Author of all texts about mythology on these web-pages is Lidija Bajuk:

   lidija.bajuk@posluh.hr
   scena.hgu.hr/lidija-bajuk/


  1. PERUN
      - The Sky
      - The Mountain
  2. PERUNIKA
      - Leluya
      - Ball lightning
  3. AQUARIUS
      - Candlemen
      WATER MAID
      - Fairies
      - Witches
  4. DRAGON
      - Water
      SNAKE
      - Bogorodica
        (Rainbow)
  5. GREEN GEORGE
      - The Moon
      - Corn Spirit
  6. LEPA MARA
      - Hair
      - Embroidery
  7. GRABANCIJAŠ
      - Light
  8. PESJANEK
      - Forest
  9. LITTLE RED HAT
       (DWARF)
      - The Cap, Little Hat
  10. STRAHE & MRAKI
        (GIANTS)



AQUARIUS (VODENJAK, astermant, vodboj, water man - it's name ''vodenjak'' is a compound noun of two words ''voden'', meaning ''water'' and ''jak'', meaning ''strong'')
WATER MAID (Vodanojka)

They are water deities, of rivers, lakes, seas and wells. They protect seafarers and fishermen and they are parents to fairies called Rusalke. As pre-Christian beliefs were abandoned they got degraded into evil supernatural beings who live in water, often near mills, from autumn until St George's day, and during summer move to the forests. They lure and attack the ones who are not careful enough, or those who go swimming after the sun goes down and the sinnful. They use a whirlpool to drown them and then drag them to the bottom and there the drowned have to serve them in the glass castle.

Names of Croatian places such as Vodice, Vodnic and Vodnjan remind of these deities. Their day is Wednesday, the third day of the week. The Water Maid is described as a naked woman with long hair and greenish skin which looks like a fish's. The pre-Christian god Vod(j)an/Voden/Vodin/Vodna/Vodnik was belittled into an old and grotesque creature of supernatural strength, green and covered in moss and long hair, with flaming eyes and paws or branches instead of arms. Some sources say he is a hyppocampus a creature half fish and half horse. It can cause rain by playing his instrument. People in central Asia believe that there is a water bull that lives at the bottom of lakes and its cries predict a storm. It is interesting that old people in Bosnia and Herzegovina still say that the earth lies on the back of a bull and that when it moves it causes earthquakes. When a river, lake or swamp dries up in Medjimurje a timid bird called ''vodomar'', makes its nest there. It is also called ''bunkac''/''ribar''(fisherman)/''vodeni bik''(water bull), because it makes a sound similar to the bull's. It was believed that it is a dragon under a spell. The whirlpool, underwater world reminds of the mythical place Virej, the world of eternal spring where the snakelike shepherds Veles and his longhaired mermaid with a beautiful voice, called Ir(ica), dwell. It also reminds of the wet meadow on which the souls of the dead walk and that is the place from which their stepson the Green George, the vegetation god, comes from.





The similarity between these two couples, Veles and Ir(ica) and Vodenjak and Vodanojka (Aquarius and Water Maid) refer perhaps to the other side of the character of the superior mythical couple Perun and Perunika. They are perhaps identical characters. In many folk tales and songs they are presented as a couple of snakes. Young aquarii are less dangerous. They drag the person who is drowning to the shore and leave him there in the shallow water. These beliefs are the remnant of the ritual of human sacrifices that used to be made to the water gods. Fishing at noon can be dangerous because it causes storms and illusions, and you can catch a carp without a tail which is actually an aquarius. It is interesting to note that people in the Far East believe that a carp can turn into a winged dragon. There is a similar belief in some parts of Croatia where people believe that an old sheat-fish or a snake can turn into a winged fiery ''sarkanj'' with a tail, which wonders the earth in the form of a beggar asking for milk and when it does not get it, sends the wind and hailstorm over fields. Sometimes it is also the creadture ridden by the Thundermaker (''Gromovnik'') and therefore the Thundermaker himself, i.e. his dark side. As the bearer of bad weather it reminds of an old Croatian mythical character called ''grabancijas'', from the Italian word ''negromanzia'' meaning black magic, who can also make rain and hail. Another water creature is orhan/orho/orko/orkul, a hairy water monster which stops passengers in the night and asks them for some fish to eat. The Aquarius was often identified with the dragon (a male), but also with the snake (the female) and this refers to the ancient mythical superior god who was a hermaphrodite and in time developed into a number of mythical characters, changing its sex and character depending on what the official religious belief was. There are a few hundreds of aquarii. Similar to it is the character Ususur from the parts of Bosnia near the river Sava (Bosanska posavina). It is a green elf covered in moss who drowned a beautiful girl because she did not love him and then punished himself by tying himself down to the river bottom in the middle of a whirlpool with chains. If somebody hears him sing ''Ususur!, Ususur!, Ususur!'' on the first day of autum, they will die soon. The role of the pre-Christian deity Vodan was taken over by St. Nicholas in Christian times.