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Slavic pantheons etc.

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  • Alastair Millar
    Just a quick note - I spent this morning reminding myself how poor most of the online information regarding Slavic religion really is (with even supposedly
    Message 1 of 11 , Aug 8, 2004
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      Just a quick note -

      I spent this morning reminding myself how poor most of the online
      information regarding Slavic religion really is (with even supposedly
      reputable websites making basic errors, confusing the names of rites with
      the names of deities, mixing up folklore and religion etc.).

      Now, I'm ready to bite the bullet and prepare a "primer" on Slavic deities,
      using information that CAN be substantiated - i.e. which comes from
      archaeological and written sources, not from folklore or romaticism. For
      each deity I shall also be including details of known/demonstrable 'range',
      and primary sources where known. When it's done, I'll put it up with the
      miscellany of Slavic-related stuff on my website.

      (BTW, the list's own "files" section is looking rather full - perhaps more
      people might like to zip things before uploading?)

      The main (secondary) source that I am using is the 'Encyklopedie slovanskych
      bohu a mytu' by N. Profantova & M. Profant, published in Prague in 2000
      (ISBN 80-7277-011-X), which has the great advantage of considering both
      archaeological and historical sources, and of being rather well researched.

      The list of deities that I am currently working with is as follows (and bear
      in mind that your spelling may vary!):

      Bielbog, Chernobog, Chernoglav, Dazhbog, Dziewanna, Dzidzilela, German,
      Chors, Jarovit, Jesza, Lada, Mokosh, Morana/Marzana, Nija*, Perperuna,
      Perun, Pizamar, Podaga/Pogoda, Porenut, Porevit, Pripegala, Prove, Radegost,
      Rinvit, Rod, Rugievit, Simargl, Sreca, Straba, Stribog, Svantovit, Svarog,
      Svarozhich, Triglav, Trojan, Turupit, Veles and Zhiva/Zywie.

      This list is, I think, fairly comprehensive, but please bear in mind that:
      - my interest is in DEITIES, and not in other beings such as fairies,
      demons,
      ghosts, spirits, vampires, werewolves etc. etc.
      - some of the names on the list are from Jan Dlugosz's dubious 15th century
      work
      - the names given should not be taken as comprising a single pantheon!

      Would anyone like to add other deities? (I.e., have I missed some? Most of
      this is way out of my usual area...). If so, please supply information along
      with sources/references - preferably to primary source material and/or web
      pages - and not just names!

      TIA

      Alastair

      -----------------------------------------------------
      Alastair Millar BSc (Hons) - http://www.skriptorium.info
      Translation & Consultancy for the Heritage Industry
      P.O. Box 11, CZ 413 01 Roudnice, Czech Republic
      Tel.: +420.607.993.041, Fax.: +420.416.832.090
    • pniedrich
      ... supposedly ... rites with ... deities, **It s already been done on our list, SlavicReconstructionist, we have a Master list in our file section we ve been
      Message 2 of 11 , Aug 8, 2004
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        --- In sig@yahoogroups.com, "Alastair Millar" <alastair@i...> wrote:
        > Just a quick note -
        >
        > I spent this morning reminding myself how poor most of the online
        > information regarding Slavic religion really is (with even
        supposedly
        > reputable websites making basic errors, confusing the names of
        rites with
        > the names of deities, mixing up folklore and religion etc.).
        >
        > Now, I'm ready to bite the bullet and prepare a "primer" on Slavic
        deities,

        **It's already been done on our list, SlavicReconstructionist, we
        have a Master list in our file section we've been compiling over a
        long time, and it's cross-referenced under differing names of the
        Western, Eastern, and Southern Slav Tribes.
        It's something we have to have, because it's our faith as Yazyks,
        or Slavic heathens. You are welcome to join up, and check things out
        for yourselves.
        There are also many good books I'd recommend here, but we have them
        on our list. Thanks anyways, and Looking forward to seeing you
        there, Alastair.
        (this list seems to have replaced the Leszi and Slavic Pagans list,
        as the moderators had left, and it was being hit by horrific
        porn/sales spam, I had started this one up, but NOT with the focus
        on "Witchcraft" or a Slav overlay on Celtic-focused "Wicca",
        (bleah!), but along the lines of what is "True" to our Ancestral
        faith as "Jayzyks" or "Yazyks", ie..what is akin as "Asatru" is for
        the Germanic folkway.)

        find us at http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/SlavicReconstructionist

        SLAVA!

        Patricia Niedrich
        list owner/moderator
      • Ben McGarr
        ... deities, ... romaticism. Good on you, Alastair! As a hopelessly romantic folklorist I won t be much use to you, but good luck all the same. ... fairies, I
        Message 3 of 11 , Aug 8, 2004
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          --- In sig@yahoogroups.com, "Alastair Millar" <alastair@i...> wrote:
          > Now, I'm ready to bite the bullet and prepare a "primer" on Slavic
          deities,
          > using information that CAN be substantiated - i.e. which comes from
          > archaeological and written sources, not from folklore or
          romaticism.

          Good on you, Alastair! As a hopelessly romantic folklorist I won't
          be much use to you, but good luck all the same.

          > - my interest is in DEITIES, and not in other beings such as
          fairies,

          I see your reasoning here, but isn't this perhaps a rather modern
          division? Deities come and go, are relegated and promoted, fused and
          multiplied, and the background of smaller supernaturals often gets
          caught up in this. In a world of spirits and manifestations of
          natural forces some are bigger than others but not too dissimilar as
          to basic type.

          It also seems to me a little out of order to exclude those godlike
          beings still 'worshipped' in the backwoods into the previous century,
          and even now in a distorted [more folklore-conscious] form, like our
          old friends Yarilo, Kupalo and Kostroma/Kostrubunko. Even Baba Yaga
          holds a few secrets about her former status which she is loathe to
          let on to all but the most persistent of philologists. [I read
          lately that her name is cognate with our Angliiskiy 'inkling'!]

          That said, I'm surprised you've include Simargl, or is this my modern
          over-classifying mind at work?

          Once again, all the best with your new undertaking, and beware! It
          may prove more involved than you expect!

          Ben
          ps. I replied to your last Wendish thing, but the Net swallowed it
          up and now forces me to retype it. Grrr.
        • Rick Orli
          Some faries my be minor deities, or faces of a greater deity; or, may by proximity to people be part of the day-to-day routinely practiced faith system.
          Message 4 of 11 , Aug 9, 2004
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            Some faries my be minor deities, or 'faces' of a greater deity; or,
            may by proximity to people be part of the day-to-day routinely
            practiced faith system. That is, if a tenent of a religious system
            is that there are numerous devine or somwhat devine spirits or
            whatever that live in the house or in the immediate woods, and that
            these spirits need regular human attention of some sort, then they
            are just as important as the 'major' gods, if not more so.

            Anyway, this is a very slippery subject, so good luck. I am
            reminded of the hindus who swear that the explicit references in the
            rig veda to cow sacrifice (and horse, and sheep etc.) referes
            to 'spirit cows' and not actual sacrifices (because in modern
            practice cows are sacred). Also, that some hindus insist that their
            religion is monotheastic (that the numerous "gods" are just aspects
            of one deity), and that christianity can be more polytheastic in
            actual practice.

            -Rick

            --- In sig@yahoogroups.com, "Alastair Millar" <alastair@i...> wrote:
            > Just a quick note -
            >
            > I spent this morning reminding myself how poor most of the online
            > information regarding Slavic religion really is (with even
            supposedly
            > reputable websites making basic errors, confusing the names of
            rites with
            > the names of deities, mixing up folklore and religion etc.).
            >
            > Now, I'm ready to bite the bullet and prepare a "primer" on Slavic
            deities,
            > using information that CAN be substantiated - i.e. which comes from
            > archaeological and written sources, not from folklore or
            romaticism. For
            > each deity I shall also be including details of
            known/demonstrable 'range',
            > and primary sources where known. When it's done, I'll put it up
            with the
            > miscellany of Slavic-related stuff on my website.
            >
            > (BTW, the list's own "files" section is looking rather full -
            perhaps more
            > people might like to zip things before uploading?)
            >
            > The main (secondary) source that I am using is the 'Encyklopedie
            slovanskych
            > bohu a mytu' by N. Profantova & M. Profant, published in Prague in
            2000
            > (ISBN 80-7277-011-X), which has the great advantage of considering
            both
            > archaeological and historical sources, and of being rather well
            researched.
            >
            > The list of deities that I am currently working with is as follows
            (and bear
            > in mind that your spelling may vary!):
            >
            > Bielbog, Chernobog, Chernoglav, Dazhbog, Dziewanna, Dzidzilela,
            German,
            > Chors, Jarovit, Jesza, Lada, Mokosh, Morana/Marzana, Nija*,
            Perperuna,
            > Perun, Pizamar, Podaga/Pogoda, Porenut, Porevit, Pripegala, Prove,
            Radegost,
            > Rinvit, Rod, Rugievit, Simargl, Sreca, Straba, Stribog, Svantovit,
            Svarog,
            > Svarozhich, Triglav, Trojan, Turupit, Veles and Zhiva/Zywie.
            >
            > This list is, I think, fairly comprehensive, but please bear in
            mind that:
            > - my interest is in DEITIES, and not in other beings such as
            fairies,
            > demons,
            > ghosts, spirits, vampires, werewolves etc. etc.
            > - some of the names on the list are from Jan Dlugosz's dubious
            15th century
            > work
            > - the names given should not be taken as comprising a single
            pantheon!
            >
            > Would anyone like to add other deities? (I.e., have I missed some?
            Most of
            > this is way out of my usual area...). If so, please supply
            information along
            > with sources/references - preferably to primary source material
            and/or web
            > pages - and not just names!
            >
            > TIA
            >
            > Alastair
            >
            > -----------------------------------------------------
            > Alastair Millar BSc (Hons) - http://www.skriptorium.info
            > Translation & Consultancy for the Heritage Industry
            > P.O. Box 11, CZ 413 01 Roudnice, Czech Republic
            > Tel.: +420.607.993.041, Fax.: +420.416.832.090
          • Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise
            ... Hurray for Alistair! Thank you! -- -- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne@fiedlerfamily.net I don t want to claim that God is on our side. As Abraham
            Message 5 of 11 , Aug 9, 2004
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              > Now, I'm ready to bite the bullet and prepare a "primer" on Slavic deities,
              > using information that CAN be substantiated - i.e. which comes from
              > archaeological and written sources, not from folklore or romaticism. For
              > each deity I shall also be including details of known/demonstrable 'range',
              > and primary sources where known. When it's done, I'll put it up with the
              > miscellany of Slavic-related stuff on my website.

              Hurray for Alistair! Thank you!


              --
              -- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne@...
              "I don't want to claim that God is on our side. As Abraham Lincoln told
              us, I want to pray humbly that we are on God's side." - John Kerry
            • Alastair Millar
              Pat - ... I assume that this refers to the list of Slavic spirits , which was the nearest equivalent that I could find. While interesting, this list draws on
              Message 6 of 11 , Aug 10, 2004
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                Pat -

                > we have a Master list in our file section
                > we've been compiling over a long time,

                I assume that this refers to the list of "Slavic spirits", which was
                the nearest equivalent that I could find. While interesting, this
                list draws on some websites which I would regard as being of very
                dubious quality, and unfortunately makes no references to primary
                source material at all :-(

                To take an example, the entry for Jesza is:

                [quote]
                • Jesza [Pol] 6
                - celestial spirit
                - male 6
                - sky 6
                - equates to Celtic Esus 6
                aka Iesse 6
                aka Jessis 6
                [unquote]

                The sole (and no longer extant!) reference cited here is:
                6) http://www.geocities.com/cas111jd/slavs/index.htm
                Slavic Home Page — Jeff Day

                The work of Jan DLugosz, writing in the 15th century, however, claims
                that Jesza is no mere spirit, but the supreme deity of the Polish
                pantheon! Granted that Dlugosz is regarded by many scholars as being
                an unreliable source who made up information to "fill in the gaps" of
                his knowledge, but the name of Jesza is at least also mentioned by a
                number of early 15th century ecclesiastical sources, where the
                complaint is that he is still being worshipped around Easter, "when
                after all Christians are supposed to revere God".

                Another problem is the association of this "celestial spirit"
                relating to the sky with Esus, a Gaulish deity linked to tree
                cutting...

                This isn't meant as criticism - but rather as an example of how poor
                referencing, and possibly poor vetting of sources, makes everyone's
                lives so much more difficult...

                Cheers

                Alastair
              • Alastair Millar
                ... I shall need it ;-) ... To some extent yes, but... the fundamental question is reliability. I would define a deity (very crudely!) as a being worshipped in
                Message 7 of 11 , Aug 10, 2004
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                  > good luck all the same.

                  I shall need it ;-)

                  > I see your reasoning here, but isn't this perhaps
                  > a rather modern division?

                  To some extent yes, but... the fundamental question is reliability. I
                  would define a deity (very crudely!) as a being worshipped in a
                  sacred precinct/grove/temple, rather than at a domestic altar (for
                  example). These are the deities who are more likely to enter the
                  written (and of course archaeological) records.

                  My personal opinion is that information regarding other 'lesser'
                  beings is FAR more susceptible to distortion through the oral
                  tradition, folklore and ultimately romaticism.

                  I am quite happy to agree to disagree with anyone else about my
                  criteria... but I doubt I shall be changing my approach!

                  > old friends Yarilo, Kupalo and Kostroma/Kostrubunko.

                  Well now, this is where we start running into problems.
                  My 'Encyklopedie slovanskych bohu a mytu', for example, has Kupalo as
                  the name of a *ceremony/ritual* of bathing, not a deity or other
                  being, and the Kostroma as the name of a totem thrown into the water,
                  and again not of a deity or other being. Just a thought.

                  > That said, I'm surprised you've include Simargl, or
                  > is this my modern over-classifying mind at work?

                  Russian Primary Chronicle, I believe: worhsipped at Kieve c.980. Name
                  probably related to the Iranian Senmurva/Simurga. Some see the root
                  as Sedmuraglav ('7-headed') however, while others believe that there
                  were originally two deities, Sem (protector of cattle) and Rgl
                  (protector of grain), and justify their arguments from placenames
                  like Rgielsko and Siemowit in Poland.

                  > It may prove more involved than you expect!

                  I am aiming at a basic primer, not a comprehensive encyclopedia!
                  Besides, I like stir up a little controversy now and then, it wakes
                  people up! *evil grin*

                  Alastair
                • Alastair Millar
                  Jadwiga/Jenne writes ... I haven t done it yet! ;-) And as Rick says, it s a very slippery subject... As I said to Ben, I m only aiming at a basic primer, not
                  Message 8 of 11 , Aug 10, 2004
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                    Jadwiga/Jenne writes

                    > Thank you!

                    I haven't done it yet! ;-)

                    And as Rick says, it's a very slippery subject... As I said to Ben,
                    I'm only aiming at a basic primer, not a comprehensive encyclopedia -
                    and I'm sure that many will be dissatisified with the results!

                    Cheers!

                    Alastair
                  • Nenad Lockic
                    Am I wrong or I not saw Vesna in your first message? Or criteria exclude her from the list? Regards, Nenad
                    Message 9 of 11 , Aug 10, 2004
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                      Am I wrong or I not saw Vesna in your first message? Or criteria exclude her
                      from the list?

                      Regards,
                      Nenad
                    • pniedrich
                      ... I assume that this refers to the list of Slavic spirits , which was ... *(snip) ... poor ... everyone s ... Hello Alastair, No problem at all..that s why
                      Message 10 of 11 , Aug 10, 2004
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                        --- In sig@yahoogroups.com, "Alastair Millar" <alastair@i...> wrote:
                        > Pat -
                        I assume that this refers to the list of "Slavic spirits", which
                        was
                        > the nearest equivalent that I could find. While interesting, this
                        > list draws on some websites which I would regard as being of very
                        > dubious quality, and unfortunately makes no references to primary
                        > source material at all :-(

                        *(snip)


                        > This isn't meant as criticism - but rather as an example of how
                        poor
                        > referencing, and possibly poor vetting of sources, makes
                        everyone's
                        > lives so much more difficult...
                        > Cheers
                        > Alastair

                        Hello Alastair,

                        No problem at all..that's why I invited someone who has a stronger
                        grasp of Archeology or Anthropology onto the list. Of course, I am
                        not the sole writer of the list, and I'd appreciate these previous
                        commments on that list, to point this out..and to challenge that
                        scholarship of those that are contributing. Thanks for the comments,
                        however;-)

                        Pat/Chicago
                      • Alastair Millar
                        Nenad writes ... You are correct - it was not there. The reason for this is very simple: no information! If you have some, I would of course be interested in
                        Message 11 of 11 , Aug 11, 2004
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                          Nenad writes
                          > Am I wrong or I not saw Vesna in your first message?

                          You are correct - it was not there.

                          The reason for this is very simple: no information! If you have some, I
                          would of course be interested in hearing it - but with references/sources,
                          please!

                          Cheers!

                          Alastair

                          -----------------------------------------------------
                          Alastair Millar BSc (Hons) - http://www.skriptorium.info
                          Translation & Consultancy for the Heritage Industry
                          P.O. Box 11, CZ 413 01 Roudnice, Czech Republic
                          Tel.: +420.607.993.041, Fax.: +420.416.832.090
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