Bereginy

Bereginy refers to a host of Slavic water spirits who serve as Bereginia’s entourage. Slavic women paid public homage to the Bereginy as late as the Middle Ages with secret devotions continuing long after. Christian chroniclers complained that the Bereginy were dangerous spirits precisely because of the persistence with which women continued to serve them secretly. Rituals once held openly on the banks of rivers were eventually held in secret, private places like the bathhouse. The Bereginy are not considered entirely benevolent: in Poland, they stand accused of stealing babies and leaving changelings in their place.

ORIGIN:

Slavic

Manifestations:

Beautiful women or mermaids

ICONOGRAPHY:

Bereginy are portrayed as double-tailed mermaids.

Realms:

River, forest, and lake

SEE ALSO:

SOURCE:

Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by :Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.

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