First Traces of Wolves and Men

The earliest Wolves depicted.

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The fact that there are several words for ‘wolf’ of Common Indo-European date shows that the wolf was widespread throughout the Indo-European territory. It also indicates its cultic and ritual significance, which is clearly attested in the oldest Indo-European traditions.

– Indo European and the Indo-Europeans, Gamkrelidze & Ivanov.

The early Indo European (IE) words for wolf and their strong presence 10,000 years later is one of the first key indicators of the cultural resonance of Wolves and the Wolf.

Early domesticated dogs can be seen in murals from the Çatalhöyük site in modern day Turkey which has been dated at approximately 7000 years old.

The mural known as the ‘Shrine of the Hunters’ also possibly shows the beginnings of a ritualised form of hunt that becomes a recurring theme in subsequent Indo European daughter cultures. 

(Wolf/dog in mural detail from, “Shrine of the hunters”, Çatalhöyük, as reconstructed by James Wellaart)

The hunters/warriors are nude save for a clearly depicted (ritual?) belt. The hunters’ prey, a gargantuan auroch, is surrounded on all sides by the hunters as well as smaller animals that look remarkably like domesticated wolves. The animals are hunting side-by side with warriors.

Even further back in time, Mesolithic images of men hunting with wolves, have been found in the prehistoric rock paintings of Tassili N’Ajjer. The images have been dated to c.11,000 BCE.

Further cave paintings of hunters and domesticated canines have been found at Tadrart Acacus.


(Rock art depicting man hunting with dogs. Tadrart Acacus, Libya. © Peter Boekamp)


(Hunter and dog, detail of image from Tadrart Acacus, Libya)

However the earliest image of a wolf can be found in the font De gaume cave in the Dordogne area of France. The images date from the Magdalenian period approximately 15,000 BCE


It is also from this approximate culture that the first symbolic image of a half-animal/half-man figure is found. 

Often described as “The Sorcerer”, the image is in the cavern known as ‘The Sanctuary’ at the Cave of the Trois-Frères, Ariège, France.


The subtlety in the image is hard to discern in the photograph above, however artist Henri Breuil sketched a more vivid image in the 1920s:-


While accuracy of the image has been questioned, its authenticity was confirmed by Jean Clottes as recently as 2011.

If it is a human in a horned head-dress, it’s parallels with the antler headdresses found at StarCarr are unmistakable. 

Dog Headed Men – Pt 3 – The Neuri Further sources

Herodotus: Para 105.

[1] Νευροὶ δὲ νόμοισι μὲν χρέωνται Σκυθικοῖσι, γενεῇ δὲ μιῇ πρότερον σφέας τῆς Δαρείου στρατηλασίης κατέλαβε ἐκλιπεῖν τὴν χώρην πᾶσαν ὑπὸ ὀφίων· ὄφιας γάρ σφι πολλοὺς μὲν ἡ χώρη ἀνέφαινε, οἱ δὲ πλεῦνες ἄνωθέν σφι ἐκ τῶν ἐρήμων ἐπέπεσον, ἐς ὃ πιεζόμενοι οἴκησαν μετὰ Βουδίνων τὴν ἑωυτῶν ἐκλιπόντες. κινδυνεύουσι δὲ οἱ ἄνθρωποι οὗτοι γόητες εἶναι.

[1] The Neuroi practise the Scythian customs: and one generation before the expedition of Dareios it so befell them that they were forced to quit their land altogether by reason of serpents: for their land produced serpents in vast numbers, and they fell upon them in still larger numbers from the desert country above their borders; until at last being hard pressed they left their own land and settled among the Budinoi.

[2] λέγονται γὰρ ὑπὸ Σκυθέων καὶ Ἑλλήνων τῶν ἐν τῇ Σκυθικῇ κατοικημένων ὡς ἔτεος ἑκάστου ἅπαξ τῶν Νευρῶν ἕκαστος λύκος γίνεται ἡμέρας ὀλίγας καὶ αὖτις ὀπίσω ἐς τὠυτὸ κατίσταται. ἐμὲ μέν νυν ταῦτα λέγοντες οὐ πείθουσι, λέγουσι δὲ οὐδὲν ἧσσον, καὶ ὀμνῦσι δὲ λέγοντες.

[2] These men it would seem are wizards; for it is said of them by the Scythians and by the Hellenes who are settled in the Scythian land that once in every year each of the Neuroi becomes a wolf for a few days and then returns again to his original form. For my part I do not believe them when they say this, but they say it nevertheless, and swear it moreover.

Pomponius Mela (De Chrorographia Book II.14) 44 CE (repeats this story from Herodotus). “There is a preordained time for each of the Neuri at which, if they so desire, they metamorphose into wolves and back into who they were.”

Ptolemy (Ναύαροι, 3.5.25) “The Sarmatian Navari are the same as the Neuri.”

Schafarik (Slav. Alt. vol. i. pp. 194–199) suggests the Neuri are of Wendish or Servian stock.

#neuri #neuroi #herodotus #ptolemy #dogmen #cynocephaly #pomponiusmela #wend #servian #wendish

Dog Headed Men pt 2 – Argonauts in Serbia

There are no accounts of Slavic mythology predating the fragmentation of the Proto-Slavic people into Western, Eastern, and Southern Slavs, with the possible exception of a reference in Jason and the Argonauts to a battle against Dog men in what is speculated to be North Serbia/Southern Hungary.

The next reference is 500 years later, a short note in Herodotus’ Histories written c 800 BCE , mentions a tribe called Neuri/Neuroi in the far north, whose men, Herodotus claims, transform themselves into wolves for several days each year.

Some researchers have interpreted this through the Slavic folk belief in werewolves, whilst others believe that Herodotus actually referred to ancient Slavic carnival festivals, when groups of young men roamed the villages in masks, sometimes referred to as vucari (wolf-humans)a. The identification of “Neuri” with Proto-Slavs remains controversial, however.

Neuri/Neuroi

Eth. NEURI (Νευροί), a nomad people of the N. of Europe, whom Herodotus (4.17, 51, 100, 125) places in the centre of the region which now comprises Poland and Lithuania, about the river-basin of the Bug.

They occupied the district (τὴν Νευρίδα γῆν) which lay to the NW. of the lake out of which the Tyras rises, and which still bears the name in Slavonic of Nurskazemja, with its chief town Nur, and a river Nuretz. Some time before the expedition of Dareius, they had been obliged to quit their original seats, on account of a quantity of serpents with which it was infested, and had taken refuge with the Budini in the district about the Bug, which had till then belonged to that people.

Though not of the same origin, in customs they resembled the Scythians, and bore the reputation of being enchanters (γόητες), like the “Schamas” among the Siberian nomads of the present day. Once a year–so the Scythians and the Greeks of Olbia told Herodotus–each of them became for a few days a wolf; a legend which still lingers among the people of Volhynia and White Russia.

#neuri #neuroi #dogmen #dogheadedmen #cynocephaly

Dog Headed Men – pt 1 – Ancient Egypt

The word cynocephaly is derived from the Greek κῠνοκέφᾰλοι / kynokephaloi, from kyno– (combining form of κύων kyōn) meaning “dog” and κεφαλή kephalē meaning “head”. Other greek variations of this concept: Ἡμικυων, Ἡμικυνες, (hemi-, kyôn), Half-Dogs – Κυνοπροσοπος, Κυνοπροσωποι, (kyôn, prosôpos) – Dog-Faced – Κυναμολγος, Κυναμολγοι, (kyôn, molgos), Dog-Milkers.

Cynocephaly was also familiar to the ancient Greeks from representations of Egyptian deities notably

𝐀𝐧𝐮𝐛𝐢𝐬 (Ancient Greek: Ἄνουβις, Egyptian: jnpw, Coptic: ⲁⲛⲟⲩⲡ Anoup the Egyptian god of the dead).

𝐃𝐮𝐚𝐦𝐮𝐭𝐞𝐟 (Son of Horus, and from the New Kingdom onwards is depicted with the head of a jackal).

𝐖𝐞𝐩𝐰𝐚𝐰𝐞𝐭 (The opener of the ways, a wolf deity, thus the Greek name of Lycopolis, meaning city of wolves, he also accompanied the Pharaoh on hunts).

To be clear there is very little evidence of correlation between the religious beliefs and practises of ancient Egypt and the Indo European daughter cultures. Any connections would be at such an extreme place in deep time as to be negligible.

However, from an esoteric point of view it is deeply significant that wolf mythology has emerged in various distinct and unrelated cultures, Indo European, Native American, Ancient Egypt African shapeshifters, Indian Vratyas etc. Not just in terms of martial primacy, but also the wolf’s connection with the literal and/or metaphorical hunt. An anthropologist would argue that it is indicative of a recurrent human animistic belief, but a modern esoteric interpretation could be that the spirit of the Wolf Cult is indomitable.

#anubis #duamutef #wepwawet #cynocephali #cynocephali #wolf #wolves #wolfgod #wolfcult #ancientegypt #kemetic #animism

Cunomaglos -Celtic Wolf Lord

Cunomaglos is usually translated as Hound (or Dog) Lord, however a deeper linguistic dive into his name and his Apollonian parallels suggest something quite different.

In ancient times Dogs and wolves were linguistically almost synonymous. Tracing backwards we can see how the Irish word for hound

𝘤𝘶́ (see Cú Chulainn – Culann’s Hound) derives from the Primitive Irish 𝘤𝘶𝘯𝘢, itself from Proto-Celtic *𝘬𝘶̄ and ultimately from the theoretical Proto-Indo-European word for dog *𝘬́𝘸𝘰̄́.

The continental form of lupus, lykos, is rarely found in Celtic, save for the Ulkos coinage in the extinct Lepontic language from Cisalpine Gaul, where it is likely borrowed from the Graeco-Roman.

And then the Nettleton Shrub inscription dating from Roman era Wiltshire in the U.K.:

𝗱𝗲𝗼 𝗔𝗽𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗶 𝗖𝘂𝗻𝗼𝗺𝗮𝗴𝗹𝗼 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗼𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗮 𝗜𝘂𝘁𝗶 𝗳𝗶𝗹(…)𝗶𝗮 𝘃(…)𝗼𝘁𝘂𝗺 𝘀(…)𝗼𝗹𝘃𝗶𝘁 𝗹(…)𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗻𝘀 𝗺(…)𝗲𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗼

𝘛𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘨𝘰𝘥 𝘈𝘱𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘰 𝘊𝘶𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘨𝘭𝘰𝘴, 𝘊𝘰𝘳𝘰𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘢, 𝘥𝘢𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘧 𝘐𝘶𝘵𝘶𝘴, 𝘱𝘢𝘪𝘥 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘷𝘰𝘸, 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘭𝘺, 𝘥𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘦𝘥𝘭𝘺

It seems from this that, Cunomaglus was used as a synonym for a local Britanno-Celtic god that was called Apollo on Latin inscriptions. The dedication above is for or by a woman with a Celtic name.

Apollo’s Wolf connections are well attested and it is highly plausible that the two were perceived as similar deities, making Cunomaglus far more likely to be Lord of Wolves/Wolf Lord.

#Cunomaglus #cunomaglos #nettleton #apollo #lykaios #wolf #Wolflord #cu #Cuna #CúChulainn #protoindoEuropean #wiltshire

“Wolfing”, Díberg and Fianna

“Brigandage that is the activity of organised bands of killers, was particularly abhorrent to the Church, and in the Old Arraí is associated with Druidism and satirising among the sins for which there could be no remission of penance. It was regarded as a Pagan practice and evidently had its own ritualistic code of conduct.” Díberg as defined by R. Sharpe.

O’Mulcronys Glossary describes the etymology of díberg as “dí-bi-arg – ‘non-be-hero’ for he is not reckoned with heroism like the hero of the fianna, for denial of God and and clientship with the Devil is not proper to heroism.”

This may very well be a later interpretative gloss by Christian scribes, as older sources make no distinction between those described as fiannas or díberg.

In the Togail Bruidne Da Derga, Connaire son of Eterscél, King of Tara, and the sons of Dond Désa, the féindid or fían-champion are fostered together. But when Connaire fulfils his destiny and succeeds his father as King of Tara – where taking of díberg is now taboo. Ultimately the three brothers continuing violent behaviour (díberg) in verses 19 and 20 is explicitly linked with Wolves:-

They took up díberg with the sons of nobles of Ireland around them. A hundred and fifty of them under instruction when they were wolfing in the territory of Connachta.

𝐓𝐨𝐠𝐚𝐢𝐥 𝐁𝐫𝐮𝐢𝐝𝐧𝐞 𝐃𝐚 𝐃𝐞𝐫𝐠𝐚

https://tinyurl.com/y4r9lwn5

#Fianna #diberg #díberg #oldIrish #fiannas #Connacht #Connachta #donddesa #TogailBruidneDaDerga #Connaire #Tara

Ancient Irish Wolf Warriors

𝐖𝐨𝐥𝐟 𝐂𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐀𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐈𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐝

The warrior and dogs/wolves are often synonymous in ancient Irish lore. Particularly telling is an ancient Irish term for wolf, “mac tire” (literally translated as “son of the land”). It is plausible that this is connected with the even older concept of the adolescent Indo European Wolf Cult – especially as “vagabond warrior” the original meaning of “Mac Tire” gradually came to mean “wolf.”

In Ancient Ireland, as in Old Norse Culture, it was common for Kings and warriors to have canine aspects to their names. Cú Chulainn is perhaps the most well known taking the name “Culainn’s hound,” after killing the smith Culainns guard dog. The Fíanna were renowned for their hunting hounds.

The Cóir Anmann (The Fitness of Names) is a late medieval Irish tract where each verse/entry explains the meaning of an epithet associated with a character in early history or mythology. Verse 215 in particular contains a very revealing description

𝘓𝘢𝘪𝘨𝘯𝘦𝘤𝘩 𝘍𝘢́𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘥, 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘴, 𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘧𝘵 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘧𝘢́𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘥, 𝘪.𝘦. 𝘸𝘰𝘭𝘧-𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘦𝘴. 𝘏𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘴𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘧𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘩𝘪𝘮 𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘨𝘰, 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦𝘥, 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘭𝘷𝘦𝘴, 𝘢𝘯𝘥, 𝘢𝘧𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘮 𝘰𝘧 𝘸𝘰𝘭𝘷𝘦𝘴, 𝘬𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘥𝘴. 𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘓𝘢𝘪𝘨𝘯𝘦𝘤𝘩 𝘍𝘢́𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘥, 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘪𝘳𝘴𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮 𝘵𝘰 𝘨𝘰 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘢 𝘸𝘰𝘭𝘧-𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘦.

“Fáelad” translates to “wolf-shape” or “wolfing” and this was also connected to the activity of warrior bands called díberga (marauders, brigands) in the Togail Bruidne Da Derga.

𝐂𝐨́𝐢𝐫 𝐀𝐧𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐧

http://www.maryjones.us/ctexts/fitness_of_names.html

𝐓𝐨𝐠𝐚𝐢𝐥 𝐁𝐫𝐮𝐢𝐝𝐧𝐞 𝐃𝐚 𝐃𝐞𝐫𝐠𝐚

https://en.m.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Destruction_of_Dá_Derga’s_Hostel

Image adapated from original by 𝘀𝗮𝗮𝗴𝗮𝗶 on deviantart

#Ireland #wolfcult #CúChulainn #IndoEuropean #TogailBruidneDaDerga #Fáelad #CóirAnmann #LaignechFáelad #díberga #mannerbund #männerbund #männerbunde

The Indo European Wolf Cult

Striking parallels to the Indo-European wolf cult are to be found in South Caucasian (Kartvelian) culture. A wolf cult occupies a special place in the earliest traditions. The depiction of people in wolf masks is a basic motif of ritual art. Traces of the wolf cult are especially clear in Svan traditions, where as in ancient Indo-European wolves are a symbol of a certain type of social organisation. Moreover, Svan tradition equates the mobility of wolf packs with that of human groups: the organization of wolves is a reflection in nature of human social organisation.

In Old Georgian tradition the significance of the wolf cult is reflected in the names of the rulers of Iberia, which contained Iranian words meaning ‘wolf’, for example the epithet of the Old Georgian king Vakhtang Gorgasala ‘Vakhtang Wolfhead’; the very name Vakhtang (ვახwტანგი) may be Iranian, from *warx-tang = vəhrka-tanū– ‘wolf-bodied’ (cf. the Ossetic hero’s name in the Nart epic, Wærxæg, from ‘wolf’). The name of ancient Iberia itself, *Vṛkān– = Hyrkaniā, goes back to the same Iranian word for ‘wolf’.

As a result of the cultic status of wolves, the original Kartvelian word for ‘wolf’ undergoes taboo and is replaced by borrowings from other languages. Georgian mgel-i, Mingrelian ger-i are probably taken from Armenian (cf. Arm. gayl ‘wolf’); Svan txer ‘wolf’ is obviously connected to Gk. thḗr ‘wild animal’. Similarly, in Ossetic, where the wolf was an ancient totemic animal and the mythic ancestor of the tribe, the original Indo-European word was tabooed and is preserved only in mythic names. It is replaced by a word of apparent Turkic origin, bīræğ/beræğ.

The wolf cult plays a special role in the South Caucasus, and many traits of the tradition connected with ritual status of wolves coincide in their essential elements right down to striking details with the ancient Indo-European traditions. The coincidence of this entire complex unites the Indo-European and South Caucasian traditions with a wider circle of mythic conceptions characteristic of a much broader area which extended far to the east.

Excerpted from “𝐼𝑛𝑑𝑜 𝐸𝑢𝑟𝑜𝑝𝑒𝑎𝑛 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐼𝑛𝑑𝑜 𝐸𝑢𝑟𝑜𝑝𝑒𝑎𝑛𝑠; 𝑎 𝑟𝑒𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑢𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝐻𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑜𝑟𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑙 𝐴𝑛𝑎𝑙𝑦𝑠𝑖𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑎 𝑃𝑟𝑜𝑡𝑜 𝐿𝑎𝑛𝑔𝑢𝑠𝑔𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑎 𝑃𝑟𝑜𝑡𝑜 𝐶𝑢𝑙𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑒” by T. V. Gamkrelidze and V. V. Ivanov (translated by Johanna Nichols)

Image by 𝘀𝗮𝗮𝗴𝗮𝗶 on deviantart

#Wolf #wolves #indoEuropean #werewolf #wolfcult #linguistics #protoindoeuropean

#ქართველები #gamkrelidze #ivanov #ვახwტანგი #Georgia #georgian #иронæвзаг #ирæттæ #дигорæнттæ #հայերէն #armenian #Mingrelian #Megrelian #მარგალურინინა

Wolves and Yggdrasil

In the Germanic tradition wolves were sacrificed to Odin/Wotan (Öld Icelandic “Óðinn”, Old High German “Wuotan”, Old English “Wōden”), who is associated with the Cosmic Tree; they were hung on ritual pillars called ‘wolf trees’: Old English “wulfheafod-treo” ‘wolf-head tree’, “waritreo” ‘wolf- criminal tree’, cognate to Old Saxon “waragtreo” ‘criminal tree’, Old Icelandic “vargtre” ‘wolf tree’.

In addition to such obvious correspondences, there are noteworthy combinations of ritual animals which were unlikely in the ecological context of the historical Germanic tribes: a wild boar and a lion on a Germanic shield from the fourth century B.C. (cf. the same combination in the Anittas text) and even the combination of leopard and lion with boar and bear attested in medieval Germanic tradition in the genre of dreams about wild animals (see Beck 1965:138-45, q.v. for a possible reflex of the same tradition in the Song of Roland). In other Indo-European traditions we find further correspondences both to individual elements of the set of Middle-World animals (especially cattle and hoofed animals such as deer, wild boars, and wild goats) and to the set as a whole.

Excerpted from “𝐼𝑛𝑑𝑜 𝐸𝑢𝑟𝑜𝑝𝑒𝑎𝑛 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐼𝑛𝑑𝑜 𝐸𝑢𝑟𝑜𝑝𝑒𝑎𝑛𝑠; 𝑎 𝑟𝑒𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑢𝑐𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝐻𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑜𝑟𝑖𝑐𝑎𝑙 𝐴𝑛𝑎𝑙𝑦𝑠𝑖𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑎 𝑃𝑟𝑜𝑡𝑜 𝐿𝑎𝑛𝑔𝑢𝑠𝑔𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑎 𝑃𝑟𝑜𝑡𝑜 𝐶𝑢𝑙𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑒” by T. V. Gamkrelidze and V. V. Ivanov (translated by Johanna Nichols)

Image is by 𝘀𝗮𝗮𝗴𝗮𝗶 on deviantart

#Wolf #wolves #indoEuropean #werewolf #wolfcult #oldicelandic #oldsaxon #oldenglish #oldhighgerman #linguistics #protoindoeuropean #songofroland #wildboar #cattleworship #gamkrelidze #ivanov

Latvian Werewolves

𝗩𝗶𝗹𝗸𝗮𝗰̌, 𝗩𝗶𝗹𝗸𝗮𝘁𝗶, 𝗩𝗶𝗹𝗸𝗮𝗰𝗶

Olaus Magnus, (1555) in his 𝐻𝑖𝑠𝑡𝑜𝑟𝑖𝑎 𝑑𝑒 𝐺𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑖𝑏𝑢𝑠 ‘𝑆𝑒𝑝𝑡𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑟𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑎𝑙𝑖𝑏𝑢𝑠’ (A Description of the Northern Peoples), mentions:-

“𝘐𝘯 𝘗𝘳𝘶𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘢, 𝘓𝘪𝘷𝘰𝘯𝘪𝘢, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘓𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘶𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘢, 𝘢𝘭𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘩𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘴𝘶𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘺 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘢𝘱𝘢𝘤𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘸𝘰𝘭𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘭𝘴 𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘭𝘦, 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘴𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘯𝘶𝘮𝘣𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘰𝘥𝘴, 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘺 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘵, 𝘺𝘦𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘢𝘳𝘥𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮 𝘢𝘴 𝘴𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘢 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘰𝘶𝘴 𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘴 𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘮𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘸𝘰𝘭𝘷𝘦𝘴.”

“𝘖𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘕𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘊𝘩𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘵, 𝘢𝘵 𝘯𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵, 𝘴𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘢 𝘮𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘥𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘸𝘰𝘭𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘦𝘥 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘮𝘦𝘯 𝘨𝘢𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘰𝘨𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘯 𝘢 𝘤𝘦𝘳𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘯 𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘵, 𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘷𝘦𝘴, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘴𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘳𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘸𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘴 𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘰𝘤𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘢𝘨𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘵 𝘩𝘶𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘣𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘭𝘴 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘥, 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘴𝘶𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦, 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘥𝘰 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘭 𝘸𝘰𝘭𝘷𝘦𝘴; 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘢 𝘩𝘶𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘩𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘥𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮 𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘰𝘥𝘴, 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘣𝘦𝘴𝘪𝘦𝘨𝘦 𝘪𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘤𝘪𝘵𝘺, 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘬 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘰𝘳𝘴, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘥𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘰, 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘥𝘦𝘷𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘶𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘣𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘭 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘪𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯.”

“𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘣𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘵 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘳-𝘤𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘢𝘳𝘴, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘵𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘶𝘯𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘳 𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘥, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘪𝘭𝘦 𝘶𝘱 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘵𝘺 𝘤𝘢𝘴𝘬𝘴 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘪𝘥𝘥𝘭𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘦𝘭𝘭𝘢𝘳, 𝘵𝘩𝘶𝘴 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘭 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘶𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘭𝘷𝘦𝘴. . . .”

“𝘉𝘦𝘵𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘓𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘶𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘢, 𝘓𝘪𝘷𝘰𝘯𝘪𝘢, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘊𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘢 𝘤𝘦𝘳𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘯 𝘰𝘭𝘥 𝘳𝘶𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘤𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘭𝘦. 𝘈𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘵 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘴, 𝘰𝘯 𝘢 𝘧𝘪𝘹𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘤𝘤𝘢𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘳𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘢𝘨𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘪𝘯 𝘫𝘶𝘮𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘨. 𝘛𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘶𝘯𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘭𝘭, 𝘢𝘴 𝘪𝘴 𝘰𝘧𝘵𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘴𝘵, 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘧𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘯 𝘶𝘱𝘰𝘯 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘴𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘨𝘦𝘴 𝘣𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘱𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘭𝘢𝘪𝘯.”

The earliest Latvian werewolf stories hint at a ritual disrobing and transformation.

The werewolf would leave his or her clothing and would be unable to turn back if somebody touched the clothes. There are conflicting reports on what forces they serve. According to one view, they “𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘭 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘨𝘶𝘢𝘳𝘥 𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘥𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘮𝘦𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘥𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘭𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘰𝘳𝘤𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘳𝘴”.

These raids could also be a distorted oral history of raiding ‘männerbunde’ warrior bands. The protection of sorcerers perhaps suggests guarding a priest class or non-Christian pagan group; an hypothesis even more likely if one considers another older legend of “good” Werewolves.

This myth tells of “𝘥𝘰𝘨𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘨𝘰𝘥“ who fight sorcerers trying to steal flowers of grains, thus ensuring good harvest. Almost certainly a reference to a now long lost fertility rite.

#Latvia #LeţmōVabāmō #Leţmō #LatvijasRepublika #Latvija #Vilkač #vilkati #vilkacis #werewolf

Shapeshifters: A History

Another book for my wish list

“There is something about a shapeshifter–a person who can transform into an animal–that captures our imagination; that causes us to want to howl at the moon, or flit through the night like a bat. Werewolves, vampires, demons, and other weird creatures appeal to our animal nature, our “dark side,” our desire to break free of the bonds of society and proper behavior. Real or imaginary, shapeshifters lurk deep in our psyches and remain formidable cultural icons. The myths, magic, and meaning surrounding shapeshifters are brought vividly to life in John B. Kachuba’s compelling and original cultural history. Rituals in early cultures worldwide seemingly allowed shamans, sorcerers, witches, and wizards to transform at will into animals and back again. Today, there are millions of people who believe that shapeshifters walk among us and may even be world leaders. Featuring a fantastic and ghoulish array of examples from history, literature, film, TV, and computer games, Shapeshifters explores our secret desire to become something other than human.”

Amazon UK

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