Makosh, also known as Mokosh, has dominion over rains, dew and streams, which water the land and make growth possible. Makosh has no fixed appearance, but typically looks like a slim and motherly woman. She is well-known for her concern for women’s matters and as the object of a fertility cult.
Her elemental realm appears as a level grassy plain suspended in the Plane of Mist, where dew on every leaf twinkles in the light of positive energy filtering through the plane. Her Elysian realm is a wide swathe of damp farmland, criss-crossed by many tiny streams, which flow by every path and through all the fields.
Mokosh is an earth goddess. She rules over fertility and midwifery. She is commonly called Mati-Syra-Zemlya, or “Moist Mother Earth.” Mokosh spins flax and wool at night and shears sheep. She also spins the web of life and death. She wanders during Lent disguised as a woman, visiting houses and doing housework; at night strands of fleece are laid beside the stoves for her. She may have originally been a house spirit concerned with women’s work. Eventually, her worship was transmuted to the modern widespread reverence for Mother Russia. Mokosh is dark, like good, black soil. She is portrayed with uplifted hands, flanked by two horsemen.
Mokosh became St. Paraskeva, whose hair hangs long, loosely, and whose icon is decorated with flax and birch. Paraskeva is also known as Mother Friday. One prayer to Mokosh involves going to the fields at dawn in August with jars filled with hemp oil.
Turn East and say: “Moist Mother Earth, subdue every evil and unclean being so that he may not cast a spell on us nor do us any harm.” Turn West and say: “Moist Mother Earth, engulf the unclean power in your boiling pits, in your burning fires.” Turn South and say: “Moist Mother Earth, calm the winds coming from the south and all bad weather. Calm the moving sands and whirlwinds.” Turn North and say: “Moist Mother Earth, calm the north winds and the clouds, subdue the snowstorms and the cold.” Oil is poured out after each invocation, and finally, the jar is thrown to the ground.
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