Fire Rite touched by Perkunas

Fire Rite touched by Perkunas

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Journey from Christianity to Romuva

Approaching a half century stay on this planet, I have cause to reflect on my direction and purpose. I believe that with all my accumulated experience that I have achieved, so much, more than wisdom and more than peace. It;s hard to put into words but I will do my best.

I was born in Australia to a half German, half Australian Mother and Lithuanian Father and lived in Australia all my life. After a 6 year separation, I was 16 years old at the time, I didn't think that I was anyone other than Australian but when I noticed that Nanna and Pop spoke with an accent, I can remember thinking that,

 "Nanna, You're a wog!!...........hey! that makes ME a wog!"

I was shocked! It was a sobering realisation! Nanna explained that Lithuanians were the last pagans in Europe and still to this day, love nature and animals!

The words rang in my soul like an alarm clock sounding! It was then, that I understood why I loved being outdoors and always as a child, found the amazing beauty of nature always dazzled and awed  me!

I also discovered that my surname was Kryzius and not Keating, as I had always thought! At the age of 16, I found myself to be a different person to who I thought I was which shocked and intrigued me, all at the same time!This started off a life long journey of discovery who I really was!

I finished year 12 and moved to Sydney for work. I ended up changing my surname back. I can still remember my Nanna saying ,

"now, you're going to have to carry the cross!"

The word, "Kryzius",  means cross in Lithuanian and I was thinking crucifix too, but I have since learned that there were many non christian crosses that the pagans used. One of the more well known Lithuanian crosses was the Thunder Cross which is simply a swastika. A lithuanian Fairy Cross is a 5 pointed star! I've always had an attraction to pentagrams! (funny that!). The Sun cross is a simple cross in a circle. So, to find out that my surname was associated with a rich Lithuanian pagan symbol was a great relief and I was proud of this fact!

Little did I know back then that it was only the start of an amazing journey to find myself today. I was a Protestant Christian at the time and was very studious but I was eventually  by the guilt of always being a sinner and being named as unacceptable, just for being me. I left the community of the church in search of the truth. I didn't feel damaged and refused to believe it! Christian philosophy gave me a good moral sense of self and an understanding to always treat others as you would want to be treated yourself. Although this taught me how to live in the Christian community, which I live, butI was in search of something higher and deeper, something pre christian but still Judaic, so I started to study the Quabala with hope that I might find the answers that I sought of Christianity.

I studied the philosophy and sacred books of Quabala and practiced ceremonial Quabalistic magic with a small group of people for a few years. It was until the fellow adherents had a difference of opinion.

What I learnt in this tradition was that, within all of us, contains a mini universe, with all the powers, potentials and forces of the universe and so each and every one of us is special and our potential is great.

(I felt like running back to those Christian churches of my past and tell everyone of this revelation but I knew that this good news would not be well received!)

I learnt that connectivity to our own, "Tree of Life" is important to self improvement, enlightenment and soul evolution. Knowledge is part of that cosmic tree and is also known as the abyss, which I fell head first into! As you know, the more you know, the more you know, that there is more to know. I was consumed with knowledge. I can remember being so captivated by all the knowledge held in a theosophical bookstore that I would even walk on peoples feet without realising it, oblivious to the other people. I eventually learned though, that a head full of knowledge is not worth anything unless you put that knowledge into practice for a constructive purpose. I just couldn't be an eternal uni student with no real life experience! I knew that, it couldn't be good for the evolution of my soul because, I have learnt that, the spirit realm has no thought, and so, no intriguing secrets of knowledge. The spirit realm exists beyond knowledge and with which cannot be rationalise! This absence of knowledge in the spirit realm, is a natural law so there's no point questioning it! There are even similarities with the biblical tale of Adam and Eve who partake of the fruit of knowledge which then causes them to be banned from the spiritual realm of the garden of Eden. So I learnt that there are no books that I can read and no courses that I could take to achieve spirituality. I just needed to constantly strive to experience the spirit realm rather than trying to mentally, figure it out.

 I learnt transcendental meditation at the age of nine, thanks to my evolved Aunt Irena. I learnt Raja yoga with Brehma Kumaris later in life. Learning meditation taught me how to stop the constant mind chatter, which can be hard for a Gemini. Meditation has taught me to be more focused, a way to direct energy where it's truly needed and inner peace while getting through this hectic life. Through studies with Brahma Kumaris, I learnt that there are 5 types of thoughts which really helped to acheive mental peace simply by identifying what type of thought pre occupied my mind and when.

The 5 types of thoughts as taught by Brahma Kumaris are:

1.Necessary Thoughts
2.Unnecessary Thoughts
3.Positive Thoughts
4.Negative thoughts  
5.Thoughts from the guides. 

That makes 5 and I would like to simply explain how I was able to achieve mental peace by understanding this classification.
All the planning thoughts to maintain order and direction in your life are what is called "necessary" thoughts. Worry about what happened last week or what might happen next week are call "Unnecessary" or "wasteful" , thoughts. Positive and negative thoughts can come from others or from yourself so you need to watch your own thoughts and the actions and words of others. You only want positive thoughts to fill your mind! Lastly, thoughts from your guides are self explanatory. When you get a thought to call a particular person who, you find out later, may have really needed your call at that time! How many times have you had a thought to visit someone at their hour of need? These thoughts are not your own but compelling suggestion spoken into your mind by your guides.

I found that just by recognising these different types of thoughts that I was able to stop the endless mind chatter.
I found long lasting mental peace when I realised that I could make a lot of space by realising that the majority of my thoughts were unnecessary
I also was reminded that I am not really the flesh and blood with a shining spirit, that I may think I am, but in reality, I am a shining spirit who is experiencing flesh and blood. Like a shining star lighting a way in the universe.

I did vision quest which is a North American Indian Shamanic custom in the rainforests of Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales. It was then that I learnt to connect with nature spirits and totems. I studied a little shamanism, European witchcraft, Shinto, hoping to find the Truth but I couldn't find what I was looking for, nothing felt "right". However, I did realise at a fairly young age, that: 

great things happen when I let go of mind and control
  Through meditation and ritual, I am able to learn to let nature and the universe take the reigns in my life.

I took this lesson with me throughout my life and have found that I have had a very fortunate life. Where ever life takes me, the outcome always end up favourably, especially when I stop asking questions and just be. I was even surprised when I recently found a ten year plan list. I had tucked it away with the rest of my journals that I'd written throughout my life. Everything on the list was achieved! Even when I had little to do with outcomes, the universe came together to accomplish all that my heart desires. I also learnt to listen to the nature spirits to guide, console and renew me throughout my life. Whenever I have a major crossroad in my life, I would go to that same little pocket of rainforest in Kangaroo Valley, NSW. I visited before HSC exams and afterwards, at the end of break ups and at the start, when I get a new job and when I am looking for a new job, I visited this place in nature and connected with the guides and spirits of place for direction, confirmation, consolation and even celebration. This rainforest and river were my second home. It was a place where I spent many birthdays, and a place where I regularily ,sought and found, direction throughout my life.

Even with all that I had learnt about my true self,
I still felt that something was missing.

I found that I was being drawn to my Lithuanian ancestral roots and then started studying their traditional earth customs from the few books in English that I could find. What I unearthed, was a rich tradition, full of wonder and surprise that led me to visit Lithuania twice so far.

My internal flame was stoked and shone brighter with each visit to Lithuania.

These trips helped me to understand myself within the traditional Lithuanian *world view or world feeling*. These visits were necessary to compliment all those hours of reading and studying. I was truly lucky to see and experience pagan customs that I've only read about! It was great and a real confirmation that I was not alone. Being in Lithuania even felt like home! Their traditional ideas are logical to me and the pantheon of Gods, Goddesses, Spirits and Devils, just make sense to me.
For example:
The Earth Mother and her nature who supports us, 
Sun Mother who helps to grow our crops and who comforts us with warmth after long cold Winter nights.
Father Sky, Brother Moon and Sister Stars etc. 

The list of Cosmic and Terrestrial Deities are endless and the energy of each Deity convey very real attributes of the human experience and their relationship with nature. I could use the whole article just on describing them as I feel that I know them well. I continue to practice, study and adhere to the traditional Lithuanian earth customs. I find a kind of peace when I live my life with the same "World Feeling" as did my Lithuanian ancestors. 

I have laid my spiritual journey bare and how I came to this point. All of my experiences have taught me much. Perhaps others will follow my footsteps or find the same truths in a different way, either way, I have been able to share my story and I hope you found it revealing as I have also throughout my life. I certainly started knowing about Lithuanian Earth customs when I was 16 years old and have now returned back to them as an adult. I am told that the first 50 years of childhood are the hardest but now I feel that I can live now as a ,loved and loving, adult who is well balanced, receptive to the workings of the Earth and the universe. I will always strive to achieve harmony in my life as a priority and the Gods and Goddesses will look after me.

I no longer feel like something is missing!

Friday, December 2, 2016

prayers to our deities, terrestrial and celestial

Trees, we pray for harmony between the realms of the past, the dead, present and the future, the Gods, heroes.

Trees, old and young, we pray for beauty and majesty just as they are so.

We thank the Trees for the lesson they have taught us which is to bend without breaking in a strong wind.

Rocks, cold and hard Rocks, we ask for your strength to surpass .

Rocks, ancient Rocks, we pray to our ancestors from the past and deep down in the earth.

Rocks, silent Rocks but still living Rocks, we ask for peace and calm.

We thank Rock for the lesson which they have taught us which is to remain steadfast,determined and patient just as Rock.

Lightning and Thunder, punishment and retribution of God Perkunas. may I always be right in your eyes.

Thunder and lightning of Perkunas, your power and might. I draw on you in times of need.

Thunder and lightning, flash and dazzle, I thank you for your heart stopping and deafening show. It is an amazing sight to behold.The whole world trembles when you ride your chariot across the sky.

Thirst quenching Water. Skies from where you fall, Springs that well up water from deep in the earth. Water from Seas, lakes, rivers, streams I ask for you to sustain me always.

Water, bubbling Water, I pray for you are abundant when needed.

Water,sparkling blue water, I thank you for your coolness on hot summer days.

Water, I thank you for the lesson you have taught me which is to stay flexible and fluid in life.

Sun, dear Mother Sun, I ask for warmth for my comfort and solace.

Sun, shining celestial mother, I ask that you continue to help my crops to grow so I can always have food in my belly.

Sun, beautiful mother Sun, we thank you for such awesome vistas at sunrise and sunset on most days.

I thank dear mother Sun for the lesson which she has taught me which is to be reliable just as Saule (The Sun) rises without fail every day.

Moon, God Menulis, Moon God, I ask that I too may shine in the darkness as you.shine.

Moon, radiant orb, I pray to you for health and healing.

Moon, shining prince of the heavens, I ask for your radiant beauty to shine in my own life.

I thank the dear brother Moon for the lesson he has taught me which is that, in life, there is also always an appropriate phase to do everything and anything.

Stars,sister Stars,may you shine in the night sky as I will shine in life,

Stars, Venus the most beautiful, I ask you to always be my guides at night,

Stars, twinkling Stars so far away, humbles us because they remind us that we, ourselves, are simply star dust.

I thank the Stars for the lesson that they have taught me which is that my concerns are really not that important in the grand scheme of the universe and I am reminded every night, when I look up and see the magnificent star show of the milky Way and constellations.

Earth, mother Earth, you gave us life and a home. Honour and respect will always be given to you, dear Zemyna.

Earth, deep, dark, mother Earth, I ask to always remain grounded in you as I live my life.

Earth, solid and reliable mother Earth, stay firm under my feet.

I thank mother Earth for the lesson she has taught me which is that, everything turns to dust and to her,we shall return.

Fire, Goddess Gabija and gateway to other realms, I ask for your protection. Do not burn me , burn down my house or my yard.

Fire, Mother to humankind, You cook my food giving me sustenance, for which I am eternally grateful.

We thank the Gods for Fires' guiding light has shown us the way on long dark nights and kept us warm while mother Sun slept.

We thank Fire for the lesson she has taught us, which is that if you act disrespectfully in life, you may cause someone to be burnt,and that someone may be you!

Bees, Goddess of Bees, I prayer for continued abundance of harvest.

Bees, Little Goddesses, I pray that your hives are protected.

Bees, the Gods gift to humankind, I thank you for all your hard work to provide humankind with so much.

I thank Bees for the lesson that they have taught me which is how humans must follow their example and treat their community as their hive. Everyone industrious and working at producing sweet honey nectar for the benefit of the whole hive and not just a few.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Fire Meditation

Close your eyes and take 3 deep breaths. In , out ……
Imagine that you are in the stairwell of a nice air conditioned multi storey building and you are walking down the stairs. With every step you take down the stairs and every breath you take, you feel your body relax more and more. Any Anxieties, tensions, negativity flowing out with every breath. As you descend each floor you feel more and more relaxed.

You see the exit door ahead of you and as you walk towards it you feel something in the air, like there’s a storm coming and its going to be devastating or something.

You walk out into the blaring sun of a sweltering Summer day.The Sun almost blinds you and the sweat now drips into them from the heat. It’s just so hot. You just want to jump into the ocean but you can’t ease this uncomfortable heat. Every breath fills your lungs with a hot burning fire that seems to travel out to every part of your body , down to your toes down to your finger tips. The fire is consuming anything negative, anything impure, any sickness.Your eyes finally adjust to see the Sun over the Ocean with Rays of light radiating down to the water. “A storm is coming! “. 

Look over your shoulder to the right and see the biggest Storm you’ve ever seen. The biggest blackest rolling clouds, with tinges of green.flashes of lightning. The storm can now be seen everywhere you look. The rumble of thunder is getting deafening, Feel the gust of cool wind blow your face as the storm gets closer. Feel relief from the Stifling heat, The cool spray of the on coming rain is felt on your face and you sigh.

See the lightning pierce the dark clouds. The flashes of lightning become brighter and brighter as the storm moves closer to you, The loud Tremble and light makes you tremble and squint. A bolt of lightning strikes an old Oak tree in the field in the distance. You can see the flames as they crackle and spit. 

Take a moment to take in this awesome view. Look back to the door and start to make your way back from where you came ,through the door. As you reach the door you reach for the door handle not knowing what awaits me I turn the door handle open the door and am blinded by the fire , light and heat of an all consuming fire that painlessly and completely, absorbs you in the fire. 

You are now forever one with the Universal flame of Saule, the Sun Goddess and Perkunas, the mighty Thunderer. You may open your eyes now as a new energy in you has revealed itself. You are now and forever more connected to The Universal Fire that is the Spark in all things that unifies creation. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The passion of Fire above, below and within

In this article I will discuss how I personally connect with the element Fire and how both ancient and modern Lithuanians connect with Fire. 

Many world mythologies feature Fire Gods as creators of life. The Hindus have God Agni who created the Sun and the Stars. The Lithuanians have the God Ugnis, although, the guardian of Fire, Goddess Gabija, appears to feature more distinctly in folk tales.  The survival and evolution of humankind depended on the use of Fire to cook food, bread, light the nights and keep warm through the long Winters. Without fire we just wouldn't have survived and therefore, we too, were created by fire also.  Even christian mythologies reccount that the world was dark and formless before creation. The sacred texts of Qabbalah (sepher ha Zohar and sepher ha Yetzirah), tell of Fire and light coming from the East bringing with it the creation of life and the Universe. I liken this belief with the Sun that rises in the East and revives the world day and stokes my eternal internal flame with such beautiful vistas. Whether you believe in the big bang theory, Christian or Pagan mythologies, Fire is an element that features in the creation of all life and its' continuing survival. 

Ancient Lithuanians believed that we when we are born a Star appears in the sky and when we die that star disappears. (I believe the Star only temporarily disappears until our next carnation). I believe that we are connected to our own fire in our own star and carry its flame within us through out our lives. I believe that this flame can be stoked into a bright blaze at certain times when there is spiritual epiphany. Life becomes clearer as the flame shines brighter. I have personally experienced this stoking of my own flame being stoked at various junctions of my own life. I can remember every time well and lifes' dark shadows, worries and concerns seem to fade then disappear as my direction and path becomes clearer. Darna-Harmony is re established and I felt energised, renewed and confident that I am where I am supposed to be in this immense universe. 

Water, Earth, Air and Fire are all treasured by Lithuanians in their own ways, but I have to say that Fire is a very important element to Lithuanians and one which features at every single community event and family gathering. There are bonfires at Summer Solstice, Fire twirling, Fire sculptures float down rivers or candles set up under trees for Equinox, at birthdays, weddings, candles placed on the graves of departed loved ones at the Feast of the Souls(Velines) and even a meal is rarely unaccompanied by a flickering candle on the table. Lithuanians, ancient and present, always include Fire in some way. The Fire Rite is the traditional custom of communing with the ancestors, Gods, Goddesses, heroes and guides where Fire is seen as the Gateway to their realms. Offerings and prayers are given through the sacred Fire. I believe that fire was one of the earliest mediums through which ancient peoples also communed with their Gods and so, I also practice Fire rite as opposed to casting circles and calling quarters. Lithuanian traditional view of Fire can be gleaned from their mythology and ancient customs. Only by considering Lithuanian mythology can you understand the traditional worldview of the ancient Balts in relation to Fire. 

Three of the most prominent Fire deities in the Lithuanian pantheon are: 
-Goddess Gabija of the hearth, grains and bread. Guardian of earthly Fire and one could see her as Fire herself  Gabija was treated seriously and to disrespect her by spitting, urinating, stomping or burning garbage in a sacred Fire. The consequences may come in the way of your house burning down when the Gabijas Fire wanders about your home and garden. 
- God Perkunas the Thunderer, God of courage, success, morality and creative energy including vegetive fecundity. Perkunas reminds us of our moral obligations and threatens punishment for wrong doers by throwing his atmospheric Fire from the sky as lightning in amazing displays of his power and might. 
-Goddess Saule, the Mother Sun who feds us by helping to grow our crops. Saule warms and comforts us after the cold night. Saule is the celestial Fire who is paramount to health and survival of all life on earth. 

These three deities complete the Fire circle within our lives and play an important role in everything we do and everything that we are. Our internal, eternal Flame and the deities of earthly, atmospheric and celestial Fire combine to create a close relationship with all aspects of Fire as an important element  Fire is a gateway to other realms and the flame of passion within each of us which puts our true nature in perspective. Our true selves is not flesh and blood but a Star that is twinkling throughout the universe. A Star, a ball of Fire that emanates light in all directions  I know that the more I am  connected with the universes the brighter my Star will shine and I hope I am inspiring others to stoke their own flame. Pardon the pun, but to “Shine like a diamond”.. 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The art of Lithuanian spellscasting

The traditional Lithuanian community was not unlike many other communities across the world. Every person had their role in the community. Being a successful community depended on how skilled and organised people were. Every community had mid wives, herbalists, farmers, Warriors, Shepherds, beer and mead makers, carpenters, blacksmiths Diviners, home makers and some were spell casters.

Lithuanian Spells are an archaic form of the national folklore that is practiced by a relatively small number of people in Lithuanian communities across the country but Spellcasters could be found in every town, village and community. Collections of Lithuanian spells were compiled in the 20th century by ethnographers Jonas Balys, Mannsikka, Stukenaite-Decikiene among others, some German and Polish writers also published articles of traditional spells. In pre war decades, there was clearly public interest in Spells and this form of folklore evidenced by articles on collections of spells published in various periodicals in this period. During Russian occupation, post war, collections of spells became a taboo subject because it related to the nationalistic folk identity. 

Lithuanian Spells can be better understood by a brief study of the world view of ancient Baltic peoples. Ancient Lithuanians believed that all things, animate and inanimate, had life and breathe and so were considered to be sacred. All beings were personified and assigned gender and role. The Earth was seen as mother as was the Sun. The Moon was a shinning prince of the heavens and brother. Trees, Rocks, Waters, Sun, Moon and Stars were also considered to be living entities. All these living beings could participate in carrying out the spell casters commands and requests. all had a spark of life that a spell caster could be conjure to assist the spell caster when required. The traditional belief was that everything had free will and independence and that includes people and those casting the spell. Lithuanians traditionally did not believe that people were sub ordinate to any other spirit, entity, God or Goddess unlike foreign Christian beliefs. Lithuanians traditionally had the belief that they were able to command, coerce and acquire the co operation of all beings to assist the Spellcaster.

Morality should be considered before casting spells. Morality and harmony, (Dora and Darna), are main tenets of Lithuanian traditional world feeling which is now formalised as the movement in Lithuania called Romuva. The democratically elected Krivas or Krive, (High Priest or High Priestess) of Romuva do not try to enforce their own view of morality but simply point back to the old ways for guidance. i agree that there are many beliefs of what morality is exactly. The concept of morality maybe similar dependent on which country we reside and our geographic location but essentially each of us has a different view of morality and concept of right and wrong. it is important that your own morality is in harmony with the universe lest dire consequences will await those who practice disharmonious spell casting. most of my readers will know about the reality of the three fold law, I'm sure, and I've seen the reality of it, myself for other people, I'd never want that kind of divine retribution for myself. I believe that all people should take into account their own Dora/morality when planning to cast spells, whether it be in the traditional Lithuanian fashion or any other traditional way.

A Spellcasters' aim, is to actively add to, restore or create harmony in the world and in people. These living entities were no considered to be superior to humankind but help mates who could assist if treated properly. We all know what may happen if these beings are disrespected*. It is believed that, If we nurture and sustain all living things of nature then they will nurture and sustain us.

Now that you have some background to Lithuanian traditional worldview, you will have a better understanding of the thought process behind Lithuanian traditional spell casting. The traditional spells are used as examples are written in English and the Lithuanian version can be found in the resource reference. Spells that don't have a resource reference are versions of personal spells that I use.

There are many types of Lithuanian charms, spells and incantations that cover a plethora of instances from snake bite charms, protection spells for animals and crops, spells to Fire and those to a burning house, spells to return health to remedy misadventure. There are many spells that command Gods, Goddesses and any chosen being, to assist the spell caster such as spells against fire and a burning house, which can be simply grouped as pre christian and christian or in other words archaic and new.

Understanding the mindset of the Lithuanian spell caster is to understand that they are able to actively fight the often personified affliction with many threats, curses and physical actions. Examples are:
-Arthritis, I gnaw you, like a mouse gnaws cheese. I eat you up. (A spellcaster may gnaw at the offending joint while saying the spell.)

-Illness, I bind you with this knot. (spoken while tying a knot) I tie you up with this knot, I bind you with this thread/rope that cannot be broken.

-(I am tying a knot, not the first, not the second, not the third, not the fourth, not the fifth, not the sixth, not the seventh, not the eighth, I am tying the ninth. As I have tied knots on this band so I am tying up you, the blood of (enter name)...). (Krėvė-Mickevičius. Kerai, p. 504, N IV)

-I am driving away evil spirits, nightmares and all that is evil from NN (name) with the help of three times nine powers, with the help of three (nine) angels. You shall wane like a crescent moon, you shall shrink like a reed in a marsh) (Balys, p. 81, N 525).

There are various methods employed in casting in the Lithuanian fashion, both in the physical delivery and in the formulation of the spell itself. The delivery of the spell is important. Spells is usually done at sunrise or sunset. I also find special places where nature, sacred waters and rock combine to form a vortex of power. These are powerful places and at sunset and sunrise are preferred times to give prayers and cast spells for healing, change, divination for guidance and good fortune,etc.

Objects such as bread, salt, honey, mead etc may be imbued with the intentions of the Spellcaster using spells or incantations. These things may be consumed by the person for whom the spell is intended at a later date. Spells and incantations may also be spoken to the air so that the winds can carry them to the intended person.

Spells should be written down, memorised and repeated 3,7,9 or 12 times preferably in a single breath and whispered so not even the person having the spell done to them can hear the words spoken. A good set of lungs are required for long spells that need repeating so think about being succinct. Spells can be as short as a single word and many spells have a rhythmic rhyme to them so they almost sound like short songs or poems.

A spell caster may command the Gods or Goddess to act on their behalf and may also threaten or send other beings to punish the illness, disease or misfortune. Eg.

-I command Perkunas, the Thunderer to strike you down. May the Suns rays dry you up. By fire Gabija be burnt to a cinder.

-Water, you who run and pause, you who wash yourself from East to West, you who clean the winding banks and the yellow sands, stop and wash my son Jonas) (Dundulienė, Akys, p. 55);

-Moon the Bright God of the Heaven, give him a circle, give me health, give him completeness, give me the kingdom of Perkūnas the Thunderer (Balys, p. 17, N 1)

-I am uttering words against ........The sun hates you, the moon hates you, the stars hate you, my mother hates you, my father hates you, my sister hates you, my brother hates you and me, I hate you. Leave (enter name) before I drown you in the endless ocean.

While holding a piece of bread, commanding, "by Gabija, fire stop! By saint Agnes, fire stop!" (This is an example of using the Pagan Goddess Gabija and her Catholic counterpart/replacement being used in the same spell.)

Spells with Catholic characters and themes pervade the more recent spells which shows a real amalgamation of pagan and Catholic customs within the hearts and minds of Lithuanian people.

(The heaven, O Jesus, the sun, O Jesus, the earth, O Jesus, the dew, O Jesus. Amen, O Jesus Christ) (Mansikka, p. 82, N 82)

I hope you have found this article interesting. Lithuanian spells are a unique way to connect with the world and all the living entities in it. Study in Lithuanian spells is recommended for students of magic and those who want to be a more active participant in life of this world and universe.


* A few examples of what happens when living entities are not treated respectfully:

- Blowing up nuclear bombs in the Earths crust, makes the Earth respond with earthquakes, Tsunamis and destruction.

-Deforestation of habitats often leads to environmental disaster and threaten the food source on many creatures, humans included.

-It is believed that the introduction of pesticides have threaten Bee colonies across the world that affect food production for many species of animals, including humans.


Balys - Balys J. Liaudies magija ir medicina. Bloomington, Indiana, 1951


Dundulienė P. Akys lietuvių pasaulėjautoje. Vilnius, 1992

Dundulienė P. Ugnis lietuvių liaudies pasaulėjautoje. Vilnius, 1985

Dundulienė P. Žalčiai lietuvių liaudies pasaulėjautoje ir dailėje. Vilnius, 1996

Krėvė - Mickevičius:

Krėvė - Mickevičius V. Burtai Sedos parapijoje// Tauta ir žodis, Kaunas, 1925

Krėvė - Mickevičius V. Marcinkonių burtai ir prietarai// Tauta ir žodis, Kaunas, 1925 N 3, 1926 N 4

Krėvė - Mickevičius V. Aitvaras // Gimtasai kraštas 1941 - Vim N 1-2 (28 - 29)

Krėvė - Mickevičius V. Kerai // Tauta ir žodis, IV, 1926

Mansikka - Mansikka V. Litauische Zauberspruche. Helsinki, 1929

Stukėnaitė - Stukėnaitė P. Šis tas apie Vilniaus kaimo prietarus ir burtus // Gimtasai kraštas, 1940 N 124

Stukėnaitė - Decikienė - Stukėnaitė - Decikienė Pr. Užkalbėjimai Švenčionių apskrity. // Gimtasai kraštas, 1941 - VIII m. 1-2 (28-29 nr.)

A big thanks to Marija Zavjalova for many of the references.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Summer Solstice- In Lithuania and in Australia

Lithuanians observe many Earth and Sky customs in their traditional calendar which are practised at the appropriate seasonal moment in the yearly cycle. natures fertility and harvest is marked by festivals and likewise the Equinoxes and Solstices are important times. Summer solstice is marked by a festival whose customs are steeped in magic and folklore and mythology. I observe many of the same customs at the appropriate time in the year, here in Australia. eg, Lithuania celebrates Summer Solstice in June whereas Summer Solstice occurs in December here in Australia. 

In this article, I would like to introduce the reader to the traditional Lithuanian customs of Summer Solstice and explain how I have adapted some of those customs, in my life here in Australia. I believe, that by observing these customs, I have found a very real type of harmony with the cycles of the Cosmic forces of Sky and the Terrestrial forces of Earth that makes me more feel more centered and in tune with the forces of the Gods and Goddesses of the Earth and the beautiful song of the universe.

In Lithuania, the festival of Summer Solstice was originally known as, "Rasa"(Dew), or, "Kupolines" (vegetation). This Svente (festival), is named after the Goddess Rasa, and her Mother, Goddess Kupole. It is a svente full of magic and myth, divination and just plain fun. It is a public holiday in the country so EVERYONE revels in the festivities. 

Young Girls wake early on this day and run through the dew soaked rye, go back to bed and dream of their intended lover. People collect dew to wash their face so their complexion will be clear for the next year.

People also knew that Ragana, the Witch Goddess of witchcraft collect the dew for her own magic. Some say its evil magic but I believe that she stimulates the regenerative powers of nature by causing the decline of nature. She is the necessary evil and her magic must happen if nature and humankind is to flourish again next year.

Women collect flowers from the meadows to make wreaths, which they wear throughout the festival. The flowers are a symbol of the blossoming vegetation from Kupole and the circular wreaths are a symbol of Saule, the Sun Goddess.

The Svente festival is set up generally somewhere in nature, by a lake or body of water and preferable near a sacred hill if possible. Bonfires and the green gate are set up. Wheels and a straw man are set on long poles and burnt at sunset when the bonfires are also lit. People dance and sing loudly in order to scare off the Witches.

People know that Saule the Sun Goddess is in decline from this day and needs all the extra light and fire from the fires burning for Her.

Burning wheels and logs are rolled down hills which also represent the passage of the Sun.

At midnight, young couples search for the fern that flowers. If found it is believed that you will acquire the knowledge of of things secret. Wisdom and hidden treasures, or so it is believed, the number of kids conceived on this night predicts the bounty of the harvest. 

At sunrise songs are sung to the rising Sun and wreaths with candles are floated on the river or lake for further prognostications.. people bathe in rivers for it's healing and beauty qualities. When the rays of the Dear Sun return for another year, the nightlong celebration comes to an end and people go home to sleep off the "Rasa hang over" from all the dancing, singing and bonfire jumping.

In Australia, Summer Solstice is much less low key than in Lithuania. Astronomically and seasonally attuned Pagans honour and celebrate the Summer Solstice in December, when most secular and religious people are celebrating the Winter Solstice Yule and Christmas customs of their Northern hemisphere cousins. Their customs are performed at the same time in the annual calendar, but not the same time in the seasonal and astronomical calendar. 

I understand the sense of connection that Lithuanians here in Australia feel by performing the traditional Lithuanian Winter Solstice custom of Kucios. at the same time in the calendar as their Lithuanian family and ancestors in Lithuania, in the Mother land. Old Lithuanian people feel that by doing this they will be more connected to their homeland, their ancestors and to their past.

Most Secular non religious and Religious Christian people alike, express the philosophy of, "peace on earth and good will to all." People have forgiveness in their hearts and wish blessings of goodwill in the name of Christmas' and that's ok because these sentiments apply to both Winter and summer pagan festivals. 

Australian Pagans are from many different backgrounds and no matter to which path you adhere, most recognise the true, "reason for the season.". We all honor the Sun with different terminology and in our own way, so all I can share with you, is what Australian Lithuanian Romuvai, do at the time of Summer Solstice. 

I could not even attempt to replicate, here in Australia, the national joy and involvement in this celebration, as they do in Lithuania. My own celebrations are usually small private affairs inviting the local pagan community to share. I try to perform all Lithuanian customs as closely as possible and using the original terminology so that Lithuanian mythology comes alive and becomes very really relevant to me and enables genuine connection with my ancestors and their Gods and goddesses of nature and the universe, and the local Deities, from where I live.
 I will briefly explain some of the symbolism of the Gods and Goddesses of ancient Baltic mythology which plays a big role in Summer Solstice celebrations, here in Australia.

At Solstice, the celestial Fire of Saule, the Sun Goddess is strengthened by the terrestrial Fire of Gabija, guardian Goddess of the Hearth and so Fire features everywhere in Summer Solstice. Balance is found in Sky and Earth. Male and female. Dievas and Zemyna (Sky God and Earth Goddess). Symbols of the Sun can be seen in the shape of the Flower wreaths and Oak wreaths made. Perkunas, The Thunder God is remembered through the symbolism of the oak tree and flowers represent Kupole. the Flourishing Goddess who is responsible for the abundance of the upcoming harvest. 

Ragana and her regenerative powers Ragana is like the gardener who must prune in order to get better growth and crops, the next year. Ragana is a relevant force to Lithuanians and Australians.

Dew and sacred waters are also very important elements that needs no explaining to Australians. Rivers that flow from West to East are extra special.

I believe that by adhering to the customs of my Ancestors, I have been given an insight into their unique worldview and opened me up to their world. There are various Gods and Goddesses who cross waters to show us that they are still relevant to us here in Australia in the modern age. I will forever carry their flames within me.

Tebunie Darna (Let there be Harmony)

Sky and Air- more than an Element to me!

In Lithuanian mythology our pantheon of Deities can be classified as:
- Celestial,
- Sky/atmospheric,
- Terrestrial/earthly
 and sub terrestrial/Underworld.
Theses four realms of existence are representative of the, "World Tree", which is a big part of the Baltic worldview, among many other indigenous Europeans. 

The roots of the tree which reach down deep in the earth and represents the world of the deceased ancestors and the past, the trunk of the tree springs up from the earth and represents the realm of the living on earth,the branches that reach up into the sky represent the realm of the sky or atmosphere and the heavens above the tree represent the celestial realm where celestial goddesses like Saule the Sun, give the Tree its' energy to grow taller and stronger. In this article, I will focus on two of atmospheric deities and how they are reflected in my life as an Australian Romuvis.

If I was to explain the worldview of the ancient Lithuanians, I must start at the top with the supreme God and ruler of time and fate. Praamzius is his name and his name suggests that he existed before eternity, during eternity and beyond eternity. Praamzius rules the sky and waters and his children assist him. In Lithuanian folk mythology, the supreme God Praamzius had a wife who is known as the primordial mother, the Goddess Lada and the mother to all deities. Together they had many children and one of their children is the god of the shining sky called Dievas. 

Dievas is an atmospheric deity who has never been regarded as a supreme God although his name is still being used today by Lithuanians to refer to the Christian God. I think it's funny in a way but I feel that the energy of the original sky God still lives on in the use of the name, Dievas.

Pensive Christ sculpture is a common figure in most Lithuanian homes.
This sculpture depicts a Christian God watching over mankind, often with sorrow.
Many sculptures of thinking men and women have been found even since the Neolithic period.

Dievas, the sky God, watches over humankind. The Sun and the Moon are often referred to as the eyes of God in Lithuanian songs and tales. The God Dievas, is constantly watching over us through the day and night. His role in everyday life was considered sedentary but according to Lithuanian mythology, if Dievas saw humans acting immorally, he would tell his brother the mighty thunderer, Perkunas who right the unjust by punishing them by throwing his lightning axe at them and burning down their house.+(Which also can relate figuratively in the way your life can be represented as a house with many rooms.) 

The role of these deities of air and sky exist# for me to act as my own conscience to ensure that I conduct myself in a just and moralistic way in my dealings with my fellow humans and all life which live on this earth. Sky and air is not just high up there but everywhere. Sky and air envelops me and fills my lungs with it's life giving force. Sky and air is not just an important element for me but a personal God to whom I am thankful for the beauty of my life and the guidance that I receive when connecting with the mighty Perkunas in thunderstorms.

Foot notes

* Morality can be understood differently in different cultures and does not simply refer to the Christian view of morality. My personal understanding of morality in my own life and how I live in this modern day can be outlined in my own simple 10 commandments. Some of the commandments are founded in my understanding of Pagan morals and ethics and then some commandments are simple guidelines to facilitate a more harmonious existence with the ancestors, my deities,my community and within myself: Some commandments are both, you can decide for yourself: These commandments will probably change and expand over time but then that is the good thing about not having a sacred text dictating outdated and irrelevant views on morals. Anyway here is my own personal ten commandments:

1. Waste not the gifts of the Earth lest you go hungry.
Every crumb is a sacred gift.
 Every scrap of food can be either composted or fed to the birds and other animals.

2. Do not kill. All life is sacred.
Trees,animals,human, Rock,Waters and Earth.
The earth's nature and it's creatures is sacred,
it is from where we began and where we shall end.

3. Honour the Ancestors and deceased loved ones.
They gave their everything for you to be here today with so many liberties and blessings.

4. Honour the Elders,their wisdom is beyond value.
They hold the memory of times and values gone by.

5. In all things, nurture nature as the seasons turn. Grow an edible garden,plant trees and flowering plants for the Bees 

6. Recycle,Re use,Reduce! and do not litter!
 The Earth's resources are limited. 

7. Honour the Gods and Goddess of nature and Earth. With their blessings,you may increase your share.
Celebrate the passing seasons and their Deities of time and space.

8. Visit the sacred places at special times for direct contact, guidance and solace from the Gods,Guides and Totems.

9. Create community where ever you are. Hive of humanity can learn from lessons of the past and our ancestors.We will find a new way forward through the strife on Earth at present.

10. Watch for signs and wonders and just let the Universe and ancestors, guide you and you won't go astray. 
Trust,let go,let the Gods. 


 + The role of Perkunas is seen in the Lithuanian tale of ,"Jurate and Kestytis", when Dievas sends Perkunas to smite the mermaid Goddess Jurate, for falling in love with Kestytis, being a mortal, and also for taking him away from his bereaved wife. It's a nice tale and well worth a read.


# There are many other atmospheric deities from the little Goddesses called Fairies to the different winds,(north wind, South wind,etc), whom I relate to in different ways so I will only write about Dievas and Perkunas in this article.