The Breadcrumbs widget will appear here on the published site.
Photo: Ljucho Ilievski.
Believe it or not, there's good reason for the woman pictured in the photo above to be hugging that rock.
In his paper “Mycenaean Tree and Pillar Cult and Its Mediterranean Relations,” published in 1901, Sir Arthur Evans wrote:
“In the course of some archaeological investigations in upper Macedonia I heard of a sacred stone at a Turkish village called Tekekiöi, between Skopia and Istib...It was an object of veneration not only to the native Muslims, but to many Christians from the surrounding regions, who made it an object of pilgrimage on St. George’s Day. I visited the spot and found that the stone was contained in a two-roomed shrine under the charge of a Dervish."
Evans also made a drawing of the room. (Mad skills.)
In recent years, a group of researchers belonging to Macedonian Research Society and led by Gjore Cenev managed to locate the village and to find the Secret Stone. Today the village is called Tekia (in Macedonian Tekija) and is located a few kilometers northwest of Skopje, the capital city of the Republic of Macedonia. By the mid-20th century, the Turks inhabited the village, but then they migrated to the Republic Turkey. Today, Macedonian Christians who come from distant villages of Northeast Macedonia inhabit the village.
The research team found that the two-roomed shrine has been taken down and the sacred stone is located in an open space. The area is fenced, and the head is located near the fence. Near the Sacred Stone, there is a tree that is believed to be sacred, too. In fact, the whole area around the stone and the tree is considered as a sacred space and the local inhabitants refer to it with great respect.
Despite major changes in the area, the Sacred Stone and Sacred Tree cult are regularly performed even today, especially on St. George’s Day. For a proper performance of the cult, an elderly woman called Head of the Stone takes care. Administering the Sacred Stone has been passed through the female line from ancient times. This is how the cult performance has been preserved, even at a time when the Turkish inhabitants start their migration. At that period a Muslim woman that was Head of the Stone transferred her admin duties to a Christian woman.
The new population that came accepted the cult and continued to respect the stone, which today they address by the name of St. George. In its basic form, the ritual consists of going around the stone three times, embracing and kissing it. The Sacred Stone supposedly helps in the realization of wishes and with the treatment of many diseases, but it mostly helps women who were previously unable to conceive. It is interesting that even today many Turks are familiar with the Sacred Stone and come to pray there.
That folklore sounds solid. Rock on.
***This post was originally published on the Megalithic Portal and was re-posted with permission.***.
#St.George'sDay #AncientHistory #Turkey #Mystical #Magical #SacredStone #StoneCult #Tekia