The gambler and the kidnapper: what else should I know about the Russian devil

For thousands of years man lived surrounded by spirits and pagan deities. With the advent of Christianity, the faith of ancestors has become obsolete, but the Slavs continued to believe in the house, swab, water and other spirits. The special relationship with ancestors was with the demon that they thought was the owner of the forest. This spirit was not always good, and even now kept referring to it: "go to hell", "the devil would have you crushed."

The gambler and the kidnapper: what else should I know about the Russian devil

According to the beliefs of the Slavs of forest inhabited only by wild animals and birds, but also forest spirits, known as the woodsman, leshakov or goblins. In Yaroslavl region such an entity simply called "man". The Goblin had green eyes that burned like coals, he tied his head a red sash. Right Shoe the owner of the forest wore on the left leg and the left one on the right.

The gambler and the kidnapper: what else should I know about the Russian devilIn Novgorod the peasants believed that the devil looks like a man in a painted white dress. In the province of Orel, the owner of the forest were bug-eyed, with long hair and a green beard. In Karelia he has green skin and blue blood. In Vladimir province devils called "garconne". It was believed that they were born from the connection of undead and mortal women. From the people they looked different only because it does not cast shadows.

The gambler and the kidnapper: what else should I know about the Russian devil

To live the Goblin preferred in the spruce, but not deciduous forest. As he went through his possessions, they could be above the tops of the biggest trees, but, if desired, be easily reduced to the height of the grass and hid under a leaf. The devil did not go to the meadows, where he hosted the fieldwork, and did not go to the village, not to quarrel with the swab and brownies. Afraid Lesovik black cocks, dogs with spots over the eyes and tri-colored cats.

The main wealth of any devil — animals, especially rabbits, which are his servants. According to popular belief, goblins are avid gamblers and playing cards on birds. Pre-revolutionary ethnographer Sergei Maksimov, in his book "evil, unknown and the power of the cross" described the invasion of the rabbits, which happened in Siberia in 1859.

The gambler and the kidnapper: what else should I know about the Russian devilThe beasts have invaded villages and towns and even jumping across rooftops. The people explained the phenomenon: cooperative Russian and Siberian devils were playing cards on the rabbits and Siberian lost. I had to drive hares through Tobolsk to the Ural mountains.

The gambler and the kidnapper: what else should I know about the Russian devil

If you meet a person, the devil lured him into the woods. If you understand that the man you noticed and mischief, the elderly were advised to wear the left Shoe on the right foot and right on left. It was recommended to turn the garment inside out. Our ancestors didn't go in the woods for a day of iron-Martyr, which had on October 4. On this day the owner of the forest has fallen into winter hibernation but prior to spring to fail, he brawled, broken trees, chasing animals and fought.

The Slavs had lived for centuries with the myth of the man, which in the beliefs of the people was not only master of the forest, but an unconscious instrument of punishment for voluntary and involuntary transgressions of man. He wound up in a thicket only to those people who, entering into the forest, forget to the sign of the cross. In the Vologda district told me that the devil dragged the man out into the wilderness for what it is, going to a Church service, swearing.

The gambler and the kidnapper: what else should I know about the Russian devil

Were punished forest spirit and speaking curses. Ethnographer Sergei Maksimov recorded the terrible beliefs of Russian peasants. If during childbirth the woman because of unbearable pain will curse yourself and the baby, the baby is considered the property of the devil. Lesovik kidnapped child, and instead puts a "forest child", which was constantly sick and was crying.

The gambler and the kidnapper: what else should I know about the Russian devil

Save arch kid is only calling him immediately after birth, but in this case, the spirit will not back down. He waits, when the child turns seven years, and if an accident suddenly found themselves in the possession of the man unattended, the devil has enticed him into the woods. This child is not long lived and soon died. To hold in our world, it could only a mother's prayer.

The gambler and the kidnapper: what else should I know about the Russian devilPopular rumor attributed to the devil, and love for mortal women. Any girl spirit can steal. Women are advised in the woods to cover his face and not to show their beauty. Today few believe in the existence of a Goblin, brownie, water or swab, but in Russia there are still people who preserved the beliefs of their ancestors. For example, in Russia, the lives of the people of Mari, which is called the last pagans of Europe.

Keywords: Forest | Paganism

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