dublinviking Registered User

How old is Crom Dubh?

To answer that i will first quote an article from theoretical structural archaeology blog:

Longhouse 6 from Olszanica in Poland [1] has a doorway 2.20m wide, and it is dated to 5000 BC. So what is that all about?

In 1976, an excavation at Bronocice in SW Poland uncovered parts of a pot with incised decoration depicting two carts with yokes. [9]
The site was occupied during the Funnel Beaker or TBR culture phase, one of a complex group of cultures that succeeded the LBK in northern Europe, in the Fifth and Fourth Millennia BC.
Bones from the pit in which the pot was found gave radiocarbon dates of around 3635--3370 BC, which, as the excavators pointed out, is earlier than dates for pictograms of wheels from the Samarian Uruk Period.

There a two other main lines of evidence in this period, both from graves associated with the Baden culture that is found in central Europe in the period 3600--2800BC.[11]
In cemeteries like Budakalász on the Danube in Hungary, pottery models of carts have been found. The example, from Grave 177, was painted and is incised with zigzag decoration. [12] Some models with handles, which may be drinking cups, have been found on the earliest Baden cultures sites like Boglarelle on Lake Balaton.
What was also found at Budakalász was a grave containing two humans with the bodies of a pair of cattle laid out at right angles to them. Double cattle burials occur in other Baden cemeteries dated to the middle of the Fourth Millennium.

It would clearly be unwise to argue for a cart shed in a late LBK building -- it simply does not fit with the other evidence. Irritatingly, it is not actually 'impossible', as the building is roughly contemporary with the earliest wheel-made pottery.
There are two important points about wheels and animal traction. Firstly, they are two separate technologies; and secondly, they are difficult ideas to keep secret [compared with metallurgy, for example.] We could also consider sledges, or some other form transport dragged by an animal. I have always tacitly assumed that the several hundred pieces of timber required for building a longhouse could be dragged by an animal, presumably an ox.


So first wheeled vehicles appear in the fourth millennium central Europe. But houses with wide doors and space wide and big enough for a car appear much earlier, a whole millennium earlier. The only explanation is that first cars or carts did not have wheels but sleighs.

Now here is a passage from a from folk tale "St Patric and Crom Dubh":

Before St. Patrick came to Ireland there lived a chieftain in the Lower Country1 in Co. Mayo, and his name was Crom Dubh...
When he used to go out about the country he used to send his two sons and his two mastiffs before him, and they announcing to the people according as they proceeded, that Crom Dubh was coming to collect his standing rent, and bidding them to have it ready for him. Crom Dubh used to come after them, and his trickster (?) along with him, and he drawing after him a sort of yoke like a wheelless sliding car, and according as he used to get his standing-rent it used to be thrown into the car, and every one had to pay according to his ability. Anyone who would refuse, he used to be brought next day before Crom Dubh, as he sat beside the fire, and Crom used to pass judgement upon him, and after the judgement the man used to be thrown into the fire....


Crom Dubh had "a sort of yoke like a wheelless sliding car". This kind of description of Crom Dubh vehicle shows that the narrator clearly did not have an idea what that car could have been. Did whoever told the story new what the vehicle was and was that forgotten later? Or was even the first narrator constructing the story based on legends whose meaning was long lost and forgotten?

What kind of vehicle did Crom Dubh have? Well i can actually show you one:

This picture was taken about 10 years ago in south of Serbia in the mountains near the place where i was born. This is me (hi everyone ) sitting on an example of the most common means of transport in the area still to this day: "a sort of yoke like a wheelless sliding car". In this area mountain villages consist of houses strewn across the side of the mountain, so building roads is impossible.

Also even if there were roads connecting houses, local people would still have to get to their fields and forests. They would also have to be able to do that during the winter too, when the whole area is covered with over a meter of snow. The answer to this problem is sledge pulled by oxen. Here is another example from Serbia this time actually being used:

Sledge as means of transportation is perfectly suited for European climate and landscape. In early Ireland, with its hills, mountains, bogs, beaches and no roads, it would have been much easier to transport things using sledge pulled by oxen than using wheeled carts. To use wheeled carts you need hard dry ground, like desert or worm steppe or roads. Unfortunately no desert or worm steppe can be found in Ireland, and no roads were built in Ireland before mid 3rd millennium BC and even then there were only handful of them and they were probably ceremonial:

There is almost no evidence that large roads were constructed in Ireland during the Stone Age. However, a very large oval henge enclosure, thought to date from c. 2500 BC (the Neolithic period) may possibly have had an ancient roadway associated with it.


So stone age people in Ireland used oxen pulled sledges for transport. So did Crom Dubh. Did sledges disappear from Ireland with the introduction of wheeled vehicles? I doubt it considering they are still used in Serbia today. But did Crom Dubh arrive on one of these sledges from Central Europe with first wheat farmers way back in 5th or 4th millennium BC? Probably, considering that he not only had sledge pulled by oxen, but he also brought on them the first wheat and the knowledge of wheat cultivation:

Using the magic artifacts the sons of Tuireann have gathered, Lugh leads the Tuatha Dé Danann in the Second Battle of Mag Tuireadh against the Fomorians. Nuada is killed in the battle by Balor. Lugh faces Balor, who opens his terrible, poisonous eye that kills all it looks upon, but Lugh shoots a sling-stone that drives his eye out the back of his head, wreaking havoc on the Fomorian army behind. After the victory Lugh finds Bres, the half-Fomorian former king of the Tuatha Dé Danann, alone and unprotected on the battlefield, and Bres begs for his life. If he is spared, he promises, he will ensure that the cows of Ireland always give milk. The Tuatha Dé Danann refuse the offer. He then promises four harvests a year, but the Tuatha Dé Danann say one harvest a year suits them. But Lugh spares his life on the condition that he teach the Tuatha Dé Danann how and when to plough, sow and reap.[11]


Fomorians, Pomorians, Central Europeans from Pomerania, Pomorje, brought with them both the knowledge of "how and when to plough, sow and reap" and also Dabog, Hromi Daba, Crom Dubh, their main god whose fertility face was known as Crom Cruach, the god of bread.

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slowburner Moderator

Dublinviking, this is very interesting material but perhaps you rely a little too much on questionable sources. No serious enquiry would or should use Wikipedia as a major source. Equally, much of the material in the various Annals is open to interpretation and is itself questionable.
An enquiry of this sort is of course, significantly different from a historical enquiry in the sense that there are no primary sources apart from contextual artefacts. The case of the sled (or slipe) in Ireland for example, what ancient remains have been found to support your assertion?
Antiquity is always going to be open to a certain amount of speculation/interpretation and theories can be made to fit vague facts more easily than concrete facts.
'Outside the box' thinking can be refreshing and can throw up new ways of looking at questions but to have any substance, the information sources need to be more dependable.
It's not going to be easy to find more reliable sources of information but I wish you well in your venture and I hope you continue.

dublinviking Registered User


Thanks for your support.

No serious enquiry would or should use Wikipedia as a major source

I don't. I cross reference everything and check the sources listed in Wikipedia first. I just couldn't be bothered rewriting the stuff someone else has already written and i agree with. Collecting everything and organizing it in a way that is easy to read is job in itself without having to retype stuff from books.

The case of the sled (or slipe) in Ireland for example, what ancient remains have been found to support your assertion?

This is what i wanted to ask Irish archaeologists if there are any present. But i would expect none to be found. I grew up around sledges like the ones on pictures. They can be made without any metal parts. This means that unless they sunk into some bog pit they would not be preserved through time. None were found in Serbian archaeological localities and these oxen pulled sledges have been in continuous use there probably since paleolithic times.

The line in the story of Crom Dubh that mentions "a sort of yoke like a wheelless sliding car" is so out of place that the reason it was preserved must have been because it was significant. Otherwise it would not have been retold without knowing the meaning of "a sort of yoke like a wheelless sliding car".

Another bit that sticks out in the chapter that i have quoted (and there are lots more in that story), is: "and his trickster (?) along with him". Irish word for trick is "cleas" and for trickster is "cleasaí" which is too close to Serbian word "klas" meaning "ear of wheat" and "klasje" or "klasovi" (pronounced klasye, klasovi) meaning "ears of wheat" to be ignored. Especially when the word for ear in Irish is "cluas" and word for ears is "cluasa"???

Was the actual chapter part of the original story about Crom Dubh (Cruach) bringing wheat to the people? And was the actual bit originally saying: "Crom Dubh used to come after them, carrying his ears of corn (wheat) with him, and he drawing after him a sort of yoke like a wheelless sliding car"?

Was the original "class", "cluas", "klasje, klasovi", "cluasa" meaning "ears of wheat, wheat" forgotten and later replaced with "clais", "cleasaí" meaning trick trickster? We know that it should have been wheat as Fomorians, the people who brough Crom Dubh (Cruach) are credited as people who brought wheat to Ireland. So I believe that here we have a very significant bit of history preserved in this story.

The reason why i am so confident that this is the meaning of this chapter is because everything else regarding Crom Dubh (Cruach), Lugh, Lughnasad points to Balkan origin of this cult. Particularly anything that has to do with the wheat season celebrations. I will elaborate this in next posts and things are going to become a lot clearer.

'Outside the box' thinking can be refreshing and can throw up new ways of looking at questions but to have any substance, the information sources need to be more dependable.

I don't believe this is outside of the box thinking really. Just thinking. I am joking of course. I have a huge advantage over Irish historians, which is that I posses knowledge of south Slavic languages and culture and archaeology of the Balkans, as well as Irish language and culture. So rally the difference is that i am probably the first to look at Ireland from the Balkans with ability to compare the languages and cultures to this extent. In that way you could say it is "outside of the box". But i still try to employ very conservative thinking and i am asking more questions than i am giving answers.

It's not going to be easy to find more reliable sources of information but I wish you well in your venture and I hope you continue.

As i said before i believe there are jewels to be found here, but i need help digging. Anyone with any additional information on any of the topics touched by me is more than welcome to present them here.

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slowburner Moderator

dublinviking said:

The line in the story of Crom Dubh that mentions "a sort of yoke like a wheelless sliding car" is so out of place that the reason it was preserved must have been because it was significant. Otherwise it would not have been retold without knowing the meaning of "a sort of yoke like a wheelless sliding car".

Sleds or slipes and slide cars, were in use in Ireland up to the early C20th. Broadly speaking the Irish styles differ from the Serbian one you showed.
See here for a little on the Irish type.

dublinviking Registered User

Archaeological locality Blagotin in Serbia belongs to the earliest proto Starčevo culture period.

The Starčevo culture, sometimes included within a larger grouping known as the Starčevo–Kőrös–Criş culture,[1] is an archaeological culture of Southeastern Europe, dating to the Neolithic period between c. 5500 and 4500 BCE[2] (according to other source, between 6200 and 5200 BCE).[3]

The Starčevo culture covered sizable area that included most of present-day Serbia and Montenegro, as well as parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary, and the Republic of Macedonia.[4][5]


First bread was made in Blagotin 6000 bc. Blagotin was a city which covered one hectare and had 100 houses. Houses were built along streets which all lead to a circulars square which measured 30 meters in diameter. In its precise center was a temple, first man made temple in human history. In neolithic time temples were normally found inside of the houses, so this is extremely important development. Blagotin had no defense structures, ramparts or moats.

The temple was built 6000 years BC. It had an altar with a semi wall which separated profane space from the sacred space. There are four thrones which are positioned in absolute north south alignment, which is interesting because in the locality of Blagotin it is impossible to determine absolute north south direction based on sun and moon. In the oldest part of the altar, at the dept of 2,5 meters there was a broken deer scull with antlers positioned at a certain angle, which is the first time this appears in human history. Inside the altar we find the zigzag line which is closely connected with the cult. In the south part of the temple archaeologists found two figures of the great mother goddess facing west. They had over emphasized gluts stylized short legs and stylized deer head. This means that the sculpture presents the female principle (lower part of female body) extending into the male principle (deer head, penis) which is the earliest representation of evolution from matriarchate to patriarchate.

Among many other objects, archaeologists have found clay models of grains of wheat which were brought as votive offerings into the temple.

Archaeologists have also found tools, blades, toys and amulets.

Some jewelry found in the temple resembles ones found in the Alps, which suggests that Blagotin was an important regional (Balkan) and maybe even European religious center where people came at certain part of the year to celebrate (my comment: probably the harvest).

On one of the votive wheat grains, archaeologists have discovered an engraving which closely corresponds to the plan of the central square. This is the oldest town plan ever found:

It has been determined that people of Blagotin made and baked bread which moves the date and place of the invention of the first bread from 3000 BC in UR Mesopotamia to 6000 BC Blagotin Balkan.

Only 2.5% of the locality has been excavated so far. Dr Svetozar „Nani“ Stanković (1948 - 1996) who lead the excavation, died in 1996 and the whole archaeological site was closed and forgotten??? No one works on it and the only book published about this site is out of print. The site is not protected by Serbian government or by Unesco.

Here is a three part tv series about this archaeological site which features interview with the late Dr Svetozar „Nani“ Stanković.




This is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world and i can bet you never heard of it. If you are looking for the origin of Crom Dubh (Cruach) maybe we can start with this place where they invented bread and venerated wheat. The bread cult is still one of the most important cults in Serbia and other Slavic countries. I will talk about this later.

dublinviking Registered User

slowburner thanks for this link it is great. It shows that slide carts were used in Ireland, so it is plausible that this is what the story refers to. Here i am adding two excerpts from the book:

Did you notice how all the example are from the north, the land of cranogs which i already connected with the south Baltic in so many ways. Some of the types seem to be exact copies of the south Baltic ones.

What is very interesting about this is the conservatism of the rural substance farming life. What works gets used for thousands of years almost unchanged. You have an example of opanak and now sledge. I believe that these rural communities are equally conservative about their taboos, beliefs and customs as well as language. If you have a custom that you believe brings you good harvest, you will not abandon it even if official religion of the land changes. The example is Crom Dubh day and all the harvest rituals in Serbia which survived arrival of Christianity for centuries.

dublinviking Registered User

Something else from Starčevo culture (5th millennium BC): a votive model of a bread loaf.

It contains the oldest known solar calendar depicting the period of six months from winter solstice to summer solstice and marking the spring equinox, the beginning of the solar year and vegetative year. When the wheat starts to grow. Sun is represented with the symbol of a fire steel which is the oldest and the most wide spread symbol of the sun.

The fire steel lies under the horizontal line which represents the winter solstice. The six months period between the winter solstice and the summer solstice is represented with six lines, one for each month. These six months represent one half of the solar year and that is represented with half of the fire steel at the top of the diagram's vertical line representing summer solstice. The 45 degree angle line represents the spring equinox.

This next picture shows the position of the spring equinox in the sky depending on the position of the observer and the time of observation.

I = 2000 AD. Spring equinox is between constellations of Pisces and Aquarius

IV = 5000 BC: Spring equinox is in constellation of Taurus

So at the time when this votive bread was made (5000 BC), Sun, God, the lord of harvest was awakening every year as a bull. Is that the Bull of Crom Dubh?

And here is an example of a votive bread baked for Serbian Slava celebration, the celebration of the ancestor cult. The ancestor of the Serbs, Dabog, Hromi Daba is God, The sun, so this is why the bread is in the shape of the sun and has a ring of fire steels pointing outwards representing the sun's heat. The bread also contains the representations of the ears of wheat, kalasje, forming the "celtic" sun cross.

Irish word for sun is: " grian". Serbian verb "grijati" (pronounced greeyatee) means to heat up. "grije" (pronounced greeye) means it emits heat. "grijan" (pronounced greeyan) is that which emits heat or that which is being heated.

dublinviking Registered User

Fire steel, fire, sun. They give life but also connect Serbians and Irish:


greje, grije - emits heat.
sunce greje, grije - sun heats us up
sunce sine, sija - sun shines

Look at the English verb to shine. It seems again only South Slavic and Germanic languages have this word.


grejati, grijati - to heat
ogrev - firewood


grios - hot ashes
griosach - glowing
griosagh - fire
grios(c) - broil, grill
grian - sun

For grian we find this:

From Old Irish grían, from Proto-Indo-European *ghreinā, from Proto-Indo-European *gher- (“to shine, glow; grey”.


Do you know any other language except the Irish and South Slavic languages that have these words?

We also have these words which show that the connection between the Irish and Serbs is indeed very very old:


tine - fire

From Old Irish teine, from Proto-Celtic *teɸnet- (“fire” (compare Breton and Cornish tan, Welsh tân).



tinja - to smolder but also a verb that describes the behavior of the first small flame of fire that catches the tinder wood when a spark from the flint falls on it.

vatra tinja - fire is catching, starting its life from a spark or dying as hot coals. tinja, tine is the first fire a man managed to make, the fire which had a mind of its own, which was not easy to "catch" and which had to be conjured as if by magic. This kind of fire, made by hand, using the oldest known way of making fire by rubbing two pieces of wood against each other, or using two stones, or using stone hammer and piece of iron, or using fire steel and stone, is still called "live fire" in Serbia and is considered to have magic properties.

Live fire is made once a year in a special ceremony during the month of July which used to be called Gorešnjak, the fiery month. The ceremony was done in every village. All the fires would be extinguished in the village in the evening. All the villagers would then gather usually on top of a hill. The fire making ceremony took place in the middle of the night or just before dawn. In some parts of Serbia people were part naked. The fire was made by twins or by the oldest and the youngest brother in a family, or by two men born on the same day, or by two men with the same name...who for couple of days before the ceremony had to leave particularly clean and good life. The ceremony took place in complete silence. When the fire is finally burning strong, every woman would take a burning brunch and bring it home, where a new young fire would be lit in the house hearth. There the fire would be burning for the rest of the year, because the hearth fire in Serbia was never extinguished except just before the new live fire was about to be made or when someone dies in the house. This tradition probably comes to us from the earliest times, probably paleolithic, when making and maintaining fire was a magical and sacred duty and shows us again how resilient customs and traditions are (at least among Serbs) and how long they could be preserved.

Lighting of the live fire:


Folk names for months


Then I have these two words:


creasa - flint fire
tinechreasach - sparcling


kresati - to smash two stones against each other in such a way that their sides slide over each other making sparks. to do the same with fire steel and a stone. to make sparks.
kres - fire steel, flint
kresivo - tinder

How old is this? I believe that these words are ancient. And they prove that the connection between Serbian and Irish language is ancient as well.

There is even a Slavic god of fire called Kresnik:

Kresnik (or rarely Kersnik and Krsnik) is a Slavic god associated with fire, the summer solstice, and storms. His mythical home, a sacred mountain at the top of the world, represents the axis mundi....Kresnik gradually evolved into a Slovenian national hero who lives on a golden mountain, sometimes as a deer with golden antlers. As a human, he is a great king skilled with magic, but who interests himself in farming....

Kresnik is the son of the great creator deity, ruler of heaven, who has been identified in various sources as Svarog[6] or Perun.[7] He lives in a fantastical country, sometimes called the "Land of the Rising Sun", "Eastern Land", or the "Ninth Country", and rules on the "world mountain", which is frequently described as being golden, crystal, or glass.[7][8][9]
Kresnik is described as having golden hair and golden hands or arms.[1][10] He was born either with horse earlaps, horse hooves, or a birthmark shaped like hooves, and he frequently is said to be able to take the form of a horse.[10][11]
Connected to sun and fire, he travels the sky on his golden chariot, armed with thunderbolt, axe, hammer, club, or sword. Like Hercules, Kresnik performed twelve great deeds. Sometimes he is helped by his brother Trot or his four-eyed dog. His chthonic opponent steals his property, cattle, or wife-sister, but Kresnik defeats him. Rain or wheat falls from the sky after such combat.[12]
In most tales, his wife is his sister, a goddess of spring named Alenčica, Marjetica, Vesina, or any number of variations.[7][13] In some versions, Kresnik also has a lover who is the daughter of a chthonic snake deity, his perpetual enemy, and Kresnik is eventually killed due to either his wife or lover's jealousy....

With the rise of Christianity, Kresnik was replaced with John the Baptist. A pre-Christian water holiday was probably preserved by association with John the Baptist.[21] Kresnik's association with midsummer, fire, and rain are tied to St. John's Eve, when in parts of Slovenia, fires are lit and water poured over the people around them.[21] The washing of sin parallels Kresnik, who creates rain by vanquishing the serpent of evil. On St. John's Day, many customs retain memories of the Kresnik mythology, like the lighting of fires, rolling of sun-shaped wooden wheels, and young girls called "Kresnice" singing harvest songs.[14] The Slovenian translation for "Baptist" is »Krstnik«, a similar word.


St. John's Day or Ivandan (7th of July) is one of the old bonfire nights of the Slavs. This one was marking the beginning of harvest. The next one, marking the end of the harvest was on the 2nd of August on the Ilindan, the day of st Ilia, St Ilios, The holy sun day, The Crom Dubh day, Lughnasad.

In the end i would like to show you this word:

tinder - small dry sticks and finely-divided fibrous matter etc., used to help light a fire.

The etymology given is this:

From Old English tynder,[1] from tind. Compare to Swedish tända (“to light, to set on fire”, German zünden.


From earlier tend, from Middle English tenden, teenden, from Old English tendan (“to kindle” (usually attested in compounds); related to Danish tænde, German zünden. More at tend.


Isn't it more logical that the etymology is: tinder = tine der = tine derv(o) = tinja derv(o) = wood that catches fire (derv is the Serbian root word for wood)? Word tinder does not come from tender, or tenden. They are related. You have to be tender and you have to tender in order to make (catch) live fire.

Ipso Registered User

Keep an eye out for this boom, it will most likely cover a lot of what you mentioned.

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dublinviking Registered User

Touchwood fungus, Oaks, Fire, Sun and the Drvids

When a fire-steel is used to create a spark, this spark has to be made to land on a substance which is readily flammable and which will hold the ember produced long enough for the fire-maker to start feeding tinder and building the spark into a fire....

...In the Viking Age, apparently the preferred substance was called hnjóskr or fnjóskr, which is usually translated as "touchwood". Touchwood has a wide variety of names, but is technically a fungus of the Polyporus or Boletus family, especially Fomes fomentarius, Polyporus fomentarius or Boletus chirurgorum. Other terms used for this substance are amadou, punk, surgeon's agaric or oak agaric.

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The touchwood fungus is shaped somewhat like a horse's foot, with a diameter of from 6 to 10 inches. It is soft like velvet when young, but afterwards becomes hard and woody. It usually rests immediately upon the bark of the tree, without any supporting foot-stalk. On the upper surface, it is smooth, but marked with circular ridges of different colours, more or less brown or blackish. On the under surface, it is whitish or yellowish and full of small pores; internally, it is fibrous, tough and of a tawny brown colour. It is composed of short, tubular fibres, compactly arranged in layers, one of which is added every year.

Touchwood was collected in Europe in August and September, chiefly from oak and beech, the best being from oak.
The substance was then prepared for use by removing the exterior rind and cutting the inner part into thin slices, which were washed first in weak alkali, then in water and then beaten with a hammer and worked until they become a soft, pliable felt-like material that could be easily torn by the fingers. For making tinder, the felt-like material was charred in exactly the same way that charcloth is made, and then soaked in "strong urine" where it was boiled for several days. Urine contains sodium nitrate, which is very similar to the potassium nitrate ("saltpeter") found in gunpowder. The difference is that sodium nitrate tends to be more hygroscopic (absorbs moisture more readily) than saltpeter.

The charred "felt" made from touchwood can be kept smoldering with very little heat. It is thought to have been used to transport fire from one place to another before matches were invented. It was certainly in use in Neolithic times, and was one of the substances that the "Iceman" carried with him. The Iceman (sometimes called Oetzi) is an incredibly well-preserved 5,000 year old Neolithic man found in 1991 in a glacier near the border of Austria and Italy. In his pouch was a black felt-like substance that upon examination proved to be touchwood. Also in this pouch were "several small sharpened flint stones, a small drill-like piece of flint, and slender bone-tool" - an early fire-making kit....



The modern English word druid derives from the Latin druides (pronounced [druˈides]), which was considered by ancient Roman writers to come from the native Celtic Gaulish word for these figures.[9][10][11] Other Roman texts also employ the form druidae, while the same term was used by Greek ethnographers as δρυΐδης (druidēs).[12][13] Although no extant Romano-Celtic inscription is known to contain the form,[9] the word is cognate with the later insular Celtic words, Old Irish druí ("druid, sorcerer") and early Welsh dryw ("seer").[11] Based on all available forms, the hypothetical proto-Celtic word may then be reconstructed as *dru-wid-s (pl. *druwides) meaning "oak-knower". The two elements go back to the Proto-Indo-European roots *deru-[14] and *weid- "to see".[15] The sense of "oak-knower" (or "oak-seer") is supported by Pliny the Elder,[11] who in his Natural History considered the word to contain the Greek noun δρύς (drus), "oak-tree"[16] and the Greek suffix -ιδης (-idēs).[17] The modern Irish word for Oak is Dair, which occurs in anglicized placenames like Derry - Doire, and Kildare - Cill Dara (literally the "church of oak"). There are many stories and lore about saints, heroes, and oak trees, and also many local stories and superstitions (called pishogues) about trees in general, which still survive in rural Ireland. Both Irish druí and Welsh dryw could also refer to the wren,[11] possibly connected with an association of that bird with augury bird in Irish and Welsh tradition (see also Wren Day).[11][18]


Knowing the connection between the oak and the touchwood fungus and the fire and the sun and all the related words, I have to ask a question:

What were the first Drvids actually collecting in August in Oak groves?

This is the Serbian coat of Arms. It is a cross with four fire steels in the shape of the Cyrillic letter s, the first letter of the word Sunce, Sun, Sol, Sur, Swarozić, which were various names for Sun.

This is the same symbol on a battle flag, on one of medieval engraving. This time the cross is made of fire wood and the fire steel are connected with sun emanating fire. You can say this is an explanation of the true meaning of the Serbian cross: the sun's fire:

Here we see the cross made of dry rotten wooden branches from which the bark is falling off, ideal for catching fire, connected with the fire steel. Please note flames emanating from it. This is the Sun fire cross, where fire steel is in the shape of letter S meaning Sunce - Sun.
Please note how much the fire steel resembles a regal crown.

And the last is showing us an actual crown over the fire steel cross, the sun cross, the sun our lord. The regal power comes from the sun and fire. Who knows the secrets of the sun and fire rules.

In Slavic mythology the Sun is the Son of Svarog, the god of heaven. Being the son of Swarog he is Swarožić (pronounced Svarožich) where -ić is Serbian suffix meaning a son of, a descendant of. Swarožić was Slavic god of fire. But Dabog was also the son of Swarog, so Swarožić is Dabog who who is also Hromi Daba who is also Crom Dubh the sun god "God" our Sun. In Christianity, Isus Hrist is the the son of Heavenly Father. Please note that Serbian word for oak is hrast. And that apparently Hrist is supposed to mean teacher. Oak is the symbol of the sun, because oak and fire steel produce fire on earth like sun produces fire in the sky. And oak tree priests, Drvids are teachers. Is Christianity just the old European religion in disguise? Did Christianity develop as an attempt to conquer old European religion by wrapping it in a cloak of Judaisam until it became almost unrecognizable? This is a theme for another discussion.

What is very interesting is that the fire steel being a symbol of the sun is found all over the world, but that the first place it was found was in Starcevo. The first fire steal cross was found in Vinca. Here you can see it in this partial list of Vinca symbols:

And in the same row you can see the transformation between the Serbian cross and the "celtic" cross, fire and light.

Ireland sun cross with four fire steals (letters s), 2000 BC Dublin national museum:

A "celtic" cross with four fire steals (letters s)

The "son" of the heavenly father is in the center. "Sun" Swarozić, the son (sin in Serbian) of the heavenly father Svarog is shining out on the world.

Serbian cross

dublinviking Registered User

In Slavic religion, Sun has another name: Vid, Svetovid, Sveti vid.

Let's go back to word druid:

The two elements go back to the Proto-Indo-European roots *deru-[14] and *weid- "to see".[15]

*dóru n - tree


*weyd-to see, to know


Vid in Serbian has these meanings: to see, to know, to foresee, to teach, to tell stories, to heal. This one word in Serbian describes all the attributes of drvid priest.

In Slavic languages Vid can also be pronounced as Vit or Ved or Vet.

Here are the words which have Vid, Vit, Ved or Vet as their root. You can see that in the same way as the words which have "god" as their root, all the words here denote actions and attributes of a god and sun god to that. I am posting it here so you can see how important the sun god Vid was to the Serbs. Swarozić, Svetovid, Dabog are all one and the same god, Sun god, god of fire and light. They are also gods of war and gods of fertility and agriculture.

vid - site, ability to see, what god vid is lighting up - pogled, sposobnost gledanja, ono sto bog vid osvetljava

vidit, vidjen - famous, having vid looking at him, on his side - slavan, onaj koga vid gleda, na cijoj je vid strani

videti - to see, to be able to see because god vid has lit up the world for you - videti, biti sposoban da vidis jer je bog vid osvetlio svet

vidljiv - visible, lit up by god vid - ono što se vidi, ono sto je osvetlio bog vid

uvid - insight, good knowledge - dobro znanje razumevanje nečega. ovde se vidi da su znati i videti sinonimi.

uvideti - to realize, to have things, problems lit up by the light of god vid - shvatiti, biti sposoban da vidis kako stvari stoje jer ih je bog vid osvetlio svojom svetloscu

predvideti - to forsee, to be able to see the future because god vid has lit it up for you - videti buducnost jer ju je osvetlio bog vid

vidovit - clairvoyant, able to see the future because god vid has lit it up for you - sposoban da vidis buducnost jer ju je osvetlio bog vid

svideti se - be liked, be likable because god vid has made you beautiful, has lit you up with beautiful light - biti osvetljen vidovim svetlom, biti lep

zavideti - be envious, wanting to have things that vid did not give to you - hteti stvari koje vid nije namenio tebi

vit - reason, intellect - razum, pamet

dovitljiv - quick-witted, sharp witted.

dovitljivost - ability to solve problems, to come up with ideas, to be able to reach to vid and get his advice - biti sposoban da resis probleme, da iznadjes rešenja, da dodjes do vida i da od njega dobijes savet

savitljivost - elasticity, ability to adjust, to change shape, to move with god vid as he is reshaping the world - biti elastican, sposoban da se prilagodis promenama, da promenis oblik u skladu sa time kako vid menja svet oko tebe

vit - suffix meaning full of, famous for, good at. examples:

lekovit = lek + vit = medicine + full, contains, famous for = medicinal
glasovit = glas + vit = voice, good comments, fame + full = famous
darovit = darova + vit = gifts + full = gifted

osvit - down - jutro

vita (latin) - life, from vid dal meaning energy that vid gives - zivot, sto je vid dal, energija koju daje vid

here is official etymolgy so you can compare it:

From vīvō („I live”. Possibly corresponds to a derivative of Proto-Indo-European *gʷih₃wo-teh₂ (compare Ancient Greek bíotos, Old Irish bethu, bethad, Irish beatha, Welsh bywyd, Old Church Slavonic животъ (životŭ, „life”, Lithuanian gyvatà („life”, Sanskrit जीवित (jīvitá, Avestan gayo (accusative ǰyātum) „life”), ultimately from *gʷeih₃w- („to live”, cf. *gʷih₃wós („alive”.


vit - tall, high - visok

vitak - thin, slender

providan - see through

providjenje - providence, have things given to you by god vid - promisao, dobiti savet, omen ili znak od boga vida. takođe biti zbrinut od boga vida

nevidljiv - invisible

nevid - misery, bad luck, be invisible to god vid, not have good vid look at you, smile at you, shine at you - jad i beda, ono što se desi kad te bog ne vidi, kad ti se ne smesi, kad te ne greje njegova svetlost

obnevideti - to become blinded by emotions, mad from rage, to loose it, to loše connection with vid - postati zaslepljen negativnim emocijama, besom, mrznjom, izgubiti vezu sa bogom vidom

zanovitati, zanovetati - complain. from „zašto no vit dati” meaning „why did not vid give it” - zaliti se zato što ti vid nije nešto dao

čuvida, čuv + vida - mask, protects, saves + site, what protects us from site, from god vid - ono sto nas cuva od pogleda od boga vida

vid i vit are interchangeable and depend on the accent and dialect. Also in some dialects i turns to e so vid becomes vet, ved:

svit, svet - world, what is, what exists with the help of god vid - svet, sto jeste, sto postoji uz pomoć boga vida

svit, savit, svita - council, advice, worning - vece, savet, upozorenje

svitlo, svetlo - light, what comes from (with) god vid and lights up the world - svetlo, ono sto dolazi od boga vida i osvetljava svet

osvitliti, osvetliti - light up, shine light on things like god vid does - osvetliti kao sto to vid radi

svitiljka, svetiljka - light source, torch - izvor svetlosti, baklja

svidočiti, svedočiti - witness, be present, be in presence of someone or something which is lit up by god vid - videti svojim očima

zavitovati se, zavetovati se - to sware oath, to promise before god vid, to do it for vid - obecati, zakleti se pred bogom vidom, uraditi nešto za vida, za vid to vati

svitkovina, svetkovina - celebration, religious celebration of god vid - religiozna proslava, originalno slavljenje boga vida

savit, savet - advice how to follow god vid so things will work for you - objašnjenje kako da sledis boga vida, kako da budes sa vidom da bi ti se planovi ostvarili

savitovati, savetovati, sa vid to vati - to give advice with wisdom given to you by god vid

sviti, sveti - holly, enlightened, which is with vid, shares his light - sveti, blazeni, onaj koji se kupa u vidovom svetlu, koji
zraci vidovim svetlom, koji je sa vidom

prosvitljenje, prosvetljenje - enlightement, reaching god vid - pro s vid ti jesi, prici k, uci u, doći do boga vida, postati jedan s vidom

stanovit - certain, persistent, strong, where vid's will doesn't change - izvestan, stalan, jak, gde se vidova volja ne menja

vitez - knight, person full of highest qualities besowed to him by god vid - vitez, osoba koja poseduje najviše kvalitete koje mu je udelio bog vid

vidati - to cure, to mend, to heal, to use power of god vid (knowledge about life, energy of life, life itself like plants and miterals) to heal - leciti, popravljati, koristiti ono sto nam daje vid (znanje, zivotnu silu, zivot kao biljke i minerale) za lecenje

vidar - doctor, medicine man

vida, veda - teaching, story, knowledge, experience that vid gave us - ucenje, prica, znanje koje nam je dao bog vid

vidati, vedati - to teach, to tell a story, to talk, to pass on knowledge, experience that vid gave us - uciti nekoga, pricati pricu, pricati, predavati znanje i iskustvo koje nam je dao bog vid

vidati, vedati - to understand. here vid is equated with reason, mind - razumeti. ovde se vid izjednacuje sa umom

povidati, povedati - talk, tell stories, tell about what we saw, what we experienced, what god vid made happen - pricati, pricati price o onome sto smo videli, sto smo iskusili, sto je vid učinio da se desi

zapovidati, zapovedati - to command, make others do things, like vid does - komandovati, narediti drugima da nešto urade, kao sto to vid radi

se vidi, se vida, se veda - it is understood, of cours - naravno, razume se

odvid - answer - odgovor

providati, svidati - worry about something - brinuti se za nešto

svidati se - to regain conciesness, to reunite with vid - osvestiti se, ponovo se povezati sa bogom vidom

sviditi se - to regain conciesness, to like something, to become convinced of something - osvestiti se, zavoleti nešto,

osvedociti se - to see something with your own eyes - uveriti se u nešto

vistovit - conscious - svestan

svidok, svedok - withness, someone who saw something, someone who experienced something, someone who was with god vid - svedok, neko ko je iskusio nešto, neko ko je bio s vidom

svidocanstvo - proof - dokaz

ispovidati, ispovedati - to confess, to tell god vid about your sins - ispovediti se, reci bogu vidu svoje grehe

propovidati, propovedati - to preach, to let vid talk through you - dozvoliti da vid govori kroz tebe

vitija - poem, something containing vit - pesma, ono sto poseduje vit

vitiznanec - poet - pesnik

vitar, vetar - wind

viti se - to flap, fly in the wind, to be high up - leprsati, leteti na vetru, biti visoko

nadviti se - to lean over, to be higher than. from here we can see that vid, vit also means high- nadneti se, biti visi. odavde vidimo da vit, vid takođe znaci visok

pravedan - just

krivedan - unjust

vedar - bright, clear, happy,

zaveden - enchanted

naveden - persuaded

sveden - narrowed down, brought to it's essence, core

ved, vedene, vedihu - news - vesti

sazvedavec - curious - radoznao

zvedati - find out - saznati

vedriti - to clear, to clean - cistiti

vedriti - be powerful - biti mocan

izvedikovati se - to become skillful - izvestiti se

vedro - bucket, vessel for water. zašto se vedro zove vedro? da li je voda veda, vedra, prozirna cista?

proveden - moment spent

priveden - brought close to, doveden - brought here, odveden - taken away, izveden - brought out, uveden - brought in. from here ved is presence, here, now

rasvediti se - to get ill, sick - razboleti se

izvedljiv - curious - radoznao

kleveta - lie about someone, slander - laz

osveta - revenge

odvetak - inheritor, someone who gets something as inheritance - naslednik

posvetiti - dedicate - nameniti

veten - promised, dedicated - obecan, namenjen

from here you can see that vet, vit, vid also means to give, to bestow, to give as a present, to promise, to dedicate - odavde se vidi da vet, vit, vid takođe znaci dati, pokloniti, nameniti,obecati

posvetilište - mystery - misterija

posvetilište - sacrifice - žrtva

šakovet, rukovet - hand full, arm full - koliko stane u šaku, koliko stane u ruke.

from here you can see that vet, vit, vid also means full - odavde se vidi da vet, vit, vid znaci pun

svetište - temple, the place of god Vet, Vid - crkva, mesto boga Veta, Vida

vet, vid - sun god

vet - this, it - taj, to

vetov - old - star

avet - ghost, apparition, something which has no vid in itself whre a is prefix that gives the opposite meaning. here opposite from being alive - duh, nešto ne zivo, nešto sto nema vida u sebi

istovetan - the same, made in the same way - isti, jednak

in russian privet means with vet, with god, god Vid, Vet be with you - na ruskom привет sa vetom, sa vidom, s bogom, pozdrav

Sve to vid - all that see - good who sees all. He is represented with four sided pillar but also with the cross with four fire steels.



Serbian medieval medalion:

Irish high crosses:


Please note the "hat" on top of Svetovid's column as well as on these "celtic" crosses. That is actually a loaf of bread. Sun supports the tree of life, and the Sun god is also the god of plenty, the god of agriculture and bread. I will talk about this more in my next post. And here is an example from Ireland of the tree of life growing from a fire steel, the symbol of sun god Vid, Svarozic, Hromi Daba, Dabog, Crom Dubh, Dagda:

dublinviking Registered User

Need fire

Need-fire, or Wild-fire (Ger. Notfeuer, O. Ger. nodfyr, Scottish Gaelic tein'-éigin), a term used in folklore to denote a curious superstition which survived in the Scottish Highlands until a recent date.
Like the fire-churning still customary in India for kindling the sacrificial fire, the need- or wild-fire is made by the friction of one piece of wood on another, or of a rope upon a stake. Need-fire is a practice of shepherd peoples to ward off disease from their herds and flocks. It is kindled on occasions of special distress, particularly at the outbreak of a murrain, and the cattle are driven through it. Its efficacy is believed to depend on all other fires being extinguished.
The kindling of the need-fire in a village near Quedlinburg was impeded by a night light burning in the parsonage (Heinrich Pröhle, Harzbilder, Leipzig, 1855). According to one account, in the Highlands of Scotland the rule that all common fires must be previously extinguished applied only to the houses situated between the two nearest running streams (Kelly, Curiosities of Indo-European Tradition and Folklore, p. 53 seq.).
In Bulgaria even smoking during need-fire is forbidden. Two naked men produce the fire by rubbing dry branches together in the forest, and with the flame they light two fires, one on each side of a cross-road haunted by wolves. The cattle are then driven between the two fires, from which glowing embers are taken to rekindle the cold hearths in the houses (A Strauss, Die Bulgaren, p. 198).
In Caithness the men who kindled the need-fire had previously to divest themselves of all metal. In some of the Hebrides the men who made the fire had to be eighty-one in number and all married. In the Halberstadt district in Germany, the rope which was wound round the stake, must be pulled by two chaste boys; while at Wolfenbüttel, contrary to usual custom, it is said that the need-fire had to be struck out of the cold anvil by the smith. In England the need-fire is said to have been lit at Birtley within the last half of the 18th century. The superstition had its origin in the early ideas of the purifying nature of flame.


Please note that the two places in Germany mentioned in the text both fall withing the Slavic territory occupied by Western Slavs Sorbs. In Serbia, the "Live fire" is used for curing animals as well. There is a curious custom that had survived until 1950 near Belgrade:

"A tunnel was dug big enough for cattle to go through. Then a live fire was lit at one of it's ends. The cattle was pushed through the tunnel towards the live fire, where people wold touch every animal that appeared from the tunnel with a burning brunch to protect it from diseases. This is a ceremonial rebirth where both mother Earth and father Sun, in the form of live fire, are invoked"

Force fire

The force-fire (Scottish Gaelic: teine-éiginn, which also translates to Need-fire), or a fire produced by friction, was used in folk magic practice in the Scottish Highlands up until the 19th century. Believers considered it an antidote against bewitching, as well as the plague, murrain and all infectious diseases among cattle. It is also known as In Scotland and elsewhere as Need-fire or Neatsfire from an old word for cattle retained in the name "Neatsfoot oil".
Method[edit source | editbeta]

The Scottish writer Dr. Martin Martin described the force-fire's use. According to him, all the fires in the parish were extinguished and 81 married men, being deemed the proper number for effecting this purpose, took two planks of wood, and nine of them were employed by turns, who by their repeated efforts, rubbed the planks together, till the heat thereof produced fire, and from this forced fire, each family was supplied with a new fire. No sooner was the fire kindled than a pot filled with water was afterwards sprinkled on people who had the plague, or on cattle that had the murrain, and this process was said to be followed invariably by success.
A differing account suggests that if a family believed that they were under evil influence, all fires in the district between two running streams were extinguished on a set day. Then a spinning wheel was put in motion, and kept going furiously until the spindle became heated. Tinder or tow was applied to the hot spindle, fire was thus procured and distributed to all households under the alleged evil influences. In the nineteenth century, fire was thus procured to check witchcraft in a township in Uist where some sickness, supposed to be evil eye had carried off some cows and sheep. It is odd that neither cow nor sheep died after, possibly because the epidemic had exhausted itself.
In 1812, J. Henderson of Caithness described the process:
"In those days [1788], when the stock of any considerable farmer was seized with the murrain, he would send for one of the charm-doctors, to superintend the raising of a need-fire. It was done by friction, thus: upon any small island, where the stream of a river or burn run on each side, a circular booth was erected, of stone and turf . . . in which a semicircular, or Highland couple of birch, or other hard wood, was set. . . . A straight pole was set up in the centre of this building, the upper end fixed by a wooden pin to the top of the couple, and the lower end in an oblong trink in the earth or floor; and lastly, another pole was set across horizontally, having both ends tapered, one end of which was supported in a hole in the side of the perpendicular pole, and the other end in a similar hole in the couple leg. The horizontal stick was called the auger, having four short arms or levers fixed in its centre, to work it by. . . . By constant friction and pressure, the ends of the auger would take fire, from which a fire would be instantly kindled, and thus the needfire, would be accomplished. The fire in the farmer’s house . . . was immediately quenched with water, a fire kindled from this needfire, both in the farm-house and offices, and the cattle brought to feel the smoke of this new and sacred fire, which preserved them from the murrain."

Last occurrences

The force fire was last made in North Uist in about 1829, in the Isle of Arran about 1820, in Helmsdale about 1818 and in Reay in about 1830. It is interesting to note that the breaking of this tradition occurred round about the same time as the Highland Clearances.


...There were definite customs which were common at all four Quarter Days.
These included such as their being valued as Holy days. The need-fire, or
communal bon-fire was ritually kindled, though on only two of these days were
household fires extinguished and re-lit from the need-fires....


...As with all the fire festivals, fires were lit on
the hilltops Samhain. This festival was one of the two when all hearth fires were
extinguished and re-lit from the communal bonfires. The cattle were driven back
from the mountains where they had been sent for the summer. At this time of
their return they were driven between two bonfires to purify and protect them....


...This season ended at Beltaine. Approximately May 1st. Bonfires were lit and the
cattle were set out to pasture in the mountains, driven between the bonfires to
purify them....


Does anyone know of any other parts of Europe where these live fires were lit? So far it seems that the custom is only found in Slavic lands and Ireland and Scotland and north England, the exact places where we see repeated colonisation from south Baltic Western Slavic people, Sorbs.

ezra_pound Registered User

It is incorrect to assume that Germanic practices and customs related to the need fire are of Slavic origin. The mythology surrounding need fires is in all Germanic cultures including Norse mythology and the Freya/fro goddess. There are historical records of need fires in Sweden.

See chapter ii of this book:


dublinviking Registered User


I said:

Does anyone know of any other parts of Europe where these live fires were lit? So far it seems that the custom is only found in Slavic lands and Ireland and Scotland and north England, the exact places where we see repeated colonisation from south Baltic Western Slavic people, Sorbs.

Obviously i am not assuming anything i am stating the extent of my knowledge on the subject. I am asking for more information. Then you say:

It is incorrect to assume that Germanic practices and customs related to the need fire are of Slavic origin.

I don't know who is assuming things here. You are taking an ancient pan European religious practice and calling it "germanic" just because it is found in some "germanic" countries???

This practice of drawing the live fire, is also found in Hittite records from 2000 BC, to it definitely predates any "germanic" practices. The practice is found in all Slavic lands, hardly place where you could find too many "germanic" religious practices.

Here is a picture showing drawing live fire from Serbia:

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But there is a particular type of cleaning practice involving living fire, living water and earth, used for cleaning of people and animals which is also recorded in Hittite records and which, to my knowledge is only found in one more place: eastern Serbia, the land of King Trayan with goats ears. It is similar to the cattle cleaning practices from the area around Belgrade, but more complex:

A tunnel was dug big enough for people and cattle to go through. Then a live fire was lit at one of it's ends. The cattle was pushed through the tunnel towards the live fire, where people wold touch every animal that appeared from the tunnel with a burning brunch to protect it from diseases and bad energy. In Hittite records people were greeted at the end of the tunnel by an old woman (baba) and given bread. In Serbia they were greeted by a "babica" and given porridge. The ceremony took place next to the spring so that "live water" would take the rest of the bad energy, sickness and sins away. This is a ceremonial rebirth where both mother Earth and her water and father Sun and his fire, are invoked to clean people and animals.

Remember all the other things we found which exist in British isles, Central Europe and are also found in Hittite records as well? Do you see the pattern emerging???

I am looking forward to reading about this custom in the book you recommended.

The gods Agni and Soma are described in the
Vedas as descending to earth to strengthen the
dominion of their own race, the Devas, who are at
war with their rivals, the Asuras, and to exalt men to
the gods. The story of this great event is variously
told. One of its many versions as relates to Agni,
the god of fire, is that he had hid himself in a cavern
in heaven, and that Mitarisvan, a god, or demigod,
brought him out from it and delivered him to
Manu, the first man, or to Bhrigu, the father of the
mythical family of that name. Mitarisvan is thus a
prototype of Prometheus, and the analogy between
them will appear still closer when we come to see in
what way both were originally believed to have
kindled the heavenly fire which they brought down
to earth. The process was the same as that by
which Indra kindles the lightning, and which is
daily imitated in the Hindu temples in the production
of sacred fire. It is so like churning, that both
operations are designated by the same word.

This is the first chapter i read from your book. Did you actually read it yourself?

Drawing of live fire is an ancient practice. Fire came from Agni, the fire of the sky.

Oganj is the Serbian word meaning fire.

Wiktionary says:

From Proto-Slavic *ognь, from Proto-Indo-European *h₁ngʷni-.


Now have a look which "Indo Europeans" use words related to *h₁ngʷni-:


Latgalian: guņs
Latvian: uguns
Lithuanian: ugnis
Old Prussian: ugnis
Samogitian: ognis
Slavic: *ognь

Indo-Iranian: *Hagnis


Sanskrit: अग्नि (agní
Bengali: আগুন (agun), অগ্নি (ôgni)
Hindi: आग (āg), अग्नि (agní
Nepali: आगो (Āgō, अग्नि (agni)
Romani: jag
Urdu: آگ (āg), اگنی (agní

Italic:Latin: ignis (but no any other italic language. Strange and telling)

Hittite: (akniš, “name of a deity” (could be inherited, borrowed from Indo-Iranian, or unrelated)


No Germanic languages.

Now have a look who received the fire from Agni: Bhrigu.

Bregians, Phrigians, Frigians, Balkan, south Baltic, British Isles, Asia minor...

ezra_pound Registered User

Quote from dubviking'Please note that the two places in Germany mentioned in the text both fall withing the Slavic territory occupied by Western Slavs Sorbs. In Serbia, the "Live fire" is used for curing animals as well. There is a curious custom that had survived until 1950 near Belgrad'

First off you did imply that slavs influenced german traditions in this respect.see above quote.


Secondly yes ive read all that book and overall its very interesting.

Thirdly it doesnt disagree with anything in my last post or any other ive written in this thread so how you deduce that I havent read it is beyond me.

Fourthly I have no idea what your point about agni is.

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