Monday, 20 April 2020

Jovanova struga

I found this out today. On the day of the Winter Solstice, if the stars could be seen during daytime, the Sun would be seen as a brilliant star shining in the centre of the Milky Way. WOW! So cool...



Why this is so wow, is not just because of how beautiful this looks. It is also wow because at the precise moment when the Sun is "reborn", it is aligned to the centre of the Milky Way, which in Serbia tradition is the path souls follow to reach heaven, the land of the dead.

Did you know that the word galaxy comes from the Ancient Greek word γάλα (milk) + ίας (ending forming adjectives) = milky...

If we look at Eurasian languages, most of Eurasian people see our galaxy as "milky way". After that, the most common names are:

1. various birds ways
2. river, fish ways

All these names are probably product of hunter gatherer and herding cultures.

But in Serbian tradition, the name for our galaxy is linked to straw, hay, grain. This name is probably product of grain farming culture...

In Serbian tradition our galaxy is known as "Kumova Slama" meaning "The Godfather's hay". No one really knows why...I mean, godfather was in the past pretty important figure in Serbian tradition. Godfather was not just a third parent, and someone who would take care of the child if anything happened to his parents, but also a spiritual parent of the child, someone who had responsibility for their soul...

But I think that the original expression was not "Kumova Slama" (The Godfather's hay) but "Gumnova Slama" (Threshing floor hay). 



Threshing floors were in the past in Serbia used not only for threshing but also as communal gathering places, where village councils and ceremonies took place. And they were seen as holy places...

In Serbian tradition, it is this hay (Milky Way), that a soul needs to cross to reach "The other world". 


To reach God. What do we reach when we cross threshing floor hay? We reach "stožer", the central pole of the threshing floor...The Axis Mundi...And that stake was venerated and most likely seen as the seat of the god on earth...



I talked about this in my posts "Bogovo gumno - God's threshing floor", "Shield of Achilles" and "Colossus"...

Interestingly the same link between the Milky Way and the path "the dead need to cross to get to the otherworld" exists in Ancient Greek, Platonic philosophy. We find the description of this link in the "Commentary on Cicero’s "Somnium Scipionis", written by Macrobius, a Neoplatonist who lived around AD 400 in Rome and wrote texts supporting paganism...

Platonic doctrine of the soul states that before birth the soul is a unified sphere because opposites do not yet exist. This sphere (soul) proceeds to birth, to incarnation, when it loses its spherical shape, that is, its unity...


This is interesting, because we find the same thing in Taoism were wuji (undivided whole) divides into taiji (opposites)...

I talked about this in my post "Fibonacci"...

The Platonists then continue to say that the soul travels between this world and the otherworld along on the Milky Way. The Milky Way intersects the astrological zodiac in Cancer and Capricorn, the two gates of the sun...

The first gate, Cancer, is the gate of man, while the second gate, Capricorn, is the gate of the gods. Through the first gate souls descend to earth to be born (reborn), through the second they return to the otherworld when people die...

That the Winter Solstice (Capricorn) sun gate is the gate of gods is kind of obvious.  Sun god gets reborn then. 

Why is the Summer Solstice (Cancer) sun gate the gate of men? The time when men are reborn.


In Slavic mythology, migratory birds spent winter in the land of the dead, the "otherworld". They spend summer in our world, the land of the living. And on their way from the land of the dead they bring with them the souls that would be reborn...

Is this why the Summer Solstice (Cancer) sun gate is the gate of men?

Now have a look at this:

Serbs have another name for Milky Way: "Jovanova struga". Jovan here could be Saint John. But the word "saint" is never used by peasants in Jovanova struga. It is always just Jovan, which could meant that Jovan here is Jov, old Sky God, or just Sky...

Word "struga" is an old Slavic word which means stream, current, canal, river bed...

So "Jovanova struga" is "The stream of Jov". Or if we replace Jov (Sky God) with Jov (Sky, Heaven), then "Jovanova struga" is "the river in the sky", "heavenly river"...

That here we are dealing with Jov, old sky god, Sky, can be seen by the fact that in Serbia we have two "Sveti Jovan" (St John) days: 

The summer Sveti Jovan 

Julian 24th of JuneCelebrated today according to the Gregorian calendar on the 7th of July

Cancer 21 June – 23 July

The winter Sveti Jovan 

Julian 7th of January, Celebrated today according to the Gregorian calendar on the 20th of January

Capricorn 22 December – 20 January 

Jovanova struga (the river in the sky) goes between these two Jovans, between Cancer and Capricorn...

Between the two Platonic sun gates... 

Ethnographic records confirm that Serbs definitely placed this "Jovan's river to which all souls rush too after death", in the sky. "Everything (every man after death) has to come on Jovanova struga (Jov's river) in the sky..."



Is this the river Styx across which souls have to cross into the otherworld? Interestingly Serbs believed that "Nicola ferries the souls from this world to the other world". 


Nicola (St Nicholas), Julian 6th of DecemberCelebrated today according to the Gregorian calendar on the 19th of December. 

The souls that travel along the "sky river", will first meet Nikola, who will take them to Jovan, who will open the winter Sun Gate that leads to the otherworld...

Interesting...

Million dolar question is: Did Serbs preserve Platonists' beliefs or did Platonists write down Serbian beliefs...

Sources:

"Sveci u Srpskoj religiji" by Veselin Čajkanović
"Macrobius: Commentarius ex Cicerone in somnium scipionis" by W. Bächtold








4 comments:

  1. "Did Serbs preserve Platonists' beliefs or did Platonists write down Serbian beliefs?"
    I think both preserved the more ancient European beliefs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Which is preserved where else so that we know it was Europe wide?

      Delete
    2. Such questions about Serbs have no end, especially when reading Cajkanovic's work, myth and religion are one among Serbs, as well as epic songs about heroes, all together have roots in the deep past of humanity, and are preserved only among Serbs,(of course, all through personifications) because we have the least civilizational changes. in the national consciousness. Tell me, which nation remembers so many countless ancient beliefs, that today we can no longer easily explain them without excellent experts in the ethnology of all mankind?

      Delete