Pagans Respond to Russian Invasion of Ukraine

TWH – “Tonight will be hard, very hard, but the morning will come,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a late-night video statement after Russia invaded his country on Feb. 24.

“Tonight the enemy will use all available means to break our resistance,” Zelensky added. “Tonight they will launch an assault. Tonight we must persevere. Ukraine’s fate is being decided right now.

As Ukraine fights for its sovereignty against an invasion by Russian troops ordered by President Vladimir Putin, the world has seen a defiant Kiev resist one of the strongest armies on the planet.

The situation is fluid, complex and generational. As of this writing, Kiev continues to resist.

Pagans, witches, pagans, and polytheists responded to the crisis in different ways, offering emotional, spiritual, and even material support by being boots in the field.

The religious organization TEMPLVM builds temples for Roman deities and serves the Religio Romana community. He is based in Ukraine near the town of Poltova, about 200 miles east of Kiev.

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Canis Latrans coordinates TEMPLVM’s emergency response and evacuation efforts in Ukraine. “I work with volunteers and other organisations,” he wrote to TWH. “I would greatly appreciate any assistance you and your readers may be able to assist in providing information and requests to your reader base through our efforts.”

Yesterday, Canis said volunteers trained in emergency response and Nova Roma volunteers coordinated efforts to evacuate Religio Romana families across the Polish-Ukrainian border.

“We have accommodation for up to 30 refugees at this stage in Hungary and Germany,” Canis said, “but we are looking to establish more accommodation. Our biggest problem at the moment is finding European passport holders. who can lead our Ukrainian refugees from the Polish-Ukrainian border to our places of accommodation.

This morning, TWH learned that Canis was injured and operated on, but the other members of the Nova Roma community had helped with the response. TWH will send updates as we learn new information.

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Last night, The Covenant of the Goddess released a statement of support for Ukraine through the organization’s public information officer:

The Goddess Alliance stands with the brave citizens of Ukraine who are under unprovoked and unprovoked attack. On Thursday, the invasion of Ukraine began with missiles fired by Russian troops and the movement of Russia across Ukraine’s borders.

President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is a flagrant act of aggression and a shameful violation of international norms. This attack has already killed innocent people and driven thousands of families from their homes.

The Pact condemns the actions of President Putin and his troops. Our support, prayers and spiritual protections go unreservedly to the people of Ukraine.

This morning, the spiritual director of the EarthSpirit community, Andras Corban-Arthen, released his statement on the invasion of Ukraine:

The EarthSpirit community joins our voices with the millions of other voices around the world who strongly oppose and condemn Russia’s reprehensible invasion of Ukraine. The violent attack initiated by Vladimir Putin, with the support of the Russian government and armed forces, threatens not only the life and autonomy of the Ukrainian people, but also of the rest of Europe. We hope that the powers of the world will support Ukraine at this dangerous time, which is so eerily reminiscent of the events that culminated in the Second World War some eighty years ago. We ignore the lessons of history at our peril.

Dr. Patricia Robin Woodruff is an ordained minister, a Wiccan priestess from Stone Circle Wicca (USA) and a spirit-initiated Łemko bosorka, a type of shamanic witch, who runs the Facebook group “The Roots of Slavic Magic which has members from all over the world, including in Slavic countries. “So many of our members are scared for the people they know or may even be in the thick of the action,” she said. TWH. “A guy is in Ukraine and could hear the jets but said they weren’t in his town. Again.

“Some people in our group have both Russian and Ukrainian ancestry,” Woodruff continued. “Some have deep hatred against Russia for past wrongs against their ancestors and some have [generational] trauma that seems to well up. A person has just said: “Tonight is going to be extremely hard. Please keep us in mind.'”

Berehynia from a beehive door in Slovenia [Photo Courtesy of Dr. Patricia R. Woodruff]

Many members of Woodruff’s group work energetically for peace, invoking Береги́ня (Berehynia), the mother goddess of the Slavic hearth, or Vila, and protector of the home. A statue of Berehynia tops the Victory Column called the Independence Monument in Independence Square in Kyiv. The square and the monument were built in 2001 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union.

“The title of the goddess Berehynia may come from berec which means “to protect,” Woodruff said. “Berehynia is a way of perceiving the mother goddess Mokosh. Berehynia spreads her cloak of protection over people. Ironically, Ukraine and Russia have “claimed” her as their protector. But she is a protector of life – of all life.

Morgan Sythove, on behalf of the Pagan Federation International, issued a statement of support for the people of Ukraine this morning. Morgana said the PFI “has been active in Ukraine for several years. It’s their logo, embodying the rich fertile land, also known as “Europe’s granary”.

Logo of the International Pagan Federation – Ukraine [Used with permission]

The PFI said in its statement:

Pagan Federation International stands with our courageous community in Ukraine. We share the pain of all who suffer and are affected by the horrific events of the past few days.

Let us hold in our hearts all living beings touched by the destruction of war. Let us reach out in unity and solidarity and appeal for the help and blessings of Berehynia, she who stands as a symbol of independence, of a free Ukraine.

The PFI invoked Berehynia to support Ukraine:

We invoke the spirits of the earth

Beloved Berehynia,

Sacred spirits of rivers and streams

healing and protection

Of this glorious land, golden fields under bright blue skies

Bless, heal, guard and protect from all evil

Women, children and men, our brothers and sisters

And our fellows, domestic and wild animals

And the lay of the land, the hills and the valleys, the rivers and the fields

We invoke you and ask for your blessings

To stop the plague and war crimes

And to restore peace to the souls of all living beings.

Be blessed!

They asked the community to light candles in support of Ukraine while using the PFI Ukraine logo as a mandala to focus their thoughts and prayers.

Link, a Wiccan priest from Miami, was saddened by the attack on Ukraine and its capital. He visited Kiev several times. He said Ukraine had a difficult history, especially in the 20th century, suffering at the hands of the Soviets and the Nazis. His many Ukrainian friends explain that “language is more than spoken words, but cultural pride. One day I wanted to thank a co-worker for something very nice she did for me. i said in russian spasibo (Спасибо), but to my surprise, her face soured and she said, wanting to teach me, ‘Don’t say that! Say Dyáhuyu (Дякую) instead.'” “Дякую” means “thank you” in Ukrainian.

Link said the city is beautiful. “They have buildings that are a thousand years old. I saw a smooth paved street that was estimated to be 200 years old. The “Baba Yaga” statues are ancient figures of a series of Willendorfian-style women from Slavic mythology. »

“Kiev also has a nice OTO group there,” Link continued. “They were kind enough to invite me to one of their Gnostic masses, which was then in Russian. It was beautiful. When you hear a ritual in a language you don’t speak, it teaches you to “ to feel” the words, not to hear them. When I returned on a subsequent visit, I was fortunate enough to attend their very first Gnostic Mass in English.

Link also remembered that the many states of the city were almost magical protectors. “The statues are really, really big poppets!” he said. “A similar form of ‘statue magic’ exists in a Soviet-built monument called the Statue of the Fatherland. She holds a sword and shield above her head, invoking a powerful message that I interpret as “Don’t mess with my kids”.

Editor’s note: TWH will follow events in Ukraine and update our readers as the conflict progresses. If you are a reader in Ukraine or have ties to the country and would like to speak with TWH about your experiences, please message us at [email protected]