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- June 16, 2017 at 8:19 pm #347289
Łysa Góra is located in Holy Cross
voivodeship in Poland. The text below is translated from the Polish
article (the link to the source at the bottom), images are taken from
there too, and here’s the link to Wikipedia article about Łysa Góra:
The need to worship supernatural powers
is much older than the temples. Slavic peoples have worshipped their
deities mainly in the sacred groves. Sacred groves were magical
places for a lot of cultures, where one can get closer to the gods,
ancestral spirits, or simply to power of nature. Sometimes sacred
groves were places to worship a certain deity, and also had a
function of connecting the people with the spirits of their
For sacral goals people were chosing
the places, that were difficult to reach, thus some of the gods were
worshipped in near the sacred oaks, hidden deep in the woods. If the
territory had an impressive hill, which according to the people the
contact with gods was stronger that in a village. One of currently
most known places devoted to religious purposes was mountain Ślęża.
But going east from that place we can appear in Łysa Góra [Bald
Mountain if translate] in Świętokrzyskie [translation: “Holy
View on Łysa Góra from Stara Słupia
Łysa Góra is a very important centre
of religious cult located in Poland, also known as Łysiec or Święty
Krzyż. There is also a stony bank [don’t know if it’s a correct
translation of the thing] long for 1,4 km, wide for 10-15 m, and high
for 3 m. It was built of quarzite supported with wooden construction.
At the base are located “dymiarka” [dymiarki in plural],
which are Early Medieval primitive forges. The bank is dated on 8th
century, which is a period of stability after the great migration. At
the bottom of the mountain is a statue called Pielgrzym [Pilgrim] or
św. Onufry [st. Onuphrius] and wears the coat, hood and a necklace.
According to the historians, on Łysa
Góra three deities were worshipped: Bodo, Łado and Lel; or Świst,
Poświst and Pogoda. Sometimes they are connected with Celtic Lug,
Lel, Lleu and Esus. Celtic influence on forming of Slavic beliefs is
known, but nothing suggests that the centre was build by them – most
likely it is a fully Slavic place of cult. On the mouintain possibly
Lel and Polel were worshipped; the only information on these two
comes from the chronicle written by Maciej Miechowita, where they
have been described only as sons of Łada – another mysterious figure
from Slavic pantheon.
Lel and Polel
On Łysa Góra people were also paying
respect to the ancestral spirits. Every year, at night on 30th April
and 1st May on the top of the mouintain the crowds of people gathered
to put out the sacred fires, and to welcome the spirits which were at
that time coming back to this world. At dawn the new fire was
reignited, which symbolized the cyclic rebirth of time for another
year. This night on Łysa Góra became a sacred space-time continuum,
when everyone could attend the sacral sphere of gods’ world, normally
separated from human life.
Among all local legends the most known
one is about all the witches and sorceresses from the region meeting
on Łysa Góra. In regular time the witches weren’t different at all
from common women living in local villages. A witch could be an old
lonely woman, and young married woman as well, so recognizing a witch
was very difficult. By the look of things nothing was suggesting
their real nature. However, as the legends say, the witches were in
contact with the devils, which gave them special powers. They could
cast spells, and were doing their magic with using crows feathers,
horses hoofs, goats and deers horns and gristles from bats wings,
which they collected in St. John’s night [Kupala Night]. From one
side, people were affraid of evil powers that witches possessed. But
on the other hand, they often used witches’ mysteriouus advices,
skills, and were consuming the elixirs made of herbs, that witches
prepared. Also, a witch was never casting spells on anybody without a
reason. It was even good to have one in the neighbourhood, as the
gained knowledge about the herbs very often helped when people were
sick. Some say a witch could have been recognized by two goats in
their eyes – one per a pupil – which is why they never looked people
straight in the eyes.
A witch by Kamila Kuc
At nights on Łysa Góra the witches
gathered to have a sabbath. Before the trip to the top – naturally –
on a broom, they were covering their vehicle in special salve, made
of lizards, snakes, sparrow feathers and frogspawn. If they didn’t
covered it carefully, they were falling down and had to do the rest
of trip by foot. The broom was worked after casting a special spell:
“las nie las, wieś nie wieś, ty mnie tam, miotło nieś”
[forest not forest, village not village, you broom carry me there].
Their trip was started by flying away from a chimney and flying to
the sky on the crossroads. During the sabbath the witches were
meeting with devils to celebrate, have bonfires and to prepare
poisons. The summer solstice was an important night for every witch,
as exactly at the Kupala Night the herbs were getting a great power.
All local witches were gathering them on the slopes of Łysa Góra.
Additionally, during the sabbaths they were exchanging their
knowlegde, were learning new spells and how to prepare new mixtures.
When the cockcrow the witches said bye to the devils, and were coming
home on their brooms. These meetings are believed to be stopped since
the benedictine monastery emerged, and the monks cast the witches out
and the mountain lost its powers.
Even today the legend about witches
sabbaths on Łysa Góra is very alive. Just go to any booth with
local souvenirs, and you will see a lot such sorcery items. It’s
unacceptable to leave Łysa Góra without a witch on a broom.
The view from the observation deck near
June 16, 2017 at 8:38 pm #438486
Cool article! <3 I see the ruins of a Pagan Wall from the 9th century are located there!June 16, 2017 at 10:04 pm #438487
Yes, similar are on Ślęża. But I think there’s no solid information about who exactly made them.
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