Discover the Deity: Which Deities Watch Over Ukraine?

Statue of Saint Michael in Kyiv
Photo by zhan zhang on Unsplash

You may be wondering which Deity to pray to now that Russia has invaded Ukraine. Any deity from any religion practiced in Ukraine is fine. The Deities of the ancestors of the Ukrainian people may also be called for help.

The majority of the population in Ukraine is Christian, so prayers to Jesus and Mother Mary are both appropriate. Prayers to saints that are linked to war, such as Saint Michael or Saint George, are also great.

There is a 2.5% of Ukrainians that identify themselves as Jewish and Muslim. Therefore, praying to Allah or Jewish Deities is also a great choice. A small percentage of Ukrainians consider themselves Hinduists, Buddhists, and Pagans. The Pagans in Ukraine tend to follow a tradition that goes by the name of Rodnovery. Rodnovery is a current of Slavic Neopaganism. It reinterprets various beliefs from Slavic Paganism from Central and Eastern Europe. Sometimes, it also integrates other beliefs from other parts of the world, like India.

What about the ancestors of the Ukrainians? Most of them are of Slavic origin. The Slavs are an ethnolinguistic group that lives in Eurasia. Among the East Slavs are the Ukrainians.

The Slavs were polytheistic. Their system of belief was strongest before the Christianization of Ukraine in the 10th century. A lot of the Gods in the Slavic Pantheon were polycephalic, that is, they had many heads. After the Christianization of Ukraine, Christian Saints absorbed a lot of the properties attributed to these Deities.

The Patron Saint of Ukraine is Saint Olga of Kyiv. She was a regent of Kievan Rus in the place of her son Sviatoslav from 945 to 960. Her conversion to Christianity was key in the Christianization of Ukraine. The Patron Saint of Kyiv is none other than Saint Michael, the Archangel. Because he is the commander of all forces that fight against darkness, he is an excellent Deity to go to to ask for help for the Ukrainians. Light a blue candle in his honor and ask him to protect Kyiv and the whole of Ukraine.

Before Ukraine became the country we know today, it was part of Kievan Rus. It was a federation of East Slavic, Baltic, and Finnic peoples in Eastern and Northern Europe. It existed from the late ninth to the thirteenth century. During this time, the Finns came into contact with the Slavs. So Finland, a Scandinavian nation, became intertwined through various marriages with Ukraine. This means that many Finns and Ukrainians have common Norse ancestors. This explains why many practitioners have been asking Norse deities like Freyja and Thor for help.

Before Vladimir of Kyiv became a Christian in the 10th century, he was a Slavic Pagan. When he came into power in the year 978, he built a temple dedicated to six of his favorite Slavic gods. He did this so the people would associate him with them. These statues are among the most important Pagan legacies of Ukraine.

Remember that, in the spirit world, words tend to be answered with words and actions tend to be answered with actions. Any prayer or spell you do will have much better effects if you donate, for example. If you do not have money to spare at this time, suggest to your family, friends, and social media followers that they donate. You never know who you will compel to part with a few bucks for a good cause.

Saint Olga of Kyiv

Saint Olga of Kyiv is a wonderful symbol of resilience. She is an example of bravery in the face of extreme hardship. Her husband, Igor, the second ruler of the Rurikid dynasty, was murdered by the Drevlians, a neighboring tribe, when Olga was very young. This put her and her three year old son in what could be a very vulnerable position in a hostile Medieval environment.

However, Olga sought revenge successfully from her husband not once but five times. She was able to kill numerous Drevlians. She went on to live for twenty five more years, acting as regent of Kievan Rus until her son came of age. She persuaded her son not to abandon Kyiv in favor of better prospects elsewhere. She also converted to Christianity later in life, during a visit to Byzantium.

She was instrumental in this religion becoming prominent in Kievan Rus. The Eastern Orthodox and Greek Catholic Church recognize her with the title “Isapóstoles”. This means Equal to the Apostles. In 1240, a Mongol horde destroyed her tomb in Kyiv. In 2010, however, a Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in her name was built.

You may pray to Saint Olga or perform spells in her name to help Ukraine reconstruct all that the Russian army destroyed during this invasion. You can also ask her to help them as they rebuild themselves from the ashes. You may also pray to Saint Olga for the spirits of those in the front line to stay strong. Pray to Saint Olga for the soldiers to be resilient.

Archangel Michael

The city of Kyiv finds a powerful ally in the spirit world in Saint Michael, the Archangel. He is the only Archangel that also appears in the Quran and is recognized by Islam. He is often referred to as the great captain. He is the Patron of Soldiers. He leads the spiritual army against the enemies of the children of Israel. He is said to punish the heathen and protect humans from attacks from the Devil.

The city of Kyiv has been full of devouts of Saint Michael for thousands of years. There is a prominent statue of Michael in Independence Square, made of bronze and gold. It was erected in 2002.

In the 12th century, a monastery and church was built in his honor. However, in the 20th century, it was destroyed. In the 1990s, work began to restore it. Its restoration was perceived as a miracle, because no one believed it would ever be recuperated. However, its Golden Domes stand tall today. This is a testimony to the spirit of the people of Kyiv and their capacity to reconstruct themselves from ruin.

In addition to the Statue and the Church in honor of Michael, his figure has been represented in various forms in the coat of arms of the city since as far back as the 17th century. I have personally worked with Archangel Michael and his power is undeniable. Anyone that finds themselves incurring his wrath should be very afraid. You can reinforce Michael’s protection by lighting blue candles and giving him blue crystals such as Blue Aventurine, Lapis Lazuli, or Sapphire.

Young Slavic girl with traditional dress kissing a horse

The Slavic Pantheon

If you plan to reach out to these Deities to ask for protection and other guidance for the soldiers in Ukraine, it is generally safe to do so. This is so because you are asking for them to protect their children and the land they rule over. Even though some of these Deities are shared with Russians, the Baltic lands are no strangers to this kind of war. These Deities are quite used to restore Divine Justice and protect the innocent.

As a general word of warning, only reach out to these Deities for this purpose unless you have plenty of evidence that they wish to work with you. This is something you must never take for granted in all cases, and especially if you have no Slavic blood. Clear out a space on your Altar that is as far away from other Deities as possible for them. Light a white candle previously cleansed and anointed with olive oil in the name of one or multiple of these Deities. You’ll find some suggestions of appropriate offerings in the descriptions of each Deity. You can also leave more generic ones such as flowers, water, bread, or coffee as well. You may also dedicate another space in your home entirely to them as long as it’s physically and spiritually clean.

The Slavs believed these Gods to be their ancestors. They saw themselves as their grandchildren (at this time in history, it was not usual to know one’s grandparents). This tells us just how important ancestors and one’s ancestral line were for the Slavs.

An important note about this culture is that Hitler appropriated many of its symbols. However, this culture existed hundreds of years before Hitler was even born, and it is not at fault for being culturally appropriated by an evil dictator. I stand firmly against any form of antisemitism and racism, and I am willing to be educated by the Jewish community.

Group of people in traditional dress praying to Perun in Ukraine
Ukranian people praying to Perun – Photo 28785588 © Iuliia Kryzhevska | Dreamstime.com

Perun

He is among the best known gods of the Slavic Pantheon. He was believed to be omnipotent and live among the clouds. He rules lightning and thunder as well as the earthly world. He took second place in the row after Svarog. He used a flint to obtain a handful of sparks. With these sparks, the humans built their first ever fire.

Svarog rules the higher sky, whereas Perun rules the lower sky and the Earth. He is powerful and he has a side as a destroyer because he rules the weather and natural disasters. Perun is believed to be both Svarog and Veles’s brother. He is bound to justice. He punishes the wicked and the disobedient, and closes the door to Heaven to them. His name is often invoked in contracts and treaties – even peace treaties. Perun punishes and curses anyone who would violate them. In his role as the God of Justice, he is sometimes believed to be a different God called Prov, Prav, Prove, or Prone. He rules over cosmic justice, truth, and morality.

He is depicted as a strong man with a beard. He is a warrior in armor, and, in some myths, he is said to own some golden apples. He is married to Dodola, the Goddess of rain. He is associated with fire and fire animals and elementals. His animal was a fiery rooster – a kind of Slavic phoenix. He is also associated with dragons. His rites have an important element of fire. Rain is seen as one of his signs, and it is taken as a positive omen.

Perun is the protector of fishermen and a tamer of storms on the sea and the river. He was believed to bring about favorable winds for sailors and windmills. The oak is sacred to him. Iris, sage, nettle, apple, and houseplant are all appropriate offerings for Perun. Sometimes, he was also given the meat of bison.

A lot of his functions were taken over by Saint Elijah after the Christianization of Ancient Rus. Perun was satanized by the church, probably because of the strength of the people’s faith in him. You may pray to Perun to bring about a fair outcome for the war and punish the wicked within the Russian forces.

Statue of Veles
Statue of Veles – Photo 197274398 © PhotoChur | Dreamstime.com

Veles

Also known as Volos. Veles has more faces than any other Slavic God. He is the God of Cattle, the God of the Forest and Wilderness, the God of Animals, and the God of Trade and Patron of merchants, thieves, and mathematicians. He is also the God of Agriculture, the God of Riches and Prosperity (this is so because cattle used to be synonymous with wealth). He is the Patron of poets and musicians. He is the Lord of Winter and the God of Wisdom and Magic. He is also the Lord of the Dead who used to guide souls to the Underworld, and the Lord of the Crossroads who is welcome in any dimension.

He has a chaotic energy and can be cruel one second and kind the next. He is honored in all forms. Alongside Perun, he is the protector of the contract and the given word. His name is often mentioned in oaths. He is the son of a cow, Zemun, and Rod.

He is pictured as a horned, strong young man. Sometimes, he is also pictured as a sitting old man with a white beard and a shepherd’s staff. He was near the top of the list of Gods to be respected by the Slavs because their survival depended on him. Animals both wild and domestic fall under his care, as well as crops. He also had a theriomorphic form as a bear.

He is the sworn enemy of Perun. Their fight is never final. Perun wins, but Veles is always bound to reappear. During winter, it is believed that Veles is at his strongest, so chaos runs rampant during this time. During the summer, he is defeated and sent to the Underworld. Whenever Perun triumphs over Veles, it is believed that Perun makes it rain.

Veles’s wife was Devana, the Goddess of hunting. Besides Perun, he is the only Slavic Deity that was respected by all the Slavs. St. Basil absorbed his connection to the forest and animals, and St. Sava his role as protector of shepherds. Veles guides souls into Nav (the afterlife according to the Slavs). He also guides ancestral souls out of Nav to be reincarnated as babies within the same family line.

Traditional offerings to Veles include wool, crepes, a typical flatbread of the area called komy, beer, dairy butter, sweet bread by the name of kalach, lard, grain, oats, honey, pretzels, cereal, oil, cloth – especially canvas, and coins. You may pray to Veles to guide the souls of the fallen to Nav, protect the food that is being grown in Ukraine, and give the nation the money it needs. You may also pray to him to protect the animals caught in bombings and combat.

Makosh

This was the only female idol that stood on top of the hill near Kyiv after the forced Christianization of Ancient Rus. She is the Goddess of spinning as well as the protector of women, women’s health, and childbirth. She helps mothers and protects their children. She may also be called upon to grant women a harmonious marriage. She is considered a protector of the landscape, something that is particularly vulnerable in war time.

She is also known as St. Petka, who absorbed many of her qualities after the Christianization of Ancient Rus, as well as Mokosh and Mokos. Her name means “soft” and “wet.” She is also the Goddess of Fertility and rain is sometimes called Makosh’s milk. In some myths, she is sometimes married to Svarog. The creation of people is sometimes attributed to her and Svarog. She is sometimes represented as a white bee, an animal that is understood as the mythical ancestor of the Slavs. Sheeps and snakes are also sacred to her.

She is generally pictured with a cornucopia on her head. She is also pictured as a loose haired woman dressed in rags and covered with many wounds from spindles and needles. Friday is her sacred day and women were kept from spinning on that day so as not to incur in Makosh’s wrath.

Sheep are sacred to her, as she protects these animals and their fleece. Scissors, basil, and a change of wool are typical offerings for her. She was also worshiped around the time of trials, both literal and metaphorical trials. This is so because she is believed to determine human destiny and cuts short threads that stand for human life. Witchcraft is also closely associated with Makosh.

Sometimes, she is pictured as being made up of different animals. This gives her a monstrous appearance that the Christian Church wanted to pass as demonic. Sometimes, she was seen as the Deity of ugliness, torment, human passions, and trouble.

Her sacred plants are linden, flax, and St. John’s wort, as it’s used to treat female reproductive organs. Her celebration lands on the week between October 25th and November the 1st, depending on which day is a Friday. You may pray to Makosh to watch over the women that are still in Ukraine, either fighting or sheltering. You may also ask Makosh to protect the women that are giving birth or recuperating from giving birth in this country. You may also pray to Makosh that mothers and their children be reunited, and to keep children from harm.

Mater Sva

This is the warrior Goddess of the Slavic Pantheon. She is also considered the mother of all Slavs – a great-grandmother of sorts. She is also known as Mater Slava and Perunica.

She operated in a similar way to the Valkyries, choosing those who were to be slain in battle and escorting them to the Underworld. Those who died in a heroic manner were escorted by Mater Sva to Perun’s Star, which is how the ancient Slavs referred to Mars. She gave Slavic warriors courage and strength. She also had the gift of prophecy, especially when the matter to be divined had to do with battle. She was famous for informing those who worshiped her of an approaching enemy, and was known to give strategic advice to defeat them.

When a battle was lost by her people, she gave them solace and strengthened them so their morale was up when it was time to fight again. Different myths from this tradition say she was the spouse of Perun, Rod, or Svarog.

Sometimes she had an anthropomorphic form and sometimes she was depicted as a bird whose feathers shine in thousands of colors. Sometimes this bird was specifically a stork, so this animal is considered sacred for Mater Sva. You may pray to her or cast spells in her name so she will guide the strategists fighting for Ukraine and escort the fallen soldiers to the other side.

Gerovit

This is the Deity the Ancient Slavs called for when they had to reach for weapons in defense against enemies who threatened their peace. He is also known as Gertvit, Jarovit, or Jarilo.

He has a youthful, strong appearance. White horses are sacred to this Deity. He is also a solar deity, to be understood as fiery and fertile. Some believe Gerovit contains all seven Deities of the Kyiv Pantheon because he is sometimes pictured with seven heads. Others think that the seven heads stand for each of the seven months of summer he rules over.

He is often associated with the planet Mars and the Aries constellation. He often received lamb meat as an offering. A lot of his functions were absorbed by Saint George. Lada is often represented as Gerovit’s divine counterpart. This corresponds to the union between the Greek deities Ares and Aphrodite. Gerovit is often perceived as either Hate or War, and Lada is Love, thus they form the opposite concepts of Love and War/Love and Hate.

The aspect of Gerovit as a fertility Deity is often overlooked but not any less important. Creation can come from his union with Lada. He was often celebrated in the early summer. You may pray to Gerovit to provide strength and power to the Ukrainians currently fighting for their country. You may also ask him to protect the soldiers.

Živa

Perhaps you’ve found all the Deities we have presented so far as a bit too bellicose. Živa, as the Goddess of life, fertility, and love, is an exception. She is also known as Živena, Żiwia, Razibia, Siwa, Sivve, Shiwa, Sieba, Syeba, and Dsiva.

She is a very maternal goddess who looks after children and watches their fate. Her hair is the color of corn. In one hand, she is depicted holding an apple, and, in the other, she holds strawberries. Her hair is said to represent the Earth itself. In her time of fertility, it is gold in color, as the kernels, and it loses this golden color during its barren time. People sacrificed roosters to Živa, and this animal is sacred to her and is believed to symbolize fertility and the Sun. Živa is pregnant during the summer, and this forbids the Slavs from hitting the ground with a blade during this season. 

Her time of year is autumn. The Slavs often made straw dolls representing Živa and immersed it in water for the earth to be fertile. Some Slavs used horns on their head during her celebrations, as horns are also a sign of fertility. You may give her grains and wheat as an offering. You may pray to Živa or ask her help when casting spell to attract peace and a harmonious resolution to the conflicts in Ukraine. You may also ask her to protect the children in this country.

There are several Deities, mainly from Christianity and the Slavic Pantheon, but also from other religions, who are more than willing to watch over Ukraine. They most likely already are. If you approach them with respect, you can support their efforts. You can support them while they defend the innocent and punish the wicked in this unfortunate catastrophe.

If you’re an Ukrainian or Ukrainian-American/Canadian practitioner, this could interest you. If you want to write for Aquamarine Content about anything related to witchcraft or spirituality, reach out to us at hello@aquamarinecontent.com – This is a paid opportunity.

References

Aleteia, Why is a Statue of St. Michael in Independence Square in Kyiv?

Britannica, Archangel Michael

Wikipedia, Religion in Ukraine

The Jerusalem Post, Saint Olga of Kyiv: Ukraine’s saint of both defiance and vengeance

Vladimir Zlatic, Slavic Gods

Virginia Castiglione
Virginia Castiglione

Virginia Castiglione is the Founder and Content Marketing Lead at Aquamarine Content. She is a certified gemologist and Reiki practitioner. She’s also an astrologer. She’s working to get her Bachelor’s in English Language and Literature. She’s the emotional support human of a cat named Limón. She’s a Virgo Sun, Pisces Moon, and Taurus Rising.

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