I’ve already talked about the cosmology of Rodnovery and how all things were brought to being as the body of the primary god Rod dissolved but that was the creation matter, not order.
The ordering of creation is as significant in mythological cycles as its very appearance and this ordering often impacts on the social order as well. Rod’s dissolution means that he is unable to carry out this all important ordering himself and this would fall to his son Svarog. Even then, Svarog did not have anything resembling terraferma on which to complete his work and it is at this point that Mati Syra Zemlya rises, quite literally.
Svarog is the son of Rod, left behind after the creator god finally dissipated across creation, and the God which finalised the nature of creation. Known as the God of Fire and Forge, Svarog is a blacksmith god who’s hammer forged the 12 pillars of lore which held up the World Tree and from whose sparks all the other Gods were formed. Given his association with fire and flame Svarog is often associated with the Sun though is not expressly a Solar Deity.
His realm is in the high heaven or Prav, the realm of the Gods, and this is reinforced with the Indo-European word “savrga”, meaning sky or heaven. Before his full retreat into this heavenly realm, leaving the first of his male children, Perun, to rule in his place Svarog uses his hammer and a heavenly rock to create all of the land on which all of creation would reside.
Offerings – beef, dark ale, living water, water used in smith-work, pine, dogwood, oak, vodka.
Altar – iron tools/weapons, kolovrat, hammer, metallurgy, magnetite, lead, wooden icon.
Spaces – hilltops, vistas of the night sky, bonfires, blacksmith’s forge, oak grove
Animals – ox, eagle, falcon
Mati Syra Zemlya
Mati Syra Zemlya, the Damp Mother Earth, is the chthonic mother Goddess who is forever fertile and the bringer of blessings to the Slavic peoples. Rather than being depicted in a human form Mati Syra Zemlya, or Matka for short, was seen as being embodied in the very earth itself.
As with many chthonic goddesses Mati Syra Zemlya was a divine witness and judge and was often invoked as an oracle. She was called upon not only to witness the transfer of land and property but also oaths and statements made in legal proceedings. Mati Syra Zemlya was also invoked to protect the home.
In some renditions of the Slavic creation myths Mati Syra Zemlya is identified as the being responsible for bringing up silt and rocks from the bottom of the seas of chaos in order for Svarog to begin the creation of the land. In the myth she is named Ziva and takes the form of a duck, bringing up the silt in her beak. She attempts to hide a grain of silt from Svarog but when he casts the spell to make the land grow the grain grows and grows until it is a massive stone which the duck is forced to spit out. Svarog strikes the stone with his hammer and it is from the sparks that his children are born.
Offerings – hemp oil, harvested grains, fruits and vegetables.
Altar – Items from nature, particularly stones resembling female anatomy.
Spaces – wilderness, other places of nature
Animals – all creatures