All Hail Springtime Egorii, Keeper of the Keys…

So… It was Saint George’s day on Saturday, and being English isn’t the only reason I celebrate this day, but I also have Russian blood running through my veins – Though those still aren’t the only reasons. It is hard to believe that the commemoration day of a Saint – even one associated with killing a rampaging dragon and the destruction of heathen evil – could ever have attracted such a host of folk customs if his martyrdom had not happened in Spring. I found it hard to reconcile my love of St. George, but through my study and research – I now see him as Springtime Egorii, the Keeper of the Keys, Green Gorge…

Russian proverbs such as “George will bring Spring” and “There is no Spring without George” are common, as they are in other Slavic countries. Finnish sayings of “St. George comes with his fish basket” alternate with others that indicate that he brings grasses. What George is, is fertility. He is the fertility of green plants, fish, game and of the people. He is directly associated with  the people’s ability to survive and to provide for themselves…

The Greek form Georgius means a ploughman, a cultivator of land, and to my Russian ancestors he was ‘Springtime Egorii’, he who unlocks the Earth from the vice-like grasp of the frosts of Winter, he who protects the cattle and horse from the wild beasts of the forest, the Keeper of the Keys. It is he who is asked to make the grass grow, and to disperse the clouds…

Many lands and nations, even after the onslaught of Christianity, continued to manifest in their sacral traditions a unique blending of Christian and pre-Christian beliefs. Both Christian prayers and Pagan spells were resorted to for the fulfillment of desires. Magic roots, snake skins and skulls were worn in charms next to the Christian cross. Forest & water nymphs and demons, nature spirits and household guardians lived on, alongside angels and cherubim…

These icons were referred to as gods, as among these ‘saints’ were characteristics that were previously found in sacred verse, and tales, of Pre-Christian origin and folklore. Again we look to Russia, and St George was on one hand ‘Egorii the Brave’ the bringer of Christian values to the Heathen masses & slayer of demonic dragons, and on the other hand he was the embodiment of Springtime. Look how close we are to Bealtuinn, and celebrations connected with Spring-time vegetation & the awakening of nature and the arrival of The Bright Months of the year, that are rife in Pagan traditions at this time of the year…

So, in His hands Springtime Egorri holds the Keys to Summer (as well as the Keys to the Heavens, and to the Depths Below – But that is another story, my friends). And so just before Bealtuinn, I cry out to Green George, smack on the ground for good measure, and bring him offerings to open the ways to Summer. As it my tradition he always gets proper English beer, after all he is the patron Saint of England…

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One response to “All Hail Springtime Egorii, Keeper of the Keys…

  1. Very cool! I’ve never heard of him… then again i dont know much about any saints.

    Thanks for sharing dear!

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