<--   -->   A   B   C   D   ... index image map  ...



Other names: Samovila, Judy

Location:  Eastern Europe

Notes from Hrana

Goddesses & Heroines text


© print is available

PREVIOUS | NEXT | A,B,C, D,E, F,G,H,I, J,K,L,M, N,O,P,Q, R,S, T,U,V,W,X,Y,Z | Help | ALL | INDEX

Hrana's Notes

I painted Vila in 1992 for Llewellyn's1993 Goddess Calendar, she was the cover. She is included in the Goddess Oracle.

from Goddesses and Heroines
  Exerpt from Goddess & Heroines by Patricia Monaghan
[Used by permission. This text is NOT included in the Goddess Oracle]

One of the most powerful eastern European goddesses was called Samovila, Vila, or Judy according to the language of the people, who pictured this woodland force as a fairskinned winged woman with glistening garments and golden hair falling to her feet. She lived deep in the woods, where she guarded animals and plants as well as cleaned streams of rubble and assured sufficient rainfall.

Hunters were wary of beautiful, welldressed women speaking the languages of animals, for the Vila was fiercely possessive of her wild herds. Should one be injured or-worse yet-killed, the Vila mutilated the offender or lured him into a magic circle and danced him to death. Alternatively, the Vila might bury him in rocks by starting an avalanche, or simply cause him to keel over with a heart attack.

The Vila was able to masquerade as a snake, swan, falcon, horse, or whirlwind. Cloud Vilas could transform themselvs into clouds or fog. Born on a day of soft misty rain, when the sun formed miniature rainbows on the trees, she knew all the secrets of healing and herb craft. Should a human wish to learn her skills, blood-sisterhood was forged with the Vila. The applicant appeared in the woods before sunrise on a Sunday of the full moon. Drawing a circle with a birch twig or a broom, she placed several horsehairs, a hoof, and some manure inside the circle, then stood with her right foot on the hoof calling to the Vila. Should the spirit appear and be greeted as a sister, the Vila would grant any wish.

Back to TOP Text from Patricia Monaghan's The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines
Published by Llewellyn, copyright 1997.   Used by permission of the author.

<--   -->   A   B   C   D   ... index image map  ...