March, 2019

Meet the Gods: Jarilo


Merry meet.

While Ostara (also called Eostre and Eastre) is the Germanic goddess of spring and dawn, there appears to be no equivalent Germanic god of spring. There is, however, a handsome, young Slavic god of spring and fertility – Jarilo. He was born on the night of the Slavic new year and was the tenth son of Perun, the god of thunder.

Veles, the Slavic god of the Underworld, kidnapped Jarilo from his cradle. As a result, winter overtook the land. Vegetation died and fertility was suspended. Jarilo escaped, arriving home in spring at which time flowers bloomed, birds sang and fertility festivals (some called them orgies) were held.

Each year the cycle of death and rebirth repeats, much like it does with the goddess Persephone. Each spring Jarilo returns on a white horse, celebrating the sun’s resurrection, so he was also considered a sun god. He was the god of vegetation, too, because he enabled crops to grow, protecting and defending them from natural disasters.

According to the website Meet the Slavs, “People used flowers, branches, leaves to adorn houses and barns. The wreaths were also made and thrown into the river or stream. Slavs sacrificed cattle to Jarilo, usually a ram or a goat. The priests sometimes sacrificed deer whose head was placed in front of the statue of God. When there existed threat of drought, rituals devoted to Jarilo included entire nation, so whole community prayed to God for rain.”

Also known as Gerovit, Jared and Rudjevid, he would protect the weak and helpless as a god of war. According to the same source, he demanded peace and harmony, and carried an olive branch in one hand and a sword in the other, but used “only in cases when difficulties could not be solved in other ways.”

Besides temples, Jarilo’s places were rivers, forests and cemeteries.

The month with which he is associated began March 21, when the sun entered the sign of Aries. For that reason, a ram was often sacrificed in his honor on the equinox.

As he returned to the world in the spring, according to, “by happenstance the lady he met was his own twin sister Marzanna (Morana), the goddess of nature, winter, and decay. Incestual relationship was a really popular thing for gods back in the day, so they soon fell in love and got married on the evening of the summer solstice.”

As that story goes, when she found out her brother/husband was unfaithful, she gathered the gods and together they murder Jarilo, dismembering him in a ritualistic sacrifice and forcing him back into the underworld. Marzanna becomes heartbroken and cruel. The cycle of death and rebirth allows Jarilo to meet, marry, and be dismembered by his sister year after year.

This Ostara, if you wish to call a god into your circle, Jarilo is one option. You could try putting an olive branch and a sword on your altar. You might also use a symbol of Aries or a ram, branches, flowers and other signs of spring.

If you would like a goddess from the same pantheon for your sabbat, get to know Kostroma, the East Slavic goddess of fertility and fruitfulness. In mythology, she was the one that provides fertility and abundance of land, invoked every spring through various rituals. Kostroma brings those born on this day a special talent in writing and speaking. Kostroma is also the goddess of signs and coincidences, according to “The World of Ancient Gods – Slavic Goddesses” on Meet the Slavs’ website.

Merry part. And merry meet again.


About the Author:

Lynn Woike was 50 – divorced and living on her own for the first time – before she consciously began practicing as a self taught solitary witch. She draws on an eclectic mix of old ways she has studied – from her Sicilian and Germanic heritage to Zen and astrology, the fae, Buddhism, Celtic, the Kabbalah, Norse and Native American – pulling from each as she is guided. She practices yoga, reads Tarot and uses Reiki. From the time she was little, she has loved stories, making her job as the editor of two monthly newspapers seem less than the work it is because of the stories she gets to tell. She lives with her large white cat, Pyewacket, in central Connecticut. You can follow her boards on Pinterest, and write to her at woikelynn at gmail dot com.

Protecting and Shielding with Herbs

July, 2006

There are many different ways of protecting and shielding.

I am not sure that anyone else will wish to discuss or open up about how they shield or protect themselves.

Personally , I don’t wish to tell anyone *everything* about how I accomplish this.

So , I certainly don’t expect anyone else to.

I hope that no one takes offense to that , its just a personal decision.

I feel that if I just blatantly tell everyone how I shield myself , I am opening myself up for any person to figure out how to "attack" or "break through" my shields if they so chose to.

I am in no way indicating that anyone would want to , but lets face it , better safe than sorry , eh ? 😉

And don’t let anyone fool you … because breaking through one’s shield can be done !!

I can however , share my knowledge and experience with this , but in terms of a particular form of Earth Magic.

And that form is how to protect oneself or shield oneself with herbs.

Herbs , as most of us already know , have different properties.

They carry a spiritual , medicinal and magical property !

Spiritual , meaning they can aide in the healing and cleansing of one’s spirit/soul , mind and/or heart (and their chakras), etc.

Medicinal , meaning they can aide in the healing of physical ailments and/or illnesses , and magical , meaning they can aide in the casting and/or production of *spells* and/or bending of the will for acquiring one’s own personal desires. With the latter falling into combination with the first ! 😉

If we study long and hard enough (which is called "herbology") we can learn how to use herbs to our benefit for each of these things.

There are many hundreds of thousands of herbs that our lovely Mother has provided to us.

And , there is no way to learn them every one in a lifetime.

Even the most knowledgable herbalists know and realize that learning about herbs is a continual ongoing study , practice and process. Even with the ones they thought they knew !

The study of herbs , depending on how far one wishes to take it , can become complex and difficult.

Its almost as hard as going to pharmacology school ! In fact , in my own personal opinion , the study of herbs and all of their properties would be much harder than pharmacology school.

Unlike pharmacology school , herbs are not federally regulated , have no boundaries , hence ; encompass a very broad spectrum and ultimately leaving it up to the individual to learn about them.

In pharmacology , a person only learns what the federal government *allows* and what the school teaches.

There are many , many more herbs than there are drugs !

But , as most of us already know , 90% of our drugs are extracted from herbs and that medicines have been coming from our Mother Earth since the beginning of man and his innate desire to help another in need !

Studying herbs can also become confusing. Confusing because one herb can be applied for so many different things , and another herb (that also does many things) can be used in combination with it to acquire yet something else !

So believe me when I tell you that it can give you headaches while trying to remember it all. 😉

On the same token , we cannot allow this to deter us or discourage us if we are going to use them !

We should try and learn as much as possible about them.

The best advice I can give anyone about learning herbs and their properties is to (maybe) do what I did.

When I first started learning about herbs , I took it slow and easy and read the most simple things I could find.

Of course , as time went on however , I got more in depth.

I bought one book at a time , with my first book relating to physical healing (again , the most simple one I could find) then went on to books about magical properties , and as time went on , continually adding to my library of herbal books until I started reading about the spiritual properties as well.

What I found is the magical and the spiritual properties can go "hand in hand."

Nonetheless , I took on one subject at a time.

For me , it was just easier learning about all of the different herbs and their different properties , one at a time. But this most assuredly doesn’t mean that someone would always find my way the best way.

A person may wish to approach their studies in a totally different manner all together.

And there certainly isn’t anything wrong with that !

So as you can probably already tell , one way of protecting myself , my home and my surroundings is with herbs.

Even down to my vehicle !

Sweetgrass holds protective propertie.

It was (and still is) burned by Native Americans for protection and cleansing and has been for hundreds of years.

I think most of us already know that we can use sage for protection (and cleansing as well).

While earthy , sweetgrass has a sweet vanilla smell while sage has a very warm smell.

Because negative spirits and/or entities do not like the smell of either, they both work wonders for protection.

Also , when burning herbs , it is believed by the Native American that smoke from the burning herb *carries* their prayers and/or communications to their Creator.

You can burn both sweetgrass and sage. But , you can also carry them on your person , hang them around your home , or in your vehicles , etc.

One way that I have protected myself in my vehicle is by keeping a braid of sweetgrass on my dash.

Atlanta , Georgia is one of the worst places in the world to be driving !

Traffic here is not only ridiculous , it is dangerous.

Since I have been back in Atlanta, I have been hit four times in my car ! Four !!

None of these times have I been "hurt." Not at all. Not even a scratch !

Nor has my husband or anyone else been hurt !

Not even the person who hit us !

In addition to the sweetgrass , I keep cat whiskers in my glove box (which of course is *not* an herb but can be used for travel protection).

But , please … this doesn’t mean you can go and pluck one of your cat’s whiskers out of his nose ! (this will definitely hurt your animal) !

They will "naturally" fall out. If you have a cat and you happen to find one , place it on your altar and empower it during a Waxing Moon. Then place it in a plastic bag and put it in your glove box.

I truly believe the sweetgrass and the cat whiskers together , have protected me (and mine) from getting hurt.

Now mind you , this is by no means the *only way* I protect myself !!

But as a whole , herbs have proven to be a very productive and successful means of protection for me.

So far, I’ve had no problems with using herbs for this purpose and every measure I have ever taken has seemed to work just fine. Using sweetgrass in my vehicle is just one example out of many.

We can place herbs in amulets , wear them around our neck in fancy little bottles or in a charm , wear them in a poison ring , we can place herbs in small muslin bags or sachets and hang them in our windows of our homes or in our cars or anywhere we might be or anywhere we might reside for any length of time.

We can scatter them around our house in corners , outside our doors , over our doors , around the window sills or burn them in a cauldron. We can also *ingest* some of them. Cooking and/or eating some of the herbs (ones that are edible , and please , before eating ANY herb , be sure you know what it is and that it is safe to eat it) can be used in this manner for health , transformations and/or magical reasons.

No matter what purpose , we can carry herbs with us where ever we go.

Simply put , there are many ways to use herbs for every type of protection.


Allergic reactions can and will occur.

It might be wise to use one herb at a time to ensure your own personal safety before using them in combinations.

I personally ended up in the hospital with hives due to the usage of an herb that I was apparently allergic to.

However, because I had been using several (approximately seven) herbs at the same time, I did not know which one caused the outbreak.

This caused me to stop using all of the ones I had been experimenting with.

Herbs have vibrations just like every other living thing.

And , most of them carry a "positive" vibration.

Because of this , they are commonly used for protection against "negative" vibrations.

Henceforth ; most herbs are used to protect one against anything or anyone that is ill-willed or negative.

The herbs set up a barrier and when something negative hits it , it will bounce off of the herb and go back from where it came.


I have found that if you are going to be working with herbs for protection , its best to try and empower them during a Waxing Moon. Now sometimes , this is not always possible.

But if you can , it would probably enhance the power of your intent.

We must also try to remember that because herbs *are* alive and breathing , that once an herb is picked or cut it can only live for so long. After a while , an herb starts to lose its potency.

This means we must use our herbs pretty quickly if we are going to be using them for any of the applications stated. Most herbs carry what is called a "shelf life" for approximately 1 year. However , some herbs can lose their potency as early as a few weeks. It is best to have some working knowledge of the herb before using it or at least some kind of guide to help determine how long any particular herb will carry its potency once it has been picked and/or cut.

Freeze dried herbs are less potent than organic or naturally dried herbs. If you are wanting more of a punch when using herbs, be sure and use your organic or naturally grown and picked/cut herbs.

Herbs also carry male and female properties as well as elemental and astronomical properties.

Herbs can be used for three different types of protection. One being purification , where one feels they may have something negative attached to them *personally* , whether that be psychically or physically.

Even if you don’t feel you have anything ill willed or negative *attached* , you may still wish to do a purification for a preventive measure. Purifications can be done on a regular basis.

Purification rituals are simple and most relaxing if done in a bath. We can use different types of protecting herbs in our bath tubs and not have any problems with the plumbing because of it , either ! 🙂

For a purification bath , we can use sea salts and essential oils mixed with herbs or just the herbs alone.

Salts are not only protective but can be good for our circulation while the essential oils are great for aromatherapies. I have used them in combination with different herbs and this seems to be something that works well for me as well as something I truly enjoy.

The other protection is for our personal surroundings , (which can again , include ourselves) , our home, car or any other form of residence or travel that we might use on a regular basis.

There are many ways and many herbs we can use for protection and shielding.

Its best to just experiment with different herbs and find which ones you like best or which ones work best for you. As most of us know , everything in the Witch’s path is personal and based on personal experience.

Hence ; it is totally up to you to decide which ones to use and to decide which ones are best.

In case you’ve never worked with herbs before or in case you don’t know which ones to begin with , below is a beginner’s list for those who wish to start.

These are used for protecting oneself and ones own surroundings. They can be used in the many different forms that have been previously mentioned ; i.e.; amulets , charms , sachets , baths , burning , etc.

The following herbs are easily found or may be in your home already ;

Rue , mistletoe , hyssop , basil , garlic , onion , mullein , angelica , rosemary , sea salts.

Herbs can be bought in bulk and in capsules or you can grow your own.

Growing herbs can be fun , but very time consuming.

So if you plan to grow your own , it might be wise to make sure you are going to be committed to it.

If you have a very busy lifestyle , it might be a good idea (and could possibly save you alot of time) by simply going to your local herbalist or herb store and purchasing your herbs through one of them.

Herbs vary in price. They range from very reasonable to very expensive.

I have also found that if one is fairly new to the market , it could be pretty expensive at first. If you find this to be true , you can substitute with something similar that carry the same properties and have the same purpose … until the price comes down a bit.

If you do decide to grow your own , its good to remember there are particular ways to prepare the soil and sometimes specific Moon times to do so. In fact , there are also specific Moon times that should be used for planting , picking and using herbs. You can purchase a guide to help you along with this and help you understand which times are best for using which herb and for what.

No matter what you decide to do in how you protect or shield yourself , remember that herbs are a great source for many things. If in our cabinets , we can use them for healing physical ailments for all who come into contact with us , both family and friends .. or for anyone who may become ill or get hurt.

Herbs are mysterious, wondrous, interesting, advantagous and powerful !

And in my opinion , every Witch should have an herb cabinet !

One of my favorite quotes;

"Never turn down a cup of tea from a Witch!!" 😉


author bio:

Rain Dove

© Copyright , June 2006