Leshy – T.F. Walsh’s Kick-Ass Mythology

 

LESHY

If you are lost in the Slavic forests, be on the look out because there are tricksters about who might easily imitate your voice and mislead you. These Leshies might keep toying with you until you are deep in the forest and lost.

A Leshy, also known as a Lesovik, Leshie, Leshiye, Lieschi or Lesiy, is a forest spirit found in Slavic mythology. A Leshy is always male and is said to protect wild animals, birds, and forests. Many believe the Leshy is an evil creature because of its tendency to misguide travellers and abduct women and children. However, Leshies are not evil in nature, they are very mischievous and this sometimes has terrible consequences for the people they target.

A Leshy is a tricky creature to spot because of its ability to shapeshift into any form, including plants and animals. According to legends, when he takes his human form, the Leshy looks like a common peasant. However, you will be able to identify if he is a Leshy because his eyes will glow and his shoes will be on backwards. Many legends describe the Leshy as having hair and beard made from grass and vines, with pale skin and bright green eyes that appear to glow. 

While the Leshy is a creature unique to Slavic mythology, they bare some resemblance to the Green Man from Pagan mythology. The Green Man is a symbol scattered throughout England, of a face made from leaves and vines. Similar to the Leshy, the Green Man represents nature and plant deities.

There are numerous examples of the Leshy being depicted in popular culture. In the television series Supernatural, the Leshy is portrayed as an eastern-European forest demi-god that feeds on people who are fans of the form he takes. The Leshy is also depicted in the MMORPG Final Fantasy XI, who appears as a giant, vaguely humanoid and mobile tree. The popular role playing game Dungeons and Dragons can also include monsters such as the Leshy.

**Did you know?** Leshies have blue blood.

References: Britannica | Wikipedia | Unnatural World

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