About witches, brides and vests among the ancient Slavs

They say, “a good deed will not be called a marriage – and our ancestors, the ancient Slavs believed in a similar way.

And so that the marital union does not become, in modern terms, “defective”, the future wife could not do without training from an experienced witch who knows all the wisdom of women. But first things first!

Who is she witch? Most likely, the image of an evil sorceress who sold her soul to the devil for the sake of possessing special knowledge will now pop up in your thoughts. It’s like that. But let’s think about what meaning our ancestors put into this concept.

According to one version, the word “witch” should be interpreted as a “knowledgeable”, “knowledgeable” mother.

Witches could not only teach a lot, but also cure ailments. And such mentors were appreciated true, for the time being. When circumstances changed, persecution began against women with mysterious knowledge. Everyone remembers from the course of history how many “witches” were exterminated in those dark years!

In the days of the ancient Slavs, it was the witches who were entrusted with preparing girls for the wedding, so that, having learned, they could create a truly strong union with their husband. Those who took the “course” with the witches were called Vestami… Now they knew all the wisdom of marriage: how to become a loving, faithful and wise wife, as well as a caring mother and a good housewife.

When Vesta gave birth to her first child, she herself could become a witch and transfer valuable knowledge further.

The word “vesta” had a divine meaning for the Slavs. On the day of the vernal equinox, it was customary to pay tribute to the goddess Vesta, who not only brought good news to earth, but also marked spring, the awakening of nature after winter.

But what about those who have not been specially trained in the art of being a wife? Such girls were called brides (inexperienced, ignorant), and their unions were considered worthless. How would we put it now – “defective”.

It should be noted that the word “marriage” in those days did not have a negative connotation. The second meaning came to us in the times of Peter the Great and referred to poor-quality goods. According to some historians, the Old Slavonic word has Arabic roots. “Az braham” means to take a wife, to marry. Later, marriage itself as matrimony was added to the significance of the marriage ceremony. Old Russian “marriage” it is a wedding, a feast, and a marriage. Now the concept has narrowed. And when we say the word “marriage,” we usually mean only marriage. Well, a worthless product, of course.


Of course, this is not the only theory of the origin of the word “bride”. There is another: that the groom’s family perceived the future spouse as a girl “newly introduced”, as well as “unknown”, “unfamiliar”, that is, she was “out of nowhere.”

But you must admit that it doesn’t really matter. The main thing: to be a wife this is something that really needs to be learned, and we marry ignorant brides. But everything comes with experience!

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