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

  1. PERUN
      - The Sky
      - The Mountain
      - Leluya
      - Ball lightning
      - Candlemen
      - Fairies
      - Witches
      - Water
      - Bogorodica
      - The Moon
      - Corn Spirit
      - Hair
      - Embroidery
      - Light
      - Forest
      - The Cap, Little Hat


It is a part of a person's self which he, provoked by the shadow, reflection, echo, vision, dream or halucination, imagines as a little flame, like a candle's. It is the soul, which after a person's death, comes out of the person's heart, separates from a rotting body and becomes independent. To let go of your soul means to die, to free yourself from the prison of the body. Although the soul becomes free, it keeps its feelings and so it can love and hate from a grave. The souls of the dead dance above waste land, usually a marsh in the late autumn or winter or in the early spring. They let out a blue light and last about fifteen seconds. The scientists explained this phenomenon as a smaller amount of a highly flammable self-combustible gas which exists in places where there are rotting things. They announce their presence by snapping, tapping or clicking. They can pass through the head of a needle. Some of them ploughed land that wasn't theirs. They are called the measurers (''merniki/merneki/mjeraci/krivomjeri'' or ''indjelijeri'') and are punished and during the Christmas midnight service have to measure and plough the land of those who have it too much. There are legends in Medjimurje of candlemen who lurk merchants (people who are transporting goods in carts from one place to the other) when they are returning home. The candlemen hope that they will get rid of their curse by entering their lamps. When they do that, the cart suddenly becomes heavy again, because of the heaviness of their sins , and frightens the animals that are pulling it. The animals then start running wildly or get completely exhausted. The merchant can chase them away by saying a curse or a prayer. What he will say, depends on whether the animal pulling the cart is a solar or a lunar animal and whether the saying of the Lord's name is punishment of the curse or a prayer which will chase evil forces away. Similar to candlemen are ''museki'' (children with dirty faces) and ''vazlini'', little flames carried by unknown children. You shouldn't turn after them or they will turn you into ice. Because of their underground origin they have been attributed mythological characteristics. They are similar to the faun from the ancient Roman tradition who was a teacher of farming and cattle breeding, a prophet and a god of the forests and fields. Because of it, the candlemen represent the human spiritual power, the power of thought. The soul of a man asleep and the soul of a man in a trance can leave the body through the mouth. The soul is connected to the body with an invisible chord and after it has wandered around the world it will return into the body after its owner awakes. A man asleep should never be awoken abruptly or the chord will break in which case the sleeper would lose its soul, i.e. his own shadow. If this happens, he becomes the shadow man.

The same happens to a man whose shadow falls on a newly built building. His shadow remains built into the building and the man goes mad. Sometimes the souls from Hell can be saved by the grace of the Almighty and land on a lowered lane, but only the souls which do not have any serious sins. It was believed in many old nations and civilizations that the Sun and Moon (i.e. the night Sun) were man's oldest ancestors, that they were imprisoned demons which represent the soul (this was the viewpoint of the Bogomils). The souls of all other ancestors were imagined inside the bodies of some plants and animals which will transfer them into the world of the dead. (The animals included the fish, snake, spider, butterfly, bee, bird - woodpecker, raven, coockoo, crow, heron; mouse, cat, wolf, dog, pig, stag, horse.) They were also imagined as breath, a burning form (like the flames or balls of fire), sparks, shadows (a man without a soul is a man without a shadow and a man without a shadow is a man without light), spirits of vegetation and fertility, supernatural beings, monsters, apparitions that do not attack but frighten people (e.g. the souls of people who committed suicide and damned people, apparitions wearing black apparel with their head in their hands and fiery sparks or crossed candles in the place where the head should be) and spells. The souls of the dead will become vampires, that is turn into an animal forever. There are other beings from Croatian folk legens similar to the candlemen, such as ''danja'', indiscernible beings which come out in the dark nights, ''dide'' or ''mrtve'' (the dead), apparitions wearing white gowns and making noise in the houses where they used to live, ''mrake'' and ''mracice'' (dark men and women) evil spirits of men and women who were not married, ''nemre'' (does not die) the dead whose bodies cannot rot in the grave, ''plasine'' or ''stravine'' (those that frighten) inexplicable things or events, ''posmetuhi'' impure spirits, ''pretke'' (ancestors) and ''svece'' (candles) spirits that follow their body during the funeral ceremony and go up to Heaven to join God before sunrise, ''slote'', extremely big, strong and ugly women apparitions which cause cattle to have cholera and plague, ''tenjce'', vampire shadow of a man that wasn't buried, etc. All of them can be recognized by children born one week after Easter. It is obvious that ancestors were not honoured only out of respect but also out of fear from them. A soul wanders around, visiting places that it knows until the body rots completely and that means about forty days after its death. This is also the period of the mourning of its relatives. During these forty days the soul is unhappy, desperate, and the not yet decomposed body in the grave is called ''the desperate one''.

This is the reason why the richer Slavs used to burn their dead and thus quicken the separation of the soul from the body. If the soul was not sinnful and if it rained into its open grave during the burial, after seven weeks the soul will became a Heavenly soul and cross the heavenly water across a bridge. In the daytime the bridge is the rainbow and at night it is the Milky Way. It will enter Heaven, which is sometimes called ''Nav'' and which is represented as a heavenly meadow, where it will join all the other dead members of its family. Sinnful souls go to Hell when they cross the underground water. Souls can be tied to a rock or a tree which is the main reason why trees are planted in graveyards and why the headstones are made of stone. They can be lured, but also frightened away by dancing. Souls who have not been well taken care of and honoured enough, souls of people who died too soon or in a violent way (especially souls of young women who died giving childbirth), souls of people who comitted suicide, souls of cowards, souls of those who were killed by the hand of the enemy, souls of perjurors and criminals and of those who did not receive the last rites from a priest will join the lowered, fallen gods and become evil spirits searching for vengeance. In pre-Christian times the last rites was actually the ceremony of the dying saying farewell to their loved ones and asking them to look after their souls and protect them from the impurities of the decomposition. The evil spirits can never be redeemed for their sins, not even if they pass through the fire of Hell three times. Everybody who is going through a transitional period in their life, like getting married, as well as the innocent, the beautiful, the young, the healthy, the strong and the good suffer under their influence. People can protect themselves from them by wearing a veil, cutting circles (the sun's symbol), washing, laughing, getting drunk, spitting, spilling water, wearing clothes inside out, wearing ribbons, with a broom, showing the naked behind, with aromatic thorny, poisonous or blessed herbs, with a green twig, horns, amulets such as wolf's eyes, shooting, preparing mysterious food and drinks or behaving in mysterious ways, having sharp objects, cutting the finger, having a horseshoe (the moon's symbol), mirrors, gold necklaces, amethist, shells, organizing ritual bonfires and dances, having salt, swaying, sprinkling holy water, smoking the room, ringing bells or wether-bells, saying words that have ritual meaning and prayers. Ritual processions are especially effective. All ritual processions are connected with the cult of the ancestors. There is no proof that the Slavs worshipped totems, but the ritual dressing up and wearing masks is very similar to it. The origins of it lie in the identification of the plants and animals as the man's ancestors, but also in frightening away and disorienting the souls of the dead. Candlemen visit their descendants during the whole year, especially if they are called by their name and especially on certain holidays like Shrove Tuesday, Palm Sunday, Easter, St. George's day, St.Philip's day, Ascension, Pentecost, midsummer day, All Saint's day, during the Advent, at Christmas Eve, at Christmas, St. Stephen's day, New Year's day, Epiphany. In order to befriend the spirits and to secure the prosperity and well-being of the village different rituals took place, like processions, carnivals, St. George's May festivities, ''rusajlije'' or ''ljelje'', burning of the bonfire on midsummer day (St. John's day), etc. Old people from Medjimurje claim that the candlemen fly to the church on All Saint's day to attend the evening service. They can be seen by those who are without sin. It is a Christian teaching that the word of God separates the spirit (the male principle) and the soul (the female principle). The Holy Spirit works on the body which enlivens the body. Through the transformation of the soul through the spirit, i.e. through the search for God, the soul is saved and becomes immortal. In this way it influences the body and teaches it to live a rigtheous life in this world as well as after the resurrection. The psychologists say that the soul binds the I (all of the psychological functions) with Myself (the unconsciuous). When a personality develops fully, the biological and instinctive Eve's love purifies into the spiritual love of the Virgin Mary. At the highest point of the human development it attains its meaning through the selfless giving of love and thus becoming a method of self-affirmation through giving birth of your own light, i.e. Sun, i.e. wisdom. The transmigration of souls or metempsychosis is only characteristic of divine creatures and represents the passage from one form into another with the purpose of trasferring knowledge.