The Rus of Rurik

Author: Vladimir Karpets

Translators: Jafe Arnold, Nina Kouprianova

Chapter 1 of Tsarsky Rod (2016)  

“He who correctly explains the name of Rus will find the key to explaining her primordial history,” wrote the Polish historian A.R. Brueckner. What’s more, not only its primordial history, but the very “seed of its logos,” its meaning, and he will find the key to the Russian future. As the monk Andronik (A.F. Losev) wrote, “the Greek expression EIS ONOMA or EN ONOMAK, ‘in the name’, itself proves that a name is a certain situating of divine energies, and the immersion and residence in it of all created beings leads to enlightenment and the salvation of the latter.”

Today we are beginning to grasp, to understand our name. Our own name. Our name – “Russians” – transcends the division into Great Russians, Belarusians, Little Russians, and Rusyns. It is derived from Rus.

And now the first and oldest question: Where are you from, Rus? In her book, Prizvanie varyagov [The Calling of the Varangians], Lydia Grot says:

Scholars have long paid attention to the abundance of hydronyms in Eastern Europe, the formation of whose names involved the root component ras/ros/rus’ or rus. The most ancient of known names for the main river of Eastern Europe, the Volga, was Ra. This was maintained by Ptolemy (the middle of the second century A.D.) and has been discovered in Herodotus (the fifth century B.C.) with the same vocalization of the root ra-. The historian A.V. Podosinov believes that there are even more ancient names for the Volga. One of them was preserved on the ancient Iranian Avesta, the commonly accepted dating of which is believed to be the end of the second and first half of the first millennium B.C. The text on this artifact mentions a river called Ravjha (Rangha or Rankha) in which many Iranian scholars see the Volga. In the hymns of the ancient Indian Rig Veda (from the end of the second to the beginning of the first millennium B.C.), there is reference to the northern river of Rasa which scholars equate to the Avestian Rangha and the Volga. In one Greek treatise from the third or fourth century A.D., the authorship of which is attributed to Agapimeno, there is mention of the Volga in the form of Ros. In the space stretching from the Volga/Rasa/Ros to Neman/Ros’ (Rus) can be found Ros’ or Rusa, a river in the Novgorod province; Rus’, a tributary of the Narew; Ros’, the famous tributary of the Dnieper river in Ukraine; Rusa, a tributary of the Seym; the Ros’ of the the Emajõgi river; the Ros’ of the Oskol river; and Poruse, a tributary of the Polist, etc.

The presence of the land of Rus and the Rusians themselves on the territory between rivers with the names Ras/Rus/Ros’/Rus’ speaks to the fact that Rus was supposed to be the ancestral territory of a people bearing the same name.

But it is completely clear that this is not only and not so much of a matter of ethnonyms. The Rig Veda also contains the word rasa which stands for “liquid,” “juice,” or “main substance,” and in the Mahabharata means “water,” “drink,” “nectar,” or “milk” i.e.,  it possesses related semantics.

Another example: in studying the etymology of the river in the Novgorod region named Poruse, which in antiquity was called Rusa, some scholars have come to the opinion that the river’s name is ancient Baltic and descends from the root rud-s/roud-s meaning red. However, this is a root word with the same meaning as in Sanskrit, hence it could have been borrowed to Lithuanian (given their proximity). This word is also in the Russian language. In Sanskrit, the word rudhir means red, blood-red, or blood. The Indologist N.R. Guseva explains: “the meaning of red in Sanskrit traces back to the ancient route rudh which meant ‘to be red or brown.’ This ancient meaning can be juxtaposed to the ancient Russian words rodry, rudy, or rdyany which denoted the color red, as well as the ancient Russian word ruda – blood.”

But what is this “blood”? What kind of blood?

Lydia Grot concludes that the name Rus, from which many rivers in Eastern Europe received their names, was the sacred name of the ancestor of the Rusian people.

The entire Hungarian and Romanian region is covered with names reminiscent of Rus: Poiana Rusca, Ruskberg, Russ, Rusor, Rusanesti, Ruscova, Rusova, Ruspoliana, Rustina, Rutka, Rostock, Rossia, Rosaci, Roschina. Many villages’ names are conjuncted with oros or orosh, which in Hungarian is rus.  They can also include olah or vlah, i.e., Roman, Magyar, horvat, roman, and nemet. This serves as undeniable proof that the population, at least in the old days, distinguished between themselves Rus, Walachians, Croatians, and Germans.

But this is by no means limited to “Eastern Europe.”

Besides the conventional singling out of an “Eastern European” Rus (Kuyaba, Slaviya, Ar(s)taniya), the scholar of “paganism” (we employ this concept with a certain degree of reservation), M.L. Seryakov, also distinguished “another Rus” far in the West. Later, over the course of our narrative, we will see the proto-geopolitical meaning of this.

M.L. Seryakov points to the Primary Chronicle’s testimony of the existence of Rus on both sides of the Varangian sea, i.e., also in the “English land.” Of course, Seryakov stipulates that he is not speaking of Jutland which, in his opinion, was inhabited by the Angles before their relocation to Britain. He also refers to the Jewish Book of Yosippon (from the 10th century), whose author “places one Rus in the neighborhood of the Saxons and Angels, and the second on the Dnieper.”

This testimony is important because the “Russian-British drama” has dragged on throughout all memorable centuries. But more on this later.

***

The phrase “Ancient Rus” was artificial in its common usage (before the 17th century). It arose from the desire of the official historiography of the 19th and especially the 20th century to identify Russian history with the histories of other peoples and states. The very desire for such an identification, however, betrays the poorly concealed doubt in its subject. In one way or another, it must be recognized that the Russian state of the 8th-10th centuries which is discerned as the epoch of “Ancient Rus” (no more nor less up until Peter the Great) has no relation whatsoever to the ancient, i.e., classical world. Before us is a typical medieval state. As for the actual period of Russian antiquity, then, guided by the methods of positivist science, i.e., documents whose dating is always doubtful, it is difficult here and now to speak of anything at length. It is necessary to draw only the most general outline.

Certain revelations which, not coincidentally, appeared at the very beginning of the Second World War in the journal Bulletin of Ancient History, appear to us to be extraordinarily valuable. The author of the article “On the Question of the Origin of the word ROS, ROSIA”, Russia, M. Syuzyumov, merely summarized the Old Testament and in particular Byzantine evidence of this ancient sacred name which later became a generally accepted ethnonym. M. Syuzyumov writes:

“It can be asserted with full certainty that the ancient Russians never called themselves ‘rossians’. There is no such word in Russian language in ancient artifacts. Moreover, it can be assumed that even the Byzantine Greeks themselves hardly called the Russians ‘rossians’ in spoken language…Liutprand, the bishop of Cremona who visited Constantinople the mid-10th century, mentions the Russians in his work Antapodosis. He reports that the Russians received their name from the Greek word ROYSIOS (which means ‘red’) and that this name was given to the Russians for the particular color shade of their bodies…In the Greek translation of Ezekiel, one encounters more than once the name ‘ros’ in the form of ‘rosh’: ‘Son of man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him’ (Ezek. 38:2)…However, if one carefully follows the epithets of Patriarch Photios addressed to the Russians, then it turns out that Photios falls into an obvious contradiction. On the one hand, he calls the Russians  a world-famous people. On the other hand, about the same Russians in his second speech, Photios speaks of a people entirely unknown, ETNOS AFANES AL NASION, a mysterious, unknown ETNOS ASEOMOS, unclear people who are MEZE MEKHRI TES KAT EMON EPEL YSEOS GIGNOSOMENON, incomprehensible and unrecognizable upon approach. How can we combine his words TO TRYLLOYMENON, i.e., that they are those ‘about whom everyone speaks,’ ‘commonly-known’, and ‘infamous’ with his words that they are, AGNOSION, ‘unknown’ and AFANES, ‘shady’? If in mind is a concrete nationality, the Russians, who attacked Constantinople, then we are left with a contradiction, a genuinely irreconcilable one.

We will return to this “irreconcilable contradiction” again, and more than once. As for an “introduction to the problem,” let us recall the Varna caste system of Aryan society that was preserved (of course, in a diminished, rudimentary form) up until the French Revolution of the 18th century with its uprising of the “third estate” against the first (the aristocracy) and the second (the clergy). In the ancient Aryan (Japhetic) languages, sur, ms, kyr, syr, and sar meant not only the color red, but sun, gold, blood, (metal) ore, race, and generation (all of these concepts are essentially synonymous) and, of course, imperial power, the imperial-warrior, Kshatriya caste – in other words, the Golden Type or Royal Blood (Sang Royal). In addition, as noted in the 19th century by A.A. Kunik and V.R. Rozen: “Rus is from the Gothic hrodh, or glory (hence the definition of the Black Sea Goths as the Hrudgoths. This word was part of the name Rurik (Hrodhrekr) and originally meant the dynasty, only to then transition to mean the country where this dynasty ruled.”

Is it not interesting that in “Biblical Hebrew”, there is also this letter? Resh means head (including beheading) and prince, i.e., the ruler. The “mystery” of the “Rus race” (which is mentioned as the future race of the liberators of Tsargrad in The Tale of the Capture of Constantinople from the 15th century attributed to Nestor Iskander) is entirely explainable given that Byzantium did not develop dynastic elements. Anyone could become the emperor. At the moment of the fall of Constantinople, the Russians had an obvious, solid ruling princely dynasty. In this sense, the adjective “Russian” which has caused confusion among some modern authors becomes a quite natural designation for the royally anointed, the sovereign. Moreover, it turns out that for Russia the ethnonym and state name coincide with the name of its first ruling line. The meaning of this for Russian historiosophy, as for the Russian consciousness, cannot be overestimated.

There are just as many meanings and designations in the ethnonyms of the Slavs, or Novgorod Slavs called Slovene in Russian. In fact, we know from so-called “academic history” the names of the “Slavic tribes” – the Drevliane, the Vyatichi, the Poliane, Radimichi, etc. – who did not directly bear the name Slavs or Slovene and, despite the closeness of their languages, frequently did not understand one another.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” – everyone knows this beginning of the Fourth Gospel (John 1:1). The Word of God, or the Eternal Sacrifice slain before the beginning of time (here we cannot speak of time, but of aeonic dimension) is an image both ‘about’ and ‘before’ created from the red (ros) land of man (if we combine the Russian word for “word,” slovo and for “man”, chelovek, we have slovek). This is the “voiced image” (MEROIS or MERORIS) – the “first born from God” and the “first sacrifice” in one and the same name. The eternal sacrifice of the Son of God and God, the Second Face of the Holy Trinity, the “uncreated”, precedes the creation of created man in the sense known to him as materia prima. Jesus Christ from the heavens is the eternal Adam (the Red Clay) and is in one and the same name the new Adam and His Resurrected Flesh. Fallen Adam himself is in one and the same name the ruler, bestowing the names to creations, and the priest is the sacrifice of the mystery of Paradise (“fruit and prayer”). However, with the fall of the first man, the heavenly mystery was been deprived of its fruit and turned into bloody pagan sacrifice (all pagan cults, including the Dionysian), since for the restoration of the heavenly dimension and the new bloodless, Eucharistic sacrifice, the phenomenon of the sacrifice of the God-man himself in history was necessary. The pagan priests, however, and their Varna caste and tradition, preserved a corrupted memory of serving the God Word, of course in “shadow, not truth” in the words of Metropolitan Hilarion. The “shadow”, however, was so profound, down to the depths of the underworld, that it “demanded” human sacrifices as inevitable in a world outside of Christ. These dedicated priests originally, as far as is apparent, were originally Slavs or Slovene. It is from them, as some authors believe, that the ancient city of Slovensk probably received its name, which is precisely in the place of modern Novgorod (some trace it a bit further north and closer to a modern city on the Neva). “The Ilmen Slav sovereigns that founded Slovensk and Rus were the masters of all of Pomerania and even up to the Arctic Sea and along the great Pechora river and Vyma through the high, impassable mountains in the country of Siberia to the great river Ob and to the mouth of the whitewater river.”

One of the “gods” of the pre-Christian Slavic pantheon was Veles or Volos. Volosy, meaning “hair” in Russian, are an attribute of solar light, the king-priest (let us remember that the Word of God is the King and the High Priest). The first to draw attention to the anagram of the Volos-Word was the outstanding translator and writer Vladimir Mikushevich. In addition to a direct reference to the Adamic, heavenly rites even in “paganism,” before us is a direct indication that “Slav” or “Sloven”, i.e., the “voiced image” (MEROIS), is first and foremost a sacrifice and priest, albeit, of course, before the sacrifice, the God-Word, abolishes the “bloody, human sacrifice.”

Applying this to the “social structure” of the ancient society of the Slovene, there is the priest who is identical to a druid or sorcerer. Thus, the Slavo-Russian language is the royal, priestly language just as how in Europe, for example, the Franco-Celtic combination is a combination of free (francs) soldiers, i.e., the same people bearing light-brown hair and Celtic druids (kit-kchld – Chaldean – koldun) and the magi-“Slovene.” With the adoption of Christianity, the Varna caste division of Aryan society was, of course, cleansed of its “pagan abomination” and “mystery of iniquity,” i.e., specifically of blood sacrifices. Thus, it was miraculously transformed into the symphony of the Orthodox Empire and yielded the Bloodless Sacrifice of the Orthodox Priesthood. The concepts of “Russian”, “Slav,” “Frank,” or “Gaul” (hl-kl-klt), “Goth,” or “Celt” were gradually transformed into ethnonyms. This can only be realized upon setting aside the famous dispute between the “Normanists” and “anti-Normanists.”

The point is that both the Slavs and the Rus (like the Franks and Celts) ethnologically belonged to one Northern Aryan ethnos today known as the Veneti. In the days of old, one could stumble upon the name mentioned by Strabo – Vindelicum or Vendelicum (and the Baltic Sea was the Sinus Venedicus). Moreover, one of their names was Franks (the “free ones”) and the other was Slavs. As Eckhard wrote, “The Franks once dwelled near the Baltic Sea, where there is now the Vagria” (Franci olim ad mare Balthicum, ubu nune est Vagria). It should thus be clearly borne in mind that all of these ethnonyms are from later times. “The Franconian Slavs,” writes the 19th century Russian scholar Y.I. Venelin (Gutsa), “did not call themselves Vindelicum, just as they did not call themselves Slovene as the name existing only in ethnographic books. The very word Franks is a modern ethnonym derived from one of the names of the kings who ruled the ancient Vagria called Reges Francorum and who, according to Fredegar and the later chroniclers, were the descendants of the Trojan kings (the line of Priam). These are the Trojan Veneti settlers who formed the ruling, princely caste of whom Polybius wrote. According to him, they “differ little from the Celts, but speak their own language. The writers of tragedies often mention this people and speak of its many miracles.”

Everything thus turns out to be very simple: in the West they were called Franks, and in the East, Rus. This also renders clear the process of the transformation of the Varnas (the castes) into ethnoi (and not vice versa, contrary to Marxist and Liberal science) and renders it easier to trace the evolution of the remnants of the old law of the land.

The modern scholar of the history of law, M.A. Isaev, writes:

Rus could finally merge with the Slavs no early than the 12th century. The Russian Truth knew very well the Rusin opposed to both the Varangian Kyfling (the foreigner) and the Slav. This is a very characteristic feature of the Russian tradition. The sources of barbarian law usually secured legal position not only among different layers of the population, but also in different forms between ethnoi. The barbarian laws knew a similar differentiation between the conqueror peoples and, for example, the Romans, who continue to live according to jus Quiritium. But what distinguishes the Russian legal as well as cultural and state civilization among the whole lot of barbarian and ancient samples of Western European culture is the rejection of ethnic particularism as a principle of state life…

The latter is quite natural based on the Divine and Theophonic, not ethnic origin of royal (i.e., Russian) authority. Wherever authors more based in tradition do not literally, i.e., like “foreigners,” understand, for example, the Varangians (we will see below what this word meant among the ancient Aryans), the picture manifests itself more clearly, acquiring intelligible outlines.

The Primary Chronicle of the 15th century and the praise of the Russian language contained therein, the sources of which date back to the Kiev dome, says:

This will be known by all languages and all peoples that the Russian language is from nowhere and this holy faith and Russian alphabet was not introduced by anyone but God the Almighty, the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit imbued/breathed faith and the acceptance of baptism and other Church customs from the Greeks to [St.] Vladimir [the Great], whereas the Russian alphabet was given by God in Korsun [Chersonesos Taurica in Crimea] to the Russians, and from this philosopher Constantine learned it, from this he wrote books in the Russian language. […] That same Russian man was virtuous in thought and action, in pure faith he isolated himself, and from the Russian language came early Christians, and it is not known by anyone where it came from. [1]

A.G. Dugin writes: “The Russian monarchical tradition began, as is known, with the calling of Rurik from the Varangians to kingship over a group of Slavic and Finno-Ugric tribes. In the later period, descending from the first prince – Rurik – was the spiritual and genealogical justification of royal authority, its legitimacy and sacred legality. This tradition was so persistent and deep, so self-evident and absolute in Russians’ understanding, that it simply could not have been inconsistent with the indigenous archetypes of ancient forms of consciousness which, although they moved into the sphere of the unconscious, nevertheless did not lose their efficiency and validity. In our opinion, the calling of Rurik from among the Varangians was seen as a great, nationwide mystery embodying in itself the script of the supernatural origin of royal power which is characteristic for all ancient, traditional dynasties.”

Thus, Slavo-Russian means simply Divine-ruling. ROS and MEROIS. MEROIS is the “voiced image,” i.e., the voiced, or slovesny in Russian, and thus Slovensky – one of the names of the First Adam.

***

The modern world has an exceptionally short memory. While extolling “European civilization” as the kingdom of democracy, i.e., Laodicea (which sounds like the Greek synonym of the word laocracy, or rule of the people), it is forgotten that the history of the latter is the history of a mere three centuries. Moreover, the Russian liberals of the last century, dreaming of the “Novgorod Republic,” did not remember, did not know, and did not want to know of the sacred center of our ancient homeland which had nothing in common with their understanding of the “principles” of the French and American bourgeois revolutions as they envisioned and reflected upon in their minds.

It must be said that the most significant refutation of liberal forgetfulness is the historical and archaeological science of recent years that has paradoxically confirmed the Church Tradition (the chronicle tale Of the Slovene and Rus, the Christian Cosmography of Saint Cosmas Indikoplov and others), just as has practically all of the archaic Byliny, ancient Japhetic, and semi-fantastic corpus. A scholar of the Romans from the ’80’s and ’90’s of the last century who compared the results of historical-archaeological science with legend speaks of a place approximately covering the space between present-day Novgorod and St. Petersburg:

Great Slovensk. The ancient northern capital of the Japhites founded in 2409 B.C. and defunct after the rejection of the Apostle Andrew and the outbreak of hostilities by Princes Lalokh (Khalokh) and Lakhern against the ‘scepter of the Greek kingdom.’ In the 9th century, under the reign of Rurik, the northern capital was transferred down the river Volkhov and called New City, or Novy Grad. The works of the eastern geographers containing data related to the 50’s-’80’s of the 9th century speak of three groups of the Rus, the main of which was As-Slaviyu with its center in the city of Slava…usually identified with the Ilmen Slovenes and their center with the precursor of Novgorod, whose name has been preserved by eastern authors (see the works of A.P. Novoseltsev and V.Y. Petrukhin). The oldest part of Novgorod bears the name ‘Slavno’ which is consistent with the names in Arab sources. Based on this, it is clear that the expanses of Slovensk should, if not surpass, then at least match the square of the ancient part of Novgorod. However, contrary to common sense, the majority of Soviet archaeologists have identified such an enormous metropolis as Slovensk presented in sources as a small, princely ‘Rurik settlement.’ The real Great Slovensk, whose kilometer-long ramparts are covered by forest, remains unexplored and is not marked on archeological maps to this day.

Speaking of the history of Novgorod (from the 8th-9th centuries), much allows the assumption to be made that it was conceived of long before the official Baptism of Kiev as an Orthodox Christian city, as early Novgorodian Orthodoxy, with its special veneration of the Sophia, the Holy Wisdom, which also houses the genealogical mystery of (and indeed answer to) the House of Rurik itself.

Conventional historiography depicts the baptism of the land of Novgorod as the deed of the famous Dobrynya Malkhovich, the “uya” (uncle) of Saint Vladimir, done “by fire and sword”, and Novgorod itself and the Russian North in general as “pagan Wandea.” However, an attentive reading of local Novgorodian literary sources reveals a significantly more complex picture. Let us recall that in ancient times, Northern Rus was an integral part of Northern Europe as a whole in which the confrontation between Christianity and “paganism” – before the mass genocide orchestrated in the 9th-10th centuries on the order of the Carolingian papacy – did not acquire such tragic severity as in the Roman Empire. Let us also recall that behind the “round table” of King Arthur, the Druid Merlin sits adjacent to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and in the Edda both pre-Christian cosmogony and Christian historiosophy coexist. Only under the Carolingians did the destruction of entire ethnic groups, such as the Saxons and Bretons, begin on religious grounds…

And yet was the Russian North “pagan” or Christian on the eve of the official Baptism of Rus?

In the Tale of Bygone Years that Passed in Great Novgorod, it is said:

In the age of our pious Russian great princes living in Novgorod and voluntarily at peace with all the lands, the Germans [foreigners] sent their envoys from all 70 cities. They bowed to the earth in front of the archbishop of Novgorod, and the local government, and military, and the entire city of Novgorod and said, “Dear neighbors! Give us a piece of your land in the middle of Great Novgorod where we can place a shrine according to our own faith and customs. [2] 

The Novgorodians responded, saying:

By the grace of God and that of the Most Pure Mother of God and our father, the archbishop, through blessing and prayer, in the birthplace of our lords, great Russian princes in Great Novgorod, there are only Orthodox churches of our Christian faith here. After all, how can light and darkness join forces? How can your shrine be built in our city? […] Mayor Dobrynia, blinded by a bribe and taught by the Devil, ordered to move the Church of St. John the Baptist to a different location and gave its place to the Germans [foreigners]. […] And when the Germans [foreigners] built their own church [of a different faith], they hired Novgorod icon painters and ordered them to paint the image of the Savior on the southern wall at the top in order to appeal to and seduce [Orthodox] Christians. And when these icon painters painted the image of the Savior in the [foreign] church without informing the archbishop about this, and took off the covers, then immediately at that moment came rain and hail, and the place where the image of the Savior was painted was knocked out by hail and washed away by rain without a trace. [3] 

At first glance, the Tale of Bygone Years was compiled and written by the zealots of piety. However, a reading of the commentary to it written by L.A. Dmitriev leaves one to think somewhat differently about its origins and – especially! – the reasons for its emergence and distribution. Dmitriev writes:

This tale dates figures among those landmarks of Novgorodian literature at the heart of which lie oral traditions of local origin…V.L. Yanin believes that the ‘there exist visible signs of the reliability of this legend.’ The legend itself apparently appeared very early, no later than the 12th century, but the tale was written down considerably later. E.A. Rybina noted that the Khutyn abbot Zacchaeus is named in literature dated to the years 1477-1478. Accordingly, the Tale of Bygone Years could not have been written earlier than the second half of the ’70’s of the 15th century. The pronounced anti-Boyar orientation of the Tale of Bygone Years, the words in its beginning on the independence of Novgorod, and the clearly evident condemnation of Novgorodian customs – all of this speaks to the fact that it was written after Novgorod’s loss of independence, i.e., once again no earlier than the late ’70’s of the 15th century. We cannot say what the thrust of the original legend of Dobrynya was, but the character of the Tale of Bygone Years is evidence that this work was forged in a democratic environment, and religious motives are no longer at the fore in the Tale…

But if not religious motives, then what kind? Let us pay attention to the words of this historian, namely, that this work was created in a democratic environment.

The book of the Novgorodian historian and archaeologist of the last century, Vasiliy Peredolsky, which we shall have to repeatedly cite (the book was published only in Novgorod in 1898 and has never been reprinted, neither before nor after 1917) indeed speaks of several mysterious temple (and not only temple) buildings somehow subsequently destroyed over the course of approximately the 8th-16th centuries. First and foremost, this most inquisitive historian, who was also the author of studies on the prehistoric tombs of the Novgorodian Slavs, points to the existence in Novgorod at least until the 13th century of an Orthodox church named after the Apostle Peter whose services were held in Latin. This church is also mentioned in the famous The Questions of Kirik. During the war with the sword-bearers, i.e., the Catholics, this temple was not disturbed but, moreover, all Novgorodians came to it for sacrifices. “Was it not Fryazian, i.e., did it not at all belong to the Christians of Roman Orthodoxy, the Fryazians, and did its original appearance have no relationship to the centuries before the division of the Church into East and West?” According to V.S. Peredolsky, this church standing on the corner of Malo-Mikhailovksaya and Nutnaya streets was destroyed. Overseas merchants established the Orthodox Pytatnitskaya church in 1156. The first Novgorodian church in general was thus, according to Peredolsky, the Orthodox church of St. Lazarus established in the pre-chronicle times (i.e., in the 9th-10th centuries at latest), and was completely destroyed. After the destruction of the temple, in its place remained Lazarev Hill on the Volkhov, upon which the temple was rebuilt in the 18th century in honor of the same saint. This Novgorodian historian also tells us that then, i.e., before the construction of the churches of Saint Elijah and Saint Sophia and before the famous Dobrynin campaign unleashed upon the “pagans” with “fire and sword,” an Orthodox church of Saint Mary Magdalene (who according to the Gospel of John and more detailed interpretations of the ancient Western exegetes was Saint Lazarus’ sister) stood in Novgorod. Peredolsky does not say where this church stood and what subsequently happened to it. However, his analysis of the history of the other churches points to certain peculiar points.

In the official chronicle, it is said: “In 1194 was established in Great Novgorod a wooden church of the Holy Trinity on the Sofia side, on Redyatin street of Shchetishcha Yugorsha which is now called Novinka.” In the same parchment book under the year “6673 since the Creation of the World”, it is written: “there was built the Church of the Holy Queen of Shchetitsinita.”  Soon after the name of this church was changed to the Church of the Holy Trinity of Shchetinitsa. But in honor of what queen was the church built and why was its name changed? It was officially claimed that it was erected by German merchants from the city of Stettin. However, in 1194 they could not have built an Orthodox church. In such a case, what was meant was clearly not the city of Stettin (Szczeczin), but a holy queen covered in shchetina, or “bristles.” The merging of pre-Christian with Christian symbolism is obvious in the name of the church. Here one can, of course, recall the ancient Hyperborean totem of the White Boar traceable back to the “primordial tradition.”

If we recall the purely northern location of the lands of Novgorod, the “Land of Saint Sophia” as the Novgorodians themselves called them, then we have an unexpected confirmation of the guesses of some contemporary authors. A.G. Dugin, whom we have already cited, wrote in particular: “But this country, as we have already said, was also called Varakhi, the ‘land of the Wild Boar,’ which corresponds exactly with the Greek root bor, i.e., north, or the country of Hyperborea (‘lying in the far north’)…And it is no accident that, according to Ancient Greek sources, the Hyperboreans sent symbolic gifts of wheat to Delphi via the Scythian and more northern Russian lands. It is curious that the word varakhi reminds us also of varyagi, i.e., the legendary people who gave the Russians a sacred monarch.”

In antiquity, both a woman’s comb for long hair and long hair itself were called bristles. The ancient Christian legend of Saint Mary Magdalene describing her voyage to Rome and Gaul (together with the righteous Lazarus, St. Martha, St. Joseph of Arimathea, and St. Maxamin) took particular note of her ascetic life in Sainte Marie de la Mer in southern France, where the saint appeared with long, ankle-length, reddish-brown hair. But is such a reference to the Land of the Wild Boar and the equally-apostle woman who bore the world not incompatible? Let us recall the ancient art of “making the incompatible compatible” which penetrated the entire medieval worldview and all of science from the apophatic theology of the Eastern Fathers to Western alchemical investigations. Let us also recall that the image of the “long-haired woman” or even “queen” in folk legends often bears an obviously chthonic-infernal shade. This should not surprise us. Traditional, sacred symbols are always twofold, just as the ‘smart light’ for the holy turns out to be the flames of hell for the sinner. The Nativity of St. John the Baptist is the day for flowering the fern and “rusalli merrymaking” (which was repeatedly pointed out in the lectures of V. Mikushevich), and so on.

What can be said of the mysterious “Shchetsinitsa”? This is the Slavic Marena, Marina, Mara, mora, kikimora, the French Cauchear (female kind). For the Carpathian Rusyns, this is lisova panna, nyauka, perelestnitsa, vtreshcha, mayka  a young woman with long hair but backless and with exposed entrails. This is the divje devojka, the mistress of the reindeer who nurtures them with milk. To her come the young, but they leave as the very old…According to the “Golden Legend”, Mary Magdalene was of the Japhetic royal family (her parents were Sir, i.e., Kir, and Eucharia) who ran from Herod, and in the canonical Gospels the Savior casts seven demons out from her (Luke 8:2), i.e., precisely those Japhetic “deities” who she, as princess, could serve.  Such a figure so teeming with canonically unconfirmed (but nowhere denied) dualistic characteristics could, among other things, have affected the fate of the most ancient temple built in her honor still during the time of the united church before it was later destroyed and, as part of the gradual “moralization” and institutionalization of a consciousness, she acquired new names – the “Holy Queen of Shchetitsinita” and the “Holy Trinity.”

No fewer mysteries are to be found in V.S. Peredolsky’s reference to two ruined monasteries. The first of them was destroyed in approximately the 10th century which bore the name of Zverinsky Monastery. The second suffered such a fate in the 16th-17th centuries – the monastery of Saint Arcadia or the Arkadsky Monastery in the place of which also existed the similarly destroyed village of Arkazha. What’s more, the location around the former Zverinsky Monastery also bore the name Zverinets up until the 18th century. Herein are revealed the mysteries of these names (and the causes of the monasteries’ ruin), and here it is sufficient to offer a few most general observations. Homer referred to the Arcadians’ role in the siege of Troy and how later the Priam line of Trojan kins moved to the North through Arcadia. The Arcadians themselves claimed that they descended from the fabulous deity of the land of Arkas which translates to mean “bear.” According to mythology, Arkas was the son of the nymph Calypso, the main star of Ursa Major (the star of Arkas “heads” the Ursa Minor). Artaios (the “bear-like”) is an epithet of the Celtic Mercury (the Gaelic arto – bear; Greek ARKTOS – the name of the Centaur). The name of Hesiod’s centaur is ARKTOYROS, a designation of Arcturus, the guard of of Ursa Major in the Boötes constellation. The bear is the ancestor and the pervotsar (“first-king”), hence the Celtic King Arthur as well as the “secret,” “unpronounced” names of the beast – urs, rus, syr = tsar. At the same time, in Christian symbolism, the bear, like the lion, is a symbol of royal authority. Artos is the blessed Paschal bread distributed in the Orthodox Church on the Saturday of Bright Week in memory of the Risen King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The North, the Arctic, is the polar paradise, the land of the bear (ber, bjorn) and the white boar, the unity of the King and High Priest, the military element and the spiritual, the red and white castes. Understood in a meta-historical and eschatological perspective, the symbolism of such unity is genuinely Orthodox. It was revealed and then found expression in the famous images of the Reverend Sergey on Makovtsa and the Reverend Seraphim of Sarov who nurtured the bear in the forests of Russian Paradise – Diveeva.

As regards the Zverinsky Monastery, in the local Novogorodian dialect only the bear was called a beast (zver) and the name Rus (Urs) was taboo, never to be pronounced even in Christian times. In Latin, urs remained. The very name of the beast, “bear”, or in Russian medved is clearly a euphemism. In remote areas in the North and Siberia, hunters to this day still cautiously call a bear “that” or “the main one” or even “forest Archimandrite.”….Saint Urs from Ravenna can still be found among the Latin saints.

A certain semantic tie between the two “bear” monasteries and the church of the semi-folkloric “Holy Queen of Shchetitsinita” cannot escape our attention. After all, the bristle, schcetina, is an attribute of the boar. In the Golden Bristled Pig tale, for example, it brings prosperity and belongs to Baba Yaga. In any case, we believe that there apparently exists a link between the destruction of the churches of Saint Lazar and Saint Mary Magdalene (perhaps the “Queen of Shchetitsinita”) and the Arkad and Zverinsky monasteries. It is so obvious that it can be considered proof of the existence of Christian temples in the epoch of the still united – Orthodox! – church during the period that preceded the baptismal campaign of Dobrynya Malkhovich hitherto famously described as accomplished “by fire and sword” and as having met widespread resistance from the Novgorodians. Thereafter, this resistance was often represented as the resistance of the “Russian people” to allegedly “foreign” Orthodoxy. Moreover, the question begs itself: what kind of “paganism” did the “son of Malekh Lyubechanin” fight? We stand before the fact that at the time of Rurik’s calling to rule, the Russian North-West (the land of Rus and Sloven) was fully, if not to a considerable extent Christian, Orthodox. The worship of ever since unknown saints was observed there.

As an example which could serve as a further guide and key to the Introitus Apertus ad Occulusum Regis Palatium, we can refer to the testimony of the so-called Old Russian treasure found in 1892 in the Seltsa district of the Old-Russian district. Among the images on the coins of this treasure dating back to the 12th-13th centuries, V.S. Peredolsky discovered an unknown martyr in a hat like in the case of Boris and Gleb, with a cross and two lilies on both sides of the image. Who is this clearly royal martyr with lilies who was unknown to later Russian history?

We will come back to this. In the meantime, let us recall how in 679, in the Ardennes not so far from Novgorod, per dolum ducum et consensuum episcoparum (“with the participation of the leaders and consent of the bishops”), Dagobert II, the last truly reigning representative of the Merovingian dynasty, was killed under an old oak tree near a stream while hunting. He was killed on the orders of Pepin of Heristal, his own attendant, the grandfather of the future usurper of Pepin the Short, the founder of the “second” Carolingian “race” of the Frankish kings. Soon, however, the remains of the king turned out to be miracle-working and even defended the city of Stene from a Viking attack. One hundred years later, the martyr king was canonized by a meeting of Frankish bishops without the Pope’s approval. The spring of Saint Dagobert can be found in the Verdun forest in the Ardennes to this day and is revered as a shrine. However, Dagobert was put on the official list of French kings only in the 17th century and is absent in some French textbooks to this day.

We meet the cult of “unknown saints” as it once was directly preceding the history of ancient Novgorod in Europe (part of which in those ages was Northern Rus, named in some chronicles “Bretania”. G.P. Fedotov, who wrote a series of outstanding works on medieval studies alongside his passion for “Christian socialism”, summarized his observations on these phenomena in the following way:

Question can be raised as to such a peculiar phenomenon as the veneration of nameless saints confined to ancient tombs. This is the moment of transition from popular cult to canonization by the church, the transitional moment in the established biography of a saint. When did the church close its altars to these unknown, chosen representatives of the people’s faith?…In the least, the Carolingian Renaissance finds this cult to be still alive in order to inflict a fatal blow upon it…The age of Carolingian “enlightenment” apparently put an end if not to popular worship, then to the church’s reception of nameless cults…In the 17th century, Mabillon tells of a place in his contemporary France where a cult of unknown saints emerged. But this cult repressed by the Carolingian church could never rise again.

Indeed, the Carolingians themselves and the Roman “Catholic” Church that they produced, and the clergy of the Roman diocese, might have thought so.

But centuries pass and

The worm and mob will learn of the Lord

By the flower growing out of his hand

And “worm” and the “mob” – this is a democratic environment.

***

[1] Translated from Old Church Slavonic by Nina Kouprianova

[2] Translated from Old Church Slavonic by Nina Kouprianova

[3] Translated from Old Church Slavonic by Nina Kouprianova

 

© Jafe Arnold – All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without expressed permission. 

Mysteries of Eurasia: Continent Russia

Author: Alexander Dugin

Translator: Jafe Arnold

Chapter 1 of Mysteries of Eurasia (Moscow, Arktogeya: 1991/1999)

 ***

The country within

Land-masses hold symbolic meanings which are as much linked with cultural stereotypes as with real-life experiences. Europe holds different meanings for the European who lives there, for the American who originated from it, for the African who is freeing himself from its influence, for the Pacific islander, and so on. Stereotypes of the continents have not remained purely and simply products of cultures born of more or less accurate knowledge, more or less lively feelings and more or less clear awareness. They have sunk into the unconscious with so strong an emotional charge as will emerge in dreams or in spontaneous reactions, often linked with unconscious racism. At this point a continent will no longer represent one of the Earth’s five land-masses, but will symbolize a world of images, emotions and desires. For example, Dr Verne has clearly shown in the analysis of one of his patients’ dreams that she did not regard Asia as a memory of, goal of, or desire for intercontinental travel, but as a symbol of ‘the return to something holy, to the world of the absolute, the mystery of out of the body experience, the way towards the oneness which bears the message of the true and real’. Asia had become an inner continent, like Africa, Oceania, or Europe. These continents and what they symbolize will differ from person to person. This inner dimension may fasten upon any place, be it town or locality; what is important is to know what it means to each individual, what images, feelings, emotions, and prejudices it carries, since these comprise the subjective truth of the symbol. Geography generates as much geosociology and geoculture as it does geopolitics.”[1]

Such is the content of the entry “Continent” from the French Dictionary of Symbols by Jean Chevalier and Alain Gheerbrant. We have permitted ourselves to give such a long quotation in full since it immediately defines the plane upon which our study will unfold. Often amidst a rise of national feeling and even racism, and in flashes of patriotism among different peoples, irrational elements stand out on the surface which, at first glance, cannot be explained by logical reasoning or an analysis of egotistical motives behind such an ideological complex. The awakening of national, racial, or continental memory often occurs without any external reason. Deep archetypes of the unconscious simply and suddenly burst and, like a chain reaction, awaken the whole complex of a collective worldview that seemed to be long gone. Examples of this include the stability of Celtic-Irish, Jewish, Korean, African, and Japanese nationalisms which continue to live and grow despite all the social and historical preconditions objectively contributing to their extinction.

In principle, this is exactly the same case with the “enigma of Russian patriotism.” Mystical Russia, the “White India” of Klyuev, the “Holy Rus” which Yesenin set above Paradise and which Tyutchev equated to a religious principle in which one has to believe – imagine how absurd “Holy Australia” or “Faith in the Czech Republic” would sound! – is undoubtedly a deep reality of national psychology, an “Inner Continent” synthesizing in itself the worldview of a giant nation. The memory of “Continent Russia” may lurk and sleep in the depths of consciousness for many long years, but sooner or later it will come to life and, when the time of Awakening arrives, it will become a storm, a vortex, a scream.

However, the psychological reality of “Inner Russia,” in order to be effective and specified, should have an archetypal structure fully corresponding to objective historical processes and geographical areas. In this way, it is not merely a passive reflection of the external, but a paradigm which forms and structures the surrounding temporal and spatial space. In this regard, the famous historian of religions, Mircea Eliade, keenly observed: “Nature is something determined by culture (culturalmente condizionata); some of the ‘laws of nature’ vary depending on what the peoples of this or that culture understand by ‘nature.’”[2]

Russian Sweden

What is the archetypal structure of “Inner Russia?” On what is the concept of “Holy Rus” based? What are the origins of the complex of the imperial God-bearing people? We can find traces of this ancient tradition in the linguistic archetypes that date back to the formation of Indo-European unity and which, with remarkable resistance, are preserved in toponyms, myths, legends, and even in the ordinary correspondences between symbols and words. In addition, this entire complex of purely religious symbolism is closely linked with this ancient tradition. Otherwise, the baptism of Rus could not have happened so harmoniously and easily. The totality of Christian doctrine, in its ritualistic and symbolic paradigm, is consistent with the logic of older cults which were not abolished but transformed by Christianity into a new synthetic unity. The cycles of Russian lives and the specifics of Russian Orthodoxy present us with thousands of pieces of evidence of this. One canonical example of this is the summer festival of the prophet Elijah, who became the Orthodox expression of the old Aryan “god” of thunder, sky, and light, Il (from the same root of the ancient Russian word for “sun,”, solntse, which in old Aryan means “good light”).[3] Let us consider some aspects of the archetypal combinations which define the logic of the Russian national mentality. We will start with the concept of “Holy Rus.”

It is curious to note that evidently long before the arrival of the Slavs to the territory of Russia, the region of the Southern Russian steppes from the Black Sea to the south of the Urals was named by the Aryans inhabiting it “Dwelling of the Gods – Great Sweden” or “Cold Sweden,” and only much later did this shift with the Germanic tribes to Scandinavia, which became “Dwelling of people – Little Sweden.” The sacred rivers of the ancient Aryans flowed into this “Great Sweden”: the Don (Tanaksvil or Vanaksvil – “the branch of the river where the Vanir live”) and the Dnieper (Danapru or, in Greek, Borisphen). The very Russian word for Sweden, Shvetsiia – Sweden, Suetia – most likely meant “bright, white, luminous.” And this Indo-European root szet is possibly, and quite logically, etymologically similar to the Russian word for holy, svyaty. In addition, the Hindu tradition to this day still remembers Śveta-dvīpa, the “White Island” or “White Continent” lying to the North of India.

In most cases, Śveta-dvīpa meant the symbolic island of Vārāhī, the place where the Hindus’ ancestors originally resided at the North Pole. By analogy, it is appropriate to transfer this name to the territory of the temporary settlement of the Aryans before their migration to India. That the ancestors of the Hindus – the carriers of the Vedantic tradition in its earlier form – lived for a certain period of time on the territory of what is now Southern Russia is confirmed by modern archaeological excavations. Therefore, the light, white holy country was associated in ancient times with the Russian lands, a view which could take deep root in the consciousness of peoples, such as the Aryans, contact between whom was maintained even after their linguistic and traditional unity was destroyed, as well as other indigenous paleo-Asiatic peoples who on more than one occasion have demonstrated the unique capacity to preserve the mythological complexes which they received from the Indo-Europeans for entire millennia.

The second component of the combination of “Holy Rus” is the very name “Rus.” One of the most likely and acceptable etymological interpretations of this word is the Aryan root ros (compared with German rot, Latin russus, French rouge, English red, and Sanskrit rohita) which means red, ginger, or pink. It is entirely unimportant if Russia was named after a Slavic or Scandinavian tribe. The main point is that, on a subconscious level, red is closely associated with Russia, and was one of the favorite colors of the Russian princes, and the very Russian word krasny, besides denoting the color red, in the ancient Slavic language meant “beautiful”, “distinguished,” etc. It is also curious that another Russian word for designating the color red is chermny, which is etymologically close to the word cherny for black. In ancient Indian, the root krisna also meant “black” and “beautiful.” It cannot be ruled out that this etymological connection was somehow imprinted in language associations and in half-effaced semantic structures of linguistic thinking lending the meaning of the word red a kind of semi-conscious connection with the word black (i.e., “distinguished,” “clearly defined,” etc.). If we combine these two lines, then we see that the concept of “Holy Rus” might be translated into the colorful symbolic dyad: “white – red” or even “light – dark.” And, not incidentally, the combination of “white-red” was one of the most common among Russian princely heraldry, national costumes, ornaments, paintings, etc.

Khvarenah – Royal happiness

One of the most significant aspects of “Inner Russia” was the sacred mission of the Russian monarch. Holy Rus always had its sacred center. Just as it had its capital (first Kiev, then Moscow), it also had a living and personified pole of national sanctity: the Tsar, the Anointed by God. Interestingly enough, some of the Turkic peoples preserved the tradition of venerating the Russian monarch up into the 18th century. For example, the Buryats believed Catherine to be the incarnation (embodiment) of the White Tara, one of the greatest Bodhisattvas of Lamaism. Such  universal importance assigned to the monarchy within the framework of the Empire once again shows that Russia has never recognized itself to be something purely ethnic. By contrast, she is a reality of a higher level, a reality of the geosacred Tradition in which different peoples had their proper place. Therefore, the Russian White Tsar was simultaneously the Tsar of all ethnoi inhabiting the Empire.

The Russian monarchical tradition began, as is known, with the calling of Rurik from the Varangians to kingship over a group of Slavic and Finno-Ugric tribes. In the later period, descent from the first prince Rurik was the spiritual and genealogical justification of royal authority, its legitimacy and sacred legality. This tradition was so persistent and deep, so self-evident and absolute in Russians’ understanding, that it simply could not have been inconsistent with the indigenous archetypes of ancient forms of consciousness which, although moved into the sphere of the unconscious, nevertheless did not lose their efficiency and validity. In our opinion, the calling of Rurik from among the Varangians was seen as a great, nationwide mystery embodying in itself the script of the supernatural origin of royal power that is characteristic of all ancient, traditional dynasties.

Let us try to clarify the sacred underpinnings of this mystery which confirmed the sacred-dynastic center in the space of “Inner Russia.” First of all, we can refer to Zoroastrianism, in which the mystical side of royal power was elaborated in detail and had a significant impact on the structure of the consciousness of the peoples who have inhabited the ancient Russian lands. Zoroastrians believed that the emperor has a special, more than merely given, right to rule. This sanction is embodied in the possession of a light-bringing force – Khvarenah. Khvarenah (or farn) is a condensed light energy which renders a person equal to a god. The symbol of Khvarenah was traditionally believed to be the falcon Vargan and sometimes the ram. On the other hand, Khvarenah was identified with the element of fire, which only naturally strives upwards towards heaven. Every Iranian king had his own personal fire symbolizing the possession of Khvarenah.

If we return to Rurik, called from among the Varangians to kingship, we see that he etymologically embodies this entire complex of Zoroastrian ideas (and apparently, some common Aryan ones). Rurik, in Scandinavian, means “falcon,” that is, the predominant symbol of Khvarenah. In addition, the word rurik is startlingly close to the Old Church Slavonic rarog, i.e., “fire” or “spirit of fire” (in fact, the old Church Slavonic rarog also meant “falcon”). With the baptism of Rus, Tsar Rurik also became anointed by God, endowed with the power of Christ, and referred to as the “Lamb.” Thus, the idea of the Christian monarch was the spiritual development and sacred confirmation of the ancient monarchical tradition perceiving the calling of Rurik as a nationwide acquisition of heavenly blessing, or Khvarenah. In this case, as in many others, Christianity did not abolish, but rather exalted and confirmed the ancient, pre-Christian faith.

Now about the Varangians. Without entering into the debates over the ethnic identity of this tribe (which is unimportant for us), we will try to identify the symbolic meaning of this name. Zoroastrianism once gave us some keys, so we turn to it once again. The word “Varangian”, in terms of sound and possibly also in terms of origin, is close to the name of the Zoroastrian god Varhorn (or Verethragna). Varhorn is one of the seven supreme “gods” of Mazdaism, the god of victory. It was none other than this god who was believed to be the fundamental carrier and bearer of Khvarenah, and he was traditionally associated with the falcon Vargan (compare: vargan, varingr, i.e., varyag which is Russian for “Varangian” or “viking”), as his constant companion or even his incarnation. Thus, the Varangians, in addition to their historical specificity, could represent some kind of symbolic meaning, the embodiment of full Khvarenah, royal happiness, one precious part of which – Rurik-Falcon – descended, like manna, on the grace-hungry tribes. But the mythological, etymological chain doest not end there. The word varyag is also quite comparable with the Sanskrit root svar, or “sky,” “sunlight,” (in fact, it is also very close to the Persian hvar from which Khvarenah is derived). It is possible that the Russian word for north, sever, is also related to svar, as the North was considered to be of a “heavenly, divine orientation” by the ancient Aryan peoples. Therefore, the correlation between the Varangians, the North and the sky perfectly corresponds to the very mysterious logic of the calling of the first Tsar.

It is possible to go still further. Varharn is the Persian equivalent of the Sanskrit word vritra-han, i.e. “Slayer of Vritra,” the epithet of the Heavenly Tsar, the god Indra. Indra is the Hindu archetype of all kings, who dwells and is found, according to traditional Hindu cosmography, in the sky – svar. The very name “Indians” and “Hindi” is by all means likely the theophoric (god-bearing) name of the “people of Indra,” and therefore a god-bearing people. The Varangians, for their part, as one of the Indo-European tribes, could have essentially been the theophoric people of Vargan or Vergarn-Veretragna, i.e., essentially the same as Indra, the “Slayer of Vritra.” Nor can it be excluded that the distant echoes of these mythological correspondences, living on in the depths of the national unconscious, gave rise to the concept of Russia as the “White India” among poets of a folk-mystical orientation, such as Klyuev and Yesenin. The Russian monarchical emblem, the Byzantine, two-headed eagle, can also be compared to Falcon-Rurik, the carrier of the magical power of Khvarenah. Another curious detail is that Moscow, the capital of the Russian state and the seat of the Russian Tsar, has as its emblem St. George slaying a serpent (the emblem of Prince Yuri Dolgoruky). Varharn (the god of Khvarenah) is first and foremost the god of victory, and St. George is also the victory-bearer. In addition, the very name Varharn-Veretragna, as we said above, means “Snake-Slayer,” or “Slayer of Vritra,” and St. George is usually depicted as killing the Serpent. It is also characteristic that Iranian mythology contains a number of tales depicting a struggle between a solar hero (Kersaspa, Traeton, etc.) and a Serpent or Dragon, the conflict of which is over the right to possess the mystical power of Khvarenah, a right for which the opponents challenge each other. Thus, the combination of these symbols in the coat of arms of the capital – the residence of the Tsar – along with the eagle as the symbol of Russia in general, yield the paradigm of the ancient structure of the monarchical mystery.

Another traditional symbol of royal authority and the state is the orb mounted with a cross – the symbol of the earth in ancient astrological texts. The state of the Russian Tsar, naturally, is identified with the Russian land. And here once again we are talking about “Inner Russia,” which we spoke about in the beginning. It is especially important that in the national sacred tradition, it is precisely the Tsar, the Anointed by God, the messenger of heaven, and the bearer of supernatural fire, who protects and keeps in his hands a gigantic land (hence the title “autocrat” from the seven secret saints of the Christian tradition on whom the whole weight of the world rests).

All of Russian history is permeated with the deepest understanding of the sacred role of the Tsar. This understanding contributed to a much more religious relationship between the Orthodox and the monarch than that seen between the Catholics and their kings.[4] Moreover the Orthodox idea of the Tsar sharply differs on a theological level from the corresponding Catholic concept. In Russia, there was never a division between purely spiritual life, subordinated to the spiritual hierarchy, and purely secular life, subordinated to kings, as in the case of the Catholic West. In the idea of Holy Russia and Tsarist Russia, all levels of the sacred way of life are combined. The Church, as the spirit of Russia, did not set itself above the Tsar, but recognized his supernatural and legal authority, and gave blessing to his power, without which the state would have lost its sacred pole. Thus, the “inner continent,” Russia, had its “inner center,” the sacred monarch. Their merging (their symbolic hierosgamos) accounts for the specific Russian fate and the deep dimension of Russian history.

The mystery of the pole

Now we would like to mention a study by the French Traditionalist Gaston Georgel devoted to historical cycles and the logic of the cultural development of ancient civilizations, which bears direct relevance to our topic. Georgel’s book under consideration is called Rhythms in History.[5] In this extremely interesting work, there is a small section which examines the patterns of the movement of the centers of this or that ancient civilization around the Eurasian continent. Without delving into the essence of the author’s interpretation of certain patterns, we will simply provide the facts which are given and which have direct relevance to “Inner Russia.” Studying the geographical location of the centers of ancient civilization, Georgel noted one astonishing peculiarity. Starting with Elam (around 4,000 B.C.) and finishing in our times, we can observe a shift of certain cultures from East to West. Georgel endeavored to draw a single line connecting the ancient center of Elamite civilization, located not far from the town of Kelat, the ancient Sumerian city of Ur, Greek Athens, and French Paris. The result exceeded all expectations.

screen-shot-2018-07-26-at-12.21.58-pm.png

The arc connecting these centers turns out to divide them almost exactly into sectors of 30 degrees. According to the author’s notes, at exactly 30 degrees along the eclipse, the point of vernal equinox moves over a period of time equal to 2,160 years, that is, the time separating the epochs of these cultures is 4,000 years up to Elam, 2,000 up to Ur, a bit more than 2,000 years ago to Athens and, finally, to the contemporary “capital of Europe”, Paris. The arch extending over the East at 30 degrees leads to the location of the capital of Tibet, Lhasa, and the same arc of the same curvature, merely belonging to a circle of a larger radius, connects Jerusalem and Rome. But where does the center of this circle reside? Here once again is a strange thing: it lies at the intersection of the Meridian at 60 degrees east of the Arctic circle, i.e., on the territory of Russia, North of the Ural mountains (let us note that Moscow is located near to the radius which connects Athens with the center of the circle). It is with this, in fact, that Georgel ends his account.

We can go one step further and point to even more bizarre patterns. It is generally known  that the line of the North Pole is the projection of the circle of the celestial sphere, along which the North Pole of the World shifts (due to a phenomenon termed in astronomy the precession of equinoxes) around the pole of the eclipse. But if the celestial sphere is stationary, then the globe rotates in space relative to it, or more precisely, relative to the eclipse plane which is identical to the plane of the orbital rotation of the earth at 23.5 degrees. This shift of 23.5 degrees is fixed on the line of the Arctic circle. If we compare the point of the North Pole of the earth with the current north star – Alpha Ursae Minoris – then the center of the eclipse, and hence the true pole of the sky (the most immobile of all, as the earth’s axis makes a circle around it over a vast period of time – 25,960 years), will be projected on the line of the Arctic circle. But how can we determine which exact point?

Here the first globes of the Renaissance era come to our aid, on which at the same angle of 23.5 degrees, a projection of the eclipse inclined towards the earth’s equator and marking respectively the northern Tropic of Cancer and the southern Tropic of Capricorn was marked. What is important is on what meridian the projection of the sign of Capricorn is placed, which then allows one to logically determine the order of the projection of constellations on the globe, as well as to find in the Arctic circle the point corresponding to the center of the eclipse. All old maps and globes answer this question unambiguously: on the basis of late Medieval and Renaissance geographical knowledge, the sign of Capricorn, the southernmost point of the eclipse, is projected on the meridian which passes through the Ural mountains (the Ripheans, as the Greeks called them), the symbolic border between Europe and Asia. On this very meridian, 60 degrees East longitude, Gaston Georgel conducted his study of the geography of ancient civilizations! This means that the pole of the eclipse, the true celestial pole, when projected onto the globe, corresponds to the pole of the circle around which the focus of civilizations shifts over millennia.

 

screen-shot-2018-07-26-at-12.22.07-pm.pngIf today we are now capable of making similarly logical inferences on the basis of an elementary knowledge of astronomy and geography, then why should it be excluded that the  ancients, holding such knowledge (this is proven by a swathe of modern research on the ancient observatories of the Chinese, Sumerian, Celtic, and other traditions), and not being burdened by technocratic and agnostic prejudices, were perfectly well aware of the correlations between the earth and the sky, and built on these correspondences their sacred geography and the logic of their sacred history? It is most likely that the completeness of this synthetic knowledge gradually drifted into the realms of mental archetypes, fairy tales, fables, and legends, manifesting itself most openly in especially rotary periods in the history of mankind.

Russians and Hyperboreans

This French Traditionalist’s empirical discovery of the hypothetical pole of civilizations might help explain not only a number of enigmatic facts of humanity’s past, but also yield the keys to understanding one of the most strange secrets of our time – the secret of “Russian patriotism”, which can in no way be reduced to the banal nationalism of a particular ethnic group. “Russian patriotism,” in its deepest dimension, is universal and “pan-human” has F.M. Dostoevsky said, himself connected with the “inner continent,” with the central continent located in the vicinity of the fixed point of the “wheel of life,” the circle of the wandering human soul. And perhaps it is only appropriate that the city closest to the point of this Northern center was the city of Inta, which is similar to the name of the Peruvian sun god Inti and the Aryan Indra. Moreover, if we project celestial constellations onto land on the basis of the above-mentioned correlations, then our center, as well as the center of the eclipse, falls on the constellation of the Dragon, the eternal enemy of Indra and the “sun gods” of victory.

Interestingly enough, the abode of Indra in Hinduism is believed across various accounts to be in the North-East, and the name of Indra’s elephant, Airavata, coincides with the Jain name of the northernmost countries on earth. But this land, as we have already said, was also called Varahi, i.e., “land of the Wild Boar,” which precisely corresponds to the Greek root bor, i.e., “North”, the country of Hyperborea (“lying in the Far North”), the abode of the Sun of Apollo, who is also a “dragon slayer.” It is no coincidence that Ancient Greek sources tell of the Hyperboreans sending symbolic gifts of wheat to Delphi via the Scythian and more Northern Russian lands. It is curious that the word varahi reminds us also of varyagi, i.e., the legendary people who gave the Russians the sacred monarch.

In legends of the Hyperboreans, the “herbal” nature of their gifts, such as ears of wheat, is always emphasized. The ancient tradition believed that agriculture was the most important ancient occupation of people, prior to livestock breeding. The metaphysical view of the ancients on this reflects a fundamental peace and fixation (the sedentariness of farmers) which is put above dynamism and variability (nomadism and pastoralism). Moreover, the most characteristic occupation of Russians has always been agriculture. In this regard, the following fact is of interest: one of the old names for the Slavs in general was vene or Venety, as was one of the names of one of the Slavic tribes. And to this day, the Estonians and Finns still call Russians vene. In all of this it is impossible not to notice the obvious parallels with the Vanir of the Nordic sagas. The Vanir are the group of gods engaged in agriculture (in contrast to the nomads and pastoralists of the Aesir), who embody the traits of sacred peace-loving and, according to the ancient sagas, inhabited the lower reaches of the Dnieper and the Don. Here it is appropriate to recall that one of the favorite and most frequent Russian names is Ivan. Although the latter is derived from the Hebrew name John, it can be assumed that the self-designation of the Slavs survived in this Christian form. Moreover, there is a peculiar symbolic coincidence between the gospels’ tale about the head of John the Baptist and the ancient Germanic myths of the Vanir and the head of the giant Mimir, which the Vanir cut off and sent to the Aesir. This same story of beheading is central in the life of John the Baptist. Just as Odin, the leader of the Aesir, enlivens the severed head of Mimir, which foretells him of the beginning of the Final Judgement (Ragnarokr), so do the Christian parables tell us of the miraculous finding of the talking head of John the Baptist. Here it should be added that the warning of the Final Judgement from the head of Mimir is a direct parallel to the eschatological warning of the prophet John about the coming of the Messiah.

In our opinion, all of this can be explained by the existence of a united, primordial mythological complex that was rooted in the Indo-European peoples in primordial times. Historical outbreaks of this complex are always correlated with certain cyclical patterns and certain territories. The “inner continents” and their mythologies could slip across the planet together with their tribes, their bearers. They could be clearly fixed at certain places of the earth. They could be transferred from people to people. And finally, they could be integrated into different religious structures, thereby composing the archetypal unity of traditions. For us, the most important in all of this is identifying the specific logic of the archetypal tradition and its spiritual and symbolic content. The ethnoi which in this or that period became bearers of this Tradition soak in it, turning into theophoric (god-bearing) or idea-bearing ethnoi, thus becoming the earthly body of some kind of heavenly entity, a living idea, or an archangel.

Whatever might be the fleeting historical reasons behind the sacred association of these lands, and whatever peoples might have inhabited them, “Inner Russia” was, in its deepest dimension, identified with “earthly paradise”, with the territories of the Golden Age and, moreover, the symbolism of Hyperborea, Varahi, and the Vanir-Ivan tillers. Across the most different traditions, “Inner Russia” is constantly associated with none other than the ancient homeland of the free, immortal ancestors. To speak of a “national identity” of Paradise is quite ridiculous. It is for this reason that every upsurge in the unconscious archetypes of “mystical patriotism” in the Russian people has never been comparable to any ordinary, small nationalism. The Russians themselves call “Russians” all those who are in solidarity with them in their deep intuition of the sacrality of the lands upon which they live. This fundamentally distinguishes Russians from other peoples and, in particular, from other Slavs, who are much more soberly and rationally conscious of national boundaries. Although something of the sort has always been characteristic of truly imperial peoples, in Russia this was and is revealed in a special form with a special force.

Mystical Russia

Let us draw a few conclusions:

The self-consciousness of the peoples and nations traditionally inhabiting the territory of Russia is fundamentally connected with the specific, sacred geography of this territory.

In the complex of sacred geography, the lands of Russia occupy a central place in accordance with the ancient logic of astronomical and astrological correlations.

Consciousness of the uniqueness of Russia from the perspective of sacred geography largely determines the mystery of “Russian patriotism.”

“Russian patriotism” is imbued with a cosmic fate and is not only a fact of history. He who lives and learns Russia lives and learns the secret bequeathed to distant generations of ancestors who fought under the banner of Alexander the Great, galloped across the steppes among Tatar cavalry, worshipped the the Son of God in Byzantium, lit the sacred fires on the altars of Ahura-Mazda, listened to the teachings of the druids under the oaks of Europe, beheld in spiritual ecstasy the eternal dance of Shiva-Nataraja, built the ziggurats of Assyria, destroyed Carthage, and sailed the seas in boats with the curved neck of the Hyperborean Swan at the nose, always remembering the Heart of the World, the “golden heart of Russia” (Nikolai Gumilev) and “Mystical Russia.”

We are approaching an important spiritual milestone. Global forces are stretched to the limit, and in many ways the fate of our country today determines the fate of the planet. Therefore, it is important to break through to the depths of the sacrality of Russia and its prehistoric roots in order to understand its strange and sorrowful path, and to muster strength for the revival of this Holy Country and the rebirth of Continent Russia together with its secret, permafrost-covered center.

 

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Footnotes:

[1] Jean Chevalier and Alain Gheerbrant, The Dictionary of Symbols (London: Penguin, 1996), 233.

[2] Mircea Eliade, L’épreuve de labyrinthe. Paris, 1985.

[3] See Alexander Dugin, The Metaphysics of the Gospel, Chapter 36.

[4]  From a theological point of view, there exists a huge difference between Tsar, King, and Prince. The Tsar is the Emperor, the Basileus, the head of the church-going Orthodox Empire who unites under his reign a number of countries, kingdoms, and principalities. The principle of the Emperor-Tsar is associated not only with temporal power but also with the mystery of “Katechon,” “the one who withholds,” while royal dignity belongs to an ontologically different, lower, secular and administrative level.

[5] Gaston Georgel, Les rythmes dans l’Histoire. Belfort, 1937.

 

 

© Jafe Arnold – All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without expressed permission.