German-Russian Myths: About the supernatural, superstitions, witches, merlins, ghosts, fairies, and other phenomena.....
Last Updated: 17 Feb 2005
No one knows when it was when mankind came up with the idea that there were fairies with wings or gods in the heavens that controlled everything and everyone in our universe. We do know that through the evolution of mankind there has been an evolution in our spiritual beliefs.
Wouldn't it be interesting to step back into time and hear the first tale a person uttered which explained the thunder and lightning as it danced in the night sky.
Who was it who first came up with the idea of gods? Did the idea just pop suddenly into a person's thoughts? Or did they appear in a person's dreams? Perhaps there was a person who had a wild imagination.... We will never know the answer. We do know the creation of gods did occur. Then along came a person who discovered people like to hear stories filled with the gods who in turned created the sun, moon, stars, earth, trees and all living things. A lot of people were more than happy to repeat these innocent tales meant for entertainment.
The Slavic god Boreas blowing forth the North Winds.
When did the imaginary tales take up a lives of their own and become something our ancestors began to believe as being very real? Those of us with our own wild imagination can conjure all kinds of theories but no one will ever know. What we do know is, people began to believe in their gods and various beliefs evolved among the early people before people knew how to communicate without speaking. In other words the first story told wasn't chiseled into rock and left in a cave for us to find. Cave paintings and marks left in rocks came after the majority of people believed the world was ruled by gods.
Man's evolution changed when a "thinker" realized he could control the stronger "bullies" in a variety of ways. It was probably a "thinker" who realized he could use the fears of the "bullies" to his own advantage. One of those "thinker" connected himself to the spirit world. It was these "thinkers" who would evolve and became known as witch doctors, shamans, merlins and priests. Some of these "spiritual thinkers" would evolved into men who controlled a tribe of people and later entire countries.
Each religious group has roots into our ancestors "spirit world".
This article is not about the religions of the world. It is about my Germanic ancestors spiritual beliefs as they walked out of the mist of the area which the Romans would call Germanius.
I assume, a few of my ancestors were from the people known as "Unmfield" who had already taken up the label of being "hard workers". They had organized farming, lived in log cabins, boiled their meat in huge cauldrons, and drank from bronze cups a brew from mead [beer]. Their clothes were woven with bright colors and held in place with brooches and wore metal bracelets and necklaces. And, they often found a reason for feasting or fighting. They had gained the knowledge of how to make casts in bronze of larger things than bracelets and necklaces. They knew how to make cast-bronze wagons wheels and swords with intricate decorated handles, armour and shields. No one is sure their language or why they placed their cremated dead in pottery urns before they buried them in cemeteries. We do know they lived from about 1300 B.C. to 800 B.C..
In 1991 my husband and I went to the Deutsches Museumin Munich, Germany.Above are not the urns of the Unmfield, however, they are ancient clay pots which have been made the same for more than two thousand years.
About 800 B.C.something or someone caused a change. A group of people known as Keltic evolved within the "Unmfield" or someone who entered the community brought in new ideas.
The Keltics carried with them many of the same characteristics of their "Unmfield" forefathers such as their inventive skills, the belief in hard work and love of feasting and the ability to be successful in wars. The Keltics became the dominate people.
The Kelts language, religion and social structure became the first civilization north of the Swiss Alps which spread to most of the area of [temperate] Europe [Hungary, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Belgium, Ireland and Britain]. With this enormous domain in hand, they became skilled in the mining of iron....
The Greeks recognized the"Keltoi".
The Romans called the Celts of Gaul [France] "Galli" but Julius Caesar was aware that the "Galli" were "Keltae".
It is not the political history this article is presenting. However, it has always been true that politics and religion can not be understood if one or the other is omitted from the discussion.
By the 5th to the 3rd century B.C. the Kelts domain stretched from Spain to the North Sea, from Turkey and the Russian border westward to Britain and Ireland.
390 B.C. the Kelts sacked Rome, lived there for almost a year and controlled it for the following 40 years.
279 B.C. the Kelts conquered Greece and held control for the next 50 years.
278 B.C. the Kelts invaded Turkey.... Five centuries later the area known as Galatia spoke the Keltic "dialect".
A conquering people usually have a beginning to their rise in power and an end to being dominate over others.... The Kelts came to their end in 1 B.C.. The Roman military machine marched into the Keltic world from the south, from the north came the Germanic tribes, and, from the east came the Dacians. All these new influences made an impact on the Kelts, including their belief of the "spirit world".
Before our Keltic ancestors were defeated by the Romans and absorbed by the Germanic tribes, let's discuss for a few minutes the Keltic beliefs in the spirit world which included: supernatural, superstitions, witches, ghosts and fairies.
In the Keltic religion their was the belief there was "life after death". One can see this in the burial of their dead. The ordinary folk were buried with pottery [no longer cremated and placed in pottery]. The wealthy folks were placed in tombs with items meant for the wealthy. This included more than gold and amber. They were provided with beef, pork, wine. The deceased may need it for their journey to their new life. Since the wealthy could not be expected to walk, they were provided with wagons and equipment for horses.... In many cultures, horses were , also, buried, but the Keltic believed the spirit world world provided the horses.
The Keltics carved into a chalk hillside at Uffington, England a horse that is 350 feet long. It is thought to represent the "horse goddess". People today call these gods and goddesses were part of the "pre-Christian system of religious belief".
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