Ladies of the lake
Taking a break from Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies, I'd like to introduce other Slavic demon.
The Lake-ladies were the most prominent water monsters in Slavic mythology. They liked to reside in the wilderness's dark and damp marshes, woodlands, and lakes, but they often emerged in freshly plowed fields, where they danced and frolicked all night.
Rusałki are attractive, youthful, half-naked girls. However their attractiveness, they were not kind or loveable females, albeit they did enjoy themselves. No young gentelman could resist them because they were lovely and practically entirely nude, and they sang like angels.
Apart from naked dancing, Rusałki like puzzles, so when they felt like it, they asked the victim questions instead of dancing him to death or enticing him into the lake and drowning him. The life of the victim they picked was at danger in this game. The harsh game consisted of giving the youngster entranced by the demon a choice: either ask a riddle that Rusaka will not answer, or answer Rusałka's query.
Unfortunately, they were extremely intelligent creatures that enjoyed word puzzles and were quite tough to defeat. However, if such a trick was successful, the winner not only had the right to go peacefully, but also to demand the hand of the vanquished fairy. Whether she liked it or not, she had to leave her family and travel to the man's world.
RUSAŁKI IN FOLK BELIEFS AND THE OLDEST SLAVIC TELLS
The name Rusałka is most likely derived from the Latin word Rosalia, which refers to a rose festival documented in eighteenth-century chronicles. It is written there that in ancient days, when Rome covered the world with its mighty army, people worshiped a specific nymph who was the patroness of roses, the defender of children, and the deity of deception and love deception. The pantheon of old, mythological animals accompanied the Roman armies across the world, so it is not unexpected that some of them finally made their way to the land of the Slavs and joined this already rich civilization.
Witches, the Belarussian version of Rusałkas, are the subject of folklore. They were gorgeous, winged girls who could ride clouds and maneuver them throughout the sky simply by gazing at them. Furthermore, those who saw a her, were said to go insane in Lithuania and Belarus.
The fairy was known as a tickler or tickler in Ukraine, according to the form of torment these beings enjoyed.
According to Bulgarian tradition, local mermaids known as Juda, lured young, naïve people into temptation and deliberately exploited their weaknesses. Bulgarian mermaids could take on the appearance of not only a lovely female, but also of a gorgeous guy, and in this shape, they would lure foolish maidens directly to a lake or pond, where they drowned them while singing and laughing mercilessly.
Mermaids were known as majki in Polish areas surrounding Masovia and Sandomierz. However, demons known as dzizwolony arose among the highlanders. This moniker referred to a wild wife or lady. They were distinguishable from mermaids by being represented as horrible female beings with hunched backs and long, tangled hair.
Czech and Slovakia
Further south, the mermaid was known as the water wife or mamuna among Slovaks and Czechs. Legends about lovely nymphs swimming in mountain streams are still told by Slovak highlanders. They are known as runes, and they have the ability to foresee the future.
Water fairies were known as morians or wodians in Pomerania, but these beings were drowned and lost their allure over time.
All of the creatures named above are descended from mermaids, who originated in Greek mythology as nymphs and played an important part in the mythological world of the time.
Rusalki preferred humid environments, particularly the borders of lakes, ponds, and large rivers. Some of them, however, chose to live in woods, ideally in wide clearings brimming with woodland flowers.
We know from folklore that females who died as virgins became mermaids, especially if they died abruptly as a consequence of drowning. Ladies from lake were thought to be children that perished at the hands of their parents or other relatives in various areas.
If any woman got offended by this (or any of my
other) article, I feel sorry for that and it wasn’t my intention.
Women as strong, marvelous creatures took a very
special place in our (men's) culture, history, and daily life as well since the
begining of humanity.
In ancient times, when the Slavic tribes led their
simple, magical lives, the place of women in the local community occupied an
important position. Women were, after all, mothers and carers of the family,
and the respect they were accorded grew with age. An important feature that
distinguished women was the monopoly of knowledge in the fields of herbalism,
quackery, and folk medicine.
However, in many ancient Slavic beliefs, women
were also associated with positive, protective magic. However, there were
darker corners of folk mythology, in which women appeared as demons and evil
beings. Between such a division into good and evil, there was an eternal
balance, which was destroyed by the advent of Christianity. The priests of the
new religion could not accept the lofty role of women in a world they believed
God would create for men. Such thinking is still visible today not only in the hierarchy
of the church but also in Christian societies.