Ash tree protected our Slavic ancestors from many hardships. For example, from bad weather. In the Vitebsk region, with a special ash tree twig (used to separate a snake and a frog) people would try to ward off a hail cloud from their fields. The Czechs believed that the devil did not like this tree, therefore, lightning does not strike the ash, and anyone can hide under it during a thunderstorm.
Our ancestors also believed in the ash tree protection from evil spirits. To guard the livestock on the eve of Kupala night, the Poles stuck ash tree branches and leaves into the barn walls. In Herzegovina, during the dangerous period from Kolyada to the New Year (when all evil spirits are very active), a shepherd drove the sheep with a branch of ash. Slavs also used ash tree to magically reverse the curses. The decoction from its bark was considered a good medicine for a variety of diseases. In Kosovo, if children died in a family, then parents made an ash tree cradle. It was also believed that Vilas lived safely in the branches of this tree, not fearing any harm from anybody.
Which of the mentioned ash tree applications would you like to test in person? 😉 What traditions related to ash tree do you know?
To be continued…