Peasant attitude to the world of ‘flora and fauna’ probably comes from the cult of nature from ancient Slavic people. They felt as they belongs to the world of nature , and they have a huge knowledge regarding the power of nature and their impact on human. Slavs had a knowledge about potential therapeutic and spiritual of nature. Therefore, the places for their temples were mostly choosen to be made in forests, sacred groves and hills. In the traditional rural communities continuous fear for disturbance of balance between the cosmos and chaos, another concern if the spring come after long and hard winter , determined people to the specific action taken in the ritual year. Especially important were magic actions taken for sake of balance in the universe. They used all the plants by referring their properties for example ( eternal green) tree of life – presented as a mediation center of the world. One of those trees it is willow also a symbol of life, vitality, rebirth, plant is very stable and viable. Willow tree is one of the important decoration of Easter – the most important holiday of Christians. Willow, the same as oak tree, in beliefs of old tribes it played a role of kind of axis of the world.
. The twigs of willow together with other plants already be determined as “evergreen” (blueberry, boxwood, periwinkle, thuja)- are suitable life-giving, beneficent power.
Interpretation of willow in a ethnic art (paper cut-out)
Linden tree- (Pol. Lipa) In the time of Slavs, the tree was the epitome of spring-summer life force, which can be identified with the goddess of love and beauty called Lada. For this reason, it was believed that the linden is revealed to man gentleness, goodness, peace and generosity. Lipa, whose etymology in Polish associated with * Li-pa-ti – ” stick, clump ” * Leipa (Lepik. glue – material for sealing and bonding), it remains also as “sticky”,”connecting” tree, which is a particular feature of Gods of love, unions patrons. In the same way, in Western Europe, the tree was devoted to the goddess of love ,in German mitology “Frei”, in Roman`s , ” Venus”. Also the Balts have associated closely with Laima. We can also find information about ancient beliefs also reveal linden compounds with death, apparently that tree was good enough to build coffins. Linden tree was surrounding bodies of care , and ensuring a restful eternal sleep. Paradoxically, the same wood also performed in making cradle for children, for safe sleep. Death and birth are associated in the case of linden in a single unit, the cyclical and repetitive movement to and from the underworld.
Paper cut-outs of linden tree