being written about here? It is nothing but the Old Slavic Mythology, the heavenly message from the Gods-Forces of Nature telling about the shape of the world, about the place of people, about their roots, i.e. about prehistoric events of their ancestors, about necessary rituals and about the shared tradition from the time of the Great Indo-European Community, and then about the Balto-Slavic Community, about the forefathers’ ancient homeland – Koliba and about the other homeland – Lęgiela.
When peoples ceased their migrations to the east, west, north and south, each of them built their own Pitcher in their place and stuck the kept crocks from the past and fragments of beliefs into it. The local varieties of the ancient Pitcher had a different ornamentation from it. They had dissimilar colours and were of a different build of their local origin, drawings of symbols and details of the pictures that were made after mixing with foreign cultures. Despite this, they really resembled their protptype in general. Although some people called Czarnogłów as Trzygłów, some as Tiarnoglof, some as Tiernoglav, some others as Triglaw, Turupit, Trojan, Zcernoboh, Czarnobóg, or Czernec, they all saw the same character under the new name. It also relates to mythical legends and characters of other great gods of the old tribe of Zerywani, for example, Białoboga (Bielboga, Bela, Bel, Biła, Belbug, Belbuż, Belbuk, Bellona, Biały Bóg, Bełbóg, Biełozórz) or Borowił (Borowy, Borowit, Puruvit, Puszaitis, Borivit, Borzywit, Berut, Boruta), or Perun (Peryn, Periń, Porun, Piren, Piarun, Perkyn, Parom, Perkun, Perkunas, Pierun, Piorun, Parcknus, Parkuns). In those times when writing was not used, insiders were passed messages on to by word of mouth, from generation to generation. For a certain period of time, the Balto-Slavic peoples lived peacefully in the very heart of Europe, at a dense forest, marsh and high mountains. As everything changes, that state of affairs could not last endlessly. Successive migrations, clashes, fights, raids and calamities made our ancestors stand eye to eye with the New Times, New Era and New Faith. It was then that the Pitcher was broken again and it seemed broken for good. Its remnants were destroyed by fire, fragments were strewn to the four winds, the memory of it was forbidden under the punishment of the heaviest condemnation, the priests of the old worship were expelled or slain. The Eternal Fire was covered up by forgotten ashes. The remnants of the left pieces of crock were buried under the earth in the ruins of temples overgrown by weed or wild forest. It happened one thousand years ago. From that time, successive rulers basing their governments on the new faith devoted a lot of energy to eradicate the ancient Gods and rituals accompanying their cults. People strongly get attached to tradition. Therefore, contrary to the rulers’ wishes, or the wishes of the learned men, the cult was being continued in the lowest and reduced form. Well, finally, it needed to be included in the content of new rites. The ancient holy places had to be made as new shrines. Stones from old worship buildings were used to build new temples for the new pitcher. Paradoxically, thanks to that many old beliefs have survived just having changed with new ceremonies under changed names and characters. The necessity of concessions made by the new religion is one of the strongest proofs of the deep rootedness of the ancient mythology, rituals and people’s everyday customs which come from it. In spite of that, the lasting for centuries process of erasing, layering and blending of traditions, eradication with fire, sword, curse or mild persuasion, the lack of mythological messages and rules of the ancient cult, quick collapse and doing away with the closed caste of priests privy to higher arcana made the memory of the shape of the Pitcher, details of its basreliefs, engravings, pictures and colours disappear almost completely. There was nobody at all to describe its entirety, though the sprawled and fragmented knowledge of various pieces of the old vessel have survived in some corners of Slavic countries. That was a typical situation of all the post Roman Europe and it lasted as long as up to the16th century, till Renaissance, and in some places even longer. The Mythology of Northern Germanic peoples would have had the same fate as that of the Balto-Slavic pitcher but it survived only owing to keeping the recoords of Edda in isolated from the Continent Iceland.
Telling that the Mythology of Southern Germanic peoples (German people) was restored almost from the very beginning in the
18th century is close to the truth. The Mythology of Celts survived in the corners of Ireland, Wales and Scotland. The Continent definitely did not promote maintaining the old tradition, nor did it favour to accept the traces of the ancient culture. For example, for many centuries the Mythology and knowledge of The Hellenes and the Romans were being destroyed. It was as late as in the 19th century that Romanticism with strong national trends in art and the birth of modern science made the situation change slowly.
Following poets and writers ethnographers, historians, archaeologists and, at last, linguists joined the search for the past. Fortunately, the fragments of the myths, names of ancient deities, and particularly of the lowest gods and godesses, close to an average person, have survived in various isolated isles of Slavdom among peasants most attached to Nature. Throughout the 150 years several fragments of the Pitcher have been unearthed from the ashes of oblivion. Scattered throughout Europe pieces of legends, travellers’ hints, ancient historians’ records and linguistic data were carefully collected and recorded. Science has been attempting to interpret sculptures, figures, stone circles, remnants of temples, tombs, local names, decorations and treasures, old fortifications and names of Gods. Science has been working according to its laws and though it has greatly contributed to reconstructing the past, the rule stating that anything that is not independently confirmed twice can not be recognised as a scientific fact. Additionally, Occam’s Razor principle does not let science make another strong step if it deals with such ambiguous and uncertain material, if it is concerned with such distant epoques which have such scarce data. From the point of view of science anything concerning the case of the Pitcher is not and will not be certain. One thing is certain: Slavic Mythology existed so the time has come to try to reconstruct the appearance of the ancient Slavic Pitcher. Luckily, literature does not recognise the necessity of double confirmations. Neither does it fear the risk of making uncertain hypotheses. Surely, as much as it is possible, we try to keep to the noble scientific principles. However, we can rarely pinpoint the actual tiny piece of the Pitcher on a map with a 100% guarantee of accuracy – like in the case of Światowit (Svetovid), Swarog (Svarog), Dażbog (Dazhbog), Mokosz (Mokos) or Chors and also a couple of great deities and plenty of small ones. We are arranging this riddle like a great prehistoric puzzle which has lost colours in some places and where a drawing has been effaced, and some fragments are completely missing. It is impossible to rebuild the Pitcher in its original shape as it was in the past. It is worth, however, imagining it in the closest way as if it could be today if it had not been broken.
All the sources and archaeological, ethnographic, religious, historical, historiographic, anthropological and onomastic materials available to the author were included in the reconstruction process. Additionally, there were also included simulation, comparative linguistics, etymology, analysis of ancient chronicles, records, communications, and analysis of contemporary works on mythology of Slavs, Balts and Germanic peoples, as well as comparatively of other peoples (both ancient and present cultures, so called primitive). Moreover, available myths, legends (also heraldic), stories, fairy tales and fables, as well as folk verbal tradition (e.g. Moszyński’s, Kolberg’s, etc.) were analysed.
Any existing pieces were carefully collected and then a new Pitcher was made of fitting, consistent fragments with the use of the maximum of material. Empty spots were filled with imagination, of necessity, gaps in the drawing of colour were supplemented with a fresh line and covered with fresh paint, outlined and unfinished engravings were developed. Yet, it was not happening at random but on the basis of logic imposed by bits and fragments of the Old Pitcher existing around the empty place. The work is so immense, and the very process of reconstruction is so much complicated that mistakes were not avoided in it for sure. However, as Chinese wise men say: You will not go the way unless you put your first step on it. The world is not ending yet, mistakes can be eliminated in the future. Well, it is important to start with something. The instinct of unraveling the puzzle of one’s own origin, finding the roots of one’s own kin (nation) is one of the fundamental aspirations and desires of each person. Preserving the identity at the time of great cultural pressures will have perhaps an underlying meaning for the following generations. Identity is, first and foremost, historial awareness. History begins with prehistory which is the domain of the myth. Mythology is the main root of the tree the stem of which is History, while the upper branches of the tree are the Contemporary awareness. What fruits of the future can the tree give if its roots have been cut off? The volume which we are giving You is the first part of a bigger wholeness and is about the most completely preserved in the tradition material on the lowest heveanly beings, Celestial Beings, i.e. Stworze, as well as Demons and Semi Dv b emons, i.e. Zdusze. Not only is it a full lexicon, but it is a kind of encyclopeadia of beliefs which makes up an introduction to the Great Mythology of Slavs. Before we go on to discuss the features and characteristics of the numerable group of deities and demons, we must introduce You to two synthetic myths (the development of them will be in the successive volumes of the Old Slavic Library) explaining the lineage and location of the low heavenly beings in the Circle of other beings, both Gods and People.
About the birth of the Skies and Early Celestial Beings.
When the God of Gods – Światowit (Svetovid) modelled the Third of the First Things – Sphere, he threw it down into the Abyss. The Gods of Działowie, called Kaukowie or Alkowie – Czarnogłów and Białoboga – desired to have it at once. In its brief flight, the thing flashed with its genuine beauty and one of them had always craved to rule over what the other owned and not to share their reign with anybody. The Sphere fell down onto the very bottom of the Abyss. Czarnogłów had to dive to reach it. Otherwise, the Sphere would have been possessed by Białoboga who had her power over the Abyss. He had dived three times before he finally got the Sphere-Being out onto the surface. Yet, Białoboga did not intend to resign her new purchase and she clung to the sparkling Sphere by all forces. A fight started.
Kaukowie fought bitterly calling Ażdahy for help. The Ażdahy were Dragons and Żmije-Żnuje (Żmije – Vipers) given to them for service. They were tugging the Sphere up and down, and were tugging it from enernity to infinity. Soon, also Stronporowie – the Gods of Sides and Seasons (Sides – Strony, Seasons – Pory) called Kirowie joined the fight with their helpmates żar-ptaki Swiatłogońce (żar-ptaki – fiery birds, Światłogońce – Light Chasers). During the struggle the Sphere was stretched to the east and west, from the north to the south, from dawn to dusk, from spring to autumn, from summer to winter, from midnight to midday. Kirowie, Kaukowie, Ażdahy and Birds Chasing the Light were pulling the Sphere so strongly in all the seasons, sides and sections that it suddenly burst and fell apart. It broke into a Block (Bryła) and Slosh (Bryja) (Gruda – Lump and Glina – Clay) and from its interior gushed Svetovid’s mass – Poświatło-Kir (Afterlight-Kir) with a lot of sparks. The Afterlight escaped into depth. The Block and Slosh fell apart from each other, in different directions and then Kaukowie were not able to keep everything in their hands. Because none of them were going to retreat, they had to multiply. The Kaukowie concluded a short truce, at the time of which they conceived and gave birth to their forty children – One Headed. They were twice by eight Elements (Żywioły) and twice by the dozen of Powers (Moce). Half of One Headed Gods took after their Premival Mother (Pramać)-Białoboga, whereas the other half took after their Premival Father (Praociec)-Czarnogłów. Elements and Powers rushed with their parents to Earth that arose from Bryja, to the Afterlife World-Wela which arose from the Block and to the the Sky which arose from joining the previous Heaven with the After Light-Kir into uniformity like a mirror. The battle for world domination flared up with a new force.
The Gods of Power (Wielkomoce – Great Powers), Przeplątowie (their name comes from the words ‘intertwining’, ‘twisting’) and Mokosze rushed toward the Earth and Wela that were fleeing to Pierwnica. The Przeplątowie caught them into their nets and then with Mokosze they joined them together with a pall, veil and tale woven into a uniform matter of the universe so they stopped moving away from each other. Dażbogowie (the Elements of the Light and Heaven) and Weselowie (the Powers of the Afterlife World), and Ładowie (the Powers of the Order of Things) compiled heavenly layers in a due order, from the Most Distant Heaven through the Deep and High Heaven – all of which they joined with rainbow bridges from the Afterlight. Dażbogowie also stretched the Vault of Heaven forged by Swarogowie / Svarogs over the Earth making the Low Heaven of it.
Simowie covered the Earth with lands, Strzybogowie (Stribogs) surrounded it with air. During the fight, Białoboga banged on Czarnogłów’s back and he spat out lumps hidden under the tongue which made mountain ranges of hard rock on Earth. Sporowie made breeding in the marsh, Wiłowie planted the forests and let wild game into it. Then Perun cut open Siemia’s stomach and Wodowie got out onto the surface flooding everything so that only few mountains stood out above the Place that is in front of the Sea.
A similar battle was fought about Wela. Białoboga stained Wela’s edges with slosh, much of which she hid under her nails. Czarnogłów beat her on her fingers to make her release the verge of the Afterlife World upon which the slosh squirted out of the nails of Pramać (Premieval Mother) onto the very middle. The Wodowie did not get so simply out of the trap of the hard rocks on Wela and as a consequence of that one land was formed there – a cocentric island (of Białoboża’s slosh) called Niwa. A tens of kilometres deep ravin called Nawia surrounded Niwa. The River of Rivers – Pętlica (Loop) flowed down onto the bottom of Nawia from the hills of Niwa. Not until some time had passed did Gods inhabit Niwa, while Naw (ia) was destined for the dead, but it was much later.
The same horrifying battle was fought for rulling Heaven. The Svarogs burned enemies with a fire, The Morowie sowed pestilence and destruction, The Peruns pierced enemies with spears-lightnings, they cut them with swords of thunderclaps, split thunders with axes. Stribogs dispersed legions of Wodowie fighting against them by blowing with a frightful, hot gale.
Nevertheless, that bloody skirmish in which One Headed Wielkobogowie (Great Gods) fought with each other and then alternately joined to give birth to their offspring Małobogowie (Little Gods) who would have tipped the scales of victory to them, did not bring an outcome.
As a matter of fact, Kaukowie and their Ażdahy weakened and soon Kirowie and Światłogońce moved away to a plateau called Równia Welańska (The Plane of Wela) where they settled but disengaged from the further fight, yet none of the Powers nor any of the Elements were able to rule the world on their own.
The next truce was concluded as all felt exhausted by the fight. The Gods of the Elements and the Gods of the Powers, now gathered in nine parties, sat on the Plane, at nine fires, debating what to do further and plotting plans against each other. They decided that it was necessary to make Monsters using the immortal matter which Svetovid had left in different forms all over the world before he went to live in Kłódź that he rebuilt for himself and where he isolated from others, he closed himself in it. Well, it was done.
Nine Monsters Were Made and they were to help the Elements and the Powers to resolve the fight. However, the One Headed oversetimated their capabilities. The Monsters got out of their control and began a distructive fight among one another. Three of them ran the Fight for the Earth, three ran the Fight for Wela, and the three other ran the Fight for Heaven. The world was turned into ruins and beautiful creations of Gods changed into ash. The Earth was ruined, Wela changed into a battlefield as well, and the Sky hardly kept together. The Gods were constantly suffering losses.
Boruta lost his eye and became lame forever, Czsnota nearly scattered into pieces, out of Chors’s forty children only two survived, Svarog’s nine sons were gorged, one of the Monsters also ate out Chorsina’s left side, Prawic lost one arm. The Vault of the lower Sky above the Earth stuck to a tree protruding from the top of the Triglav’s Mountain, called Ósica. The other skies stuck to Przypór Pierwni (the Farthest Sky), Gwóźdź Głębi (Deep Sky) and Stóżar Niebieski (High Sky).
The Monsters also devoured rainbow bridges, threw mountain ranges at one another, drank out seas, broke stars. When they started to break the next Trees of the World and the Sky broke which brought a full risk of collapse, and the One Headed trembling with fear crouched in the Lęgowisko (Belly) of Triglav’s promontory resembling vermin rather than powerful rulers, Svetovid, for the first time from the beginning of creation of the world, left Kłódź so as to save his work from downfall. Luckily, the One Headed could not make the Monsters immortal, though it had been their intention. Svetovid did not give them either heads or faces so he did not give them proper creative powers. Thanks to that, though eternal the Monsters were mortal and they could be killed, their bodies could be torn off, and other eternal creatures could be made out of their bodies. Svetovid held up the whole Sky on his shoulders and wrung the Monsters’ heads after which he ordered the One Headed to lacerate the remnants of the Monsters into many pieces. Little Gods and forty One Headed Great Gods and their forty eight children eagerly rushed to that work trying to erase their guilts. They terribly feared the wrath of the God of Gods keeping in mind what he did to his first-born sons Znicze (Torches).
Przypór, Gwózd, Stóżar and Ósica were four pieces of the former Pillar of the World – Svetovid had broken it once. The fragment of the Pillar was found in the body of one of the Monsters – Światogór the giant called Podbój (Conquest). Therefore the God of Gods stuck Podbój’s skeleton into Wela’s Plane, thanks to which high mountains arose there and the top called wierch Weli (Wela’s Top), and the new Tree of the World grew out of the head of the Monster – Wierzcha, also called Wierszba (Willow) or Wiecha (Perch). It had three boughs but four tops and now the Whole Sky leaned on them. The tree was covered with silver leaves, blossomed out with white flowers and gave out gold fruit (The Lusatians see an Apple Oak in Wierszba and Gold Apples in its fruit, the Polans see the Willow and regard its fruit as Gold Pears, the Mazowie see a Triple Oak-Sycamore-Aspen and consider its fruit Gold Acorns, the Croats talk about a Triple fir, and others about a Triple pine or about a Triple Mullberry).
The One Headed got together in couples and tore the Monsters into Eighty and Eight parts. Each couple made a different family of Przedstworze (Early Celestial Beings) out of their parts made up of four or five Little Gods or Little Godesses. Early Celestial Beings became abortifacient children of the couples because they were not conceived during an intercourse and they were not immortal. Born in this way Early Celestial Beings became servants of Gods and their assistants in the work of earth, Heaven and Wela. They were called Early Celestial Beings for a few reasons: firstly, they started to exist during the Battle for the Skies (the Sky, Wela and Earth) and secondly they stared to exist in the skies, and thirdly they were changed from the bodies of the Monsters, fourthly they were created with the arms of the One Headed. Looking like that, they lived till the next war – the War for the Circle. It was then that they were increased in number by a hundred times. That job, done also by the One Headed, gave them present sizes and made their number rise a hundred times and though they shortened, their strength seriously rose too. From that moment they started to be called Stworze (Celestial Beings). It was then that the Celestial Beings took the shape and sizes that they have had till today.
When Early Celestial Beings started to exist from the Monsters Svetovid settled a new order: he divided Niwas between the gods and gave them the kinds of mystery so that they marked their things and possessions with them. He forbade quarrels, established the sovereignty of Perun over the Elements and Prowe over the Powers and ordered to settle the the Skies after the damage that had touched them. In that way, in their present form, the Skies were born as well as Early Celestial Beings conceived out of the Monsters which later transformed into Celestial Beingse. Svetovid appeased by the arranged order closed himself into Kłódź again. However, his commands were ignored then and the war broke out one more time.
About the transformation of Early Celestial Beings (Przedstworza)
into Celestial Beings (Stworze) and the birth of Demons and Semi
After the war for the Sphere came a very short period of peace. For a liitle while it seemed that Svetovid could rest in Kłódź with no fear for his whole creation. It was at that time of God rest that people came into being from a Bunch (Wiecheć) (a bunch of Willow twigs tied up in a rod which the God of Gods used for scouring, rubbing and exercising in bath). People were born out of the breeding of Kaukowie who snatched the Bunch thrown away by Svetovid. First, having beaten each other as usual, they broke the twigs into sticks, and then they came to agreement and together they planted the sticks in a field of the Wela Plane. Czarnogłów and Białoboga were watering their cropping all the night of Wela and in the morning they picked what grew. In the beginning, they wanted to make people their assistants but it turned out that at a moment of the First Parents’ inattention the envious God of Pestilence and Plague – Mor sneaked to the field before dawn and watered the cropping with Black Water (the Water of death) from his Black spring. As mortals, People could not stay at Wela and they were thrust down onto the Earth, to Koliba. Well, Koliba was the first homeland of the Tribe finally called Zerywani (the word Zerywani comes from the word ‘zrywać’ which means ‘pick’) as they were picked from the Willow by the God of Gods after which they were picked again by Kaukowie from the divine field on the Plane, then they were thrust from Wela which made them leave the place of their birth and at last they also abandoned Koliba, driven away by Gods when they opposed their soverignity with pride and unleashed the War for Taja.
Straight after the birth of People and their fall from Wela serious arguments arose among Gods. The quarrels were about possession of different things.
The ordered arranged by Svetovid was broken. His recommendations were frenziedly neglected. The next war broke out – the War For the Circle which was even worse than the previous War For the Sphere.
The first battle was fought at the Great Fire in the ravin of the Plane where the Gods gathered the next morning after Svetovid’s leaving. The Great Fire having been called the Fire of Fires so far, was burnt by Svetovid himself in the Plane when he established a new order and assigned mysteries to the Gods. Then all those who gathered sat around the fire at a radndom order. Now that the God of Gods was not with them, they did not manage to agree as to the sequence. The Gods of the Elements thought that the place by the very fire was for them, in the highest Circle. The Gods of the Great Powers disagreed with that and an argument about importance, superiority and similar issues started. Meanwhile the Little Elements occupied the Second Circle on the sly. They did so to be close to their parents. In this way, the Powers were pushed in the Third and Fourth Circle, far from the Fire. Weles and Nyja, the most unrelenting in this quarrel, tore the ring of the unified Gods Of the Elements and moved through towards the fire trampling some others. They Pulled Mor and Marzanna behind them (the Powers of Destruction, Plague, Senility and Oblivion), Podag with Pogoda (the Deities of Pathway, Journey, Agreement, Weather and Peace-Reconciliation) as well as Roda with Rodżana (the Gods of Birth, Thought, Truth and Family). Then the Elements managed to associate again and four families of the gods of Power were cut off from the rest. The quarrel changed into blows provoked by Weles and Roda. During the struggle, Rodżana was pushed by Swara and fell into fire and at the same moment her skin, except for the feet and her left breast, blackened. From then on she became a Black Skin Godess. Her children, Zaródź and Rada-Rodzica rushed to help mother and the other Gods of Power followed them. The Fight for the Place did not bring resolution and the Gods trampled the Fire of Fires which nearly extinguished by their actions. All the One Headed took part in the Fight for the Circle – Kirowie, Kaukowie and all their assistants: Ażdahy, Light Chasers and Early Celestial Beings. At the end, because of the lack of warriors, quite new beings among dead people were made – the people originating from the spirits of the dead were called Zdusze (Spirits, Souls). After the first battle came others: For Months, For Colours, For Names, For Power (the power of ruling people), For Multiplication and For Measurement.
The second battle, For Months, was begun by Welesowie as well. First, the One Headed took by force the reign over the months from the Gods of Sides and Seasons. It happened by persuasion of Sporowie (the Deities of Luck and Wealth) who said that Kirowie were too busy with the seasons of the year, the sides of the world and generally time measures which made them totally neglect the months and therefore they did not bring a proper benefit. Peruns, Svarogs and Wodowie were easily persuaded. Strzybogowie did not mind what would happen to the Thirteen Brothers-Months. Simowie, in fact Siem were afraid that Kuakowie would support Kirowie. Only Dażbóg strongly opposed the action as he feared that misfortune would result from that. He was said to be a coward, but having taken into consideration Siemia’s stipulations, it was decided to reconcile with the Powers and attack together. It was necessary to give something to the Gods of Powers for their support. Well, it was agreed that the Powers would rule 5 of the months. Perun headed with such a mission for the Fire of Powers. Rod strongly opposed the shared action and set as an example his black skinned sister-spouse Rożdana so fataly injured in the previous struggle. Kupała and Weles usually held a different opinion in every matter and their unanimous vote outweighed. Their solidary support was recognised as a good sign. Additionally, besides the five months, Perun promised Great Gods of Powers also a place in the second Circle around the Fire. An attack came at dawn and after a long, exhausting fight Kirowie were deprived of the control over the months. Straight after the victory, when it came to sharing the spoils Perun completely left out Weles, and Nyja outraged by this fact cut his chest with her scythe. Divine blood spurted, a fuss started and a new battle broke out, this time among the victors. The Kirowie once again attempted to take back their rule but Czarnogłów and Białoboga did not back them up. Thus, the months were left to the One Headed, Peron had one more scar and commotion was growing in the world. Now the Months of the Elements went first and after them the months caught by the Powers during the fight. Additionally, their sequence did not suit the cropping seasons, grain germination, harvest or rest settled by Kirowie.
The third battle started and it was For Colours. The fight concerned mainly thr Kaukowie, Czarnogłów and Białoboga who ruled two among significant colours and it also concerned the Kirowie. There were lots of colours, but only seven of them were meaningful: whitle, black, blue, red, yellow, gold and silver. The Kaukowie owned white and black. The Kirowie were in the possession of gold, silver, red and blue. Only Dażbóg wielded the significant yellow colour. After various deceits and changeable fate of the struggles it did not come to settling a reasonable order even at that time, and chaos was enlarged. As a result of the fight, the Kaukowie did not completely lose their rule over black and white, but from that moment also Weles took black colour and Stribog and Dażbóg white. The Elements took out silver and gold colours from the Kirowie and then they shared the colours between each other making other colours that they captured during the fight take on more glow, and they became bright and shining. Kirowie managed to keep blue and red colours as well as get Dażbog’s yellow colour and possess green for their rule which had previously belonged to Wiłowie. Makosz stole half of yellow colour from Kirowie. Kupała took half of red colour from Kirowie as well. Then, Przepląt stole a nearly empty box of yellow colour from Makosze and his wife Plątwa got from Kupała almost the same empty box in which there had been red ointment before. Hence, a totally new colour intertwining-orange was created. Consequently, confusion appeared in the matter of colours. It was hard to cope with the confusion later on and its effects have been visible till today. No sooner had the Fight for the Colours ended than the next quarrel began which led to a Fight For Names (i.e. Titles) being, in fact, the fight for the borders of Niwas and competences among the One Headed. The Rodowie regarded themselves as the Masters of Birth and the whole realm as their exclusive property. Kupałowie advocated, however, that blastema comes from love for lust and that the result of birth of a new person or a new idea is a new love or next passions. The Rodowie did not want to give even a piece of their realm of good will so the Kupałowie took it away from them by force. All of a sudden, far more similar quarrels emegrged. Pogoda (Weather) decided to take away the rule over Good Air and Gusts from Stribogs. Śląkwa not being able to accept the loss of the Clouds stolen from her by trick, attacked Perperuna. Morowie fell out with Welesowie for ruling of the Disaster, the Afterlife World, Death and Oblivion. Chorsowie, Przeplątowie, Rodowie and Ładowie tried to rule the realms of Knowledge, Order, Mystery, Faith and Reason. Dziewanna decided to snatch the Land of Hunt from Łada-Łagoda. Also quarrels within families began. Soon, it came to a common fight which led the world to the verge of breakdown by mixing of the god’s competences.
The fith fight came. It was For the Power of Possession of People. Here, all the elements integrated against the Gods of Powers attempting to push them away from ruling over people. The commotion reached the zenith and nobody was able to gain predominance over others. It was so helpless that the only thing which could have come about would have been children going against their parents in an attempt of killing them, or expel them from their homes and realms.
After the fifth fight came the sixth one and the worst happened. The Little Elements and The little Powers went together against all the Great Gods fighting for Multiplication which they were turn down. No children were born from their bodily relations. They had children with Dragons and Vipers, with Light Chasers and Little Godesses as well as Little Gods, but they all as merely God’s assistants gave birth to chimeras or weaklings. Minor Gods also had children with People, but despite they were kings, fortune tellers and wytędzowie, as mortals they were not allowed to sit with the Gods in the Circle at the Plane. That was the will of the God of Gods, but Minor Gods driven by anger and envy attacked their parents.
The last of the Seven Fights in the War for the Circle was about the Measurements, i.e. the Kalach of Ages. The Great Gods divided it among each other.
He who ate the Kalach during a given year, ruled the year in the Cirlce of the consecutive years. The Kalach of Ages was made from Wela grain giving the one who ate it Eternal Youth, Prophetic Wisdom and Great Power. It might have been the reason for which the Great Gods jealously guarded the secret of baking the Kalach. As we see, it was not only the Measure of Time, but also the Measure of Wisdom as well as the Measure of Strength. Not only did the Minor Gods want to equal their parents, but they also wanted to take their position, therefore this fight was in a sense the fight for the Place in the Circle. It was the most important and the most tedious combat of the whole war. The Unified Minor Gods were not either as smart, or wise as the associated Great Gods but they exceeded the latter with strength and bravery which did not know fear and from which enormous determination of their actions derived. When the positions of the Great Elements and Powers were seriously at peril and an onrush was inevitably approaching the Court of Sporowie, where the Kalach was lying, Perun and Prowe cunningly took away the Early Celestial Beings from the Minor Gods that belonged to them. Nevertheless, they did not give up their assault but desperate went to the Afterlife World. First, to the Nawia of the Resurrected called Założa, and then deeper in the Dragon’s Hell from where they got souls of the most horrible brutes and ruffians and put them into corpse bodies. In this way, rose a great army of the Forces of Darkness which consisted of 64 thousand Demons. From the Afterlife World emerged Vampires, Dead Beings, Villains, Rouges, Ghosts, Werewolves, Witches and lined up in a battle array on the Blue Field, ready to fight. They were commanded by Perunic, Svarog and Wład. Terrified Great Gods gathered all the Early Celestial Beings on Centuple Meadows, near the Manor of Disputes. Here, they were dug into hundredfold enriching soil and lavishly watered with Living Water from Rod’s Well. Soon, from every buried Early Celestial Being a hundred magnificent flowers with a hundred white petals grew. These were Centuplets. When the buds opened, a Little Godess or a Little God bounced out of each of them. In this way the Celestial Beings were born. They were much smaller than the Early Celestial Beings but there were a hudred times more of them and they had the same power as their predecessors. As soon as possible combat ranks were laid and Celestial Beings that were led by Perun, Łada-Łagoda and Dziewanna, left the Centuple Meadow strewn by white flowers where Hundredfold was multiplied.
Two powers riding heavenly and Wela steeds stood against each other: an army of the Afterlife World of 64 thousand made up of Demons and Minor Gods and regiments of Wela inhabitants amounting to nearly 32 thousand and made up of Celestial Beings and Great Gods. When it came to the battle, Heaven trembled. Soon Wela quaked when joined in a fatal struggle they violently fell on it and it broke in three places. Niwa and Nawias shivered and Svetovid’s Kłódź pushed off its foundation dithered on Wierch (on the Top). The boughs of the Willow began to crack and Gold Apples fell down on the grass as if jewels had been shaken off by an invisible hand. The whole Heaven wavered in its foundations were a danger of another collapse. Then, Svetovid, for the second time from the Creation of the World, left Kłódź and separated the warring. Nonetheless, he was not so gentle as before. Many were punished, many deprived of the spoils of war, many had to undergo severe penance and explain themselves, many lost their places in the Circle. Yet, the God of Gods left a lot in a new shape recognising that it was really the most proper for the One Headed, Celestial Beings and People. He also let the Demons live so that they balanced the World. He thought that if they were conceived, they are obviously useful. From then on they became a sort of punishment for both Gods and people as since that moment there has been a lot of evil in the World and Demons have participated in all bad things and have been fierce against the Living. If the Great Gods had not been continually fighting against the Demons and if they had not declared a Great Battle on them four times a year, so much evil would have multiplied that everything would have turned into ruin long ago. (Great Battles and Wild Hunt take place between the 20th-26th March, 20th-26th June, 20th-26th September and 20th-26th December).
Description of Celestial Beings (Stworze)
Little Gods and Little Godesses make up eighty-eight families that distinctively differentiate among one another and they are assigned to various domains and realms of the world. As the one that serve the Elements and Powers they do not have one-dimentional attitude to people, they are not either good or bad to them, they are not either definitely favourable to them or absolutely hostile.
Their activity towards man depends on Gods’ intentions. There are, however, certain rules which must be complied with while being with Celestial Beings if you do not want to get in serious trouble. First of all, Little Gods and Little Godesses hate it when somebody gets in their way, or if he/she tries to peep at them – such a person is seriously endangered. Somebody who can discern quite well in the surrounding world and perceive powers influencing him/her rarely goes against the activities of the Celestial Beings and Gods so he/she is rather safe. Yet, as it happens in life, the human being needs to oppose force or, by chance, find themselves in the eye of storm. Then, the useful things may be magical activities, spelling means, reversing spells, magical herbs used as wreaths, infusions, infusion of herbs steeped in alcohol, ointments, miscellaneous charms placed on the body as necklaces (they are called transom) or small sacks (they are called kaptorgi in Slavic), as well as numerous, special ways of behaviour protecting from anger of deities and their assistants personifying even the tiniest forces of nature. Roughly, we can divide Little Gods and Little Godesses into guardians of the Elements of the Sky, Fire, Water, Air, Quarrels and Earth, guardians of Fields, Forest and Wild Game, Cropping, Herds, Home, Kin and Tribe, Fortune (called źrzeb, byt or dola – existence or fate in the Old Slavic language), Treasures and Minerals, Love and Lust, Virtues, Truths and Order, spirits of the Weather, spirits of the Moon as well as omens and carriers of Disease and death. These distinctions are not always so sharp. For instance, the deities of the Weather are close to the rulers of the Air and Winds, while the godesses of Birth fulfill similar functions to the guardians of Fate. Birth entwines with the issues of Love and Lust and these, again, are associated with the element of Water being the symbol of fertility. Similarly, roles of other Celestial Beings go near each other in some ways, though they never overlap.
All Celestial Beings have a strongly defined character about which we can say that it is a basic shape in which they externalise as the forces of nature. Little Gods and Little Godesses are able to take on any character or even become invisible for a certain amount of time but this requires an effort from them and they return to their basic appearance as soon as it is possible. They make themselves visible to people most often in their basic form. Thus, it is possible to divide the Celestial Beings into the ones that have their main animal form, the ones that have a human shape, or the ones of an undefined shape. On the other hand, Little Gods and Little Godesses of human shapes can be the size of an average human being, a giant (which is very rare among the Slavs), a dwarfish man, or they can be fairly small (of the height of 7 centimetres and less).
Among the dwarfish Celestial Beings we can make two types: of ordinary body proportions and the other with an unproportionally big head. Each family of the Celestial beings differs from others in terms of many external features, mostly fantastic, details of outfit and places of appearance or being. Further in this work there will be detailed descriptions concerning all families of Little Gods and Little Godesses as well as ways of behaviour in case one meets them, in case of their malicious actions towards us or just an open assault. We will tell how to appease, tame, and even capture and gear these minor forces of Nature to act for our advantage, or how to safely omit them using life wisdom and magic. It is yet worth adding that the memory of the Little Godesses and Little Gods has been preserved in different countries to a different extent. It often joins nations that are geographically distant today but previously making up a tribal community. The part of beliefs has embraced the whole area of Slavic and Baltic countries till today. It proves their ancient roots and enormous force which enable them to have survived for three and a half thousand years. Here are a couple of ethnographic examples referring to the Little Gods and Little Godesses.
Nymphs: today they are best remembered by Małorusowie (people of Lesser Rus) and Belarussians, i.e. the descendants of southern Budynowie (Budinoi). Dziwożony are known by Małopolanie (People of Lesser Poland), Slovaks and Czechs – the descendants of former Nurowie (Neurowie). Chobołdy and Chichoły have survived among Lusatians – the descendants of western Lugiowie-Lugowie. Podolanie (people of Podolia), Belarussians originating from a group of western Budinoi as well as Lithuanians and Latvians coming from Ostowie-Aistowie – Balts, have kept the memory of Łamje-Łomje best. Wiły are today best known by Serbs, Croats and Bulgarians who are inheritors of mixed peoples of Sorbomazowie, Nurowie and Antowie-Wątowie as well as Czarnosiermiężni-Burowie (Sklawenowie – Sklaveni/Sclaveni). Bulgarians (former Antowie-Wątowie), Oriśnicy – Bośniacy (Bosnians), Montenegrins and Macedonians (former Sklaweni), Sjudenicy – Czechs, Croats, Slovaks (Nurowie), Udełnicy-Małorusowie and Belarussians (Budinoi), Rodzanicy – Poles, Silesians, Pomorzenie (former Lugiowie and Wenedowie-Wądowie – Veneti) have kept the memory of Narecznice. Today Wielkopolanie (people of Greater Poland) and Małopolanie, Małorusowie and Mazovians, as well as Croats, Slovenians, Czechs and Slovaks (being continuators of the tradition of Lugiowie, Mazowie and Nurowie) speak about Płanetnicy, Chmurnikowie, Obłoczycowie and Latawcowie. The descendants of northern and and eastern branches of the great tribe of Burowie-Czarnosiermiężni, i.e. Wielkorusowie (people of Greater Rus) know most today about Laskowce and Leśnicowie. Also, among Wielkorusowie the tradition of home spirits – Domowikowie, Detkowie, Home Grandfathers has been preserved and is developed in numerous details. Polish people (Małopolanie and Wielkopolanie) know the Celestial Beings as Ubożątowie. In other countries their roles have mixed with the roles of Kraśniaki (Brownies), Skrzaty (Gnomes), Kłobukowie, etc. Atwory and Kłobuki are best remembered by Mazurs, Lithuanians and also by Czechs (they call them Kubołćik), Pomerzenie and Wielkopolanie call them Plunkowie and confuse their function with the function of the Gnome. In Silesia and in Małopolska (Lesser Poland) – the places where treasures of Earth were drawn the tradition of Skarbki has been kept. Stories about Aquarises, Topielice, Południce, Świczki, Nocnice, Mory, Skrzaty (Gnomes), Newki are known by the most of Balto-Slavs.
This list could be continued for long. A part of Slavic beliefs was absorbed by traditions of other countries. It was also absorbed by eastern Germans who occupied the territories and assimilated the tribes of Wieleci (Veleti) (western Wędowie-Wenedowie – Veneti), Obodrzyci (Obotrites), Drzewianie (Drevani) and, to a large extent, Serbs, Lusatians (i.e. southern Wędowie, Sorbowie and Lugiowie-Ługowie) as well as Prussians in the territory of East Prussia, Żmudzini (Samogitians), Jaćwięgowie (Yotvingians) (Aistowie-Ostowie). Furthermore, by Hungarians who took the land of Pannonian Slavs, by Romanians in the area of Transilvania (Siedmiogród – in Polish: Kraj Siedmiu Rodów: The country of Seven Families), Moldova and Wołosz, by Finns surrounding the Slavs from the north east and by Turcic peoples from the areas of Ural and south-east end of Europe (as far as the Caspian Sea and Caucasus).
Le me make one remark at the end. Godesses and Gods are regarded as Mistresses and Masters of Wela. In contrast to them, Little Godesses and Little Gods are called Maids and Dandys of Wela. Generally, all deities dwelling Heaven and the Afterlife World are called Welanie, Wetowie or Niebianie (Dwellers of Heaven ). The dead generally have the name Nawian (i.e. residents of Nawia) or the Deceased. Considering the kinds of Nawia they stay in after death, they are called: if in Założa – Założnicy, if in the Dragon’s Nawia (Hell) (Hell – Piekło) – Piekielnicy, if in the Nawia of Eternal Happiness (Paradise) (Paradise – Raj): Rajcowie (Rajce), if in Seclusion (Zacisze) (in the Silence of Nawia – in Nawi Ciszy) – Ciszcy or Czystowie. Children of the Celestial Beings with other Celestial Beings, Demons, Gods or people are called Boginiaki.
Little Godesses and Little Gods as three times conceived by the hands of the Elements of Power and as their abortifacient children, make up a lower heavenly circle, they do not sit together with Minor gods and are ordinary assistants and servants of the Gods-Elements and Gods-Powers. For the first time, they were conceived as Monsters, called then by Svetovid; for the second time as Early Celestial Beings from pieces of bodies of Monsters; for the third time as Celestial Beings born on Centuple Meadows from hundred-petal flowers of Hundredfold.
As a matter of fact, the Celestial Beings are the tiniest forces of the world of nature, manifestations of the activity of Nature, representatives of detailed laws of the Universe, in other words – Low Emanations of the God of Gods. They make up the entourage of the Gods of Elements and the Gods of Power (One Headed), the same as Gałęzowie are the entourage of Svetovid, Ażdahy (Dragons and Vipers: Żmije; Żmije-Żnuje) are the entourage of Kaukowie (Czarnogłów and Białoboga), and Light Runners (Światłogońce) make up the entourage of the Gods of Sides and Seasons – Kirowie (Jaruna, Ruja, Jesz and Kostroma).
Older ones – the Kings of Celestial Beings, and Boginiaki – the offspring of Celestial Beings
Celestial Beings, and actually their Older along with the Light Catchers serving Gods of Kir and Ażdahy, i.e. Vipers and Dragons serving the Gods of (Division) Dział, apart from their ordinary activities, keep watch over the seasons of the year as well. Because the day of the New Year (also the last day of the Old Year in the leap years) has a particular meaning, it is looked after by the servants of Svetovid – Gałęzowie (Świętogłazy and Świćgałęzy). In turn, Ażdahy look after the other 26 days, and Light Catchers take care of the same number of days. Thus, there are 312 days of the year left to look after, i.e. exactly the same number of days as the number of Early Celestial Beings out of the broken into pieces Monsters. Little Gods-Early Celestial Beings who were placed on the Centuple Meadow of Sporowie and from whom the whole rest of hundredfold Celestial Beings were born, have quite a different look from the rest of their brothers and sisters. They look older. Essentially, they are older than the other Celestial Beings and those come so to say from their bodies. They are called Older and they act as kings among Little Gods and Little Godesses, therefore they are sometimes called Kings as well. It is the Older Celestial beings that look after 13 months (today only 12 Brothers Months).
In every family of Celestial Beings there are three or four Older depending on how many Early Celestial Beings there were primarily (three or four). Not only are they older, but they are also wiser than the others, more sedate, serious, deterrant. The Older look after families, dominate over them.
Very rarely people manage to meet a King of a Family of Celestial Beings, but when it happens they can expect the meeting not to finish unconcernedly. It can turn out to be very useful to man, wealth of any kind, success in life, wisdom and peaceful existence both in This and That World. However, it may also turn against man and bring very bad consequences. The outcome of the meeting is always influenced by the question of how these people have been living till now, what they know, how they have bee treating other people, if they have been worshipping Gods, if they have respected Nature, if they have been carrying on rituals; if they have been taking care of everything that has been in their charge, that is alive, and if they have not been doing any harm to Mother Earth. Yet, the most significant thing for a good result of meeting Older Celestial Beings is what a given person comes to them with and what he/she expects.
Older Celestial Beings look like old women regarding Little Godesses, or dignified old men when it comes to Little Gods. Their faces are wizened, their skin is dried and flagging, light grey hair, more faded clothing, and also often modest, an iron crown on the head, or a ring with precious stone with magical properties on the finger. Celestial Beings also have children. They differ from Demons in the way they multiply as the Demons do not multiply in the normal way. Their children come from relationships of Little Godesses with Little Gods, from relationships of Celestial Beings with Gods as well as from relationships with people. All their children are denatured as people are, by constraints and mortality. Soon after the War for the Buła, Svetovid ordered dipping and spraying with Black Water each work of Welanie so that nothing like Monsters could ever arise from God’s actions. His order affected people as first which made them be thrust down the Earth to Koliba from Wela’s mortals. Gods’ children that arose from mixing with people do not bear the features of ordinary people but they are always distingushed by a certain attribute, something unusual, superhuman which distinctly points at divine origin. A bit of divine blood has always been running in the veins of dukes, prophets and magicians, and these people are defined as Heroes. Among people live a few kinds of beings that partly come from humans. They are called in different ways for better differentiation from one another. Well, children coming from relationships of Gods with people (God with a woman, or a Godess with a man) are called Aftergods. From them come kings, thinkers, magicians, priests, fortune tellers, dukes, great mighty warriors, savage and brave fighters and wytędzowie – the ones who knew how to cope with the indefatigable and how to defeat the invincible. Children of Celestial Beings with people (A Little Godess with a man, or A Little God with an ordinary woman) are called Boginiaki (children of Celestial Beings). Rarely do kings or commanders arise from them, often single, lonely strong men, savage and brave warriors, wise sorcerers, experts on things, wizards, conjurers, charmers, fortune tellers, quacks, medical men.
The third kind of beings relates to children born only out of people, but kidnapped, fed and brought up by Little Godesses or Little Gods, or Celestial Beings changed by the touch of the hand as early as in a cradle. We call them Misfits. They are very weird and lonely people and their being has a different course. One is certain: they are very sensitive, though rarely helpful with anything. They are most often thought to be obsessed.
Many Little Godesses rather do not rear their own children so they leave their children to human mothers often kidnapping their child and killing him/her so that the child is not a threat or rivalry to a Child of Celestial Beings. They are also often called Misfits, though they are Boginiaki born by Celestial Beings or by Celestial Beings and people. Most frequently Czarcichy, Chały, Dziwożony, Krasawki-Feje, Morawki, Topielice, Brodzice, Nawki, Łojmy i Nocnice leave their foundlings to people. All these Little Godesses are bad mothers and also leave their children with females of big animals (female bears, she-wolves, vixens, female swans, sows). Mainly Południce, Dziwożony, Mamuny, Leśnice, Wiły, Jagi-Jędze, Czarchichy, Męcice i Mątwy make Misfits out of ordinary children. Sporadically, other Little Godesses such as IW sałki or Little Gods: Kraśniaki, Plunki, Chobołdy, Chochołdy, Czarty, Bełty-Błudy, Płanetniki i Dusioły do it as well. You have to treat these children very well, be very careful with them, and you can not beat them – God forbid! You have to feed them fully, get them dressed not worse than your own children and give them free reigns. When Boginiaki are older, they go their own paths, they are haughty, adamant, but very courageous, agile and willing to do every difficult task, or perform deeds exceeding possibilities of an average person.
When Boginiak is a baby, a toddler and a little child, it is very hard to perform all deeds for him. Some of them (for example, Chała’s or Wołot’s children) are so gluttonous that it is hard to have even enough bread for them, let alone something better. Sometimes, they gorge on tree bark, they eat unripe fruit, vegetable leaves and green grain. Bylica Skalna Baba’s children have hands as if made of stone, everything drops off them and by putting their hands on a table top, in a normal way, they destroy all the table and make many other damage. Children of Morawki, Nawki, Skrybki-Małoludy, Szczekotuny, Wiły, Łojmy-Łoskotnyce and of many others are malicious, unbearable, garish and disobedient. Children of Wichory, Bełtowie, Mrugowie and Ognie are whimsical and mischievous and they do not sit even for a little while. Last, children of Świczki, Przypołudnice, Putniki, Swarki are highly offensive and bite mother’s breast as Boginiaki often start teething as early as during childbirth.
Unfortunately, any failure to the children of the Little Godesses or the Little Gods causes their horrible revenge, much worse than a situation in which they , themselves, would suffer. After all, mother will always hear her child’s complaint or cry so treating Boginiak wrong never goes unpunished.
Description of Demons (Zdusze)
As it has been said earlier, Demons are totally diifferent from Celestial Beings. Zdusze are demons. They come from spirits of dead beings (not only people), called for renewed terrestial being in an unsual way – by force, with incarnation in a corpse, or in not their own body, charmed out or in the body that has already been dwelt by a living being. The demons happen to be among people clothed in seemingly living selves that it is not easy to tell them apart from a truly alive human being. At other times, not being embarrassed at all, they frighten with their cadaverous appearance or take on a hideous form closing into demonic, not human bodies. There happen even those that are alive people being dwelt by two souls: ordinary, legitimate, and demonic incarnated by violence. One Headed Little Gods took out all Demons from Nawias of Wela during the War for the Circle. Chosen by Gods deliberately, they come from among the worst, the most cruel, the most terribly pertinacious against people and Gods, downright bad Nawiaks, searched for in Hell (Dragon’s Nawia) and in Założa (The Nawia of Pathless Tracks of Mazes). They were called for the time of the War to serve for an evil purpose. Therefore they are servants of darkness: they came out of the Afterlife World, served children who attacked their parents in the damned war intending to destroy or kill them. That action was against the laws of the World from the beginning.
Demons are evil by nature and very dangerous to people. They were revived and toughened to fight, first wallowing them in the highest of Living Waters, the water from the spring of springs stolen from Świćgałąź by the Devil with Dodola’s help. After that, for three days and nights of Wela, they were watered and washed with water from Revitalising Wells of three Tiny godesses: Krasa-Krasatina, Zaródź and Żywia. Lelij-Smęt lit their Torches- -Stars of Life again, with a flame stolen by Wid-Makowic from the Fire of Fires burning forever on Svetovid’s Niwa, at the threshold of Kłódź Castle on the Peak of Wela. In the end, the Little Gods fed the whole army of Demons with divine Food (Jość), which consisted of Kalach and Karavaj baked by IZegiełec as well as with Kutia brewed by Godess Warza. Owing to that Demons became Resurrected, dedicated to the service of Minor Gods. After the Battle and after the end of the War for the Circle, Svetovid let them live. Since then Demons have been roaming loosely all around the world, doing evil and destruction. It was one of the penalties with which the God of Gods then castigated all living beings, and especially the Lesser Gods. Twice a year, they have to stand at the forefront of their ghostly army and take a terrible battle being a reminder of that father slaying deed dating back to centuries ago. Only defeating this ownerless army in a battle can stop their continuous breeding, growing chaos and evil that they bring to the world.
Demons do not enjoy rest until they are freed from their shell of a Resurrected Being. They achieve this only when they find a new Servant of Darkness for their place. They make up the lowest circle of beings in the heavenly appointment, the direct link between (through the Afterlife World) people and Gods. Apart from them, Aftergods and Children of the Celestial Beings – Boginiaki make up the same circle. They are the direct link between people and Gods via the world of Living Beings.
Problems related to human death, being of the spirit in the Afterlife World as well as with its return to life in the world in the form of a new human being, an animal, a plant are a separate, extensive topic. This topic with description of funeral and mourning ritual, necessary annual sacrifices, description of ways of keeping the soul in the Afterlife World or its return to Earth as well as magical activities stopping the dead from interference with the world of living beings will be in a separate volume. Here, we will only explain the most important things that will help the reader fully understand the essence of the place that Demons have among people and gods, and also their role in the world of the Living, or in the Afterlife World.
Not every human being is threatened with transforming into a Demon. The more perfect existence you have on Earth, the more certain it is that you will never become a Demon, that you will leave Założa once and for all and will never be obliged to come back to the earthly existence. The most endangered to becoming Demons after death are people who have been evil for all their lives since birth, who have been possessive, greedy, aggressive, revengeous, vile – who murdered, stole, destroyed, raped, captivated and did not respect anything.
– people who died violently, for example, they were killed, they died in an accident, drowned, etc., and their bodies were not buried in any ritual (neither in the ground nor were they burned at the stake), their bones were dragged on and abandoned, they were not treated in the way for the soul to be able to get to the Afterlife World.
– children killed in the mother’s womb before they were born to this world, or already born as dead.
– children who died just after childbirth, not washed with the Water of Life as well as all innocent, pure, young, also crippled – in other words all that did not learn the taste of life and left the world with a storng desire for it that it is easy to get them out of Założa, buy over with such a possibility or capture before they come in the Afterlife World.
– people possessed by desire for revenge on their alleged earthly executioners who are always getting out of Założa wishing to settle their arguments at any price.
– suicidals because they left the world untimely, against Gods’ judgement unless Gods themselves appointed them. (Most often it is Gods that make a chosen person die of someone else’s hand, or of the hand of the Celestial Beings responsible for death).
– reckless people, too nosy, neglecting priests’ and sorcerers’ teachings and fools who are easily trapped because of their lack of knowledge or fear and are captured alive by Demons or Celestial Beings such as Deuces being very merciful to demons and providing them with offerings.
All these people, even as the living are an easy prey for Demons, and as the dead they are easily dragged out of Założa or they creep out of it on their own and want to incarnate in a Resurrected one. There are fewer kinds of Demons than the kinds Celestial Beings but their number is even bigger than that of Little Godesses. There is not a forest, sea, village or river, there is not a settlement, woods, a riparian area or marsh that demons would not haunt.
Demons are divided into Thirteen Families, each of which is led by a few Princes of Darkness. Princes of Darkness have their own special origin, a bit different from the ordinary Demons and for this reason they take a priviliged place among them, the same as Older Celestial Beings dominate among the Families of Little Godesses and Little Gods. Contrary to Kings of Celestial Beings, completely unknown by their names, people remember names of all Princes of Darkness very well. We will mention only a few of them here. They are, for instance, Talaśm, Bujakinia, Łobasta, Kirkor, Strosko, Drak, Ustrił, Dziki Łowca, Lokis, Vućji Pastir, Czuchajstyr, Węsad, Oczadel, Skydatij, Dzika Ciota, Koczerga, Vlk, Wrag, Synec, Goderak-Gonedrakt, Bel, Kazytka, Bajor, Juda, Smolka, Osinauczycha, Czeczot.
Once this important introduction has been presented, we can go on to detailed descriptions of demons, systematically divided into Thirteen Families of Demons.
Closed Circle – about the Immortality of Great Battles and Wild Hunt and about significant heavenly animals
In the Great Battles and Wild Hunt, apart from Little Godesses, Little Gods and Demons, heavenly animals participate as well. The Little Gods, Little Godesses and Demons ride the heavenly animals but they are not merely palfreys but they fight against the opponent no less fiercely than the warriors riding them. These animals developed in the same way as earthly animals – as a result of the Third Division of the War For the Sphere, during the Battle of Earth, Wela and Heaven. At the same time, also all the plants, trees and rocks both earthly and heavenly arose. Wiłowie are the parents of most plants and animals. Simowie are the parents of lands and mountains, Wodowie are the parents of seas and rivers and Stribogs are the parents of wind and air. Wiłowie are also the parents of not only land plants and land animals but also of the flora and fauna waters which were born from the primary breeding and then flooded by Wodowie, stayed in their kingdom.
Heavenly Pets are divided into those of Heaven and Wela. They vary from the earthly ones in size, ferocity, common wings and their eternity. They are eternal like Little Gods and Little Godesses although their body is destructile. They are reborn in an endless way, and the destruction along with the rebirth are formed by the Closed Circle of Changes. There are twelve types of Heaven animals, i.e. those which have their place in the firmament of Heaven where they live on a daily basis, graze, rest and from where they sometimes come back to Earth. These animals are: Horse, Wolf, Boar, Bull, Deer, Bear, Mountain Goat, Snake, Rat, Fish, Moose and Large Eagle – all of them are winged.
The animals of Wela are chimeras: Psiogłowce (Dog Headed Creatures), Moth-Bob, Szaszory-Two-Headed Eagles, Hens-Sirens, Połozy-Feathered Snakes, Czarnoludy (Black Beings), Ały-Dragons, or Unicorns. We will not describe their appearance here in detail. Each of these animals has a dangerous weapon (hooves, claws, horns, teeth, canines) with which they tear and destroy both Celestial Beings and Demons and other animals which are their opponents. Depending on how much Light and how much Dark Nature an animal has, it fights either on the side of Light or Dark Forces. Most often the Celestial Beings own Unicorns, Psiogłowce, Sirens-Kurowie and Winged Animals: Snakes, Bears, Deer, Mooses, Bulls, Wolves and Horses. Demons ride Szaszory, Large Eagles, Goats, Rats, Czarnoludy, Moths-Bobs, Połozy, Ał-Dragons and Winged Boars. Even though the Bodies of Heaven animals, also called God’s Animals can be dragged, slashed and dead, they regenerate becoming very similar to the original form. It is not like in the case of people (and Demons) a mortal body with an immortal spirit, but an eternal body-spirit. The Bodyspirit of the God’s Animal is not as perfect as the bodyspirit of the Celestial Being. A Little Godess or a Little God can take on an optional form for a certain amount of time, for example, the form of a bird, a human shape, a rock or an object so as to return to the real image of the Celestial Being at any time.
Heavenly Animals just like Heavenly Plants and Heavenly Trees always remain the same: animals, trees, plants. Moreover, injured Heavenly animals sometimes do not regenerate perfectly but with certain small drawbacks. Hence, among them, you can encounter some with a broken fang or with a broken horn, with one eye or with only three limbs. The Great Battle demonstrates a dreadful view. Szaszory, Winged Boars or Goats ridden by demons tear regiments of Nymphs, Latawce, Nocnice and Kąpielnicy into shreds. Simultaneously, Little Godesses and Little Gods on their Winged Wolves, Deer and Horses ruthlessly kill Ghosts, Vampires, Werewolves, Dybuks, or Witches. Also the animals injure one another, they bite Little Godesses and demons, a cruel scream of battle comes out of all throats, thunders clap, clouds of steam rise, thunders fly through the sky and lightnings tear it.
Streams of water fight with torrents of fire, light struggles with darkness, black clouds and fog cover the battlefield like smoke. Every now and then mangled limbs and pieces of bodies, weapons of heavenly Beings fall from the sky, red and blue blood pours profusely. Unicorns slit bellies of Winged Goats, Sirens-Hens tear apart Ały-Dragons, Winged Snakes swallow and suffocate Połozy in their huge strands. The earth trembles when Two Headed Eagles and Dog Headed Creatures bite and kill each other and the hail of thunder arrows thrown by the giant Wołotowie buries ranks of Jątrowie, Wąpierze and Lepiry. Wraiths emerge from the fog, Topce and Toplice (Drowning Creatures) rise from waters, the gale is blowing or unexpectedly stops and again breaks into a run along with the regiments of Celestial Bodies and Demons. The whole world is covered with darkness, and the hazy aqueous suspension makes the air get opaque as if the night had fallen. After a while, everything calms down and the battle ends. The same happens to the Wild Hunt.
Demons killed in the battle go to the Założa of the Afterlife World, i.e. the Maze of Nawia in Wela, and there they wait for the opportunity of a new incarnation into the dead or the newborn, or for the ability to enter a body that will have two souls.
For these reasons, there is an eternal balance in the world: there are still the same number of Celestial Beings as Demons and the number of God’s Animals is not lowering. These events form a closed circle, sometimes called the Great Circle as Battles and Hunting take place during the annual solstices and culminations. The Great Battle takes place twice: in the spring solstice, it is between 20th and 26th March, and in the autumn solstice, between 20th and 26th September. Wild Hunt is held twice during the culmination of Brightness or Darkness, at the so-called Potajne Nights, which is between 20th-26th June and 20th-26th December.
People believe that virtually every major storm, gale, blizzard, storm combined with thunders, lightnings, and unusual weather events is a battle in which Celestial Beings clash with Demons.
Thus the Closed Circle is repeated endlessly, and this series of events is as follows:
On the twenty-fourth of December on the day of the Birth of Brightness (light) Svetovid releases from Kłódź a newly-born light in the form of a Lady Bird (in Polish: God’s Tiny Cow), the Bright Power. It is the Bright Lady Bird symbolised by a red ladybird, known anyway as the lady bird by people. It is then that the Wild Hunt commences, during which Demons attempt to catch the Bright Lady Bird. Celestial Beings defend and protect it. They confuse the trail, clash with the enemy’s regiments and attack the Force of Darkness. Over the next days and weeks the Lady Bird is growing and pupates into the White Eagle. The Bright Power in the form of the White Eagle leads up the regiments of Celestial Beings till the spring solstice when it becomes mature Light, symbolised by the White Winged Bull (the White Winged Cow).
The White Winged Bull is ridden by one of the Great Gods (Perun, Łado, Łada-Łagoda, Kupała or Dziewanna) during the Great Battle of the Spring when the old, last year Black winged Bull ridden by the Demon’s commander is defeated by Celestial Beings and Great Gods. The commander of Demons is a Tiny God (Dzieldzielija, Zmora, Sowica or Smęt-Lelij).
On the twenty-fourth of June, in the night of the Birth of Darkness, a newly born Dark Lady Bird symblolised by a black lady bird flies out of Svetovid’s Kłódź. It is then that the second Wild Hunt starts but this time made by the Forces of Brightness, i.e. Celestial Beings. The Wild Hunt is in the persuit of the Dark Force, the Black Lady Bird. The Darkness defended by Demons grows and pupates into the Black Eagle which leads the demons till the autumn solstice when Darkness reaches full maturity and transforms into the Black Winged Bull. Then it comes to the second battle, the Great Battle, the Autumn Battle during which a young Black Winged Bull is ridden by a Tiny God commanding the legions of demons (Groźnica, Chorsińca, SądzaOsuda, Prawica, Włada). The Old White Winged Cow having ruled since last year, falls, disappears and pupates into a Red Eagle. Red is the symbol of the setting sun and the colour of blood. At the time of the defeat of the Forces of Brightness, a Great God commands them (Perperuna, Swara, Svarog, Rod or Rodżana).
The Red Eagle decreases, shrinks to the size of the Lady Bird and disappears the day before the rebirth of the bright Force, on 24th December of the following year.
The Black Winged Bull reigns until the next solstice, which is the next Great Battle Spring, when the Forces of Darkness are defeated in the fight by triumphant Light Powers. Defeated by the White Bull (Cow) the Black Bull falls, passing into the stage of the Red Eagle, and later into the Black Lady Bird which dies before the day of the rebirth of Darkness, on 24th June.
In this way, the cycle of birth and death of the great forces in the Universe, Bright and Dark constantly repeats and repeats the age-old struggle of these forces, symbolically recognised as Great Battles and Wild Hunt.
The White Bull (Cow) is the epitome of the great grand godess Białoboga related to the First division made by the God of Gods. The Black Lady Bird grows as the Black Winged Bull and is the incarnation of Czarnogłów, the great grand god of the First Division.
The common worship that has been given to the lady bird, cow, bull and eagle since time immemorial among the Slavs originates not only from the fact that they are the symbols of strength, stubborness, feeding, power, force, light but also from the fact that, long ago, they made up the incarnations of the most significant forces of Nature (Brightness and Darkness) and every year they were the mystery of the fight of these forces with each other. All the rites along with dressing up as animals and warriors, carrying Turonie (monsters showing horned, black and hairy beast with snapping jaws), goats, wolves, with guiding bears all over villages (as it took place a hundred years ago) are also the sign of the ancient Old Slavic tradition.