The third book in the trilogy Connecting with the Magic of the Land is now out on Kindle and in paperback. it is called Chasing the Goddess.
The journey of discovery continues via the invocation of and meditation on the Slavic goddesses Morana and Vesna through the three Moons of winter and three Moons of Spring. The Goddess of winter and death followed by the goddess of spring and fertility. The outer life mimics the inner life through the long COVID-19 lockdown and colder than usual gloomy winter into an epic battle between winter and spring.
Like the Hero’s journey, I descended into the depths of the underworld with Morana but did I emerge again with anything of value? An initiation of self that echoed the duality of polarity, the change of the seasons, and much more. I emerged a different person in many ways on the way discovering connections between earth energies and the ancient Slavs.
I have finished the first draft and I suspect it will soon be out in kindle and paperback formats – the latter with photographs. This is the final part in my Connecting with the magic of the land series and it outlines my attempts at invoking Morana and Vesna, the Slavic goddesses of winter and spring. It has been an interesting journey and something of a rebirth and initiation into a whole new set of mysteries around Slavs, Templars, Earth energies, dowsing and divination and much, much more.
The first book in the series was Chasing the Shaman and I was very pleased at how well this book sold. The second, Chasing Dragons in Moravia, didn’t do as well more is the pity as that is where things started to get pretty interesting invoking Perun and Veles, Slavic gods of the sky and the underworld. I think I will do…
I have blogged a few times about Svaty Kopeček or Holy Hill in Mikulov, and included it in my books (Chasing the Shaman). The first trip I took there I found an energy vortex of tremendous power and also discovered that I was not the only one who had found it! I later revisited it with a friend and did a bit more exploration. Last Sunday, I took him and a couple of other friends to see if they could feel the energy. As I have written before – “Tanzburg Hill (Tance – to dance) was actually known for its long pagan history and legends say that the name originates from the dancing performed on the hill to celebrate nature and fertility. It still has a reputation for its strong Earth energies and for an ability to heal and bring fertility. Although it is hard to find much detail about the pagan past of the hill, it seems that it had a long history and a reputation that includes witches sabbats and even a legend about a dragon and a princess!“
The climb up the 330m of Jurassic limestone is in places a bit hairy and I did manage to slip at one point and take the skin of my shin. Along the way are the stations of the cross to take a look at and magnificent vistas of the surrounding countryside famous for its wine and of the town of Mikulov. Although it had rained most of the way there and bands of haze as a result of falling rain could be seen all around, it was actually sunny on Holy Hill!
We spent some time at the ‘circle’ and the central stones dowsing and generally seeing who could feel the energy there. While sitting on the stones meditating, I did get a strong impression that the place was also used in Sun worship – though I do not know what gave me that feeling. It did make me think that one day soon, I should go up there for the sun rise. And I shall.
The hill is really beautiful. The limestone produces a rocky area but as it is limestone, it is also very fertile with lush grass, trees and lots of wild flowers growing there. A perfect visit for a Sunday afternoon hunting earth energies, dragons and other magic.
I spent another half day at Mikulčice this last weekend hoping to continue mapping the energy lines I had discovered last time. I remain puzzled as to why a settlement of 2,000 people, no matter how important it may have been in the Great Moravian Princedom, had 12 churches? Why 12? The number of apostles perhaps? Anyway, it was a beautiful afternoon and when I arrived at the site, the sun was shining. A great afternoon to do some dowsing.
I started at church X again and verified my findings from two weeks previous before wandering around generally following my nose and trying to piece together the pattern of energies. I suppose I was a tad naive in retrospect as the more dowsing I did, the more I discovered. With at least 6 roughly east-west lines and one going NE-SW, I realized that this was a longer-term project. I soon had little arrows marked on the dowsingmapper app all over the place! The only consistency appearing to be that every church had a line running down its aisle and the rotundas surrounded energy centers. I even discovered that the ‘palace’ building also was situated on an energy line.
In the end I did what I could realising I needed a detailed plan of the site in order to continue and another day or so. A lot of the site is difficult to access being long grass and wild flowers. Beautiful but not great for walking in. Several of the churches are buried and so the plan is necessary as I need to place those churches too. So now I’m frantically googling for some form of site plan!
Anyway, it seems that the cathedral church has perhaps 4 energy lines running through it – not two. I found where the lines cross and I simply decided I didn’t care what people thought of me and I stood in it meditating. I felt the energy very strongly.
At each church, I spent time visualizing the energy as lines of light. I felt this seemed the right thing to do. At the end of the day, exhausted from tramping around the site (9km of tramping according to my Apple watch), I found myself at a rotunda church that previously I had not visited. Set away from the main location, I felt the privacy it offered gave me license to be a bit more… well .. arm wavy in meditation.
Maybe after several hours of tuning into the place and occasionally catching glimpses out of the corner of my eyes people that should not and were not there, and of visualizing lines and vortices of light, I had quite an experience. Standing there, I suddenly became aware of a white haired man in an off white robe with a very chunky staff of wood in my inner sight. I asked “Who are you?” The answer sounded like ‘mlkzydch’ – actually a very Slavic sounding sound. I asked again…. ‘vlkzyduch’ maybe…. The man then told me a number of quite surprising things including that many Slavs saw the energies as ‘rivers of light’. The image of him was then replaced with a huge wooden equal-armed cross and then the deepest crimson I ever saw which I took to be the color of the basal chakra and earth energy.
As I finished my meditation, I wanted to sit and make notes and discovered a bench under a huge, old Oak. How apt! Perun’s tree. It reminded me that earlier, in the cathedral church, I had called on Perun to guide me and when I opened my eyes, a large very black cloud had appeared and for a few moments it rained and there was a rumble….. apparently, Perun was pleased.
Yesterday, I tried to map out the lines on maps printed from a map site (mapy.cz) but I realised I had many gaps that needed to be filled on another visit. I also need to know where those other churches are located on the site…. I also googled the name I had been given…. I knew vlk meant wolf but I discovered that vzduk meant air or even breath. Vlkvzuk was translated by Google translate as ‘werewolf’!! I think the better translation is wolf breath to be honest. And why not? The wolf is a totem animal for Slavic pagans and is associated with Veles – the god of the underworld and the trickster god in the pantheon. It is also associated with Dažbog – god of the sun.
It seemed an apt name for a Slavic shaman of the 9th Century….. It made for an interesting end to a great day. Yet, the mystery of Mikulčice is unresolved and will need to wait for another day…..
After visiting the magical forest around Pohansko – complete with Ents! we went on to another Slavic settlement site close by. In the 9th century, the early mediaeval hillfort Valy near Mikulčice, was one of the most important Great Moravian centers in the region. Unfortunately, it is not known what the settlement’s name was or what role it played in the administration of the Moravian empire, either economically or ecclesiastically. The settlement was originally located on several islands lying between meanders of the Morava river and the most important settlement area was located on elevated sand dunes (close to the Moravian desert of the time). The total populated area was 30-60 hectares and a population of 1000-2000 has been estimated.
That this was an important settlement is indicated by the presence of a large palace type building and 12 churches including a larger cathedral-type structure. Graves have been found of many individuals containing the sort of riches associated with the noblest of families. It also seems as if many of the outer areas of settlement may have been for soldiers as very few signs of industry have been discovered so far which is rather puzzling.
Today, the site is well preserved and a park of some extent. I was stunned to discover it and know that in 14-years of living in the area, I had been unaware of its existence! Our first visit was to one of the churches where I immediately discovered an energy line running straight down the E-W directed church. We then moved to another church where I found another energy line running straight down the aisle. The next church we visited was a rotunda outside of the main area and I walked around it finding no energy lines but… I found an energy vortex in the center of the rotunda. Mapping this, I realised it had a four-petal shape. Excitedly, I drew in the sandy soil what I had detected and my colleague looked at me and said – you realise that the inner walls follow that same pattern? I hadn’t noticed but – he was quite correct!
By now, I was really excited. This was really interesting stuff. The next church was also a rotunda – a circular design with two smaller circles attached either side. again, no energy lines but and energy vortex. This time, I dowsed an infinity symbol and of course, it lined up with the design of the church. So, not only were the regular churches sited on energy lines but the rotunda’s were designed around the vortexes???
We visited two more churches and the palace before time ran out and we had to head home. The two churches both had energy lines running down their aisles. One was oriented NW-SE and the other E-W. So, there were several energy lines? I had been using my phone app (DowsingMapper) to map the points and lines and I could see a pattern emerging. Two lines running roughly E-W and one crossing it. The only church we found so far with two energy lines passing through it was – yes – the cathedral structure! There was just time to check the palace – no line in sight!
I realised by now that all the Slavic churches were sited on energy lines or vortices and the design of the church mimicked the form of the energy. Christian churches oriented E-W and perhaps churches built on earlier Slavic pagan sites NW-SE. The lines and vortices were only aligned with religious buildings.
As we drove home, I couldn’t contain my excitement. Does this mean that the early Slavs knew about the energies? The answer seemed clear – they did and they worked with them too.
The next step is to go back for a full day and map the energies on the entire site. However, it is clear already that the Slavs worked with earth energies…… by now, every site I have visited yielded evidence for this – Rajhrad, Miculčice, Stary Mêsto, Uherske Hradištê, Brno and more……
Last weekend, I visited two more sites where Slavs are known to have settled in the 700-1200 timeframe. The first was Pohansko south of Braclav. To visit the site, you need to park up and walk through a remarkable forest that is full of large ancient trees – often dead – surrounded by vibrant living ones. The ancient trees are huge and are identified by signposts as ‘Ents’. As we walked down the lane to the site, we stopped to marvel at several of these old Ents.
The forest opens up to a flat area of land surrounded by an embankment and at the very end of the flat area of land, is the Pohansko Castle. Around the sides of that flat area are a few WW2 bunkers that are worth a quick look.
The flat area of land is where the Slavic settlement was and the embankment marks where the wooden walls would have been protecting the people within. On the basis of archaeological and geophysical surveys, the maximum extent of Pohansko at the time of the Great Moravia Princedom is estimated at around 60 hectares. Only approximately a quarter of the total extent of the stronghold has been excavated and examined to date. A reconstruction of what it may have looked like is shown below.
We immediately found the remains of the church marked out in the grass and the buildings behind it. The church was a very simple structure like those elsewhere in the Morava valley. This one though was sited on an earlier Slavic pagan site and is oriented not the usual christian E-W but rather NW-SE, something the archeologist put down to the early christians assimilating the pagan site. What was intriguing to me was that I dowsed an energy line running, as usual, straight down the aisle of the church with an area of a vortex where you might expect the alter to have been located. I picked up the same energy line 200m NW and SE of the church and, given time, probably could have followed it further.
At the burial ground around the church (9th-10th century) 757 skeletons (208 males, 159 females, 354 sub-adults and 36 undetermined individuals), have been excavated along with many artifacts. With the site being quite long lived, that is perhaps not surprising. However, what was interesting was the pagan site and that had been reconstructed.
The Castle structure was built by the Lichenstein family as a hunting lodge and it now serves as a museum.
My friend was struck by the ‘peacefulness’ he found in the church area and beyond and I have to agree, the whole area including the forest has an atmosphere that is tangible. But the consistency of finding Slavic church ruins sited on energy lines is really interesting. The Slavs apparently were aware of the earth energies based on the evidence so far.
In the afternoon, a visit to Miculčice, where a huge and remarkable Slavic settlement was sited, held further surprises and revelations regarding earth energies and the Slavs……
I will post on that shortly as it literally blew my mind what we found there and what it may mean…..
Kind of an interesting question, depending on perspective. Because I’m sure there could be at least a dozen answers I could come up with–and that does not begin to count the answers other people could give at the exact same time. – and most of them are not the historical phenomenon I am actually talking about.
The historian and life-long student in me wants to pontificate on double faith; that being the particular manifestation of Orthodox Christianity that sprung up after the church swept through eastern Slavic lands and became the dominant religion of the ruling class. The rulers pushed their new holy religion on the masses, regardless of what the masses themselves believed or wanted. Rulers prerogative, as it were, of course.
Which led to a duality of belief that came down to us as a particular phenomenon in early modern Russian religious belief:
This weekend, I was able to visit several sites around Brno. The first was the church of St. Peter and St. Paul in Řeznovice that I had noticed passing by on a recce trip to the Templstejn area in the Jihlava valley south of Brno. I stopped at the church because it simply doesn’t look like a Czech church. Pulling up to the church this time, I was again struck by how different the church is to the average church in the region. Excitedly, I rushed up to the door only to be disappointed by the fact it was locked. Oh well, at least I could look around the outside of it I thought when a woman’s head popped around the back of the church and said “Je to otevrene” (It is open!). It seems the entrance was actually around the corner!
Once inside, I began an exploration of the church. Czech churches generally are fairly modern inside having been rebuilt at some point in the recent past and some work had taken place here – so no green men or that kind of thing peering at you unfortunately, but plenty of mystery. To be honest, I did not detect any unusual energies in the church but it was certainly intriguing. The visit was a little rushed as the woman was cleaning and preparing the church for a service it seemed. A man was vacuuming while the woman was preparing the seating. I was told the church would be closed when they were done and I asked for ‘5 minutes’. They smiled and said ‘no problem.’ The church must be visited a lot as when I signed the visitor’s book, we skimmed through the many entries from people from all around the world.
St. Peter and St. Paul – Reznovice
The church is really very different and is celebrated as the only example of a romanesque church in Moravia. There are a couple of other examples in and around Prague it seems. Part of the church was demolished in the 16th Century to add a new rectangular nave according to archeological investigations. The central part of the church consists of a square nave with a 5.16 meter long planar edge with three apses. The octagonal tower formation, topped by a pyramid, rises above this part of the church. Strangely, the floor is said to have been made 70 cm higher than it was originally and the church at one time was a two story structure!
From what I can discover – and I am sure I will get better information over time, the court of a nobleman was established there in the 12th Century and the Church was a part of the construction. No one though seems quite sure of its origins which are shrouded in the mystery of time but it may have been founded as early as the early 1100’s. The castle or court in Řeznovice was first mentioned in 1373 when it was owned by one Bohuslav of Víckov. It was destroyed during the Czech-Hungarian wars and in its place was built first a yard and then the rectory of the church.
It seems that a nearby hill fort known as Rokytná came to some sort of grief and the nobleman set up in Řeznovice instead and the church was a private chapel for the nobleman. When the nobleman’s line came to an end, the structures changed hands several times and in 1259 it belonged to the Oslavany monastery and later probably to the Templar comanderie in Jamolice and Templstejn. After 1312, it was acquired by the Lords of Lipá, who granted it as a fief. From 1538, it belonged to the Oslavany family, was abandoned in the 30-years war and 1784 became a parish.
In the 14th Century, a religious text was written into the northern apse and paintings added around the middle of the 16th century. Some of the paintings remain and these were rediscovered in 1947 when the church was reworked and are said to represent St. Andrew and John the Evangelist. Above them are half-figures of angels with inscription strips, and part of the mandorla belongs to a missing figure of Christ. In the lower part of the southern apse is a six-line inscription made on a stone. In one of the side altars that was demolished in 1791, it is said that evidence was found attesting to the consecration of the church on 26 October 1483 in honor of St. Peter, Paul and Andrew.
Top of the remaining fresco
Inside, there are figurative tombstones of Markéta Hadburková of Žarošice (+1584) and Kateřina, daughter of Petr Ried (+1584) and heraldic tombstones of Hrubý stonemason Petr Ried (+ 1575) and Ctibor Hostakovský of Arklebice (+ 1603). There is also an interesting stone bearing Kuman inscriptions (Kumans were a nomadic Turkic people) from the early 14th century. The inscription was not deciphered until 1952 by Prague orientalist dr. Pavel Poucha. It is a font similar to Uighur and mentions Marqusz – it is a name on the tombstone of a Kuman warrior who died in Hungarian service. There is also another stone bearing a Templar cross. Both of the latter certainly caught my attention and during later googling, threw up some interesting mysteries as follows.
At the beginning of the fourteenth century, the nearby town of Ivančice was apparently burned down the troops of Duke Albrecht I of Habsburg. His auxiliary troops were largely composed of the Kumans, a Turkish nomadic ethnicity. The Kumans originated from an area that gradually extended from the Black Sea to the borders of present-day Mongolia. However, Tartar and Mongolian expansion eventually pushed them deeper into the center of Europe. Here a certain proportion of the Kuman population found a new home in the territory of Hungary, where it subsequently adopted Christianity and became part of the Hungarian nation. Dr. Poucha deciphered the inscription on the stone as “MARQUSZ”, which corresponds to the Christian name Markus, or Mark. The stone may be a fragment of a tombstone of a Kuman that was buried there. However, why was the traditional script used?
The mysterious Kuman stone
But the mystery deepens as on the outskirts of Ivančice, there is said to be a small hill, still called Kumán. According to legend, it is a burial mound, built by the Kumans above the grave of their late chief. The story is reminiscent of the legend of the last resting place of the legendary Atilla the hun and a golden treasure of immense value. In the first half of the 20th century, amateur archaeological surveys were conducted here, but they did not support the theory as the base of the hill seems to be made of natural rock.
Interestingly, the name of the village is also translated in German to Regensberg and the church is also often associated with Regensburg, in Germany and with the Romanesque Chapel of All Saints there. Perhaps the link is that the builders of the Regensburg church came to build this one too? Some have remarked on the similarity of the Kuman stone to old Germanic runes and the stone has eight and a half identifiable characters. We can know that it is not a forgery as the famed Bohuslav Balbín in his Epitomae of 1677, speaks of a “church that is paved with tombstones of the Kumans.” While he doesn’t mention the exact location of the church, its location is given between Ivančice and Oslavany near Brno, and must surely be this church. So, germanic runes or Kuman text? Who knows!
Next to the Kumán stone, is a stone marked with a Templar cross. The Templars first founded a Commandery in nearby Jamolice and later moved it to a more strategic headland watching over the Jihlava River – Templštejn. The ruins of the castle are also surrounded by many legends one of which tells of a secret underground passage from Templštejn to the church and in some legends, a castle near Brno many miles away. According to some sources, the grave of the last Templštejn Commander may be hidden by the church.
The bell tower contains three bells once of which dates back to 1483 – though it is no longer rung as two newer bells were added in the 1950’s. Until 1793 there was a cemetery around the church . Next to the church is a Rococo cross from the 18th century.
The church can also be purchased as a paper model I discovered!
For me, exploring the land in an esoteric fashion often brings with it remarkable coincidences and events. These little magical happenings are often of great import to the person experiencing them but may seem less than magical to an outsider. In each of these blogs, I will finish by mentioning such instances and let you be the judge.
On this trip, I was accompanied by my rather bemused girlfriend who, while enjoying the history and the trip was always a bit suspicious of the underlying intent. Strange then that the first visit should be to a Czech church with a Hungarian mystery as my girlfriend is Hungarian and lives in Budapest! The second little bit of magic was the connection of this remarkable church to the Templars as we will see, the Templars were a major feature of the weekend trip.