By Baba Phoenix of AshLand
The Boyko (Бойко) is a Ukrainian and Polish ethnographic group located in the Carpathian Mountains of Ukraine and Poland. The Boykos inhabit the central and the western half of the Carpathians in Ukraine across such regions as the southern Lviv Oblast (Skole, Turka, Drohobych, Sambir and Stary Sambir raions), western Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast (Dolyna and Rozhniativ raions) and parts of the northeastern Zakarpattia oblast (Mizhhiria Raion), as well as the adjacent areas of southeast Poland and northeast Slovakia.
Parts of Southern Poland at the Ukraine border, at one time was all Ukrainian lands, and when the land was divided, some far southern groups of Polish people do have Ukrainian ancestral lineages like myself. I identify myself with both the culture of Poland and Ukrainian past ancestors. To the south or southwest of Boykos live Lemkos, and to east or southeast live the Hutsuls, the two other highlander ethnicity of Ukraine. A Molfar (мольфа́р) is a Carpathian Shaman in the indigenous traditions of the Hutsul (Ukrainian) culture. Called “witch” in certain eras, these Shamans have magical gifts and sacred abilities that tend focus on healing, seership, herbalism and relations with nature. Within these Molfar are also a rare few who are born to enter a more advanced path; this is of the folk-magic of Pre-History’s Dreaming shamanic tradition.
The magical ‘real’ shamans of Polish and Ukraine Carpathian ancestors and a very few today, have different names according to the respective cultures in which they are born. In Poland the women shamans are called Whisperers and the more advanced and magical shamans, Wind Whisperers. Like their Ukraine Molfar neighbors, more women in Poland are beginning to return to the roots of their ancient practices that existed before the spread modern religion and subsequent corruption of ancient shamanic practice. The Mongolian and Siberian folk shaman traditions (which are often referred to as Tengerism) are also seeing a revival of their ethnic shamanistic-based healers, who have been subject to much persecution. In Tengerism, there is both Yellow Shamanism and Black Shamanism, with the more powerful, magical shamans being known as Black Shamans. Similarly, the Pacific Northwest Native American traditions refer their more advanced, magical shamans as Dreamers.
A commonality within all of these cultures is that other shamans often fear Dreamers and Molfar, though some also respect them from a distance. The shamanism of all the cultures which contain Molfar stem from a more ancient cultural tradition, which is known as the Light of the Dark. Conversely there also exists the Dark of the Light, which is its opposite and encompasses the shadow side of religion (like way in which dark Catholic priests have, for millenniums, sexually abused both women and children). And so we see historically, that it was Religious Corruption (the Dark of the Light), which sought to destroy the Shamans and Dreamers (the Light of the Dark), who were responsible for exposing their malpractices.
These rarer Molfar, Wind Whisperer, Dreamer or Black Shamans are also their culture’s exorcists and the one’s who walk between the worlds of shadow and light with power. To do this requires having mastered the teachings of the Light along with their individual ancient karma or shadow lifetimes. The depth and mystery associated with this path can be one of the reasons as to why the healers, herbalists, ceremonial shamans fear them. Dreamers also have the ability to leave their bodies (ten astral and animist bodies) and roam the earth for exorcisms on the shadow aspects of human demons, reptilians, werewolves, skin walkers, vampires and other dark creatures, where most regular shamans cannot.
The Molfar, Dreamer (shaman) or Black Shaman can also enter the magical energy of earth and its consciousness without the assistance of shamanic drugs, ecstatic dances or costumes. They can pass through the shamanic veils and enter the natural forces from their inner spaces in both time (waking mundane life) and no-time (dreaming or dreamtime if that advanced). They can become one with the natural forces and have a real relationship with the consciousness of the earth herself. This expanded consciousness is beyond the mastered human self and the mastered animist self. It belongs to the realm of the Elemental Self, which is called Spirit (in the prehistoric traditions) and the ability to enter this consciousness comes from having served mother earth for many, many lifetimes.
The realities of these men and women are fated by birth. Through many previous lives, soul accumulation of purified karma, a life of purity, and undergoing fated initiations of death for this lifetime’s wisdom, the Molfar (and those around the world like them) are able to shape-shift into elements, such as wind, wind storms, rain storms, fire and lightening storms. Referred to as Weather Shamans, by modern shamanic practitioners, they have the ability to enter the coexistence and move destruction of the physical nature into the realms of darkness for its demise.
Viking, Medieval and archaic Pagan magicians attributed these qualities to the gods, but more Advanced Whisperers and Molfar possess the same qualities in a human form, thus expressing their shaman connection to the power of nature, not to control or to use, but to ‘be’ them, and those who have these abilities feel their pure intensity and this often fears other types of shamans and healers, when they are approached. The intensity of their energy is also why such magical shamans are disrespected and ostracized in many societies. In a contemporary context, a Molfar and the more advanced (Wind) Whisperers of Poland (or descent) would be a shaman that is surveillance or publicly shamed into homelessness by other types of esoteric people, pagans or shamans, out of fear because it is such an ancient path that its deemed dark or unstable, even when its not. Obviously contemporary shamans and shaman practitioners trained in schools, or by book writers or online as well as plant (drug) shamans, do not encounter the any of these same responses from modern society or authorities.
Hutsul of Ukraine and the more advanced (Wind) Whisperers of Poland, is one of the rare regions where these ancient practices are regarded by villages and even larger towns as part of a religious infusion, especially after the middle ages. A few still survive in the region along with Molfar and Whisperers, who have immigrated from the Ukraine and Poland and live their lives in other countries being able to express even more dedication to advancements of their soul, while still retaining their fated birthrights.
This is a short excerpt from a field recording that I made in April of 2011 (with the help of Mia Pixley). In addition to playing us drymba melodies, Nechay also told Mia about her future, and explained his philosophies on various things. Molfar Nechay was brutally murdered in his home in July of 2011; this film is made in his memory.
Author: Elder Mountain Dreaming