The Book of Molfars

“The fool doesn’t know buthe thinks he knows.The wise man doesn’t knowbut he knows he doesn’t know.When the fool knowshe doesn’t know that he knows.When the wise man knows,he knows he knows”.

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.

Only a curious few get access to it.

Two Paths

When a Molfar accepts an apprentice, the tradition says there are two ways to work with these magical powers.

The first is the way of light and love, of empathy and selflessness. Working with permission. Doing good for people. It’s not about getting rich or fulfilling selfish illusions; it’s about giving your full self to help others. Working with your heart.

The second way is when you use the sacred knowledge for what you can selfishly grab. It is a way of ignorance where these powers are distorted to fuel the self only. It is a way of greed and emptiness.

In the beginning, this path may seem rewarding — you think you can easily acquire fame, fortune, and beauty. But it’s an illusion that inevitably leads to isolation because these attainments are ultimately small and impermanent. Everything you receive on this path will be taken away from you. The misuse of this wisdom stems from a failure to see the full size of what is possible beyond the self.

It’s up to you which way to choose. Deep and true feeling of the sacred knowledge should inevitably guide you on your path towards light.

Now your apprenticeship begins.


Molfars understand that the body contains all five elements: Water, Fire, Air, Earth, and their quintessence. Molfars say the body is made of the earth and will be returned to the earth after death. Apprentices are first required to connect with Earth energy in solitude and silence.

Once a year, Molfar Mykhailo Nechay would go into a dark cave or hole in the ground for 12 days, one day representing each month of the year. Without food or light, he lay down, prayed, meditated and allowed the darkness to open him. Here, he released to the earth his most painful emotions of grief, sadness, fear, anger and regret. In the darkness he received helpful visions along with messages.

After 12 days, Nechay emerged from the cave a new person, renewed by the Earth.

The Light always comes from the dark.

Dream XX

I lie naked in my grave.Cold soil is tossed over my still body.Handful by handful, I’m slowly buried until I cannot move a limb.I close my eyes.Earth covers my face, blocking the light of the setting sun.Every part of me solidly covered,My breath is the only thing connecting me with the world I just left.The earth is cold and heavy,It’s moving with my every breath.I am Adam, of the dust and the ground.To stop shivering I try to relax and calm my mind.It’s okay, it’s okay, I say to myself.Worms crawl under my body.Slippery-cold, they investigate my warm flesh.Surrender, my conscious mind says to my shivering body.Relax. Inhale, exhale,Inhaaale,Exhaaale.Time ticks differently down here.How long has it been? Minutes? Hours? Days?I float in an endless ocean that cures me,And takes away my grief and sorrow.I don’t feel a fear of death.Death is just a transformation. I have no doubt.The healing ocean becomes thicker and thicker.The liquid is a heavy soil.Earth embraces every part of me,Passing her healing energy into every cell of my body.Then, hands plunge into soil, digging me out.My arms and legs become free again.Cracking my eyes open, I see the setting sun has been replaced with stars.Faces of people (spirits?) peer down at me in my grave,Like thousands of eyes that never blink, looking at me, candle-lit.I close my eyes and open them again.I am back in my room.The night is calm and hot.It’s just a dream, I say to myself, it’s just a dream.

Life is just a dream, says my teacher.

Are you ready to accept this?


The human body is comprised mainly of water. We are water just as we are flow. To master your body, you must understand how to work with Water.

We communicate using water: when we exhale, water molecules are released through our mouth and enter the body of the person we are talking to. We exchange information on a deep and imperceptible level.

In it, Molfars see through time. Water is a conduit for miracles. It constantly communicating with us, but most of us do not know how to read its messages.

All of us are part of the infinite ocean. Affect one drop and it will affect all the others.

Water is the source of health, youthfulness and deep vitality. It is your medicine. Infuse water with love and, as you drink it, feel how it creates life in you.

Tree Of Life

A Molfar is open to all things in this world because all things are alive. They treat nature’s rocks, trees, plants, and all living organisms with respect. When working with plants for preparing food or medicine, the Carpathian magicians ask the spirits of the plants for permission before picking and using them.

Molfars greet trees as living entities, knowing that spirits reside in them. They respect them as a different form of life.

Imagine yourself as a tree. Swaying slowly. Feel the glow of the sun on your leaves and the warm breeze through your branches. Extend your roots into the cool soil, receive nourishment through your soles. Feel. Be. Sense your slow and steady growth.

When you feel yourself as a tree, you’ll never disrespect another tree or plant.

This is fundamental in perceiving our unity with nature. As your ‘inner tree’ grows, your Power ascends from the roots all the way to the crown.

Once you grow this powerful perception in your way of being, everything in nature will be your friend and ally. You come to understand that we are all growing towards the light.

The Snake Woman

Every Molfar has a special conduit or channel in the natural world: a part of nature through which they primarily do their work and receive powerful insights. For some it’s herbs and plants. Others work with birds and hear messages in their songs. Still others work with animals and reptiles.

Molfars would say a special prayer and by speaking the language of their allies and helpers, they would come to them.

The Snake Woman, one of today’s remaining Molfars, has worked with serpents all her life. She knows how to use their poison to cure diseases and treat snake bites. This wisdom came to the Snake Woman from her mother, when she was 13. Her mother also learned it from her mother when she was 13. This tradition extends far into her matriarchal lineage.

When the Snake Woman received her knowledge, there were no hospitals and the wisdom of traditional healers was sought to cure illness and disease. Molfars would also forecast weather, advise when to organise feasts or celebrations, and predict plagues.

When a person or animal in the village is bitten by a viper, they run to the Snake Woman. With a safety pin and garlic, she recites a spell and stabs the bulb with the pin.

“I conjure a bad head, bad head,bad eyes, bad eyes,bad beast, bad beast,bad teeth, bad teeth,bad lips, bad lips,bad tongue, bad tongue,to calm down a man (or a beast)”.

She then mixes the smashed garlic with the patient’s urine and presses it into the bite. After three days, the wound is healed and the bite victim is returned to full health. No one else in the village knows this snake wisdom. No one wants to learn it.

All of nature can be channeled as our friend and helper. Humans have power in the plant and animal worlds because we are all part of the same web. The way to unlock this power is by asking them for help with love, respect, and openness.


Hutsuls are very superstitious. They would attribute strange occurrences in nature to the activity of demons, ghouls, mermaids, witches, and werewolves. They also personify emotions and urges, like fear and sex: “The spirit of laziness or fornication came upon me,” they would say.

They believe animals with birth defects are possessed by evil spirits. To stay safe from curses, they would avoid the deep dark forest or places that were struck by lightning.

Believing there is no such thing as ‘evil’ in nature, Molfars would visit places that people usually avoid, to observe and to feel them. There they find artifacts, which they use in their work.

When lightning hits a tree, the electric force can fuse the nearby rock, wood, clay and debris. Literally petrified lightning, these fulgurites are called Thunder Stones. A gift with messages, they saw these Thunder Stones as power items with the strength of all the elements merged into one.

Don’t be afraid of strange places and objects. The Force of artifacts will replenish your own Force.

The Book People

As Christianity spread into Eastern Europe, some Molfars included holy scriptures in their work, using them for divination. These seers would go to church to pray, confess and take communion. Some even received blessings from local priests to do their divination work. Other priests condemned their practices as heretical or pagan.

When a seeker came to these diviners, they’d first pray together. The seeker would then open the Bible at a random spot and read the verses, understanding this to be a direct message from God. Then, the seer would interpret the Bible’s words, using the knowledge received from the spiritual world. Feeling the power and endurance of the Bible, they quoted its words, “Heaven and earth will disappear, but My words will never disappear”.

It doesn’t really matter which tool you use for divination. The intention of your heart is the most important thing.

Healing Nature

For generations, people would repeatedly visit areas in nature where they felt strong healing energy. For Molfars, these ‘power places’ or ‘sacred sites’ play a big role in their work. By visiting these caves, lakes, mountains, boulders or forests, Molfars recharge and connect with wisdom.

Herbalists prefer to collect plants in these sacred places, saying special prayers as they harvest. They would avoid picking plants near pylons, railways, or highways. After drying the herbs and berries, they made special mixes for teas and tinctures, sometimes adding propolis, honey, alcohol, or even dead bees. These medicines not only prevent, but cure many diseases.

Use these medicines wisely and you will see that you are your own healer.

Between Heaven And Earth

Sometimesit seemsyou have no more strength.The Path you choseappearstoo difficult.You are not sure you can go all the way.Pause.Look inside yourself.You are between heaven and earth,Hanging upside downWith your leg tethered by a rope.You can no longer walk the earth as before,but you still do not know how to soar freely in the sky.Rest.Recover.Trust.Continue.

Remember, this Path has no end.

Its finale is merging with Infinity.


Air is essential to every living thing. It also connects the elements of water and fire. In forests and empty fields, near the big rocks and on top of the cliffs hidden from people, Molfars would call their helping spirits who whisper through wind the secrets of the universe. The wind helps them open windows of the future. It tells them when to plant new crops and which plants to use for healing and purification.

Only a small number of people know how to listen to the wind and use Air as a conduit. They would never share these secrets with anyone. Molfars believe that if you would like to communicate with the Air, you will find a way to do so.

The answer is obvious — right before you — but only a few realise it.


Divination always played a big role in Molfars’ work. Anything can be used as a vehicle for divination, like plants, shells, water, stones, or wax. People would come to Molfars with questions and diviners would read signs, symbols, and narratives in the oracle objects.

Baba Maria was 24 when she started to learn how to work with wax for divination. As a curious and dedicated student, her teacher, Molfar Nastya, spent seven years to pass this knowledge to her. “I’ve learned to read every line, every trait, every knob to understand the full meaning in every wax divination”.

To conduct the ritual, Maria heats up the wax in an old metal tureen and then puts a small bowl with cold water on the head of her seeker. Then, reciting spells and prayers, she pours the liquid wax into the water. The wax forms unique shapes and patterns as it cools in the water. “I see the lines of life, health, prosperity, happiness and wealth. I see sickness, unfortunate events and sorrow”.

You have to be very brave if you want to know the bold truth about your future.


Fire is the element of transformation. Through Fire, Molfars transform themselves to perform miracles and heal people. The Fire element can be found everywhere in our lives, from the electricity we use to our emotions. The heart is fire. That’s why to master this element, you first need to master your heart. Through this inner alchemy, true Mofars can transform the negative impulses of the heart, like jealousy, hate, and anger into the positive powers of love, joy, generosity, and trust.

A Molfar transforms fire of the heart into unconditional love, which becomes a remedy in itself. Without love, a deep healing cannot occur. This is spiritual growth and without it, Knowledge has no meaning.

Once you master your heart, you will be able to use the power of Fire, which is always alight inside you.

Other Vision

True Molfars do not need eyes to see; they see with their Mind’s Eye and their hands. They work with the Force of Life which flows in everything from nature to people. They use energy radiating from their hands to open blockages in the body. Many Molfars never studied medicine or human anatomy. They learned from their teachers: people, spirits, and all living things.

An old wise woman told the story of how her grandmother taught her how to feel and see without her eyes to heal illnesses and injuries, including broken bones and torn muscles.

“She made me put a clay pot into a sack and break it,” she said. “After that I had to put my hands into the sack and glue the fragments back together without seeing them. This is how I learned to fix people without using my eyes. I just put my hands on them and know what is wrong”.

When two become three, many miracles occur.

Shamanic Dreams

When the sleep of night comes, Molfars use dreams for divining. Dreams are another tool to communicate with spirits and solve problems they cannot resolve in this realm of life.

Molfars ‘see’ more in the dark than in the daylight. It’s like viewing the sky during the day versus night. In the day, we see only clouds and sun. At night, we see more: planets, stars and constellations. In the dark, we have a richer and fuller understanding of ourselves and our place in the Universe.

Dreams are an opening to another world. To really begin to see, it is essential that your recall and reflect on your night voyages.

Every dream is a little death. Dive deep and listen.

Dream XIII

I dream while I am awake.Through closed eyelids,I clearly perceive my room —My bed, my lamp, my desk, my things...My teacher told me:Be ready for the momentWhen the boundary between these two worldsdissolves...Then, it seemed only a metaphor,A fantasy, inconceivable.But here and now,My room is being filled with a strange purple light.Broken glass tubes,Falling crystals and unblinking eyes,Hands raised to the sky —Have I really died?

Dream VIII

Sometimes dreams come silently.Sometimes silence is quiet as a dream.Listen to how it reveals the Universal Law.Appealing with the starlight through the abyss.Look at the stars for as long as you can —They begin to look into youWith their tiny twinkling pupilsWhose gaze achieves Nothingness.They are not what they seem.They enthrall you, take you, won’t let goUntil you become one of them.And you will think like one of them,And you will cry like one of them,And you will fall like one of them.

Dream IX

Solitude.Power.Solitude.Power.All the great masters went into the caves,Took shelter in the forests and deserts,Ascended the high mountains,Disappeared on nameless islands of wide rivers and lakes,To comprehend the mysteries of InfinityIn solitude.The more you plunge into the world of spirits,The further you walk along the path of KnowledgeYou’ll meet human misunderstandings of your choice.People will shun you,Approaching you only in moments of need.Some, in the opposite, will be attracted you.Magnetized by your mastery.The Hermit.In solitude, food becomes superfluous.In solitude, the cold and heat are no longer enemies.The Earth itself protects you while you sleep.But now,

Wake up.


The final stage for apprenticeship for a Molfarian student is to discover the fifth and last element: Ether. Ether is spaceless and timeless. It’s the element that flows through everything, where all things are created and kept in equilibrium. It includes the Force of Life.

When you connect with Ether, you see the unseen. You receive spiritual messages through hidden signs, symbols and heightened senses. These messages help you in life’s situations, see people’s intentions and know what must be done to successfully heal others.

When a Molfar student uses this new vision, the world will never look the same. At this stage in the apprenticeship, a student understands.

Everything in the universe is interconnected. Everything is one.

The Book

Your ego has dissolved in Infinity.Your heart is full of Love.You feel all the five elements balanced in you.You feel them everywhere: above and below, within and without.And as a master of your body, you have power in the world around you.The power flows inside you because you feel the Force of Life.You channel it to heal yourself and those who seek healing.You are always awake and in unity with everyone and everything.You have no fear because there is nothing to fear when all is one.Now, I, your teacher, am no longer needed.With respect, take in your hands the Book of Molfars, and burn it.Mix the ashes with water and drink it all in.

You are the book now.
You have always been the book.

That is how you will pass this sacred knowledge to others.

The Book of Molfarsby Mar Lébou

To Thomas

Mar Lébou
photography, text, dreams, poems, drawings
video art, english text editor

Caitlyn Cook

english text editor

Patrick Rose

english text proofreader

Matthew Chambers


Nastya Novobranets

photo editor

Olga Osipova


Svetlana Sukhanova


Tatiana Kyrpa

video editor

Liza Zui

front-end and coding

Eugene Kravchenko


Roma Krivenko

Every haystack hides a stupa insideEvery haypole is a portal to spiritsStand right in front of it at the dark nightTake all your clothes off, you’ll feel it, you’ll see it.

Mar Lébou


What happens if you take your dreams, ideas, mystical experiences and imagination and connect them together? For that, I became Mar Lébou, imaginative apprentice of Molfars and brought it all to life in the form of this mysterious Book.

There are many layers in the Book of Molfars, the reader will not see some of them immediately. Some things remain unspoken, between the lines, some things right under your nose, but it may take time to figure everything out.

To help the reader, I want to give some advice.

Use your imagination.

After reading the Book for the first time, find a quiet room where no one will disturb you, and close your eyes. Visualise the Book of Molfars in front of you and start an imaginary fire. Do all that is described in the last chapter of the book.

Feel the Book inside you, become the book. Breathe slowly and calmly.

Then, with the power of your imagination, bring the Book back into its initial form. See it in front of you again.

Open your eyes.

Re-read the entire Book again, carefully study all the photographs and drawings, this time open the chapters at random.

After reading, burn the Book again and drink imaginary ash dissolved in imaginary water.

Resurrect the Book again.

Do a headstand and try to read everything from the end to the beginning, with your legs up.

After reading, go back to your normal position.

Ask the Book questions.

Listen to its answers.

See what it reveals to you.

Burn the Book each time after reading.

The Book of Molfars