Daily Slavic post
Not that known deity, so I got information from Wikipedia.
Kresnik (or rarely Kersnik and Krsnik) is a Slavic god associated with fire, the summer solstice, and storms. His mythical home, a sacred mountain at the top of the world, represents the axis mundi.
Kresnik was worshiped among the Slavic population of the eastern Alps. He is probably the same deity as Svarožič, son of the Slavic sun god, Svarog, described as having golden hair and golden hands. He gradually evolved into a Slovenian national hero who lives on a golden mountain, sometimes as a deer with golden antlers, associated with the summer solstice. He became known as a mythical king with strong magic, yet still a farmer.
The name of Kresnik is not clear. The name could be connected with old Nordic hress with the meaning “fresh, fiery, alive, vivi” , but also with ker-/kre- with the meaning “to grow, to feed” , perhaps with the Iranian root krs-/kars-, and also with Slavic krst- “cross”. The possibility of a separate etymology from that of vampire hunter krsnik should also be considered. The name of Kresnik could be derived from Balto-Slavic linguistic heritage: festival of Kresze is known among Balts and an old Slavic word krěsδ has the meaning of “fire”. There are three possible connections with the root krês: Sun, Solstice or blow.
Kresnik is the son of the great creator deity, ruler of heaven, who has been identified in various sources as Perun. He lives in a fantastical country, sometimes called the “Land of the Rising Sun”, “Eastern Land”, or the “Ninth Country”, and rules on the “world mountain”, which is frequently described as being golden, crystal, or glass. (Kinda like Odin, right?) :P
Kresnik is described as having golden hair and golden hands or arms. He was born either with horse earlaps, horse hooves, or a birthmark shaped like hooves, and he frequently is said to be able to take the form of a horse.
Connected to sun and fire, he travels the sky on his golden chariot, armed with thunderbolt, axe, hammer, club, or sword. (Kinda like Thor, right?) :P
Like Hercules, Kresnik performed twelve great deeds. Sometimes he is helped by his brother Trot or his four-eyed dog. His opponent steals his property, cattle, or wife-sister, but Kresnik defeats him. Rain or wheat falls from the sky after such combat.
In most tales, his wife is his sister, a goddess of spring named Alenčica, Marjetica, Vesina, or any number of variations. In some versions, Kresnik also has a lover who is the daughter of a chthonic snake deity, his perpetual enemy, and Kresnik is eventually killed due to either his wife or lover’s jealousy.
Kresnik as a deity and Kresnik/Krsnik as magical vampire hunter seem to represent two quite different mythological traditions. A hypothesis was proposed based on research by E. Gasparini that Kresnik was a pagan lunar entity, and only in the later development were some solar attributes added. The lunar hypothesis is still rejected by a majority of researchers, as some Slovenian customs connected with Midsummer Eve, like lighting and jumping over bonfires, and rolling fiery wheels, are undoubtedly connected with the worship of the Sun.
Kresnik is most commonly understood to be the Slovenian name for the common Slavic god Perun. Monika Kropej claims that Kresnik is at the same time Perun’s son and also a seasonal aspect of Perun. Perun is incarnated during the winter as Božič, in the spring as Yarilo, in the summer as Kresnik and in the autumn as Zlatorog, a deer with golden antlers. However, Kresnik’s brother Trot is also connected to Perun, so no clear answer could be given on that matter.
Lada was the daughter of the god of the sea, Car-Mora. She was fair of face and her tresses were long and golden. She would row on the sea in a golden boat with silver oars. One day, as Dažboh leaned out of heaven to watch her, she playfully splashed some water at him. Dažboh fell in love with Lada, and came down to earth to ask Car-Mora for her hand in marriage. The sea-god waxed angry against Dažboh, and beat him till he was senseless. But Dažboh escaped from the power of Car-Mora, and resolved to win Lada, notwithstanding her father’s opposition to the match. His faithful servant, who knew the frailties of women, devised a plan. He spread out along the sea-shore a store of beautiful dresses and also a pair of wonderful green slippers, which so took the young goddess’ fancy that she rowed to the shore to take them. As her boat touched the sand she was snatched away by Dažboh’s servant, who took her to his master. The couple were married, and Lada, because of her beauty was called Lala or Liola.
Dažboh and Lada had a son, Jaryla, who was the god of the fields, germination, strength, courage and love. He was depicted as a handsome young man, wearing a white cloak and having on his brow a coronet of flowers. He rode upon a white horse, carrying a sheaf of rye in his left hand, and a human skull in his right hand. There is a myth which connects him with the burial of god. At the command of his mother Lada, he opened the gates of heaven and came down to earth, and his coming marked the beginning of spring. Indeed, his wife was Viasna, the goddess of spring, warmth and grace.
In connection with his role as harbinger of spring, there existed a custom in Belarus among the village girls at the end of April to dress one of their number as Jaryla in a long, white cloak and a coronet of flowers. She was then seated upon a white horse, and the other girls would go in procession around her, singing:
“А дзе ён нагою,
Там жыта капою,
А дзе ён зірне,
Там колас зацьвіце.
Where he treads with his foot,
there is abundance of rye,
and where he casts his eyes,
ears of wheat will spring.”
Živa, also Šiva, Siva, Siwa, Żiwia, Sieba or Razivia, was the Slavic goddess of love and fertility. She was worshipped throughout what is now Poland, the Czech Republic,Slovakia, Slovenia, and Germany (and especially the Elbe (Labe) river valley), before Christianity expanded into the area. Her name means “living, being, existing”. Sieba’s consort was Siebog, her male equivalent.
She was said to have a temple on Mount Zywiec, and people would go to the temple to pray for good health and long life. Some traditions have it that she turned herself into a cuckoo bird.
Rusałka [rɯsaɫka]- a female demon from slavic mythology; it is similiar to other water demons known to the people araound the wolrd, like mermaids, naiads, nymphs, etc.
Rusałkas lived at the riversides and lake banks. They appeared mostly as young girls with always wet or moist hair, sometimes also with a little bit see-through bodies (and their organs visible). With their beautiful voices and undeniable charm they allured young men, so they would join their circle and dance with the demons. Once the victim did so, he was unable to leave and was forced to dance until he dies from exhaustion. The other version of the story describes death caused by too much pleasure from caressing.
Rusalka is a ghostly water nymph from Slavic mythology who dwelled through the bottoms of the dark rivers- to come out only at night. They would walk through the meadows, singing and seducing any young man that were captivated by their voices…
Eventually, luring them into the water, they would take them to their death…
Hello! Thank you very much for the compliment.
The best place to probably find any books on Slavic mythology will be online—I am not sure what bookstores carry them. Slavic mythology has never drawn much attention for some reason, probably because there are not many existing written records, since Slavic paganism was spread through oral tradition.
Try places like amazon, which is probably the most likely place you’ll find some books on the subject!
I got busy and occupied with other things.
I’ll try to make this blog live again! Please, if you any submissions or ideas, please let me know!
Also, if any of you are interested, I am also one of the mods for easteuropeftw, a blog dedicated to the history of Eastern Europe, which of course includes all the Slavic nations.
Thanks again all of you for following, and welcome new followers!
Dažbog is one of the major gods of Slavic mythology and there is evidence that he was worshipped in all Slavic countries. It is assumed that he was a solar deity and possible cultural hero. If his name is translated literally, it means “giver of fortune”, which could be related to the Sun and sunlight, as Slavs saw the Sun as the source of life and the most positive force on Earth.
When Christianity was spread to Slavic regions, he was portrayed as the biggest enemy of the Christian God and given demonic characteristics, a kind of ‘satanization’ of the pagan Slavic faith.