What did the ancient Slavs believe in? What kind of gods were worshiped? What religion was preached in those ancient times when they did not even hear of Christianity? The religion of the ancient Slavs, which is commonly called paganism, included a huge number of cults, beliefs and views. In it, both archaic primitive elements and more developed ideas about the existence of gods and the human soul got along.
The religion of the Slavs originated more than 2-3 thousand yearsago. The most ancient religious view of the Slavic peoples is animism. According to this belief, any person has an incorporeal double, a shadow, a spirit. Hence the concept of the soul was born. According to the ancient progenitors of the Russian people, not only people but also animals, as well as all natural phenomena, have a soul.
Slavic religion is rich and totemicbeliefs. Totems of animals - elk, wild boar, bear, as sacred animals, were the object of worship. Subsequently, every sacred animal became a symbol of some Slavic god. For example, a wild boar is a sacred animal of the god Perun, and a bear is Veles. There were also vegetable totems: birches, oaks, willows. Many religious rituals were held around separately standing sacred trees.
Gods in the Slavic religion.
The Slavs did not have one god for all. Each tribe worshiped differently. To the common gods, the religion of the ancient Slavs includes such characters as Perun, Veles, Lada, Svarog and Makosh.
Idols of the ancient Slavs.
The religion of the ancient Slavs had not only their owngods, but also their idols - sculptures that convey the image of a particular deity, who was most esteemed in the tribe more than others. These were wooden or stone statues, which were worshiped during religious rites. More often idols were established on the banks of rivers, in groves, on hillocks. They were very often dressed, they held a bowl or horns in their hands, next to them one could see a rich weapon. There were also domestic idols of smaller sizes, which were hidden in dwellings. The ancient Slavs identified idols with the deity itself, so it was a great sin to damage the idol sculpture.
Ancient "temples" and sorcerers in the Slavic religion.
Eastern Slavs who lived in the territorymodern Russia never built churches: all ritual activities and prayers they spent in the open air. Instead of the temple, they equipped the so-called "kapishche" - the place where the idols were located, the altar was located and sacrifices were made. And the religion of the ancient Slavs allowed any of the believers to approach idols, to bow to them and make any offerings. As a sacrifice, as a rule, different animals were used, the ancient Slavs did not practice human sacrifice.
As custodians of knowledge, seers andhealers from the ancient Slavs were the Magi. They kept and passed on from generation to generation ancient myths, made calendars, predicted the weather, performed the functions of sorcerers and magicians. The Magi had a great influence on the princes of Kiev, who consulted with them on all important state issues.
Thus, it can be stated with certainty thatreligious representations of the ancient Slavs is a well-developed system that includes a huge number of different pagan beliefs practiced by the Slavs before the adoption of the Christian religion. It played a huge role in shaping the world outlook, worldview and culture of the Slavic peoples. Her echoes are still present in our lives.