• Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Desecration of a Pagan shrine

I am so incredibly angry I can barely type coherently. There has been yet another attack by monotheists on a Pagan shrine, this time in the Ukraine. This just sickens me. I have said before that as we, across the world, work to restore and revive our ancestral, polytheistic traditions there will be resistance. In this case, that resistance turned violent. It only highlights the necessity of beating back monotheistic dominance. For me, (and i speak for myself and my House here, not necessarily anyone associated with Witches and Pagans) it brings home that the monotheistic paradigm is a terrorist one. Freud, in his "Moses and Monotheism" posited that the beginning of religious intolerance started with the advent of monotheism. I concur. This is precisely what destroyed our ancestral traditions in the first place.

Nor is this the first attack this year on a Pagan site. Many months ago, an active shrine to the Roman Deities was attacked and its chief priest injured: http://krasskova.weebly.com/1/post/2011/10/vandalism-and-attacks-on-pagan-temples.html.

If this were an attack on a church you can believe it would be getting both better coverage, greater public outcry, and better response. Here's the link to this most recent atrocity:

Statue of Perun chopped down in Ukraine. http://oru.org.ua/index.php/component/content/article/304-ofitsijna-zayava-holovy-oru.html

Translation here: http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Foru.org.ua%2Findex.php%2Fcomponent%2Fcontent%2Farticle%2F304-ofitsijna-zayava-holovy-oru.html

So here is my prayer: 
 
May Perun take vengeance on the perpetrators of this crime.
May the elemental powers turn against them.
May their ancestors forget their names.

May every person they encounter spit upon them
and deny them aid.

May the land itself rise up and revile them.
May they be cut off from every blessing.

May their health fail them.
May they nowhere find comfort and peace,
until by their hands this desecration is rectified a thousand fold.

Last modified on
Rate this blog entry:
5

 Galina Krasskova is a Heathen priest, author, and Northern Tradition shaman. She holds a Masters degree in Religious Studies and is currently working toward a PhD in Classics. Galina is the author of several books including “Essays in Modern Heathenry” and “Skalded Apples: A Devotional Anthology to Idunna and Bragi.”
(Photo by Hudson Valley photographer Mary Ann Glass.)

Comments

  • David Salisbury
    David Salisbury Thursday, 08 November 2012

    I fully agree with you, Galina.

  • Candi
    Candi Thursday, 08 November 2012

    You are so easy to anger, Galina, that I fear you will be eventually easily controlled by such acts. I agree, this was a horrible act. But you know what? It opens the avenue for an even better statue to be commissioned from an excellent artist, should anyone have the means to offer it.

  • Tim Schneider
    Tim Schneider Thursday, 08 November 2012

    Amarfa, when a shrine is desecrated, and a well-loved statue is destroyed it damages not only a shrine, not only a statue, but a community. It damages their sense of safety. It damages their sense of well-being in their community. If they believe that their Gods are manifest in this statue, this does damage their God, if for nothing else than it hurts their connection to Perun. It also damages their faith in government, especially as this has gone without investigation in any serious way. It harms, in every way possible.

    It is incredibly flip and ignorant to reply to such an act with 'It opens the avenue for an even better statue to be commissioned from an excellent artist'. Would you say the same of the destruction of ancient Buddhas by the Taliban? Because that is what this statue of Perun was: targeted for deliberate, malicious destruction because it was of a religion not of the monotheists in the area.

    No one should have to rebuild or replace a single splinter of wood or a pebble of their sacred space because another is opposed to their religion.

  • Candi
    Candi Friday, 09 November 2012

    "'It opens the avenue for an even better statue to be commissioned from an excellent artist'. Would you say the same of the destruction of ancient Buddhas by the Taliban?"

    Hell yes! And by YOUR reasoning, we should not rebuild the world trade center just because bin Laden had it totaled.

    We can't get those Buddhas, or Perun, back the way they were. I think we can agree on that point. But I wonder if you are seeing the point of why the statue was desecrated in the first place: to make Perun's worshippers afraid.

    Make a new statue. Train a camera on it, and catch the vandals in the act. Prosecute them for a hate crime. Show that we Pagans are intelligent and subtle.

    And remember that when you use a broad generalization (such as targeting 'the monotheists') you are speaking in a logically false manner by default.

  • Tim Schneider
    Tim Schneider Friday, 09 November 2012

    "by YOUR reasoning, we should not rebuild the world trade center just because bin Laden had it totaled."

    I do not think you understand the thrust of what I am saying: the statues, the Buddhas the Taliban destroyed or this one of Perun are not replaceable. They are relic from their religions; their loss is a hurt, a pain that is not easily eased by simply replacing it. I went through the trouble of explaining how such an act does harm on so many levels.

    To regain what is lost from this hurt will take more than a new statue, some cameras and hate crime proceedings. It will take time, healing within the community, and a concerted, honest effort by the community exterior to the worshipers to reconcile this egregious act.

    Also, in response to "And remember that when you use a broad generalization (such as targeting 'the monotheists') you are speaking in a logically false manner by default.", what I said is "because it was of a religion not of the monotheists in the area."

    So yes, actually, my use of monotheists is both accurate and honest. Pagans did not desecrate the statue, nor did Atheists, or Buddhists. Buddhas in Afghanistan were destroyed by monotheists, in this case Muslims. The Perun statue in Ukraine was destroyed by Christians, also monotheists.

    "Make a new statue. Train a camera on it, and catch the vandals in the act. Prosecute them for a hate crime. Show that we Pagans are intelligent and subtle. "

    Why should I, or any Pagan, have to prove our intelligence to those who desecrate our religious works, shrines, and temples? Why should we have to prove to the overcultures we live, in that we deserve the same rights as anyone else, when those people expect those rights by default? Why be subtle when this destruction was overt?

  • Elaine Blakely
    Elaine Blakely Friday, 09 November 2012

    As I recall, when the World Trade Center was leveled (and the Pentagon attacked and a plane loaded with civilians chose to crash rather than be used as a weapon by terrorists) there was anger, rage, and world condemnation of the terrorist acts.

    Rebuilding Perun's shrine, restoring the statues, training a camera on it (is that a reliable deterrent in the Ukraine?) is all well and good, but if the civil authorities do not investigate the incident and ensure justice is served, it's just spending money.

  • Galina Krasskova
    Galina Krasskova Thursday, 08 November 2012

    We should be angry. Anger is the appropriate response. If someone is not angered at this, i question that person's committment to their traditions. Anger is precisely the appropriate response and I only hope that it inspires me to right, effective, and most of all just action.

  • Galina Krasskova
    Galina Krasskova Thursday, 08 November 2012
  • Candi
    Candi Thursday, 08 November 2012

    You may begin the questionnaire.

  • Liza
    Liza Thursday, 08 November 2012

    ?? what questionnaire??

  • Elaine Blakely
    Elaine Blakely Thursday, 08 November 2012

    I'm sorry, I'm from a small town in Wisconsin. What does this comment mean?

  • Candi
    Candi Friday, 09 November 2012

    I question that person's commitment to their traditions


    ...is what Galina posted. So, I invited her to question mine.

  • Galina Krasskova
    Galina Krasskova Thursday, 08 November 2012

    By your reasoning, if someone loses a child to murder, why be upset? After all, one can have another child, a better one. *yes, i'm being sarcastic*.

    Indifference to this type of monothestic attack is precisely, *precisely* what led to our traditions being destroyed in the first place. Those of us working to reclaim our indigenous traditions are engaged in a battle. There may not be guns or bombs involved, but it's a war nonetheless. Yes, this temple can rebuild. They can purchase another statue. Maybe even a better one. That is not the point. That in fact, is you missing the point.

  • Candi
    Candi Friday, 09 November 2012

    Self-control and de-sensitization is not indifference, Galina. if someone loses a child (statue) to murder (vandalism), why be upset? Put more words in my mouth, little one, because i don't have enough of my own. What makes you so sure that i am indifferent? Did I not agree that the act was horrible? Would that not show that I am offended? Go. Go on the warpath. You will return much wiser, and worse for the wear. Don't say I didn't warn you.

  • Tim Schneider
    Tim Schneider Friday, 09 November 2012

    You play-act at wisdom and speak condescendingly. "Little one"? Who are you to speak to anyone this way, especially when you ask the question "if someone loses a child to murder why be upset?"

    You can be angry and have self-control. You can be ragingly angry and maintain self-control. What I am experiencing, and what Galina is experiencing is righteous anger. These people did nothing to harm anyone else around them, and yet their sacred site was targeted for religious terrorism.

    If someone killed my child you bet I would be murderously angry. I would want that person to pay, mind, body, and soul if someone hurt my son. Incarceration would not be enough for the rage in my heart. It would probably have to do, though, and while I would accept that, I have every right to that anger and rage.

    Likewise, if someone desecrated my sacred space I would want to hurt them in every way available to me. Would I do it? I imagine not, given that I have self-control and a society that would not understand, and punish me in turn. The same with these Ukranian people, I imagine.

  • Elaine Blakely
    Elaine Blakely Thursday, 08 November 2012

    @Amarfa - That shrine stood as witness to the devotion of Perun's followers. An excellent artist working on commission using contemporary materials and techniques cannot duplicate the Ancestral rootedness of the original piece.

  • Candi
    Candi Friday, 09 November 2012

    Yes. You are correct. So how do you plan to get that statue back?

  • Elaine Blakely
    Elaine Blakely Friday, 09 November 2012

    Are you talking about the statue as a physical item or the meaning behind the statue - the Mystery that cause Perun's devotees to create the figure, set it in a shrine, and travel to that shrine to do reverence to their Deity?

    If the statue/physical item still exists - it may find it's way to the black market. I'll donate to a fund to buy it back and restore it to it's shrine.

    How do you propose we re-capture the Spirit and Energy of the Founders of the Shrine and the Pilgrims who journeyed there? The people of the Current Era who are re-connecting with their Ancestral beliefs have lost a touch-stone.

  • Liza
    Liza Thursday, 08 November 2012

    ANGER

    That is not the worst response, and it is, in my opinion a VERY appropriate response to this.

    Two things, there seems to be an underlying belief that anger, in itself, is bad/wrong/detrimental... why? Why is anger wrong? ANY emotion can go to extremes and lead to disbalance in a person and consume them. Happiness can lead to mania in a person consumed in it. Does that make happiness bad in and of itself? Does that mean that one should not be happy when it is appropriate?

    The other, why WOULDN’T you be angry at this? Because they can rebuild? Sure, they can, but is that the point? A sacred space was desecrated. Even if they get something newer, shiner, or “better” that does not replace the history and the heart over the years, and more to the point it is just another example of the double standard that exists.

    If this happened to a “mainstream” church, folks would be up in arms. It would be all over the news. People would be ANGRY and demanding justice all over the place, far beyond just those directly affected by the event.

    Why shouldn’t we be angry?

  • Anomalous Thracian
    Anomalous Thracian Thursday, 08 November 2012

    Anger is a tool for greatness and value and valor when wielded and communicated righteously, as it has been here. To speak against righteous anger is to tip your hand and show your fear of it. To fear anger outright is cowardice. To condemn anger which is communicated honestly, openly, and in a directed and focused fashion is to take a stand against that which is good -- as a coward. Galina, thank you for showing your anger, which many of us share, and for serving once again to show the line between those willing to stand against the tides of hate, and those too cowardly to even acknowledge its presence with anything resembling a clue.

  • Please login first in order for you to submit comments

Additional information