Monday, 21 November 2016

Archangel Michael

This is Archangel Michael, my family saint. He is celebrated today on 21st of November. I wish all people who celebrate Archangel Michael (Srećna Slava) Happy Slava. 



But who is really Archangel Michael?

If we look at the Bible we find that it has this to say about Archangel Michael:

Genesis 3

"{3:24}And in front of the Paradise of enjoyment, he placed the Cherubim with a flaming sword, turning together, to guard the way to the tree of life."

1 Chronicles 21

"{21:16} And David lifting up his eyes, saw the angel of the Lord standing between heaven and earth, with a drawn sword in his hand, turned against Jerusalem: and both he and the ancients clothed in haircloth, fell down flat on the ground."

"{21:30} And David could not go to the altar there to pray to God: for he was seized with an exceeding great fear, seeing the sword of the angel of the Lord."

Who is Archangel Michael? The Archangel Michael is the closest to the Lord in the Jewish scriptures, for his very name means "Who is like God." As the eldest Archangel, he is given captaincy of all of God's natural phenomena, including rain, wind, fire, snow, thunder, lightning, and hail. Michael is believed by many Jews to have appeared to Moses as the fire in the burning bush and to have led Daniel from the lions' den. Additionally, because it is said in the Book of Revelations that Michael will lead God's troops against the dragon and his angels at the final battle, many people seek the aid of Michael against wrong-doers on Earth

The archangel who controls the rain, fire, thunder, lightning and who punished the wrong-doers. Is this a description of Perun? The Archangel with a flaming sword who stands between Heaven and Earth guarding the heaven and pointing his flaming sword towards the earth. Is this a description of lightning? Is the lightning the flaming sword of the lord?


In my post about "Ognjena Marija" I explained that in Slavic mythology, Ognjena Marija or the "Fiery Mary" is considered to be the sister of St Ilija, the thundering sun and (or) wife of the thunder god Perun, who is just another name for Ilija, Ilios, Sun god, another face of Sun god. She is also known as Perunika, Perena, Ljeljuja, Leluja, Ljelja, Gorka, Veronika. Later, under Christianity, her importance was degraded and she was regarded as an evil goddess, described as an evil and ugly woman named Irudika (who was in turn a daughter of Poganica).
She was the goddess of lightning, weddings, motherhood, and protector of marriage and justice on earth. Perunika wears a rainbow as her belt. In some parts of Croatian people still call rainbow "the mother of god" referring to Ognjena Marija. Onjena Marija, Perunika uses a heavy sledge hammer (a symbol of thunder deities) to punish people, and controls lightning. Gromovnik (God of Thunder) Perun, helped by his wife Perunika Ognjena Marija, ''loads'' the thunderbolts and shoots them at thieves, liars, and immoral people in general.

In Serbo Croatian flower Iris is also called Perunika, Ljeljuja, Leluja, Ljelja, Sabljarka, Bogiša. The name "bogiša", originates from the region around Dubrovnik town, southern Croatia and means God's flower. The flower is dedicated to the goddess Perunika. According to a legend, this flower grows at the place where Perun's spark, lightning, hits the fertile soil. In the same way, a place hit by lightning was considered sacred and objects, like a stone or tree, from such a place were consecrated. This represents a divine sexual act: Perun, the thunder giant, penetrates the earth with his penis (lightning),  inseminating the earth with heavenly semen, rain. In Serbian Perunika could mean the place where the seed of perun sprouted. Perunika = Perun + nika = Perun + sprouted.

Considering that Perunika, Ognjena Marija, is directly linked with fertility of the land, it sounds logical that Perun's female companion punishes immoral and dishonest women by the ''white plague'' (sterility).

In Medjimurje (northern Croatia), one greeting used on the feast day of St. Stephen (Dec. 26) mentions God with lelulja (ljeljuja), i.e. perunika, in his hand. This is the most probable origin of the alternative Perunika's name Ljelja. But also this could indicate that the true meaning of Perunika is actually lightning, electricity, the spark of life. Perunika, the wife of Perun, symbolized by flower Perunika, is the essence of his power, Electricity, Lightning. 





In the same way Indrani is the wife and essence of the power of Indra, and Shakti is wife and essence of the power of Shiva. 

Perun holding Perunika is Shiva holding Trishula, Lightning. 

And guess what? Iris (Perunika) has the petals of the same color as lightning, blue - purple laced with lightning like golden pattern. It also has three main petals.




Just like trishula has three spikes: 



This Russian "Christian" icon depicts Ognjena Marija or the "Fiery Mary" surrounded with fiery wheels of Perun, inside the burning flame.



The fiery wheels of Perun, the Thunder god, are actually burning sun wheels of Svetovid, the Sun god. In South Slavic folk tradition the day of Perun is the 2nd of August, the Crom Dubh day in Ireland. But this day is also the day of St Ilija the Thunderer. St Ilija the Thunderer is Ilios, the thundering sun, the sun at its hottest, the sun that burns with its fiery eye. In Serbian tradition the rolling thunders which can be heard around the 2nd of August are said to be made by the fiery wheels of St Ilia's chariots thundering over the tops of the clouds, and the lightning that is seen flashing in the clouds are the sparks created by those same fiery chariot wheels.


This basically means that the sun wheel of Svetovid is thunder wheel of Perun. Sun creates, gives power to lightning, which is exactly what the latest scientific data is telling us: Solar radiation and lightning are intrinsically linked.  

Now remember, Michael "is like God". And so is Perun. Perun is like Svetovid. Perun is Ilija the Thunderer, who is Thundering sun Ilios. In my post about Triglav, Trimurti I wrote that 

The book of Veles has this riddle:
Jer tajna je velika, kako to Svarog biva u isto vreme i Perun i Svetovid.
Translated into English this means: 
Because it is a great secret how come Svarog (hevenly and earthly fire) is at the same time Perun (thunder) and Svetovid (Sun).
And the answer to this riddle is Triglav, Trimurti. Svetovid (sun), Perun (thunder and lightning) and Svarog (Jarilo, fire) are three faces of one and only god Triglav. 



Perun is "like" Svetovid and this is depicted through the symbols of Svetovid and Perun: their wheels. The wheel of Perun is "like" the wheel of Svetovid. It is actually the fiery version of the wheel of Svetovid. Sun creating fire through lightning. 


Now if Michael is "Like El", is Michael actually Perun, who is "Like Svetovid"? 

In Indian mythology, Trimurti consists of Vishnu, Shiva, and Brahma. In Serbian mythology, Triglav (Svetovid, Perun, Svarog (Jarilo)) consists of Višnji, Živa, Branjanj.

In Serbian the meanings of the names of the holy trinity (Trimurti, Triglav) members (Višnji, Živa, Branjanj) actually correspond to their role in Serbian Trinity:

Vishnji (meaning "one who is up high", from vis "high"), the sun (Svetovid).
Branjanj (meaning the protector, supporter, from bran "protection", braniti "to protect"), the fire (Svarog, Jarilo).
Živa (meaning alive, living from Živ "alive, life"), the giver and taker of life (Perun).

In Serbian the word "Živ" means Alive and the word "Život" means Life. The tree of Life in Serbian is "Drvo Života". And Michael is guarding the access to the tree of Life (Život). Is this just a coincidence or is this a hint that Michael is Živa - Perun, the electricity part of the holy trinity? And as we know now, electricity is what powers all the life in the universe....


The references to the "captain of the host of the Lord" encountered by Joshua in the early days of his campaigns in the Promised Land (Joshua 5:13-15) have at times been interpreted as Michael the Archangel, but there is no theological basis for that assumption, given that Joshua then worshiped this figure, and angels are not to be worshiped. Some scholars also point that the figure may refer to God himself. In the book of Joshua's account of the fall of Jericho, Joshua "looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand". When the still unaware Joshua asks which side of the fight the Archangel is on, the response was, "neither...but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come".

So Joshua worshiped Michael (the fiery sword of god) like God. Michael who is "Like God, Closest to God". Serbs worshiped Perun (the lightning which causes fire and destruction) like God, the god of warriors. 

What is amazing is that when asked whose side he is on, Michael answers "neither". This is exact description of the nature of lightning. It is not on the side of heaven nor it is on the side of the earth. It is in between connected to both heaven and earth.


The Book of Revelation (12:7-9) describes a war in heaven in which Michael, being stronger, defeats Satan:

"...there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.

Slaying the dragon is a job of Thuner gods though out Evroasia. In Slavic religion, Veles is said to live in the roots of the Tree of Life in the shape of a serpent and is constantly trying to destroy the tree of life by eating its roots. He is killed by Perun in the shape of an eagle who lives in the branches of the Tree of Life. Perun the defender of the Tree of Life kills Veles the dragon, the great snake. This is another proof that Michael is actually Perun, Shiva, Thor, the thunder god, the lightning sword of the Lord God, the Sun.  


A reference to an "archangel" also appears in the First Epistle to the Thessalonians 4:16

"...the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God...".

This archangel who heralds the second coming of Christ is not named, but is probably Michael, the lightning which descends from heaven to earth with the sound of thunder, the voice of Archangel, the trumpet of God.

Do you think this is all a bit strange? It gets even Stranger.

The earliest and most famous sanctuary to Saint Michael was the Michaelion built in the early 4th century by Emperor Constantine at Chalcedon, on the site of an earlier Temple called Sosthenion. A painting of the Archangel slaying a serpent became a major art piece at the Michaelion after Constantine defeated Licinius near there in 324, eventually leading to the standard iconography of Archangel Michael as a warrior saint slaying a dragon. The Michaelion was a magnificent church and in time became a model for hundreds of other churches in Eastern Christianity which spread devotions to the Archangel.

A temple called Leosthenion (Greek: Λεωσθένιον) or Sosthenion (Greek: Σωσθένιον) had existed at the location prior to the 4th century. The site corresponds to modern Istinye.

According to a widespread tradition, current already since the 6th century, the Church of St. Michael at Sosthenion was founded by Constantine the Great, who visited the temple, erected by the Argonauts and dedicated to Zeus Sosthenios or a winged deity. Constantine interpreted the winged statue of the temple as a Christian angel. After sleeping the night in the temple, Constantine reported a vision that the angel was the Archangel Michael, and converted the building into a church to honor him.

Winged Zeus, Winged thunder god, was "interpreted" by Constantine as "Archangel Michael" who we have seen has all attributes of Perun, the thunder god. 

Constantine was the first Roman Emperor to become a Christian and in 313 AD along with his co-Emperor Licinius signed the Edict of Milan, allowing Christians to worship freely and build public churches, rather than worshiping in secret. However, Constantine and Licinius later fought each other and in 324 AD Constantine defeated Licinius at the Battle of Adrianople, not far from the Michaelion - attributing the victory to Archangel Michael.

"Constantine felt that both Licinius and Arius were agents of Satan, and associated them with the serpent described in the Book of Revelation (12:9). Constantine represented Licenius as a snake on his coins. After the victory, Constantine commissioned a depiction of himself and his sons slaying Licinius represented as a serpent - a symbolism borrowed from the Christian teachings on the Archangel to whom he attributed the victory. A similar painting, this time with the Archangel Michael himself slaying a serpent then became a major art piece at the Michaelion and eventually lead to the standard iconography of Archangel Michael as a warrior saint."

Archangel Michael was the warrior saint because Perun was a warrior God. And Archangel Michael slaying the Dragon is Perun (Eagle) slaying Veles (snake), Sun. Light overpowering Water, Darkness...

Did Constanin turn Perun into Archangel Michael? 

Well I don't know, but have a look at these two pictures. 

The labarum (Greek: λάβαρον) was a vexillum (military standard) that displayed the "Chi-Rho" symbol ☧, formed from the first two Greek letters of the word "Christ" (Greek: ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ, or Χριστός) — Chi (χ) and Rho (ρ). It was first used by the Roman emperor Constantine I. Since the vexillum consisted of a flag suspended from the crossbar of a cross, it was ideally suited to symbolize the crucifixion of Christ.


According to Lactantius, a Latin historian of North African origins saved from poverty by the Emperor Constantine I (r. 306–337), who made him tutor to his son Crispus, Constantine had dreamt of being ordered to put a "heavenly divine symbol" (Latin: coeleste signum dei) on the shields of his soldiers. The description of the actual symbol chosen by Emperor Constantine the next morning, as reported by Lactantius, is not very clear: it closely resembles a Chi-Rho or a staurogram, a similar Christian symbol. That very day Constantine's army fought the forces of Maxentius and won the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (312), outside Rome.

There is a symbol, a "heavenly divine symbol" which closely resembles ChiRho. It is the heavenly wheel of Perun, the warrior deity of Slavs who is like Svetovid:


Constantin, the first Christian Roman emperor, was born in the Balkans, in what is today the south eastern part of Serbia, in the town which is today called Niš, but which was known as Naisus during Roman times. What was Constantin's tribal origin? I don't know. But if he was fighting in the Civil War, he must have turned to his countrymen, to his compatriots, to his tribesmen for support. And what if they believed in Perun, the thunder god, being the protector of the warriors? What would be the best way Constantin could appease them? What was the best way for Constantin to get their support? Well he could have told them that he did not forget the "old faith" of their forefathers. And that if his compatriots joined him, they would be fighting as "us" against "them". And that they would be fighting under the protection of their old warrior god. And how would he show that? By placing the symbol of their old warrior god, the wheel of Perun, the heavenly divine symbol, which closely resembles ChiRho, onto their standards and shields. 

Under this sigh you will conquer!




And they did. 

Is this why, when eventually Constantin won the war, he built the temple dedicated to "Archangel Michael", who is Like God, the commander of the heavenly army, the slayer of dragons, the guardian of the Gates of Heaven and the Tree of Life, the one who is between the Heaven and Earth?

What do you think, who is really Archangel Michael?

4 comments:

  1. This is a very interesting topic. From a philosophical point of view angel and one of many gods mean roughly the same even though a monotheist would argue that God is an angel but the other angels are not God and not to be adored. Constantin the Great may have confused some traditions or mixed them up, theological questions were thought to be controversial when he lived.

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  2. Amazing article, lots of extremely interesting facts. Did you know that Mount Sleza is the place in Europe with highest frequency of thunderstorms? It is literally Perun's mountain.
    BTW, Serbs seem more like Veles' rather than Perun's people, since - 'Serb' may have been derived from Serpent-Snake, and your capital is Vele-Hrad - City of Veles/Vela.
    Greetings from Lechia!

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  3. Hi
    maybe it interest you
    "U poljskim izvorima
    XVI vijeka navode se prast~ri refreni »Lada, Lada, Ileli, Ileli«, a u jednom
    izvoru iz 1423. godine »ysaya lado ylely ya ya« 56. A sve nas ovo podsjeća na
    slovenačke i hrvatske ladarice i ljelje, kao i na hrvatsko-srpske kraljice,
    čije pjesme stalno prati refren »leljo«s7• G. Iljinskij je refren »ljeljo« doveo
    u vezu sa lotiškim leluot u značenju »zibati djecu u kolijevci«, pretpostavljajući
    praslovenski glagol lelati u istom značenju. »Ljeljo« bi predstavljalo
    vokativ od ljelja, koja je srodna sa bugarskom riječi ljelja - »tetka«, i sa
    ruskom riječi lelja u značenju - »kum«5s. Po mišljenju Petra Skoka, u riječi
    lelja izražena je sveslovenska i baltoslovenska onomatopeja, sa indoevropskim
    onomatopejskim korijenom le5D, ali je pri tome veoma zanimljivo da se
    i u nekim baskijskim obrednim pjesmama Javlja refren »lelo, yl, lelo«, i to
    u sklopu više baskijsko-balkanskih podudarnosti u materijalnoj kulturi i u
    narodnim običajima".
    šPIRO KULišić, STARA SLOVENSKA RELIGIJA U SVJETLU NOVIJIH ISTRAŽIVANJA POSEBNO BALKANOLOŠKIH , p.102
    http://www.anubih.ba/images/publikacije/djela/CBI/DJELA%20LVI-3%20Kulisic.pdf

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    Replies
    1. I think that ljelja is synonym for lily, perunika. In Serbian folk poetry it is identified with a god's weapon. "ubio te strasni ljelju" (may terrible ljelju kill you) . I believe that it represents lightning.

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