April (Mali Traven) and the Green Jurij

Freshness, new beginnings, action, drive, birds chirping, livestock grazing, active energy, creative start to work in the fields, greenery, love, joy, health, optimism. The predominance of light over darkness. All this is marked by Jarilo or. Jarnik, the spring god rising from the underworld. In a new guise, we know him as Green Yuri.

Its root “jar” indicates fresh, potent energy, youth, sexuality, the original life force. In some places in our country, in the past, it was said that “živina se jari” menaing tha cattle mates but said in very archaic language. The young grain was called “jaro žito” (žito=grain). When the Karst priest scattered grain sprouts in the fields during the autumn ritual, he shouted: “Jari žito!”. So – give birth, grain!

Now we witness new birth cycle, rising from the underworld. It is no wonder that Christianity, in order to facilitate the conversion of the followers of the old faith, set Easter, that is, the resurrection of Christ, on a similar date.

The use of Easter eggs also dates back to pre-Christian times.

The egg is a symbol of birth, of the beginning. Almost the whole world knows the symbolism of the cosmic egg. Even some Slavs know the story that in the beginning there was nothing but darkness and chaos. Rod created only the egg in which Svarog resided, who later created the heavens, the earth, and humans.

In Slovenia, they used to give Easter eggs as gifts in the spring. If the boy brought the girl a red Easter egg, he expressed his love for her.

Easter eggs are decorated with ancient symbols, where a rhombus and an eight-pointed star predominate. The rhombus is a symbol of female fertility and health, the eight-pointed star is associated with the continuation of the genus, with female energy, fertility and the predominance of light over darkness.

Although the astronomical spring begins at the equinox, that – for us, reprisents the beginning of awakening of the gods from the underworld – for many our ancestors, the real spring came only in April, when more work actually begins outside and when the cattle come to graze freely. The union between Jarilo /Jurij and Mara (as we know them from very old folk songs) brings prosperity to the earth. That the goddess is ready to marry him is shown to him by the gift of apple.

We know the custom when Jurij fights with “Rabolj”, which symbolically represents winter. We also know the saying that “Jurij binds wolves’ muzzles”. This means that the so called role of “wolf lord” changes and passes from underground Veles to Jarnik/Jarilo/Jurij. After the resurrection of Jarilo, Veles returns to the underworld.

The Karst specialty is Dajbogec (diminutive of Dajbog), which has the function of reviving nature. Rituals were held in his honor with a circle divided into four parts, and the girls sang a traditional song.

By dancing, singing and dressing in greenery in the ritual, we traditionally show the honor of reviving the vegetative force.

If we really connect with the power of Jarilo / Jarnik, it can help us establish a path to different goals, personal, business. Initial drive, enthusiasm, strength in the first steps is what we urgently need throughout life. In particular, today’s pace requires constant adaptation, change, ever new learning and changing paths. The key color of Jarnik is, of course, green. In esoterics, it is considered the color of health, renewal, strengthens satisfaction and tolerance. In color therapies, it is used to regulate heart rhythm (as well as ulcers and kidneys), as the heart chakra is also green. This chakra is related to the perception of love and the world around us. The time of spring and engagement between the youthful aspects of god and goddess is imbued with innocent, pure love. Also, the color green symbolizes prosperity, fertility, rejuvenation, hope and immortality.

Our spring ritual with Jage babe group, central Slovenia, 2017

written by: Irena Petrič (maiden name Urankar)
slovenian version: www.veles.si

the artwork: © Irena Petrič
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