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Moravian Kopanice

Zitkova and its goddesses

For a long time, the small village of Zitkova in the central part of the White Carpathians was known beyond the borders of the region. It was not much different from many other villages in the Carpathians, with their scattered settlements amongst typical mixture of woods, pastures, and orchards. There was something special about Zitkova, however: its “goddesses” – wise women healers and clairvoyants who were feared and sought by many people from close and afar. These wise women knew how to cure illnesses, make love potions, foretell the future by pouring wax, cast spells, and lift and cast curses over a human, as well as cattle.

It is difficult to say which of their skills may have been fabrications and which were real. It is quite certain, though, that the goddesses of Zitkova possessed a deep knowledge of herbal medicine and human nature, had a sense of humor and a lot of understanding for various sorrows, and could see things from a bigger perspective.

The tradition was passed in families, usually from mother to daughter. The first records of the local goddesses come from the early 1700s. In the 1770s, Karel Kulich, a missionary and a former Jesuit priest, mentions a man practicing the craft. (He would not be called “god”, but would be given a newly coined name derived from the Czech for goddess). There are no more goddesses at Zitkova today; there is supposed to be a descendent of the last one practicing on the Slovakian side, however.

GPS position

N 48° 57.614', E 17° 53.862'



Vzdělávací a informační středisko Bílé Karpaty, o.p.s.
Marie Petrů
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