From the Oak: Let’s hear it for the God!
Many are those that focus on female divinities, leaving male divinities in the shadows if they get mentioned at all. This is a shame. Here I will share my thoughts, stories and prayers on male divinities.
Leshy the Forest Lord
Leshy (Lesiy Lesiye, Lyeshy, Lesovik) is a Slavic forest divinity or spirits, depending on the source. He is the protector of forest animals and often seen in the company of wolves or bears. This divinity regulates and assigns prey to hunters. In later times it is said that he has also become the protector of flocks and flocks. He is number 13 on my gods of the “graveyard” series. (I’m very surprised at the number of Slavic divinities that are on this list, but as my maternal ancestors come from this region, I’ve enjoyed learning about them.)
Leshy is a shape changer with has trickster or jokester traits. He is known for misdirecting mortals and kidnapping young women. Mortals thwart him by wearing their clothes backwards or as a last resort, setting the forest on fire. Leshy is said to have blue or bluish white skin, with green eyes and beard which is sometimes entwined with grasses and vines. Occasionally he has been described as looking like a faun or satyr that is with horns and goat legs. As a shape changer, he can take on any form contained within the forest and he can change his height to as tall as a tree or as short as a blade of grass. It is said that Leshy does not have a shadow which maybe the only indication of who he is.
Occasionally Leshy is described as a group of forest spirits. These may be his children however as some report of his marriage to Leshacikha and children, called Leshonki or Leshies. Leshies are said to die or hibernate in October and revive in the Spring when they were the most dangerous for they hate this time-out from life. Very jealous of their territory, the spirits lead travelers astray often returning them to their starting point. Leshy and his children are not described as malicious but they do not always realize when a joke or trick has gone too far. Various offerings are given to him/them: bran, eggs, bread and salt, sweets and cheese.
May Leshy and his family be pleased by the attention I call to them.
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