Title of the article:



Tatyana P. Morozova

Information about the author/authors

Tatyana P. Morozova — PhD in Geology and Mineralogy, Associate Professor, Moscow Polytechnic University, Bolshaya Semenovskaya St. 38, 107023 Moscow, Russia. E-mail: olivin99@mail.ru


Theory and history of culture




Vol. 52


pp. 53–64


August 08, 2018

Date of publication

June 28, 2019

Index UDK


Index BBK



The purpose of the paper is to explore mythological views of the pagan Slavs on the solar nature of the horse and its connection with the world of the dead. These perceptions are translated into traditions of calendar Slavic holidays, funeral and wedding ceremonies, as well as fairy tales. Pagan Slavs viewed the Sun as the divine horse, running across the sky during the day, and in the evening descending into the underworld. Therefore, horses were perceived as guides to the afterlife and considered fortunetellers and sacrificial animals. At various stages of its daily activity, the horse-sun changes its color. In the morning it is white, in the afternoon it is red (red), in the evening it is gray (dark gray). White and red colors were considered sacral and enchanting. The sun acted as the source of life, destroying and scaring away dark forces of evil, cold and death. That`s why we meet solar protective charms on the roofs of houses in the form of horse heads` images. То that end Slavs also used to bury horse skulls under buildings constructed and hang on fences. For personal protection from a negative impact they used little horses-pendants, which are found in large numbers in sites of Slavic burials. Solar nature of the horse is furthermore confirmed due to its involvement into the wedding and calendar rites at the solstice period. Under the influence of Christianity true sacral meaning of the rites began to pass into oblivion, therefore information about Slavic pagan mythology is very scarce. For a deeper understanding the author attempts to compare the well-known Slavic pagan solar concepts with well-studied religious solar perceptions of the ancient Egyptian civilization, taking into account repeated mythological stories. In the same way according to the perceptions of the ancient Egyptians, the Sun god Ra sailed along the heavenly Nile in a boat, collecting souls of the dead. In the evening, his boat descended into the underworld, through which the heavenly Nile also flowed, leaving there all collected souls. Basing on the current comparison, the study allows for creating a more detailed, voluminous and complete picture of Slavic mythology and giving a new semantic explanation to certain calendar and burial rites of Slavic pagans.


Horse, sun, calendar holidays, underworld, color.


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