Bulgarian’s take pride in their heritage and culture, which is rich in folklore and traditions. Some people say the people practice thousands of rituals. In the process of writing Mystical Emona: Soul’s Journey, I learned about many of these customs. I found myself asking “Why?” on numerous occasions. Why did the people do the things they did? Those “whys” resulted in further research. What were the origins of these customs and rituals? What did they mean?
What I discovered was an overlap of pagan and Christian beliefs. Many customs date back to the days when the Thracians inhabited the area which is now modern-day Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey. So much of what I read said the traditions had Thracian origins, but few articles actually delved into what those Thracian beliefs actually were. So the research continued.
I discovered the rituals focused on the seasons and life cycles, both of nature and mankind. Then as today, rituals emphasized fertility, birth, marriage, death, and immortality through rebirth. Honoring the dead was as important in ancient times as it is today, since the spirits of the departed protected the living from evil forces. And so, many of these rituals are performed specifically for that reason—to protect the family from evil spirits and creatures who wander between the realms of heaven, earth, and the underworld. But the rituals are not only about protection from evil. Health and fortune are common themes.
Light Love Rituals is the result of this research. It introduces you to modern customs and rituals kept alive by generations since the time Thrace was a thriving nation, even though the ancient people themselves may have long been forgotten. It’s a summation of many months spent researching. Although I did search for reliable sources to validate the claims made in many resources, this book is not meant to be a scholarly document. Nor is it an exhaustive study of rituals. It’s information I found interesting that I wanted to share so other people can take the same journey to discover another culture.
Many of these rituals are part of the story of Mystical Emona: Soul’s Journey. Although much of the content is common knowledge among those who practice these beliefs, I hope even they will discover something new, something that they can pass on to future generations to keep the customs alive.
To make it fun like the customs themselves, I’ve included activities and recipes to more completely give you a taste of Bulgarian culture.
Contact Ronesa if you want to learn more about her books and new projects.