From immemorial times there are people in the Carpathians, who possess supernatural powers. They “read” the stars, commands thunder and storms, “tie” and “solve” rain, conjured snakes. They can predict the future and the past, heal seriously ill people. It is enough for them to stick a knife into a tree and the milk flows from it. And one of their main attributes – is an iron ax bartka. Once a year they go into an unknown cave and without seeing the sun there spend twelve days and twelve nights in a pose of embryo to cleanse and reborn as they wish to be…
Origin of the name molfar
They are called variously: diviners, sorcerers, wizards or molfars. The word “molfar” caught most among hutsuls – residents of Southeast of the Ukrainian Carpathians, it got covered in legends and became associated with the Carpathian sorcerers. For the first time in Ukraine they started talking about molfars after the story of Mykhaylo Kotsyubinskiy “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors” in 1911, later – in half a century, after the eponymous film adaptation of this work by the Georgian director Sergei Parajanov.
Here is how molfar himself, witch doctor, the late born in the village of Verkhny Yaseniv Mykhaylo Nechay told about hutsul soothsayers: “… The main power of molfar in his words and singing. Molfar is able to do both good and evil. Each molfar has his unique characteristic, the style of work. Some are born with magical knowledge, meaning they are molfars by heritage, which are passed from generation to generation of the same family. Others learn. Some master in black magic, others – in white … it’s minus and plus like a plug, here plus and minus are a black and light forces and there is a struggle between them. This is the beginning of life, and its continuetion. Molfar has to be a deeply spiritual person, so he turns to God and the host of heaven for help. If molfar does unjustly and defy the laws of nature, he may be deprived of magical obilities … I want to find a student, but haven’t met such a person yet. He must love people, nature, but not money. Where can anyone find such a fool, because today even children like money. Frankly, I already know the date of my death. I know why I will die, but I hope that by that time the man whose destiny is to become a molfar will appear. Without him it is the end for our tradition.”
The life of Carpathian molphars
Carpathian magicians settled mostly on the outskirts of villages in the mountains, where they were not known and or seen. People had to overcome considerable distances to access the hermit. Daredevils overcame turbulent flows of Tisza, Prut and Cheremosh, passed overhead dilapidated masonry, roamed the woods, soared deserted rocky paths, and only then at the top, covered with mountain fog, the traveler could see grazhda of molfar … Everyone who has been on such a journey was already worthy to be listened by respectable old man and get a decent tip.
Usually molfars are describe as bizarre and ruthless creatures, but they are not. As enlightened and tempered people, they were able to be faithful friends and sincere advisers, although they did not allow hurting themselves either.
How does molfar look like
Not all molfars were rickety old men, they were portrayed differently: loud, mustached, bearded, heavy eyes, thick black hair, the wise men. Sometimes it was impossible to know was that a man, or elder, or just guy that decided to be a molfar. Because of it a lot of people consider them in common with the old Slavic Magic.
A black cat is complementing the image of molfar. Those black cats are always present at magical rites and mysteries from ancient times. Thus, in the XIV century Christian Inquisition burned at the stake not only women witches, but also black cats as their accomplice. Molfar Nechay usually comes out to his guests with a black cat Mlyntsur, and this is not surprising because a black cat feels an aura of a person and catches her/his thoughts, he can specify the affected area, and also protects his owner from all possible illnesses and problems, withdrawn home from lightning. A cat for molfar is the kind of an amulet, “guard” of parallel worlds, it is in harmonizes space in which his charmer lives and works. God forbid to hit or mock a cat – for it there is an inevitable punishment and retribution. If the dog can forgive owner some ugliness, the cat will not do this ever, and will use all his magical powers against the defendant.
Types of molphars
By type of energy molphars can be classified into “sun” and “moon”, and by the kinds of activities into:
1) SOOTHSAYERS or SORCERERS- those who guesses the past and predict the future;
2) HRADIVNYKYS or CLOUDERS – those who divert hail and storm;
3) MEDICASTERS or PRYMIVNYKYS – those who treat illness with herbs, cure diseases with words;
Because of the unusual abilities and not a big amount of them molphars were feared and yet appreciated in the countryside, they were regarded as mediators between two worlds – a clear and otherworldly, they had spiritual responsibility for the village and its inhabitants. In critical situations, molfar was the one people were looking for refuge, they are often compared with the Gods.
Interesting information about hradivnyks gives in Volodymyr Shukhevych his monograph “Hutsulschyna”: “Hradivnyk is a man who knows how to prevent hail. He strikes (eats once a day) at St. Dinner in the evening he takes a broom and poker, and with all this bypasses his house three times with saying: “I pray thee cloud, through cloud, come to me, drink, walk, rejoice, roar, beat, I ask you”. After it enters the house, gathered dinner he puts in hiding somewhere, it should be there to Easter, after hiding, he starts to eat dinner and for the whole time of dinner, he doesn’t talk to anyone. Before Holy Easter he buys in 9 shops 1kr of incense, brings it home puts it to the gathered things he has hidden. After he hids that again until the cloud leaves”.
Post of Boikivshchynain “Prypividkas” by Ivan Franko is associated with hradivnyks or clouders: “By name Hmarnyk is being called the man who should be able to drive away or bring up storms and clouds.” Some sources indicate that hmarnyks are “born and learned”: “Those are born hmarnyks who know it from the beginning. As ghoul instinctually go to milk. ”
As for healers, as noted Ukrainian linguist Bronislaw Kobylyansky said: “… witch makes wounded with herbs and potions.” Among them there were also those who could rule beasts: “There are some healers that can convert beast to whatever he wants. They have some orders to do that. They can be as servant of Hutsul man, totty healers, there are story tellers with them” (A.Onyschuk, 1909). The word “witch” is known in many Slavic languages and in most cases interpreted as “people’s doctor” who uses his own non-medical treatments: herbal fumigation, whispering and so on. Some enthusiasts note the word “witch” (“znakhar”) has Aryan root “hara”, which stands for one of the seven energy centers-chakras (the “chara” – a viable energy) of the human, each of which is a source of information about the body.
The meaning of a word molfar
The etymology of the word “molfar” – is complex and requires careful study. The word is not sustainable in its use, the word changes, can migrate and interpreted by different people and can consist of different fragments resembling puzzle that linguists should be able to properly collect and decipher. In this case, there is no general the etymology of the name “molfar” still, so we can try to give our answer.
If you split the word “molfar” into syllables, we get:
– Root [MOL ‘] – fromword rumor, pray, speak
– [AR] – in Sanskrit means sun-light. For example, “arias” – white, sunny, golden; “AR-PATA” – sun-like country. Interestingly, [AR] can move in [YAR] – both values are identical solar value Yarylo-Sun.
– [F] – in my view, an extra letter, which was added over time as a result of numerous re-phrasing.
In conclusion, what do we have? The original word [Molar] or [molyar] – the one who prays, speaks to the sun, or in other words Rahman. There is a lot known about Rahmans in Hutsulschyna. Fourth Wednesday after Easter hutsuls celebrate Mid-Pentecost (Rahman’s Easter). In the Carpathian dialects name “Rahman” is used with the meaning “perfect being, good spirits, intermediaries between heaven and earth.”
For the first time, the question of the origin of the word “molfar” was raised by Ukrainian linguist Bronislaw Kobylyansky, he offered this explanation: “Old russian root formation MЪL (m’lva, m’lvyty) + suffix –ar’ = molvar, the one that conjures with word, incantation.” Subsequently, the researcher expressed different assumptions seeing “plausible relationship with Italian (Latin-Romance) MALFARE -“to do evil; crime, offense”, which can be explained by conscious efforts of the church and its collaborators to change everything sacred and clandestine to manner of evil, harm. Nearest examples: “Hutsul” – bandit, “opryshok” – racketeer, killer, etc.
As you can see, molfarstvo – the extraordinary responsibility, first of all, before oneself, the posterity, their people. Without sorcerers – the world will be meaningless, lose value. Finally, Molfars – are our authenticity, that’s what makes us unique and distinctive nations in the world. Unfortunately, molfarstvo is declining. No people to protect Carpathians. Last known worldwide molfar was Michael Nechay, he died July 15, 2011 at his home by hand schizophrenic murderer. An increasing number of those seeking income, rather than calling. Jurisdiction turns into a simulation. Let’s hope that people will be more spiritual, not quacks because molfar is a deeply religious man who makes the world to understand one truth: “Sanctify native gods and ancestors, live in harmony with nature and oneself, commit honestly, if you seek Higher Education – Know thyself … “.