Altaic: Mergen

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Altaic: Mergen

Mergen (Turkish: Mergen, Cyrillic: Мерген, Russian: Мэргэн), is a Turkic deity of abundance and wisdom.

Mergen is often depicted with an arrow and bow in one hand. Other important symbols included the white horse and white colour. He is associated with profundity and depicted as a strong and powerful god. Mergen is the son of Kayra and the brother of Ulgan. And lives on the seventh floor of sky. He was portrayed as a young man with a helmet and a bow, riding on a white horse. Mergen symbolizes the intelligence and thought.

Etymology
The word Mergen means archer or bowman in Turkic languages. In the Bashkir language the word märgän (мәргән) means marksman or sniper, while in Khalkha the cognate Mergen (мэргэн) means wise or genius. They both descend from Middle Mongolian ᠮᠡᠷᠭᠡᠨ (mergen, “wise, skilled at archery”).


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Altaic: Ülgen

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Altaic: Ülgen

Bai-Ülgen or Ülgen (Old Turkic: Bey Ülgen; also spelled Bai-Ulgen, Bai-Ülgen, Bay-Ulgan, Bay-Ulgen, or Bay-Ülgen; Khakas: Ӱлген, Russian: Ульгень or Ульге́нь, Ottoman: اولگن) is a Turkic and Mongolian creator-deity, usually distinct from Tengri but sometimes identified with him in the same manner as Helios and Apollo. His name is from Old Turkic bay, “rich”, and ülgen, “magnificent”. Ülgen is believed to be without either beginning or end.

Features
In Turkic and Mongolian mythology, the birch tree, regarded as a cosmic axis between earth and sky, was regarded as sacred to him, as was the horse (horse-sacrifice was a part of his worship). Ülgen symbolizes goodness, welfare, abundance, plentiness of food, water, etc. Furthermore, he created earth, heaven and all living beings. In addition, he controls the atmospheric events and movements of stars. He creates land for people to live on, the heads of both humans and animals and the rainbow. He was regarded as the patron god of shamans and the source of their knowledge.

It is believed that Ülgen has been created from Tengri (Tengere Kayra Khan). He is the highest deity after Tengri in the Mongo-Turkic pantheon. Often, Ülgen is compared with Tengri and at times they are thought to be on par, or even the same. In some sayings, the name/function of Ülgen may be (partially) interchangeable with that of Tengri.

Ülgen is described as the enemy of Erlik who is the god of evil and darkness. Ülgen assumes the protectorship of humankind against him.

Bai-Ülgen lives on the sixteenth floor of the sky above the stars, sun and moon in a golden house. Mere humans may never reach him, excepting shamans or kams, who possess astral powers. Animals are used for sacrifice in worship of him, especially horses. Once in every third, sixth, ninth, or twelfth year, a shaman may sacrifice a white horse as the first step of reaching Ülgen. Then he must ride its soul, penetrate through all the layers of heaven until he reaches Ülgen. Firstly, the kam (shaman) meets Yayık who is the servant of Ülgen. This entity informs the kam whether or not the offering has been accepted. If the sacrificial rite has been successful, the shaman is able to learn from the omniscient Ülgen of impending dangers, such as bad harvests.


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Altaic: Umay

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Altaic: Umay

Umay (also known as Umai; in Old Turkic: Old Turkic letter Y1.svgOld Turkic letter M.svgOld Turkic letter O.svg; Kazakh: Ұмай ана, Umay ana; Russian: Ума́й / Ымай, Umáj / Ymaj, Turkish: Umay (Ana)) is the goddess of fertility in Turkic mythology and Tengriism and as such related to women, mothers and children. Umay resembles earth-mother goddesses found in various other world religions.

Etymology
In Mongolian, Umai means ‘womb’ or ‘uterus’. The earth was considered a “mother” symbolically. The Turkic root umāy originally meant ‘placenta, afterbirth’, and this word was used as the name for the goddess whose function was to look after women and children, possibly because the placenta was thought to have magic qualities. Literally in the Mongolian language, “eje” or “eej” means “mother,” and in Old Turkic, the word eçe also means ‘mother’.


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Altaic: Yer-sub

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Altaic: Yer-sub

Yer-sub (Yar-Sub also Yer-Su or Yir-sub) are a category of nature spirits in the Turkic-Mongolian belief of Tengriism. The name means “Earth–Water” in Turkic languages.

The word Yer-Sub had two meanings. One was the name of natural spirits, the other the visible world, the Native Land.


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Altaic: Etugen Eke

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Altaic: Etugen Eke

Etügen Eke (“Mother Earth”, also transliterated variously as Itügen or Etügen Ekhe) is a Mongolian (Mongolian: Этүгэн эх — Etügen ekh) and Turkic earth goddess. She was believed to be perpetually virginal. In Mongolian language, the word “etugen” associates with woman and daughter of Kayra. Also her name may originated from Ötüken, the holy mountain of the earth and fertility goddess of the ancient Turks. Medieval sources sometimes pair Etugen with a male counterpart named Natigai or Nachigai (Natikai, Natıkay), although this is probably a mistake based on a mispronunciation of Etugen. In Mongol mythology Etugen is often represented as a young woman riding a grey bull.

Mother Earth
Etugen existed in the middle of the Universe. The Turkish people depicted Etugen as a voluptuous, beautiful woman, who was patroness of the Homeland and nature. All living beings were subordinate to her. Therefore, the Turkish people viewed Etugen as the second highest deity, after Kök-Tengri (Gök Tanrı). The dominant role in determining the fate of people and nations belonged to Tengri, but natural forces yielded to Etugen. Sometimes on Tengri’s command, Etugen punished people for their sins. But she was generally considered a benevolent Goddess. To appease the goddess Etugen, sacrifices were made every spring in preparation for the cattle-breeding season and before planting crops. Sacrifices were also conducted in the autumn, after the completion of the harvest. During the times of the Khaganates, sacrifices to Etugen had a nationwide character. They were conducted near rivers and on the banks of lakes. A reddish horse was sacrificed with appeals for the fertility of cattle and crops, and for general well being.


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