Mysterious Town Kitezh

Each nation has its magic, mysterious places described in folklore. Those are places of a spiritual force that mean a connection with ancestors thus with customs & traditions as well as a spiritual rebirth or the Garden of Eden on Earth.

In case of the Russian mythology & culture as a whole this place appeared only in the 18th century. Town Kitezh or Kitezh Grad, as we name it, is something completely unique & pure Russian. This is a mysterious place located beneath waters of Lake Svetloyar somewhere in the Nizhny Novgorod Region. As a rule it is invisible to people, however for true Orthodox Christians & those who bear the authentic Russian spirit in their hearts, it might appear above the waters early in the morning.

Kitezh Grad‘s symbolism is more philosophical & theological. This is a town of hope, prosperous future, the true Eden on Earth we should looking for. It might exist only in Russia, as our philosophers considered, & it would be the path for saving our nation. As the whole Russian culture of the late period (18th-19th centuries) represents a mixture of the strict Orthodoxy, admiration of the Western Europe (France, Germany) & a profound pagan background, Kitezh Grad is a complicated folklore phenomenon indeed. Its essence consists of three contradicting currents, so it is difficult to comprehend which one is responsible for its mystery & moreover what way it is formed.

It is in the core of the Russian philosophy to seek for God, the purpose of life, to suffer for high ideals & ideas, so Kitezh Grad is an imaginary destination a man of the high spirit must follow. Another interesting point is that, no matter its approximate location, Kitezh Grad exists mostly somewhere in the depth of our hearts. It doesn’t have any particular shape, it is invisible, so it means that it belongs to another dimension, to the Eternal life.

There is little information what this town looks like & what expect a man of the high spirit there when he will finally reach it. And this intrigue makes Kitezh Grad even more attractive.  Coming out of the lake waters early in the morning a sunlit town leading us towards the true Christian salvation. What a hopeful picture of the better future!

Maria KethuProfumo

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Mercure Galant: Canon Fishing

Esteemed Readers, have you ever thought about a canon fishing? It must be a very amusing way of entertainment. At least this note published in the “Mercure Galant” makes this impression:

“Shipwreck happened at the Isle Davés has been covered with success for the French who have surpassed Peoples spending all their lives at the Sea.

The Dutch wanted to draw Canons our ships have lost (there) but they caught only 25 pieces…Then they gave up this affair & turned it to those who were engaged with Ships. The order for this Fishing was given to Mr. Forran who managed to catch 368 whole canons, 191 items from cast iron & 177 items from iron. This “fishing” took him about 5-6 days… Then the Dutch decided to send a ship to possess the Isle (Davés) but were surprised to find Our People there. So, the only thing they were allowed to take were some woods. The Governor of Corassol received Mr. Forran & demanded all the canons they had caught back & immediately he sent a letter of displeasure to the Netherlands…”

Live and Learn!

Vive le Roy! 🙂 🙂 🙂

Maria KethuProfumo

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Samhain Mood

Esteemed Readers, to make the Samhain spirit more complete, I’d like to present you this wonderful folk piece of music! Enjoy listening!

Maria KethuProfumo

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La Gazette: Historical News Today – 1631

Esteemed Readers, we go on our historical diving into events of the Thirty Years’ War. On the eve of Samhain, remembrance of the Past is most welcome:

Silesia, May 29, 1631: ” This unfortunate province suffers much because of the Imperial troops & we are afraid of the worst from the other side (of the province) that seems to have been attacked. Town Glogou hasn’t been yet left to provide the Imperial armies with ammunition bread. Every habitant is constrained to pay them wages & there is no hope for the better, as soldiers who arrived first are exchanged with new ones. There are no comforting tidings from Burgrave de Dona either. It seems that men enjoy destroying treasures of Earth God has given us so generously. That’s what we see this year. Although our Princes & Rulers will settle this if long negotiations will end well because their assembly in Preslau is yet possible.”

Anvers, Juin 21, 1631: “Our army has surrounded this town. Breda separates it from the enemy, who won’t hurt us much due to this position. Our people has taken a ship carried with weapons that Marquis de Doulrac has made launch into the Rhin as a pretext for guiding it to Lorraine where she will stop again. These days an important War Councils have taken place & they make us hope for some practical actions. The 16th of this month our foot (13 Regiments under 132 flags, 20 big canons & 26 medium ones) will pass by the town (Anvers) on their way back from Bruges. Count de Scarnafice has recieved a feather worthy of four thousand livres (a great sum of money for that time) as a gift from  Cardinal Infant (Ferdinand).”

Vive le Roy! 🙂

Winter is arriving & may it be more positive than historical news. War has always been the war. We should remember it now at the period of darkness to keep our souls & minds protected.

Happy Samhain! Oidhche Shamhna!

Maria KethuProfumo

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Louis XIV Asks Riddles X

Esteemed Readers, it is time for a new riddle. It is linked with an extraordinary natural phenomenon & might even appear in the sky in the day of Samhain. Well…it would be very impressive! Good luck!

“A Giant who ascends to celestial torches, who holds Earth & its essence. In the bosom of Thetis he was born & if we believe what we see (when we look at him), we would say that bent alike one of the Atlases holding the Sky he supports their heavy machine.”

REPLY to the Riddle posted on September 26, 2019: PAPER

Dear Rosaleine & John, my congratulations! You are the winners again as both of you were very close to the right answer!

Vive le Roy! 🙂

Maria KethuProfumo

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Author Fairy Tale: The Little Scarlet Flower

Besides traditional tales there are plenty of ones made by our famous authors. And today I would like to present you a synopsis of a tale by Sergey Aksakov. It is a Russian interpretation of Beauty & the Beast & very famous yet nowadays. There are a ballet, a cartoon & a film, all wonderfully made, which only make this story better. Looking forward to read your thoughts, my Esteemed Readers!

The story so far: Once upon a time there lived a wealthy merchant, who had three beautiful daughters. Once he decided to do business overseas. He called for the daughters and asked what gifts should he bring them. The eldest asked for a golden tiara adorned with precious gems that sparkled brightly, and the second wanted a crystal mirror which always showed the person’s reflection as young and beautiful. The merchant knew these would be difficult to obtain, but within his means. The youngest, named Nastenka (a diminutive form of the given name Anastasia), asked for the most beautiful scarlet flower in the world, which she had seen in a dream. The merchant did not know where he could find such a flower, but promised not to disappoint.

Everything went well. The merchant bought all gifts, except for the scarlet flower. He saw many scarlet flowers, but not the most beautiful one. On the way home he was attacked by robbers, fled into the woods and became lost. When he awoke the next morning he saw a splendid palace “in flame, silver and gold”. He walked inside, marveling at the splendor, but the palace was seemingly empty. Spread before him was a luxurious feast, and he sat down and ate. When he walked out to the garden he saw the most beautiful scarlet flower, and knew it was the one his daughter desired. Upon picking it, the terrible Beast of the Forest leapt out and confronted the merchant, asking him why he dared pick the scarlet flower, the one joy of the beast’s life. The beast demanded that the merchant repay him and forfeit his life. The merchant begged for mercy and to be returned to his daughters. The beast allowed this on the one condition that within the next three days one of his daughters would willingly take her father’s place and live with the beast, or the merchant’s life would be forfeit. The beast gave the merchant a ring, and the girl that put it on the littlest finger of her right hand would be transported to the palace. Then the beast magically transported the merchant home, with all his wealth and treasures restored.

The merchant explained what happened to his three daughters. The eldest two believed the youngest should go, since it was her present that caused this disaster. The youngest daughter loved her father so, so she willingly went to live with the beast. Nastenka lived luxuriously with the beast, who granted her every desire, fed her delicious food and gave her rich jewels and clothing, yet never revealed himself to her for fear of upsetting her. However Nastenka became fond of the beast and asked to see him. When he finally revealed himself to her, she was overcome with fear but controlled herself, and apologized to the beast for upsetting him. When Nastenka had a dream that her father was ill, the Beast let her visit him. However, he said that she must come back in three days, otherwise he would perish, since his love for her was so great he loved her more than himself, and could not bear to be apart from her.

Nastenka’s visit to her father revived his spirits, but her sisters resented the wealth she lived in. They tried to talk her out of returning to the Beast, but Nastenka could not be so cruel to her kind host. The elder sisters put the clocks back and closed the windows, to trick Nastenka. When Nastenka felt that something had been wrong and came back to the Monster’s palace, he lay dying near the scarlet flower. Nastenka rushed to his side, took him in her arms, and cried that she loved him more than herself, that he was her true love. All of a sudden thunder boomed, and Nastenka was transported to a golden throne next to a handsome prince. The handsome prince explained that he was the Beast, cursed by a witch who was fighting his father, a mighty king. To break the curse, a maiden had to fall in love with him in his monstrous form. The merchant gave his blessing to the young couple, who lived happily ever after.

Maria KethuProfumo

The Source: Wikipedia. For curious minds: The Scarlet Flower animation movie 1952 with the English subtitles in Youtube! Enjoy watching!

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Taboos In The Russian Folk Tales

Folklore not only teaches us, guides deep into the consciousness of our ancestors, keeps the memory of peoples & languages. It helps us to study & to comprehend how the mentality is formed, how the Time reflects in this or that historical period. Folk tales contain many other treasures like customs, traditions &, of course, taboos.

Our hi-tech civilization has already perverted our minds. We live in the world upside-down, where many taboos kept through the centuries have been broken, while the rests of them are prejudiced. That’s why when we read a tale, we can hardly comprehend the complete power of taboos described in them. In case of the Russian mythology, we might notice a hero must break a taboo or a restriction to pass his trial. However, the Slavic spirit too often means a violent way to do that. It is a big puzzle for me if this attitude is imposed by editing of our tales or it is yet in the very Russian essence, which is in fact dark due to its cruel climate, forests & too wide space. I would suggest that “to break a taboo” is to pass the limit in our folklore: the limit of moralité, consciousness, honour.

Our heroes don’t know to fight dragons. They don’t serve their Lord & a Fair Lady. The Russian heroes seem to be wild bears who don’t know la culture courtoise. The impulse of Chaos leads them & due to its nature, it demands blood & flesh sacrifice. From this point of view the Russian tales have kept the core of the World Beginning. They make us ponder upon the darkness we come from. They make us learn to subdue our instincts & to respect taboos or to transform them without dangerous consequences.

Maria KethuProfumo

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