Initiation or consecration according to our ideas means a leap in a person’s spiritual and psycho-physical development, when we connect the initiate with higher forces in various situations that mean a turning point for a person, we help them in the transition to a different state or. new beginning.
In this article 3 milestones with traditions shall be highlightened in Slovenia:
- Upon coming into the world
- Upon entering adulthood
- Upon entering the spiritual vocation and spreading the old faith
BIRTH: the coming of the soul into the world
In addition to many small rituals already in pregnancy, at the birth of a child we give to the mother a braided white bread. This gesture is an ancient remnant of the rites of Sojenice, who come to judge the fate of the baby for three stages: youth, adulthood and death.
Some followers of the native traditions in Slovenia / Eu still use old spiritual practices when, according to the typical Slovenian tradition, we bury the placenta next to a special tree.
This is why some women choose to give birth at home or in special maternity hospitals, where taking the placenta is possible. Elsewhere, it is thrown away as biological waste.
The placenta, according to the wisdom of the ancestors, must be buried near the roots of the tree, thus forging a continuous bond between mother and child with the tree, which in a magical sense has a healing effect on both mother and child.
We believe that the fruit of the tree by taking DNA from the placenta, acts homeopathically.
This rite of initiation of the transition of a new child to this world is followed by the rite of watering the tree with water in which the child bathed for the first time. This ritual is known from the west of Slovenia to the far east.
The child is then introduced to all sides of the sky and the elements. This rite is performed by the father and is mainly known from the East Slavic lands.
The ritual of our family in Ljubljana
You can read more about the customs of pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period HERE.
We have to thank Pavel Medvešček for a lot of information about ancient religious practices, who described everything that the witnesses told him throughout decades. sadly Pavel dies last year.
However, these records carry the tradition of only some western parts of Slovenia, which are not related to the entire area of the Slovenian nation within the borders and also abroad where Slovenian people still continue their heritage.
Initiation of girls into adulthood
Devinci are called places at the confluence of two rivers, where the rites of initiation of girls into women were performed. One of the examples of Devinci is where Bača river flows into Idrijca, and the other most famous is Idrijca and Tolminka, which flow into the Soča.
The initiations were performed by female priestesses “vedernas“. The ceremony was held at the full moon in the summer months with those girls who were selected to be transitioning into a woman.
The course of the ceremony was previously explained, the girl undressed, stepped into the water. The girl’s mother chose a woman who then poured the girl with a soaked white handkerchief over her body. Vederna told her to squat in the water and pee, while she sprinkled flowers on her. The escort brought the wreath and laid it on her head. When vederna commanded, the girl then took it off her headwreath and put it in the water so that the river would take away the wreath. The ceremony was also called “kranceljnik”.
In the holy place, the girl picked up three pebbles that served as protection against evil spirits.
And so the girl became a woman.
If it happened that the girl died before initiation into womanhood, the other girls wove for her a wreath of flowers and greenery that grew on these sacred places of devinci.
Fields and barns were also sprayed with water from devinci.
Ritual at Devinci
At the other end of Slovenia, in the Dolenjska region, we find a remnant of an ancient custom in baking bread for girls.
A girl who had reached adulthood (presumably with her first menstruation) was given a bread bird.
Birds symbolize the transition, they bring spring awakening to this world, they take souls to the other world. It is also known that in Slovenia on so called “Tičnica” plateaus ancient priests foretold future from the flying of the birds.
At the same time, the bird is also a specific, characteristic element of the transition from being single to being married. The predecessor of the wedding cake in our country is fine, white bread, which must be decorated with bread birds.
It is also typical in most parts of Slovenia, especially in the east, that the mother gets white bread, a braid and a bird immediately after birth. In some places she gets as many breadbirds as there are children at the house.
Kabrca kot del iniciacijskih obredov
Kabrca as part of initiation rites
The initiations were performed by the dehnar (spiritual leader of smaller community), and the ceremony also included playing the triangular kabrca, which is unparalleled on a global scale. It is known that the kabrca was played during rites and consecrations, and after the dehnar’s death she accompanied him to the grave.
Kabrca is still used in our center Veles (that also operates this store) traditionally at the summer and winter solstices in moments of meditation.
We find that the sound of kabrca is extremely soothing, it makes the body completely soft and clears your mind and body so you can get insights thus also regain strength.
Initiation into the spiritual vocation
Among the followers of the old ways in Posočje area (western parts of Slovenia), it is considered that a dehnar – a priest, is already born with this task and this path is laid in his cradle. The story goes that dehnar is the child of the star Jutranjica and the eagle. Because the god of thunder does not want this child to be born in heaven, he must jump to earth after birth. He is adopted by a man and, despite many life experiences, grows into a kind-hearted and principled man. After his death, another dehnar takes over the task.
Babja jama (Baba cave) is one of the holiest places in Slovenia, where celebrations and various rituals took place. One of “kačarji” (plural) (literal transl. “snaker”), who were the guardians of the old religion, brought a snake there every year, which ended with the number three, (the last known rite was in 1963), which he caught on the right bank of the Soča river. People called to the great White snake.
In these areas people believed that NIKRMANA is the sacred force that created the world, that is responsible for all life, it is the main energy that sometimes we see in a form of a white snake, a woman in the clouds, white mare etc.
The initiation among the “kačarji”, however, is partly preserved for us. It took place immediately after sunset on the full moon. The future guardians were sprinkled with sand by the dehnar from the front and then from the back. They were stripped to the waist, their hats and shoes removed. What he told them all the time is unknown.
Dehnar cut three green branches, hitting each future “kačar” with his branch first on the left shoulder, he bent down and said something, then the dehnar hit him on the back. They took an oath, took the green branches to the cave and left them there. They then sat down and drank hallucinogenic “močeradovec” (drink from Salamander’s excrement) while socializing. The last rite, or. oath, she was l. 1920
(just to be clear: we do not use this drink nowadays !!!)
An oath of silence upon acceptance into the community
The new member swore silence and service to the Tročan principle (Tročan is sacred Trinity, Triglav) to the dehnar by shaking his hand and they kept them in salamander alcoholic drink and keeping them closed until the drink evaporated. Močeradovec also contained wolf cherry and red flyswatter, it was hallucinogenic, and the ancients used it to spread consciousness in other rituals as well.
Babja jama | Močerad
Nowadays, in everyday life, we summarize the elements of the tradition of our own land, and sometimes, due to lack of information, we turn beyond the borders to better understand the ancient practices.
Although KNOWLEDGE about the old faith has never died out, our generation has lost direct contact with indigenous spiritual leaders, so it is up to those of us who live the vocation of protecting old traditions to initiate ourselves through our work and group acceptance.
We initiate our children and everyone in our circle according to old traditions and in accordance with our principles we live our daily lives in the hope and firm belief that this makes the world more beautiful, society more efficient and healthier, and that we work for a better future for all Slovenians.
We take care of the revival of cultural tradition and we also work in general in the direction of preserving nature and preserving holy places of worship and rituals.
And we should take good care of eachother too. 🙂 <3