Volkhvs (Волхвы, Volkhvy; singular: Volkhv, Волхв) from Norse völva (female prophet, seer, shaman) were heathen priests in pre-Christian Rus’. Volkhvs were believed to possess mystical powers, particularly the ability to predict the future. The first literary reference to a volkhv occurs in the Primary Chronicle under the year 912; there, the priest-soothsayer predicts Prince Oleg's death. With the adoption of Christianity, the pagan priests came under persecution and sometimes tried to channel social discontent against the church.
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