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Thread: Slavic Paganism

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    Sr. Member Yazichestvo's Avatar
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    Slavic Paganism

    This thread is for anyone interested in discussion about Slavic paganism. That is, the pre-Christian tradition of the Slavs, a little-understood people who culturally dominated most of Eastern Europe by the 6th or 7th century A.D. Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Bulgarian, and many other languages are descended from the proto-Slavic language. In Russia and Ukraine, Slavic paganism is often called Rodnoveri, which means "Native Faith".

    I have been avidly studying Slavic paganism for about four years, and trust myself a lot more than I trust a lot of the sources out there on this subject. Many will state as fact their highly speculative attempts to reconstruct lost portions of Slavic pagan belief, and others neglect entirely to pore over the rich collection of folklore in which a crucial portion of the tradition is preserved. I've found several very decent sources published in English, such as "Forest of the Vampire (Slavic Myth), and "Songs of the Russian People." However, I've found no one source with everything. The folklore, especially, is very scattered throughout multiple sources. You'll find Bulgarian folklore in one book, and Russian in another, despite the fact that the folklore and folk-traditions of over a dozen different Eastern European countries have common features.

    It's probably one of the hardest traditions to attempt to revive, I'll admit. However, I believe that we could do a lot better than we have been. Many in Russia are just skinheads taking up Slavic paganism with a racial and nationalistic agenda, often without really caring about accuracy. Many Russian pagans draw from the Book of Veles, a proven forgery which is supposedly a relic of the pagan past, rather than their genuine ancestral tradition. Here in the west there is very little published at all, and some truly bad scholarship. Because of this, I'd be happy to help anyone who is trying to learn about my tradition. I also welcome discussion and sharing ideas, if anyone else has anything to share.
    Last edited by Yazichestvo; 11 Jun 2011 at 23:02.
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    Professional Lurker Ljubezen's Avatar
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    Re: Slavic Paganism

    I know this is an old post, but I would love to learn about slavic belief systems (aside from the current, warped, christianity established religion).
    If you have any solid resources (albeit fractured), I would love to know of them!

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    Honorary Supporter Dez's Avatar
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    Re: Slavic Paganism

    Hey again! Long time no see

    I've actually been rather interested in Perun. Most sources I've been reading are about the Norse gods, and I've had more then one mention him in passing as being somewhat similar to Thor. Could you share more information about him?

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    Sr. Member Yazichestvo's Avatar
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    Re: Slavic Paganism

    Quote Originally Posted by Ljubezen View Post
    I know this is an old post, but I would love to learn about slavic belief systems (aside from the current, warped, christianity established religion).
    If you have any solid resources (albeit fractured), I would love to know of them!
    If you want me to scrape together all of the resources I've come across, that may take awhile. I can list some that I consider dependable. Roman Zaroff is a fairly credible source. He's a PhD in History with many other qualifications, and he's written a bit on the Slavic pantheon. I also recommend Russian Folk Belief, by Linda Ivanits. These are the books that most people go to. If you really get into it, then any books on the folklore of other Slavic countries can come in handy. For instance, Bulgarian Folk Customs by Mercia McDermott. There's also a series of papers called "Studia Mythologica Slavica". You can find some on line. I won't vouch for all of their interpretations, but it has good source material, including some rare research on Slovenian folklore. Some familiarity with Baltic paganism also may not hurt, as the Baltic culture is the closest relative of Slavic culture. For that, I'd recommend Marija Gimbutas.

    Quote Originally Posted by DeseretRose View Post
    Hey again! Long time no see

    I've actually been rather interested in Perun. Most sources I've been reading are about the Norse gods, and I've had more then one mention him in passing as being somewhat similar to Thor. Could you share more information about him?
    I'm glad I decided to revisit this forum. Perun is actually the closest thing I have to a "patron" or main deity. There are some similarities, I believe. For instance, there's evidence that Perun, like the Germanic Thor/Donar and Baltic Perkunas, was strongly associated with the oak. Some researchers like Ivanov and Toporov have also written a lot on Perun having a dragon-like or serpentine opponent, possibly analogous to Jormungandr. I tend to agree with this. It survives in Bulgarian lore to this day, in their celebration of St. Elijah's day. There, as in Russia, the Saint Elijah seems to have assimilated the native storm God. Tales talk of St.Elijah battling a many headed serpent (called a lamia, hala, or in some Slavic countries, a zmey) with lightning bolts, and releasing the rain upon slaying it.

    http://12121.hostinguk.com/elijah.htm

    What really bothers me is when some writers claim that Kievan Rus (the predecessor state of Russia) basically just borrowed Thor from the vikings and renamed him. Roman Zaroff has demonstrated that that's not the case at all, since there are numerous toponyms named after Perun as far south as the Balkans, where the Varangians didn't have any influence. What's more, he's clearly related to the Lithuanian Perkunas as well, which would make him a Proto-Balto-Slavic deity. I think we must accept that the links between Perun and Thor are lost in the the prehistory of Northern Europe.
    If you want to be thought intelligent, just agree with everyone.

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    Honorary Supporter Dez's Avatar
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    Re: Slavic Paganism

    Quote Originally Posted by Yazichestvo View Post
    I'm glad I decided to revisit this forum. Perun is actually the closest thing I have to a "patron" or main deity. There are some similarities, I believe. For instance, there's evidence that Perun, like the Germanic Thor/Donar and Baltic Perkunas, was strongly associated with the oak. Some researchers like Ivanov and Toporov have also written a lot on Perun having a dragon-like or serpentine opponent, possibly analogous to Jormungandr. I tend to agree with this. It survives in Bulgarian lore to this day, in their celebration of St. Elijah's day. There, as in Russia, the Saint Elijah seems to have assimilated the native storm God. Tales talk of St.Elijah battling a many headed serpent (called a lamia, hala, or in some Slavic countries, a zmey) with lightning bolts, and releasing the rain upon slaying it.

    http://12121.hostinguk.com/elijah.htm

    What really bothers me is when some writers claim that Kievan Rus (the predecessor state of Russia) basically just borrowed Thor from the vikings and renamed him. Roman Zaroff has demonstrated that that's not the case at all, since there are numerous toponyms named after Perun as far south as the Balkans, where the Varangians didn't have any influence. What's more, he's clearly related to the Lithuanian Perkunas as well, which would make him a Proto-Balto-Slavic deity. I think we must accept that the links between Perun and Thor are lost in the the prehistory of Northern Europe.
    That makes sense to me...I mean, before nationalism in the late 1800's, every little valley had it's own culture. Someone from, say, Northern Switzerland spoke their own dialect, and while they could understand village B two valleys over, might not be able to understand village C another three valleys on the other side of B. It stands to reason that while similarities exist, concepts of deity would be similar.

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    Sr. Member Gunnarr's Avatar
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    Re: Slavic Paganism

    Yazichestvo,

    This is my post on another thread,

    This may help, Volkhvy, he is working through the similarities and distinctiveness of Slavic Heathenry, this is his email;

    volkhvy@stonedragonpress.com
    Here is a group run by Volkhvy that will give you good and solid information:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/slavicreconstructionist/

    and go here for some immediate info {click on the link and then look on the left side for Slavic Heathenry}

    http://www.minnesotaheathens.org/


    This book has references to Rus & Slavic practices which I think are similar,

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ibn-Fadlans...2&sr=8-1-fkmro
    Gunnarr Sandisson
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