Svaty Kopec Explored

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.

The Mikulčice Mystery

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.

Dowsing record at start of my afternoon….

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!

And at the end of the afternoon….

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…..

Mikulčice and Earth Energies

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……

Earth Energy Lines…

The Slavic Settlement of Pohansko

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…..

The Mysterious Řeznovice Church of Sts. Peter and Paul

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.

St. Andrew?

John?

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.

Tombstone

Tombstone detail

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.

Templar Cross

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.

Chapel Interior

Originally posted at https://garymvasey.com/2020/01/05/the-mysterious-reznovice-chruch-of-st-peter-and-st-paul/

Rajhrad

Rajhrad is quite well known in Brno as it lies just to the south of the city and it has a very nice old monastery that was neglected by the communists (used as a weapons warehouse) and is now slowly being restored. Part of the monastery is now used exactly as it was intended – as a Benedictine monastery next to the church of St. Peter and St. Paul. Another part houses a museum and library where, many years ago, I saw a copy of the Devil’s Bible, or Codex Gigas on display. Yet another part is still being renovated and preserved while some parts may even now be small homes.

Rajhrad translates to my poor Czech as ‘Paradise Castle’ and my Czech daughter agreed however, research suggests a better translation may be Eden’s Castle. The origins of the name though hold deeper mystery and perhaps comes from ‘rajati’ or ‘sacred dance’ and ‘hrad’ meaning sacrificial place originally. Thus, the name really speaks to Rajhrad’s pre-christian past. That pre-christian past goes a long way back to the stone age it seems but I am fascinated by its status as a Slavic settlement from around 500 or so. Other translations such as that by PJ Safarik suggests it meant a walled settlement at a place of cult. During the 800’s, Rajhrad was indeed a walled settlement of some importance in the Princedom of Great Moravia. That it was a place of worship in those days is obvious due to the find of a status of Svarog, the Slavic Sun god (now in the museum apparently) and archeological evidence of a small christian chapel.

After 863, christianity started to spread through the Slavic lands of the region by Sts. Constantine and Methodius, but the locals held on to their pagan traditions and gods for much longer it seems to me with only the aristocracy really being overtly christianized. As Great Moravia declined so did the settlement, which was always marshy leaving just a small monastery there and the local population moved to a nearby area that was drier and more secure while protecting the small monastery.

The founding of the monastery is up for debate as there are some fake documents dating to the 13th Century that complicate things. However, it was meant to be founded in 1045 by Duke Bretislav I and was therefore the first monastery in Moravia. Bretislav donated a swathe of local land as well on which the monks and locals could live.

The Tartar invasion of 1241-2 meant devastation for the monastery and it was again ruined in 1253 as a Hungarian-Kumar force swept the region (The Kumar’s also link with the Templar romanesque church in Reznovice – also a St, Peter and St. Paul!). More disasters followed in 1278 as a result of the battle of Marchfield and by the troops of Rudolph Hapsburg who marched through the region such that by 1281, the monastery was in ruins and lived in by Gerhard of Obrany who was forced to vacate by Vaclav II. From that point forward, it had a rather continuous existence and was even the burial place of one George James Ogilvy born in Angus, Scotland in 1605. He was in fact the commander of the forces at Špilbirk Castle here in Brno (which is just above me as a write…). In 1645, he held his fortress against the Swedes for 16-weeks and for his bravery he was  promoted to colonel and gained the status of a free lord. His annual grant was 1,500 gold, which allowed him to buy a mill in Želešice with adjoining houses. He remained in Brno until his death on June 7, 1661 was buried in Rajhrad.

The current monastery though is the one that was rebuilt starting in 1691. The foundation stone was eventually laid in 1722. The only part that is really intact now is the church and it is a beautiful. It also has a real atmosphere…. Anyone interested in the current church can find a lot of information at this website. And just check out the occult symbolism in the image of Mary on the front of the church.

Veligrad?

This last Sunday, I went off to the Morava valley in search of Veligrad – the old capital of the Slavic princedom of Great Moravia that appears to have existed between 800-1000 or thereabouts. The name is probably derived from the words Big or Great (Velky) and Castle (Hrad) and descriptions of the place – though few and far between – suggest the place had massive walls and was impregnable. The issue is that the Slavs didn’t write much down….

According to many archeologists, the most likely site is Stary Mesto next to Uherske Hradiste on the River Morava. In fact, the entire river valley seems to have been dominated by a number of settlements in that era. Prior to leaving on my trip, I had done quite a bit of research online. The first part of the trip was to just outside of Kyjov in search of a ‘mountain’ called Naklo. This is an alternate site for Velegrad that hasn’t much support but…. this area was a smoking set of mud volcanoes often with natural fires burning as hydrocarbons escaped. To the east was a desert that existed until 150 or so years ago and was said to be like the Sahara – dunes and all! To the west of it were iron works and iron mines. Combined with a story of dragons about a Naklo, this seemed to me to be an interesting area. It was but more on it in another post!

From there, we drove another 55km to Stare Mesto. 55km! So this area inhabited by Slavic tribes was actually rather large! On arrival, we first went to visit the ruins of a Slavic church on the hillside overlooking Uherske Hradiste. Notes in English helped me understand what we were seeing. A little bit of dowsing established that an energy line appeared to run East-West straight down the length of the church!

In some descriptions of the city of Veligrad, reference is made to three distinctive hills in the background and from here, these could clearly be seen. We then visited a cemetery in Stare Mesto where another building was to be viewed and close by to that a series of posters informed as to the city of Velegrad including reference to those walls!

There is also a museum but of course, at the moment, that is firmly closed.

We then drove a little further to Modra – a town close to the current Velehrad. Here, there is an open air museum showing how life in a Slavic settlement of that era might have looked. Surprisingly, it was open – perhaps unofficially – but we explored the place and I was struck by the standard of workmanship. It truly is worth a visit. I cannot image that the Slavs were clean people though…..

By the museum, I had also heard that another church had been unearthed and we quickly found this and the modern mock up of how that church may have looked.

The three hills could also be clearly seen in the distance.

Today’s Velehad and its basilica were built a tad later and the site has become a place of pilgrimage and for me, a place of Earth energies always worthy of a visit. Today, however, we made a quick drive past Modra to revisit the King’s Table…. a stone circle that was referenced in the 11th Century and certainly is older than that. In the neauty, peace and atmosphere of the King’s Table I spent some moments in quiet meditation remembering a special person who I know would have loved to have visited it… and perhaps she was there in spirit?

Of course, I had used this image for the cover of my book Chasing Dragons in Moravia which, together with Chasing the Shaman, form an account of how I got interested in connecting with the land and how magic is to be found in Moravia.