Sometimes I feel like a terrible Slavic polytheist.
See there’s these long lists of “Slavic” deities that are constantly cited (Wikipedia gives a good cross section, here).
Most of these are actually not real. There’s no historical record for these…creations. Foremost among them is Lada. Which is supposedly a goddess of Spring, but really there is absolutely no record of her historically. If I remember the article I read (it’s been about 6 years), lada is part of a spring folk song that was sung. So then someone in the Romantic time of the 19th Century decided that it must be a goddess. Another major problem is the Belobog/Chernobog duality. Which historically does not exist. One is an epithet (probably of a different god that actually existed) and the other was, again created in the 19th Century, because of course you cannot have a “White God” without a “Dark God” or vise versa. Ah…and Kupala. Which was most likely, from historical record, just a festival. Not a god of any sort.
I’m not exactly a “hard recon” type. There aren’t nearly enough resources for me to be nearly that inflexible in my beliefs. However, I am a staunch believer that if you want to worship modern Slavic deities – those created in the last two-three centuries – then you should be honest and admit that you are worshiping a modern god or goddess. You should not lie and tout it as an ancient, unattested god. Or, if you must, admit that it is UPG on one’s part, not established fact. Because without established fact that it is an ancient god, these modern creations are really just modern, misconstrued “archaeology” and “religious study” by men in the 19th Century who we know very well now were horribly unscientific in how they went about their research.
Because I’m so damned skeptical about these modern-type deities…it’s hard to relate to a lot of Slavic polytheists online, who are all so vocal that they are all real. Uncontested real. And that just does not fly for me. I need some kind of proof. Or at the very least, admittance that it is UPG to consider such deities as ancient existences. It’s difficult to interact in a lot of online forums then, because I feel like my opinion and beliefs are just going to be un-welcomed.
I can admit that part of this is my own stubborness and my own personal definitions. I know that. But still, I’m entitled to how I feel about it. I also admit it makes it a bit apprehensive for me. I don’t want to cause problems or disagree (I hate disagreements), but there are fundamental differences between how I look at things and how many Slavic polytheists or pagans look at the cosmology, deities and spirits of Slavic mythology.∗