🇪🇺 Seculos retro, multe tribos differente viveva longe le costas del Mar Baltic e quel que hodie on cognosce como civilisation lituan nasceva. Lo que ha unite iste gentes es lor fide pagan, que es un religion polytheista e animista, cum un structura a pantheon e le credentia in le potentia del natura.
Le lituanes han site inter le plus antique paganes europee, per ultra 10 millennios. E illes eran le ultime a converter se al christianismo in 1251, quando lor soverano Mindaugas se baptisava pro le politica international.
In omne caso, iste religion in su integritate ha lassate un significative hereditage historic, social, e spiritual in le cultura, lingua, e costumes lituan moderne. Le deitates baltic son ancora memorate e honorate — il ha plus quam 70 de illes e son tote differente pro lo que illes domina e representa.
Tra le tempore le puncto de vista e le popularitate del deos cambiava multo. Quando le lituanos viveva in pace e harmonia, illes adorava super toto divas del focar, del agricultura, e del venation. Ma quando le nove christianos, assetate de sanguine pagan, entrava in le terras baltic cum lor cruciadas, le successo militar deveniva fundamental e le gente commenciava diriger su attention verso divos de potentia, metallurgia, e guerra.
🇬🇧 Baltic Paganism II: Lithuanian Pantheon
Centuries ago, many different tribes were living near the Baltic sea and they formed as we now know – Lithuanian civilisation. What combined all of them is faith in their paganism, which is a polytheistic, animistic religion with pantheon structure, of believing in powers of nature.
Lithuanians have been among the most ancient European pagans, for over 10 millenniums. And they were the last ones to convert their faith into Christianity in 1251, when their ruler Mindaugas baptised himself on behalf of international politics.
Nevertheless, the entirety of this religion left a significant historical, spiritual and social legacy in modern Lithuanian culture, customs and language. Baltic Pagan Gods are still remembered and honoured – there are over 70 of them and they all are different in what they rule and represent.
Through time the viewpoint and popularity of the ancient gods changed a lot. When Lithuanians were living in harmony and peace, they mostly worshipped goddesses of the hearth, agriculture, and hunting. But when new Christians, hungry for pagan blood, entered Baltic lands with their crusades – military success became paramount and people started to focus on masculine gods of power, blacksmithing, and war.
Perkūnas — All-powerful God of Weather
Perkūnas [per-koo-nas], from word Perkūnija [per-koo-nee-ya], which means Thunder – is a striking supreme God of natural and atmospheric phenomena. Winds and storms obey him and lighting, so-called “Scourge of God”, is his main weapon and punishment. He maintains order, safety and justice on Earth, promotes fertility, vitality to humans through constantly fighting and protecting people against evil. He was very highly respected but also feared – no one pronounced his actual name without a significant reason, especially during bad weather, for him not to appear with the scourge.
Žemyna — Goddess of Nature and Fertility
Žemyna [zhe-mee-na], from word Žemė [zhe-meh] which means Earth, is a Mother of all living on the planet – nature, plants, animals and even people in spiritual intent. She is a wife to Perkūnas and every year they play a wedding when thunderstorms are raging and long-awaited spring comes back by waking up a sleeping Earth. All the wildlife that blossoms is the fruit of love of these Gods – Žemyna gives birth to new life. Goddess takes care and protects those people who honour and cherish nature. If she is disrespected by contaminating or destroying her creations, people fall into displeasure and they become deprived of the ability to enjoy beauty and harmony of nature by becoming hopeless, insatiable consumers.
Gabija — Goddess of Hearth and Fire
Gabija is an embodiment of security and cosiness at the house through the fireplace, which was in every cottage farmhouse called “troba”. Ancient Lithuanians took care of her (coals, ashes) as if she was a person – they made sure she’s not hungry by offering bread with salt, they were putting her to sleep properly every night by diligently arranging embers and covering them with ashes, also putting a pot of clean water near her so that she could wash herself after a long day. All of this was made to take care of Gabija’s hot-headed character – out of the rage of disrespect, she could escape “troba” by setting it on fire. They prayed “Ugnelė Gabijonėlė, don’t incite fire without kindling, sleep while covered in sheets and don’t wander through the cottage”.
Vėlinas — God of Death
From word Vėlė [veh-leh], which means a [deceased] soul, he is the supreme, all-powerful Lord of “Land of the Dead”. He can be misunderstood as a modern Devil, but this spirit of the underworld doesn’t resemble evil at all – after people die, they fall under his control and he decides justice and fate of their Vėlė. He grants good humans with forever-peace and punishes traitors, abusers, murderers, drunkards, etc. Vėlinas is very close to people – he helps those seeking good life and tricks those who are wicked.
Laima — Goddess of Destiny
From word Laimė [laay-meh] which means happiness. She decides the destiny and fate of people during and after their birth. Her verdict is considered irreplaceable. All successes and failures of life depend on Laima. She takes care of humans their whole lives until death – after that Vėlinas takes them under his judgment and control. People honour her during birthdays, baptisms and weddings, also by worshipping during offering rituals.
In this article, only the most popular Gods were covered – there are still so many, for every aspect of life (which is highly cherished by Baltic pagans). After so many struggles Lithuanians have been through – they didn’t forget their origins, historical religion, and unique Gods; and we, all Europeans, can learn from that to spread, nurture, and reflect on the many cultures composing our great European culture.