Turkish Wind God  

Posted by Stella Clark

Turkish Wind God Cover
Wind symbolised a mischievous, sometimes violent character. In some myths, the Wind was represented by a wild horse. Even today, Turks describe thoughtless people or horses as being ‘born of the wind’. Because of his restless character, the Wind could not get along with Earth, Water and sometimes the Fire God. When angry, in the winter he sent down snowstorms and in the summer hurricanes, bringing misfortune. Therefore, when running into a hurricane, the Turks spat three times. Some illness-bearing spirits appeared as winds and struck people. If during a hunt, the wind destroyed a tent, the hunt was abandoned, as it would be unsuccessful. The hunters returned later to arrange a small prayer, addressed to the master of the forest or mountain. Western and northern winds were considered ominous. In the autumn they brought bad weather: rain, snow and clouds that covered the sun. In January and February there were some very windy days and these months were called ‘Jil Aiy’, months of wind. The Altai would plea with Umai: “Do not admit malicious spirits nor an evil wind!” The wind was perceived as a 'stroke' from the other world and a breeze was cause for discomfort, as it might prove an ‘envoy of the lower world’. The ancient Turks esteemed the Wind God and in His honour the Turks constructed a temple called ‘Dispersing the Clouds’. The Turks visited this temple before a military campaign and made sacrifices when asking for a victory.

Wind, as one of the elements of nature, creates a situation of change. It not only heralds clouds and storms, but in mythological plots it also brings diseases. Therefore the ‘possession of wind’, a skill to control weather, was one of the characteristics of strong Kams, Yadachi and other sacred persons. Their involvement was required in situations when the elements might cause problems. A light breeze produced by a fan was a part of Tengrian ritual. Blowing a light wind was considered an appeal to the spirits. One of the main movements of a Kam during ceremonies, which involved a tambourine or fan, was spinning around on one’s feet. This movement symbolically represented a whirlwind. The Kam turned clockwise, the same direction taken around sacred birches or fire during a sacrifice. People trusted the Wind God, a force of Nature that gave them energy. At the same time the Turks considered a counter-clockwise whirlwind as being evil. Such a whirlwind could steal the Kut of a man.

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Great Gish  

Posted by Stella Clark

Great Gish Cover
Gish or Great Gish was the most popular god of the Nuristani people mythology and received the greatest amount of attention among the Siah-Posh Nuristani of Bashgul. Every village of Bashgul had one or more shrines dedicated to him. Gish was the war-god. His earthly name was Yazid, and he is stated to have killed Ali, Hasan and Husain and nearly every famous Muslim known to the Nuristani. Countless bulls and billy goats were sacrificed each year to him and the drums were beaten in his honor for fifteen continuous days, every spring, by the Nuristani slaves. Every time a Nuristani came home after successfully killing a Muslim, a victory dance was held in honor of Gish. In the Nuristani pantheon, Gish ranked next to Moni who was said to be the chief prophet of Imra. Both Moni and Gish were created by Imra by his breath. H. A. Rose identifies Gish with the Hindu god Kishna or Krishna.

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