Monday, 27 February 2023

Michael from Pavia

The Basilica of San Michele Maggiore is a church of Pavia, one of the most striking example of Lombard-Romanesque style. It dates from the 11th and 12th centuries.


Above the entrance is a bas-relief depicting St Michael standing on top of the defeated dragon. "And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought..., and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven"...


This Michael is very interesting indeed. Look at what he is holding in his right hand. He is holding a plant. And look at his wings. His wings are turning into tree branches...

What about the dragon? Dragon is just an old snake...At least this is what Slavs believed...And not just Slavs...

Snakes are cold blooded, so they are out only during the hot part of the day and hot part of the year...

As I explained in many of my posts, this makes snakes pure solar animals. They are in our world when sun is here (day, hot half of the year) and are in the underworld when sun is there (night, cold half of the year)...

This also makes Snakes perfect symbol of the sun and the sun's heat. They are also symbols of the beginning of summer, as vipers, the most common Eurasian snakes, start mating in Apr/May, beginning of summer...

So no wonder we find snake linked to the sun over and over again...All over the world...

Interestingly, the key for understanding the link between snakes and the sun was best preserved in Slavic folklore (remnants of Slavic mythology). I talked about this in my post "Letnitsa treasure" and  posts linked from this post...



Dragon or a Great Serpent is the representation of the destructive Summer sun's heat which burns the earth. 


Dragon "steals the waters of heaven", clouds or "heavenly cows'...In Indo-European mythology this Dragon is killed by the Thunder god, who "releases the waters of heaven", clouds or "heavenly cows"...But this is not just Indo-European myth...It is found all over Eurasia...


Anyway, killing of the dragon (drought) saves the world and saves the vegetation...Saves the tree of life...

In Slavic mythology the Thunder god who kills the dragon is Perun. He fights it all summer, and he finally manages to kill the dragon at the end of summer and beginning of autumn. 

BTW this is the distribution of the rain/thunder storms in Europe per month...You can see that in the Balkans the thunderstorms (Perun fighting Veles, the Dragon) start at the beginning of summer and end at the end of summer... 


With the arrival of Christianity, one of the saints that replaced Perun was St Michael, whose name means "Who is like God". Now have a look at this: Left is the wheel of Svetovid, Sun god. Right is the wheel of Perun, Thunder god. Perun's wheel is Svetovid's wheel on fire...


Interestingly the oldest church dedicated to St Michael, St Michael at Sosthenion, was built on the site of a temple dedicated to "Winged Zeus"... Constantine interpreted the winged statue of the temple as a Christian angel... I talked about this in my post "Archangel Michael"...

BTW, check this article, "Pero" in which I proposed that the root of the name of the Slavic thunder god Perun is "pero" = feather, which would make Perun = Feathered one, and not from PIE perkwus, meaning "oak" or "mountain". Zeus, Jupiter, Perun were all linked to eagles. And the oldest descriptions of Mesopotamian thunder gods described them as thunder birds...


Phoenician drachm, 4th century BC, on exhibit in the British Museum. The coin shows a seated deity, labelled "YHW". This is EL to whom "MichaEL" is like...


The arrangement of the deity sitting on a winged wheel has been compared to Ezekiel's vision of Yahweh's throne as flying about the heavens on four wheels (chariot). I talked about this "vision" in this post about "Four living creatures"...


It is interesting that the main Christian "replacement" for Perun in Serbia, St Elijah the Thunderer, drives on top of the clouds in his chariots, causing thunder and lightning when the chariot wheels bump off the surface of the clouds...I talked about this in my post "Thundering sun god"...


When we look at the climatic effect of the end of summer and beginning of autumn, we see that Thunder god's function is to "defeat the Sun god", who is about to burn the earth to cinder...And he does that after a looong fight which lasts the whole summer...

So, St Michael is celebrated at the end of summer (Catholic church) / the end of autumn (Orthodox church) for a reason 🙂 ...

If we look at it more closely, we realise that there is actually no fight going on here. The sun's heat (Sun god's power) rises during summer, to it's maximum at the end of summer and it then it subsides...It is a naturally occurring oscillatory process...

This adds interesting twist to the question about the identity of Satan, who was defeated (replaced) by Michael...Until next spring of course, when snakes come out of the underground...

Especially when we know that it looks like Hebrews worshipped sun in their first temple. I talked about this in my post "Sun god from the first temple"...Sun was their EL...BTW, Sun still is the EL of Hebrews...I talked about this in my post "The tree of life"...To whom MichaEL was like...So if Michael replaced Thunder god, whose duty is to "kill dragon", Sun, Sun's heat, and Sun was the god of Hebrews/Christians...

This doesn't mean that Hebrew and Christian god is Satan 🙂 It means that Christian god is Sun...Life giving in the spring. Life destroying in the summer...And so He is finally cast from heaven into the underworld at the end of summer/autumn (depending on the local climate) where He stays until next spring...You know the story...

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