Jurata & Castitis

The story i have discovered in my last holiday break in Poland, it is a love story …

Many centuries ago, on the bottom of the  Baltic sea ,  their underwater kingdom has a queen o sea called Jurata. Her beautiful and shrouded in a water veil  palace was full of amber glow. Probably situated on today Jastarnia is.

And so it was that a  young fisherman called Castitis, every single morning, very early mornig was getting out for fishing, flowing his boat on blue and salty water of Baltic. He did not know that this it may not be liked by the queen of the sea. Jurata was known and respected throughout the underwater world, she was gracious and fair queen, she was taking care of all the sea creatures each of them even the smallest fish. It did not take so much time to elapse when the fish concerned, reported their queen about  daily expeditions of Castitis . Jurata finding that she got very angry, with asking her self how anyone is dare to violate the peace of her sea. Irritated by young fisherman Jurata decide to avange caught by him fish. She has called the most beautiful, seductive water nymphs  and goddesses with amazingly melodious voice and together with them she prepared trap for Castitis. And so the choir of enchanting nymphs together with Jurata, reached the place where the fisherman used to daily throw his fishing net. When they saw a Castitis coming up they began to seduce him with their beautiful, sleepy voices, singing louder and louder their magic melancholy song. Castitis was listening melodic sounds that he never listen before. Suddenly from the water came out lady with a unique and unprecedented beauty. She was looking at him with the angry eyes, her eyes were in color of the sea, dressed in green marine plants, and she shimmered with emeralds and ambers. Never before fisherman didn’t see anyone as unusual as that lady. Initially with great anger watched the fisherman , she wanted to restrain him and kill him. However, in the morning sun when she saw his face ( casitis was considered the most handsome boy in the whole village) immediately she fell in love with him . She promised to save his life only if he agree to share his life with her. And so it happened, the queen every evening flowed out from her palace to meet with young boy Castitis. Weeks , months, were passing by and the couple was very happy and in love. News about this love reached the Perkun – vengeful god of fire and thunder. Envious  Perkun decided to destroy the love of youth and he hurled the tunder in the water of Baltic. Fire had destroyed the amber palace and the queen Jurata. Regards Castitis, Perkun chain the boy to underwater rock that he could never see land again. From the moment a poor fisherman cry to his beloved Jurata. And when the heavy clouds hover over the Baltic Sea and in its water wind blows, we can hear kind of sobs sounding from the bottom of the sea. Maybe it is Castitis who weeps for his beloved, and when the tretful sea throws pieces of amber may be this are pieces from queenJurata’s amber palace….

I’ve made some sketches as an initial idea of pattern.

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Jastarnia

In april i had a chance to go throug the Kashubian land , exactly through the peninsula called ‘Hel’. In reality the name has nothing common with english meaning of the word hell. I went there with the visit, actually with the curiosity of theirs miths and stories as each town and piece of land has their own history. That was my second time in that part of Poland and this time i decide to stop in the town called Jastarnia. Travel by train trough Hel peninsula it is unusual experience ,going through the forest  sometimes we can see the land that is so thin that from the train we can see beach and the baltic sea from the left and the right side of the train. It seems like someone blowe stripe of sand that has end in the the middle of the baltic sea.

From the bird perspective it looks like that.

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My stop was in the town Jastarnia (kaszb. Jastarniô) what means ‘soemthing with lights’ from kashubian language jastra means easter.

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I had a walk in the area and I have end up in the clean white sandy beach, with a warm wind in my face with the smell of pine trees. I ‘ve heart a lot about this place but i wanted to know the stories about this land from their local people. I’ve manage to find fishing village and get some information from their fishermen. Thank s to them i discover really nice scenario for my pattern and few important information about the region that are included in that story. Interesting thing of that visit is that the story i found it is realted to my previous research about slavic gods. It seems like the destiny brougth me to that place…?!

I wanted to create something that discribe delicate art, decoration , life and nature among where kashubian people lives.

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Perun , Perkun – Slavic god.

Perun also Perkun one of the main Slavic deities.

The nature of Perun

In the 6th century, the Greek historian Procopius wrote of Perun:

He is the god who wields the thunderbolt, and they, the Slavs, recognise him as the sole lord of the universe.

Perun’s name means thunder and lightning bolt in the various Slavic languages. His name originates in the very earliest times of the Aryan race. It has the same root as Parjanya, which is one of the names of Indra, the Hindu god of thunder and war. Other variants of his name in Slavic languages are Piorun, Perunu, Pyerun, Peron, Perin and Parom.The Lithuanians worshipped him by the Finno-Ugric name of Perkaunas. Like Indra, Perun is god of thunder and war.

It is interesting to note that the Baltic Slavs saw Thursday as being Perun’s day and called it Perendan. This parallels the Norse dedication of the same day to their thunder god, Thor, which of course is seen also in the English name: Thursday (= Thor’s day).

Given Perun’s pre-eminence among the Slavic deities, it is important to understand, though, that he has two aspects similarly to the Hindu god Shiva Nataraj, who dances the universe into destruction, so as to dance it back, renewed, into new life.

Perun is not just an angry god of storms and war, hurling destructive lightning bolts from the sky and leading Slav hordes into bloody battle. In his association with rain and the electrical energy of lighting, Perun was also worshipped by the old Slavs as a creator god of life and fertility.

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The oak god

Perun is associated with the oak, a tree that is a universal symbol of strength. The Serbs use the word “grm” for one variety of oak (nb, if you’re wondering how to pronounce this word, the r is used as a vowel and rolled very strongly: grrrrr-m). The same root is used in the verb “grmeti”,” grzmieć” to thunder.

There are no records of any temples dedicated to Perun. Given his association with the oak, it is quite likely he was frequently worshipped in oak groves. Oaks struck by lightning were particularly venerated as being linked with Perun.

To my mind’s eye, this oak tree shown below, which has been blasted by lightning, could almost be a statue of Perun.

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Perun and goddesses of the Slavs

Perun is sometimes associated with Zorya, goddess of the dawn. His influence on her is another sign of his warlike nature. Zorya is usually portrayed as a gentle girl, who opens the gates of the palace when the Sun rides out in the morning. In association with Perun, she transforms into a warrior maiden and protector of warriors.

Mater Sva is described in various sources as Perun’s mother, wife or messenger. Her name translates directly as Mother of All, but some also call her Mater Slava (Mother of Glory) or Ptica od Sunca (Bird of the Sun). The ancient Slavs saw her as encouraging warriors, calling them to battle, singing of their deeds and helping them by warning them of the enemy’s approach and giving strategic advice. When a warrior died in battle, she appeared as a Valkyrie-like figure to carry him off to eternal bliss in Perun’s realm.

In other stories, Perun’s wife is Diva-Dodola, the rain goddess. One story tells of how Veles, god of cattle, magic and the underworld, seduced Dodola during the celebrations of her marriage with Perun. Another speaks of Veles stealing Dodola and Perun’s people and cattle. In both cases, Perun fought and defeated Veles.

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“The Watering of Dodola” or “Peperuda” is a Balkan ritual in which a young girl was ccovered with leaves and branches and had water poured over her as a “sacrifice” for Perun.

Fights with serpents

The conflict between Perun and Veles is a theme that is often repeated and is used in pictures and statues. Often these depict Veles as a serpent, as can be seen in the image by Max Presnyakov above, where Perun is treading on the serpent.

Another story has Perun being abducted and placed into a deathly sleep by another chthonic serpent, the Skiper. He is freed by Mater Sva, who brings him the water of life, and he goes on ultimately to defeat the Skiper after facing a series of trials. A third story has him defeating a 3-headed serpent that rose out of the Black Sea and abducted Diva-Dodola, while Perun was asking her father for her hand in marriage.

The image of a god or hero fighting a serpent (or dragon) is found in many mythologies and legends. It is often considered to represent the battle against the force of pure chaos. There is a parallel here between Perun and Set (Sutek), the Ancient Egyptian god of desert storms and destruction. Although later demonised as the killer of Osiris, in earlier times Set was often portrayed as the one who vanquished the Apep serpent, symbol of total chaos. Here, therefore, in the case both of Set and of Perun, we see a “destroyer” god playing a vital part in saving creation from falling victim to chaos.

Oak – research II

Theme of acorns and oak twigs found in the royal coats of arms and chivalry from Middle Ages. Today oaks are representing many european city shields.

Today shields of some towns in Poland.

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oak leaves on the polish coin from 1923.

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Today shields of some places in Germany.

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Vizcaya Symbol of one of the Basque province , Spain.

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coat of arms of Estonia.

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coat of arms of Belgrad, capital of Serbia.

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