Friday 10 May 2019

Day star

In Serbian mythology Venus is known as Danica (Day star). She is the daughter of the sun god, known as Vid, Svetovid but also as Dabog. I wrote about Svetovid in my post "The Horseman". Every morning under the name of Zornjača (Morning star) she opens the eastern gate of Sun's palace to let his chariots out. And every evening under the name of Večernjača (Evening star) she opens the western gate of Sun's palace to let his chariots in.

Where is this Sun's palace?

Interestingly Dabog is also the god of the Dead to whom all the Ancestor cult ceremonies are dedicated. Why?


  1. there is no actual survived information about relations between Slavic gods. None. We only know that Dabog, or Dajdbog was a sun diety. that's it. and has nothing to do with underworld. Ancestor's cult is also complicated and ceremonies in our culture are dedicated to ancestors and ancestors only. One of the souls after death goes to the sun after death and stays on the world tree before is getting reincarnated. thats why there is sun symbolism on the memorial days. There is a belief that God takes this soul from the dead and gives it to newborns. Since this soul goes to the Sun , we can assume that in pagan times it could be Dabog coz it seems obvious. But it is an assumption. Souls "shadows" go back to mother earth after death and reincarnate in a different way - becomes insect, tree, mammal, and then becomes human again. And Slavs also believed that soul stays in nature and live in trees, and this spirits were also worshiped (Rusalian week), spirits of ancestors also live in bees

    1. We have our folklore, which is what is left of out old beliefs. By the way Slavic folklore is in no way homogenous. The link between Danica and Dabog comes from Serbian folklore where Danica is Sun's daughter. So does Dabog's ancestral role and as Cajkanovic said his "Htonic character". You should read "Stara vjera Srba I Hrvata" or anything from Cajkanovic...

  2. Isn't the god of the dead Veles (Велес)? The so-called shepherd of souls who presides over Nav (Нав) - a realm of fertile plains and sunny valleys where the souls travel after death? That belief survived to this day in funerary rites in Serbia and other Slavic countries. For example, pagan Slavs believed that the soul of the deceased takes 40 days to travel through darkness and then reach the sunny plains of Nav. That is why, today, Christian Serbs light candles after a person dies, which they keep lit for 40 days, until they go to the graveyard on the 40th day. Just one example, not to mention tryzna (тризна).Please let me know your thoughts about this.
    Also, it would be appreciated to use proper Serbian writing: Даница, Зорњача, Вечерњача...
    Thank you.

    1. Veles is a god of cuttle, cattle has a connection to Lower World in Slavic lore, so we can assume it could be somehow like this, but there's no information to prove it. Nav or Нaвь as a world of dead is a modern creation of neopaganism (it is taken from fake Book of Veles written in 1950s by Mirolubov). The word itself is authentical, but has different meaning. In old times Nav for eastern Slavs meant a deadman who comes back (like zombie or vampire) and for Western Slavs - Nav was a funeral boat, in Carpathian mountains Навьи are evil spirits who's eating cattle. Soul leaves this world on 9th day and Serbs and other Slavs were burning bonfires for 9 days guarding the soul and keeping it warm and well fed, this rite is called "warming up the dead", Serbs and western Bulgarians saved it in most ancient forms, it is also known in Poland, Ukraine and Russian North and it is a part of annual ancestor's worship in calendar rites. I can share a small article about it, so you can use if you need to. on 40th day soul reaches her destination. About candle for 40 days - you have to lit the light - candle of fire - right after death so the soul will see the light and not get lost. if the soul gets lost and doesn't cross it can harm people and cause illnesses. World of dead is known as dark dangerous place, and well, it is quite complicated and irrational. So candles for 40 days makes sense. The shiny golden planes you mention - the world of Ancestors for ALL Slavs is called Iriy, not Nav, fist mentioned in 11th century.

    2. Who is killed by Perun at the end of Summer? What does this killing of Veles by Perun mean? What is Veles then?

    3. Its a tricky question. here is some academic info you might find useful - " Veles (Volos) as a cattle god is known in written sources since 9th century in Slavic oaths like "I swear in the name of Volos the cattle god" it was an oath for commoners in the army ,while highborn were making oaths with the name of Perun. it was replaced by св. Власий for eastern Slavs and св. Савва for Serbs. Fur is connected cattle fertility is connected with figure of Veles, at the same time he is connected with land fertility - the rite to leave ears of wheat woven into a braid on a field "Veles's beard" as an offering to Veles. in Volga region Veles has a form of bear and is a king of animals, BUT at the same time Veles has a form of snake (there is also a spirit волосатик who's causing illness called волосень). function of protection of cattle very often belongs to snake or snake like creature. There is a drawing in Radzilovskaya chronicle where Perun is anthropomorphic figure and Veles is a Snake. There is a connection between fur and waves on water and a form of snake and волосатик can be seen as водяной . In Macedonian song spirit samodiva Vela was in love with a snake "маjка ми je змей лубила". Вела - the mistress of waters and who's closing it, like Veles in the myth. Connection to water leads to underworld and death in general. In Baltic tradition Velu mate - the mistress of the world of dead , Vielona, Vels, vėlės - "souls of the dead" . *uel-/*uol = "death" or "to die". Besides Vela feminine form of Veles can be seen in Волосыни - Pleiades. Perun overcomes him in battle and sets water and cattle free. this motive is the same for Slavic , Baltic and Vedic traditions". "GODS" V.N. Toporov Slavic Antiques, Moscow 1995. As you can see we can't find straight mentioning of him as a ruler of the dead, But his feminine form, or feminine deity in love with him had the function you mentioned. I hope you could help :)

    4. Perun kills sun's heat. He kills summer. Perun kills "the great snake, the dragon" which is symbol of sun's destructive power. And on Perun's day, 2nd of August, Autumn starts. Perun and Veles are two faces of Dabog. Dabog is sun god. But he is also rain god. It is the balance of heat and rain that produces life. That gives life. Dabog gives life... The two are united in the character of Sveti Ilija Gromovnik. He is the raging sun of the late summer and the rolling thunderstorms of the early autumn...

    5. 1) Autumn for all Slavs starts after equinox on 21st of September ,when snakes go back to sleep. it is a day of Snakes 2) 2nd of August is a day of Ilia, who replaced Perun yes, BUT you have to understand that pagan Slavs could't use gregorian calendar which was introduced in October 1582 , and what we know from chronicles - sacrifices to Perun were performed at full moon of August. 3) if you will take a look at Zbruch Idol discovered in Carpathian mountains, a solar deity Dabog and Perun are two separate gods and Veles is is not even near. So they can't be two faces of sun. 4) if you didn't read my previous comment , Veles was replaced by st. Savva and st. Vlasiy, not Ilia who represents Perun. If Ilia is in August, Vlasiy is in February and they actually oppose each other in year cycle. 5) "balance of heat and water" - there is no proven info on what represents what, such info didn't survive in written sources, so most of it is neopaganism interpretations which are not older than 1990s. The oldest mention of Dajbog belongs to 10th century - 980 chronicles where Dajbog and Perun are separate deities, chronicles from 1144 says "The Sun is the king, son of Svarog (sky) his name is Dajbog", As the son of Svarog, Dajbog can be connected with Svarojec - god of fire. So he hardly can be the god of rain, + in every chronicles Perun, Dajbog and Veles are 3 different dieties. so this statement doesn't seem like legit information. :)

    6. You present some interesting observations, and I can mostly agree. Is it possible that the term Nav is also correct for a realm of the dead? Since "Nav" essentially means "deceased", for example west Slavic term "Nawia" could also be deemed correct and cognate with "Iriy". Lots of confusing things here.
      Also,with your interesting theory of Perun and Veles being the two faces of Dabog, could you elaborate shortly on other deities? Jarilo, Svarog, Svarozic (Сварожић, also attested by christian monks as "Zuarazis"), Radigost, etc. Were they equally important?

    7. @Arseny - Спасибо вам! Could it be possible that Serbian "Вила" (Vila - fairy) is also connected to the root *uel-/*uol and Vielona, Velu, Vels, etc...interesting. Btw, Veles is for Serbs also Св. Василије :)

    8. For Dabog as Rain God have a look at this:

      For Radgost have a look at this:

      For Jarilo have a look at this:

      For Triglav (Perun, Svetovid, Svarog) have a look at this:

    9. Hi M.S.
      not all Slavs use the Cyrillic alphabet ;)
      we also have beautiful words like : gwiazda Zaranna/jutrzenka (Даница), Zorza poranna (Зорњача),Wieczorna (Вечерњача)
      this is my photo of the so-called the golden hour before sunrise, just on the winter solstice day, as you can see the morning star (gwiazda Zaranna) is still prettily visible

      so ... OEC writes for the western "market" , and Westerners are usually totally ignorant, questions whether Poland is in Europe are not uncommon at all :),
      so there is nothing to complicate the content which should be read;)

      I also do not agree with everything that is published here, but I have been reading this author probably for a year ... 2013 and I am still happy to come back here ;)

    10. Thanks for the nice and encouraging reply! Dziekuje!

    11. Isn't Veles also the God of Magick,Poets, Music,Musicians , Wolves and other animals?

  3. All of which I am talking about survived in Slavic and particularly Serbian folklore tradition. You can forget the written sources pretty much...As I said Slavic folklore is not uniform. And is also not isolated. There is a lot of overlap between Celtic (Irish) and Slavic folklore. Some of the things missing in one are found in the other and this allows to finally understand a lot of which was confused in both folklore tradition due to time passing and the influence of Christianity and Islam...

    1. With all due respect, you can't mutually combine Irish and Slavic folklore. Any similarities in the two can only stem from some hazy Proto Indo European belief, which most of European cultures share.
      It is with this "forgetting of the written sources" as you put it, that we begin to invent things out of thin air, drawing parallels where parallels should not be drawn. This I notice a lot on your blog. With the kind of parallels you draw, you are simply focusing on commonly shared (often coincidental) similarities that are remnants from various pre-christian cultures that dotted Europe, and furthermore, Indo European rooted beliefs.
      What we're trying to discuss is Slavic beliefs, not Indo European beliefs.
      Lastly, while reading your blog I believe that with your "research" you are simply erasing any individual aspects between different European cultures and creating a single unified culture. Opening an article on Radgost with a 5th century BC statue from Ulster, Ireland is simply ridiculous. Again, with all due respect, I think you are placing way too much emphasis on coincidences in a desperate effort to somehow make Irish and Slavic cultures one and the same.

    2. You will also allow me to point out how easy it is to make mistakes which can have more profound effects, potentially disturbing or ruining the uniqueness of Slavic culture.
      Again, in your Radgost article: - in which you make desperate efforts to make Irish and Slavic one and the same, you fail to rely on linguistics and etymology. Here is an example: you draw parallels between Crom Dubh and "Grom Div" (which in itself makes little sense in Serbian). But you fail to mention that the word "div" (Ддив) is an ottoman loanword, from Persian دیو‎ (div).Thus, "div" and "dubh" can't possibly be connected.
      Another example, in the same article, is connecting some Welsh god "Beli" with the Slavic god Belobog, and the word "beo" - white. You also mention Belenos.
      Isn't it more plausible that both Beli and Belenos are cognate to Roman deities, and their names stem from Latin, "bellus" "belli", etc.
      Please reply, thank you.

    3. First it is 5th century AD. We are not talking about coincidences, but about common cultural traits preserved by both cultures. Celts lived in Central Europe and are (if genetics is to be believed) partial ancestors of today's Slavs. Surely we preserved some of the Common Celtic heritage? But these beliefs are Eurasian and predate Celts by thousands of years...You really need to step out of the "Slavs are unique culture with no relations with anyone else" story and open your eyes to the latest scientific and archaeological data which points otherwise. People have been mixing in our part of the world since at least Mesolithic. Not replacing each other. Mixing. Our genes and our culture are result of this mixing...
      People who talk about coincidences don't want the see the real world...

    4. Div is not Persian borrowing. It is the word that stems from the Old Indoeuropean root deywasós

      The day on which the Irish celebrate Crom Dubh, we celebrate Perun (Grom Div = Thunder god). Crom Dubh was another name for Dagda (Irish Giving god). In Serbian tradition, Dabog (Serbian giving god) has another name: Hromi Daba, which has no real meaning in Slavic languages of today...
      Beli, Belenos, Belbog are all sun gods...

      You really need to read more about the similarities between the Celtic and Slavic (but predominantly Serbian) folklore. You would be astounded to find out how much we have in common.

      If you really want to understand our culture you will not draw borders which will prevent you from understanding it...

    5. Thanks for your reply, I appreciate it together with the insights.
      Yes, one of the unique traits of Europe is the fact that it was filled with cultures that each had its unique traits, and these cultures migrated. Those weaker were often assimilated. Celts are not Slavs, or vice versa. Genetic studies are easily dismissed due to the above mentioned migrations, rampant slave trade, invasions, conquests etc. The fact is that Celts predate the emergence of Slavs by quite a lot, and were already gone from mainland Europe by the time of Slavic migrations. To put it simply - relations on a small scale are acceptable because of the trading, migrations, co-habitation, etc. But, as you said it, to step out of the "Slavs are unique culture with no relations with anyone else" mindset is to abandon and denigrate your own: culture, people, heritage, history, ancestors, etc. There is a certain human biological urge - a sense of belonging. It can be an incredibly strong urge, a need that must be fulfilled.
      What I can gather is that You (the author) is someone without clear sense of belonging (perhaps a Serb born in Ireland? or a Serb immigrant in Ireland) so you fight, tooth and nail, to create these parallels in order to satisfy your inherent urge to belong both to the Irish, and to the Slavs. Am I getting close?
      You say that we must not draw borders, and thus take a dump on our Slavic culture, our identity and heritage. Well, suffice to say, we cannot do that.

    6. So sad...Our unique Slavic culture is equally stupid as Our unique Celtic culture or Our unique Germanic culture...I am sorry you think this is a "dump on our Slavic culture". I think it is the opposite. I draw parallels between the Irish and Serbian (Slavic) cultures because I live in Ireland and want these parallels to exist, but because they exist and can't be ignored and I know a lot about them...The Irish cultural traits are not the only ones found in Slavic culture...

    7. "The Irish cultural traits are not the only ones found in Slavic culture..."
      Why not the opposite? Why wouldn't you say: "Irish culture is full of Slavic cultural traits."? You are (I guess) aiming at presenting a unified culture of Europeans. I respect that idea, and don't want to blemish your work or enthusiasm, simply to discuss and debate.
      The bottom line is this, no one has suffered at the hands of Germanic and other nations as much as Slavs did. They were all eager to travel to Slavic nations and enslave Slavs. They did it so much, in fact, that the word "slave" stems from a much more nobler word - Slav. It is also a fact that a large part of genetic identity of some Nordic countries of today is largely Slavic - due to the "thralls" - Slavic captives, that were settled in these countries. Not to mentioned that half of what is today Germany is Slavic land, with equally similar genetic identity. Then you have Spain, into which the invading Arab caliphs brought droves of Slavic slaves (some of which rose to great prominence (Saqaliba)). You also have central Turkey, in which the Byzantines settled a large number of Slavic soldiers. Why then, should we not say that all the modern European countries have a part of Slavic genes and Slavic cultural traits, and not vice versa? So much have the Slavs suffered, from the earliest times of their history - but hey, that doesn't matter, right? They're nothing after all. Centuries and centuries, invented out of thin air. They're not unique at all. As a matter of fact - they enslaved themselves! And in the process, stole everything from the Celts! Damn those Slavs..

    8. :) If you read through my blog, you will see that I always emphasise that the cultural (and the genetic) influence went both ways...There are a lot of cultural traits throughout Eurasia and North Africa which can only be explained through the bits of the old Neolithic beliefs preserved in Slavic folklore...Slavic culture is much much older and more important than you think, exactly because it is an amalgamation of many different cultures. Just like every other culture is...

    9. Example:

    10. I respect the details and your effort put into these articles. Your enthusiasm can be praised, no matter what the work is like.
      Allow me on final question - If you say that this "franken-Slavic" culture is so old (and practically either Slavs do not exist, or the whole Europe is Slavic) then tell me WHO (?) and WHY fought so viciously to hide all this remarkable information from us? Who purposefully and deliberately created all this elaborate history of Europe, hiding this "truth" from us? Who invented all these silly terms such as Germanic, Celtic, Slavic, Nordic, Meditteranean, etc...Was it (((them)))? Did someone invent and falsify centuries of European history for some higher purpose? How come that nations were built for CENTURIES believing something, only to be told wrong by internet "scholars"? Who and why hid all this wealth from information?
      I'd also like to thank you for answering all my previous questions in this little "debate". Have a good day! :)

  4. Did you know that Vila in Serbian also means trident, fork? The weapon of Thunder gods...

    1. The word for fairy: вила - stems from proto slavic *vila (fairy, nymph)
      The word for fork (pitchfork, rarely trident): вила,виле - stems from proto slavic *vidla (pitchfork), also cognate to proto slavic *viti (to bend, to twist)
      Виле - is pitchfork. A trident would be - трозубац.

    2. You do know that in Serbian tradition Vila is a sky being armed with lightning? Read "Stara Vjera Srba I Hrvata"...

  5. I really have no time for neopaganism. I base all my writing on ethnographic, historical and archaeological data which I am trying to interpret as best as possible in order to uncover our tradition(s)...

  6. "Perun kills sun's heat. He kills summer. Perun kills "the great snake, the dragon" which is symbol of sun's destructive power. And on Perun's day, 2nd of August, Autumn starts."

    So nice :)

    You have right, because that is reflected in the legend about the Wawel's Dragon ( Legenda o Smoku Wawelskim).
    I wrote a short article on this subject (unfortunately for You it is in polish)
    In this legend the dragon drinks all the water from the Vistula river - for me, this is a clear reference to the summer heat season!
    From the drunk water dragon breaks and releases all the water he has previously drank - and this clearly indicates the arrival of the autumn rainy season.

    1. I can understand enough Polish to translate good bit (with help of google translate) One good thing about Slavic languages, they are still very close :) I love the story. Will translate it to English. Thanks for the link

    2. here is the legend of the Wawel dragon in the arrangement of the XXI century
      the dragon, pretty virgin and a hero are there

    3. Thanks very much Jaropl. Mad :)

  7. close, however does not mean the same ;)
    I remember my first trip to Croatia, which was full of verbal mistakes :)
    for example:
    the Catholic church = kościół (pol) , but in Croatian = crkva, but in Polish cerkiew means Orthodox Church :)
    and sometimes it was like a game of association:
    bread = chleb (pol) = kruh (cro) , but Polish word okruch means a small particle of bread or cake :)
    with the translator it looks like easy thing, but in reality it is not so easy!
    however, try it ! Polish is beautiful and full of different sounds ;)

  8. Yes !
    but stlill dragon is terrifying and kidnaps virgins,
    "shoe/robot/maker" (hero) is a bit lost
    and virgins are still beautiful ;)
    Twardowski - this is mad !

    or (Baba) Jaga
    ... poppy and rhubarb that a spell of speed ... ;)

  9. "Danica" as "Day Star" for referencing Venus is interesting.

    In Albanian, "Afër" means "near", "Afro" means "make near", and "dita" means "day".

    So Afërdita means "Day-near", and "Afrodita" means "Make-day-near".

    As we know, Romans called their equivalent of Greek Aphrodite "Venus". Venus is the last visible star in the sky before day light.

    Romans had another name for Venus as a star: "Lucifer" which had etymology lux (light) + fer (bring).

    Important to note, there is no greek etymology for aphrodite except a folk etymology, it is considered a pre-greek word.