Molfars, also known as magicians, shamans, and healers among the Hutsul people of Western Ukraine, are known for their powerful work with the elements of nature, animals, and people. From ancient times, they’ve dwelled on the edges of remote villages and in the forests of the Carpathian Mountains. Connecting with nature and spirit deeply, Molfars lived quiet lives far from others.
Today, it is believed that true Molfars no longer exist. Some say the last powerful Molfar was Mykhailo Nechay. Many witnessed his ability to stop the rain and heal thousands of people. After he was assassinated in 2011 for his work, other Molfars went underground.
The word ‘Molfar’ has developed a negative connotation, signifying black magic or witchcraft. For this reason, some who work in the field of healing and magic have preferred to avoid association with the term ‘Molfar’. In reality, true Molfars are not malevolent; they simply use their connection to nature and spirit to help heal people. Some of these people are still living and practicing in Western Ukraine.
There is a belief that a long time ago there was a book of Molfars where they wrote all their secrets. The knowledge of this book was taught only to the best apprentices, directly from their teachers. This knowledge was protected because of its power and the risk of it being misunderstood or misused.
Working with Bird In Flight Magazine, artist, photographer and shamanic researcher Mar Lebou and I set out to the mountains with curiosity, openness to Mystery, and our cameras to find the remaining magicians and healers and discover for ourselves the magic of earth, fire, water, air and ether.
With photographs, drawings, poems, dreams and artifacts from live experiential pieces, The Book of Molfars is the product of this investigation.
Where art meets magic meets documentary, this work is intended as a rabbit hole into your own spiritual and magical power.
Credit to Mar Lebou as the genius behind this work. It was a pleasure to work with him and the shamans, being captured in frame during shamanic rituals, filming the video work, supporting conceptual developments, and editing. Big thanks to Bird in Flight Magazine for supporting this project.