Yatra or Pilgrimage
- Yatra or Pilgrimage
I have a suggestion for an activity that everyone could participate in as they have time, and that I think would be helpful. Yatra is the modern Hindu word that is used for going on a pilgrimage. Going on pilgrimages to sacred sites is a very typical thing which Hindus do and which is considered sacred and pious. It was very common among Greek and Roman pagans. It is also a lot of fun and refreshes the spirit. And it's good for the economy.
I am putting together lists of places that are sacred to particular goddesses in any one of the particular language-speaking areas of the Indo-Europeans. Generally, this may include both ancient and modern sites. I have been doing this for each goddess as I study her, and I plan to publish these as I have the time to put them into presentable shape.
I thought others might want to consider this too, and it would be especially helpful for people who live in a certain area or who are knowledgeable about a certain area to provide the names of sites that they know of that are sacred for certain goddesses. I'm an American, so I don't know the geography very well sometimes (though I have traveled in most of western Europe). On the other hand, I have studied it very carefully using historic sources.
If we posted the lists on the net, then others could add sites that they know of in the same areas. This would make a useful basis for an itinerary for people who are traveling to the countries, or who just want to poke around locally. Suggestions for sites that might be included:
Temples sacred to a certain goddess (known or archaeological sites)
Inscriptions for a certain goddess
Rivers, mountains and other geographic features named for a certain goddess
Places associated with mythological tales about a certain goddess (including later forms such as romances, legendary kings and queens and saints who are forms of that goddess).
Any very pretty places that might be fun to visit that *might* be associated with that goddess (I'm partial to waterfalls).
Museums and Outdoor museums that have objects associated with that goddess or that show what life was like in ancient times, or other "educational" sites that might be appropriate.
Any place you recommend, such as a Mermaid Tavern. I'm not always very serious about this.
I plan to post this message on several lists or sites, so I hope that everyone who is interested will participate.
- In a message dated 5/8/2010 6:30:58 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
>I am putting together lists of places that are sacred to particulargoddesses in any one of the particular language-speaking areas of the
Just out of curiosity, why are you limiting it to goddesses? In the
US, except for sites sacred to the Indians (which have their own problems),
most of our sacred sites are connected with Ancestors -- battlefields and
cemeteries of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, all the cemeteries of early
European inhabitants, the Mall in DC, the Freedom Trail in Boston,
Independence Hall in Philadelphia, etc. There might be sites that haven't been seen
as sacred by the Indians (or that we have no information were), such as
Great Blue Hill, south of Boston, which is the hill after which Massachusetts
was named (our grove did a ritual on it,
(http://ceisiwrserith.com/ritual/practice/greatbluehill.htm) ), or the sources of rivers, but those are not necessarily
connected with goddesses. The Mississippi is "Father of Waters," for instance.
In general such sources will either need a lot of work with them to
identify even something as limited as their sex, and a bit of UPG, or parallels
with other IE cultures. For instance, Greek river deities were generally
male, even though the PIE river deity was probably female.
So are you interested in sites specific to goddesses, or are you
planning on spreading things out?
I was also wondering what evidence we have of IE pilgrimages. There's
a lot from Greece, and we may have some from Gaul and Britain, in the
number of offerings at sacred sites, but is there any from anywhere else? Is
the practice you reference from India IE or Hindu? I'm not sure it really
matters; pilgrimages are found lots of places, and can be very moving
personally. I'm just wondering.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- **I just realized that I had answered this on ADF PIE, whereas, I would prefer to discuss it here.
From: "ceiserith@..." <ceiserith@...>
Sent: Mon, May 24, 2010 7:52:57 AM
Subject: Re: [adf-proto-ie] Yatra or Pilgrimage
In a message dated 5/8/2010 6:30:58 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
I am putting together lists of places that are sacred to particular goddesses in any one of the particular language-speaking areas of the Indo-Europeans.
Ceisiwr Serith wrote:
>> Just out of curiosity, why are you limiting it to goddesses?**I'm not, of course. I just used the feminine form but you can include masculine deities if you like. I never put limitations on people.
>> In the US, except for sites sacred to the Indians (which have their own problems), most of our sacred sites are connected with Ancestors -- battlefields and cemeteries of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, [etc, snipping much]**well, no, I wouldn't agree with that. I notice that many of our most "sacred sites" have been turned into national, state or local parks. In my observation, the same types of places are considered sacred to a deity in Europe and in India. It seems to me to be an aspect of human nature that people would try to keep especially beautiful places or things that have a "numinous" quality pristine and open to all. That includes caves, interesting or outstanding rocks
or mountains, rivers and waterfalls and especially old trees, such as the Wye Oak and the like. The American ones are not sacred in the same way that the pagan ones are and yet they seem to have the same impulse.
>>So are you interested in sites specific to goddesses, or are you planning on spreading things out?**whatever people are interested in and feel they can contribute to the topic. I am especially interested in European (and Indian) sites that can be identified with a particular goddess, *by name.*
>> I was also wondering what evidence we have of IE pilgrimages. There's a lot from Greece, and we may have some from Gaul and Britain, in the number of offerings at sacred sites, but is there any from anywhere else? Is the practice you reference from India IE or Hindu? I'm not sure it really matters; pilgrimages are found lots of places, and can be very moving personally. I'm just wondering.**I think the definition might vary somewhat, but I would use a broad
*Slavic, the whole community going to rivers at certain festival times of the year, to worship a goddess.
*Irish, trip to Crough Patrick (it used to be Crough Ailill), and broadly among Celts, hiking up a mountain in August, before the snows close things off.
*Greek, traveling from Athens to Elysia to celebrate the festival of Demeter in the fall; travel to the isle of Delos to celebrate and worship Leto, Artemis and Apollo. These are of rather different character, the festival at Elysia might be characterized as a procession, whereas the trip to Delos required going by ship. This variation seems reasonable to me.
*traveling to Finisterre on the coast of Spain to remember those who died at sea. This apparently long preceded the Christianized version of the pilgrimage to Santiago. What language the people spoke there before the introduction of Latin/Spanish is not certain. It may have been Celtic language but it may have been Phoenician or it may have been some other language, neither IE nor Semitic.
**I will try to put one of these together to show what I had in mind, I just hadn't had the time lately. Of course, I thought I would.