Baba Yaga is a great source of nightmares. I’ve said it before, but of all the creatures, spirits or entities out of Slavic folklore–she’s the one who freaks me out the most. Far more than any other that I know of, even Koschei isn’t nearly as frightening, not to me.
Ivan Bilibin is one of my favorite artists. I love his style, and the subject matter. Fairy tales have always been a weak spot of mine (I still adore reading versions even to this day–and I’ve got 2 copies of the Brothers’ Grimm, 1 English and 1 German–as well as my other fairy tale collections). And there’s just something beautiful about his work.
So now to talk about a Slavic god that there isn’t a whole lot known of.
He was one of 7 mentioned in The Primary Chronicle as having statues destroyed by Vladimir the Great in Kiev when he converted to Christianity. I think it’s in the Tale of Igor’s Campaign that they call him “Hors the Great” (but I don’t remember which story that was in…so I may have that detail wrong).
There isn’t any information in the Chronicle about what his function was. And the Tale doesn’t really tell too much…not that I remember. But the consensus is that he is a solar/sun god. So he moved across the sky as the sun-disk during the day…and under the earth during the night time. Pretty standard mythology type stuff for the times, I think.
There isn’t a whole lot of information though. But, since he is the second deity mentioned in the Primary Chronicle, directly after Perun, he must have been very important. That is admittedly my own interpretation of the reading of the Chronicle…there isn’t any way to prove my suspicion to that fact. I may think that, but I’ve no way to prove or disprove it.
Hors is a tricky character for me, since there’s so little known about him. He’s one of the deities without any real information. So he’s a puzzle. Which is really interesting. I suppose that’s why he’s interesting to study. But he’s not one of my favorites, I can admit. I’ve never really been too interested in sun deities, they’re just never quite what I seem to be drawn to. But in this case…there’s a challenge to knowledge, with so little present to know.
(For my Slavic posts…when I can find photos to correspond, I will add them. I like showing photos of these topics, they’re really unique.)∗
Specifically – goddesses in the Slavic pagan record. (Further quantified in my research up till this time)
I enjoy research…shock to no one I think at this point.
Looking at traditional Slavic pantheons as they are described in contemporary sources, or at least, as close to “contemporary” as we can get…there is only one named female deity: Mokosh. She is named in The Primary Chronicle as one of the 7 gods that Vladimir has their icons destroyed in Kiev. The only female deity mentioned. There isn’t anything special mentioned about her, no attributing aspects, nothing that tells what she was related to, or what they worshiped her for. But…she is the only goddess mentioned by name. That is highly important to note. Continue reading “G – Goddess in the Historical Record”
So I’m going to talk a bit about a creature from Slavic mythology and folklore.
It’s a household spirit. They’re small in size, masculine and often are bearded. I know that in some folklore the stories say that the domovoi can take on the appearance of the owner of the house. Traditionally, every house has a domovoi. And, even though by appearance they might seem a bit frightening (the descriptions in folklore are sometimes a bit frightening), they aren’t usually troublesome to the household unless they are angered. Continue reading “D – Domovoi”
I have a few books that I got for Christmas on Slavic paganism, Russian folklore, and the like. I’m going to start reading them again (I’ve read a few already), more in depth and reviewing them here. I’ll then go through some of my articles that I’ve saved on the topics.
I want to enjoy some new reads. I’ll try to read them fairly quickly, so that I have some good book reviews to post up here. I like reading these sorts of things, and these books have been really useful lately, since I have no time to do much else lately.
So I’ll try and start up some book reviews rather soon.∗
The Bathhouse at Midnight – W.F. Ryan.
The publisher’s website is here.
This is the book I have been working on for a few months. It is an excellent work that I’m extremely impressed with. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of reading through this book, even though it is a thick tome and very dense with a thorough bibliography and quite a few resources attached to it. Continue reading “Review: “The Bathhouse at Midnight””
Just read on this, for a bit of context.
See, I got majorly sidetracked on finishing that book of mine (The Bathhouse at Midnight by W. F. Ryan). I hit a wall with university and just got busy with life. I’m now on chapter 13 and it is still as amazing as before. I’m still not done, so I can’t write a full review for anyone yet, but I just wanted to update that the book is amazing and that it is still on my list of things being read.
And even though I haven’t finished it yet – I definitely recommend it to anyone with any interest on magic and folklore, superstitions in Russia. It’s a fascinating study, and a bit academic. A very good read for anyone with the interest in Russian practices and magical history and studies.
I promise a full review once I’ve finished the whole book. It will help me coalesce my thoughts, and tell you all what exactly I’ve been reading.∗
The alkonost is a creature half-woman and half-bird. It is beautiful and has a voice that makes the listener forget everything they hear. Usually they are portrayed in art with the sirin, another woman-bird hybrid. They live in the underworld. The part that I always find most fascinating is that when the eggs are about to hatch, the alkonost rolls the eggs into the ocean. When they actually hatch, thunderstorms herald the event. The sea is unable to be traveled during this time.
I’m always fascinated with the sea and thunderstorms, they’re of particular interest to me. I enjoy thunderstorms. They make me feel alive. I think it has something to do with the upheaval that they cause. It’s something to it that I’ve always enjoyed. They have the same kind of delight to me that wind storms hold. It’s all a lot of upheaval and change, renewal and something rather new.
But alkonost themselves, they’re unique. I find them rather unbelievable in that they have the connection to the sea and the thunderstorms.∗
I just finished my final Christmas of the year (my family has minimum 3 a year, due to all the divorces). Usually Christmas takes minimum 2 weeks, sometimes a month to get through. It’s always at least 2.5 weeks of Christmas meetings between various groups within my family though. I only had 2 Christmas’ this year, which is shocking, because I’ve always had minimum 3 since I was 11 years old. So it’s a bit bizarre to have so few to deal with, and then, just 4 days between the two events. So it’s an unusually quick Christmas season for me. I’m not used to this at all, honestly. It’s bizarre to be done with Christmas before Christmas Day in my family, if I’m completely telling the truth. Continue reading “Christmas Gifts”