Introduction

Stories about heroes, fairies, trees, talking stones, water springs, dragons and healing plants, customs during the Whitsun, Saint John’s Eve, harvest time, even Christmas and Easter have their origin in the old pagan times, when our cultural heritage was strong and contained our own identity, unique rituals and connection with the landscape around us. Unfortunately, we do not have an uninterrupted tradition like some Native Americans or Australians do, however it is our duty to grasp the things we have, further realize our own heritage, our “folkloric fantasy”, and contribute to it.

About the website

This website presents, using different stories and thoughts, a mythology based on our Western Slavic folk tradition, which itself serves as a contribution to it. The mythology comes from folk narratives recorded in the present as well as the ancient past, from experience during feasts and various rituals (herbs gathering, divination), from mentions in old chronicles, from other (fairy) tales based on our folk tradition and also from professional books. It is dedicated primarily to descendants of Western Slavs, who live approximately among the Elbe, Vistula and Danube rivers. Like any other mythology, this one is also influenced by other folks, who in this case passed through the central Europe and left there more significant traces. For example (as mentioned by professor Hrabová, doctor Váňa and doctor Téra) also by the so-called Celtic tribes and their available heritage. Because of the impact on our today’s perception and similarity among native Europeans, it is also influenced by antiquity (the most preserved sources), especially by the ancient Roman mythology before Etruscan and Greek influences, and by Baltic legends (linguistic similarity between Balts and Slavs). The folk tradition of every nation is mysterious, great and incomprehensible, because it contains ancient ideas from different even prehistoric times, wisdom, theorems, customs and through them all a unique and lively connection with the landscape around us.

Ladovid from the Mountains

“I come from the Wolf clan living in the Mountain tribe of the Wind nation, blessed by Sun Hero and Flower Maiden.”

Lado comes from a picturesque village in the mountains that belongs to the nation of Winds. He got married a year ago, helped fight off a bunch of invaders on the Red Island, and even in a very strange steam-filled shack in the middle of a deep forest acquired a vivid dream in which a great Hawk promised to help him from then on. But, during one dark night, Lado is confronted with an odd group of bloodsuckers that want to kill him. At the last moment, however, Lado is saved by a white Wolf that helps him expel the bloodsuckers and kindle a flame of life. When Lado finally awakens, he realizes that he is covered in sweat. Everyone in the village thinks that it was just a mere nightmare, but soon they all find out what profound impacts these dreams have on the world and landscape around. Lado, normally a kind weirdo, has in fact become part of an ancient profession, a so called křísník (both “a resurrector” and “a kindler”). On top of that, the western empire prepares an unexpected attack and Lado is forced to leave his friends, so he could go to the Council City as a consultant. There he meets his old friend, Johan, who many years before visited Lado’s village to scientifically observe and record windish habits that the church might later turn into Christian ones. Lado considers Johan’s thinking to be very funny, because Johan always tries to defend his opinions, discuss about everything and look for a general truth, while Lado believes in different worlds and tries to seek a simple and balanced life. Eventually they and their friends have to go on a mission, where its failure would turn the empire against Winds and destroy them all. Lado, Johan and a commander of Red Island warriors called Jaromír embark on an adventure, whose end will help Lado get even closer to his wife named Mlada. Lado is becoming increasingly aware of how his personal experiences, dreams, visions and natural powers around merge with the reality and interact with one another. During his adventure he will fight with trained killers, pass through a rose bush, perform ancient rituals, help warriors in a great battle against the imperial army, meet the emperor, attend celebrations and councils below a tall Oak tree, with his wife explore bushes beside a mountain stream, meet merry Northerners and witches from the swamps, banish the Black dragon, pick mushrooms, save his wife from falling off a high cliff, encounter fairies, gods, spirits of ancestors and other beings, and above all he will have the honor to speak with the one who stays behind all his experiences and who shows himself to Lado as a Deer with golden antlers – Mighty Wid, with whose two brothers and a beautiful and charming wife, Lady of the Flowers, Lado will fight off the remaining bloodsuckers in the threads of time. In all that inconspicuously appears a trickster called Leshy (“he of the woods”, and also “he of Hazels”), who from the very beginning, in his own sneaky way, stays on Lado’s side and thanks to whom the Winds will eventually manage to repel the imperial army.

“When he looked at her, the face of Death immediately changed. Heimirich shouted. Before him there stood a terrible moldy monster with fiery eyes, whose white teeth were unnaturally long and pointed. She smiled frightfully. When she screamed everything around started shaking. Heimirich whitened. He immediately turned and began running away through the battlefield and chaos that was all around. However, Death knew exactly where was Heimirich located, and slowly and surely followed him. ‘Help!’ shouted Heimirich, ‘save me!’ But no one heard him. He tried hard to get away, behind soldiers, to the forest, to the great black Elder tree whose green branches were burdened by many black health-filled elderberries. The color of blood. Heimirich suddenly felt tension, like when you jump into the air and the Earth draws you back to the ground again. The forest rustled. The Elder tree was pulling Heimirich with earthly force. ‘No,’ cried Heimirich, ‘what is that supposed to be?!’ He struggled, but in vain. The cute Elder tree pulled him to its bark. Everything bad and evil was drawn by it so it could send it through its roots to Mother Earth for cleansing. Heimirich felt a violent wrench … and an endless fall.” – The spring of life, Ladovid from the Mountains, Lúán Rélta

“Lado claims that in this place near the region of Lusatia they [Winds] have lived for thousands of years, because here their ancestors supposedly came out of the great current in the shape of Swans. Let us suppose that something like a Lusatian culture of Winds indeed once existed here between the three White rivers and mixed, as Lado says, with some of the ‚teutá de bojki‘, someone then supposedly traveled, another one was coming back, on top of that the foreigners appeared, and other nonsense. Indeed, among these superstitious idolaters we cannot lead a true Christian scientific research. They do not even know our Roman time and calendar. Everything is for them, as they say, a spinning wheel. One says that the Beginning was a thousand and one years ago, another one says that it was twelve and nine winters ago. They do not think logically at all, their thinking contradicts the thinking of the holy book and the church, the only facts on which we can be sure that they are not a delusion of the devil.” – Writings from the Wild East, Johan, In the name of destiny, Ladovid from the Mountains, Lúán Rélta

“In an oak forest, in the middle of the village, the winter has arrived, everyone is shaking. The Black Horse walks over poles, reveals the future, makes living easier. On his back there sits a lord in black clothes, a trickster that is laughing at kneeling people. ‘Just show your weakness, descendants of the poor,’ he said, ‘and show that you can stick together in harsh times.’ A green flame blinked in his eyes, everyone is dazed by it. However, half of the spinning wheel will pass and the Earth will dress in green. During that time the Winner in white will arrive, with a blue blossom of Flax in his eyes. The White Horse walks over poles, reveals the future, makes living easier. Around the Hunter there fly two little forest men, so it seems that the Hunter has three heads. The Winner arrived with the rising of the Sun, so he would not forget to bring happiness. All of a sudden the Winner will strike, brandish the sword and expel the Hunter with all his henchmen. The spring is coming, the people are cheering. ‘Just show your strengths,’ said the Winner calmly, ‘give respect to forest spirits, grow food and live in beauty.’” In happiness and in sorrow we are not without healthy opinions. We know that the spinning wheel is turning around, the Wind is blowing and the whole story will begin again. Because of that, always help one another and avoid evil thoughts.” – Kindling of fire, Ladovid from the Mountains, Lúán Rélta

The book is available in Czech here as an electronic manuscript. Genre: folkloric, fantasy, spiritual, satire.

Přemysl – the chief of ancient times (an insight into pagan ideas and customs)

The story of the chief called Přemysl shows how diverse a folk tradition can be. It contains a preview of the ideas and customs that existed in pagan times. It is a heroic story that is accompanied by worries about the family and the landscape around. It is available in Czech here.

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