Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Bó - Vo

Táin Bó Cúailnge, "the driving-off of cows of Cooley", commonly known as The Cattle Raid of Cooley or The Táin, is a legendary tale from early Irish literature, often considered an epic, although it is written primarily in prose rather than verse. It tells of a war against Ulster by the Connacht queen Medb and her husband Ailill, who intend to steal the stud bull Donn Cuailnge, opposed only by the teenage Ulster hero Cú Chulainn.

Traditionally set in the 1st century AD in an essentially pre-Christian heroic age, the Táin is the central text of a group of tales known as the Ulster Cycle. It survives in three written versions or "recensions" in manuscripts of the 12th and later centuries, the first a compilation largely written in Old Irish, the second a more consistent work in Middle Irish, and the third an Early Modern Irish version.

The story begins with Ailill and Medb comparing their respective wealths and find that the only thing that distinguishes them is Ailill's possession of the phenomenally fertile bull Finnbhennach, who had been born into Medb's herd but scorned being owned by a woman so decided to transfer himself to Ailill's. Medb determines to get the equally potent Donn Cuailnge from Cooley to equal her wealth with her husband. She successfully negotiates with the bull's owner, Dáire mac Fiachna, to rent the animal for a year until her messengers, drunk, reveal that they would have taken the bull by force even if they had not been allowed to borrow it. The deal breaks down, and Medb raises an army, including Ulster exiles led by Fergus mac Róich and other allies, and sets out to capture Donn Cuailnge.

The men of Ulster are disabled by an apparent illness and can not fight. The only person fit to defend Ulster is seventeen-year-old Cú Chulainn, and he lets the army take Ulster by surprise because he's off on a tryst when he should be watching the border. Cú Chulainn, assisted by his charioteer Láeg, wages a guerrilla campaign against the advancing army, then halts it by invoking the right of single combat at fords, defeating champion after champion in a stand-off lasting months. However, he is unable to prevent Medb from capturing the bull.

After a particularly arduous combat he is visited by Lugh, who reveals himself to be Cú Chulainn's father. Lugh puts Cú Chulainn to sleep for three days while he works his healing arts on him. While Cú Chulainn sleeps the youth corps of Ulster come to his aid but are all slaughtered. When Cú Chulainn wakes he undergoes a spectacular ríastrad or "distortion", in which his body twists in its skin and he becomes an unrecognisable monster who knows neither friend nor foe. He makes a bloody assault on the Connacht camp and avenges the youth corps sixfold.

After this extraordinary incident, the sequence of single combats resumes, although on several occasions Medb breaks the agreement by sending several men against him at once. When Fergus, his foster-father, is sent to fight him, Cú Chulainn agrees to yield to him on the condition that Fergus yields the next time they meet. Finally there is a physically and emotionally gruelling three-day duel between the hero and his foster-brother and best friend, Ferdiad. Cú Chulainn wins, killing Ferdiad.

Eventually the debilitated Ulstermen start to rouse, one by one at first, then en masse, and the final battle begins. To begin with Cú Chulainn sits it out, recovering from his wounds. Finally, Cú Chulainn enters the fray and confronts Fergus, who makes good on his promise and yields to him, pulling his forces off the field. Connacht's other allies panic and Medb is forced to retreat. She does, however, manage to bring Donn Cuailnge back to Connacht, where the bull fights Finnbhennach, kills him, but is mortally wounded, and wanders around Ireland creating placenames before finally returning home to die of exhaustion.


Táin bó Cúalnge, in its chapter entitled "The battle of the bulls", tells a story about the battle of the bulls:
As regards Medb, it is related here : She suffered not the hosts to disperse forthwith, but she gathered the men of Erin and led them forth to Cruachan to behold the battle of the bulls and in what manner they would part from one another. For during the while the battle was being fought, the Brown Bull of Cualnge with fifty heifers in his company had been brought to Cruachan.
As regards the Brown Bull of Cualnge, it is now recounted in this place : When he saw the beautiful, strange land, he sent forth his three bellowing calls aloud. And Finnbennach Ai (' the Whitehorned of Ai ') heard him. Now no male beast durst send forth a low that was louder than a moo in compare with him within the four fords of all Ai, Ath Moga and Ath Coltna, Ath SHssen and Ath Bercha. And the Whitehorned lifted his head with fierce anger at the bellowing of the Brown of Cualnge,and he hastened to Cruachan to look for the Brown Bull of Cualnge.
It was then the men of Erin debated who would be fitted to witness the fight of the bulls. They all agreed that it should be Bricriu son of Carbad that were fitted for that office.For, a year before this tale of the Cualnge Cattle-raid, Bricriu had gone from the one province into the other to make a request of Fergus. And Fergus had retained him with him waiting for his treasures and goods. And a quarrel arose between him and Fergus at a game of chess." And he spake evil words to Fergus. Fergus smote him with his fist and with the chess-man that was in his hand, so that he drave the chessman into his head and broke a bone in his head. Whilst the men of Erin were on the foray of the Tain, all that time Bricriu was being cured at Cruachan. And the day they returned from the expedition was the day Bricriu rose. He came with the rest to witness the battle of the bulls. And this is why they selected Bricriu, for that Bricriu was no fairer to his friend than to his foe. " Come, ye men of Erin ! " cried Bricriu ; " permit me to judge the fight of the bulls, for it is I shall most truly recount their tale and their deeds afterwards." And he was brought before the men of Erin to a gap whence to view the bulls.
So they drove the Brown Bull the morning of the fight till he met the Whitehorned at Tarbga in the plain of Ai: orTarbguba (' Bull-groan '), or Tarbgleo (* Bull-fight '); Roi Dedond was the first name of that hill. Every one that had hved through the battle cared for naught else than to see the combat of the two bulls.
Each of the bulls sighted the other and there was a pawing and digging up of the ground in their frenzy there, and they tossed the earth over them. They threw up the earth over their withers and shoulders, and their eyes blazed red in their heads like firm balls of fire, "and their sides bent like mighty boars on a hill. Their cheeks and their nostrils swelled like smith's bellows in a forge. And each of them gave a resounding, deadly blow to the other. Each of them began to hole and to gore, to endeavour to slaughter and demolish the other. Then the Whitehorned of Ai visited his wrath upon the Brown Bull of Cualnge for the evil of his ways and his doings, and he drave a horn into his side and visited his angry rage upon him. Then they directed their headlong course to where Bricriu was, so that the hoofs of the bulls drove him a man's cubit deep into the ground after his destruction. Hence, this is the Tragical Death of Bricriu son of Carbad.
Cormac Conlongas son of Conchobar saw that, and the force of affection arose in him, and he laid hold of a spearshaft that filled his grasp, and gave three blows to the Brown Bull of Cualnge from ear to tail, so that it broke on his thick hide from ear to rump." No wonderful, lasting treasure was this precious prize for us," said Cormac, " that cannot defend himself against a stirk of his own age!" The Brown Bull of Cualnge heard this — for he had human understanding" — and he turned upon the Whitehorned. Thereupon the Brown of Cualnge became infuriated, and he described a very circle of rage around the Whitehorned, and he rushed at him, so that he broke his lower leg with the shock.* And thereafter they continued to strike at each other for a long while and great space of time, and so long as the day lasted they watched the contest of the bulls till night fell on the men of Erin. And when night had fallen, all that the men of Erin could hear was the bellowing and roaring. That night the bulls coursed over the greater part of all Erin. "For every spot in Erin wherein is a * Bulls' Ditch,' or a ' Bulls' Gap,' or a ' Bulls' Fen,' or a ' Bulls' Loch,' or a ' Bulls' Rath,' or a ' Bulls' Back,' it is from them those places are named.
It is interesting that in Irish word "" means cow, not a bull. The word for bull in Irish is "tarbh". If we look at the etymology of the words for cattle in the Indoeuropean languages we see that there is s sharp split between the languages in which the word for cattle has the root "k(g)a(o)w" and the languages where the word for cattle has the root "b(v)o". The languages where words for cattle have the root "b(v)o":

Italic: 

  • Oscan: buv-
  • Umbrian: bum (acc.sg.)
  • Volscian: bim < *būm (acc.sg.)
  • Latin: bōs (loanword from Sabellic, the expected latin form being *ūs/*vōs)

Celtic: 

  • Old Irish: bó
  • Irish: bó
  • Manx: booa
  • Scottish Gaelic: bò
  • Middle Welsh: bu "oxen"
  • Brythonic: *boukkā
  • Breton: buoc'h
  • Cornish: bugh
  • Welsh: buwch

Hellenic:

  • Ancient Greek: βοῦς (boûs)


What is very interesting is that Slavic languages are not included in the list of where words for cattle have the root "b(v)o". But in Slavic languages we have words "vo", "vol", "vul" which mean ox. Please note that in western Slavic languages the word becomes "vul" which in Germanic languages then becomes "bulo" and eventually bull in English. In South Slavic languages we also have word "bik" which means bull but also a word "bak" with the same meaning. This is the equivalent of the English buck.

But in South Slavic languages we also have these words:

bo - stab (like with a horn)
bosti - to stab
bod - something pointy, hitting something with something pointy, stabbing. A hole creating by hitting something with something pointy, by stabbing (like with a horn). A bayonet, dagger. A point in a game (meaning you nailed it, you stabbed it. Old games were all about stabbing and shooting things into things). Stabbing pain.
bodlja - prick, spine, thorn
bodva - trident
bodul - Vlah, Morlak, highlander, Celt. Vlah was one of the names used for Serbs in medieval time
bodimice - go head first (literally with your horns first). Stab with the point of the knife. Steep downward direction.
bodrosts - courage, vigor (full of energy and bravery like a young man with erection or a bull)
ubod - stab, prick, sting
bodež - dagger, knife, any stabbing weapon
uboj - wound
ubojica - killer
ubojstvo - murder
boj - battle (where people are stabbed)
bojovnik, bojnik, vojnik - solder (someone who stabs)
bojna, vojna, vojska - military
bojati se - be afraid
boja - color, maybe from blood which appears when you get stabbed (bo)
bol - pain, what you feel when you get stabbed (bo)

Irish:

baol - Danger
baolach - Dangerous

These two Irish words seem not to have root in Irish but in Slavic languages coming directly from the words bo (stab), boj (stabbing, battle) and bol (pain)...




No apparent root exists for the above two words in Irish. 

This is pickax. Look at the sharp pointy end which look like a horn. In Serbian the one of the names for this tool is budak = bud + ak = something sharp and pointy + ak.


Bud, Bod is an old Irish, old Celtic word for penis. Bud meaning penis was an Irish slang word brought to America where became a root for word Buddy meaning friend. Buddy is an Irish Gaelic word, which comes from the Irish expression, a vuddy, or a bhodaigh, which means something like "pal." The root of the word bhodaigh is strangely, "bod", which is the Irish word for penis, and pronounced like bud. Word "bodach" means a uncouth or aggressive man or boy but also a strong, lusty youth, meaning someone with constant erection, someone always ready to prick with his bod...The dictionary of early Irish gives us "bot" as an old Irish word for penis. Proto Celtic dictionary gives us "*butto-" as a word for penis. 

Now have a look at these Serbian words:

bo - to stab, make a hole
bod - stab, prick
butati - stick, stuff something into something else, like a penis into vagina
budžiti - stick something into something tight, like a penis into vagina
budža - knobstick, but also anything that sticks out, that can be stuck into something else. Also someone important, someone who is sticking out...

Here is a picture of a knobstick (budža):


The Noric language, or Eastern Celtic, is an unclassified Continental Celtic language. It is attested in only two fragmentary inscriptions from the Roman province of Noricum (one in Grafenstein, Austria, the other in Ptuj, Slovenia), which do not provide enough information for any conclusions about the nature of the language to be drawn. However, the language was probably similar to the other Celtic languages near to it, such as Gaulish. Due to the scanty evidence it is unknown when it became extinct.

The Ptuj inscription, discovered in 1894, is written right to left in a northern Italic alphabet and reads:

"ARTEBUDZBROGDUI”

This is interpreted as two personal names: Artebudz [son] of Brogduos. The name Artebudz may mean "bear penis" (compare Welsh arth "bear" and Irish bod "penis")...

Or "budz" could be Serbian "budža" meaning penis but also a battle club or an important person??? 

Interestingly Irish etymology for the word "bod" says that it comes from: 
Middle Irish bot (“tail; membrum virile”), from Proto-Celtic *buzdos (“tail, penis”), perhaps from Proto-Indo-European *gwosdʰos (“piece of wood”).
First I have to say that the etymology from the root "bo", "bod" meaning to stab, something pointy used for stabbing, poking, seems a lot more plausible. In Serbian, the word for extremity, anything sticking out of the body, like a leg or an arm or a penis is "ud". The extremity used for "pricking", sticking (stabbing) into something (vagina) would be bud = boud = bo + ud = stab, prick + extremity = penis. Also horn is an euphemism for erect penis. In English we say someone is "horny" when they are aroused...Horned animals are symbol of virility. Piece of wood isn't in any way related to virility and can not be the root for the word for penis. 

But what is even more interesting is that in Serbian word "buzdovan" means battle club exactly like budža...Both words also mean penis and someone important, who sticks out. 

By the way here is another word for penis that is the same in "Celtic" and Serbian. Proto Celtic dictionary gives us "*muto" as words for penis. In Serbian word is mudo means di*k. Word "muda" means balls, testicles. According to the linguists, the words for genitals are some of the oldest and most conservative words. They point to a very old link between Serbs and the Irish. 

In Irish we also have the word "bodalach" which means big ungainly young person, lusty youth, lusty foolish woman. In Serbian we have a word "budala" which means a fool, a youth who thinks with his "bod". 

The thing is that all the Irish words are a derivative words. The roots for all the above Irish words have been preserved in Serbian. How is this possible? 

And for the end, here are two more Serbian "bod" words: bodenje, bodljavina both meaning a bull fight.

Bullfights in Serbia and in Bosnia are an ancient tradition preserved to the present time by the Serbian highland population. Unlike its Spanish counterpart, the Bosnian bullfight does not involve humans as active participants and does not result in the death of the bulls. These fights are duels between the bulls themselves. Fights happen in an open field, as each bull tries to chase its opponent away from a loosely defined pitch.
These fights are an extension of natural fights for dominance that occur between male animals of many species in the wild. Fatalities are almost nonexistent, as animals fight within the limit of their natural instincts: When a bull is losing badly, he'll back down.
Bullfights of this sort are organized in many places in western Bosnia and the neighboring Croatian regions of Lika and the Dalmatian Littoral. Arguably the most famous, however, is the so-called Corrida of Grmeč, or Grmečka Korida in Serbian. 
Grmeč is a mountain in the extreme west of Bosnia. The area is in the the I2a haplogroup epicenter. I2a is the the haplogroup found to be higher in the old Ulster and Connacht. The name is of recent origin and is a version of a Spanish word.  The original Serbian name for the event is "bodljavina" meaning fight with stabbing. The event itself is of ancient origin. Records show the annual bullfights go back for over 230 years but that is just the first time the event was recorded. No one really knows how old the tradition is. 
The bullfights are organized on every first Sunday in August. Before the Balkan wars of the 1990s, the venue of the Grmeč event was on Medjedje Brdo (Bear hill) near Sanski Most. But the community of Sanski Most was destroyed by the wars and most of the Serbs from that area have been either killed or expelled, and the fights have been moved to the village of Oštra Luka, part of a Serbian territory of Republika Srbska.
Bullfights attract thousands of spectators each year, mainly locals and their visiting relatives, but also increasingly curiosity seekers from other places. They are accompanied by a typical country fair, along with barbecues, copious amounts of beer, and folk music. In 2005, the Grmeč event was honored by a postage stamp issued by Republika Srpska (a Serbian entity in Bosnia).

This is a picture from the event now. 


These pictures are from the events held in the 1980s. You can see that Medjedje Brdo is a natural amphitheater perfect for these kind of spectacles.


Some of the old greats. Champion bulls from 1981 and 1973.



Here you can see videos of the actual bull fights:

Bull fight 1
Bull fight 2
Bull fight 3

How is it possible that this ancient ritual, described in the old Irish epic Táin Bó Cúailnge, has been preserved by the Serbs? 

One of the most interesting things about these ancient Serbian bull fights, is that they are organized on the first Sunday in August, which is in Ireland known as Crom Dubh Sunday. Crom Dubh was an ancient Irish god who could take the shape of a bull. I believe that originally these bull fights were organized on the 2nd of August, the day of Perun, Thundering sun Ilios, who is also Triglav, Dabog, Hromi Daba, Serbian equivalent of Crom Dubh. Perun's sacred animal was a bull and bull was the sacrificial animal killed and roasted on the Perun day.

Each year, the Swiss canton of Valais hosts a series of cow fights known as combats de reines ("queen fights"), which began in the 1920s and has drawn as many as 50,000 spectators in a year. The winner is called La Reine des Reines ("the queen of queens") and increases dramatically in value. At the end of the year, a grand final is held in Aproz, where the six best from seven districts do battle in six weight categories. 



Cows naturally fight to determine dominance in the herd, and this is the behaviour that is exploited in cow fighting, using cows from the local Herens breed. With their horns blunted, the fights are mainly a pushing contest. Any cow that backs down from a fight is eliminated until one cow is left standing in the ring. 

bull fight 1

I am not sure how old this tradition is and was it only formalized in the 1920s. I would appreciate any information that would clarify this issue. 



In Portugal we have the same type of bull fights called "chega de bois" or "chega de touros".




On the Portuguese web page about this tradition you can read that: "We are unable to determine the origin of the ritual of bull fights, so we are assuming it is connected to the belief that Dionysus , god of vegetation and crops, could take the physical form of the bull as a symbolic representation of masculinity and bravery". I think that now we know the origin of these bull fights and which god they are dedicated to. The god of grain, Crom Dubh, Hromi Daba, Grom Div, the thunder giant, the god of weather and therefore grain...

What is very interesting is that this is the area of Portugal where on the old maps we find the "Celtic" tribe called Seurbi. The Seurbi were an ancient Celtic tribe of Gallaecia, living in the north of modern Portugal, in the province of Minho, between the rivers Cávado and Lima (or even reaching the river Minho). Are Seurbi Serbs? Serbs are after all the people whose ancestral deity is Dabog Hromi Daba, Crom Dubh, Grom Div....

I will talk more about Crom Dubh and the bull in my next post.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Bogovo gumno - God's threshing floor

In several of my previous posts I have been talking about sun circles. I talked about their origin in my post about Henges - rondel enclosures. I talked about how they were used as solar observatories for determining the beginning of the lunisolar calendar in my post about Calendars. In my post about Stone circles on mountain Devica, I talked about the solar observatory called Bogovo Gumno from Serbia. In my post about Ognjena Marija I explained how the sun circles on Bogovo Gumno are linked to the week which starts on the 30th of July and ends on the 4th of August. This week is in Serbia called Kresovi (Fires, Lightnings). In Ireland this week is called Domhnach Crom Dubh, the week of Crom Dubh. This week centers around the 2nd of August, the last day of summer and the first day of Autumn, which is in Serbia known as the day of Thunder god Perun or the day of Triglav, Thundering Sun Ilios, and which is in Ireland known as the day of Triglav, Crom Dubh, but also as Lughnasadh, the day of Thunder god Lugh.

Bogovo Gumno sun circles are extremely important for several reasons:

  1. Bogovo Gumno sun circles could be part of an extremely old and complex astronomic and religious complex.
  2. Bogovo Gumno sun circles give us a proof that prehistoric astronomic solar observatories continued to be used millenniums after they were built by the local population for calendar calculation and religious practices related to solar cycles.
  3. Bogovo Gumno sun circles can help us understand the stone circle complex known as Grange circles from Ireland and the meaning and significance of the term Grange itself.
  4. Bogovo Gumno sun circles can help us understand the origin of Jewish and therefore Christian religion.

Being the solar observatory designed to determine and mark the summer solstice, the big stone circle in Bogovo Gumno was also dedicated to the Sun, also known in Serbia as Višnji bog (the high god), Vid. In Serbian tradition, Sun, the "Višnji Bog", the High God, is perceived as a living being, which is born every year in the winter on New Year's day, winter solstice. He then grows into a young man Jarilo on the 6th of May the day of the strongest vegetative, reproductive power of the sun. This day marks the beginning of the heating of the world, the beginning of summer. Then he becomes the powerful ruler Vid at the summer solstice, 21st of June the longest day of the year. He then becomes the terrible warrior Perun on the 2nd of August the hottest day of the year. This day marks the beginning of the cooling of the world. 

Summer solstice, the day of Svetovid, Vishnji bog 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, Perun the main god of the Serbs which is in Ireland known as Triglav, Dagda, Crom Dubh, Lugh. This is the Thundering Burning Sun Ilios, Grom Div, the Three in one, Trinity, Trimurti, Agni. He is the sun at its most powerful and terrifying, the sun that contains the cumulative power of the whole summer. 


In my post about Triglav i quoted this riddle from the book of Veles:
Jer tajna je velika, kako to Svarog biva u isto vreme i Perun i Svetovid.
 Translated into English it means: 
Because it is a great secret how come Svarog (hevenly and earthly fire) is at the same time Perun (thunder) and Svetovid (Sun).
The answer to this riddle is Triglav (three headed), trojan (triple), Hromi daba, Crom Dubh - Lugh, Grom Div, Agni.

This riddle hides in itself the same sacred knowledge contained in Vedas.

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.


So on mountain Devica we have a Sun circle used for determining the day of the summer solstice. So what? We have these types of circles all over Europe. Why is this one so significant? The answer to this quesiton is: because of its name and what its name means. The meaning of the name "Bogovo Gumno" means God's Threshing floor.There is a local legend which says that the Circle is called God's Threshing floor because in the ancient times god came from heaven with his horses and he threshed grain there.



Threshing floor is a flat, smooth and hard surface used for threshing, a process of separating the grain from the straw and husks


The process of threshing is performed generally by spreading the sheaves on the threshing floor and causing oxen, cattle or horses to tread repeatedly over them. If you look at the picture above you can see that that the animals are made to walk in a circle. In order to make the animals walk in circles, a man needs to stand in the center of the pile of grain which is being threshed and restrict and direct the movement of the oxen, cattle or horses using reins or rope. You can see this technique being used on the above picture. Alternatively a central pole can be erected, to which the animals are tied and then they are urged to walk in circles by a man walking behind them. You can see this technique being used on the below picture.



This process loosens the edible part of cereal grain from the scaly, inedible chaff that surrounds it. 



On occasions flails or sticks were used for threshing on their own or in combination with treading by oxen, cattle or horses



The stalks of hay are separated from the mixture of grains and scaly husks. Hay is put into haystacks and the grain and chaff mixture is ready for winnowing. 



The winnowing consist of throwing the mixture into the air so the wind could blow away the chaff, leaving only the good grain on the floor. 

Winnowing can be done in two ways.

By throwing the grain chaff mixture into the air using winnowing forks


By pouring the grain chaff mixture from the winnowing basket.


This is why threshing floors are usually built on wind swept places. You need good steady wind for the process of winnowing. So you build your threshing floor on the top of the hill, like this one:


Or on an open plane, like this one:


Both locations also have excellent view of the sky and are ideal for solar observation.

You can see that the above threshing floors have a wall built around it. This is done to mark the edge of the threshing circle and to prevent the grain being blown away. This creates a flat shallow pan like circular enclosure. Does this remind you of anything? A sun circle? The design and constriction is exactly the same. You erect a central pole, you tie a rope to it and then you walk around the pole while holding the end of the rope or animals walk around the pole while being tied to the rope. The produced movement describes perfect circle, the sun circle the threshing circle. Here are two depictions of this circular movement of bulls around the threshing floor from ancient Ilios (Troy). They are from an excellent book called The Swastika, by Thomas Wilson.




What does this remind you of? Swastika, the symbol of the sun, fire, lightning? The spinning of our galaxy? Swastika was the symbol of Ilios, the thundering sun god. Was Ilios the city named after Ilios the god? It is very interesting that Bull and swastika are often found together. And that both Crom Dubh in Ireland and Ilios, Perun in Serbia have a bull as their sacrificial animal.

Once the threshing floor is constructed it can be used for both threshing and as a solar observatory. What you are actually observing is the shadow made by the central stake or a standing stone. At the sunrise and sunset the shadow will be long enough to cut the circle at the oposite end. This is extremely precise way of marking the sunrise point. This stake is in Serbian known as "stožer". This is a very interesting word which means pivot, central standing pole. The sun literally pivots around it both daily and yearly in the same way bulls or horses pivot around the stožer pole during threshing. This is a very ancient word built from stoj, staj + ga, gar, ger = standing, upright + stick, pole, stake, spear = pillar. 

A hay stack, or wheat stack is called "stog" and every stog is built around the central stake, pole stožer = stog + ger, gar = stack + pole.


Here are some examples of threshing floors from Croatia. Some of them are still used today in exactly the same way they were used thousands of years ago.






Please note the central stake, pole "stožer" in the middle of the threshing floors.

This film is from 1989 from Croatia, when people still used gumno to thresh the wheat:

Have a look at these pictures from Croatia, showing people in traditional clothing reenacting the harvest procedure on gumno, threshing floor:






There are thousands of these stone circles all over the Balkans. Every village and sometimes every house had one. Sometimes they are made of stone, where stone was plentiful, but sometimes they were just a flat piece of land with a stick stack into the middle of it.

In 1950, Serbian ethnographer Nenad Janković published a book on folk astronomy called "Astronomija u predanjima, obicajima i umotvorinama Srba" (Astronomy in legends, customs and oral and written tradition of the Serbs). In it he expressed his great surprise at the ability of ordinary illiterate peasants to tell exact date and time without calendars and clocks. Professor Jankovic states that one of the main instruments used for these calendar and time calculations was the threshing floor. By looking at the shadow cast by the stožer, the central pole at sunrise, they were able to tell the date. And by looking at the shadow cast by the stožer, the central pole during the day they were able to tell the time. Threshing floor is a universal solar observatory, which at the same time can tell the date and the time. The main parts of this solar observatory were solar circle and its center, solar pole, stožer. Or if viewed from above, from heaven, the way Sun God would see it, a circle and a dot representing its center, solar pole, stožer. This is the symbol found all over the world and in Egypt it was the symbol of the sun, Ra. The below symbol is usually interpreted to mean sun disc, but I believe that it actually means sun circle, threshing floor and sun cycle observed from the threshing floor.



Greeks called the central solar pole, stožer of the sundial "gnomon" meaning the one which knows. This was because the central stake "new" the time and date.

English word hour comes from middle English houre, oure, from Anglo-Norman houre, from Old French houre, (h)ore, from Latin hōra (“hour”), from Ancient Greek ὥρα (hṓra, “any time or period, whether of the year, month, or day”). In Serbo Croatian we have a word "ura" meaning hour. I believe that the word comes from U + Ra = into + sun which is literally how the time periods are determined using sun circle. You look into the sun and the sun gives you the time and date. If we look at the ancient Greek word ora we see that it can have all these meanings: any defined period of time, season, (in plural): climate, year, time of day, hour, some specific time: right time, time for something, time of life: youth. Could the etymology of this word be Od + Ra = From + Sun, which again explains exactly where the time, date, season, year come from. From the sun. Or the etymology could be O + Ra = Circle, Cycle + Sun... I will talk about this in detail in one of my next posts.

In Serbian we have these words:

O - the shape of our mouth when it makes sound O. Letter O. The sound of surprise when we see something new, unknown, circle, surrounding.
K - towards (pointing, direction of movement and observation)
L - line
KO = K + O = towards, pointing + surrounding = who, what
OKO = circle + direction + circle = around
OKO = O + KO = circle + who, what = what we use to look around, what we use to determine who is it, eye




OKO (eye) gives us Vid (Sight) but only if Vid (Sun) gives us Videlo (light). The name of the Serbian Sun god literally means Sight. And without sight you can not gain any Veda (knowledge). I will write a separate article about Svetovid and how words vid (sight) and ved (knowledge) are embedded in Serbian language. 

KOLO = K + O + L + O = direction + circle + line + circle = spinning circle, cycle, circular dance, wheel
OKOLO = around in circles
OKNO = window, through which we see

According to ethnographic research from the Balkan mountains conducted in the 19th century, threshing floor was the place where all the village meetings, celebrations and ceremonies took place.The ethnographers say that this is because threshing floors were the only flat smooth surfaces big enough to accommodate many people. But was this the only reason? Were threshing floors places where village meetings, celebrations and ceremonies took place because they were considered to be the sacred ground, the place where god lived on earth? I believe so. 

In Montenegro young people, wearing flower wreaths on their heads,  would gather on "Vilino Gumno", Fairy threshing floor, on the Feast of Ascension to sing songs about fairies and dance a circular dance kolo, oro. This is probably a remnant of an ancient fertility right, which was originally probably held at the beginning of summer, on the day of the young Sun, Jarilo which falls on the 6th of May.

At the same time Serbian tradition says that threshing floors are a favorite meeting place of demons and witches and one of the main places that should be avoided during the night. Witches come to threshing floors to dance. This is typical reversal of positives into negative which was a favorite method of brain washing used by Christians during forced conversions. Old gods become devils and demons, and places where old gods lived on earth become gathering places of demons and witches. What is interesting is that people believe that witches only live on unused threshing floors. Once people stop visiting god's house on earth, the god leaves as well, and demons move in....

Western Serbs have also preserved this custom related to the birth of the young Sun god, the beginning of the new solar year, new year. On Christmas day, the hay that was used to decorate the houses on Christmas eve is brought out and strewn on the threshing floor. On the first of January, which is in Serbia called "mladi Božić" meaning young God, a magic ritual threshing is performed. A special votive bread is made in a shape of a circle with a hole in the middle (torus, wheel) decorated with cuts on the outer edge. The bread is called "kovrtanj", "kovrtač" meaning the one that spins, and is used for magical ceremonies linked to fertility. 



First one is performed in the cow shed where the bread is put on a bull's horn. The way it rolls off it is interpreted as an indication whether the next harvest will be good or bad. The second one is performed on the threshing floor. A father gets up before the dawn and takes all the children out onto the threshing floor. He sticks the votive solar bread onto the stožer, central pole of the threshing floor. The father holds onto the bread and all the children hold on to him and they all walk around the stožer pole performing a ritual threshing. Then they all break the votive bread, turn towards the rising sun and cross themselves greeting the young God, Sun on his birthday, the beginning of the new Solar Year. Then they pick up the hay from the threshing floor and decorate fruit trees with it performing fertility rituals. The hay is also added to chicken nests to ensure fertility. No hay is supposed be left on the threshing floor because it contains magical properties. 

In central Serbia, on the first day of threshing, the first sheaf of grain is stuck on top of the stožer, the central pole of the threshing floor, as an offering. Then the village or family leader walks across the threshing floor, east to west, north to south, creating the image of the solar cross. The same solar cross that we find on česnica (Cyrillic: чесница, Serbian pronunciation: [tʃeːsnitsa]; derived from the noun čest, meaning "share") which is the ceremonial, round loaf of bread that is an indispensable part of Christmas dinner in Serbian tradition.



So here we have a direct link between the Sun, the Threshing floor, the Solar cross and Bread.

ORO - Slavic circular solar dance. Same dance if found in other parts of the Balkans and was probably originally a ritual solar dance.


Is symbolism of ORO the same as symbolism of Stonehenge? Were the original henges threshing floors as well as a sun circles, solar observatories? 


And is the outer stone circle just a stone representation of ORO, sun dance, sun cycle, sun circle, danced as part of some Solar ceremony representing the never ending turning of the sun wheel?


Serbian peasants have preserved this link between the God (Vid), Sun, Time and Harvest expressed through the threshing floor for thousands of years. Threshing floor is the place where God (Vid), Sun shows himself to people as time and as grain.

But I don't think that it is only the threshing floor which has an astronomical symbolism. I believe that all the items involved in the process of harvest have astronomical symbolism. If threshing floor is symbolically linked to the sun, is sickle symbolically linked to the moon?

These are two neolithic sickles and one modern sickles:




Compare them with the moon calendar from Serbia. They have the same shape, the shape of a young moon.



Sickle is today called Srp in Serbian, but I believe that it was original called something like Latin sekula meaning sickle. Sekula is actually a South Slavic personal name. South Slavic languages have the largest cluster of cutting words based on the root "sec" with only Irish having a similar world cluster. 

If threshing floor is linked to the sun, if sickle is linked to the moon are grain seeds linked to the stars? This is quite possible.
In western culture the name "Milky Way" is derived from its appearance as a dim un-resolved "milky" glowing band arching across the night sky. The term is a translation of the Classical Latin via lactea, in turn derived from the Hellenistic Greekγαλαξίας, short for γαλαξίας κύκλος (pr. galaktikos kyklos, "milky circle"). The Ancient Greek γαλαξίας (galaxias), from root γαλακτ-, γάλα (milk) + -ίας (forming adjectives), is also the root of "galaxy", the name for our, and later all such, collections of stars. 
You can find an extensive list of names for milky from different languages around the world on  this page and this page (two different lists).
What is interesting is that we can see that by far most Evroasian people use Milk or cow, sheep way metaphor to describe our galaxy. All of these names for our galaxy which are linked to milk have root in nomadic herding people. The second most common metaphor used in Evroasia to describe our galaxy is birds way. This is again linked to migration. 

But in Serbo Croatian, Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Armenian, Kirgiz, Uighur, Uzbek, Chechen tradition, the metaphor for our galaxy is linked to straw, hay. What is connection between these people? 

Maybe Serbian tradition can help us understand this straw link. In Serbian tradition that our galaxy is known as "Kumova Slama" meaning "The Godfather's hay". But what if the original expression was "Gumnova Slama" meaning "Threshing floor hay"? Gumno is Serbo Croatian word. And it is only in Serbo Croatian tradition that we have the link between our galaxy, hay and threshing floor. That "Gumnova Slama" meaning "Threshing floor hay" is probably the original name for our galaxy in Serbo Croatian tradition can be seen from the name Serbs have for the constellation of Orion. In Serbian tradition he is known as Orač, meaning the plowman. In Serbian Orion = Ore + on = Plows + he = Plowman. In Serbian tradition, Kumova Slama (Gumnova Slama), threshing floor hay, is what a soul needs to cross to reach God. What do we reach when we cross threshing floor hay? We reach stožer, the central pole of the threshing floor. Is this the representation of the center of our galaxy? Is this where or what god is? Is the stožer earthly representation of the galactic pole around which galaxy rotates?

I said many times that Serbs are a mixed population of many different peoples. Each of them brought into the mix part of their own culture and language. Looking at the Serbo Croatian metaphors used to describe our galaxy, we see that we can find both "Mlečni put" meaning milky way, which comes from the Slavic tradition and "Gumnova Slama" meaning "Threshing floor hay". Whose is this second culture that we are unraveling here? Why is it that we find such a strong solar - agricultural belief system in Serbian tradition? Is this tradition found in Serbian Croatian, Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Armenian, Kirgiz, Uighur, Uzbek, Chechen people coming to us from the time of the first farmers? Did you notice that Hebrew tradition also uses Milk way metaphor characteristic of nomad herders to describe our galaxy, which is in keeping with their nomadic history? So who were the first farmers then? 

So we have gumno (threshing floor, circle, sun, bread), stožer (threshing floor pole, galactic axis), srp (crescent, moon), slama (hay, galaxy), zrno (grain, stars), all linked to a harvest, the culmination of the agricultural year.

The threshing process is the final part of the harvest. It is the moment when the months of hard work finally turn into food. This is the moment when the people will find out whether they will feast or whether they will starve through the winter. But it is not just the months of hard work that were put into producing the grain that is being threshed at the threshing floor. These months were also months of prayers to the Sun, the god of Grain.

First there were spring prayers to the young god of Grain Jarilo. These prayers were performed during plowing, sawing and sprouting season. The prayers were asking the young god of fertility to help insure that the land gets impregnated with the wheat seeds and that the wheat sprouts.

Second there were prayers to the mature god of Grain Vid. These prayers were performed during the growing of the grain, when sun is needed to grow the wheat seeds and fill them with goodness.

Third there were prayers to the old god of Thunder and Rain, Perun, Ilios. These prayers were performed during the ripening of the grain just before the harvest, when light rain is needed to ensure that the wheat is not destroyed by the drought.

But all these three gods are just three faces, three ages of one god, the god of grain, Dabog, the God that gives also known as Hromi Daba, Triglav, Thundering sun Ilios.

Just before the harvest, the final, most important prayer to the Sun, the god of weather and the good of Grain is uttered: "Please god give us enough grain so that we can survive through the winter". Then the grain is harvested and threshing starts. The threshing is the moment when the months of hard work finally turn into food. The threshing time is the time of truth. The threshing floor becomes the place where every year the relationship between the people and their god is being tested. If the harvest was bountiful, the god heard our prayers and has delivered. If the harvest was poor, the god did not hear our prayers or heard them and decided to ignore them. Why? What did we do wrong? What if we didn't do anything wrong, what if we were praying to the wrong god? 

Were threshing floors, sun circles, the first temples dedicated to the Sun, the god of grain farmers?