Gruden / December and the birth of a New Sun

Svarožič Irena Petrič Svarunica

White blanket, snowflakes, homeliness, family warmth, heating by the fire. Permeating emotions at new beginnings of ideas, new views, insights. Expectation. Cheerful mood and echoes of traditional songs, good wishes. The smell of baked bread. The birth of a new sun.
Sensitive time because he is threatened by many dangers. Time of connection with the upper world and time of divination.

We experience all this in the magical time of winter, when a new sun, the son of the creator god, is born at the winter solstice. The name »Božič« (Christmas, lteral translation »Little god«) with the suffix “ič” only indicates a little god that derrives from the tradition of expressing the tradtion of adding »ič« to indicate the continuation of the family line. Fore example the son of Svjatoslav could be named Svajtoslavič.

In the Slavic world, Svarožič is considered the son of the supreme god Svarog, the god of fire, Svarožič represents the sun on earth.

Above all, it is a time, not only of the young sun, but a time dedicated to family and loved ones.

Burning a tree trunk with roots has also been known in other countries since time immemorial, e.g. in Ukraine, which has been passed down in the folk tradition from ancient times until recently in some parts of our country. The preparations and the ceremony are well illustrated by a documentary film directed by Jadran Sterle: Pagan Fire.

The men went into the woods, uprooted a »tree hive« (lower part od three trunk with roots) and brought it home. The housewives cleaned the open fireplace, then lit it. The preparations and then burning with prayers, fortune-telling from the flames, roasting turnips, throwing juniper twigs into the fire is a rite performed to honor the birth of a young, new god. The energy of the earth, however, is supposed to pass right through the roots and then the smoke into the sky to help the new Sun reach greater power. A similar ceremony was held in the month of Sušec / March.

Bonfires were lit everywhere else to celebrate the birth of the young sun. Today’s caroling is still a remnant of an ancient tradition. People sang songs and brought good wishes from house to house.

The church began to celebrate Christian Christmas only in the 4th century AD. In general, however, people took it only slowly, only centuries later.

Among the Polab and Baltic Slavs, Svarožič was one of the main deities, worshiped by both Eastern and Southern Slavs. At the shrine in Retra, he was worshiped along with his mother Vida, the wife of the supreme god Svarog, also known by other names. When the city was in danger, they said that Svarožič came to help. In some places he is also pictured with a spear in his hand, and in others as a young blacksmith in his father’s smithy.

Throughout the late autumn, from “Dedi” festival onwards and through the winter, we encounter many different customs in Slovenia. “Miklavž” on December 6th and Štefanovo on December 26th hint at the ancient remains of the cult of Veles. Masks and carols also represent the spirits and souls of the dead. During this time, the gates of the hereafter and the underworld are ajar, the worlds are mixed.

People liked to make such visits so as not to offend the gods and were gladly providing the visitors with gifts.

We also plant grain in homes. The “sprouted grain” that grows in the middle of winter has always provided the assurance that spring will soon be again!

After a peaceful and introspective autumn, where we analyzed our stay on earth in all respects, with the arrival of the milestone of the new birth of the sun, it is time to move from black to white. In addition to the opened underworld, the sky is now ed as well. Therefore, we are much more receptive to messages from the world of the gods. No wonder they did so much fortunetelling so much in the winter time as it has prevailed untill today. All messages are much easier to interpret.

White color connects us to the sky through the crown chakra, so this time is full of new insights, ideas, insights. Let us let heaven speak to us.

written by: Irena Petrič (maiden name Urankar)
slovenian version:

the artwork: © Irena Petrič
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