Karelia (North-West Russia) was a full megalithic region, as the cult of stones in these areas in ancient times not only had its own specific features, but has always been an important part of the cultural landscape.
In the II century AD. e. Roman philosopher and encyclopedist Celsus wrote: "There is the age-old ancient study, which involved the ancient peoples and nations, and the wise men — Egyptians, Assyrians, Hyperboreans, Celtic Druids and geta …". Very little of this "primordial learning" has survived to the present day, and one of the great mysteries of such relics — megalithic structures, executes once religious, astronomical and magical functions, which served as show current research, to work with the powerful and very real " hidden forces of Nature. "
The most widespread is undoubtedly a specific type of revered image of stone, in Russia in the name of "sledoviki." They can be very different both in size and associated ethnographic evidence, and even the nature of some images that vary in a wide range from the obviously artificial, with a clear study of circuits to awkwardly expressed and almost certainly natural.
But their common feature is always that in the popular perception of the image data are traces — "God", "devils", "devil", the next Mary or various saints, and so on — even in cases where the image itself is only remotely resembles a footprint.
Stones sledoviki very diverse. Sizes vary and knocked them of traces (from "normal" to huge), and their "nature" (known, in addition to human, bear, bird, and other marks), and the number on one stone, and the technique of the images. Varies greatly and is expected to determine the age of the "footprints". Though there is considerable evidence of the crucial "survivability" tradition carving marks on the stone, the very appearance of this tradition should probably be attributed to the Neolithic era. At least, it was for a dating leads researchers known connection stones sledovikov the archaeological monuments of the Neolithic and Bronze Age.
In Karelia even officially "registered" stones sledovikov are many, but the most famous example of this type of "artifact" can serve as the famous petroglyphs (images on the rocks) of the White Sea.
For example, on the rocks at the mouth of the river Vig is about three hundred of related images, dating from the end of the III — beginning of II millennium BC. e. — So-called "demons Sledkov." For the most part it's images associated with the subject of hunting (moose, seals, bears, fish …). Against the background of this diversity stands of footprints leading to the image of a large human-like figure, supposedly the symbol of a certain deity.
The picture shows a man standing on one leg, with a raised left hand and one eye closed. This particular position, despite the fact that it is well-known in the history of European shamanism among Soviet and Russian researchers did not receive serious consideration. For example, the Celtic peoples, this sacred posture called "Meadows pose" or "posture Cuchulain."
Symbolic "one-legged" man (shaman, mage) standing in this position, directly related to the extremely archaic cult of the gods of death and magic (compare Eyed Odin in Norse tradition, one-legged Baba-Yaga — in Slavic, one-legged Sentinels Otherworld in Welsh epic and etc.). In ancient times it was believed that the magician takes "attitude Meadows," is at once in both worlds (in this and in the other) and, accordingly, the open eye sees the world of phenomena, and closed — Otherworld (the spirit world).
In the image, in our opinion, it is the shaman (magician) in sacral position. It is believed that the image opens a "certain way" in the sacred mysteries of the White Sea, showing the distant past Hyperborean modern Russian North-West.
Embossed on the rocks of footprints, with embedded within them a deep sense of magic, performs his quite specific role which is not understood by scientists, but was well aware "local lyudom": dolmens, Sadie, stone labyrinths, stones sledoviki — all included in the invisible world of the mysterious ancient forces.
For centuries, many of the monuments of the local population was accompanied by a tradition — retellings of stories, telling us about the origin of the stones or marks on them, ritual practice — prayers. Cult stones attributed miraculous healing properties.
In the old days, when on earth lived the great magicians and sorcerers, people not only understand the language of animals and plants, but with magic could change the structure of the stone, making it soft, like wet clay. Such is the legend, still ideas held in Karelia, allowing local people to keep holy the legendary pages of the past. For science, of course, it is not relevant, but, say the old folks, "has to do with life."
There is a lot of evidence about the healing properties sledovikov. According to local residents, the fluid that collects in their recesses, many have recovered from various skin diseases. Many villagers Karelia firmly believe in magical power of the mysterious stones.
When there was worship of stones and whether it is associated with a kind of religious cult, religious traditions? In scientific articles is often argued that the stones sledoviki associated with ancestor worship, the veneration of the dead. Honoring the birth stone is determined by features of the religious worldview. Sledoobraznaya pothole became a "trace" of deities who were worshiped. There is also a link to trace the origin of the stones to the activities of Christian saints.
News of boulders carved with traces of birds, animals and humans, "fingerprints" of hands, feet and shoes, crosses of various types, grooves in the form of bowls, points, and other strange characters surprise historians and ethnographers. No one can say exactly what the appointment had stones, especially as written sources with the answer to this question was found.
They are connected with the ancient Aryan beliefs, in particular, with the legend of the three steps of Vishnu, symbolizing the movement of the sun from sunrise through the point at the zenith to sunset. Stones sledoviki — silent witnesses of the ancient moves from north to south archaic Indo-European culture, beliefs and practices.
A peculiar finding was the story of one of the residents of a small village near Vodlozero who accidentally discovered on his side of the great stone with a mirror image of the Orthodox cross. And if the mind to raise the cross, it will indicate the direction on that hill, where in the past ancestors built Orthodox church.
The length of the cross — 70 cm, width — 40 cm image is clearly visible along the entire length of the stone. Whether it is a natural stone texture, or a cross carved in stone — hard to say, but the closeness of the church are here before making this image mysterious sign.
The Institute of Geology, Karelian Branch of the Academy of Sciences of Russia believe that the grooves in the stones are natural. One would totally agree with that, if not for the approval of people about the healing properties of water, and not many puzzling questions which remain unanswered. Stones sledoviki persist to keep their secrets.