D – Domovoi

So I’m going to talk a bit about a creature from Slavic mythology and folklore.

The domovoi.

It’s a household spirit. They’re small in size, masculine and often are bearded. I know that in some folklore the stories say that the domovoi can take on the appearance of the owner of the house. Traditionally, every house has a domovoi. And, even though by appearance they might seem a bit frightening (the descriptions in folklore are sometimes a bit frightening), they aren’t usually troublesome to the household unless they are angered.

If I remember the folklore correctly, the domovoi likes to live under the stove, but another place is under the threshold. They’re usually friendly to their own home, but I know that the folklore states that domovoi from another household are not as friendly to one.

A lot of the time they get compared to poltergeists. The two aren’t really analogous, however, sometimes the behavior of a domovoi might seem like a poltergeist. That really only seems to occur in folklore if there is a problem between household and domovoi. If things are settled and appeased, the “poltergeist” behavior should stop. If not, the behavior gets worse. I remember reading a story about how households could ask their domovoi to come with them, should they move.

So really, the domovoi functions a bit like a household guardian. They’re a fascinating creature from Slavic folklore. I don’t really know of anything quite like them in western European folklore. But then, that kind of seems to be the case with a lot of Slavic folklore.

I’ve thought about, once I get my own place, inviting a domovoi. It would be a good way to connect to spirits, and the domovoi is, as long as it is respected, a generally safe one to have around. It just depends on my living situation. But I’m very interested in the domovoi. Also, there are just fascinating folklore stories about them. It is something to consider for myself for future practice. Where I am now…I’m not really in a place to work with a domovoi. It’s too unstable of a household environment with the apartment complex I live in. But maybe, once I’m more settled down somewhere, I can consider working with domovoi.

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I'm a bibliophile who loves collecting books. Definite cat person. Amateur historian and major geek, who loves all things Tolkien and Star Trek. I'm also fluent in German.

3 thoughts on “D – Domovoi

  1. Oddly enough the little house spirits from the previous residence came with me to my apartment. I suspect they were abandoned by the previous tenant at the old residence and were happy enough to be recognized that they packed up and came along anyway. It’s not easy in an apartment, that’s for sure. They seem to really appreciate a set-aside space even more than before. I was so glad to see this picture that you chose, though. It was one of many in an old book of variously European folklore that my mom gave me when I was, oh, eight or nine. Seeing it gave me a happy moment 🙂

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