In Russia, guessing with wax for a long time. Occupation was the favorite entertainment of girls – both peasant and city dwellers – on Christmas parties. Guessing at Svyatki in various ways, but defining one’s own and others ’perspectives with the help of wax figures was“ out of competition ”. The process was led by experienced withers and nannies. This is how this kind of fortune telling is described in the famous book “The Tales of the Russian People” by Ivan Petrovich Sakharov.
The wax was melted and poured into a vessel (glass) with cold water, where it formed fancy figures. The deciphered their value experienced nannies. Despite the fact that fortune-telling occurred in the presence of many people (although the laws of the sacrament were to be observed), the “human factor” did not do in this case. As Ivan Sakharov writes, familiar girls, girls of noble birth were honored with good, favorable predictions.
But the ignorant, poor girls had to listen to “all bad, offensive.” There were intrigues between the girls themselves, eager to know their future: to annoy from “warm” feelings to their acquaintances, some who bought fortune tellers, and they “saw” every nonsense that made the unfortunate people plunge into gloomy thoughts about the future. Because of this, many conflicts have occurred in families.
In the essay of the writer-ethnographer Mikhail Zabylin, “The Russian people, their customs, rituals, traditions, superstitions and poetry” also contain mention of wax divination. Using wax to predict the future over time has become much wider. According to M. Zabylin’s observations, in Russia, at the Svyatki, from figures of tin or wax poured into the water, they learned what was waiting for next year – happiness or unhappiness, luck or failure, a good or meager harvest. Divination on wax was so popular that it involved men in the process. On Christmas evenings, they gladly recognized the future, although, unlike the fair sex, who was mostly interested in heart matters, they were more concerned about material security.
This kind of divination exists to this day, and the future is predicted by wax and our neighbors in Europe – the inhabitants of Poland, Montenegro, Bosnia. The most suitable time for fortune telling on wax are New Year’s Eve and Christmas Day.
When pouring out wax, very curious figures can be obtained, especially if you study the shadows formed by them. Previously, if they promised something bad, our ancestors carried them out in the morning and threw them out directly with the vessel to the pigs. If there was no such animal in the farm, the wax was buried in the ground. But the figures, which are good signs, on the contrary, were taken out of the water and saved until the next session of divination.
Since ancient times, the technology of predicting the future of wax has not changed much. It can only be noted that if paraffin candles are taken, it is worth using a larger vessel (basin, for example). In addition, it is necessary to precipitate the wax, describing a circle, on the edges. If you do it in the center, then the wax will begin to precipitate on the paraffin and form a mass on which it will be difficult to determine something.
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