And in Serbia, on the 2nd of August (according to Julian calendar) people celebrate "St Stephen the Wind maker".
St Stephen or St Stephan is traditionally venerated as the Protomartyr or first martyr of Christianity. This means the first one to be killed in the name of Christ, Son of God. Stephen was stoned to death after he was accused by the Jewish authority of Blasphemy.
But in Serbia, this saint is just the Christianized version of Stribog, the old Slavic wind god.
In the epic "Slovo o polku Igorovu" it is said that the winds are the grandsons of Stribog. He was imagined as an old man who had a warrior’s horn with which he woke the winds up. Stribog was especially worshiped in Kievian Russia where they built idols dedicated to him...Festivities in Stribog’s honor were organized in the summer as well as in the winter.
Now I know that the Eastern Slavs worshiped Stribog as a separate deity, but I believe that Stribog was just an attribute of Perun. Here is why.
Eagle was his sacred animal. Just like Perun's. His sacred plants were hawthorn and oak. Just like Perun's. His day was the 2nd of August. Just like Perun's. When pledges were made, Stribog was often guarantor who would punish cheaters and wrongdoers. Just like Perun.
Also apparently we don't officially know what Stribog means. Well in Serbian the word "trti" means "to rub in, to stomp in, to erase". The word "strti, zatrti" means "to destroy utterly, to level to the ground". The word "stri, zatri" is an imperative of "strti, zatrti" meaning "destroy utterly, level to the ground". So Stribog = Stri, Zatri + bog = destroy utterly, level to the ground + god = The one who destroys utterly, who levels to the ground.
This is wheat field destroyed by a storm.
All the stalks are broken by wind and rain. This is the nightmare of all grain farmers. And this is what "strti, zatrti", "to destroy utterly, to level to the ground", means. This the terrible power that the Sky God, the Thunder Giant wields.
Basically Stribog was the destructive face of Perun. It is interesting that in Serbia Stribog was replaced by St Stefan or St Stepan. In Serbian the word "tepati" means "to hit, to beat up" and the word "stepati, zatepati" means "to destroy utterly, to level to the ground". So it is no wonder that Stribog was the favorite god of military commanders.
Now here is something interesting. In Serbia, Croatia, Stribog was replaced by Stefan, Stepan.
Stepan could come from stepa + on = destroy utterly, level to the ground + he = the Destoryer. Maybe the name Stepan (Stefan) is just another version of the name Stribog with "bog", meaning god, removed from it?
But the main meaning of the word "stepan" is the one who is "destroyed utterly, who is leveled to the ground"... It is interesting that the word "stepan" means destroyed, leveled, which is what happens to someone who was stoned to death like St Stepan, Stephen...I will not even go into how come an early Palestine saint, the first martyr of Christianity who was stoned to death, has a name which in Slavic language means "the one one who was utterly destroyed, leveled, killed" which is what happens when you stone someone to death...
Funnily name Stephen or Stephan was originally a title meaning "crowned" or king, the origin of which is in the Ancient Greek word "στέφανος" which means crown. It was the title given to many kings in medieval Serbia, Croatia, Hungary and Poland. Maybe you only get crowned as a king when you utterly destroy, level to the ground everything that stands in your way...
Or maybe Stepan, Stefan and στέφανος have nothing to do with each other and everything is just a coincidence...
I love this.