Magic and mysticism

If we were to delve into the mystical and magical world of highlanders, there would be an explanation for many customs and superstitions. It would also be enough material for some nice horror movies.

For people living far from cities and civilization, communing with the fascinatingly beautiful and at the same time deadly nature of the mountains, the supernatural world existed on an equal footing with the real world. Any atmospheric phenomenon, physical, nature had symbolism, explanation and destiny. Fire protected against evil and cleansed. To ensure good and safe grazing of sheep, In the spring, specially blessed charcoal was brought to the halls and its glow was kept until autumn. When it went out – misfortunes and plagues were expected. Clouds and rain were ruled by planetary men, who looked like shivering and soaked old men with eagles' features. Some highlanders knew the ghosts personally and negotiated with them about the weather and rain. A way to ward off an evil psychede, which brought downpours and storms, there was sprinkling flour and special herbs into the burning fire.

To the animal world, in the old days closer to man, the symbolic key was owned by the inhabitants of the Tatra Mountains. The cat was useful, because he scared away witches – wanting to get back at one of them, the "poor man alive" was buried” at the doorstep of the stables.

Black cat's bone opened locks and made invisible. Weasels had to be shown all respect, when she rated, it's the culprit getting angry. The bears personified strength and therefore the hunters killed them, they ate a warm liver first, to become similarly strong. When the young lambs were born, the first one was devoted to wolves to be eaten, so that these do not attack the herd in the future. The vipers were the most feared among the highlanders, even dead, and the most terrible monster was the dragon inhabiting the crags and Tatra caves. It was also identified with mountain wind, all the worst phenomena and plagues were accused of – storms, inclement weather, hunger, plague, etc.. The werewolf of the Podhale region, popular in beliefs, came from the border between the animal and the fantastic world, which was half human, and half a wolf. The deeply rooted belief in ghosts and drowned people has probably not been lost to this day. Goblins were distinguished among the ghosts, vampires, baby-hag, saddles (nightmares suffocating), his mother, that dragged people to the ground, and goddesses. There was also an institution of sorcerers, very active until the 19th century. According to the beliefs of the people, sorcerers were human, who came into contact with good or bad spirits and made a blood-sealed pact with them. They differed from each other in the place in the hierarchy and the degree of initiation. They were charging for services, most often in nature. They passed on the secrets of knowledge orally from generation to generation. Shepherd was a sorcerer, who dealt with sheep breeding and pastoralism. Most often it was a shepherd, who enjoyed the authority and respect of the community. His witchcraft was to protect the flock from misfortunes and the spells of others. Women also practiced witchcraft. The patron saint of people dealing with witchcraft was St.. Lucia.

It was believed, that when juhas liked a woman, and she was not favorable to him, he must have taken a lock of hair and a scrap of skirt from any girl and burned them at the crossroads at a full moon. Then he should collect the ash, Brew with lovage and pour the decoction on each side three times, without looking back. After such a procedure, each girl will definitely come, a ta, whose hair and skirt were used to burn, the fastest. Hello!

During the reign among the Polish intelligentsia “peasantry” – fashion for everything folk, more attention was paid to girls of the people. The opinion of the highlanders clung to being pretty, temperamental and innocent (?) flirtatiousness. It happened, that the highlander took non-virgins for his wife more willingly, bo ta, which others liked, she must have been beautiful and desirable.

A separate category of women from Podhale were the so-called goddesses, that is, young girls, who, stigmatized by the priest for misconduct, fled to the mountains. There they helped robbers or hunters to carry the game, stand on watch; they were agile, elusive and shrouded in legend with time. Apparently, because of them, sheep were to die, the cows have been holding back their milk, and the hens did not lay eggs. The villages were spoken, that the goddesses haunted the obstetricians, which they took the children away and threw theirs. The offspring grew up to be gannets and lived to the maximum 15. age. They were supposedly dirty, black, scruffy and, according to belief, they lived in pits by the streams. The legend does not mention the influence of the goddesses on the stock exchange.