5 Most Popular Tales From Slavic Mythology
Unfortunately, Slavic mythology originated in the days when writing was not a norm, and because of this it has never been recorded officially by Slavs but rather by Christian Chroniclers. Lucky for us it is possible to restore some of the ancient legends thanks to oral folklore, rituals, folk beliefs and such notes made by ancient chroniclers.
The myth of the creation of the world by Rod
First there was nothing but chaos, everything was one. Then the ancient god Rod came down to earth in a golden egg, and set himself to work. First, he decided to divide the light and the darkness, and of the golden egg there rolled out the sun, illuminating all around. Behind came and the moon, taking its place in the sky and the night. Then he created the vast waters around the world, and after that the vast land arose. From this land trees started to grow, animals stepped out of the forests and birds started to sing. He created a rainbow, to divide the land and the sea, the truth and falsehood. Then stood up on the golden egg, Rod stopped for a moment and looked around! He was satisfied with the fruits of his labor but he decided some things still miss in this world so the God breathed on the ground – and the wind rustled in the trees and out of his breath she was born, the goddess of love Lada. He divided world into three kingdoms: Heaven, earth and the underworld. First he created the Gods, who must keep order on the ground, then he created men, and lastly a haven for the dead. In the creation of three kingdoms through them a gigantic oak started to grow – the World Tree, which has grown from the seed thrown by the creator. Its roots are hidden in the world of the dead, bore passes through the earthly kingdom and the crown supporting the sky and heaven. He populated the kingdom of heaven by Gods. Then he together with Lada created a mighty god Svarog. Breathing life into him, Svarog became the loyal assistant to the all creator Rod: he paved the path of the sun across the sky and the path of the moon in the sky of the night.
How Chernobog wanted to capture the universe
Originated in ancient times, the evil god Chernobog – the lord of darkness had his mind overwhelmed by injustice and gloomy thought. He succumbed to the temptations of the world and planed to subjugate it, so he turned into the Black Serpent and crawled out of his lair. Svarog was the god that kept an eye on the world, as he sensed something was wrong he wen’t to his forge and stroke his mighty hammer against the fiery forge to create himself more gods to help him. The first born of the forges fire was Dazhbog, then Horse, Stribog and Simargl followed. While new gods were created the Black Serpent crawled upon the land to corrupt it and the men that lived upon it. Svarog sent Dazhbog and Simargl to see what is happening in the land of men, and upon seeing they had a thing to see, many have already been corrupted by Chernobog and a war was about to start. Returning to the Nav Svarog was informed by his sons that a war between good and evil will start. Svarog heard them and began striking his celestial forge to arm up his army, because to defeat Chernobog he had to fight with luminous intensity. Chernobog corrupted men so much that him and his evil world forces eventually fought their way into the heavenly palace on top of the world tree, in their madness they started to invade Svarogs world forge itself. Quickly Svarog created a magical chest and as soon as Chernobog appeared on the forges doorway, Svarog called for the aid of his children Gods and together they overcome the serpent. Finally capturing Chernobog into the chest, the cursed black god was defeated, and in it’s misery he asked Svarog to spare his evil offspring, the men of this world. Svarog decided to spare men in his righteousness and because in the end he himself created men faulty as they are. However there was one condition to spare them, he told Chernobog that never again could the world be controlled by darkness in whole, and Chernobog had to agree. World of men was restored and half of the world again was covered in daylight shining from the Svarogs fiery forge, while other half stayed in darkness, this is how the night and day cycle came onto the world of men.
The myth of the magic lily of the valley
Garden of Eden or as Slavic Gods called their heaven “Nav” was the place where they rejoiced, and a wedding was to be held as the chief god of war, Perun was to be married. The feast has began and while all the Gods were happy on Veles sat there grim and hateful. Truth was Veles liked the bride and envy of Perun bitten his heart. Her name was Dodola and she was the goddess of rain that milked her heavenly cows in heaven and then the clouds rains on earth. During the feast, Dodola went down to earth for a walk in dense forest, but Veles followed her and tricked her into sniffing a lily flower, she lost consinous and gave birth to a son Yarilo. She being out of conscious Veles stole the child and wanted to raise him as his own. Perun hearing of this was enraged and wanted to destroy Veles, this is how the battle between Perun and Veles started. For three long days and night this battle between gods lasted until Perun finally defeated Veles and brought him to the high heavens to be judged. This was the day that Veles was banished from the heavens and was sentenced to live in the underworld.
As Veles stole heavenly cows
Driven by hate for the gods of the Heaven that banished him to the underworld Veles was plotting against them. One of the witches, Baba Yaga, persuaded him to steal the heavenly cows from the gods, as an act of revenge to Perun and Dodla. At first he resisted to do that, but after some time he remembered what was done to him and decided to listen what Yaga told him. She created a whirlwind from the ground all the way to the sky and all the heavenly cows fell down to underworld through that whirlwind. Veles hid them in a large cave when Gods started to look out for them. As there were no heavenly cows in skies no more a deadly drought started and people were desperate. Pastures and crops died, wolves attacked the villages, but madness also rulled the men and they started to steal each others cattle. Perun and Dazhbog heard the prayers of men and decided to help the world once again, they went down to the gates of underworld and waited for Veles to show up but Veles was plotting to attack them from behind. Perun lost all patience and struck the underworld with his thunderbolt, but Dazhbog stopped the thunder because he feared that damaging the underworld, trees root, would eventually make the whole world tree to fall down. While they were arguing about Veles he turned into serpent and attacked them from behind, Perun fought back while Dazhbog quickly slipped into the underworld to look for the cattle. Epic battle lasted for days and Perun again managed to defeated Veles, but now the corrupted evil god of underworld didn’t want to reveal where he hid the heavenly cows. Dazhbog eventually found them and yelled to Perun where to strike the mountain to free the cattle. So it was done and mountain was split onto two peaces so celestial cows returned to the heaven and world of men had the rain once again.
As Veles locked all the water on world
For many years people prayed and gave sacrifices to all Gods of the Slavic pantehon, except Veles that was banished to the underworld and eventually forgotten by men of the world. In his desolation his Idol was forgotten, no one anymore brought the gifts for Veles and the sacred fire of his idol was almost extinguished. This was a great insult to Veles that men have forgotten about him, so he decided to shut all underground water sources. Across the world again drought started, cattle became sick from dried up pastures and people began praying to gods for help again. They prayed for rain over the Peruns idol and God heard their prayers. He decided to teach Veles a lesson for locking the waters. He took his bow and lightning arrows, saddled his horse and went on a search to find the white serpent Veles. The cunning serpent God saw Perun flying in the sky and hid under the old hollow oak to prevent Perun shooting him with his arrows. Peruns arrows however lit a fire on the old oak and Veles had to surrender. He told Perun where he locked all the underground waters, but when he was free he escaped and didn’t give him the key of the locks. No matter that Perun found the locks and smashed them with his axe and it was the end of drought, pastures were green again and from this day on people didn’t forget to worship Veles anymore.
Did you hear any of these myths before?