The Symbol of the house and its primary elements – the Stone, the Hearth, and the Doorsill, through ages and civilizations
I’ve think about a lot of times, but I haven’t discuss about it with father Varlaam, because of the shame if he laugh with my strained: I try to imagine that the world has a form of a trunk, which God wear under his shoulder. And more, I imagine that everything on the world has a form of a trunk, in which there is a smaller trunk, and in this, smaller one. Isn’t that, the dead one, when we send on the other world, put them in the trunk? Our houses, aren’t they look like a trunk with a cover upward, not to rain and to be warm inside? … And, entrails of the women, wasn’t it a trunks in which it’s preserved that’s one which should be born, to be conserved of the possible hurt? The body, isn’t it a trunk for the soul and the sky isn’t it a cover of one bigger trunk; cover with a holes for the light to come from the skies lights?1F
In this short reasoning about the world and the universe, we could find the essential function of the home – protection, but intermediary is given the comparison with the entrails of the woman in which should be preserved that one which should be born. From the Neolithic time in Macedonia yet, we could find a models of the houses, on which they are present as an entrails of the Goddess Mother2F. The upper part is in the form of a woman – Goddess, which in same cases is a pregnant. Her arms are often placed on the house’s roof, location which present her protection and safeness. This figures reveal us of the double symbolic meaning of the home, as a presentation of the archaic man. It is an association with the entrails of the woman in childbed, which has a fetus inside, also a protection which a fetus has, but a connection with Goddess Mother, with all her attributes of fertility and protection of the life in general, also. It isn’t also question about this symbolic meaning, because entrails are varying first man’s home and later, bosom and skirt of the mother. From this place he starts to build a picture of the world around and for himself inside of it, starts to experience the space and negotiates it slowly.
Cavern, one of the first man’s domicile is the very first association of the attributes of entrails – holed in the rocks gives a protection from the outside world, which is nonage, it is dark and with permanent temperature. It differs from the entrails only because it didn’t give a food. The next very often used place for living is the cottage, which is most often semi embedding in the earth. Embedding the living place in the earth, for the reason of protection, is deep related with the visualization, which that man have for the earth – its security, stability and constantly, but the most great enthusiasm, he founds in its capability to feed the plants.
Visualization of the Slavs and symbols for the home, is very near to the named before, from the Neolithic period from Macedonia. We could find it in the popular embroidery and in the decorate clasp. They are witness for the thesis that relationship home – woman in childbed -mother – Goddess Mother, was a very long time alive in their customs. In the essence, the relationship between the home and the woman in childbed reflected their filling that it wasn’t only a subject, but in contrary an object that takes care, protects and raises, attributes which are typical for the woman. Is obvious the association to the Goddess Mother, which takes care from everything evil, administers for the fertility of every piece in and on her, but for the re-establishing the order and the harmony, also3F.
These visualizations of the home, we could find in two variants, at the Slavs. The first, represents the house from which altitude developed the body of Goddess Mother, apropos, the house is represent as her entrails. At the second tip in the house cut is settled down the Goddess Mother. The house is not identical with the Goddess, but whit the space which she comprehends4F.
In the other civilizations, symbolic presentation of the house is different, but the most essential symbolic meaning could be a central role, which the house has in the life of the family, and its cosmic dimension, too. The same as the town, the same as the temple, the house is in the center of the world, it is a picture of the universe. Traditional Chinese house is rectangle and it opens itself to the rising sun. Central allocation of the construction follows the rules of geomancy. On the roof is holed a hole for the well, and on the floor is accepted the rainwater. In that way on the center of the house passes the axis, which connects the three worlds. Mongolic house is rounded, and it is because of a nomadic way of life. Its central stand is the same with the axis of the world. Arabs house is rectangle, with the central placed rectangle courtyard; it’s the closed world in four dimensions, which central yard is an evocation of the Eden world, exposed only for the heaven influence. Very characteristic for the Buddhism is its identification of the body with the house. Towards they, the house, like the body is only for the temporary stand, which means that they only could be the temporary anchor. In the Tibetan Circle of the Lasting, there is an identification of the body with the house also, which is represented with six entries, adequate with six senses. There is identification in the canonical text also, which are relate to the rising, in the individual point of view, in which they use the phrase – to broke the roof of the house. The hole on the top of the bone, the rising happens through, the Tibet people called “the exit for the fume.” In the Iranian comprehend of the living place house symbolized the stand and the position of the man in the relation of the unlimited powers of the other world. According the Bachelard, the house symbolizes the different condition of the inner being. The flats, the loft and the cellar symbolize the different conditions of the soul. The cellar relates with the unconscionable and the loft with the spiritual rising of the man. But in all those civilizations we could find the symbolic related with the woman, mother, Goddess, protection, anchor, fertility, also5F.
From these examples we could find out that not only in Slavic mythology, but on all the meridians the house is seem to be the body of the man, but it get an cosmological dimension also, the home get attributes with incoming symbolic cognition of the world, universe and religion.
The house was a center of all human activities and the center of the events of the family, ages ago. For that reason the process of building gets one significant symbolic dimension. In the Indian tradition, building means the symbol of a total respectfulness. It is the same in the opposite meaning – every building repeat the act of Creation. Every time, in some way, the building is put in the center of the world and it is an object of double symbolism – returning in the center of the happenings and the transition from the earth to the sky6F. The relation of the masons, for the symbolic meaning of a building, is quite the same.
1. Andonovski V., Azbuka za neposlušnite, pp. 1
2. Chaushidis N., Mitskite pretstavi na južnite sloveni, pp.205
3. Chaushidis N., Mitskite pretstavi na južnite sloveni, pp.205-211
4. Chaushidis N., Mitskite pretstavi na južnite sloveni, pp.205-211
5. Chevalier J., Gheerbrant A., Rječnik simbola, pp.328-32
6. Chevalier J., Gheerbrant A., Rječnik simbola, pp.328-329