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Polish Culture and Witchcraft?


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#1 hawkwind

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Posted 03 October 2014 - 02:03 PM

My family is Polish and came to u.s. in mid 1800's. I have been trying to find info on their early culture, folklore,and Witchcraft practices,but can't find hardly anything. I asked my dad and my grandmother before she passed but they were not even sure. My grandmother said alot of it is steeped in mystery and Poland being my ancestral land I would like to find out more about their early practices. Does anybody here know anything about it or can steer me to some helpful resources ?  :thinking:


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#2 Autumn Moon

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 12:45 AM

Based on my wife's grandmother, I would say that a lot of Polish magical practices were/are Catholic Folk Magic. I imagine there were Polish witches, but that would have be kept very secret or under the guise of Christianity.  Sorry, can't do better than that at this point. My wife's grandmother did a lot of folk magic. 


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#3 Horne

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 12:53 AM

I remember stumbling upon a short video on YouTube a while ago, about so-called whispering witches in present day Poland. I'm not familiar with anything like this so I don't know how accurate and traditional all this is though. All I know is they are healers and use Eastern Orthodox prayers and such.

 


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“Awake becomes
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#4 hawkwind

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 01:08 AM

Horne, Thanks for the video that's more than I have found I know that my grandmother kept very secretive about her craft she said our family had too.


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#5 Horne

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 01:33 AM

You're welcome Hawkwind. I guess when it comes to researching general Slavic history and lore, mythology etc. there must be some useful info about Slavic gods and goddesses to be found around the internet, but I don't know of any detailed background of what Polish paganism (let alone witchcraft) was really exactly all about. I do know that Poland and Lithuania (a neighbouring Baltic state) were once closely related and Lithuania is the European country that was among the last to convert to christianity so there might be some useful related material found in that direction. Present day pagan Lithuanian religion based upon that of the past is called Romuva so researching that might be of use to you, but I'm not sure what part of Romuva genuinely relates to Polish early culture and pagan religion. And about Slavic stuff in general, it stretches throughout a much larger area than Poland alone. I know about a so-called "Book of Veles" found inscripted on wooden panels, but it is being considered a fraud in similar vein as the "Frisian" Oera Linda book, so be careful and critical of what is genuine or not. Anyway, good luck in your quest!


Edited by Horne, 04 October 2014 - 01:45 AM.

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“Awake becomes
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forgetfulness is fleeting.”


#6 hawkwind

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 02:20 AM

I will research Romuva and see what I can find. I study alot about history and ancient cultures so I feel this will be helpful. Your knowledge is greatly appreciated!


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#7 Horne

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 03:13 AM

Thanks, but keep in mind that Romuva is Baltic (and a reconstruction at best), and not Slavic like the Polish material you seek, although there are huge overlaps. I wish I could elaborate more about Polish culture but although I study western and northern European lore in general, this area is not by far one of my strongpoints, as I focus mainly on the Germanic strands of paganism. Also take heed that present day country borders and definitions are relatively modern and were way different in the past, and this makes things kind of extra confusing. :wink:


Edited by Horne, 04 October 2014 - 03:25 AM.

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“Awake becomes
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forgetfulness is fleeting.”


#8 Autumn Moon

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 12:13 PM

I was able to find a lot of information on Polish Witchcraft and Magic (Besides the direct oral transmission from my wife's grandmother).

Also, lots of info on Polish folk magic in Poland and in America.

 

Then of course, there is the Cyganie form of magic (witchcraft)  


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#9 hawkwind

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 02:58 PM

What is the Cyganie  form of Witchcraft? I have started to find much more info on Polish magic thanks to the people here. Just trying to put it all together to really study it. :vhappywitch:


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#10 Autumn Moon

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 03:02 PM

Cyganie are Polish Gypsy.


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#11 Solanaceae

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 06:56 PM

My husbands family are all polish. He moved here (Canada) when he was 13. He considers himself an atheist, but was raised strictly Catholic. Like around 90% of the country now. However, I definitely notice a lot of beliefs in my mother in law, and the rest of the family that could be considered at the very least pagan. It is very old world. For instance, they traditionally believe that on Christmas eve, magic makes animals able to talk. They set an extra place at the table for any visiting ancestor spirits. My mother in law has no qualms about asking me to read her tarot cards. There are many more little items like that I could tell you. I think it is as you say. They, like so many other nationalities have been forced into Christianity for so long now fear has kept them from being open about their old beliefs. Still, it seeps through if you look closely.


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#12 witchinplainsight

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 08:34 PM

Such a fascinating video thanks for sharing.
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#13 Holdasown

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 07:37 PM

This video is from the Ukraine but magic practices in these areas sometimes overlap.

https://www.youtube....list=WL&index=1


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#14 Solanaceae

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 04:47 PM

That was an interesting video H, thanks for sharing it.

I found it curious that these ladies say they are doing 'Gods work' and helping people to differentiate themselves from those people who 'read cards, make potions and do things with eggs' who according to them do harm and are evil. :twisted_witch:


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Some are born to sweet delight,

Some are born to endless night.

 

(Fragments from "Auguries of Innocence") William Blake


#15 Holdasown

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 07:28 PM

That was an interesting video H, thanks for sharing it.

I found it curious that these ladies say they are doing 'Gods work' and helping people to differentiate themselves from those people who 'read cards, make potions and do things with eggs' who according to them do harm and are evil. :twisted_witch:

 

Yes it's like cunning folk or pow wow, who do prayers that call on Jesus. But a closer look finds them to be spells. A lady on the Swamp People show went to one. They did a healing on her foot that was herbal healing and chanting/laying on of hands but it  looked like spell work to me.  ;)


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