Leshovikha - The Hag

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005

The Hag

The Russian forest spirits known as Leshii live in the woods in a society parallel to humans. There are male and female Leshii; they have children. Female Leshii are known as Leshovikha. They are not horned like male Leshii but, like their counterparts, they are master shape-shifters. The most common physical manifestation of the Leshovikha is as an old hag with long pendulous breasts. When they get in her way, she flings them over her shoulders. The Leshovikha also manifests as a beautiful naked woman and as a thin, spectral woman dressed in a white sarafan, the Russian national dress.

Wanderers in the forest sometimes witness the Leshovikha giving birth. When she is finished, it is recommended that the observer cover the baby with an item of one’s own clothing if necessary; however do not offer Christian prayers or make the sign of the cross over the baby as this allegedly enrages its mother. If these actions are performed graciously, the Leshovikha will offer you a gift:

Image If you tell her that the opportunity to be of service is its own reward, your future will be filled with good fortune.

Image If you request payment, however, she will give it you; it will materialize in your hands, however once you leave the forest, whatever cash or prize she gave will evaporate into dust and ashes.

See HORNED ONE: Leshii.