Leshy/Leshiye in Slavic Mythology and Folklore

In Slavic mythology and folklore, a Leshy or Leshiye was a nature spirit, each the lord of the forest and its coronary heart, in addition to a trickster. As changeable as nature, a leshy assorted his look as usually as he happy. A leshy may be as tall as a tree or so small that he may slip below a blade of grass. He may be a whirlwind of leaves, an owl, a wolf, and even an outdated man clad in fur.

It was simpler to hear than to see a leshy. His voice would possibly imitate the rustle of the leaves or the sighing of the wind in the bushes. With alluring or tempting calls he additionally may entice people off secure forest paths. The leshy did this for enjoyable, though this trickster’s concept of enjoyable may endanger and even kill people.

Once a human realized she or he had misplaced the trail, the one hope for escape was to make the leshy snicker. The easiest method to do that was to strip and put each merchandise of clothes again on, both inside out or backward. A leshy discovered this silliness irresistibly humorous, and the human would hear laughter and find himself or herself all of the sudden returned to the acquainted path. But ought to a human be silly sufficient to really anger a leshy, there was no escape. The unlucky had been led into the deep forest and tickled to dying.

The leshy, like different forest beings, was attuned to the seasons and hibernated in the course of the winter. When he awoke in the spring, the leshy was at his most harmful, operating wild and almost senseless with primal pleasure. Women had been in specific peril at such a time, for the reason that leshy would rape any girl he discovered in his path. In the summer season, the leshy was in a much less harmful way of thinking. Summer was when he performed his tips on people however hardly ever harmed them. In the autumn, the leshy may be extra quarrelsome, wanting to fight and frighten off any wild creatures that bought too shut.

It was believed that two leshiye would possibly gamble to see who would win a prize of squirrels. Every now and once more, squirrels in the Russian woods truly do migrate from one forest to one other. The sight of such mass migrations, in accordance to people beliefs, meant that one leshy had misplaced a bet to one other and had forfeited his squirrels.