– But who is a Harakternik, grandpa?
– Harakternik was a very intelligent human, who knew all sorts of things. He could not be harmed by a bullet, could not be hacked by a saber. He had means and methods for everything, a good word and purpose for everything. Harakterniks knew all the passages and all of the waterways of Dnipro and other rivers. Harakterniks walked out dry out of the water and wet out of the fire; they had the honor of a knight and kindness… That’s who were Harakterniks.
Author Evgeniy Grebyonka, novel “Chaykovskiy”, 1843 C.E.
In many regions of Russia and Ukraine, there are still legends and tales about warriors, who differed through their battle arts and superhuman abilities. Such warriors were called Kozaks-Harakterniks. They were the warrior elite. It was believed that Harakterniks were the heirs of the ancient Vedic wisdom of the Volhvs (wise men), who were subjected to severe persecutions after the forced adoption of christianity in Kiev Rus’. According to legends and tales, Harakterniks could not be harmed by fire, nor water, nor saber, nor arrow and on some occasions even by a bullet.
If we take a look at the Slavic word “Harakternik”, we will see that it is very similar to the word “Character”. Therefore, Harakternik is someone with a strong character. However, if we are to break down that word even further using Bukvitsa (the ancient Slavic form of writing), we will see the following: “Ha” and “Ra”, where “Ha” is the positive force, and “Ra” is light or radiance. In other words, Harakternik (and I wrote this word in such a way on purpose) is a human who “radiates a tremendous positive force”.
Although before the silver bullets, the Kozaks-Harakterniks were vulnerable. Hetman Ivan Zolotarenko of Zaporozh’e, who was suspected by Poles to be a Harakternik, was killed in 1655 C.E. in the town of Stariy (Old) Bykhov by a rifle shot from the bell tower. His killer, a Catholic organist Tomash admitted to committing the crime. He confessed that “ksiadzy” (a Polish “priest”) gave him a bullet from the sacred chalice, which was also cursed by them.
The bullet, that was removed from the body of the Hetman, was indeed extraordinary. It had a silver center and had Latin letters written all over it. The body of the deceased Hetman Ivan Zolotarenko was taken to his home town of Korsun, so the burial ritual could be performed in a wooden church, which was built for him. Immediately after the ceremony, in the presence of many people and the clergy, the church was struck by lightning, the fire started, and the church burned down together with the body of the Hetman. His great Ancestors and Deities themselves, as it appeared, aided the Hetman with his journey to Volhalla (Valhalla) through the Ritual of Kroda.
According to legends and tales, Kozaks-Harakterniks were attributed with abilities to go beyond the usual human abilities, for example: they could “induce manna” onto their opponents, forcing them to see what is not really there. The long heritage of opposition between Kozaks and Poles speaks of many instances, when Kozaks-Harakterniks, while escaping the persecution of the Poles, placed spears in a circle in the middle of the field and entered a special state, inducing that same “manna”; the Poles, instead of kozaks, saw an oak grove and just walked by. This same technique was used by Kozaks-Harakterniks when it was necessary to protect themselves during rest. The camps of the kozaks were seen by the enemy on approach as a reed thicket.
It is not a question of “if they were”, but of “who they were”. That knowledge and wisdom, however, is to this day kept hidden by Volhvs and is only disclosed to the trusted few. There will come a time, when this knowledge and wisdom will once again become available to all of us. Slava!