Ukraine Vinok (вінок) Seasonal Wreaths and their Symbolism

Sbu Zapobihla Kontrabandi by the border of cultural values of Kiev Rusy. A unique complex starovynnykh jewellery with gold and silver stayed in Ukraine.
Kyev Rus, Folk Ukraine, this is our story, this is our treasure.

All Slavic traditions and folk traditions include flowers especially during Kupala and Noc Kupala, but Ukraine exceeds them all in the abundant uses of flowers and symbolic flowers. The Ukrainian Wreath Vinok (вінок) is a crown made of wild flowers and herbs which is collected in the traditional ways.

There are different types of wreaths: a wedding wreath, a wreaths of love, monastic wreath, wreath of hope, wreath of devotion and kupala wreaths. The wreath of love was not only for marriage ceremonies but also divorce ceremonies. In Ukrainian culture the wreath was traditionally worn worn by maidens (unmarried) as a pagan tradition. 

ukraine crown
Ukraine “Summer” Vinok Wreath

In the more prominent neopaganism groups today during Kupala, more and more wreaths are returning back before religious influences and are worn by women of all ages. The wreath dates back to the old East Slavic customs that predates Christianization of Rus which still remains a valued part of Ukrainian national creative attire, worn on festive occasions and on holy days.

Flowers are a part of all their celebrations, traditional folklore, craft embroidery, women and their ceremonies, and even painted interior and exterior home decorations. They mark the seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. The pagans honor Lada and her daughter Lely and the wreaths are in their honor. Midsummer is the time to gather flowers and herbs to not only make wreaths but for healing herbs and for prosperity.

ukraine ribbons
Ukraine “Spring” Vinok Wreath

Some of the most common are the crown for summer solstice called Kupala and are made with cornflower, marigold, saffron, parsley, parsnip, Corollas mint, lovage, marjoram, cornflower and sage, which are all protections against shadows.

In the full traditional Ukrainian wreaths, there should be 12 flowers: Wormwood, immortal, lynx, cornflower, chamomile, cherry blossom, apple, gooseberries, mallow, peonies, cornflower and baptismal bells. Wormwood is a symbol of inertia and immortal, a symbol of the immortality of the human soul. The cherry blossoms are a symbol of maternal love.

The wreath varies in many of the regions as young women throughout the country wore various headdresses made with yarn, ribbon, coins, feathers and grasses, but these all had the same symbolic meaning. In parts of central and eastern Ukraine, the flowers were raised in the center front and multicolored ribbons were attached to the back.

Ukraine wedding crown
Ukraine “Bridal” Vinok Wreath

Custom weaved wreaths denote the seasons as the customs came to Ukraine from prehistoric times and garlands with flowers and herbs are one of the oldest Ukrainian symbols. In ancient Goddess images of women, she wore headdress of flowers, grasses, herbs and branches in her shamanic beginnings.

large flower crown, ukaine
Ukraine “Bridal” Vinok Wreath

Putting your wreaths into water is to tell your future and personal guidance but putting a wreath in the Sea and it will tell the fortune of your soul. Setting wreaths on the water usually accompanies folk songs, because that was the first honoring of the first goddess.

Its more popular today to wear the casual versions of the vinok. It is not uncommon to see women in Kiev wearing a headband embellished with flowers during the summer as a fashion statement or Ukrainian pride. Additionally, the growing popularity of the vinok has contributed to the increase of vinok specialists, as well as the demand of local florists

Ukraine flowers , herbs, color of ribbon and their symbolic meanings…
Braided wreath – Symbol of prosperity and fertility.

autumn ukraine wreath
Ukraine “Autumn” Vinok Wreath

Clover – Symbol of fidelity;
has the magical power to reconnect.

Elecampane – Root of nine forces,
strengthens and returns health.

Fern (Rozmai herb) – Attracts love.
Garlic – Protection, also weaved into
braids on the bride crown before the wedding.

Hatchets – Field grass is a symbol of healthy fields, cornfields and abundance.
Iris – Peace and vitality.

King-flower – Vastness.
Krinov (lily) – Magical symbol of the feminine because she is essentially moist energy. The ancient name of the flower Krinov means “well” as it treats heart ailments.
Kalina (raspberry, rose) – Three sisters, acrimony as a form of magical contact, when there is a prick of blood. Overcoming obstacles, after which comes the miracle and magical dream as the likeness of eternity.

ukraine autumn vinok
Ukraine “Autumn” Vinok Wreath

Loboda – Symbol of misery and poverty.
Lyubka – a symbol of beauty and youth doable.
Lovage – Love, harmony. Bathe in lovage.
Lions (sunflower) – Symbol of fertility, growth and fruiting, and, hence, yield.
Marigold – Mans beauty.
Narcissus – Protects ones health.
Nechuy-wind – Boundaries
Oregano – Symbol of maternal
love and care of children.

Pansies – Symbol of love of family.
Parsley (wormwood) – Spring
Pauline – Bitterness of life, is protection agai
nst shadows.

 

ukraine.jpgPeppermint – Guardian of children and their health.
Peonies – Flowering of maturity.
Poppies (red)- Beauty, purity and magical forces of protection.

Rozsa (Rose) – Symbol of goodwill, prosperity, and swarming bees.
Red mug – Beauty and cleanliness.
Roman Herb Forest (chamomile) – Love.
Rouget (Rose hips, mallow, rue) – Glory.

Ruta – Sadness and a bitter life.

Vasylko (marigolds) – Ceremonies.
Violets – Joy.
Voloshky (blue cornflower) – Symbol of beauty and goodness, modesty and tenderness.
White Lilac – Family life.
Wreath of Roses -Symbol of health

Colors of Ribbons

ukraine baba
Ukraine Grandmother Vinok

A wreath of flowers and ribbons protects she who wears that halo on her head, it has a magic. Our grandmothers knew and still know this magic well, lot of different secrets of when and how to weave a wreath passed down from her grandmother.

Colorful Wreaths of Magic which is the union of Mother Earth with the Spirit Sky (Sun) as the divine marriage of the powerful belief of immortality – the way of Love. A corolla of intertwined ribbons of different colors, each have meaning:

Light brown: Mother Earth
Yellow: Sun, Blue: Water
Orange: Bread, Purple: Wisdom
Crimson: Sincerity
Pink: Abundance.

ukraine 1

On the left side of the white ribbon is gold thread as the sun, and on the right, silver, as the moon (month).

Red Colors (ribbons and mug, carnation, rowan, viburnum) – Divination and charms, blood and fire. On the one hand it symbolizes beauty, joy and love of life, the other, vengefulness and destruction. Red is used for charms, tends to counteract evil spell.

Popular color in Pysanky eggs and also using red thread, beads and flowers in divination embroidery. The best way to protect children from evil spirits and evil souls in dreams, is to tie the hands of a child something red.

winter ukraine wreath
Ukraine Winter Vinok Wreath

Green – Spring, beauty of nature, transformation, envy.
Purple & Green – Wisdom and caution.
Red & Blue – Fidelity and love.
White & red – Reward and respect.

White (ribbons and flowers) – Purity, innocence, joy. White is associated with daylight and life. Our ancestors believed in the relationship with the divine worlds. White robes are worn women in circles and by ancient priests or magicians. During the first crop of our ancestors wore a clean white shirt. White is also associated with death. Our parents, grandparents deceased wore white clothes and covered with a white shroud. White robes and ghosts are dead people.

Black – Night, Powerful Ancient moon women. Yellow – Sun, gold. In ancient times perceived as sunlight. Blue – Water, eternity. It unearthly secrets of the world. Symbolizes honesty, good reputation and loyalty. In mermaids cold and recalls the shade.

Ukraine neopaganism-folk Vinok (вінок)
Ukraine Neopagan Folk Vinok (вінок).

Sources: http://1vib.co.ua

Latvia Symbolism – Latviesu Simboli

Latviešu Latvian Trinity

Latvia Symbols of Nature’s Seasons

Spring Equinox – Dawn The sign of Dawn or the rising sun sign symbolizes relationship to the top, to the heavenly world, it is the knowledge of humankind and the ideal picture of aggregation model. This sign, symbol language is sunrise and sunset graphical representation. Associated with the constant rhythm of the sun, with its eternal celestial mountain road, this is a sign of the world order for our children, because it combines an understanding of the past, present and future. The Healer by Dysharmonnia on DeviantArt

Summer Solstice – The Sun Goddess Strong sunlight is the symbolic representation of the life force culmination and fulfillment. Development of harmony symbol as a symbol of the highest mountain, sky, full of life-giving force, glory and power.   Jānis The Summer Solstice God sometimes referred to as a son of God. His Midsummer’s Night festival (which is called “Jāņi” takes place on the evening of June 23rd and is the most important festival of the year for Latvians. Once every year, Jānis at midsummer came to bring luck and fertility to the people of Latvia.

Autumn Equinox – Ths God Jumis
Fertility sign. Jumim surrenders to the end of spring and summer, and its a double or twin sign because it means two together, the harvest season. Ancient farmhouses adorned and protected the Juma horses who worked in tandem or a couple. This sign means fertility, strength, wealth, success and good luck. The word “Jumis” attributed to the word “Jumal” which means “God.”

Winter Solstice, The Wells symbol
– this symbol is character of endings, completeness, that which forms the void or Sākotne. This mark combines with the top down and the sky with underground water. This sign also heralds a new solar year on the day of the Winter Solstice but that is a Christian tradition of the sun and the world. The original early pagan and shamanic cultures did not honor the sun on the winter solstice, they honored the midnight sun of winter which is the Auseklis.

Folk series by make-up artist Beata Bojda and Photographer Ula Kóska Poland

 

AuseklisAuseklis – This is the most important ancient symbol which is with the references of the night. In Latvia, its the Night Sun or Midnight Star as it is associated with Winter, the Winter Solstice and the protection from evil and shadows of the underworld. In modern times, after the 8th century, later paganism changed it to the more worldly Venus, or Morning Star, but still remained a Guardian Star rather than the greater collective woman of Aurora, who is the symbol of the in-between time just like the Evening Star at dusk. This is the time when the veil is thin and both the dream or energy worlds (some call the land of the dead) and the waking dream or waking life meet together at the crossroads. After the shamanic cultures and goddess cultures waned, the remains (pagan) called it the morning star, the usher of the new day.

zim_9_zvaigzneThe Cross symbol in Latvian folklore has eight or six stars. Also at the Winter Solstice (now called Christmas), this is one of the only surviving symbols to honor the winter time ceremonies and celebrations. Many Slavic and Balkan countries in Eastern Europe will use the eight pointed Star when caroling and singing folk songs going form house to house or village to village during Christmas and the Winter Solstice.

Complete article on the AuseklisThe Midnight Sun, Goddess of the Dawn:
https://eldermountaindreaming.com/2015/12/30/a-a-slavic-winter-her-midnight-sun

Latvian Goddess Symbolism…

Latvian SymbolsZalktis, The Serpent Goddess
She is one of the ancient symbols of a deity in Latvia. Like all serpent goddesses, she is associated with wisdom, which makes her an elder or grandmother goddess. She is significantly connected with healing, especially the healing of the soul.  Today she is still know for general well-being and health, judging from the popularity of the symbol. This sign dates back to the Iron Age.

Zalktis, The Adder symbolizes wisdom and connected to animism which can access worldwide knowledge. The white ones are the most powerful, and it is signed for one of the Mara’s talisman because Mara could transform into the healing snake. Also this sign is available on women’s clothes as protection, making it a symbol for sacred crafts and ancient arts.

Then there is  žaltys, an ancient Baltic traditions, a harmless green snake highly respected as a symbol of fertility and wealth. To ensure the prosperity of family and field, a žaltys was kept in a special corner of the house, and the entire household gathered at specified times to recite prayers to it.

zim_12_zalktisOn special occasions the snake was asked to the table to share the family meal from their plates; should he refuse, misfortune was imminent. To encounter a snake accidentally was also considered auspicious and portended a marriage or a birth. Paralysis or great misfortune awaited anyone who dared kill a žaltys, the “sentinel of the gods” and a favorite of Saule, the goddess of the sun.

This symbol means happiness, energy, fire, thunder and wind. Fire cross is related to the Sun Goddess Saule and the Goddess Laima and Thunder, this sign was popular to cut into the beds of children and to interweave into belts for newborn children to wrap them in and adults to protect themselves from evil. In Latvia up to this day it is used for shirts, gloves, socks for protection against evil eye.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLsdJdCDYjM

Screenshot (621)

imagesSaule The Sun Goddess
The title of supreme only goes to the god in Slavic and Balkan Pagan men’s traditions, but as we return fully to the deeper and more creation goddess, Saule is truly a Supreme Goddess and one of the oldest Goddesses of Latvia, and before the gods.  The oldest cultures on earth have the Sun as a Goddess and Latvia is included, a time when the sun meant feminine and life giving. She is a Baltic region and mythology who determines the well-being and regeneration of all life on earth, a Creator Goddess.

zim_7_sauleSaule, the sun, rides each day through the sky on a chariot with copper wheels, drawn by horses who neither tire nor rest nor sweat. Toward evening Saule washes the horses in the sea, sitting on top of a hill, holding the golden reins in her hand. Then she goes beyond the silver gates into her castle at the end of the sea. The red ball of the setting sun, one aspect of Saule, is portrayed in Baltic art as a ring, a falling red apple, or a crown. As the full light of the sun, she is also represented by a daisy, a wheel, or a rosette.

Saule’s daughters were courted by the Moon God Meness after Christian Religion brought in their myths into the country. The older myth, found in both Lithuanian and Latvian traditions, tells that Mēness is married the Saule, the Sun Goddess, but he proved to be as changeable as the moon and soon began to court the Goddess of the Dawn, the Midnight Sun (star). Pērkons (Lithuanian: Perkūnas), the Thunderer, cult of the moon god to pieces for this slight to Saule. This story happens around the earth wherever the Religious fathers began to control pagan Grandmothers who were forced out and then eventually forced out by Pagan fathers.

Because of her association with growth and fertility, Saule was remembered in prayers by the farmers at both sunrise and sunset. The major event in her honour was the Līgo feast, a midsummer festival celebrated on June 23 (Summer Solstice. On that day, the sun, wreathed in a garland of red flowers, was said to observe the summer solstice by dancing on a silver hill while wearing silver shoes. Great fires were lit on the hills to ward off evil spirits who might threaten health and fertility. Young people, wearing wreaths of flowers, danced and sang Līgo songs and leaped over the fires.

Saule The Sun GoddessSun designs now usually consist of eight parts for the four seasons and half way points between the solstices and equinoxes. We see Sky in day and sky at night, the ancient Latvian folklore specially points that central star is the Goddess Saule. She is the symbol of eternal movement and life. In the line of other stars, Sun Goddess is placed in one of the highest hierarchical rating. Sun sees everything and knows everything. In the territory of Latvia Sun symbols are found on bone tools already in late Stone Age. Rhomb or cube is also seen as symbol of Sun and is seen on the ceramics of Middle Stone Age.

 

13059b8b308f9c2efae42232517fea62Moon is presented as the consort of the Sun Goddess and also the Sun has all relatives such as sun fathers, sun mothers, sun daughters and sons and the children of the sun goddess. Behind other symbols, the Sun Goddess symbol is placed to be in the most honorable position any symbol can be. It is also because Sun Goddess is represented as mother of all children.

All drawings of Sun are always circle typed (egg, ball, golden acorn etc), who symbolizes the Sun’s trajectory. At the simplest level, Sun can be displayed as a circle. All the detailed Sun projections have one common point – the center of this circle is always double crossed or specially pointed out. The detail count of Sun symbol are countless, for a common is supposed to be detailed multi-angle – eight-sided symbol, but also there are simple four-angle symbol.

In Latvian art the motive of Sun is displayed on every possible items. If Sun is displayed more than few times in one row, it symbolizes special magical productivity and warmness rituals. Symbol of Sun is specially used in women’s clothes and jewelry, most of the Sun symbols are also found on those tools that is used for own goods made.

A harmless green snake, žaltys who was a special favorite of the Sun Goddess Saule’s; it was considered good luck to have a žaltys in the house — and bad luck to kill one. Now we associate the Goddess with the moon, but in prehistory she was the sun and still is the Sun Goddess in older traditions like Latvia. Today as the goddess she rules both the earth’s fertility and woman’s fertility. She is a patroness goddess of those who have hard lives, the unlucky, including orphans. The design was originally a simple circle, which evolved over the years into many variations.

Laima - Bird Goddess, Goddess of Destiny & Fate

LaimaLaima Goddess Ancient Pre-Pagan Bird Goddess, Pagan Goddess of Destiny & Fate
The similarities of signs of the Goddess Laima or Deivė Laima, is with feathers of a sacred Bird, from a shamanic past when animals were one of our souls (animism). Pre-pagan associations with Laima is the bird symbol, considered one of the most ancient signs, as it occurs in the pottery and stone axes from about 3000 years ago in ancient tribal settlement areas and in some of the Ukrainian areas the birds are 7,000 years old.

Many other country’s goddesses were described as fickle, such terminology is never used with Laima. Her honor is unchanging. Thus, the Baltic may not have been scapegoated because the Baltic female deities were held in more honor than the southern Indo-European female deities; they were not subordinated to the gods. Therefore, there would have been no precedent for the punishment of the female.

 

latvju-sena-zime-laimas-skujina Earlier bird symbolism means “the Soul” and the Goddess Laima, protector of Souls and Old Souls has not changed. Laima in the new pagan traditions always had a broom as the symbol by her side making her patroness of the Witch like Ragana. Laima also protected the newborn child who was often birthed in the bathhouse.

34440136f4afa27d8d030dbf647265bdToday she is more like the Slavic Lada, the name Laima derives from the word laime, which means “happiness” or “luck”. Laima determines whether one’s life will be short or long, fruitful or poverty-stricken, carefree or worrisome. The sign is thought to bring luck. In the Latvian mythology, Laima and her sisters, Kārta and Dēkla, were a trinity of fate deities, similar to the Norse Norns or the Greek Moirai. Laima makes the final decision on individual’s fate and is considerably more popular. While all three of them had similar functions, Laima is Goddess of luck and is more related with mothers and childbirth, Dēkla is in charge of children, and Kārta holds power over the adult’s life.

In modern Dievturi these three goddesses are referred to as the three Laimas, indicating they are the same deity in three different aspects. Birth rituals at the end of the 19th century included offerings of hen, sheep, towels or other woven materials to Laima. Only women could participate in the ritual, performed in a sauna (pirtis) which is much like the native american sweat lodge.

mara_by_dysharmonnia-db97eyzzim_4_mras_krustsMāra Dark Goddess of Winter
She is the second of the supreme goddesses because she is a triple goddess (maiden, mother and grandmother) and the goddess who was responsible for the birth of the land, the waters, and every living thing. In ancient Latvian mythology, Mara was not just the mother of all the gods including Dievs, she is creator.

Mara’s Cross
This is a sign of the living matter, which is closely associated with fertility, fire, and the home. This sign is formed from four sloping croup, it symbolizes the dynamic nature of matter in the active state. In ancient times the cross cross was put on loaves of bread before it was placed in the oven and in the evening, going to bed, it drew the hearth ashes. Sometimes cross cross is also called the Cross-Cross. Each thing that symbolically hoisted cross cross is sacrificed to Mara and the blessing is returned.

Today we strongly associate Mara with children and childbirth; children are said to enter the world “through the gates of Māra” making her a creation deity. She is also the protector of women, especially mothers, and daughters. She is also the Goddess of the Hearth Fires making her a Spirit or Fire goddess like many other fire goddesses around the world. Māra is also Winter making her like her sisters  Marzanna and Morena of other Slavic traditions. In winter, she often takes the form of black animals such as ravens.

zim_3_mras_lklocisThe Waters of Māra, the Checks of Māra
When meaning checks, have to point, that Latvians and other nations understands this sign as symbol of water. Maybe because of it is common, that this sign symbolizes Mara as mother of Seas and Lakes, Rivers etc. It’s believed, that simple horizontal line symbolizes Mara as mother of Land and this sign is called the Land of Mara. Checks are one type of common geometrical signatures, already used in Early Stone Age. The use of check as symbol becomes popular in Iron Age. In the sample artworks of public artists this sign can be found many times. Check symbol is used also as the start of all other signs.

maras krustsMāras krusts (Cross and Cross of Crosses)
This is the symbol that guards, blesses and brings happiness and is used in many traditional folk crafts and tradition folk dresses and belts. One of the most positive in Latvian symbolism.

Ragana WitchRagana The Witch Goddess
Goddess who Sees, Seer, Healer, Mystic. Ragana [ˈrɑ:gʌnʌ] is the Lithuanian goddess who takes care of others, a healer who is gifted at healing and seeing into the future. Ragana in Lithuanian means the seeing, which is close to the Slavic Vjed(ż)ma (who knows).

Latvian

Latvian God Symbolism…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMēness The Moon God
The true Supreme God, older than all gods even Dievs. He is the fertile one, the old one. He guards and helps female warriors and male warriors, and protects those who clans reject. The Moon Sign has been found on men’s bracelets dating back to the Iron Age. Sword embellishments also boasted Moon Signs. Found on pendants and pins, orphans clothing. There are two symbols, the Mēness krusts and Mēness zīme.

perkuns thunder god symbolPerkuns The Thunder God
Thunder is well known in whole world over 5000 years, starting from Asia up to Northern America but many people associate it with the military of Hitler demonized it. Its actually a very good and positive sign and symbol over the last five-thousand years, in many countries including Latvia. The sign of thunder, is one of the most ancient symbols in the world and has been used by all nations. The Latvian sign of thunder symbolizes light, fire, life, health and prosperity. No other nation has used the swastika so widely, nor developed so many variations of it as the Latvians. Perkuns follows most of the other Slavic Thunder God’s stories and lore.

zim_13_siŪsiņš Bee and Horse God
The first information about the Latvian deity Ūsiņš, was related by the Jesuit Joannis Stribingius in his 1606 report on missions in the Latvian part of Livonia: Deo Equorum, quem vocant Dewing Vschinge, offerunt singuli 2 solidos et duos panes et frustum pinguedinis, quem in ignem conijciunt. “They sacrifice to the God of horses, whom they call Deviņ Ūšiņe, each two pieces of money and two pieces of bread and a bit of fat which they throw into the fire.“ The motif of horses connected with Ūsiņš also appears in Latvian dainas.


Ūsiņš God of Horses, Bees and Light
On Ūsiņš’ Day, which falls in early May, the animals are let out to pasture for the first time. Ūsiņš is said to drive the chariot of the Sun across the sky with his two horses much like Helios of the Greeks. It is also called key sign, since Ūsiņš unlocks doors in the summer which brings the trees into full leaves and the grasses of the land. Ūsiņš sign also gives special powers, it encourages observation and understanding. Its also a symbol of blessings, known as a sign of life. The symbol is put in the cradle and the thresholds and elsewhere as a protective sign. This sign gives strength, heals diseases and strengthens the union of partnerships.

Latvian Ūsiņš, with variants Ūsenis, Ūsinis, can represent proto-Baltic *ūśinja- or *ōśinja- has been interpreted as an East Latvian dialectism. Summing up, the Latvian deity Ūsiņš ‘bee-god and patron of horses’ represents both the pleasures of life (honeybee) and the untamable water of nature and its counterpart our emotions (horse).

 

zim_1_dievsDievs Father God
In ancient Latvian mythology, Dievs was not just the father of the Gods, he was the essence of them. This symbol represents the sky, as a roof over the earth. Dievs, also called Debestēvs (Latvian), Lithuanian Dievas, Old Prussian Deivas, in Baltic religion Dievs and Laima, the goddess of human fate, determine human destiny and world order. Dievs is a wooer of Saule, the sun goddess and like Jupiter, he sleeps with many different goddesses but not as many. He is an Iron Age Baltic king who lives on a farmstead in the sky making him a later pagan and not shamanic early god. Latvia is a very matriarchal clan and thus a lot of the Balkan and Slavic gods had to be imported from Viking times.

Wearing a silver gown, pendants, and a sword, he occasionally rides down to earth, on horseback or in a horse-drawn chariot, to watch over farmers and their crops. Dievs has two sons (Dieva dēli in Latvian; Dievo sūneliai in Lithuanian), who are known as the Heavenly twins and the morning and evening stars which were the Goddess stars but in later Paganism like all paganism they were given over to the new rising Gods. In name, Dievs is cognate with the Vedic Dyaus-Pitṛ, the Latin Dies-piter (Jupiter), and the Greek Zeus, denoting originally the bright, daylight sky. The word dievs was also used by the ancient Balts to denote god in general and in modern usage refers to the Christian God.

Like their Greek (Dioscuri) and Vedic (Aśvins, or Nāsatyas) counterparts, Dieva dēli are skilled horsemen. They associate with Saules meita, the daughter of the sun goddess, and when she is sinking into the sea with only her crown still visible, Dieva dēli come to her rescue. Again, very late paganism right before the Christians came showing the ‘hero’ god saving the maiden (which is the start of the patriarch of both pagan and christian religions) myths.

ebJumis God of Fertility
Pagan God Jumis, is an agricultural deity representing fertility and a good harvest. He appears dressed in clothes made from field crops, such as wheat and barley.

Symbol of JumisThe symbol of Jumis has a symmetrical form somewhat like crossed grain flails or (if you use your imagination), a shock of wheat. In some forms the bottom ends are bent up. Any “double fruit” that occurs in nature or in cultivation such as two cherries fused together or two ears of wheat on one stem is considered representative of the God Jumis. If there is a double fruit or ear of grain, it should be left “on the vine” to be used as part of the “catching Jumis” ritual (see below). The symbol is used as a decorative element and it brings good luck to the user. The design is woven into the card-woven belts which are an important traditional folk art among the Latvian and Lithuanian people.

The name of his festival in Latvian is Apjumibas, after Jumis. It is celebrated at the fall equinox, specifically for the three days, Sept. 22-23-24. This is an after-harvest celebration and it is different than many after-harvest festivals which are usually set closer to Oct 23 or Oct 31, because the Baltic states (Latvia and Lithuania) are so far north. The time between the grain harvest celebration and the slaughter of cattle is very compressed in northern countries because the growing season is so short. Another name for the festival is Mikeli which refers to the archangel Michael, because the feast day of St. Michael also falls at about this time, Sept. 29th according to the Christian church.

In Latvian folk belief, St. Michael is the receiver of souls, and it would appear that he has accepted this task from Jumis, simply because his is the next nearest holiday. By the time of the festival, the harvest must all be brought in and stored. After the festival, the “gates of winter” are opened. At the end of reaping, a “Catching Jumis” ritual occurs in the grain fields which is intended to capture his spirit and his fertility for the fields of a village. A clump of uncut grain, (preferably one with a double ear) is left in the field. It is tied in a bundle and the top is pushed down and weighed down with a stone or soil to press it into the ground.

This is thought to direct the fertility of the field back into the soil where it will be available for the grain crop next year. Sometimes the sheaf is plaited into a wreath or braid and presented to a high status woman in the community who keeps it until spring. In the spring any seeds will be rubbed out and scattered over the field and the entire wreath is planted under a rock in the field. When the harvest is done, Jumis is celebrated with a community feast which includes a special Jumis loaf, and responsorial singing, dancing and fertility rituals.

Jumis means ‘twin’ in Latvian and is the cognate form whose name Yama means “twin” and who represents the Ox which was sacrificed to make the standards of Indo-European creation myths of the patriarch. Most likely in the early pagan cultures he was not sacrificed but honored in ceremony of goddess and shamanic cultures.  It is this Proto-Indo-European God who developed into the various Gods and Saints.

Latvian Talisman Symbolism…

zim_10_prkonkrusts

Cross of the Thunder, Cross of the Fire (Swastika) &
Ugunskrusts Sign of Fire or Thunder Cross
Thunder
 is one of the oldest ancient elements along with lightning.  In Latvia the Thunder cross is mentioned from 3rd century and the symbol was found in early iron age, where it is forged in bronze talisman and jewelry. This symbol has several names – cross of Thunder, cross of Fire, Branch cross, etc. There is so much on the web that you can search for its ancient and sacred meanings.

 

Shrovetide
Shrovetide represents a new start of each symbol. Pitched Cross, which fills the solar signs void, creating a new, dynamic state of development and points to the deliberate entry. Various living material and ideal processes the center or balance.

Mārtiņa symbolism
Martina is a sign of light and fire. In dark times or long winters, the light and warmth of the people is very much needed. This sign, stylized, depicts two roosters who are up first thing in the morning, so they are the light messengers, and is derived from the Jumis signs; Shade Jumis. In winter, the lifeblood of stored roots, this sign tells the story of this life and the strength of the ground forces, it is the gateway through which we pass to start something new.

Austras koks Sun Tree (World tree) –  
This is the emblem of the Romuva religion, a revival of the indigenous Pagan religion of Lithuania. The symbol of Romuva is a stylized oak tree, representing the axis mundi, or “world tree,” known in local mythology as Austras Koks, ” tree of dawn,” i.e., a tree of life. The three tiers represent the three worlds: the world of the living, or present-day, the world of the dead, or passed time, and the world to come, the future.

The flame represents the ritual offering fire central to Romuva religious practices. The runic inscription here reads, “Romuve,” or sanctuary, the root from which the the word Romuva is derived.

Austras koks Sun tree. World tree.

Laima

latvian tattoo symbols

Hand-embroidered Latvian folk Moon Latviešu tautas raksts Meness krusts
Hand-embroidered Latvian folk Moon Latviešu tautas raksts Meness krusts

LatvianSource: Various, Photo: Folk series by make-up artist Beata Bojda and Photographer Ula Kóska, Poland.

Thunderstorms in the Twilight – Part 1: The Pleiades

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By Phoenix of Elder Mountain – I am doing a three part article on the shadows of Star Lore and how we have gone too far from earth because of the mind cults, and as earthlings everyone is born, dies and are reborn from our mother (earth) even the aliens. The first will be the Seven Sisters who science called the Pleiades. The seven sisters sit in a cluster inside the belly of Taurus the Bull, one of the four sacred cardinal points and associated with the Bull cultures like the Hindus, the Minoans etc. The Bull is feminine and so are her cultures, its symbolic meanings and shadows of the lost ones who wish to find themselves again after lifetimes. The second article will be Orion and the third article will be Sirius, the dog star-lore.

The wisdom of the Seven Goddesses (sisters)…

When one finally chooses to move onto the path of choosing a relationship to seek the authentic self, our truth telling and telling our self the truth path, its filled with emotional ups and downs and learning to bend chaos to stay grounded. The knowledge-spiritual, psycho-spiritual, social-spiritual, plant (drug) spiritual, drama-spiritual, dating-spiritual, paranormal-spiritual and book-spiritual all tend to fade away when we begin a self healing, self mastery and self spiritual journey and its duration. This generally starts around 37 when the Uranus opposition occurs and the energy of truth/chaos vs freedom energy begins. The adult crisis or transformation time.

The Pleiades no longer mark the ancient rites of passage in ceremony of the great circle of women and have a more blissful or adventure star-lore in modern times, but their origins do not seem to hide the struggles and the struggles of collective myth. The problem is with the reality of collective in general when it comes to mental body arts as in written myth handed down for millenniums. Its hard to master the person and impossible to master the collective, because… its the collective. The associations have persisted nevertheless of the morning and shadow sides accounts for the significance of the Pleiades in older cultures and astrologically.

“The Moon is set and the Pleiades.
Night’s half gone, Time is passing.
I sleep alone now.”    ~ Sappho

The Seven Sisters name means “Daughters of Pleione” from the Greek word pleiôn “Ladies of Plenty.” Her Age of Taurus of her Bull and Cow 1,200 bce – 2012 ce.

Maia – “grandmother,” “mother,” “nurse,” “the great one” or “good nursing mother.” The oldest of the Pleiades, she is the mother of Hermes.

Alcyone – Also called Halcyone, “queen who wards of evil storms” or “strong helper”. By Poseidon, she is the mother of Anthas, Aethusa, Hyperenor and Hyrieus.

Asterope – Also spelled Sterope, “lightning,” “twinkling,” “sun-face,” “stubborn-face,” “star-faced” or “flashing-face.” Mother of Oenomaus, the king of Pisa. Ares and Oenomaus are her husbands.

Celaeno – “swarthy,” “black” or “dark.” She is the mother of Eurypylus and Lycus. A different account says that by Prometheus, she is the mother Lycus and Chimærus.

Electra – “amber,” “shining,” “bright.” Mother of Dardanus, the founder of Troy. Some accounts place Electra as the mother of Iasion. She is called Atlantis by Ovid. According to Thaumas, this Electra may be the mother of the Harpies.

Merope – “eloquent,” “bee-eater,” “mortal” or “sparkling-face.” The youngest of the Pleiades, she was wooed by Orion. Merope sons: Glaucus, Ornytion and Sinon. She is sometimes said to be the mother of Daedalus, Alcippe and Iphinoe.

Taygete – Also spelled Taigete, “long-necked” or “of Mount Taygetus.” Mother of Lacedaemon, the founder of Sparta. She is an important goddess.

Seven Sisters Asteroids, Pleiades Asteroids:

Maia asteroid #66 (Maja)
Alcyone
Asterope asteroid #233
Celaeno asteroid #3857
Electra asteroid #130
Merope asteroid #1051
Taygete

dyn001_original_499_753_jpeg_2668973_c1830c1cf07bb63965c1a3c5196df971

When I work with archetypes, symbolism, synchronicity which are the actions or results of symbolism in the real living aspects, or lore and folklore, art, ancient art, myths, folkology, oral traditions, traditional folk arts, or fine arts, astrology, esoteric, even astronomy – all of them are seeking perception of the other side of the entire reality we live in the old dynamics of the myth makers world.

As we unplug from the blindness and the ancient myths that no longer serve, its all about our emotional and mental health or the wellspring, some call it the gates to the self.  I have walked this path for the truth (personal, interpersonal and collective in that order) and the truth to seek wholeness and pick out the corrupted or rotten parts of self, to apply this to the working symbolism and healing of my spiritual path…

Lets start with the Pleiades Star Lore…

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In Ukrainian traditional folklore the Pleiades are known as Стожари (Stozhary), Волосожари (Volosozhary) and Баби-Звізди (Baby-Zvizdy). Stozhary can be etymologically traced to “стожарня” (stozharnya) meaning reduced to the root “сто-жар”, (sto-zhar) which means a ‘hundredfold glowing’ or “a hundred embers”. The name for this constellation in Lithuanian is Sietynas and Sietiņš in Latvian. Both of which have a root word: sietas meaning “a sieve.” In Ukraine this asterism of the seven sisters was considered a female talisman until recent times.

Ukraine ‘Volosozhary’ means she with the glowing hair and ‘Baby-Zvizdy’ (female-stars) referrs to the female tribal deities of the goddess traditions. According to legend, seven mothers who lived long ago used the round dance in the autumn equinox to winter solstice, to sing the glories of the ancestors and old ones. After their death the ancestors turned them into water deities and took them to the Heavens, what is today know as Nymphs who don’t really carry any of the ancient qualities. Round dances in their origins of the Slavs and Balkans where symbolic for the “moving and movements the time” which was based on Nomadic lifestyles.

In both Latvian and Lithuanian folktales, the Pleiades constellation is shown as an inanimate object, a sieve that is stolen by the devil from the god of thunder used to bring light rain by the thunder god’s wife and children. In some Lithuanian folk songs, Sietynas is depicted as a benevolent brother who helps orphaned girls to marry.

the-heavens-seemed-to-be-on-fire-kay-nielsenKnown since ancient times, its popular name of was: Pleiades, Mother Hen with Chicks designated by their mythological names from the Greek poet Aratus (III century BCE). Later, when Christians were approaching the Goddess and Pagan era’s it was known as the Dove, and dove is associated with peaceful soul. But almost all of the traditional and indigenous traditional stories reveal that the Pleiades shows symbolically that they are associated with loss, destruction and shadow, probably after the wars on the soul of the building of the kingdoms through religious domination over paganism and goddess cultures and then strictly through the military of the kingdoms which developed later after the 7th century ce.

In world lore, the Pleiades seem to have two meanings, the first and oldest lore, its associated with planting and harvesting times. The second and later folklore is about morning and loss. to the Bronze Age people and probably considerably earlier, the Pleiades were associated with funerals of the clans and tribes, since its the time after abundance, cross-quarter day between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice, it was from this acronychal rising that the Pleiades became associated with mourning.

SYMBOLISM MYTHOLOGY

Contrarianism – Daughters of an Amazon Queen – While many variations of the Greek myths in the Idylls, the Pleiades are the daughters of an Amazon Queen and the only one who listed by the Greeks or what was left, was the Grandmother. She is also in the Roman mythology as the Goddess of fertility, Latin Maia, literally “She who brings increase,” related to magnus “great.” Maia, one of the Pleiades Greek Goddesses was then reduced by the Greeks into daughter from the Amazons Great Grandmother and Romans great Mother. Maia to the Greeks is daughter of Atlas, mother of Hermes, literally “mother, good mother, dame; foster-mother, nurse, midwife,” said by Watkins to be from infant babbling.

Their Amazon Pleiades names are: Coccymo, Glaucia, Lampado, Maia, Parthenia, Protis and Stonychia and these sisters created ritual dances at nighttime in what are legends today (before Dionysus Cult took them over).

North Africa & the Old Kingdom of Egypt
The goddess Hathor has an interesting take in her role and aspect as a Mother goddess for it was believed by the ancient Egyptians that “Seven Hathors” would appear at the birth of a new baby, foretelling the baby’s fate. The reason they’re mentioned is that during the Ptolemaic Period, when Egypt was under Greek rule, the Seven Hathors became identified with the Pleiades star cluster. Aside from Hathor, the Pleiades also represented the goddess Net or Neith, the “Divine Mother and Lady of Heaven.”

The Tuareg Berbers call the Pleiades by the name of: Cat ihed, s “daughters of the night” and Amanar “the guide” and Tagemmunt “the group.” The changing of the seasons to prepare for the heat of summer and the colder weather that the rainy season brings.

East Africa – In the Swahili language, the Pleiades are called: “kilimia” which means to “dig” or “cultivate.”

South Africa The Basotho call the Pleiades “Seleme se setshehadi” meaning the “female planter.” When the Pleiades leave the night sky around April, marks the beginning of their cold season. The Khoikhoi tribe call the Pleiades by the name of Khuseti, the stars of rain or rain bearers.

Mesopotamian –
Babylonian mythology and astronomy, the Pleiades are called MUL.MUL or “star of stars”.

ArabicThe Pleiades are known as al-Thurayya, the star, Aldebaran, meaning “the Follower” which is part of the Taurus constellation is seen as forever chasing al-Thurayya across the night sky.

Iran, Persian Pleiades are known as Parvin.

Judeo-Christian Pleiades are identified as being Kimah, meaning “cluster,” there is an indirect reference to this asterism found in Revelations 1:16: “In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword.” A context of harshness and the power of language and word over all things feminine. The Talmud Rosh Hashanah tells that mankind’s wickedness, removes two of its stars and caused that this star cluster would rise with the dawn and out of season alignment. This mean’s that men have done destruction and harshness to the earth and her seasons, I think Nasa and Cern have been the living proof of such destruction to not only the magnetic fields, but now the auroras.

Pakistan Carrying a positive in the name Parvin, the stars it represents is a symbol of beauty.

Karatgurk – Wurundjeri of Australia, the Pleiades represent a group of seven sisters known as the Karatgurk. They were the first to hold the secrets of fire and each of the sisters carried live coals on the end of their digging stick. The sisters refused to share the coals with anyone and eventually were tricked into giving up the secret of fire to Crow who in turn brought the gift of fire to the rest of humanity.

Kidili – A moon god of the Mandjindja from Western Australia, he had tried to rape some of the first women on Earth. In retaliation, the lizard men, Wati-kutjara attacked and castrated him using a boomerang before leaving him to die in a watering hole. As for the women, they became the Pleiades star cluster.

Kungkarungkara They are the ancestral women in the lore of the Pitjantjatjara tribe.

Makara Adnyamathanha tribe, the Makara (The Pleiades) are the wives of stars within the Orion constellation.

Napaltjarri From Central Australia, they were seven sisters being chased by Jilbi Tjakamarra. He had attempted to use love magic on one of the sisters. She refused Jilbi’s advances and she and her sisters fled from him.

In this story of the Koori’s Dreamtime, the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters were a group of seven beautiful ice maidens. Their parents were huge mountain whose peaks were hidden by the clouds and an ice-cold stream who flowed from some snow covered hills. The Seven Sisters would wander the land, their long hair flowing out behind them like storm clouds. One day, a man by the name of Wurrunnah, caught two of the sisters and forced them to live with him while the others continued on their journey home to the sky. Wurrunnah soon found that the sisters he caught were ice-maidens and took them to his camp fire in order to try and melt the ice off of them. This only served to put out his fire and dimming the brightness of the two sisters.

Berai Berai Brothers And The Seven SistersAnother story told of the Seven Sisters is that when they were on earth, of all the men in love with their beauty, the Berai Berai or two brothers were the most devoted. They always brought all the choicest catches from their hunts to the Sisters as an offering and token of their love. This love was not returned and when the Sisters wandered away, up to the mountains, the Berai Berai followed after them. After the Sisters left for their journey to the sky, the Berai Berai mourned. A grave depression fell upon them that they eventually died. The spirits of the Dreamtime took pity on the brothers and placed them up in the sky, up where they could hear the Sisters sing. On clear nights, the Berai Berai can be seen, represented by the stars that form Orion’s Sword and Belt.

Ben Raji – Living in western Nepal and northern India, the semi-nomadic Ban Raji refer to the Pleiades as the “Seven Sisters-In-Law and One Brother-In-Law” or “Hatai halyou daa salla.” For the Ban Raji, when the Pleiades rise up over the mountains at night, they see their ancient kinfolk. e.

Celtic – The Celts associated the Pleiades with grief, mourning and funerals. At this period of time and history, the time of the Autumn Equinox and Solstice would have occurred around the time that the Pleiades star cluster rose in the eastern skyline as the sun set.

Aztecs – The Aztecs strongly believed their ceremony would prevent demons of darkness from coming to the Earth and devouring mankind. For this, they offered up to the gods human sacrifices to the Pleiades.

Chinese – Pleiades are known as Mao, the Hairy Head of the White Tiger of the West. The Pleiades seem to be the first stars mentioned in astronomical literature, appearing in the Annals of 2357 B.C.E. Aside from the name Mao, the Pleiades are also known as The Blossom Stars and Flower Stars.

Greek CatasterismIf the Pleiades weren’t getting chased by Orion, then they became stars after committing suicide over the fate of their father Atlas, a Titan. Or the loss of their siblings the Hyades and Hyas. After their death, the god Zeus placed the sisters up into the heavens.

India – Pleiades are known by a number of different names such Karttikeya, Kṛttikā, Kārtikā, Kumara or Subrahmanya. In both Indian astronomy and Hindu astrology, the names Krttika and Kartika translate into English means “the cutters.” Hindu – A story associated with this star cluster tells how the war-god Skanda was raised by six sisters known as Kṛttikā, making it so that one of his names he is known as is Kartikeya or “Son of the Kṛttikā.” Skanda or Kartikeya was born to Agni and Svāhā after the Kṛttikā had impersonated themselves as six of the seven wives of the Saptarshi in order to make love with Agni. When the Saptarshi learned of this incident, they began to doubt their wives’ chastity and divorced them.  The Pleiades are known as the Star of Fire and one of the most prominent of nakshatras associated with anger and stubbornness. They are ruled by the Hindu god of war, Kartikeya. Another deity associated with Kṛttikā is Agni, a god of sacred fire. Additionally, it is ruled by the sun or Surya and has the symbols of a knife or spear.

Japanese – Pleiades star cluster is known as Subaru, meaning “coming together,” “cluster” or “united.”

Blackfoot – The Lost Boys – This is a story in which the Pleiades are a group of orphaned boys not taken care of by anyone, and Sun Man was angered by the boys’ neglect, so he punished the people with a drought, causing the buffalo to leave and be destroyed. The wolves, the only friends the boys had ever had, intervened for the people to have the buffalo return. Sadden by their lives on earth, the boys asked the Sun Man to allow them to play up in the heavens. In addition, to remind the tribe of their neglect of the children, they hear the howling of the wolves calling.

Cheyenne A Cheyenne legend, “The Girl Who Married a Dog,” tells how the Pleiades stars represent puppies that a Cheyenne chief’s daughter gave birth to after being visited by a dog in human form. Dogs are the lowest form of men in their animism shape from too much karma.

Cherokee Both the Cherokee and Onondaga tribes tell a similar story about a group of seven boys who refused to any of their sacred responsibilities and only wanted to play.

Crow The Crow military societies have many songs that use a play on words referencing the Pleiades constellation of high ideals to many amusing or comical stories.

Inuit Nanook, the Inuit Bear God, a great bear threatened all of the people. This bear was chased up into the heavens by a pack of dogs.

Kiowa There is a legend told about how seven maidens were being chased by giant bears. The Great Spirit created Mateo Tepe, the Devil’s Tower and placed the young women there. Still the bears pursued the maidens, clawing at the sides of the sheer cliffs.

Lakota There is a legend that links the origin of the Pleiades with Devils Tower. This constellation is known as Cmaamc, an archaic plural form of the noun cmaam, meaning “woman.”

Mono The Monache tell a story how the Pleiades are six women who loved onions more than their husbands were thrown out of their homes by their angry husbands and found their way up to the heavens. When the husband grew lonely and tried to find their wives, it was too late.

Nez Perce They have a myth about Pleiades that parallels the ancient Greek myth and the Lost Pleiades. In this myth, the Pleiades are a group of sisters and one of the sisters falls in love with a man. When he died, she was so grief stricken, that she finally told her sisters about him. The other sisters mocked her, telling her how foolish she is to mourn the death of a human. This sister continued to grow in her sorrow, to the point she became ashamed of her own feelings that she pulled a veil over herself, blocking herself from view in the night sky.

Onondaga Their version represented lazy children who wanted to dance instead of doing their chores. All the while as they ignored the warnings of the Bright Shining Old Man. Eventually, light headed and dizzy from hunger, they died.

Shasta – In their stories, the Pleiades are the children of Raccoon who are killed by Coyote while avenging their father’s death. After death, they rose up to become the Pleiades. The smallest star in the asterism is seen as Coyote’s youngest child who helped Raccoon’s children. This shows the lower form of animals as having power instead of the greater ones and the trickster (coyote) verses the viscous ones (raccoon).

ZuniThey used the Pleiades as an agricultural calendar. Among the Zuni, the Pleiades were known as the “Seed Stars.” When the Pleiades disappeared on the western horizon during spring, it was time for planting seeds as the danger of frost had pass. The Zuni also knew to finish all of their planting and harvesting before the Pleiades returned on the eastern horizon with the return of colder autumn weather and frost.

The story of a missing Pleiad also appears in other cultures such as African, Asian, Australian, European, Hindu, Indonesian, Jewish, Mongolian and Native American mythology. The star Celaeno is currently the dimmest star. However the star, Asterope is actually two stars, both of which are dimmer than Celaeno. There does seem to be a basis for this part of the legends as astronomical evidence clearly points to a once visible star within the Pleiades cluster that has since become extinct by the end of second millennium B.C.E.

pleiadi-nebra_scheibeThe Nebra sky disk is a bronze disk of around 30 cm diameter, patinated blue-green and inlaid with gold symbols. These are the Generally interpreted as a sun or full moon, a lunar crescent, and stars (including a cluster interpreted as the Pleiades). Two golden arcs along the sides, marking the angle between the solstices, were added later. A final location addition was another arc at the bottom surrounded with multiple strokes of uncertain meaning, as the Milky Way or as a Rainbow.

The disk is attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt in Germany, and dated to c. 1600 bce. It has been associated with the Bronze Age cultures of Unetice and the disk is unlike any known artistic style from the period. According to an analysis of trace elements by x-ray fluorescence by E. Pernicka, the copper originated at the Mitterberg in Austria, while the gold is from the Carpathian Mountains.

Sources: Fountain in Belgium, etching from the mid 1600s called the three fountain maidens linked to the alchemy of mercury; Painting of the Pleiades (The Pleiades) by Elihu Vedder, 1885 Се Плейоны Плеяды (The Pleiades) Илайхью Веддер, 1885 год; List of Symbolism from https://brickthology.com; The Heavens Seemed to be on Fire- Kay Nielsen;

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Stone Alatyr – Russian Magical Legend

photo by mikko lagerstedt

By Phoenix of Elder Mountain – The Russian Alatyr Stone, sometimes called the World Mother (Алатырь каменьям – мире мати) is a search for purity and truth as a legend lost so long ago on earth. As a keeper of dreams, I have many secrets of the pre-pagan eras and share them when my work is completed and not in danger of having an interruptions from shadow forces. I do have a second love besides the appreciation for legends and real folklore, and that  is the love of stones… creek, river and ocean stones which have shown me how magical they are in their own unique ways.

The Stone Alatyr is a Russian myth of a Mystical Stone of folktale and epic proportions, as the Russians prefer to call their legends. It is a wisdom stone of earth and states that it is one which holds the great power of Russia. Alatyr sits upon the living waters, the eternal waters of purity that replenishes the earth. I wrote my other story here around the winter solstice, about the Kalada, a slavic symbol that was carried by the Slavic Christmas caroler traditions, which is also the symbol known as Alatyr (its shape). The Alatyr symbol in its Slavic pagan uses, is one of the most powerful and most common, it protects its owner from diseases and brings well-being (balance) to their personal space.

The symbolic and real legend of the Alatyr, says that a long time ago it was given to travelers for a long journey to bless their way. As a sacred amulet, its used to preserve the family hearth and the hearth fires (creation). Since Alatyr already bears all amulet characteristics, all the other charms are just small manifestations of Alatyr. This amulet can be worn under clothing, close to the chest, sewn onto clothing like most traditional Slavic, Nordic and Balkan folk clothing, or it can be combined with other pendants and necklaces for different uses.

dragon-franciszek-walczowski-polish-1902-1983
Dreagon by Franciszek Walczowski, Polish Artist 1902-1983.

But the Alatyr I am speaking of today, even though they are all connected in the bigger collective of the ancient Slavic and Balkan symbolism, is the ancient Midnight Sun symbol in its Slavic and Russian form which says:

The search for the meaning of life (of our soul) and how both spiritual pagan men and women searched by connecting with the greater soul of the earth mother. Under this hidden Stone Alatyr it is said: “powerful forces which offers the treasures of wisdom and keeps the dreaming alive.”

Some stories say that the Stone is located near a portal (entrance) to the underworld, for the dark and light are of equal strength and always exist right next to one another. In folklore there are a few places that have been mentioned about its location: The most mysterious is somewhere out in the ocean, which in fact, I have dreamed where it is. Legends have also said it was on the banks of the river Currant and a third version sats its hidden in a sacred mountain in Rhipaean Mountains (The Urals).

Eastern and Southern Slavs say the stone is within Irie (the Slavic Paradise) where thunder and lightning rests in the winter. The legend says that Alatyr is the mother of all our stones because of its healing powers, containing great wisdom and all life-giving love. Seekers keep searching but it is never found and that we cannot enter such legends until we are pure (have no more karma).

“The Magical Stone of Alatyr” … magic stone 1

White combustible Stone Alatyr
The all stone in the world mother
from under the pebble from Alatyr
Beget pure winds. From under the
pebble from Alatyr, t
he waters
flow fast, 
around the world for
food, 
the whole world of healing.

According to another legend, there are nine Alatyr stones (one stone that was fragmented) and buried in the walls of nine cities. Others believe its a large piece of mystical amber, for this is the only stone that is cold, but can also be ignited (combustible) but it’s not a white. There is speculation that the island Buyan – Ruyan or Rügen in the Baltic Sea (Alatyrsky Sea), is where this stone may sit but those are the later versions and I highly doubt that one. Alatyr is often described as a mountain, while amber is found only in small formations near the ocean, but oceans also have ‘older’ mountains under water.

Some Russian epics say that the Alatyr Stone appears like a stone lying on the crossroads (meaning that it only exists in-between the veils, (energetic worlds) of earth and that it awaits for the right traveler. If he or she went on the given road, they would find it, this legend I agree with because at certain higher levels of earth, one cannot enter if they must not have karma, so a soldier is ruled out as some legends said the military can find it. So this way, mother earth protects her secrets from those who have not bowed to her sacredness by suffering off their past life karma which is the worst kind of suffering there is.

amber

It is mystical stone for a good reason, so its safe and protected from those who would do harm unknowingly without the great insights of a shaman sage.

“On the Sea on Okiyane                                   “На море на Окияне есть
we have the white-combustible                    бел-горюч камень 
stone Alatyr, unknown                                     Алатырь, никем
by anyone.”                                                          неведомый.”

According to a number of German and Eastern (Arabic and Persian) sources and Slavic negotiators who called themselves “Rus” a report that the Persian geographer Abu al-Qasim ibn Khordadbeh, writer of the “Book of Ways and Countries” which was written between 846 – 847 ce and he had his clues. Russ is one of the tribes of the Slavs who say only a Slav will be able to go back into time far enough to communicate with mother earth and only she will know where it is.

In some sources they speak of “the Island of the Russ or Rus’ which clearly shows the peninsula Ruyan (Rügen), one of the most important sacred centers of the Slavs — the Temple City of Arkona. The word Buyan is clearly of Russian origin and the root, means to blow (wind or whispering) and as applied to a forest’s movement, signifying a vigorous spirit of the forest.  The connection is clearly “wind-swept.” In the early Russian ballads the invariable formula is Na ostrove na Buydne (on the island of Buyan) is highly probable that Buyan became a substantive only later, and at first was adjectival and meant “windy island.”

Legend says the healing waters flow from beneath the Alatyr Stone and on it stands the Dreaming Tree and that this stone is still guarded by two mythical celestials, a Gagana Bird and the Garefena Serpent.  Only the mysterious bird called Strafil (the firebird) the Mother of all birds can enter the Paradise Island and on whom the whole of the moist earth is founded; and that if the fish shall drown, all the moist earth will fall to pieces.

zhar-ptitsa

In the texts of the Golubinoy books, which was published by Kirshey Danilov, legends say that the Stone, the Firebird and Magpie are connected and when I was translating this from Russian – I liked the way this translation turned out syncronistically all on its own…

Nagai Island (Alaska) – all birds of prey
and she lives on the Ocean-Sea
near the national nest on Obama’s White,
the stone w
elled up Visitors korabelschiki
on the nest of
Nagai Island (Alaska) – birds

and on his detushek of small.

Nagai Island (Alaska) – bird vostrepenetsya,
Ocean-Sea vosklolybletsya, it replenishes
rivers razlivalisya, Alexander many quick ships,
Alexander many chervlenye ships.

For those of you who made it to the end of this article…

The Russian Alatyr Stone was never a stone,
he
is one of the Four Great Celestial Dragons

of Mother Earth and much larger than the other three.

dragon

The “windy island” was the ocean floor and the “white combustible stone” meant that the dragon had to free itself through some sort of combustion (breaking free).  Men fell asleep and their own legends were corrupted by the battles in their heart, and Christian Religion which killed the dreaming of the Dragons corrupted the legend even more. All Dragon’s retreated just as the Russian Dragon had done. Dragons of course, belong to Mother Earth and not to men. Only the Religious’ ego told false fairytales about overpowering them, which is nonsense. The Ideology of Saint George made it even worse over the last millennium, that they were dead. Same too with the Giants, the giants are alive and well, we know them as Archangels.

The Goddess was protected by the “old dream”  and the real Dragons where to help prevent the destruction of the Souls of the souled human beings. Men know nothing of woman and her story before history which began around 2100 bce and the Magical Stone itself was only “frozen” in time, not dead nor lost. Prophecy was never stated anywhere in any this legends – the Russian Dragon, this Stone of Alatyr.  The dragon is now free and free from Russia’s own past oppression.

Sources: Saint Juraj (George) and the Dragon, Zagreb, Croatia; Wiki Europe, Various Russian Pagan sites, Encyclopedia Mythica, Song of the Alatyr by Maestro Vladimir Sidorov’s  Youtube page.

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The Generous Invitation to the Marriage of the Spirit of the North’s Wisdom: “The Midnight Sun”

By Phoenix of Elder Mountain, Edited by Sarah Burnt Stone – The Languages of Symbolism is very deep, rich and very ancient. It is the root language of dreamers and has existed long before the creation of any rune, alphabet or written language or even paganism. This is the communications of our “subtle bodies” (our souls) which has its own language expressed through the language of image, dreams and art, symbolism, imagination (manifestation of image). It is our original language of the pre-ancients and the old ones before the new ‘gods’ came around 2000 bce and then again in the 11th-13th century, what I call a shadow invasion of those who should have remained in the underworld. But grandfather in every place set them free in both indigenous and non-indigenous peoples, half from the needs of control and power, half from being totally unconscious.Kolyadki sun and mKolyadki Winter Midnight Sun with moon and Goddess
Most people today do not concern themselves with any pre-religious or pre-pagan traditions, and why should they, these are grandmother and women’s traditions and for 7,000 years its been a teaching to corrupt and fear them inter-weaved together. But now that the next two ages come for the next 7,000 year cycle (Age of Aquarius and Age of Capricorn), women are no longer by the shift of consciousness of mother earth are bound to such laws and rules anymore.

But dreamers need to understand our empathic and old soul natures of prehistory for their own future. This is a path of a full spiritual journey (not just mind-body) and the thirst this lifetime starts from birth and lasts our whole entire life. In the beginning ages of the last 7,000 years it was body & soul (sun & moon), in the last 2,500 years it was body & mind (sun). Now we enter Soul & Nature again (Earth & Moon) and it is self understanding and reclaiming, first our human and its karma and then our nature (animism, celestial and elemental). For most old souls it will just be a flexing of such reality, taking back what fairytales and legends stole from us. Believing but not really believing (experiences) and to understan prehistory rites and movements with nature of symbolism, dreaming symbolism (not dream symbolism and there is a huge difference). And the subtle ritualistic art of dreamtime as a real language. 

One of the symbols of my ancestors is the “Star” or what was in prehistory the “midnight sun” that has to do with the consciousness (mysticism) of nature herself, connected to the equinoxes, the winter solstice traditions before paganism was based on nature’s teachings, not human. The Night (season) is Autumn and Winter and Fire (season) is Spring and Summer and I not only live within that principle in my shaman’s life and healing work and dreams of both night and walking but also with each moon cycle and how it effects dreams, dreaming and dreamtime.

AuseklisOne of the symbols sacred to the Latvian Balkan, is the Auseklis – The Midnight Sun, Goddess of the Dawn (now called a Star). In Ukraine tradition, its the Mysteries of Kolyadky. The Aurora (Auseklis) is the Midnight Sun, Goddess of the Dawn is the oldest of all Slavic and Balkan countries symbols and its meaning, even older than all the pagan gods. It has magical meanings in Latvian folklore of the ancient understanding of the secrets of magical nature, the magical self in relationship to nature. If your bed sheets are covered with this symbols then bed sheet protect though the symbol the dreamer from any shadow or evil wandering souls in the vicinity. The symbol is also associated with ancient medicine, the straight or turned cross style. Auseklis is used commonly in folk and peasant usage of the Latvian culture. This is the most important ancient symbol to them, which is with the references of the night. In Latvia, its the Night Sun or Midnight Star as it is associated with Winter, the Winter Solstice and the protection from evil and shadows of the underworld.

From Dawn Maid and Sun Maid: Celestial Goddesses among the Proto Indo Europeans by Miriam Robbins Dexter Antioch University, she writes: “The Indo-European Dawn Goddess appears in Northern Indo-European, particularly in Baltic folk songs. Proto-Indo-European Aus-tero gave rise to several cognate dawn goddesses, including Lithuanian AuSra, Latvian Auseklis, Old Prussian Ausca, and Roman Aurora. Throughout these folklore and mythology, the Goddess of the Dawn is often perceived as a woman and the Latvian daiqas, or folk songs, excuses are made for the late arrival of the dawn goddess.

Latvian folk songs are very creative in their excuses for the goddess of the dawn: Where is the Auseklis of the Morning, Whom I did not see rising? Auseklis [is] in Germany; She is sewing velvet skirts. The Lithuanian dawn goddess AuSra is often called AuSrelt (dear dawn), employing the very common Lithuanian diminutive of endearment. She is also called AuSrint a form which utilizes the adjectival suffix; AuSrinis means ‘morning’ and AuSrint Zvaigzdt is the ‘morning star. The Latvian Goddess of Dawn in Baltic myth, was the Mother of Mēness The Moon God.

The moon was either married to Saule, the Sun Goddess, or her daughter, Saules Meita. In another folk song, Saule has given her daughter to Ausekis’ son. The Slavic Goddess of the Dawn, Zarya is not linguistically cognate with her Baltic sisters. The moon god, according to Gimbutas, was unstable; not only did he fall in love with the daughters of the sun, in Latvian myth, he also married Saule herself and fell in love with Ausrine as well.”

We find a similar motif of Aurora in the primitive Sardinia, Italian language that Aurora, which is equivalent to Greek Ἕως, the rosy-fingered goddess, is no coincidence the Romans made it the hypostasis of gold (aurum > Aurora) for the splendor with which it appears. But aurum > Aurora was only a paronomasia, as the Latins had lost its oldest meaning, which turns out even in the Sumerian language, from a’u ‘one who drags ships, boats’ + ru ‘structure ‘+ ra ‘sun, splendor of the sun’: A’u-ru-ra which means: ‘She who pulls the boat of the Sun’ or life giving sun of the waking human life. Ἕως has the same origin, by Sumerian e ‘take out’ + u ‘sleep’, meaning ‘(the one who) brings out of sleep (the Sun)’.

Aurora is the Sun Goddess, but when the patriarch began to change all mythology into their new mythology she became the wife or consort and the male ended up in a higher status as the all life giving Sun God and from him all the gods rose, like Helios, Apollo, Mars, etc. The Aurora or Auseklis – The Midnight Sun, Goddess of the Dawn has magical meaning in Latvian folklore and it means you understand the secrets of magical nature, the magical self in relationship to nature. If your bed sheets are covered with this symbols then bed sheet protect though the symbol the dreamer from any shadow or evil wandering souls in the vicinity. The symbol is also associated with ancient medicine, the straight or turned cross style.

Latvian Auseklis at her root, is a Celestial Goddess, collective rather than personal goddess or woman self-hood, and she and her symbol has much power, but like any ancient symbol, you do not get its power, you must match its power within your life and that is a long and painful journey. No symbol is power given, it must be completely earned and most times its given power by peoples shadow (their need for attention, jester or magic tricks for attention, the ego, false strength of the warrior etc). These are all superficial and not in harmony with the feminine and goddess from which they were birthed. The symbol represents the complex eight-sided star, which must be drawn in one continuous line without lifting your hand to receive the benefit of his blessings.

Simplest form of star is simple cross which symbolizes as elements, the Fire and the Light which are basically the same thing, called Spirit. Pagan Latvians believes that magical rituals can be performed with this symbol and it often has a great meaning to those who use it in a sacred way

During late paganism eras (after the 8th-10th century), with the influences of Christian and Catholic Religions, the Midnight Star has been called Koliada in Ukraine and other Slavic and Balkan pagan winter traditions, which is most important as ancient winter ceremonies and celebrations and then later into Christmas and Christian Religions. The Midnight Sun (star) as a simple art image today, in the basic Christmas ritual.

Shaman Women, Ukraine, by Illustrator Vera Pavlova

Восьмикутна хірка, як головний атрибут різдвяно-колядницьких містерій
Здавна, саме язичницька восьмикутна зірка, звана предками як Алатир (від  al-atar “біл-горюч”), була головним символом різдвяно-колядницьких містерій в Україні. Зірка-Алатир являє собою український колорік у вигляді восьми головних циклів. Він же, восьмикутник, є характерним і для народної орнаментики, особливо гуцульської. Загалом, цей символ зустрічається у кожному напрямку народного мистецтва – в українських писанках, українській вишивці, народному різьбленні, витинанці тощо. Езотерично, Алатир являє собою октаграму: проекцію ромба (небесний світ) на квадрат (матеріальний світ), та їх взаємне пересікання. Він зв’язує усі сторони світу і позначає абсолютний баланс, гармонію і рівновагу, здійснюючи потужну цілющу дію.
 
The main attribute of Christmas and the Mysteries of Kolyadky is since ancient times, as it was pagan octagonal star, called by the ancestors as Sura (from al-atar “white or heat-combustible”) in Ukraine. Star-Sura is a Ukrainian eight pointed star which represents the eight major cycles of nature within the four seasons. Its characteristics are within folk ornamentation, especially the Hutsul. Overall, this symbol is found in every area of folk art in Ukrainian pysanky, Ukrainian embroidery, folk carving, etc. Esoteric, Sura is oktahramu: projection diamond (heavenly light) to the square (the material world) and their mutual peresikannya. It connects all corners of the world and marks the absolute balance, harmony and balance, making a powerful healing effect.

Сама зірка кріпилася на високій жердині непорушно, а промені крутилися довкола осі за допомогою блока та протягненого від нього шнурка. На одному боці зірки зображали людське обличчя або Сонце, на другому – колядницькі сцени. Усередину іноді вставляли свічку, утворюючи щось на зразок “чарівного ліхтаря”. На виготовлення такої звізди йшло від тижня часу, тому їх виробляли заздалегідь.

The very high star attached to a pole firmly and rays swirled around the axis using the power and extended in lace from him. On one side of the star depicting the human face or the sun, the second – kolyadky scene. Inside sometimes inserted a candle, creating a sort of “magic lantern”. In making this week the stars came from the time because their produce in advance.

Belarusian  Каляда, Kalada, Kalyada
Bosnian, Croatian, Czech, Slovak, Slovene koledsa
Bulgarian, Macedonian, Serbian Коледа, Коледе
Kashubian kòlãda
Latvian an older ancient symbol Auseklis
Lithuanian Kalėdos, Kalėda
Polish Kolęda
Old Polish Kolenda
Old Church Slavonic Колѧда
Romanian Kolinda
Russian  Коляда, Kolyada
Ukraine  Коляда, Kolyadá

23To understand any spiritual teaching of earth at its root, one must walk backwards into the past and prehistory of self, not the present or knowledge and definitely not forward or the future. To understand ancient cultures rituals before 3,000 bce (grandfather’s patriarch), information can be found only in three ways: 1. Visions and Out of Bodies, 2. Peasant folktales, folk songs and 3. Ancient art and pieces of remaining Folk art. One question is: “Were the origins of the Winter Solstice Ceremonies Dances or Songs or both” ?Koleda is always celebrated with Carolers, but the root of the term “Carol” actually refers to “dancing” rather than its common connotation regarding song or singing. In Old French, “carole” is translated to “dance.” Similarly, in both Latin (choraula) and Greek (choraules) the root of the term means “to dance with the accompaniment of flute”. Thus caroling can actually be traced to more archaic traditions of solstice ritual dance much like kukeri, the bear dances or mummer’s purification dances (in some purer villages) in its shamanic roots.

In Pre-Christian eras, Northern Europeans and Eastern Europeans would travel in order to join together to sing and dance in honor of the sacredness of the Winter Solstice. Although after the 13th century most carols centered around religion or pagan celebrations. These dances were directly birthed from the sacred shamanic dances of women that occurred during the winter moons of the time of peace when the oceans became calm and they were joined in dreaming by all their shaman and sacred sisters around the earth, called dream incubation of the cave eras. Before wars descended upon the earth, men also had their essential roles and parts in the great rituals of the tribe and clans. Their rites (like most cultures) are historically viewed as war dances, but in actuality there was no war-based intentions in their origins, that was propaganda, a myth projected as real when they were just dances.Kolyadki Winter Midnight Sun Goddess Kievskaya Vasilisa Kolyadki akvarely cvetnye karandashiThe ancient tradition of creating art is also an important path, as both talisman (to be worn) and amulet (to be placed or hung) has also been carried on in Slavic traditions of Christmas. As the Christian stories of the “Son of God” gained cultural momentum, the symbols often found on these amulets and talismans lost their reference to the fertility of both the Fire Goddess (of the summer solstice) and her twin mirror the Night Goddess (of the winter solstice) and her heavenly fertility.

Although the original meaning of the Midnight Sun was displaced, the symbol remains present in Slavic celebrations due to tendency of Slavs and Balkans to bring their own traditions into Christianity rather than lose them. As religion became the leading influence of commerce for artisans, traditional craftsmen and women were given work to change these ancient symbols and adapt them to support both the new power of religion and male power in general. The work of these artisans combined with the domination of written pagan-god culture is what ultimately transformed the meaning of these shamanic symbols.

Północ Gwiazda (101)The verb ‘koliadovat’ means to go from door to door, singing ritual songs, asking for sweets and the pagan aspects of wearing animal masks. Koliada is the time between Korochun (the Winter Solstice) and the first week of January. Lighted fires and candles are to light the darkest time of the year which was to echo the ancient pagan custom of banging the sparks from the burning Budnik ritual log, that is lit up at Koliada, much like the English Yule log. Sviatky in Russia is equivalent to yuletide and is celebrated in January where all the young girls and women in the family would practice folk divination, which is mostly melted wax into a water bowl.

lviv

Koliada in its older traditions is the name of a cycle of winter rituals that aligns with the new moon stemming from the ancient Calendae. The modern term of children and caroler’s singing is called kolyadovannya in Ukrainian and is now applied to similar Old East Slavic celebrations. In Bulgarian and Macedonian traditions of koleduvane (коледуване) or koledarenje (коледарење) which are also around Christmas and the Kolyadka (songs) are sung as well.

Koleda is also celebrated across northern Greece by the Slavs of Macedonia in Florina to Thessaloniki which is called Koleda (Κόλιντα, Κόλιαντα) and Koleda Babo (Κόλιντα Μπάμπω) which means “Koleda Grandmother” in Slavic and this directly ties Koleda (Winter Solstice) to the Winter Goddess Marzana making it the most archaic Koleda. This is a ritual of gathering in the village square and lighting a bonfire, followed by local Macedonian dancing. There is also a dance from Dubrovnik called “The Dubrovnik Koleda.”

Północ Gwiazda (92)Wigilia is the traditional Polish Christmas eve celebrations and sometimes called “gwiazdory” which is reference to the “Star” carriers. Before the 11th century they were all pagan celebrations and rituals and the oral traditions which were passed down for millenniums for generation to generation were lost and all we have left is a very small narrow culture of religious songs that lack the mystery. Poland’s Koledy, like other Slavic countries still bright Star along with the singers and folk musician spreading seasonal good wishes.

Hieroglyphs, Petroglyphs, Cave Drawings, Ancient and Contemporary Art, Esoteric, Divination and even major business logo’s all draw from nature-based symbols (images of artists and dreamers) and contain a root language of our past and our souls journey. Traditional oral stories can be traced to these sources of images throughout history and prehistory and their original meanings can be understood when one recognizes symbolic language as their “first language.” Symbolism as a tool, has been birthed forth from sacred dreamers, shamans and artists since the dreamers societies and this continues today in a less elaborate and less powerful and less meaningful shamanic ceremony. But at least fragments still exist and can be built upon for the future.

villagers from zakalnoe, sing kolyadki of the winter-midnight-sun-goddess

The Sun Goddess (in both Balkan and Slavic cultures) has a far more ancient symbolic meaning, than what is used in today’s rituals of the recent pagan past. In the past several thousand years her symbol evolved to be regarded as a “star” and this is a relatively recent concept. Prior to the evolution of astronomy, astrology, science and religion, the eight pointed star (associated with the Sun Goddess and Goddesses like Ishtar, Tanit and some older archaic goddesses) it represented the Midnight Sun of the Winter Solstice here on earth, not in the sky and that is the most important of all.

bronze_slavic_early_medieval_female_jewel_pendant VESNA, Slavic pendant, Moravia Magna Empire, bronzeThis star can be seen in the symbolism of folk ritual, folk art, rich textiles, pysanky eggs and sacred art of both the Slavs and the Balkan people. One later example is the early Medieval Slavic Moravia Magna (Moravian Empire) and it’s 8 pointed Vesna symbol which looks like a “flower”. Vesna is the Goddess of life, beauty, love and the spring and asscociated with the Goddess Lada.

Because the earth was woman’s only focus prior to men’s teachings (paganism and religion) the symbols and images belonging to woman’s prehistory were actually quite different and in many ways an opposition of what we have today in the meanings of symbols. If we release the associations created through these dominant teachings of the Sun Cults (which began to around 2,200 bce) we can begin to see the symbols come alive and express a more healing and magical meaning, which came forth from women weaving connectedness to the immediate surroundings and to accepting the dark winters without rushing to bring any light forth ahead of spring. In these ways we were accepting of the dark night and the time of silence. We were accepting to go inward and enter the night forest of mother earth and to heal the deepest during this time.

postIf we look at the Rozhy as a sacred symbol, which emerged from ancient earth-focused artists (who were generally the healers and enactors of rituals and leadership)  we can see that the eight-pointed Ruzha (ружа) is not a “star” but a “flower”. The Rozhy (mallow flowers) are so often similar to the eight-pointed star motif that during the shift from feminine to masculine-dominated teachings to see everything linear, the flower took on the connotation of the solar god and began to be regarded as a representation of the sun itself. Today this symbol still represents the feminine, and woman’s sensitivities of the beauty of nurturing, and symbolizes love and caring for others. The Sun Goddess’s symbol, which retains both the meaning of the “Sun” and “Flower” allows us to trace its origin to the archaic symbol of the “Fire Flower.”

One of the most beautiful symbols of the Winter Solstice (which remains passed down from a direct lineages of the Matriarchal structures) is the 8 pointed Midnight Sun (or Fire Flower) that is carried atop a ritual staff by Ukrainian carolers at Christmas. Long ago shamanic ritual and Fire Dances would have accompanied these singers in their solstice celebration. The names of the Mallow flower (which is representative of the Fire Flower) in various Slavic and Balkan countries are:

Bulgarian: Горски слез (Gorski slez)
Czech: Sléz lesní
Croatian: Sljez crni, Sljez divlji
Estonian: Mets-kassinaeris
Georgian: ბალბა (Balba)
Macedonian: црн слез
Polish: Ślaz dziki
Romanian: Nalba de culturä, nalba de padure
Serbian: Crni slez
Slovak: Slez lesný
Slovene: Gozdni slezenovec
Ukrainian: Мальва лісова

christmas star

In China, the mallow flower is called the “power of magic” for its abilities to ward off shadows and shadow-natured humans who walk between the worlds. A similar reference is found in Polish mythology which mentions Fire Flowers in much of their folklore. The ritual of the Vesta is a distinct Fire Flower rite and is a shamanic ritual in origin. The rite of the Fire Flower wasn’t a game or a celebration, but a real shamanic initiation which could last five to twenty years.

In today’s pagan ritual its said that to find the Fire Flower the seeker must enter a forest before midnight on the Eve of Kupala of the Summer Solstice. Blooming precisely at midnight, the brightness of the flower is so brilliant that no person can look at it directly. The reference of both “Flower” and “Midnight” in these stories also connect to the observance of the solstices.

For this powerful flower to be harvested, a circle had to be drawn around it. The seeker would encounter demons who would try to distract or prevent him/her from completing this task. It was said that if you answered the voices, or faltered during the task the cost would be your life. Anyone who succeeded in possessing this flower gained the ability to repel all evils. Thus, within the folklore of this Fire Flower lies the symbolism of the spiritual tests of the Shamans from these regions.

 

Midnight Sun symbolism of the Winter Dark Goddess

The ancients like myself as a shaman recognize two seasons: Summer and Winter and when one tries to relearn alignment with the celebration of these two seasons of earth, rather than the four we have come to regard as wholeness, one begins to be in rhythm with the rhythms of their emotional body as the earth herself does. These two-halves of the (whole) year are divided into two :

FIRE (spring-summer / solstice) Light half of the year from Spring to Autumn

NIGHT (autumn-winter / solstice) Night half of the year from Autumn to Spring

fire

These two halves of the year are marked by the solstices and correlate with the north and south axis of Earth. These axis are the gates where dreamers, dream walkers, and soul bodied astral traveling shamans and humans exited and entered the mystical veils of earth (not off earth, like the new 4,000 year teachings of star lore wishes you to believe). Once the pyramids were built on earth, these were to disrupt magnetic energy and  slowly eradicate your dreaming and this ability through the magnetics of your emotional body and soul.

The demarcation of two halves of the year is one of the main differences between prehistory dreaming rituals and tribes and the rituals that have taken their place in the the past 4,000 years. This resulted in the loss of our connection to our dreamer and night dreams as real and powerful  which our astral body crosses back and forth. Woman’s prehistory rites and rituals, link directly to the power of dreaming itself and these celebrations involving the Spring and Autumn Equinox seasons are actually intended for our ordinary and mundane life of the waking world and not for the in-between worlds of the shaman, dreamers or mystics.

Many pagans who observe Halloween and Samhain celebrations would find this odd because (due to the rising power of the men of both Paganism and the Religious Sun cults) much significance has been placed on observing the Equinox and Religions over-took the Solstices and changed them to the mundane world. Nonetheless, the Spring and Autumn Equinox celebrations are important and mark significant turning points in the year, but not the spiritual in-between the worlds’ year.

Kolyadki Winter Midnight Sun Goddess 1903 Kolyadki Festive table in Podolsk villages

Another important facet of the Midnight Sun (or reverse sun sometimes called the second sun (core magma of the earth’s center) is its role as symbol of the feminine power of the internal fire and nature’s core of fire. Connected with the archaic Goddess figures of Marzanna and even how she rolled into the Black Madonna, this symbol can be traced back to the lineages of the shaman or cave grandmothers era’s of earth.

The Midnight Sun or Central Sun as some new age groups call it, it is the fire in the belly of the Mother Earth (which is fire). One of the ways to reconnect to the root of Woman’s prehistoric teachings (which have been both lost, destroyed and corrupted) is to reclaim a path of the Powerful Self which is our inner Fire. To do this requires both a healing journey, and a purification process involving working towards the unification of both perception (emotion / souls) and perspective (mind / beliefs) when living our mundane and creative life.

Kolyadki Winter Midnight Sun Goddess Різдво на Україні ukraine christmas sun

fire-%d0%bf%d0%be%d1%82%d0%b5%d1%80%d1%87%d0%b0%d1%82%d0%b0-1963Like most cultures, celebrations which contain vestiges of the original Solstice rituals have changed. Many of the Singing Carolers of Ukraine carry images and amulets of the Svarha (сварга) or Swastika during the Winter Solstice. But before pagan eras, this symbol denoted the movement of Ursa Major across the heavens and the four seasons in symbol form were the four spinning arms of transformation. As Pagan and then the Sun Cults (religions) came into power the symbol began to represent the Sun’s travel across the sky. In Slavic culture this symbol represented the Midnight Sun of the Dark Goddess (like Marzanna) of the winter and would then in later eras symbolized Dazhboh, a benevolent Sun God, in the Summer.

When i look at modern pagans today of both Slavic and Balkan countries, I see a lot of war loving viking imagery and associations and male dominance in the leadership, I see the same in men’s religions. If women are to heal themselves and work with their soul, they must begin to find a way to incorporate the more personal meanings of the moon, the sun, nature and personal ritual that weaves them together, both with intentions of health and letting go of what no longer serves their spiritual paths.

Kolyadki Winter Midnight Sun Goddess 32

Kolyadki Winter Midnight Sun Goddess Matonka

When the complex multi-spoke designs of the “Star” of Christmas became popularized, the rites of the women and grandmothers were eventually conferred to rituals enacted by children. By the 17th century the star lost most of its reference to its previous symbolic meaning and women were no longer allowed to participate in many of the solstice traditions.

The creation of amulets or star symbols, once used in the shamanic rites of women to protect their villages from shadows, were ultimately demoted to a child’s craft activity of Christmas folk art at local museums or schools. But this will change as more and more Slavic pagans return to their origins peacefully again.

So what is the Midnight Sun?

It is the path of the dreamers, when night is all the time and the Sun goes dormant and regenerates and all the planets go dormant (winter cycle). Or what spiritual people and science calls, the Pole Shift. Science still thinks a star dies in the universe… couldn’t be more far from the truth, for nature is perfect, not humans and everything has its life cycle and rebirth… the other thing science was wrong about is that energy can be destroyed… it can.

Sources: Fire Потерчата, 1963, Polish traditional stars, The coloring in Ukrainian by Puzyrna Galyna; Ukraine Illustrator Vera Pavlova; Illustration by Nadia Starovoitova; Verteps parade in Lviv, Ukraine; https://sasartiglia.com, . All photos and images belong to their rightful owners and shared for women’s dreaming educational purposes only. 

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Soul Bearer

By Phoenix of Elder Mountain ~

SOUL – The Water Bearers… There are a few symbols in almost all traditions today, both ancient and archaic times, which represents our feminine sides, called the Soul.

sky rain goddess

Bird symbolism is the oldest on earth and it represents not only our beginner relationship to first soul, the emotional body, which is what I term the song birds but our “spiritual journey” of our lifetime; birds symbolize the more advanced animist souls and the visions contained here within our personal spiritual “healing” journey, represented by the Raptor Birds (boundaries/nourishment); and lastly, the “collective souls” who are the celestials, the birds of thunder, the firebird, phoenix, sun bird, which represent deaths and rebirths of our collective soul and the wisdom and karma present within them of all of our own personal reincarnations. One may have only 8 past lives and one may have 1000 past lives until they get the lessons. More is not better.

Serpent which are the second oldest symbolism of earth, represents symbolically the “healing” of our soul in many forms and ways;

Fire and Water are the two oldest aspects of the medicine wheel, representing the “purification” of our watery Soul(s)  and fiery Spirit.

Water is the emotional body karmic purification, where we misused our emotions and created wars, killed others, abused self or others, addictions etc. (all ten of them loose power if one does not change and heal each lifetime). But if on overcomes all fears on the spiritual journey and masters all of the human selves (3) and becomes a Buddha or Christ (enlightened) and completed, then we begin the second half of the animist soul purification.

Midway completed we then enter the Fire purification and it begins, but no one tells me they are a dragon and when i ask tell me the story when you met your demonic or djinn shadow lifetime and how did you burn that off, they cannot share with the real story of the human or animist karmic purification. Rare are the celestial being souls here on the planet, these aspects of them are dormant and sometimes eradicated. Only about 15% of the earth’s souls can even take this journey. These Spirit (or Fire realities) are only legend now on earth, but in prehistory and the future to come,  attainment will be mandatory for some but not for the majority of humanity. Most of humanity cannot master the human self and make great sacrifices unless its forced upon them to make small karmic changes.

In other words, the journey has no words.

Water symbolism has 3 levels, first is the Lake which represents our contained emotional life in our personal intimate relationships; the second level is the symbolism of the Creek, Stream and River representing the motions of one direction, a forward path in which emotions must open up the emotional pain with much work and preparation, then go through the emotional pain again to heal it, this lifetime or other lifetimes, in order to regain some balance; and lastly is the symbolism of the great Ocean which represents the emotional and animism lives of our past lives as a collective representation. Be kind to yourself emotionally, it all counts.

In symbolism wherever you see aggression and wings in ancient art, this is where the new clans of the War Kingdoms began to take over and the Soul was beginning to be raped. Baghdad in ancient Iraq was one and there are many more. Wings are the soul and aggression was the destruction of the old souls and power stolen.

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Fire is the last, it is what true Spirit is – an element. It has nothing to do with anything human, but pure elements of nature in which humans of the grandmother cave cultures still retained, and represented symbolically unification or reunification with mother earth (nature itself in an elemental form), in human terms spirit would be considered the pure light which is golden illumination. It cannot be attained until both the complete unity of the karmic purified two mental bodies and its karma, the pure purity of the physical body and all past life physical karma like war etc, and the 8 souls that are dharma and animist dharma… in fact its almost impossible to attain in any temple, mosque or church or even spiritual temples or other people because its not human its pure nature. The second half of the second level of the healing journey of the 6 souls is to be alone. and it is death and mastering death.

One must remember all teaching on earth are from written languages and all are taught by grandfather, which is only our masculine side. The feminine side is extremely painful and dangerous in the healing journey because it has been repressed for four thousand years. The karmic cleansing is deadly. But never give up, keep going as long as you are pure, grounded and able to take the next step. Never skip one step if your fate demands of you suffering in your spiritual journey.

Images: First photo wasn’t listing an artist. Scythian golden pectoral from the royal grave at Tolstaja Mogila kurgan, 4th C BCE. It shows the three tiers of Scythian mythology of the Inner Earth, the Astral, and innermost the inhabited world which were taken over by war clans and the military (religious). Museum of Historic Treasures of Ukraine, Kiev.