Yard protection in Slavic tradition

To protect the yard from evil spirits, evil eye, curse, etc. Slavs took various magical measures. The Bulgarians, for example, planted elm tree. They believed that then “no evil and no disease can enter the yard, and the house itself will never be empty.”

Slavs of Polesie region made sure that no “bare” branch (without a bark), brought by the wind, was kept in the yard – to prevent it from being “naked” and “empty”. On Kupala they also erected a “pole with bark” in the yard, and put a cow skull on a top, so that the “yard (house) would be rich”.

According to the beliefs of some western and southern Slavs, in order to protect the yard from reptiles and insects, one should run around it with a bell in hand or sweep it before sunset with a new broom. Another way was to fumigate with a smoke and sprinkle with ashes from a fire, in which garbage from all over the yard was collected. To guard the yard from evil forces, salt was also sprinkled along the fence. To defend the barn from the witch who was trying to “steal” the crop, millet was scattered in the yard. And the Russians, in order to protect livestock from the evil eye, hung out a bunch of old bast shoes in the yard, thus diverting the attention of a dangerous person from animals.

What protection, in your opinion, is the most effective?

To be continued…
Artist: Vladimir Zhdanov