Tuesday 23 July 2019

Weather stones

During the periods of severe droughts, in a small Belarusian village, 9 windows would go to the Dabog (Giving God) stone, lift it using the stakes as leavers, and would perform a special prayer to the stone asking it to send down the rain. 

You can read more about this in my post "The last megalithic ritual in Europe". 

This is Velika Baba (Great grandmother) peak in Jezersko region, Slovenia.

This crag in Slovenia is called "Poljanska baba" and is located on slopes of Mt. Me啪akla. 

In Serbian, the word baba means "birth giver" and is used for mother, grandmother, midwife. It also means stone, rock, crag, bedrock, mountain and Mother Earth (Birth Giver 馃檪). 

Stones, rocks, particularly bedrock, crags, rocky mountain peaks are seen as bones of Mother Marth. 

In my post "Yin and Yang" I talked about the Mother Earth and Father Sun and their life creating interplay. 

Chines divided all the natural phenomena into Yin and Yang ones:

Yin is characterized as slow, soft, yielding, diffuse, cold, wet, dark, and passive; and is associated with water, winter, north, earth, the moon, femininity, and nighttime.

Yang, by contrast, is fast, hard, solid, focused, hot, dry, bright, and active; and is associated with fire, sky, summer, the sun, masculinity and daytime. 

People in the Balkans too clearly linked wet, cold weather with "Baba", Mother Earth. 

Shepherd's in Slovenia believed that "baba" stones were linked to weather, water, humidity, mud, soil and fertility and pasture abundance. 

This bedrock outcrop near the village of Rodik in Slovenia is known locally as "Baba" (Grandmother)... Locals believed that "Baba" controls the (bad) weather: Baba’s urine turns to rain, her fart to wind, and when she raises her skirt, the weather gets nice...馃檪

The same veneration of stones related to weather is found on Mt Velebit in Croatia. This is "Malo Rujno" highland plateau on Mt Velebit. 

On it there is a stone block which local shepherds called "Baba" (Grandmother). Every spring, on the arrival of flocks to the highlands, shepherd women used to bring food offerings and leave them on the stone, to placate Mother Earth, and ensure the cold and wet weather doesn't come back. 

You can read more about this in my post "Shepherds chapels from Velebit". 

Now here is something very very interesting. In the article "Nesnovna krajina Krasa" we can read this: 

In Slovenia people used to cut special types of stones called "拧pi膷neki" or "拧pi膷niki" meaning "spikes". These were pointed stones which were placed on the houses or at the garden gate to "word off hail and storm"

In the village Spiczki (spikes) in Podlasie, Poland, there were stones which people believed controlled the weather. During storms, people would raise the stones to point to the sky for protection. 

The same custom was recorded in the village of Turow in Poland. A stone called "艣piczek" (spike) was tilted for rain and straightened to point to the sky for sun...

Is this one of the reasons why people erected standing stones permanently pointing to the sky? Did that happen during one of the catastrophic climate changes that happened during Bronze and Iron Age? Culnagrew Standing Stone. Picture by Ciaran McGuckin

Catastrophic weather event like the early Bronze Age "Flood of Patholon", memory of which was preserved in the Irish oral tradition written down in medieval times. You can read more about this in my my post "Flood of Partholon".


  1. 1.The highest mountain of the Polish part of the Beskidy is Babia G贸ra, its top is called Diablak (Devil).Due to the very variable weather, she was also called Matk膮 Niepog贸d (Mother of foul weathers) or Kapry艣nic膮 (Capricious)

    2. You should read "The Snooty Baba in the Landscape of Karst, Slovenia: About a Slavic Ambivalent Female Mythical Figure" by KATJA HROBAT VIRLOGET

    She know a lot about it.

  2. The name of this village is Tur贸w - derived from Tur (aurochs)
    "We wsi Tur贸w, gm. K膮kolewnica Wschodnia, pow. Radzy艅 Podlaski mia艂y znajdowa膰 si臋 dwa kamienie z wyobra偶eniami st贸p, z jednym z nich zwanym „艣piczkiem”, zwi膮zana by艂a wiara, 偶e ma wp艂yw na pogod臋"

    "Sta艂 jeszcze na granicy tej偶e wsi, w miejscowo艣ci „艢piczaku" inny
    mniejszy kamie艅, r贸wnie ze „艣lad膮" i, gdy go kto ze zbytk贸w lub z艂o艣ci
    wywr贸ci艂, nieochybnie sprowadza艂 deszcz; tak m贸wi艂 cie艣la z 呕akowoli.
    Wi臋c, gdy deszczu by艂o zadu偶o, biegli do kamienia, napowr贸t stawili i panowa艂a zn贸w pogoda. Nam jednak nie uda艂o si go znale藕膰, zapewne poszed艂 na szos臋. G艂az ten przechylano, gdy potrzebo- wano deszczu i prostowano „na pogod臋”. "

    p.118 in text

  3. Interesting!
    A small correction: "艣piczkiem" is an instrumental case of "艣piczek" (in effect "zwany 艣piczkiem" should be translated as "called 艣piczek")

  4. Hi Maciek !

    Nominally you are right, ... but! in tinstrumental case, it would be "艢piczkiem".
    We do not know how much the author can recognize these complexities of the Polish language.
    Besides, when you enter "艢piczek", you find anything. When you enter "艢piczkiem", you have a chance to find the source article.

    From Boris 膶ok I know that the Slovenian name 拧pi膷neki" or "拧pi膷niki" corresponds to the meaning "spikes". But names "艢piczki" (plural) or "艢piczek" (singular) is a polonized name derived from the Belarusian language, where it means ... "matches" - O'K.

    However, we both know that in Polish the word "艢piczek" means a smal snot ...which hanging from the nose is also "spikes" - in the shape :)

    Now , can Polish "艣piczek-snoty" have something to do with these stones?
    Let us remember that S艂owianie believed that the sky's dome is stony, and the stars are places where these stones have fallen out. It is possible that these 艣piczki were considered petrified "snoty of haven" and the belief that their movement affects the phenomena in the sky - of course, it's just speculation ;)

    1. Hi Jarpol. Matches are quite a new invention, which didn't exist when these stones and villages were made. Also the word 褋锌懈褔泻邪 comes from Slavic 褋锌懈褑邪 meaning spoke, needle, spike...Matches were small wooden needle used for lighting fires...So meaning is spikes, which ever way you look at it https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/褋锌懈褔泻邪?fbclid=IwAR0PXKaWhaSQocHHy_dxlr6ifczuBbKQG6gygQTGZJZ0e8nJbNYfRABhNg4#Russian

    2. Of course, it's obvious association, matches are "spikes".

      The thing is, that these villages are located in Podlasie, where the influence of the Belarusian language is natural.
      The name "Spiczki" is Belarusian, not Polish. I do not even know how name of this village would sound in Polish, but the right one is "Spiczaste" ...
      The name "艢piczek" - without a description of the object's properties - may be misleading, because in the first place it may arouse associations with a smal snot :)
      However, the name „艢piczaku" at first sight it signals some dissimilarity.

      Hence my entry.

      I think that a few centuries ago, such a difference would probably not even be noticed, but nowadays the Polish language is more literary and such a dialect is rather absent in it.They are rather regionalisms - legacy of the history of the state, which is now unitary , and not the Commonwealth of Nations - as it once was.

      Maybe someone from Poland will write a smarter comment, who knows ! ;)

  5. https://vod.tvp.pl/video/jak-puszcze-strzale,jak-puszcze-strzale,5642869