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05-23-2010, 07:07 PM (This post was last modified: 05-24-2010 01:57 AM by Venedi Sporoi.)
Post: #1
My religion is Rodnoveri, but I simply called myself a "hard polytheist" much longer. A hard polytheist believes that the Gods are not all reflections of one being, as per Hinduism, but are individuals. I view them as an otherworldly race descended from the celestial creator by blood. This creator is not concerned with the Earth, but has instead retired, having assigned his children to be its caretakers. On the matter of being a long-time polytheist, this means for me that my actual beliefs as to which Gods exist are the same as ever; I believe in virtually any of them, and yours too. It was only later that I found mine.

Rodnoveri is a compound of the Russian words "Rodni" (native) and "veri" (faith), and is an attempt to reconstruct pre-Christian Slavic tradition. The Slavs are the ancient cultural forebearers of most of Eastern Europe today, including Russia, Poland, Serbia, etc. The name is still preserved by Slovenia and Slovakia. The movement is little known in the west, even in the U.S. which is the country with more neo-pagans than any other. In Eastern Europe it is often intermingled with nationalism, ultra-conservativism, and even racism. Much like the Norse religion was appropriated by Nazi's in search of a native "Aryan" faith rather than a foreign Judaic one, Rodnoveri has attracted some radical adherents. However, there are still many core practitioners who only wish to get in touch with the ways of their ancestors. As one interviewed Rodnover in Russia roughly said; "You cannot measure your love for your own tradition by your hatred for others." Interestingly, many south Slavs like Bulgarians, Serbians, and Macedonians are actually assimilated foreign peoples like Thracians, Dacians, and Illyrians, and yet they clearly absorbed some Slavic traditions. In the same way, I don't think the ancient Slavs had any problem with absorbing foreign peoples, and sharing their traditions with them. The idea that a follower of their Gods needed to be of pure descent would probably be quite alien to them.

The fall of the temple fortress of Arkona in 1168 A.D. marks the official fall of the final pagan bastion of the Slavs, though even afterwards pagan tradition persisted among isolated peasants in rural areas, where it died out more gradually. It is frankly not intact enough for a total reconstruction of it as it was, and is open to interpretation. Publications on it in English are almost never very comprehensive,and even the best of them fail to cover everything. Still, there are certainly historical sources to study, which include a number of Medieval Chronicles, such as the Rus' Primary Chronicle and Helmold's Chronicon Slavorum. There are also a number of folktales and folk-beliefs preserved in the countryside that show definite pre-Christian character, although these have also been somewhat corrupted by time and forgetfulness, and also obscured by a Christian substratum. It seems clear that Slavic belief, also, was not uniform. The highest deity at Arkona was Sventovit, who has traces in Croatia and Serbia- and yet the pantheon of Gods worshipped on the hill in Kiev according the the Rus primary Chronicle do not mention any such deity. It reads; Perun, Khors, Dazhbog, Stribog, Simargl, and Mokosh. A seventh, named Veles, had a seperate idol in the Podol district of the city. The Malalas Chronicle names Dazbog's father as Svarog, giving us an eighth. Of these, only four can be attested to outside of Kievan-Russian sources.

Perhaps the most overlooked of sources are a number of mythologies with clear ties to the Slavic beliefs, such as Baltic mythology, which even has some of the same Gods. Hungarian mythology also shows some relation to Slavic. Both of these are in many ways better-documented than Slavic belief, making them very helpful. In a similar way, examining Slavic mythology in a broader Indo-European context, in comparison with Vedic, Norse, Hittite, Iranian, and Greek myth, is of great value. Below is one of the best and most comprehensive articles I've found using this method of analysis of Slavic mythology;
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