Friday, 16 March 2018

The last megalithic ritual in Europe

There are many large isolated stones littering the Belorussian countryside. Many of these stones have been, or still are, venerated as cult, or sacred stones. Over 500 of these cult stones have been worked by people.

The map of the locations of the cult boulders with man-made holes on the territory of Belarus, taken from this page of the "Культовые валуны с рукотворными углублениями".



Legend:

1 - flat stones with cup-shaped depressions;


2 - cylindrical stones with cup-shaped depressions;


3 - stones with holes (round holes, cup marks) with a depth of 0.5 to 7 cm and a diameter of 3 to 7.5 cm;


4 - stones with pits of irregular shape from 5 to 15 cm and dia. from 7.5 to 15 cm.


Some of theses stones were dated to Neolithic and Bronze age.

The above pictures were taken from this page of the "Культовые валуны с рукотворными углублениями" (Cultic stones with man made depressions).


According to a Belorussian legend one of these holy stones, which contained "footsteps of god" (was hollowed), was taken by a wealthy farmer who was building a house and was put in the house foundation. But the stone has become wet, "it starded crying", the wall went moldy and began to cause the people in the house to get sickThe farmer then  had a dream, in which he was told to take the stone to its original locationThe next morning, the farmer took the stone from the foundation, loaded it on a cart and drove it to the place from which it was takenThe legend says that it was strange that although four horses barely managed to bring the stone from its original location to the house, it only took one horse to bring it back from the house to its original location. 

The most interesting among these hollowed stones is this stone from near the village of Kremenets in Lugoisk region in Belorusia, which has been dated to bronze age. It is known localy as Dabog's (Daždbog's) stone.



In Belorusia it was once believed that Dabog (Daždbog) lived in a castle somewhere far away in the east. Every morning he would drive out through the gates of his castle in his chariot and would drive accross the sky towards the west. His servants washed his face with rain. This is why his name is Daždbog, god of rain, dažd. This Belorussian belief explicitly identifies Dabog as the sun god as well as the rain god.

The same link between Thunder god (Perun) and Sun god (Svetovid), is also represented by the character of Ilija the Thunderer, the Thundering Sun god...Which shows that Dabog and Ilija the Thunderer are one and the same god. 

According to the local old people, the stone has been there since the time immemorial and it has always been considered sacred. The stone lies on a stone platform which was in the past surrounded with a stone fence. In the corner of the sacred area there was a "well without bottom" which was always full of water and the water from this well was considered holy and medicinal. People visited the stone regularly but special masses were held at the stone on Ivan Kupala day, Easter and Pentecost. People used to come to the stone at the sunrise. They would bring with them offerings (flowers, money, bread, apples...) and would place them at the stone. They would then draw a bucketful of water from the well. A handful of water would be poured into the hollow marks on the stone which are called "God's footprints". The rest of the water would be used to wash the sore spot on the body because it was believed that the water has magical medicinal properties and could cure illnesses.

Now here is something very very very (I don't think there are enough verys I could put here) interesting about this Dabog stone which makes it probably one of the most important stones in the world. 


According to the same local old people, the villagers also turned to the stone for help during the periods of droughts when it did not rain for a long timeA special ceremony involving Dabog stone would then be performed. The ceremony was led by one of the oldest grandmothers in the willage. She would walk through the village and gather nine widows. They would take wooden stakes cut to a man's height. They would go to the stone, lift it using the stakes as leavers, and would perform a special prayer to the stone asking it to send down the rain.


The last such rain ritual at the stone was performed during the dry summer of 1985 and the locals say that the rain came after three days. You can see the video of the whole ceremony here.

Now this is absolutely incredible in so many ways. 

First the stone is clearly identified as the seat of Dabog, as Dabog personified. This can be seen from the fact that people prayed to the stone as if it was Dabog himself. 

Second, the raising of the stone was part of the prayer ceremony. Is it possible that this is a remnant of the ancient megalithic raising of the stone ceremonies which left us all these thousands of standing stones all over Europe? Did ancient Europeans raise all the standing stones as part of the praying ceremony dedicated to the the Sky god? I already suggested that this was a possibility in my post entitled "Grandmother's cudgels (clubs)" which talked about Orion, "The father of gods" and the original "Thundering giant" who during the Bronze Age caused climatic chaos with his stone clubs (meteorites) which he hurled from the sky. In Serbian "Thunder giant" is "Grom div". I already wrote in several posts that I believe that "Grom div" was the original name of the Bronze Age sky god whose name came to us as "Hromi daba" the main epithet of Dabog, Serbian and Slavic sky god and as "Crom dubh", the name of the Irish sky god...Now during Bronze Age the prayer ritual dedicated to the Sky god, Grom div, was probably performed during the extreme climatic events which threatened the survival of the people. During the praying ritual a new stone was hewn in the likeness of the Orion's stone club (meteorite) and was raised and left standing pointing at the sky. This was eventually replaced with the pretend raising of the single stone which represented the Sky god Dabog, Hromi daba...So this stone raising ceremony preserved in Belorussia could be the last remnant of the Bronze Age megalithic sky worshiping religion...

Third, considering that the stone is equated with Dabog, the raising of the stone was in effect the raising of Dabog. Do you know of of any other raising of the god ceremony? (This is a trick question :)). Dabog  is in Serbia also known as Djed, meaning Grandfather, The ancestor. He is seen as the ancestor of all the Serbs. This is why Dabog is in Serbian mythology seen as the sun god, Giving god (rain and grain god) and the good of the dead. So raising of the Dabog stone is effectively raising of the Djed...

And in Egyptian religion "djed" was a pillar associated with Osiris. Interestingly the word "djed" is also used in Egypt today to address grandparents...The djed pillar was an important part of the ceremony called 'raising the djed'. The act of raising the djed has been explained as representing Osiris's triumph over Set. The djed hieroglyph was a pillar-like symbol that represented stability. It was also sometimes used to represent Osiris himself. Osiris the sun god, the god of grain and the god of the dead. Osiris whose soul was Sahu, constellation Orion, the Thundering Giant of the Bronze Age...

So, very interesting isn't it?


References:

"Кременецкий камень благополучия" from Виртуальный музей города Логойска

"КУЛЬТОВЫЕ ВАЛУНЫ С РУКОТВОРНЫМИ УГЛУБЛЕНИЯМИ" - Винокуров В.Ф, Дучиц Л.В. (кандидат исторических наук), Зайковский Э.М.( кандидат исторических наук), Карабанов А.К.(доктор геолого-минералогических наук)


25 comments:

  1. O, Dajbogec daj toplote,
    daj nam z njo dobrote!
    Daj za črede zelene travice,
    da bo mleka in volnice!
    Daj nam pisane cvetice,
    da medu bo in medice!
    Daj na polja nam dežnice,
    da bo moke od pšenice!
    Daj nam repe in korenja,
    da bode sitega življenja!
    Daj orehov za sladke potice,
    za ohceti in veselice!
    Daj nam sadja na dreves,
    o, Dajbogec sonca na nebes!

    ČOK, Boris. V siju mesečine : ustno izročilo Lokve, Prelož in bližnje okolice
    http://sms.zrc-sazu.si/pdf/Cok_Mesecina_2012.pdf

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    Replies
    1. Excatly! I have this in my mind. Such rituals are perserved in western part of Slovenia.

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  2. Well, according to a report from 1934. Bosnian villagers invoked rain(magic) by the means of cutting off the right hand of a recently died person and throwing it into a river. I'm pretty sure it also rained 3 days later.

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  3. very nice !
    however, there is one problem with your theory?!
    referring to modern science, in the bronze age Belarusians - and more widely Slavs - had no right to be in this area?
    they were "somewhere", but not in this part of Europe.

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  4. I think ,that this is not the last place where ceremonies take place with the participation of stones.
    An example Joście in Poland
    http://mazowsze.hist.pl/17/Rocznik_Mazowiecki/387/2002/12645/
    http://bozestopki.pl/?p=148
    and there are many other places , not only in Poland, where there are stones with an imprint of the so-called "god's feet" (boże stópki) , often taken over by the catholic church and transformed into places of christian worship - mostly to the Virgin Mary.
    f.e. boulder with imprinted feet of Our Lady of Licheń
    http://www.garnek.pl/starsza/2284308/wedrowka-po-lesie-grablinskim
    (I do not know that is correct, but the "Lich" root can be associated with Licho - it is the name of a malicious demon from folk folklore, sometimes we say "licho, by to wzięło" , on the other hand "licha" it's the common name of a voracious caterpillar)
    another example
    Biała (White) village in the commune of Trzcianka
    http://www.biala_trzcianka.republika.pl/Legenda-odcisnieata_stopa.htm
    "Po walkach Pomorzanie świętowali swoje zwycięstwo w Świętym lesie koło Białej, gdzie utworzyli krąg z kamieni. Pośrodku stał duży kamień, na którym kapłan pogan składał ich bogu Bulbugowi ofiary z ludzi (niewolników): języki, serca i wnętrzności zabitych ofiar."
    Of course God "Bulbug" it is Belbog, Bielbog , Białobóg - White God
    http://prk24.pl/33671965/tajemnice-bozka-belbuka-fragment-audycji-z-1966-r

    "Preslavs Belbuk's god is one of the oldest exhibits of the Regional Museum in Szczecinek.(...)it was excavated by the Germans from the lake in Łubów. It was a stone sculpture of a pagan deity from the end of the first millennium AD, depicting a human figure."
    Another example comes from Slovakia
    https://www.slavorum.org/forum/discussion/2066/raslavkamen-the-alatyr-of-slovakia
    https://presov.korzar.sme.sk/c/5223991/raslavkamen-za-obcou-abranovce-je-vraj-zazracny.html
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7hgTrvROik

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    Replies
    1. Do you know of any other place where we have the ritual of raising the stone which represents god?

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    2. Your argument about the universality in the Bronze Age of the ritual of raising a stone, that personifies god, is a hypnosis based on a kind of analogy, based on one "living" example.
      Many of the stones, which I mentioned, are postglacial boulders that weigh hundreds of kilograms, sometimes even several or more tons. So even now there are no technical means, which would allow them to be raised.
      Because my knowledge of slovenian language is superficial, I think that user Ortho-slovenc can give you other good examples of holy stones - personification of God - from Slovenia, which were moved, such as "kačja glava" .

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    3. I am not denying the Importance of the veneration of stones among the Slavs. I wrote about this many times. Have a look at my articles about baba stones. I postulated that they were venerated as bones go Mother Earth. The word baba means stone, crag, mountain, mother earth as well as mother, grandmother, midwife... However this ritual is to my knowledge unique. as for universality of this ritual during Bronze Age, someone, for some reason, raised thousands of standing stones all over Eurasia...

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  5. Your works are really interesting!
    I also think that our slavic perception allows us to better sense the subtleties that are in our languages. That's why I sense the meaning of your argument concerning Daždbog because in polish these words sound similar: Dażbóg, Dadźbóg, Dabóg e.t.c., that's why I pasted the invocations recorded by Boris Čok.
    Your applications are legitimate too, however not the only one possible.
    This stone is not the clasic "standing stone" , in fact it resembles more stones with "God's footprints" . I admit - their origin is not more clearly defined, however their function is similar to this what you describe. The difference lies in "raising" activities. However, these are some subtleties, whether it should be understood as raising or moving/awaken the God. It may remind "Klickstein" on the remnant of the megalithic burial ground of the funnel-shaped culture population (around 3400-2500 BC).
    http://pomniki-przyrody.odskok.pl/?p=6486
    http://pomniki-przyrody.odskok.pl/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/tablica-przy-g%C5%82azie-Klickstein.jpg
    Do you remember the scene from "The Doors" movie, when Andy Warhol gives Jim Morrisson "the phone" to a God? For me this stone is just "a phon" to god, not God himself.

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  6. I found something that might interest you, it is a information describing the custom, analogous to this which you have described. It took place on the polish side of the border with Belarus:

    " w miejscowości Spiczki na Podlasiu przez miejscowych głaz był uważany za... odpowiadający za zmianę pogody. W tej wsi znajdował się kamień, który prawdopodobnie został wzięty na budowę szosy. Z kamieniem tym związane było przeświadczenie ludności, mówiące że gdy ktoś ze złości wywrócił kamień, to on sprowadzał deszcz. Więc gdy deszczu było za dużo miejscowi biegali do kamienia, na powrót stawiali i znów panowała pogoda.".
    "In the village Spiczki in Podlasie, by the local boulder was considered ... responsible for changing the weather.
    In this village there was a stone, that was probably taken for the construction of the road. With this stone was associated belief of the population, saying that when someone out of anger tossed the stone, he brought the rain. So when the rain was too much, the locals ran to the stone, they put up them back and again there was a weather."

    The village Spiczki was located in the 16th century, however, the custom itself could come with Belarusian settlers.

    There is no doubt, that these two information describe the same beliefs.

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  7. O'K , no problem
    keep working !

    This information based on the book - "Zabytkowe kamienie z wykuciami na terenie diecezji siedleckiej czyli podlaskiej" by Ks. Zbigniew Szczepańczuk - this publication has been published by "Bractwo Krzyżowców PTTK Świdnica, 1990 r."

    ang. "Antique stones with forging in the area diocese of Siedlce or Podlasie"
    publisher: "Brotherhood of the Knights of PTTK Świdnica, 1990"


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  8. more information

    http://www.academia.edu/35606529/Kiedy_%C5%9Bwi%C4%99ci_po_ziemi_chodzili_kamienie_w_wierzeniach_ludowych_na_Mazowszu_i_Podlasiu

    "We wsi Turów, gm. Kąkolewnica Wschodnia, pow. Radzyń Podlaski miały znajdować się dwa kamienie z wyobrażeniami stóp, z jednym z nich zwanym „śpiczkiem”, związana była wiara, że ma wpływ na pogodę 41. Głaz ten przechylano, gdy potrzebowano deszczu i prostowano „na pogodę”."
    41 . W. Pracki, Starożytne znaki…, 1901, s. 117-118, rys. 48

    "In the village of Turów, commune Kąkolewnica Wschodnia, area Radzyń Podlaski was supposed to have two stones with images of the feet, one of them called a "śpiczkiem", the belief was connected that it influenced the weather 41. The boulder was tilted when rain was needed and straightened "for the weather"."
    (it's funny, because word "Turów" means aurochs - which may refer to these stones as horns)

    note! that the name of the village, about which I wrote in a previous comment,
    sounded "Spiczki" , while the stone in village Turów is called "śpiczek" . In fact, it is the same word "spiczasty" - adjective meaning "having a sharp, narrow finish" ( https://pl.wiktionary.org/wiki/spiczasty ).
    It can flow from here proposal,that the name of the village "Spiczki" have comes from this stone, and the stone stood there before the settlers arrived.

    (it's funny because "Turów" means aurochs)

    "Przy interpretacji tego typu znaków na kamieniach, na uwagę zasługuje też zwyczaj zaobserwowany w końcu XIX w. na Ziemi Wileńskiej i Północnej Białorusi, wśród kamieniarzy – tzw. żernoklewów, którzy kuli w kamieniach okrągłe misy i podłużne ślady na kształt stóp, podków lub „inne rysunki”, w celu sprawdzenia twardości głazu oraz czy nadaje się do dalszej obróbki"
    F. W. Pokrowskij, Archeologiczeska karta Wilenskoj gubernii , Wilno 1897, s. 13.
    "When interpreting this type of signs on stones, the custom observed in the late nineteenth century on the Vilnius and Northern Belorussian territories, among the stonecutters - the so-called żernoklewów, who cradles stones round bowls and longitudinal marks on the shape of feet, horseshoes or "other drawings" in order to check the hardness of the boulder and whether it is suitable for further processing"

    "żarno" means - quern,
    word "klew" I have never heard before?


    "Tematyce kultu kamieni na Białorusi poświęcono już sporo miejsca w literaturze. Przywołać tu trzeba prace M. Mjaleszki 68 oraz niedawno wydaną monografię M. Ramaniuka 69. Lidia Duczyc wymienia ponad 200 znanych kultowych kamieni na Białorusi 70."
    "The subject of stone worship in Belarus has already been devoted to a lot of space in literature. It is worth mentioning the works of M. Mjaleszki 68 and the recently published monograph of M. Ramaniuk 69. Lidia Duczyc mentions over 200 known iconic stones in Belarus 70."

    68 Mjaleszka M.,Kamen’ u veran’njah i nadan’njah Belarusa , Prace Katedry Etnografii, t. 1: 1925, s. 155-191.
    69 M. Ramaniuk, Bielaruskaja Narodnija Kryzy, Managrafia, Wilno 2000.
    70 L. Duczyc, Archealagičnyja Pomniki u nazvah werawannah i padannah Belarusaj , Minsk 1993

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    Replies
    1. Is Turow you are talking about this Turow? http://oldeuropeanculture.blogspot.com/2017/03/david-gorodok-turov-style.html

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    2. Your Turow is located in the eastern part of Polesie - currently it is the region of Belarus, while "my" Turów is located in Podlasie - region of Poland. Both places are separated by hundreds of kilometers.

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    3. In Russian to peck, bite is "клевать" (klevati), "клю́нуть" (kljunuti) it probably comes from "klin" (wedge) the same stem as "kol" (spike).

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    4. if you mean the name Kąkolewnica, it probably comes from the name of the plant Kąkol - Agrostemma githago , the common corn-cockle

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  9. Only small notice. Places in map are almost all on baltic sea drainage basin. I dont know if oposite "half" of Belarus was not taken into study or if there are no stones.
    But as it is shown, it looks interesting.

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  10. Boris Čok in monography "Nesnovna krajina Krasa" described something like that:
    "Špičnek (Špičnik)
    Zraven vseh teh znamenj so dodatno moč imeli tudi kamni, ki so jih postavili po zidu ali so jih v bolj »bogati izvedbi« izklesali v obliki piramid na stebre vhodov v vrtove. Te kamne so imenovali špičneki ali špičniki. Tisti naravni beli so bili bolj zašiljene oblike, različnih velikosti in kot taki so odganjali točo."
    https://mojkras.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/nesnovna-krajina-krasa-2.pdf
    p.127
    as you can see, all these slavic names : cпічкі (bel.), śpiczek (pol.), Špičnek (Špičnik) (slov.) sound very similar and mean standing stones that serve to "manage" the weather - rain / hail !

    in the same monograph:

    Ris ima po različnih razlagah tudi različen pomen. Predstavljal naj bi sonce, ki
    so mu po starem pravili Dejbuh – Dajbog, bog, ki da vse, brez katerega
    pa bi tudi vse izginilo.
    p.109

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    Replies
    1. Interesting isn't it? Look at distribution of I2a1 (Balkan type) in Europe. It is very common in Belarus, Poland... And it has been in Central Europe, Between Balkans and Baltic since at least neolithic...Is this the reason why Slavs preserved the Megalithic traditions? https://cache.eupedia.com/images/content/Haplogroup_I2a.gif

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  11. I think that the Belarusian name Кременец means the same as the word Krzemieniec in Polish
    name Krzemieniec comes from the word krzemień - flint
    Maybe the pedigree of this place is older than the Bronze Age?

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  12. I think Dadźbog is god of grain, which relates to sign of Virgo (time of Harvest). That's why he both can be god of earth and giving god. His other slavic names I think are: Siemowit, Plon and female counterpart Dadźba, Semla, Verta, Zernitra, Semargl (which in my opinion is merge of Siem- ziemia and mergele, lithuaniuan name for virgo). Verta means changing like sanskrital vrtti, or like zmiana (close word to ziemia). Lithuanian zemiennik, zemyna, zemepatis, thracian semele, etruscan semla and vertumnus, and in Germania of Tacitus we read that Suevi worshipped Nerta which in my opinion should be Verta. Sister of Njord never was goddes of earth like Ceres, Demeter, Semele.
    He is incorrectly seen as sun god, who is Belebog, Belin, (belarussian temno w lese bez Belina) lithuanian Laukopatis, Laukosargis (greek Leuko - polish biały), sorbian Lwińc (Flins), because Lew, Leo (leuko,levko, english hleord, hleward, ultimately lord) is white. Zodiacal Leo is ruled by Sun. Also celtic Belenos, nordic Baldr, demonical Byleth (although last one can rather mean Byleco - unworthy thing)

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  13. Fits into the meta of the subject.

    Agobard of Lyons (9th Century): On Hail and Thunder
    https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/halsall/source/Agobard-OnHailandThunder.asp

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