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Nagayka functions. Continuation...
3. Mythological function. Continuation...
3.4 Function of opening and closing the Path.
The material in this section is created mostly from the informations I have gathered in Europe and Russia. If you have information from other parts of the world, send it to me, I will be grateful. Sincerely, Andrey Karimov.
1. What's going on?
Uncommon time and condition.
The phenomenon of the festive time. A funnel of time.
The time of ceremonies, the time of holiday's has the shape of a funnel (cone). If at some point in the holiday you are (according to your feelings) at the narrow end of the funnel, then the holiday: "just started and it's over" as if very little time has passed (2-3 hours), although three days have passed. If at the moment you find yourself at the wide end of the funnel of time, then the effect is the opposite, two days, but as if half a year has passed. And then you know people like "half of life" (the effect of touches - contacts), but you met many of them yesterday.
Such a time is paradoxical and capable of inversion, as soon as you had a sense of transience, how everything has instantly changed, and you feel the "width and length" of what is happening.
You can also travel in your mind. Therefore, for mental stability during the holiday, it was recommended to adhere ritual norms of behavior. For example: it was necessary to keep a fair distance from others, be involved in the process. Sad people were asked about the reason for their condition, if it wasn't found, they could shake them or slap them (at gatherings).
Ritual laughter (Christmas, Carnival) was also a protection against forces from the other world passing into the funnel of time.
Context with opening, closing paths.
Firstly. The funnel phenomenon extended tight places in the human psyche, making the impossible possible, the invisible clear, bulky, and visible. The opposite effect (constriction, "microscope") is the concentration of blurred events in a person's life on the main, the meaning of life.
Secondly. The past, present, and future could unify in a moment of time and space. This moment gave birth to honesty, the "moment of truth." Thanks to this, a human was able to let go of old sins, hopes, pains, contacts. By letting go - you gain, and by holding - you lose, that is the rule.
Thirdly. Closeness to the other world. Realities of death. Deterioration of border perceptions stops making decisions in time, here and now. Forgive and love, enjoy and sob. After all, it happens that in the routine of being, people forget the fragility of being, as if they were immortal, and saving their life for the other times.
This way, some paths were closed and the others were opening.
Blow by nagayka as an opening, outfight. Thanks to its sharpness and slap, the blow with a nagayka (whip) mystically opened the portals of time and space and also closed them restricting the passage of shadow forces.
Blow as expenses, investments, gifts to transition.
It's paid for each level. Success is valued. Those who are afraid to invest in their mission (life), do not reach new heights and widths, will remain at the same level. A blow with a nagayka, especially with a long whip, requires deposits, especially to freedom of movement and acceleration. Low mass and high acceleration (impulse) contribute to the power of the blow (lashing). Therefore, these expenditures of power and energy are as an investment, as a sign of gratitude for the transition to another world, as an contribution. The same goes for the salute and gunfire at the wedding.
After death of the esteemed person is again a salute, because for the transfer of such a great soul to another world it is necessary to invest (funeral) . And the people who accompany him also pay the relevant expenses - investments.
Circle and cross with nagayka (whip). The paradox of the cross.
Circle. Magical activities with a nagayka (whip) in a circle, around yourself, meant engaging the visible world (to the horizon) to help yourself. Standing in a circle drawn on the ground meant readiness for transformation, for gaining new strength. Unprepared for such changes and gifts, could be cooked (uvariť: var - war inside the soul), an example is a fairy tale about a horse - a humpback, in which a king unprepared for changes was cooked in the cauldron. A contour circle is a protective place and at the same time a cover, a portal, a starting point, an opening of the transition. The circle is the sun, the cross is the earth, together (the cross in the circle) is the whole world.
The cross. Standing on the cross is associated with the magic of the crossroads as a place, where power converges and confuses. Read about it in the part "Crossroads Magic".
The sketch of the cross with a whip meant the spell of various forces, moreover the readiness of the spellcaster, "I am here", "I am ready", the determination to accept and change Destiny.
With the cross, they blocked the unclean force from entering and acting, they removed activated curses. Furmans and ploughmen in the Czech Republic and Poland drew a cross or three crosses in front of horses with a whip (nagayka) to move them out of place if they thought the horses were cursed. They could also depict the cross by whipping a nagayka (whip) in the air. The magical activity in these cases was also: to slam the whip (handle of the nagayka, whip) on the cart three times.
Nagayka could be also used for reverse magical activities. Whip, for example, could send damage (Hanahs, Czech Republic). If the shepherd's herd was scattered and he suspected the other shepherd - an "intruder", standing at the intersection of three borders (see more "Crossroad Magic"), he whipped the cloak with his whip, punishing the enemy. Or he tried to steal his whip, whipped it three times, gathered the scattered herd.
The meaning of the cross is paradoxical, the paths to it converge and diverge. The cross attracts and repulses to itself. In this sense, the sign of the cross is reconciliation and discrepancy at the same time.
Farewell and meeting. Accept and release. Waving a whip, a scarf.
The vertical movement of the nagayka (whip) from top to the bottom and from yourself meant the releasing of relationships, a gentle farewell ("with God"). Waving to the sides (especially below above the ground) as the opening of the path (meeting), purging the path for the transition and the long-awaited meeting. Compare this to the red carpet ritual they spread in front of important people. Even in culture, women still wave a scarf at a farewelling and a meeting. Correct waving at the farewell is from top to bottom and at the meeting from left to right. At the same time, the ritual words "Good riddance!", "walk with God" and so on.
The ritual of farewelling and meeting is very important for mental and physical health. A person with whom they have not said goodbye remains as if tied up, bound by relationships, this connection can be the cause of work-related injuries, bad feelings, in some cases even a stroke and a heart attack.
Meeting without removing obstacles (waving to the sides) prepares "surprises" in the shadow of the soul: ridicule, sarcasm, prejudice. Openness is needed in love and cooperation despite the possibility of getting a blow in response. Therefore, it is necessary to purge, clear the path for the meeting. We wave, we clear the path, we welcome heartily. In some cases, also nagaykas were spiritually purged, ritually sanctified before the usage. The Slovaks from Horehronie composed whips in the church (in front of the altar) and the priest blessed them.
2. Where is it happening? Places:
Mountains. The highest place. Closeness to heaven, God. Ceremonies were held in the mountains dedicated to the higher forces, the Heavenly World. Whoever climbs a mountain has the sky at his fingertips. Songs, chants, whiplashes can be heard better from the mountain all around. In the cultures of the mountain, a leader, commander appeared. Climbing the hill as an increase of status gave to his words the power of a manifesto. Many ancient temples and modern churches also stand at dominant heights.
The spelling with a whip on a mountain is uncommon, it means a statement about the high potential of a person. The path he is asking for has a high mission. For example, this was claimed by some heroes for the freedom of the people. In this sense, such blows are a call to God for help, a command to divine justice. When the hero died, another one took his place and again motivated people by whiplashes. This is shown, for example, in the final scene of the Slovak film "Pacho, hybský zbojník" (1975).
Bridge - transition. The bridge is a narrow place where the forces of one world converge and pass into another world. Let's remember the bridge over the great river, the Danube, on one side is Buda on the other is Pest, together the city Budapest. Let's remember the bridge over the fairytale river Smorodina (Death). The bridge over it is a viburnum bridge, which means that it is intended for the hero-fiance because viburnum is a symbol of a girl's beauty, a symbol of a wedding. On the fairytale bridge, the heroes meet a multi-headed snake (dragon). The bridge on the path is a narrow place, so it is important. On the bridge, destiny can be decided.
Magical activities with nagayka (whip) had a special might at the crossroads, due to the unusual importance of the crossroads.
In the superstitions of the old Slavs, as well as many European nations, the crossroad was as a place of a curse as well as a place of cure. It represented the boundary of the interaction of two worlds - the living and the dead, the area of their "friction". The crossroad was a zone of energy release, a place of power.
Because it was the center of the universe and outlined the surroundings of the living world, it also represented the pole of death, and thus it was a "cursed place." The crossroad as a center of "impure force" scared and at the same time attracted a man with its ability to establish direct contacts with the other world, and was considered as an ideal place to perform magical ceremonies.
The paradox of a crossroad is quite understandable. This is caused by cutting the paths of "life" and "death" - a cut-off, with a special synergistic effect. The closer Death is, the more Living is wanted.
The poles change at the crossroad. The time of performing the necessary ritual depends on this. During the day, the crossroad works as an epic unification, the union of the earth and the sun, and works for a creation. At night, it is controlled by dark forces and works for disagreement.
If we talk about the spatial paradox of the crossroad, then it is the place where the paths are converged, and the place where they are diverged "in all four directions."
Different crossroads have different power and meanings, for example, crossroads in the middle of the village are more suitable for the magic to expand own mission, strengthen authority, gain a new socially significant position (chief, mayor of the village). Return from foreign regions to the birth house, forgiveness, reconciliation (The Parable of "the Prodigal Son").
The crossroad outside the outer parts of the village has the opposite meaning, it is a place to farewell to home, before entlist, recruitment, escaping from a weak marriage, wandering the world (The Parable of "the Prodigal Son").
In Greek mythology, the goddess of crossroads was considered Hecate -the goddess of night phantoms and magic. They built temples for her at the crossroads. You can find more information about Hecate below.
Crossroads are scary and concurrently, they carry the possibility of a new one. This new one attracts the possibility of recovery and concurrently threatens our usual stability. The crossroad pushes us away and pulls us, pressing on to return where the new plots of Destiny await us.
Personal observation. The crossroad in a person is the intersection of the timeline past - present - future, with the line of soul phenomena, child - adult - parent. In the middle is the adult (soul mediator) and the presence (here and now). Just this pair (center), uniting time and the phenomena of the soul, is able to make a person happy.
3. When will this happen?
The usage of nagayka (whip) for ceremonial and ritual purposes of transition from one status to another one is described during the year-round holidays (Christmas, New Year, Carnival, Whit Sunday, Midsummer) in family household rituals (wedding, funeral, recruitment).
Occasionally, if a nagayka was needed in a ritual, they could use it except of the ceremony time, but then they tried to harmonize the ritual time with the phases of the moon. If the waxing gibbous moon is, the rituals of acceptance (entry) took place, and if the Waning Crescent is, the rituals of release (ascent) took place.
I will give some examples in ethnography.
Nagajka - an attribute of the disguised
In the Russian province of Yaroslavl, during the "Maslenitsa burial", a guy disguised in rags carried a large whip smeared with soot. In the province of Tambov after the day of The Holy Spirit (the day after The Whit Sunday holiday) young men disguised in sheets hid in rye portraying the nymphs; they whipped and caught girls and women, trying to hit them with whips. The women asked them, "Nymphs, what about flax?" The disguised guys showed the length of the whip, which meant: the flax would be just as tall.
The horsemen treated the whips particularly respectfully: in Pomerania, Poland, they collected ribs for the whips the whole year, and on the New Year they "dismissed" the old year by slapping with beautifully decorated whips.
This evening they usually carol and its called colinda in Romanian. Young people walk into the houses, congratulate the hosts with the holidays, and wish them happiness and health. All wishes are accompanied by cheerful sounds and whipping. They try to visit every house.
In Czech, after the winter day of St. Nicholas, the Silesian guys started secretly prepare whips "to glorify Jesus worthily": immediately after Christmas Eve‘s dinner, they gathered in the center of the village and "slapped", "whipped", "shot" with them. On the Moravian-Slovak border and in the southern parts of Slovakia, a shepherd (or a group of shepherds) walked around the houses, whipped his whip, played on the French horn and collected presents.
Midsummer. In the Gomel region, the guys swung girls in their arms over the Kupala fire to protect them from witchcraft. The guys with torches or fire marks chased girls, scared them, or pressed on them to jump through fire; they dropped burning barrels and wheels from hills. These activities were accompanied by loud screams, whipping the whips on the ground, shooting with homemade weapons.
Wedding. In many Slavic regions, especially in the east, nagayka (whip) was used in the wedding ceremony. At the wedding in Pskov, the groomsman brought the bride to the fiance's house and gave her the end of the whip. In the province of Minsk, he gave gifts to newlywed puting them on a whip. In the north of Russia, the groomsman beat the newlyweds with a whip on the marriage bed, the Belarusians - while throwing porridge at the oven. The Belarusians of Velizsky province, accompanying the fiance to the bride, they whipped his mother; sometimes the fiancé whipped the guests who were kissing the bride. (in this section ethnography based on materials: A. A. Plotnikova "torturing instruments of the inquisition").
4. Patrons of transition. I will intentionally limit the description of the patrons of the transition to two people, the Slavic Baba Yaga and the ancient Greek chthonic goddess Hecate. Describing many more is worth writing a book, it's not my task today.
Baba - Yaga is a guardian at the crossroad of worlds. Baba Yaga is a guide from one world to another one. She prepares the hero for passing tests, initiation. She leads people ready for tests to the forest (space of self-determination).
She scares children (people) not ready to initiation because everything has its own time. This is how she determines boundaries for immature people. When the time comes, she "eats" children, their illusions, helps to let go of the child's narcissistic ego (fight with Snake Gorynytch).
Eating, consuming children, is like a metaphor for initiation. After passing the exams, it is not the children who return, but the young people ready to make a family and fulfill their mission. Ready to take responsibility, able to pull (endurance of effort), and able to "endure a blow".
Baba Yaga (YOGA). Baba in sanskrit means teacher, Yoga - the way inside, to another world, the inner world. Baba-Yaga is a teacher of the inner path, the soul-known. GOY comes to her, a hero who has gone through an outer path (power, tenacity, will), she prepares him for work with himself, immersing to his inner world (YOG). The YOG reading reverse is GOY and it has an opposite meaning.
Baba Yaga steams the hero in the sauna, harmonizes, talks, asks, feeds, after all, it‘s a psychotherapy.
The Baba Yaga‘s broom can be interpreted as a nagayka. The broom sweeps and with this activity, it influences the opening and closing of the path. It also has a magic skein showing the path, that leads the hero as a navigator to the desired point. To monitor and follow the process of the hero's transformation, Baba Yaga has her magical equipment: a "silver plate and a nalivnoje apple."
The rotating Baba Yaga‘s cottage is like a transition between the regular world and the magical world, the oven as a symbol of the mother's womb has the role of rebirth (in a different world).
Hecate, the goddess with nagayka.
Hecate was worshiped as the goddess of natural forces and cycles of rebirth.
The Greeks worshiped her as the goddess of paths, hunting, and the moonlight. Hecate was the patron of shepherds, she gave people wisdom and helped with decisions.
Hecate - goddess of the moon, underground kingdom, crossroads, travel, childbirth, witchcraft, hunting, shepherds, social gatherings.
Hecate - the beauty was initially portrayed mostly positively and was the protector of children and the home fireplace. She was believed to be cutting the baby's umbilical cord and so she closes the gates of "that" world behind him/her.
Constantly, in her depiction, the process of demonization took place, as with every goddess of life - death - rebirth.
Thus, for example, a similar process took place in the Slavs with the chthonic goddess Morena (also Morana, Mrena, Kostroma, Maslenitsa).
Hecate is originally the goddess of the cycle, she is neutral, she is responsible for natural cycles. And in the cycles, there is winter (death) and spring (rebirth) and summer (blooming) and autumn (harvest). It is difficult for a child's mind to accept that everything has its time, that winter (death) exists. However, if there is no winter, summer can be cold and too rainy (folk proverb).
The same what happened with the image of Hecate, also happened to the attitude towards women in society. For centuries, the women‘s "winter" cycle was judged unclean, and women were ashamed and restricted. Women were required to always be ready to bloom and give birth.
At the level of the archetype, the women‘s "winter" cycle tramsformed into the "shadow" of the subconscious, and the coldness and the unhappiness comes from there (the dark side of motherhood; "inner fascism"; children growing up without love; adults "unable to stand up" themselves).
In late antiquity, Hecate gained an ominous significance. She was worshiped as the goddess of crossroads, living in the world of the dead, and as a leader of nightmares.
She is a triple goddess - often depicted as three identical figures with their backs to each other. This is where the fairytale crossroad of three journeys - paths comes from.
The triple aspects of Hecate are:
- three journeys - paths
- past, present, and future
- phases of the moon
- stages of female maturity (virgin - mother – old woman).
Nagayka (whip) - opening and closing roads, suppressing passions, managing your own chthonic nature (including dark motherhood), managing women's cycles and time.
The key - she opens boundaries and secret knowledge.
Torch - lighting the way for walking, searching.
Dagger - revenge and retaliation, justice of Universe.
Hecate is accompanied by dogs (animals of the underground world, hunting, "revenge") and Snakes (female principle, wisdom).
Initially, as a goddess of the world order, Hecate was a punishing goddess, and this attribute remained to her. She can send madness. However, she is fair and helps those who are ready to accept help, and she does not help those who are not ready (just like Baba Yaga).
Interesting fact. There is a version that the Statue of Liberty carries the stolen identity of Hecate. And there is a similarity, they both have a crown of thorns and they hold a torch in their outstretched hand.
To be continued…
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