Fire Rite touched by Perkunas

Fire Rite touched by Perkunas

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

"Spring!" from the view of an Australian Romuvis

Springtime is very different here in Australia compared to Europe, but still a magical time when nature wakes from the winters' rest and I will explain the differences between the European experience of Spring and the Australian. How this difference affects us and our various Earth traditions, how indigenous people named the months and the seasons by what is happening in nature so people can complete the necessary duties to ensure survival will be explored in this article. I will also share some Lithuanian Springtime customs that are still applicable to us here in Australia even though we are on the opposite side of the earth and in different hemispheres.

The period of Springtime in Australia is in the 3 months from September. As we are in the Southern hemisphere, Australian seasons are opposite to our Northern cousins. For example, when Australia, is experiencing Winter when the North is experiencing Summer. When we are enjoying Spring, the north is in Autumn and preparing for Winter. I believe that chores are done  and nature celebrated at the seasonally appropriate time however This idea is hard for some to understand because they want to be connected with their homeland which is the Northern hemisphere no matter in what season they are. For example, the Australian Lithuanian community like to celebrate Summer Solstice customs in June here in Australia! We are at Winter Solstice! When asked,"why now?". I am told that it connects them to their homeland. I say,"fair enough" but for me, as already stated, I feel that the age old customs should be carried out at the seasonally appropriate time. It makes more sense to me but I am still happy to maintain harmony with my community and celebrate certain celebrations like Easter and Christmas in Autumn and Summer here in Australia. Regardless of being at the seasonally inappropriate time of the year. It is a tenet of Romuva to strive for and maintain harmony and this is a way of adhering to this tenet by celebrating with my community.

 In Australia during Springtime, the birds and other animals across country are building nests, mating and breeding. The wattles blossom bright yellow and many other trees and plants start to bloom. Nature in Australia really start to come alive in Springtime, just as would have for our European ancestors but there are major differences which is better understood by knowing that Indigenous peoples across the world, and how they named their seasons and months after what is happening in nature rather than using a calendar that refers to roman gods. This is not only irrelevant to the people but doesn't even reflect the seasonal understanding of a people. Many Aboriginal seasonal calendars don't even have a term for the traditional Springtime but name the period after what is happening in nature. For example:
*Spring months are described as hot/dry and pre monsoonal storms by Bininj people of the Kakadu area.
*The Wurundjeri people of the Melbourne area see birds nesting or feeding their young to signify the season.
*The Yolgnu people even mention that the first sound of thunder is heard in this season!
An in depth study of Indigenous cultural names for months and seasons would be too lengthy to explain in this short article but if you are interested, you can consult local Aboriginal weather charts on the internet of through your local Aboriginal cultural center for a better understanding of what season you are in, where you live!

European Spring Months
Lithuanian Spring Months and meanings
Australian Spring months
(Meaning: Rook/Blackbird/Goddess of war and conflict)
(Meaning; Cuckoo Bird)

* Conflict can be seen in the warring weather. One day is hot and Summery and the next is cold and Wintery. It is like the seasons are struggling between themselves but, in the end, Spring and warmth will always defeat the Winter and its cold.
The country warms up a little and the Pigeons and doves return to the country and the soft cooing can be heard on the breeze.
The country warms up a little more and the Cuckoo bird returns to the country. There is a belief that a persons activities and state of being when hearing the Cuckoo call for the first time each year will predict your up coming year. for example, If you are working hard when you first hear the Cuckoo then you can expect to work hard that year. If you have money in your pocket at the time then you will have enough money. etc NB I have noticed the sound Kookool was heard in the area when it started to warm up and I used her call to predict my year. Now that I have moved state, I have found the beautiful warble of the Magpie is heard at this time.

Adherents of Romuva in Lithuania and the northern hemisphere. know February the 2nd and 5th respectively, as the "Day of Perkunas", (the Thunderer), and the ,"Day of Gabija", (Goddess of the hearth, of grains and guardian of fire). In Australia, at the same time in our seasons, these days are observed on August the 2nd and 5th respectively and I believe are just as relevant to my Spring time observances regardless of being in the southern hemisphere.  

You may be wondering why these days should be included in Spring observances when these days are a month before the official start of Spring? The traditional custom of the Lithuanians was to listen for the first sound of thunder, from the "Day of Perkunas", (the Thunderer). This thunder is believed to be the son of Perkunas, named Jore). It is believed that this first thunder ,(Jore), shakes all of nature even down to the roots of the trees and this will wake them from Winter slumber. I  still listen out for his rumbling after August the 2nd to herald the arrival of Spring. On this day,people make death/thunder candles to burn in storms to protect the home from lightning strike. These can be easily made by wrapping a candle in linen thread and with the amount of lightning that we have in Australia, these candles can be useful

 The "Day of Gabija", is observed on the 5th of February in Lithuania and 5th of August in Australia. The Day of Gabija is a time to remember how much we still need her fire. Without fire, humankind would not have survived to flourish as we have. We thank the fire of Gabija for warming us and lighting our way in the cold dark Winter nights. Gabija cooks our food everyday and provides grains for our daily bread. The importance of fire and grains is relevant as much in Lithuania and Australia for countless reasons and so we honor Gabija. In my home, we have a meal of grains on this day. There are lots of dishes from which to choose!

I believe that the combination of these Lithuanian days of observance are equivalent, in some ways, to the to the Celtic celebration of Imbolc. Gabija is similar to Brigid, although they have a different folklore, they share a connection with fire and blessed beeswax candles. There were many Indo European tribes who settled in many a were I believe that there are remnants of an old Indo European traits in all tribes, which is quite extensive and connect us all as brothers and sisters.^

^For more information on how far reaching the Indo European tribes were in Europe and Asia.. Another reason to believe that we are all connected! Please watch youtube clip at and

I hope you have found this article informative! If you are interested in more on the Baltic Lithuanian faith please follow me on

Lithuanian Holidays in Australia

Lithuanian Holidays
Many Lithuanian holidays have merged with Christian holidays, sometimes changing the date of the holiday. The dates of some the Lithuanian holidays have become very confusing due to the Julian and Gregorian calendars that were simultaneously used in different parts of Lithuania during Czarist Russian occupation (1772/1792/1795-1918). This problem especially affects the movable Spring holidays, calculated based on the Spring Equinox day.
Lithuanian Ethnic Religion Calendar Holidays, with Australian references by Steve Kryzius

Brief Description

21/25 December LT
21-25 June AU

(Winter Solstice and
New Year’s Day)

Homage to the Sun and blessings for the new solar year.

21 Dec-2 Jan/       25 Dec-6 Jan LT
21 June-2 July/    25 June-6 July AU


Days of rest. Traditional women’s and men’s work is forbidden.

25 January LT
(in older practice: the first new moon, called the foal, after the Winter Solstice)
25 July AU


Synonymous with lunar new year baptism and new year celebration. Badgers, porcupines, and bears leave their caves or turn on their sides. This determines what winter will be like.

2 Feb LT
2 August AU

Perkūno diena 
(Perkūnas Day)
Blessing of candles, linen and ever green trees. Death candles are made to protect the home from lightning strike and ward off illness

5 Feb LT
5 August AU

Gabijos diena 
(Gabija day)

Blessing of bread and people. Honour given to Goddess Gabija, guardian of Fire, the hearth and grains.

Varies in Feb LT
Varies in August AU

(Escort of Winter/Mardi Gras/Pancake Tues/Shrove Tues)

Pagan rite to usher out winter.

Varies in March LT
Varies in Sept. AU

(Flower and herb lance)

Preparation for Spring

20-21 March

1 April
Same in Australia

Pavasario lygė 
(Spring Equinox)

Melų diena
(Lie day,April Fool Day)

Welcomes Spring. Blessing renewal of life.

A successful lie will bring success for the coming year. Common pagan superstition.

Varies in April LT
Varies in October AU

(The Great Day,Easter)

Springtime remembrance of the dead and celebration of new life in nature. People exchange coloured and decorated eggs.Egg games played.Blessing of certain foods to ensure you have food all year.People whipped with Verbos and sprinkling with blessed water. Magic of green branch.

23 April LT
23 September AU

11 May LT
11 Oct AU


Deivės Mildos Šventė
Celebrates new growth of Spring. Animals are herded for the first time. The earth cannot be moved on this day. Rituals of bread making Bread was buried in the fields and gardens. After placing a bread roll on the ground a farmer would put one ear to the ground, farmers would listen to the Rye to find out if it will be a good harvest. The God of the Spring Thunder was called Jore or Joris.He evoked the forces of Life. Jore owned the key to the Land, when Earth is unlocked, Jore sends rain and resurrectes all vegetation.Flowers and Herbs were offered to Zemyna Goddess Earth Goddess,Pergubis God of all plants along with 15 other vegetation Gods were honored.

27 May LT
27 October AU


Celebrates new growth of crops

9-20/12-24 June LT
 9-20/12-24 December AU

Pre Solstice Days. Preparation for the Solstice.

21-24 June LT
21-24 Dec AU

Rasa a.k.a. Kupolinė
(Dew, Herb Pole Day)
Homage to the Sun Mother and medicinal herbs. Summer solstice. Mostly celebrated by young people. Bon fires are kept during the night, wreaths are woven and set adrift, the fern blossom is sought. The hay harvest begins after this holiday.

21 June-2 July/                  25 June-6 July  LT
21 Dec-2 Jan               25 Dec-6 Jan AU

Post Solstice Days.

25 July LT
25 Jan AU
(Australia Day)
26 July LT
26 Jan AU

Rugių šventė      
(Rye holiday)
often combined with:
Prinokimo šventė (Ripe holiday)

Blessing of rye and other grain crops at the harvest.
End of the rye harvest. The first new bread is baked. Berries are ripe.

15 August LT
15 Feb AU

Žolinė             (Meadow Grass Day)
Deivės Žemynos šventė
(Earth Goddess festival)
Coming of autumn. People gathered grass from their fields and gardens and brought it to churches to be blessed. Rye, wheat and oat ears were tucked into these grass bundles. In the spring, these ears were crushed and sprinkled on the seeds to be planted. Other bundles of blessed grasses were used as medicine, as protection from lightning strikes and to be sewn into coffin pillows. Families always tried to gather together on this day to ensure the coming year would be a productive one. The spring crop harvest begins
Goddess of Bees and honey honoured.

20-21 Sept. LT
20-21 March AU

Dagotuvės, Rudens Lygė  
(Autumnal Equinox)

Harvest celebration.
Festival of Fire and water. Beginning of customs to remember the dead.

28 October LT
25 April AU             ANZAC Day

Rudens Samborės

Autumn remembrance of the dead

1 November LT            2 November LT
Usually commemorated on:
25 April AU       ANZAC Day

Visi šventi                     (All Saints)
Ilgės a.k.a. Vėlinės  (Lengthening, Day of Shades)

Public holiday so people can visit the graves of their ancestors. Time of Remembrance. Donations given to elgetos.Old and ill people,who can’t make enough to eat, become elgetos.

9-20/12-24 December LT
9-20/12-24 June AU

Prieškalėdis      (Pre-Solstice)

Preparation for the solstice

20/24 Dec LT
20-24 June AU

Kūčios              (Winter Solstice Eve)

Family holiday. After reconciliation and forgiveness, everyone sits together at the holiday table.
Some of the 13 dishes,(representing the 13 Lunar months), must be eaten by all if a prosperous year is to be had. Many divinations and prognostications are performed.

Sources: Jonas Trinkūnas, ed. Of Gods and Holidays. [ Vilnius ]: Tvermė, 1999. 110-111.

Jonas Trinkūnas.  Baltų tikėjimas: Lietuvių pasaulėjauta, papročiai, apeigos, ženklai. Vilnius : Diemedžio leidykla, 2000. 45. Pranė Dundulienė. Lietuvių šventės: Tradicijos, papročiai, apeigos. Vilnius: Mintis, 1981.(15 Sventes and 4 Solstice work/rest periods)

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!