In my post about stone circles on mountaing Devica, i mentioned the solar observatory called Bogovo Gumno. I would like to continue talking about this stone circle complex and explain why it is so significant.
The most important thing about Bogovo Gumno complex is not that it is a group of stone circles aligned with the summer solstice and used for determining the beginning of the solar calendar. Many other stone circles in Europe were built for the same purpose, although admittedly few are as big as Bogovo Gumno circles. The most important thing about Bogovo Gumno complex is that it gives us proof that a stone circle originally built as a solar observatory in an unknown distant past, was still recognized as a holy place and an astronomical observatory and was used as such by the local peasant population until the end of the 19th and the the beginning of the 20th century.
Remember what I said about rondel enclosures.
When you read about central European rondel enclosures, you are always told that
But, by contrast to the long lifetime of the “Megalithic” culture, the time window during which the neolithic ”Roundels” were in use is surprisingly narrow, lasting only for about 200–300 years (roughly 49th to 47th centuries BC).
How is this usage period determined? It seems that what people mistake as usage period is actually build period. But once the henge is built and aligned, further usage of the henge will leave no traces. To determine the day of the solstice all you need is to stand in the center or in any other predetermined cardinal point of the henge every morning and evening and note where the sun is rising and setting. Thus the henges could have been used as solar observatories thousands of years after they were built without any trace of usage being left behind.
It is exactly the same with aligned solar stone circles or any other astronomically aligned structure.
With Bogovo Gumno circles we now have a proof for the above theory of a long term continuous usage of aligned stone structures long after they were originally built.
We know that the stone circles on Bogovo Gumno had been maintained and used as a solar observatory until about 50 years ago. The shrubs and trees now growing on the outside of the wall of the circle are all younger than 50 years. There is a possibility that this was due to the presence of sheep flocks or cow herds in the area up until 50 years ago, which would eat the new offshoots and thus prevent their growth into shrubs and trees. But there is also another indicator that people new how to use this sun circle and did use it until very recently and which could indicate that the stone circles were deliberately kept clear by people because their function depended on maintenance of a clear and unobstructed view from the center of the circles.
Originally it was thought that the cross marked the center of the circle. But the closer examination showed that the cross stands 15 meters off the center. The stone has an engraving on it which reads “For the glory of Ognjena Marija (Fiery Mary) for the health of people, bountiful harvests and multiplying and health of cattle, this cross erects Rosa with her sons”. The local villagers from the nearest village of Scrobnica told the investigators that Rosa was a very smart and respected woman, so much so that her descendants are still in the area known as Rosići, meaning the descendants of Rosa, even though they have another patrilinear surname. This is extremely rare in Serbia. Rosa was famous for her knowledge of traditional medicine and medicinal herbs. She erected the cross after her house compound caught fire which was successfully extinguished without loss of life. Local people consider the whole complex but particularly the cross dedicated to Ognjena Marija a holy place and regularly visit it and bring offerings to it.
In Slavic mythology, Ognjena Marija or the “Fiery Mary” is considered to be the sister of St Ilija, the thundering sun and (or) wife of the thunder god Perun. She is also known as Perunika, Perena, Ljeljuja, Leluja, Ljelja, Gorka, Veronika. Later, under Christianity, her importance was degraded and she was regarded as an evil goddess, described as an evil and ugly woman named Irudika (who was in turn a daughter of Poganica).
She was the goddess of lightning, weddings, motherhood, and protector of marriage and justice on earth. Perunika wears a rainbow as her belt. In some parts of Croatian people still call rainbow “the mother of god” reffering to Ognjena Marija. Onjena Marija, Perunika uses a heavy sledge hammer to punish people, and controls lightning. Gromovnik (God of Thunder) Perun, helped by his wife Perunika Ognjena Marija, ”loads” the thunderbolts and shoots them at thieves, liars, and immoral people in general.
Considering that Perunika, Ognjena Marija, is directly linked with fertility of the land, it sounds logical that Perun’s female companion punishes immoral and dishonest women by the ”white plague” (sterility).
In Medjimurje (northern Croatia), one greeting used on the feast day of St. Stephen (Dec. 26) mentions God with lelulja (ljeljuja), i.e. perunika, in his hand. This is the most probable origin of the alternative Perunika’s name Ljelja. But also this could indicate that the true meaning of Perunika is actually lightning, electricity, the spark of life. Perun holding Perunika is Shiva holding Trishula, Lightning.
The fiery wheels of Perun are actually burning sun wheels of Svetovid, the sun god. In South Slavic folk tradition the day of Perun is the 2nd of August, the Crom Dubh day in Ireland. But this day is also the day of St Ilija the Thunderer. St Ilija the Thunderer is Ilios, the thundering sun, the sun at its hottest, the sun that burns with its fiery eye. In Serbian tradition the rolling thunders which can be heard around the 2nd of August are said to be made by the fiery wheels of St Ilia’s chariots thundering over the tops of the clouds, and the lightning that is seen flashing in the clouds are the sparks created by those same fiery chariot wheels.
Serbian folk tradition says that if it wasn’t for Ognjena Marija, St Ilija, Perun, Thundering fiery sun would burn the whole world. The the period three days before and the three days after the 2nd of August, the day of the thundering sun, is in South Slavic tradition called Kresovi meaning Fires. These are the dog days, the days of the burning heat when the dog star Sirius is in the sky with the sun. This is also the Irish Domhnach Crom Dubh, the week of Crom Dubh.
In Serbian folk mythology, Ognjena Marija has been transformed into two female christian characters: St Marina, known also as St Margaret and St Mary Magdalene.
30th of July. St Marina, St Margaret, Ognjena Marija
2nd of August. St Ilija the thunderer
4th of August. St Marija Magdalena, Blaga (kind, benign, mild, gentle) Marija
You can see that Serbian tradition Kresovi, the week of fire, starts with the fiery Marija and Ends with kind, benign, mild, gentle Marija. In the Irish tradition, Domhnach Crom Dubh used to start on the 31 of July, but now starts on the last Sunday in July. The 2nd of August, Perun day, Crom Dubh day, the day of Ilios the thundering sun, is actually the hottest day of the year in the Balkans. All summer the sun has been burning in the sky. This is the time of wild fires and drought. Everyone is praying for the first big thunderstorms to arrive and save the land from being burnt to cinder. And this is what Ognjena Marija delivers. In Serbia there is a saying: “Od svetog Ilije sunce sve milije” which means “From St Ilija the sun starts getting kinder, milder, gentler”. The first part of the 2nd of August is considered summer and the second is considered to be Autumn. And this is what the transformation of Marija from Ognjena (Fiery) to Blaga (kind, benign, mild, gentle) represents, The end of summer and beginning of autumn.
So back to our Bogovo gumno sun circle on mountain Devica and the anthropomorphic cross erected inside of it by a local medicine woman Rosa. Our good old Rosa erected the cross to thank Ognjena Marija, the tamer of fire, for saving her and her family from fire. But why was the cross erected inside the sun circle on Bogovo gumno?
Summer solstice, the day of Svetovid is exactly in the middle of the summer period marked by the day of Jarilo and the day of Perun. Jarilo (heat, fire), Svetovid (light, sun) and Perun (lightning, electricity, energy) are together forming Triglav, Dabog, Hromi Daba the main god of the Serbs. They are also forming Triglav, Crom Dubh, the main god of the Irish. The Thundering Burning Sun, Ilios, Crom Dubh, Hromi Daba, Grom Div is Three in one, Trinity, Trimurti, Agni. He is three in one, as he contains the heat of Jarilo, the light of Svetovid and he adds thunder and lightning. He is the sun at its most powerful and terrifying, the sun that contains the cumulative power of the whole summer.
Being the wife of Perun, Fiery Sun Ilios, Ognjena Marija is also the wife of the three headed Sun, Dabog, Triglav, Trimurti Agni. So placing her cross inside the Sun circle is very appropriate. What is amazing is that Rosa new the meaning, the importance and the intended use of the Bogovo Gumno sun circle. She didn’t pick the place where she erected the cross within the circle randomly. The cross was erected in such a place and oriented in such a way that when you look directly over it towards the sun circle, you see the point where sun rises on the day of Ognjena Marija, the Fiery Marija, the Wife of the Thundering Fiery Sun, Hromi Daba, Crom Dubh, Grom Div. The Cross marks the day of the beginning of the Kresovi, the fire week, Domhnach Crom Dubh, Lughnasadh.
One of them is that while she was praying “then appeared a horrible dragon and assailed her, and would have devoured her, but she made the sign of the cross, and anon he vanished away. And in another place it is said that he swallowed her into his belly, she making the sign of the cross. And the belly brake asunder, and so she issued out all whole and sound.” This links St Marina aka as St Margaret to the dragon, the fire breathing beast. The dragon is no other but the Devil himself. “The Devil, having seen how Olybrius could not force St Marina to prostrate herself before the false gods, came to her cell in a shape of black dragon, wanting to scare her. But she was fearless and she grabbed him by his horns and beat him with a hammer and defeated him completely”.
St Marina (Margaret) is depicted with a red fiery veil to emphasize her true identity: Ognjena Marija, Fiery Mary.
Another miracle occurred when her captors “having beaten her fiercely, fastened the saint with nails to a board and tore at her body with tridents”. But all along she prayed to god. And the Archangel came and healed all her wounds and told her that she will have place in heaven. This is a very interesting story because it too connects St Marina aka St Margaret to a thunder god, but this time to Shiva whose weapon is Trident, Trishula. In my post about Triglav, you could read that in the old Serbian religion, Triglav consisted of Vishnji (Svetovid, Sun), Branjanj (Svarog, fire) and Siva Živa (Perun, thunder and lightning). And St Marina aka St Margaret, for whom Serbian tradition says that she is Ognjena Marija, Perunika, the wife of Perun, was tortured using weapon of Shiva, Živa who is according to Serbian tradition part of Serbian Triglav and the equivalent of Perun. This is the picture of Shiva with his trident, trishula.
The Angel who comes to heal the wounds of St Marina aka St Margaret, and to promise her a place in heaven, is no other than Archangel Michael, the angel who brandishes a flaming sword, who stands between Heaven and Earth. He is also the dragon slayer just like Perun, and he is the one who controls the rain, fire, thunder, lightning and who punished the wrong-doers exactly like Perun does. Remember that in Medjimurje (northern Croatia), one greeting used on the feast day of St. Stephen (Dec. 26) mentions God with lelulja (ljeljuja), i.e. Perunika, Ognjena Marija in his hand. Also remember that one of the names of Perunika is “sablja” meaning curved sword. Is this a description of Perun, Lightning head of Triglav, and his flaming sword? This is the picture of Archangel Michael killing the dragon.
So St Marina aka St Margaret aka Ognjena Marija, aka Perunika the sister of Thundering Sun Ilios and the wife of Thunder god Perun was protected by Archangel Michael who looks very much like Thundering Sun Ilios, Perun. They are both dragon slayers, they both stand between heaven and earth and they both contoll the rain and thunder.
I will have to dedicate a whole separate post to Archangel Michael as I believe that finding out the true identity of Archangel Michael is a key to finding out the identity of God our Lord.
The name of St Marina aka St Margaret is also very interesting. We don’t know what the actual meaning of the name is. Let me propose this etymology.
In Serbian the word “gori” means burns, “goret(i)” means to burn, “goreća” means “burning (feminine)”. Margareta = Mar + goret(ja) = Marija + Goreća = Mary + Burning = Ognjena Marija, Fiery, Burning Mary of Serbian Tradition. This is astonishing. The confirmation that this is indeed true etymology of the name Margaret we find in the German version of the name: Annegret. It is said that it comes from short form of Johanna Margareta. But it could also have this etymology: Annegret = Ann + e + gret = Ona + je + goret(ja) = She + is + burning = Ognjena Marija. The version of the name Greta comes from goret(ja) which literally means “she who is burning”. Is this just a coincidence?
So Ognjena Marija stands on the 30th of July, before Ilios, the thundering fiery sun, stopping him from burning the world to ashes. And she does every year. On the 2nd of August every year the summer ends and autumn begins. The dragon is defeated, the sky opens and the waters of heaven are released on the barren burned earth making it moist and fertile again. The marriage of heaven and earth takes place and at the end of Kresovi, the week of Fire, on the 4th of August, St Marina aka St Margaret aka Ognjena Marija, aka Perunika becomes St Mary Magdalen, Blaga Marija, kind, benign, mild, gentle Marija, the wife of Perun, the wife of the Thundering Sun Ilios. I love that the name of the woman who erected the votive cross in Bogovo Gumno dedicated to Ognjena Marija was Rosa which means dew but also light rain in Serbian. Light rain and dew really do look like tear drops. How appropriate. People who are trying to decode the longest inscription dedicated to Lug, the Galic equivalent of Perun might be intereseted in word “orositi” meaning to sprinkle with water, to irrigate, to water .. 🙂
The “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” is the name given to a papyrus fragment with writing in Coptic that includes the words, “Jesus said to them, ‘my wife…'”. The text on the fragment is alleged to be a fourth-century Coptic translation of what is said to be “a gospel probably written in Greek in the second half of the second century.” So based on this gospel, Jesus was married. To whom?
Mary Magdalen is famous for being a disciple (sister) of Christ the Son (Sun). But also she is famous for washing Christs feet with her tears and drying them with her hair. The gospel of Luke 7:36-50 says:
When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
In villages of Serbia, up until mid 20th century, there was still a wedding custom which required the bride, deva, devojka, devica to wash the grooms feat. In the morning she had to bake a bread to prove that she is able to produce food and feed her children.
As we go from the 30th of July to the 4th of August, we see the transformation of Marija. Marija was transformed from Ognjena Marija, Burning Marija, Marija who burns the land to Blaga Marija, Kind Marija, Marija who rains her tears on earth, on the feet of Thundering Sun, Thunder Giant, Grom Div. She is the wife of the Sun the Lord.
But during that time Marija was also transformed from Virgin St Marina aka St Margaret to Harlot St Mary Magdalene. Desire is said to be “burning” and it is burning the most in the bodies of Virgins. In Serbian slang someone who did not have sex for a long time or ever is said to be “zagoreo” meaning to be burnt. It is the spilling of bodily waters that extinguishes this fire.
During the first night, Deva, Devica, (Virgin, Girl) is transformed into Žena (Wife, Woman the giver of Life). What Deva (Virgin, Girl) gives to her Muž (Husband but also Farmer) is her Virginity. In the four Gospels, Mary Magdalene is nearly always distinguished from other women named Mary by adding “the Magdalene” (ἡ Μαγδαληνή) to her name. This has been interpreted to mean “the woman from Magdala”, a town on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. Luke 8:2 says that she was actually “called Magdalene”. But what if Magdalene comes from Mu + Ga + Dala + Ona = Him + It (Virginity) + Gave + Her = The one who gave her virginity to him, The one who is not a virgin any more, a woman, mother, but also a whore, a harlote, as you can not become a mother without engaging in a sexual act, human or divine. We still say that a girl “gave herself to a man”. Ognjena Marija, Perunika gives herself to Perun, Ilios, she marries Perun, Ilios, the thundering Sun and becomes Blaga marija. Margaret the virgin becomes Mary the woman “Magdalen”. In Serbian bride is called “nevesta”. The word nevesta comes from ne + ve + šta = not + knows + anything = the inocent, the virgin. On her wedding night she gets to “know” her husband, she becomes the one who knows, the one who “ve + šta”, wife. And one of the main duties of a wife is to tend to the fire hearth, the center of the household. Is this where Vesta, the goddess of the hearth comes from? In Serbian word vešt means skillful, full of knowledge and words veštac and veštica mean warlock and witch. Vestal Virgins were specially trained to be skilled in sacred art of fire tending. Is this all also just a coincidence?
In the end I would like to look at the name of the mountain Devica.
In Slavic mythology, Ognjena Marija or the “Fiery Mary” is a goddess who assists, the thunder God Perun. She is the wife (and) or sister of the thunder god Perun. If we know that in Serbian tradition Perun is also Shiva, Živa, then Ognjena Marija, Perunika is Shakti.
Shakti is the concept, or personification, of divine feminine creative power, sometimes referred to as ‘The Great Divine Mother’ in Hinduism. She most actively manifests through female embodiment and creativity/fertility, though it is also present in males in its potential, unmanifest form. Not only is Shakti responsible for creation, it is also the agent of all change. Shakti embodies the active feminine energy of Shiva and is identified as Mahadevi or Parvati. The rural people in India believe that Shakti is the protector of the village, the punisher of evil people, the curer of diseases, and the one who gives welfare to the village. So exactly like Ognjena Marija, Perunika in Serbian mythology who punishes the evil people and who gives welfare to the people. The inscription on the votive cross from Bogovo Bumno says: “For the glory of Ognjena Marija (Fiery Mary) for the health of people, bountiful harvests and multiplying and health of cattle…”.
The origin of Shakti is goddess Shachi. In Hinduism (specifically, early Vedic accounts), Shachi also known as Indrani (queen of Indra), is the goddess of wrath. She is associated with lions. She has a significance in Vedic lietrature in developing the idea of Shakti which denotes power, the feminine personified might, as described in later Hindu mythology. She gave origin to the concept that female consort, whether she s parvati or kali. She is the role model for all the goddesses in later period. Its is said that unlike other goddesses, she possess an independent character of her own. Unlike most of the goddess wives who are known by their husbands name like Rudrani, Varuni (wife of Varun), Saranya (wife of Sun), Indra is probably the only god who is known to be named after his wife’s name, hence he was often referred as Shachipati – meaning master of shakti/power, or ShachiVat (possessor of Shachi). Indra controls, uses, wields Indrani. In the earlier Vedic accounts, Shachi was depicted as a female shadow of Indra.She is basically his feminine essence, the source of his power, in the same way Shakti is feminine essence and the source of power of Shiva. In the same way Perunika is probably the feminine essence and the source of power of Perun. This fits perfectly with the description of the role of Peruinka as being in the hand of god as his weapon, lightning, flaming sword, flaming spear, flaming trident, vayra. And here is Indrani sitting on a lion, under the tree of life with a child.
Goddess Shakti, the consort of the thunder god Shiva, Živa, has an incarnation called Durga. She is the terrible war goddess, the goddess of wrath as well. And she too is sitting on a lion.
Durga is the original manifested form of Mother Adi – Parashakti, the Great Goddess, Devi herself. She is the goddess of victory of good over evil, exactly like Perunika. She has many weapons and all of them are weapons found used by Thunder gods: trident, scimitar, mace, bow and arrow, spear, sword (longsword), battle-axe, thunderbolt, snake, rod, spade, vajra, hammer weapon, iron weapon, weapon made out of thorns, javelin, dagger. But the two that is wielding most often are trident (vajra) and long blade curved sword. In Serbo Croatian the word for rainbow is “duga”. In some parts of Croatia people call rainbow “Bogorodica” meaning the “mother of god”. Remember that Indrani was the devine mother but also the power of Indra. The name of the mother of God is Marija. So rainbow is Ognjena Marija. Serbian tradition says that Ognjena Marija, Perunika helps Perun to shoot his lightning arrows. In Vedic tradition rainbow was known as “the bow of Indra“. Was the original name of Durga “Duga” meaning rainbow?
Goddess Durga, in her benevolent form is known as Parvati, the consort of Shiva, Živa. Parvati Parvati is considered to be a complete incarnation of Adi Parashakti or Goddess Durga, with all other Goddesses being her incarnations or manifestations. Some communities also believe her to be the sister of Vishnu just like of Ognjena Marija who is the sister of Ilios who is Triglav and therefore Vishnu as well.
Shakti – Durga – Parvati is said to be the source of all the powers and weapons. It is believed that without her, Shiva is Shava or Corpse, for she is the ultimate source of power for all beings, gods and Devas. Remamber that Indrani, the original power goddess was the same. Without her Indra would have no power. So Shakti – Durga – Parvati-Indrani is truly Živa, meaning the alive one in Serbian, the one that gives life and is really Jiva. Indian mythology even says that she is most powerful of all gods. When her anger reaches its peak, she can destroy the whole universe in just seconds. Even Trinity, Trimurty i.e. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, never try to make her angry at any cost.
The Durga and Parvati are Ognjena Marija and Blaga Marija. In Sanskrit Durga and Parvati are two opposite faces of the same goddess Shakti. In Serbian they even have the same name with opposite attributes, to indicate that it is one goddess with two faces. They stand on both sides of the thundering sun Ilios, Perun. And Perun day falls on the 2nd of August, the middle of the period when the sun is in the constellation of Leo. This is why Marija, Durga – Parvati – Shakti and Indrani all stand on a lion.
|Leo||The Lion||July 23 to August 22||Fire||Fixed|
Look at these divine couples:
Indra – Indrani
Shiva – Shakti (Živa).
Perun – Perunika
These divine couples are all said to be inseparable. The male can not exist without a female who gives the power to the male. So much so that in the first century CE we find Ardhanarishvara a composite androgynous form of the Hindu god Shiva and his consort Parvati (also known as Devi, Shakti and Uma in this icon). Ardhanarishvara is depicted as half male and half female, split down the middle. The right half is usually the male Shiva, illustrating his traditional attributes. The earliest Ardhanarishvara images are dated to the Kushan period, starting from the first century CE.
If we think of Earth as female and Sky as male, then lightning would not exist without both Earth and Sky. Life would not exist without both Earth and Sky, without mother and father. This is why the river of life flows from Ardhanarishvara, from the place of connection of Shiva and Shakti. Ardhanarishvara stands at the root of the tree of life because only the union of Male and Female, Sky and Earth produces life.
It is very interesting that in Serbian tradition, Triglav consists of Vishnji, Branjanj and S(h)iva Živa. Does Siva Živa mean Shiva Shakti?
And why is Ardhanarishvara standing between the bull and the lion? Because bull and lion are the beginning and the end of the main vegetative season, Summer.
|Taurus||21 April – 21 May|
|Leo||23 July – 22 August|
In Serbian tradition, Sun, the “Višnji Bog”, the High God, the Creator, is perceived as a living being, which is born every year in the winter. He then grows into a young man Jarilo on the 6th of May the day of the strongest vegetative, reproductive power of the sun, the beginning of the Summer, the middle of Taurus, the bull. Then he becomes a fully grown man, the powerful ruler Vid at the summer solstice, 21st of June the longest day of the year. He then becomes the terrible old warrior Perun on the 2nd of August the hottest day of the year, The end of the Summer, the middle of Leo, the lion.
All the above religious system is related to vegetative agricultural cycle. It is extremely important to farmers in continental Europe, but it is almost irrelevant to the steppe nomads, and it is completely wrong in Indian climate which is governed by a monsoon. The hottest month for the western and southern regions of India is April; for most of North India, it is May. So where did this religious system originate? I would suggest Europe. I believe that Vedic Solar Religion was brought to India by farmers from Europe, not by Steppe nomads from central Asia. But that is another story for another time….
So lets go back to the name of mountain Devica.
In Serbian word “deva”, “devica” means Girl, virgin. Deva, Devica Marija is Virgin Mary. Mountain Devica is believed to have been named after Deva Marija, Virgin Mary. But did mountain Devica get its name after Devi Ognjena Marija, Goddess Fiery Marija, Perunika, Shakti (Živa), Indrana, the Great Goddess Devi? Is mountain Devica ancient religious complex dedicated to the Great Goddess, Devi, and if so when was it established and by whom? We might never find this out. But we know that local Serbian people still use this ancient religious complex to celebrate the Great Goddess even today under the name of Ognjena Marija, Perunika.
This posts answered few questions but opened up so many new ones. Looking for answers was and still is a lot of fun.