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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in ukraine

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Rounding out the year's posts on the holidays of the reconstructed pagan religion Ridnoveri, here are the winter holidays coming up as 2022 turns to 2023. And if you're using this calendar in a leap year such as 2024, be sure to add in the Leap Year day! I'll be posting about that specifically as it gets closer. 

 December

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

If you're looking to deepen your Ukrainian based practice or your connections to Ukrainian gods and culture, here is a list of upcoming holidays in the reconstructed pagan religion Ridnoveri. Some of these may be similar to holidays in other Slavic cultures. They also may have overlap with Christian holidays. 

September

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

 

Some Thoughts on the Craft of the Wise

 

How do you know when someone is one of the Wise?

 

My friend grew up speaking Polish with his immigrant grandmother. When, as an adult, he visited Poland, he wondered if people would be able to understand him.

Oh, they understood him, all right. They also laughed hysterically whenever he said anything.

He was speaking Hillbilly Polish.

My friend, a successful professional with a PhD, laughed as he told me about this.

“I never knew we were hicks,” he said, proudly.

 

I learned Old Norse from a man named Anatoly Lieberman, one of the most brilliant linguists that I've ever met. Born in the USSR, he spoke—not read, but spoke—seventeen different languages, both ancient and modern. He came to America because no Soviet university would give him tenure, so deeply-entrenched is Russian cultural anti-Semitism.

He told me once that the quickest way to get a laugh out of a Russian is to say something in Ukrainian.

Ukrainian sounds like Hick Russian.

 

To the English-hearing ear, there's something slurred and lazy-sounding about the Slavic languages, as if the speakers can't be bothered to enunciate clearly. To my American ear, at least, Russian always sounds like English played backwards.

It's easy to make assumptions about other people based on how they sound to us.

It's rarely wise to do so.

 

When you meet someone who is absolutely confident that they've got everything figured out, you can be virtually certain—regardless of what they may call themselves—that you're not speaking with one of the Wise.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

 

Some Thoughts on the Craft of the Wise

 

How do you know when someone is one of the Wise?

 

My friend grew up speaking Polish with his immigrant grandmother. When, as an adult, he visited Poland, he wondered if people would be able to understand him.

Oh, they understood him, all right. They also laughed hysterically whenever he said anything.

He was speaking Hillbilly Polish.

My friend, a successful professional with a PhD, laughed as he told me about this.

“I never knew we were hicks,” he said, proudly.

 

I learned Old Norse from a man named Anatoly Lieberman, one of the most brilliant linguists that I've ever met. Born in the USSR, he spoke—not read, but spoke—seventeen different languages, both ancient and modern. He came to America because no Soviet university would hire him, so deeply-entrenched is the anti-Semitism of Russian culture.

He once told me that the quickest way to get a laugh out of a Russian audience is to say something in Ukrainian.

To the Russian ear, Ukrainian sounds like Hick Russian.

 

To the English-hearing ear, there's something slurred and lazy-sounding about the Slavic languages, as if the speaker can't quite be bothered to enunciate clearly. To my American ear, at least, Russian—with its broad spectrum of rubbery palatalized sounds—always sounds like English played backwards.

It's easy to make assumptions about other people based on how they sound to us.

It's rarely wise to do so.

 

When you meet someone who is absolutely confident that they've got everything figured out, you can be virtually certain—regardless of what they may call themselves—that you're not speaking with one of the Wise.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 Over native land Painting by Oleg Shupliak | Saatchi Art

 

It's always a somber note in the otherwise joyful May Festivities.

The May song “Unite and Unite”, originally from Cornwall, accompanies a processional dance that usually includes the Hobby Horse. Its verses recall the regular Maytide doings in the town of Padstow, where the song is from: gathering flowers, weaving garlands, singing, dancing.

One verse remembers the soldiers: local boys who should be here, and part of the fun, but instead are off in foreign parts, fighting someone else's war.

 

O where are the young men that now here should dance?

(For Summer is a-come unto day)

O some, they are in England, and some they are in France

(in the merry morn-ing of May).

 

At one point, the procession pauses, and the Hobby Horse—around here it's usually the Green Man—dies. Then—this being May and the point thereof, after all—he springs back to life, and the procession continues.

These decades past, here in Paganistan—this is, after all, a living tradition, not a museum piece—we've updated the verse to match the current war(s).

 

O where are the young men that now here should dance?

(For Summer is a-come unto day)

O some are in Afghanistan, and some are in Iraq

(in the merry morn-ing of May).

 

I regret to say that our youngest coven kid knows only these lyrics. Always, another war.

This year, alas, yet more new words. How long, O Lady, how long?

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 Tom Riddle | Harry Potter Wiki | Fandom

 

It's got to be one of the lesser ironies of the current war in Ukraine that both its hero and its villain (I'll leave you to decide which is which) share the same name.

Russian Vladímir, Ukrainian Volodýmyr: two equivalent Slavic names, both with their roots in Norse.

(This is unsurprising, since the Slavic state was first founded by east-faring Viking traders-cum-mercenaries; the classic Slavic woman's name Olga, for example, derives from Norse Helga “[female] holy [one].”)

Indo-European languages have long favored two-element names—e.g. Beowulf, “Bee-wolf”—and the Norse name Valdimar is of the same sort. One could translate it “power-fame” or “powerful fame.” Its first part is kin to the English word wield. (We still speak, tautologically, of “wielding power.”) Compare, also, the Yiddish expression oi gevalt, literally “O Power!” (i.e. “O 'God'!”). Gods being, by definition, powerful, one could perhaps render the name “divine fame” or “godly fame.”

Drawing, no doubt, on the name's “foreign” feel, J. K. Rowling recasts it as a Norman French charactonym for the main antagonist of the Harry Potter-verse: Voldemort, which one could parse as “death-willing.” (Cp. deus vult, “'God' wills [it]”.] That, a thousand years after the Noman invasion, the good guys of Rowling's series tend to have Anglo-Saxon names (Potter) while the bad guys have French ones (Malfoy) probably tells you quite a bit about the enduring nature of the English class system.

Still, Voldemort Putin.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    The statistic I've heard is that to this day, 90% of the land in England is owned by 10% of the population. I suspect that that's
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, It would also not surprise me one bit, if the titled descendants of the Norman victors at Hastings in 1066 still held

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Summertime Ukrainian Ridnoveri Holidays

If you have recently contacted the Slavic gods and are looking to deepen your connection to them, here is a list of holidays observed by some Ridnoveri groups and individuals. Ridnoveri is a modern Ukrainian pagan path. Other Slavic peoples have their own paths, which share many gods and characteristics but don't always have the same holidays.

Some of these holidays have a Christian history and some Ridnoveri pagans are Christopagan. I have done the math to translate these from the Julian calendar, traditionally used by Orthodox Christians in Slavic countries and also by Slavic pagans, to the Gregorian calendar generally used in English speaking countries.

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