Spiders and their webs represent good luck for Ukrainians. “Pavuchky” are the most common motif found on pysanky and are common in Ukrainian folk art in general. Spider motifs generally have a centrifugal or complex net-like composition, resembling the outline of a spider and its web. In many folk beliefs, spiders and their webs symbolized perseverance, and patience. In some Ukrainian folk beliefs, the earth was suspended on a warp spun by a spider. In Ukrainian folk traditions, the spider’s web is associated with fortune telling, with the fulfillment of wishes, and with love. Ethnographers consider pavuk symbols to be, based on their appearance, sun symbols.
Acceptance of spiders in the home, as with many other Ukrainian traditions, originates in a legend. According to storytellers, there once was a widow living in her cramped, cold hut with her children. One day, a pinecone dropped from the tree outside and took root. The children, excited by the prospect of a tree for Christmas, tended the seedling and made plans about how they would decorate the tree. Poverty was a way of life for the small family, and when Christmas approached, the widow knew that they would not be able to decorate the tree. The children and the widow accepted their fate and went to bed on Christmas Eve, the tiny tree branches bare.
But the household’s spiders heard the children’s sobs and spun intricate webs on the tree. Early on Christmas morning, the children cried, “Mother, mother wake up and see the tree. It is beautiful!” The widow rose to find that during the cold night a spider had spun its web around the fragile branches. As the rays of the sun crept along the floor and silently climbed the tree, the glow touched the threads of the web turning each one into silver and gold, and, as the story goes, from that day forward the widow never wanted for anything.
To remember this miracle, Ukrainians still decorate their trees with artificial spider webs to this day to usher in good luck and fortune for the coming year. So, next time a spider decides that your home is warm and cozy, think twice before fetching a broom to sweep the webs away.
Amber amulets were worn as protection from diseases and against being killed in a battle. People believed that amber “pulled out” a disease from the body and “attracted” good luck – in the same way as it attracts small objects if you slightly rub it. It was believed that amber adornments averted misfortune, kept its owner safe from black magic, cast out devils, guarded one from the evil eye, brought luck in love, and made it’s owner stronger and cleverer. An amber necklace was placed on children to prevent kidnapping as it extends general protection to the wearer, especially children. Beaded amber necklaces are still a traditional gift for a child.
As amber is often harvested from the sea it is also associated with fertility, life and catharsis. It is alleged to relieve depression, anxiety, and promotes joy. In Latvia, bands of amber rings were used in wedding ceremonies to ensure an eternal bond. Today, amber represents renewed fidelity in marriage.
Some believed that eagles would place pieces of amber in their nests to protect them from snakes. Lumps of amber were blessed in church on the Epiphany and then used as incense. On Midsummer’s Night on the 23/24 of June (which is the shortest night of the year), and thought to have extraordinary activity of evil forces, people incensed their houses and cow-sheds to cast out evil spirits and so that witches would not harm their livestock.
In present day, medicines containing Succinic Acid have been manufactured and patented, especially in the USA and Russia. Of particular value are pharmaceuticals preventing the aging of human cells, which use succinic acid as an inhibitor (an agent slowing down or totally stopping the loss of) of potassim ions and an antioxidant. Therefore, the acid may be called a scientifically described, modern elixir of youth. Succinic acid is also a valuable product for sportspeople. It is not a stimulant improving one’s effort on a single event basis, but rather a stimulator of a balanced, comprehensive development. Dr. Veniamin Khazanov of the RAS’ Institute of Pharmacology at the Tomsk Scientific Center wrote: “For aged people, succinic acid has proved to be indispensable. It is capable of restoring the energy balance at the cellular level, which is often upset as the years go by, and helps the patient regain his youthful energy.” He says also that it has proven the equal or better of many commercial drugs and is significantly less expensive. Further, research at the University of Hamburg, Germany confirms the safe and positive effects of succinic and fumaric acids in cellular metabolism.
Natural Baltic Amber has unique properties unlike any other amber in the world because it contains Succinic Acid which is a is a bio-stimulant and has been used for ages to promote healing.
Beautiful Cognac Baltic Amber set in .925 sterling silver adjustable ring
Only 1 in existence when it’s gone it’s gone