Slavic Folklore

Celebrate hags, witches, & powerful old women

Welcome to my Slavic folktale retellings that rekindle the magic of the aging feminine from old stories. This project began in early 2023, when myth maker Angharad Wynne taught a group of women how to extract the bones from old folktales and reimagine them, layering in new perspectives, cultural elements, and more. I see these stories as channeled wisdom.

Many years ago . . . the last girl child of Skowronów Wood had gone mute. All the rivers and trees, birds and even the wind went silent and cold the very moment her song died and no one knew how to change their fate. It seemed everyone had forgotten that the world required a certain kind of tending to. Well, nearly everyone.

Rise Up, Red Fox features the Szeptucha, one of the most mysterious and sought after folk healers in Poland. Nearly every village in the eastern part of the country has one, but her powers and techniques reach far beyond the veil. Old ways, she will tell you, are not to be forgotten (or trifled with). I chose her because of the Szeptucha’s primordial connection to the earth and her lack of representation in classic Slavic folklore.

The riverbanks are no place for men . . . Some will tell you they are haunted by broken women. Daemonic sprites that linger at the edges, luring husbands and soldiers. Haunting beasts with hair like the bleeding roots of trees. They howl in the night, poised to devour your very soul down to the bones. Every word of it is true, with the omission of one crucial detail that begins with this very stara baśń—an old tale from a forgotten time. So, let us begin.

The Bones of the Beregini features the Bereginya, a spirit who created all, protector of the family and women in Poland. They are thought to be the predecessors to the Rusałka, water sprites now much maligned as dark, malicious creatures. It turns out that nefarious reputation depends on who is telling the story.