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Semantics of Corporeal Twins in Slavonic Mythological Concepts

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The authors of the publication:
Temchenko Andriy
p.:
25-35
UDC:
398.47(=16)
DOI:
https://doi.org/10.15407/nte2019.03.025
Bibliographic description:
Temchenko, A. (2019) Semantics of Bodily Twins in the Slavs Mythological Concepts. Folk Art and Ethnology, 3 (379), 25–35.

Author

Temchenko Andriy

a Ph.D. in History, an associate professor at Department of Ukrainian History of the Bohdan Khmelnytskyi Cherkasy National University. ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3999-459

 

Semantics of Corporeal Twins in Slavonic Mythological Concepts

 

Abstract

Semantics of the twins mythology is poorly investigated. However, it is an important problem that have influence on the formation of the religious doctrines of the past and the present.

Purpose. The purpose of the article is an attempt to reconstruct mythological beliefs about the soul, presented as a twin – insects, birds, winged beings or animals.

Results. The ancient Slavs believe that the human soul, as well as the body, consists of three elements, which present the levels of its existence, in particular knowledge (head, eyes), sensation (heart), consumption-birth (stomach, womb). The corresponding structure is compared with the mythological picture of the world, which also consists of three levels: sacred (heavenly), human (earthly) and chthonic (underground).

When treating illnesses associated with violations in the energy field, the bodies where the physical soul is located are identified differently. Recognition of the places of defeat is carried out with the help of the prefix pa-, the occurrence of which is dated from the Proto-Slavic period, and the logic of its use is explained by the need for objectification of the invisible bodily substance, which allows applying of the methods of magic influence to them.

Semantics of the prefix pa- is a part of the myths of the twins – a modified image of the human soul. In folk narratives the twin can appear in different forms, which depends on a particular situation. Signs are the front-line vision of one’s own soul, which appears in the image of the animal. This fact indicates the existence of totemic beliefs in the souls transmigration. The deathly images of the restored soul are visualized by the participants of the funeral rite like an insect, a butterfly or a bird that manifests the hidden essence of the deceased. Symbolics is a fragmentary evidence of an anthropomorphic double, the images of which can also be interpreted as a vision of their ancestors, as indicated by the place of meeting; its external and sacred attributes. The remains of beliefs about the twins come also from verbal narratives on winged people, which is compared with the annals of invisible warriors, whose intervention has influenced the outcome of the battle with the enemies.

In healing magic, the healer can create an artificial twin of a patient. It is offered to the spirit of an illness or burned / stamped, immitating in this way his imaginary death. In some cases, the situation of the reverse effect is used when producing a material twin of the disease, which is destroyed then.

 

Keywords

soul, Slavs, twin, body, myth, ritual, healing texts, totem, reincarnation.

 

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