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Come celebrate Slavic and Old European love of the universe, of honoring all-that-is in folk traditions. From the simple presentation of bread and salt to guests in the home, to the elaborate and ceremonial welcoming of the new year at Yule with the czuwac and the wigilia, slavic babcie (wise women of the village) and pagans were constantly reminded of the sacredness of every moment and every breath. We learn the magics that exist in herbs and everyday household activities; the beauty of dance and music and laughter in celebration; the secret of the zawolanie, the word of power; and the and the magicks and methods of decorating the pisanka, millenia-old talismans made on eggs to honor the Mother in Her ancient form as Bird/Snake Goddess and Creatrix of the Universe. We are all connected: in this world, and between the worlds, above and below, within and without, one life, one breath, one Spirit.
Throw wide your arms ....
breathe in the wind ....
come dance in our circle!
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Okana is a babcia of the Old Slavic Ways whose skills were learned from a myriad of sources. It wasn't until she was in her late teens, though, that she realized what her family had been practicing all along was dwoistosc wiara, or double faith, the unique intermingling of Old Ways and New Religion that would help these beliefs and practices survive millenia of being overshadowed by the popular culture. Studying at the Uniwersytet Jagie³³onskiego in Kraków, Poland, sharpened her folk art skills, and a concentration in East European Studies at Buffalo State College sparked an interest in the mythology, anthropology and archaeology of East Central Europe that still burns within her as she searches for the missing pieces of the beliefs and practices of her ancestors. She is a member of Girl Scouts USA, Intertel, Mensa, The New York Folklore Society, the Slavic and East European Folklore Association, The World Congress of Ethnic Religions, the Nature Religions Scholars Network, and the Green Party. She has taught the craft of pisanki, had several articles published, and was interviewed for a chapter on Polonia for a textbook published by the Jagie³³onian University. Okana has her BA in Anthropology from SUNY Potsdam, and is a member of Lambda Alpha, and is doing her Master's thesis on Polonian folk magic.
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