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 probably from O + Ra + O = circle + sun + circle.

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?


  1. There are many connections between the Irish and the Serbs, not just linguistically. The descendants of the Nemanjic dynasty are also blood relations of the Gonzaga dynasty. Their descent is confirmed as being descendants of the Irish Kings, from Heremon, son of Milesius of Spain. There is an unbroken line connecting them to 2 lines of the Royal House of David, one of them being via Zerrubabel. So you see there is a blood line descent through the kingly dynasties.

    1. I would be very careful when it comes to making any biblical connections. Number one we have no idea if David actually existed. I believe he did but we have no proof. And even more importantly we have no Idea if he was a Hebrew. I don't think he was as his name is not Semitic, Afroasian. I believe that he was a priest of a solar cult, who used a threshing floor as a solar observatory to see the sun's motion. To see is Da Vid in Serbian and in many other Evroasian languages. As for Irish histories, they are like all the other histories just stories, not truths. You need to take every one of them with a big grain of salt. Particularly biographies and genealogies as everyone always wants to look more important than they really are...:)

  2. Glad to have found this blog. This is fascinating reading!

    Yes, there is a connection to the threshing floor where, according to 2 Samuel 24, David offered acceptable burnt offering. More significant, I think, is the fact that the threshing floor had belonged to Araunah, the Jebusite. The Jebusites are an extant people known as Ijebu. They live in Nigeria which was the home also of the Aro. The clue to understanding Genesis 6 is the word gibbor-iym (powerful ones). This passage is speaking about ancient rulers who were regarded as the "sons of the gods" or deified kings (elohiym). The gibbor-iym, also designated elohiym (deified rulers), comprise the divine council spoken of in Genesis. This is a common theme in Africa, especially among the Buganda of Uganda, the Yoruba, the ancient Kushites and the ancient Egyptians. The idea spread across the ancient Afro-Asiatic Dominion.

    Anak's father was Arba. Hebron (where Sarah lived) was called Kiriath-Arba. This suggests that Anak and Arba belonged to a larger group: the Ar clans. They were rulers and royal scribes. Dr. Catherine Acholonu connects the Ar of Canaan to the Aro of Nigeria. She writes, "In Nigeria the caste under reference is the Ar/Aro caste of Igbo Eri priest-kings, who were highly militarized in their philosophy."

    Genesis 10 speaks of the Ar who controlled the Red Sea and the Mediterranean kingdoms of Tyre and Arvad. This appears to be a 3-clan confederation, consisting of Ar, Arvd and Arkt. The last two clans are called “Arvadites” and “Arkites” in Genesis 10:15-18.

  3. Alice, the problem with this African theory is that none of the Iconography or language we are talking about here is found below the mediteranean region. The meaning of all the key words comes from Evroasia languages not Afroasiatic languages. I believe that when people create gods they give them names which describe their role and atribute in the language of the people who created the gods. Once religion gest exported or adopted by foreign speaking population, the meaning of the god's name gets obscured and lost. Which opens a great question: was there at some stage a population change in mediteranean, where people who invented the gods and gave them names were replaced by population which did not understand the true meaning of the names of gods they worshiped? By the way Serbs and other Slavs believe that they descended from gods. Serbs believe that Dabog is their Djed, grandfather...What does Djed mean in Egyptian?

  4. you will never reveal the mystery of the past, until you turn the sun INTO THE MOON. The original 'swastika' is the stars of the Big Dipper (four of them) that move around the pole star.

  5. Hi, I'm a scholar in comparative linguistics from Italy. I'm preparing a study on the Milky Way as 'straw way' in ancient cultures (includic Ethiopic and Berberian). I find your blog really interesting! RR

  6. 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.

    Can we have the text of these prayers?

  7. Peasants continuously pray to god for their harvest. We know that from the ethnographic evidence collected throughout the world. The god's names change but the relationship between the the god and the peasants doesn't. Today it is the prayer is "Dear god give us rain or sun or what ever". In the past when people prayed to Svetovid the wording of these prayers was probably different, but their message was much the same...

    1. Some of these ancient prayers have been preserved in the shape of ceremonial songs which are sang during various various cultic ceremonies related to agricultural magic. You can find a very good collection of Serbian ceremonial songs here (In Serbian Cyrilic)


  8. How old is the archaeological site?

    1. Unfortunately no one knows. There has never been any archaeological investigation performed on the site...