Perun: Sun God of the Slavs

Peter Y. Chou

a symbol of the buddhic emotions which guard, as it were the "treasure in heaven", "the golden apples which Ge (Earth) gave to Hera at her marriage to Zeus", signifying that when Wisdom and Love are united after the struggle of the Self rising from below, the treasure, which matter, or the lower nature (earth), has been the means of securing, is presented to Wisdom as the consciousness rises to the buddhic plane.
HYPERION: Son of Uranus and Ge—
a symbol of the Higher Self, or Consciousness, proceeding from Spirit and Matter— Divine Love.
— G.A. Gaskell, Dictionary of All Scriptures and Myths
    Julian Press, New York, 1960, pp. 358. 379


At the wedding of Zeus and Hera, Mother Earth (Gaia) produced the miraculous tree as a wedding gift for the bride, and it was Hera who appointed Ladon its guardian. According to another tale, the apples belonged to Aphrodite, who furthermore had sacred gardens of her own amongst us mortals. In any case, the divine garden of the Hesperides contained the serpent Ladon, whose ability to speak with various voices is mentioned in the tales as frequently as the bright song of the female guardians. There is no knowing how many throats Ladon had for the utterances of these voices, or whether they were like those of Typhon. Usually the Serpent of the Hesperides has two heads, but often he has three, and in one tale he even has a hundred. Against the tales in which Herakles slew Ladon can be set other tales in which the hero— or, on his behalf, the giant Atlas, who in the west supports the arch of Heaven— obtained the apples in a friendly manner: either fom the serpent, or from the Hesperides, or with the help of the Hesperides, according to the taste of the story-teller. (pp. 53-54)
    The Hesperides were daughters either of Night, or of Phorkys and Keto, or of Atlas: not to speak of that mistake of identity— a confusion with the Horai— by which they are made out to be daughters of Zeus and Themis. Three or four names are usually mentioned— and either three or four seem to have been their actual number, although in paintings many more of them are depicted. The names given to them are widely various. Their joint name, the Hesperides, is connected to Hesperos, the star of the evening, the star of Aphrodite. They were sometimes supposed to have had a father called Hesperos. It is unnecessary to suppose this, since the Hesperides, like Hesperos, are directly associated by name with evening, with sunset and the approaches towards Night— although, indeed, to a Night that harbours golden fruit. One of them is actually called Hespera, or Hesperia, "the Vespertinal"; the second is called Aigle, "the Luminous"; and the third Erytheia or Erythsïs, "the Crimson". The fourth is Arethousa, who is elsewhere a goddess of springs. (p. 54)
    At the wedding of Zeus and Hera in the region of Okeanos, on the western edge of the earth, all the gods came with their wedding-gifts. Earth (Gaia) gave the golden apples that are known as the Apples of the Hesperides. She brought the marvellous tree, with its fruit, to the young bride. Hera admired the fruit and had it guarded by the serpent (Ladon), in the garden of the gods. According to this story the Hesperides sought to steal the apples. (p. 96)

HYPERION: Father of Helios—
The genealogy of Helios has already been described in the tales of the Titans. Indeed, under the rule of Zeus he alone retained the appellation of Titan. The Titaness Theia bore him, with his two sisters, to the Titan Hyperion. She was a many-named goddess, for whose sake men esteem gold: so, at least, it was said— perhaps because she was entitled to golden gifts, as also and especially was Persephone. Besides being called Theia— "the Divine", a wod for precisely that quality by virtue of which the gods were gods— the mother of the Sun was also called Euryphaessa, "the widely shining", and was adorned with the surname "The Cow-Eyed". These names recall such names as Europa and Pasiphae, or Pasiphaessa— names of moon-goddesses who were associated with bulls. In the mother of Helios we can recognize the moon-goddess, just as inhis father Hyperion we can recognize the sun-god himself. This last name means "he above", "the one overhead"— in other words, the Sun, to whom Homer gives the same name, calling him not only Helios, but in other passages Hyperion, or by the double name of Hyperion Helios. Our ancestors seem to have regarded him as a self-begotten divinity, similar to the many-named husband and son of the Great Mother, a Daktylos or a Kabeiros. The wife of Helios was, admittedly, called by a different name from that of his mother; but her name, Perse or Perseis, was also one of the names of the moon-goddess Hekate, and doubtless represented the Underworldly aspect of the "widely shining" goddess. The name of the queen of the Underworld, Persephone, can be taken to be a longer, perhaps simply a more ceremonious, form of Perse. Another name of the wife of the sun-god, Neaira, "the New One"— which is to say, the new moon, the moon in its darkest phase— gave a more accurate idea of the occasion on which the moon-goddess became the mother of Helios's children: the occasion of the seeming encounter of Sun and Moon at the time of the new moon. (pp. 192-193)

PERSEPHONE: Queen of the Underworld—
The meaning of Ais, Aides, or Hades is most probably "the invisible" or "the invisibility-giving", in contrast with Helios, the visible and visible-making. It also expresses a still stronger contrast than the contrast between Hades and the heavenly king Zeus, whose name once meant "brightness of day". Hades was the ruler of the Underworld who corresponds and is equal to the Zeus of the world of above... Zeus married Demeter who bore him Persephone. Hades ravished his niece Persephone bringing her to rule as his Queen in the Underworld. Persephone was also called Kore, "the Maiden", and her name is connected with Perse, Perseis, Perses, Perseus, and Persaios— names of Hekate and her associates— and was probably used from pre-Greek times as a name of the queen of the Underworld. She acquired the name "the Maiden" when, as first and only daughter of her mother (a characteristic which she again shared with Kekate, but also with Pandora and Protogeneis), she fell victim to the god of death. (pp. 230-232)
— C. Kerényi, The Gods of the Greeks
    Thames & Hudson, London, 1951


Perdix: a young Athenian, son of the sister of Daedalus. He invented the saw, and seemed to promise to become a greater artist than had ever been known. His uncle was jealous of his rising fame, and he threw him down from the top of a tower and put him to death. Perdix was changed into a bird, the partridge, which bears his name. Hygin. fab. 39 & 274; Apollod. 4, c. 15; Ovid, Met 8, v. 220.

Pergamus: the citadel of the city of Troy. The word is often used for Troy. It was situated in the most elevated par of the town, on the shores of the river Scamander. Xerxes mounted to the top of this citadel when he reviewed his troops as he marched to invade Greece. Herodotus 7, c. 43; Virgil, Aeneid I.v.466

Perge: a town of Pamphylia, where Diana had a magnificent temple, whence her surname of Pergaea. Apollonius the geometrician was bon there. Mela, I. c. 14; Strab. 14.
as he marched to invade Greece. Herodotus 7, c. 43; Virgil, Aeneid I.v.466

Peristhenes: a son of Aegyptus, who married Electra. Apollod.

Perusia: now Perugia, an ancient town of Etruria on the Tiber, built by Ocnus. L. Antonius was besieged there by Octavian, and obliged to surrender. Strab. 5; Lucan, I, v. 41; Livy 9, c. 37, l. 10, c. 30 & 37.

Lemprière's Classical Dictionary, 3rd Edition
    Routledge & Kean Paul, London, 1984 (1st edition 1788)


Wotan, the blue-cloaked All-Father of Northern mythology, was said to possess a solitary eye, understood by mythologists to point "beyond all doubt to the Sun, the one eye which all day long looks down from Heaven upon the Earth." In the mind of St. Matthew, the single eye was the equation of Light. "The light of the body is the eye: if therefore, thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light." (Matthew VI.22)... The Egyptians cosidered God as the Eye of the Universe; and a point within a circle was regarded by them typified the supreme and everlasting God. The Greek for Sun is Helios, "Shining Light". The Assyrian Sun-God Sin, the English "sun", and the Dutch "zon" were probably once is-in, is-un, and iz-on, the "Light of the One" or "Light of the Sun"... Italians call the Sun il Sole, "the solitary one", and the French soleil may be equated with sole il or El, the Sole and Solitary God, the Monocle or Lone Great Eye. (pp. 288-290)
    An analysis of the several terms for man, soul, spirit reveals the time-honored belief that the human race emerged in its infancy from the Great Light, and that every human soul was a spark or fragment of the Ever-Existent Oversoul. The Egyptian for man was se, the German for soul is ziel, the fiery light of God, and the English soul was once presumably is ol, the essence or light of God. The Hebrew for man is ish and for woman isha. The Latin homo is Om, the Sun, as also is the French homme; and âme, the French for soul, is apparently the Hindoo AUM. (p. 300)
    It apparently struck the ancient fancy that anything round or circular was like the Orb of Day. Thus the Lithuanians called an apple obolys, which is simply obolus, a little ball... Among the ancient Mexicans the word on served to denote anything circular. The Celtic for circle is kibak ib, the "great orb", and for round, krenn— ak ur en, the "great fire sun"... The knowledge that ap is equal to ob enables us to reduce the name Apollo into Ap ol lo, the 'orb of the Lord Everlasting'. Shelley sings in Hymn of Apollo:
        "I am the Eye with which the universe
        Beholds itself and knows itself divine,
        All harmony of instrument or verse,
        All prophecy, all medicine are mine,
        All light of Art and Nature:— to my song
        Victory and praise in their own right belong."
Ap must be the root of the Greek apo, meaning "far away", and it may also be equated with our up and upwards, both meaning towards the orb: it is also the foundation of optimus, the best, and of optimism or faith in the highest. "High" may similarly be equated with towards the I or Eye. Country people pronounce up "oop", and the child's hoop may have been so named because it was a circle like the Sun. Op is not only the root of hope and happy but it is also the foundation of optics, optical, and other terms relating to the eye or eyeball. The word eye, phonetically "I", may have arisen from the fact that the eye is a ball like the Sun, and this idea runs through the etymology of "eye" in many languages. Ops or Opis was one of the names of Juno, the "unique, ever-existent O", or, as she was sometimes known, Demeter, the "Mother of brilliant splendour". Ops was the give of ops, riches, whence the word opulent; plenty is fundamentally opulentyopulenty, and the Latin for plenty is copia. A synonym for plenty is abundance. The syllable Op, meaning Eye, occurs in many place-names, notably in Ethiopa and Europe. Cox translates Europe as meaning "the splendour of morning", and the word is alternatively rendered "the broad-eyed". But the two syllables of Europe are simply a reversed form of the English surname Hooper, the Eye or "Hoop of Light"— the Sun. (pp. 303-305)
    In Egypt, Hawks were kept in the Sun-god's temple, where the Deity himself was represented as a man with a hawk's head and the disk of the Sun over it. The Greek for Hawk is hierax, a word that has much puzzled philologers, but which obviously is hier, sacred or holy to— ak se, the Great Light. The Latin for hawk is accipiter, a word containing the piteer of Jupiter and resolvable into ak se pitar, Great Light Father. The Latin for Eagle is aquila, and the Spanish aguila. The core of both these words is evidently Huhi, an Egyptian term for God the Father, and both thus read ak Huhi la, the Great Father Everlasting. The Irish for Eagle was achil, probably ak el, the Great God, with which we may compare the French aigle and the English eagle
    One of the surnames of Dionysis was Puripais, a word understood to mean "Son of Fire". Pur or pyr is Greek for Fire, and the Greeks sometimes called the Lightning Pur Dios, i.e., the Fire of Dios or Dyaus, the Shining light, the Sky. Pyre in English means a funeral fire, in Umbrian pyr means light, and in Tahitian pura means "to blaze as a fire". In Sanskrit pramantha means the stick with which one kindled fire, and the pur of pramantha is no doubt identical with the pur of Prometheus, the traditional Bringer of Fire. (pp. 309-310)
    The Slavs knew only one god, the fabricator of lightning, whom they look upon as the ruler of all. This God, represented with three heads, was named Perun and was portrayed with a fiery-red face, surrounded by flames. He was worshipped by the Russians, Bohemians, Poles, and Bulgarians. A perpetual fire was maintained in honor of Perun, which, if extinguished, was rekindled by sparks struck from a stone held in the hand of the God's image. The name Perun evidently meant either Fire of the Sun or the One Fire; un being still the French for one and the root of Unus, unit, unique. Perun was also known as Peraun, the Solar Fire; as Perkunas, which we may restore to Per-ak-un-as, the Blazing Great Sun Fire; and as Perkuns, i.e. Per-ak-ince, the Sparkling Great Fire. (pp. 310-311)
    The Greek word paraclete used by St. John to denote the Holy Ghost the Comforter, is radically per ak el, the Fire of the Great God, and it was perhaps from Perak, the Great Fire, that the East Indian Perak and the American Paraguay derived their names. Perun must be allied not only to Perugia or Persia, but also to Peru, the land of self-termed "Children of the Sun". The Peruvian Solar hero was named Pirhua Manca, a term translated by Spence as "Son of the Sun", and by Donnelly as "revealer of pir, light". The syllable Per, either a coalesced form of pa ur or a contracted form of op ur, is still today a Scandinavian Christian name, and is obviously the root of Percy, Perceval, and Parzifal— names once meaning the light or strong light of the Fire. In Persian persica means Sun, and the Founder of the Persian Monarchy was termed Persica. (p. 311)
    The Son of Helios the Sun was named Perses; the daughter of Perses was Perseis; and the wife of Helios was Perse. Per, the Fire or Light, was doubtless also the root of Percides, Perseus, and of Persephone or Peroserpine, who is here represented with the Fleur-de-lys-tipped sceptre of Light and is crowned with the tower of Truth. The famous Persepolis, one of the wonders of the Eastern world, must have meant Per-se-polis, the City of Perse, the light of Per; and the land of Persia, orginally Persis, clearly owes its name to the same root. The Spanish surname Perez may be equated with the Italian Perizzi, and with Perizzites of the Old Testament. The Fire-worshipping Parsis were like the Parisii, the founder of the City of Paris— the followers or children of Per. In Peru there is a town named Per, in Cornwll a place named Par, and Parr is a familiar English surname. Close to Stonehenge is Perham, and elsewhere in England we meet with Perton, Pyrford, Purbeck, Purfleet, Perborough, and Pirbright. (pp. 311-313)
    The Sun-God Perun is probably the Godfather of the Stone amphitheatre in Cornwall called Perran Round, which is situate at Perranzabuloe, a ruined settlement abounding in prehistoric remains. In Cornwall there is a Perran Well and also a Perranporth. In South America is the city of Para, in Asia is Pera, and in Devon is Paracomb, all probably owing their nomenclature to a Shrine of the Father Fire.
    Par, the foundatioin of our word parent, may be equated with the French père, which means "father", and the Sun-God Perun may probably be equated with père un, the one Father. Pur is French for pure and is the root of prime, primal, primitive, premier, and progressive. Perfext, or as the French have it, parfait, must originally have implied made by or like Per. Per, meaning through or thorough, is the foundation of the adjectives permanent, permeating, persevering, pervasive, pertinacious, perennial, and present. Pardon means the donation or gift of Per, and just as laus was primarily the light of the Everlasting, so must its English equivalent praise have meant per az the light of Per. The Sanskrit Purusha is the equivalent of the generic term Adam. The French for spirit is esprit and the Portugese for light is esperti, i.e., the light of shining Per. In our word spirit and in the Latin spiritus the initial vowel has phonetically decayed. (p. 313)
    The Greek word peri, meaning here, there, and everywhere, is equivalent to the Latin ubique. A Persian name for radiant and winged spirits is peri or pari; the New Zealand Maoris speak of the fairies as paiarehe, whom they state dwell on the fiery mountain named Pirongia, a word suggestive of Ever-Existent Perun and also of Parnassus. The Home of the Persian peri was Paradise, and the Garden of the Hesperides cannot differ from Paradise, the Shining Light of Pers. Hyperion was the Father of the Sun; Hesperus was the Morning Star who heralded the Dawn; and espérance means Hope. The French for dawn in audb, i.e., orb or hoop, the opening of the radiant Eye... In fig. 735 the P of the All-Parent is surmounted by the S of espritus and essence; in fig. 736 with the Heart of Love; and in fig. 737 it is identified with the Great Bear. The Old German for Bear was pero or bero. [Great Bear = Ursa Major = Big Dipper] (pp. 314-315)
    Sir John Maundeville mentions in his Asiatic Travels a place named Pharsipee, i.e., Phar, the Fire Father. At Pharsipee there was said to be a marvellous Sparrow-hawk— we may call it a Peregrine (per-eg-ur-un, the Fire of the One Great Power)— and whosoever watched this bird for seven days and seven nights— some said three days and three nights— would have every desire granted by a "fair lady of fairie". In fig. 739 the letter F is figured on the Bird of Fire, and in fig. 740 is designed in such a way as to convey the notion of a flaming Fire. (p. 322)
— Harold Bayley, The Lost Language of Symbolism
     Chapter XII: The Eye of the Universe (pp. 288-322)
     Citadel Press, New York (first edition, London 1912)


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