What was symbolized by water for our ancestors? Part 1
Along with fire, water takes the key place in beliefs of most of the people. In one cultures the special part is assigned to the elements, including fire and water, at early stages, later giving way to more developed beliefs. At other people worship of water nearly in pure form remains also at very high levels of development of culture.
It seems that it depends not so much on social and cultural “advancement“ of these or those people or an ethnic group, how many on the importance of object of worship in its everyday life.
For our ancestors value of water was extremely big. And it were not empty superstitions, more precisely, not from scratch they arose. The farmer`s life directly depends on water, in particular waters heavenly. From timeliness of rainfall the harvest, and depends on a harvest - life. Therefore prayers for a rain took so important place in a stump of ancient Slavs.
It is important to note that object of worship was as water terrestrial - the rivers, lakes, streams (and any ancient settlement is located near a water source), and water heavenly and underground, being to people on favor of gods from the top and lower tiers of the world. In the top tier of the universe it is abysses heavenly (reserves of rain water), lower than the level terrestrial go on - underground waters. In underground - Nizhny Novgorod - the world there lives his lord, the Pangolin. There the sun falls for the night and, proputeshestvovav on waters of Nizhny Novgorod of the world from the West on the East, ascends in the morning.
By the way, the sky in representations of Slavs also had several levels which were represented on charms. These charms and their derivatives in this or that look reached our time. First of all, it is the ornamental embroidery and a carving decorating utensils and the dwelling. Water signs often join in ornaments, in charms and ancient calendars. However, it concerns not only to Slavs. All the known Greek meander symbolizes including water. The image of water in the form of wavy (“zigzagovy“) or twisted lines over and under a terrestrial tverdyyu is characteristic of Slavs. The rain could be also represented in the form of a pattern from drops.
With the purpose to attract water on fields or, on the contrary, to save a harvest from an untimely rain - the word, to affect weather - were used primitive, in our opinion, but receptions, quite logical from the point of view of people of that era. Besides forms of religious worship habitual to our contemporaries, such as a prayer and sacrifice (a gift to a deity), carriers of archaic cultures resorted to archaic - magic - to means. The numerous manipulations connected with terrestrial water with reservoirs and sources belonged to their number.
How to make a sacrifice to heavenly waters, not quite clear, but ways of a gift to spirits, are obvious to sources of terrestrial water. Or near them made to sources a sacrifice and carried out prayers. Coming into contact with spirits of terrestrial reservoirs, people tried to influence thus and water heavenly. Certainly, none of us had an opportunity to ask far ancestors on what they meant, sacrificing to a spring chicken or a goat. However the assumption that ancestors drew this analogy, traced direct interrelation between terrestrial and heavenly water, it is represented convincing.
Also a human sacrifice was made to gods. Modern adherents of Slavic beliefs and Russophiles - nationalists often challenge it, claiming that we had no human sacrifices. Unfortunately for those whose national pride it for some reason touches, the science approves the return! Direct documentary evidences are excessively poor, but indirect are too authentic that from them it was possible to wave away. (However whether it is necessary to wave away from the truth? Rhetorical question!) Behind prescription of years, even the ethnography and folklore find generally hints, the remote traces of the ritualism connected with human sacrifices.
Nevertheless such certificates exist, and their true meaning is traced very distinctly. It would be rather interesting to consider this ambiguous subject in one of the subsequent articles.