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The Banniki (sing. Bannik) Any of a class of household spirits, these being particularly associated with the bath-house, or Sauna.


Baba Yaga An aged crone, often described as a witch or an ogress, who dwells in the forest and appears in several Russian folktales. In some sources She is solitary, in others She is any of three sisters, each having the same name. She/They dwell in a marvelous hut, which is in constant motion, often described as "spinning" or "turning about"; it accomplishes this by means of

large birds feet. Baba Yaga is usually referred to in pejorative terms; She is said to lure children to her, only to catch, cook, and eat them. She is

also said to be a Guardian Spirit of the Fountain of the Water of Life. If she doesn't kill you, she can sometimes be induced to give advice and magical gifts to wanderers and heroes.


Beda (disaster) Goddess of misfortune and disaster.


Belobog (The White God) West Slavonic A God of happiness and luck.


Bestalannitsa (Luckless) Goddess of misfortune.


Chernobog (The Black God) West Slavonic A God of evil, grief and woe. His legend is one source of inspiration for the music of Moussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain".


Chernogolov (Black-Head) A God of misfortune who was representative as man wih black head and silver moustaches.


Dabog (Gift-Lord ?) South Slavonic A clear cognate with Dazhdebog, below. Some sources, however, hold that Dabog is an earthly, rather than aerial figure, and that the two should be differentiated.


Dazhdebog (Gift-Lord, The God of Gifts) East Slavonic A God of sun andwarmth, son of Svarog and one of the eight primary Slavonic deities. He is regarded as the ultimate ancestor of the Russian people, and even today a poetic reference to Russians can be made using the phrase "children" or "grandchildren of Dazhdebog".


Div (miracle) God of the miraculous, also a God of the wildwood (thicket) who was hostile to humanity. At first he was a God of clear sky, but the tales tell that He was overthrown from the sky by Perun, and settled in the thicket of wood.


Dolya (fate) Goddess of happiness and luck.


The Domoviye (sing. Domovoi) Any of a class of household spirits, animistic tutelaries of hearth and home who function as guardians and helps or

hindrances in household affairs.


Gore (Grief) Goddess of grief and woe.


The Gumeniki (sing. Gumenik) Any of a class of animistic spirits, tutelaries to storehouses, grainaries, and the like.


Jarila The Serbo-Croatian equivalent of Yarila.


Khors God of sun and light, and one of the eight primary Slavonic deities. He seems to have an association with dogs, as well.


Koshchei the Deathless A mythological figure, the ruler of a land variously described as "Thrice-Ten Kingdom, or the "Kingdom Beyond Blue Kingdoms". He is nearly immortal, having (as is so often the case) but one mortal weakness: a pin in his possession (and very closely guarded) will be his doom should its point ever be broken off. His role in the tales is as the captor of beautiful princesses, who must needs be recovered by their

suitors. His doom is encompassed by Prince Ivan, who seeks the rescue of his lady.


Kostroma (from "Koster" = 'bonfire') A fertility Goddess, personification of spring, who dies at the end of spring, only to arise once more at the end of winter. She was represented as girl dressed in white with oak branch in the hand. Her thatched scarecrow is burnt in a bonfire on the holiday of "Parting of Spring".


Krivda (insult) Goddess of bitterness, hatred, and offence.


Kruchina (grieving) A Goddess of mourning, imaged as an eternally weeping woman.


Kupala God of summer, husband of his sister Marena. His thatched scarecrow is burnt in a bonfire on the holiday of "Ivana Kupala" (the day of Summer Sunstaying).


Lada Goddess of love and beauty. She was represented as girl dressed in white with flower wreath on the head and with flowers in the hands.


Lel God of love. He was represented as youth dressed in white with flower wreath on the head.


The Leshiye (sing. Leshy) Any of a class of animistic nature spirits, having charge and stewardship over wild animals. As the idea evolved, Leshy spirits came to be seen as guides and guardians of domesticated creatures, as well.


Likho Odnoglazoye (Likho One-eye ["likhiy"= 'odd'] ) A Goddess of privation and suffering that was represented as thin, one-eyed, old woman.


Marena The Goddess of winter, and as such She became (not unpredictably) a spirit of hunger, sickness, epidemic, and death. Nevertheless, late versions of Her show an increasing association with home and hearth. She was wife of her brother Kupala. In Christian time some her functions were conflated with St. Maria.


Maria Morevna Probably not divine as such, there are nevertheless some echoes of a connection with Marena. She is a warrior-princess who figures in one version of the Koshchei cycle. She weds Prince Ivan, and warns him from examining a particular room in her Kremlin. In it, she holds captive Koshchei, who is released upon Ivan's ill-considered ministrations. After much hardship and adventure, she is released from captivity and Koshchei slain by a repentant Ivan, in a fairly thinly glossed initiatory sequence.


Marzana Poland The Polish equivalent of Marena.


Mokosh (Weaver or Spinner) Goddess of home and hearth, perhaps sovereign over the Domovoi, a patroness of fertility and midwifery, and one of the

eight primary Slavonic deities. She was the wife of Perun, and was represented as a woman with a large head, long arms and unkempt hair. Her

sacred day is Friday. In Christian times she became conflated with the Virgin Mary, and St.Paraskeva.


Nav (related to Aryan for "Boat") The Goddess of Death. She is said to secretly cast up a little bone ("Navya kostochka" = `Nav's bone') in a victim's food, and when the fragment is swallowed, they die. Her sacred day was "Naviy den" (Nav's day) the last Thursday of the Great Lent in Christian

times. The valkyrie-like servants of Nav were the Navki (sing. Navka), the Mavki (sing. Mavka), and the "Twelve Witches".


Nedolya (Unfated) A Goddess of sadness and dissatisfaction.


Nesreha Yugoslavia The Serbian equivalent of Nestrecha.


Nestrecha A goddess of grief and failure.


Nuzhda A Goddess of hardship and poverty.


The Ovinniki (sing. Ovinnik) Any of a class of animistic spirits having tutelary functions over drying-houses and food preservation.


Perun Pan-Slavonic God of lightning, thunder, storm and (probably) war, and one of the eight primary deities. He was patron of nobility and of armies. His sacred day is Thursday. He is lord of the mountains and the forest (his tree is the oak). He was represented as a man with silver hair and golden moustaches, armed with stones and arrows. His images were accompanied by eight eternal flames, bonfires or at least torches, as the case may be. Note a considerable number of parallels with the Norse Thor. In Christian times

he became conflated with St. Ilya (Elias).


Podaga Balto-Slavonic A God of fire.


Pogoda Poland The Polish equivalent of Podaga.


Polel Poland The Polish equivalent of Lel.


The Poleviki (sing. Polevik) Any of a class of animistic nature-spirits, having authority over fields and pasturage.


Porevit West Slavonic A God of the woods; he has no idol or image, but is considered to be manifest throughout the forest primeval. His sacred day is

Tuesday. Among the Baltic Slavs (whose name for him was Prove), especially in the area around Stargard, He was considered as one of the High Gods.


Porvata Poland The Polish equivalent of Porevit.


Prince Ivan Not a divinity as such, but there are some echoes of a connection to Kupala. Ivan figures in a cycle of tales in several different

versions, in which he enlists the aid of creatures he has formerly made a pact with in an initiatory gloss, to encompass the doom of Koshchei the

Deathless and the rescue of his lady, Maria Morevna or Vasilisa the Wise, depending on the version. The mythological point to the tales seems to be the need to come to terms in a harmonious way with the natural world.


Rakh (probably from "Strakh" = `fear') A God of fear and unreason.


Rod A God of fertility and family, chiefly concerned with continuation of blood lines and the extension and glorification of clans. He has a number of attendants and servitors, collectively called the Rozhenitsy (sing. Rozhenitsa).


Rugievit West Slavonic A local tutelary, a seven-headed warrior God associated with the South Baltic island of Rugen. See also, Svantavit.


Sedz Poland The Polish equivalent of Sud.


Semargl (Seven-Head) Pan Slavonic God of soil and fertility, one of the eight primary deities. Like Rugievit, whom He may be a variant of, He was

represented as man with seven heads.


Sreha Yugoslavia Serbian equivalent of Ustrecha.


Stribog ([paternal-] Uncle-Lord) Pan Slavonic God of sky, air and wind, and one of the eight primary deities. He is said to be the ancestor of eight

grandsons, each the Wind of a particular direction.


Sud A God of destiny and glory. When he strews gold in his palace, those born at that time are preordained to become wealthy. But when he scatters earthen clods, those born then are destined to poverty. He has a number of

servitors, collectively known as the Sudenitsy (sing. Sudenitsa).


Svantavit West Slavonic God of war. He was represented as man with four heads (facing the cardinal directions) and with sword, spears, and standards in hand. His sacred bird was the eagle, his colour was red. The center of his cult was a four-pillared temple in Arcona (on Rugen island, in

northeastern Germany) where an oracle was located. See also, Rugievit.


Svarog (Fear-Lord) God of fire, and one of the eight primary deities. He was patron of smiths, and is considered a patron of artisans and craftsmen, as

well. He also has some connection to marriage. He is the father of Dazhdebog and was represented as a horseman with spears.


Tryglaw Poland the Polish equivalent of Troyan.


Troyan (The Triune One) The God of night and darkness. He was represented as a three-headed man with golden bands in his eyes. His three heads embodied his power over earth, sky and hell.


Ustrecha (Meeting) Goddess of happiness and luck.


Usud Yugoslavia The Serbo-Croatian equivalent of Sud.


The Vampires (Slavonic Vlkoslak, Wampyr) Any of a class of spirits associated with tainted souls who cannot rest in their graves. The idea of

vampirism has taken hold of popular imagination in recent decades; the Slavic original is quite recognizable, even through the filter of pop

culture. The idea is that certain individuals have unclean souls, and after death they cannot pass on, but rise to stalk the night in search of blood

and warmth. The solution to this problem is the ritual of "Double-Burial", involving the use of wooden stakes, or cremation in extreme cases.


Vasilisa the Wise Not divine as such, she is the princess figure in one version of the Koshchei cycle. Her tale relates that she was transformed by her father into the semblance of a frog. She encounters Prince Ivan as he searches for his destiny, and induces him to marry her, whereupon she aids him in several clever ways. At length, though, he burns (out of ignorance) her frog-skin (while she is in human form). This compels her to flee, and she is captured by Koshchei. Ivan rescues her in a series of actions brought

about by various animal familiars of his.


The Vazily (sing. Vazila) Any of a class of household tutelary spirits; these to be found in and concerned with the stables


The Vili (sing. Vila) Any of a class of Slavic dryads, tree-spirits who are exclusively female. They are often vicious and cruel, and have a dire

reputation; nevertheless, if one succeeds in approaching a Vila properly, she may be inclined to heal, give advice, reveal treasure, or teach magical and medicinal arts.


The Vodyanoi Any of a class of animistic nature-spirits, beings associated with and having control over water: springs, pools, lakes, rivers, etc.


Volos (Hair) East Slavonic God of cattle, and one of the eight primary deities. Later he also became known as a God of wealth. He was a patron of

the people, as opposed to Perun's association with the Prince and his troops. During the harvest, peasants sacrificed to him an unmowed strip that

was called "the beard of Volos".  Volos is also considered a patron of poetry and eloquence. Astrally, He had a connection to the Pleiades, which bears His name in Russian; Volosyni. Nevertheless, he also seems to have

associations with Cthonic forces and the Other (sepulchral) world.


Yarila God of spring fertility. He was represented as young man dressed in white with wheaten wreath on the head, wheaten ears in right hand and human head in left hand. In Christian times his functions removed to St.George.


Yarylo Belarus and Ukrainian equivalent of Yarila. In Belarus, he gradually evolved into a female deity.


Zhiva West Slavonic Goddess of life vigour. She was chief goddess of the Western Slavs.


Zywye Poland The Polish equivalent of Zhiva.