Rake in Slavic tradition – part 1

It would seem that everyone knows the purpose of the rake, but the ancient Slavs used them not only to collect hay and leaves, but also in protective rituals.

Slovenes used them as defense against thunderstorms: they threw a rake under the roof with the teeth upward in order to “cut” the cloud. Serbs performed interesting rituals with a rake to defend livestock from snakes and witches – women rowed near cattle barns and said: “I rake in my own, not someone else’s”.

To protect cattle from evil curses, Slavs would put hot charcoal on the ground, cover it with an iron baking sheet and then “row” over it with a rake. In the process, they would say three times: “As this coal cracks, so let her (a witch), who is going to curse the cattle at night, to crack from torment; as I row on this baking sheet, so let the devils torture her in hell. ” Then the coal was taken out, mixed with ashes or flour, and scattered around the barn with the words: “After she has collected all the ashes, only then she will harm my cattle.” However, witches also had their own “counter-rituals” to resist such “measures” – for example, by drawing a magic circle around the cattle with a rake…

To be continued…