• Dimac

Perun: Slavic Most Respected God

Perun

Symbol: fire, oak, iris, eagle, hammer, mace or axe

Parents: Svarog and Lada

Consort: Mokosh or Perunika


Perun is a Slavic God of sky, thunder and rain. Svarog was also considered as God of sky, however, Perun ruled over physical, atmospheric realm, while Svarog ruled over Prav - Realm of Gods and spirits of dead


Mythology

In the pantheon of Slavs there is the deity Perun, which they revered with special importance. Traditions of Perun tell of a deity who is associated with the lord of war but also contrastingly representing the forces of good. When the sun is threatened by storm clouds that hide it in its shadow, Perun smashes them with his lightning, allows the sun to reappear, thus ensuring the continuation of life on earth. The Slavs believe that humans are constantly threatened by Veles, the god of the Underworld who steals their cattle, abducts them, or causes misery. At such moments, Perun hits him with his lightning and forces the evil god to hide back in his asylum. When Christian preachers appear among the Slavs, some of the attributes of Perun are transmitted to the Christian prophet St. Elijah


Perun’s enemy

According to one myth, Veles steals Perun’s cattle, wife, or children. This caused the enraged Perun to chase the serpent around the earth. Perun would attempt to strike Veles from the sky with his lightning bolts, whilst Veles would hide under or behind something. It was believed that when lightning struck a particular place, it was because Veles had been hiding there.In the end, Perun would either succeed in killing Veles (who would later come back to life) or be able to chase him back to the base of the world tree. One interpretation of this story is that this is a representation of the struggle between order (Perun) and chaos (Veles). Order eventually prevails, though chaos will continually rise to challenge it. With the arrival of Christianity, thecharacters of this cosmic battle were replaced by the god of Christianity and the Devil.


Post-Christian Changes

After Christianization in the 11th century CE, Perun's cult became associated with St. Elias (Elijah), also known as the Holy Prophet Ilie (or Ilija Muromets or Ilja Gromovik), who is said to have ridden madly with a chariot of fire across the sky, and punished his enemies with lightning bolts.



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