Morana was the Slavic goddess of winter and death. As the goddess of winter, she was never popular among the Old Slavs, which is understandable if we have in mind the climate in which they used to live. Morana was a long and cold winter, a winter that could bring death through famine and extreme cold, that could cause disease and massive death of the cattle.
Her arrival was therefore always expected with fear and her departure was celebrated with a lot of noise and cheer. Her complete opposite was goddess Vesna, whom the people used to welcome with festivals and jubilation, at the same time joyfully witnessing the departure of Morana – the winter. Numerous rituals were connected with seeing Morana off. People would most frequently make a doll representing this goddess and then ritually destroy it. They made the doll from straw or switches, and then beat it with their hoes. After that they either threw it into the water or burned it. There was another ritual related to Morana, that was performed in the month of March. That was the so-called mackare (maska = mask), when a masked group of people used to gather in order to scare Morana and drive her away.
Morana was described as a woman of dark hair and a terrifying appearance. A similar description was used for another creature of quite the same nature – Kuga (kuga = the plague). Kuga was probably just one of the aspects of Morana. Another was Mora – a female demon that attacked people by night and sat on their chest causing nightmares. Witches were also connected with Morana, like many other demonic beings. But we cannot claim that Morana was an entirely negative goddess. No pagan system has a deity with such characteristics, since the unrealistic division between the absolute good and absolute evil came only with Christianity. In Morana we have an example of how our ancestors worshipped even something that did not bring them good, but rather made them scared and terrified.
That would be all for today! Thanks for your support! Enjoy! ^^