I cannot bare this world without you, But I cannot live in this world with you. (x)
In Slavic Mythology, Kupalo and Kostroma were twins, children of the gods Simargl and Kopalnica. One day, they went to the river, despite their mother’s warning, to listen songs of the mythological bird Sirin. However, the Sirin’s voice was enchanted with a spell that made people forget everything and then it took Kostroma away. She and Kupalo were separated for many years until they met again, when the girl was walking by the river with a flower crown in her hair. Wind threw her flower crown into the water and it was then caught by Kupalo, passing by on his boat. He gave it back to Kostroma and, as a tradition, that gesture meant that he was now to marry her. They fell in love without remembering each other and got married, but the gods, angered by their decision, told them the truth and because of the shame they killed themselves. Kostroma drowned herself in the river, becoming a forest mermaid and Kupalo threw himself into the fire. But the gods, seeing what their anger had done, brought them back to life, not as people but as a flower that is now called Ivan-da-Maria. In this tale it’s also mentioned that they both were made gods: Kupalo became the god of the summer sun and Kostroma, the goddess of fertility.
As a fellow Slavic person (more specifically Slovak) I’d like to introduce you to the beauty of Slavic history. I see loads of rps that are based on mythology but let’s be real: 99.9% of your mythology rps or mythology plots are about Greek mythology and even though I completely love the fact any kind of mythology is getting more and more recognition it sucks to see other cultures forgotten and overlooked. So I thought I would list the gods and goddesses for you to use instead of overusing Greek ones.
Note: Slavs are members of a group of people in central and eastern Europe speaking Slavic languages and Slavic countries are Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Serbia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Belarus, Croatia, Slovakia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro.
aidan turner and olga kurylenko as kupalo and kostroma, the tragic lovers from slavic mythology, the twins who fell in love unaware of their blood tie, the couple whose souls bloomed into flowers.
once upon a time, the myth says, there were twin brother and sister – kostroma and kupalo. separated at birth from each other, they grew until they were at a marrying age. as she was walking by the river one day, kostroma’s wreath fell from her head into the river and was accidentally picked up by her long-lost brother – kupalo. ignorant of being relatives, kostroma and kupalo fell in love and got married, since a man who picked up a girl’s wreath was bound by custom to become her husband. learning however that they were related, kostroma and kupalo drowned themselves, and the gods, feeling pity for them, turned them into flowers. those flowers later were called ivan-y-mariya.
“kostroma, kostroma why do you love kupalo? i love kupalo because he has curly hair” (x)
This is very important to know. There are deities which are mentioned by some scholars, but it has never been confirmed that those deities were traditional deities of the Slavs. Some may not have been deities at all, and some, perhaps, may have been “taken” from other pantheons, hence not originating from the Slavic culture. The Slavs did not have a system of letters, so everything we know relies heavily on the scripts of other people, which, I’m sure you can assume, is quite unfair. Here is an overview:
Belobog (Belbog, Belun) - the god of light and goodness - was supposed to be the opposite of Chernobog. We all know that in pagan belief systems no such dualism ever existed. Therefore it is believed that Belobog was a product of Judeo-Christianity, among the Western and Baltic Slavs. Either that, or he was created under the influence of Persian beliefs, who did have that kind of dualism in their religion. Either way, he wasn’t widely revered. Some compare him to Baldr in Norse mythology, as he too stood out from the pantheon (some believe even Baldr was a product of Christianity.)
Devana (Dziewona, Dzewana) was the goddess which would be the closest equivalent to Aphrodite and Diana. Some believe she was a deity adopted from the Romans. She was the wild maiden of the woods, and later the wife of Veles. The myth says that she was at first against this marriage, but that he found a way to calm her wild side and make her fall in love. She is in connection to trees, lakes, and rivers, and her animal is a mare.
Koledo and Ovsenj - the twins who sent off the old year and welcomed the new one. It is not known whether they were actual deities or simply spirits of the winter and the summer. Koledo was celebrated during the winter solstice, and Ovsenj in the summer. Koledo was the one who gave the people all the knowledge that they had of the stars above and of cosmos.
Krišnji - the Slavic version of Krishna of which there is no proof whatsoever that the pagan Slavs ever revered. It is the downside of not having your own writing system, and having to rely on other people’ texts.
Višnji - much the same as the above. The Slavic version of Vishnu. Pagan Slavs did not worship this deity, but alas.
Kupalo - It is still unknown today whether this was an actual deity, or simply a custom of bathing during the summer solstice. The point of the bathing was spiritual cleansing, and for that Slavs did not only use water, but fires as well.These bathing customs existed way before Ivan Kupala - the Christian saint in whose name it has been celebrated ever since. It is believed that these customs of bathing were in this way used so that the Slavs would accept Christianity better and with less resistance. It is listed here as a not-so-traditional deity because no source speaks of it as a deity or the worship of it; there were no temples or idols in dedication to it. It is highly unlikely that he was a god, but as there is no proof against it either, the debates still stand even today. What we know with certainty is that Kupalo was, in fact, definitely a character in one of the old Slavic mythical tales. In this tale he is not a god, but a mortal man who, by tradition of picking up her flower-crown from the water, has to marry his sister. Realizing that they’re siblings, they drown, and the gods take pity on them and turn them into flowers. Kupalo would be celebrated, therefore, as the cleansing spirit - the cleansing of both body and soul.
Trajan (Trojan) - There are many different assumptions, but it is almost certain that he was no god. Some believe it was tsar Trajan raised to the level of deity; others believe he was a mythical being of some other sort; others again believe he was the same as the character from an old Serbian folk tale “U cara Trajana kozije uši” (“The Goat’s Ears of the Emperor Trojan”); and some believe he was the demon of ruins (in terms of buildings). By some scholars, he has been likened to the Incubus, as well as Pan.
Mater Sva (Mater Slava) - mentioned as “the bird of the Sun” - she was a solar warrior goddess. Much like a Valkyrie, she chose the slain, and took the men to battle, gave them courage and strength. She was also the mother of the Slavic peoples. She had the gift of prophecy, so she would inform her people of the enemy coming. And whenever they lost in battles, she’d renew their strength and passion. Some myths say she was the wife of Perun. Some, again, believe she was the counterpart of Rod, or Svarog in the creation, as the ancient solar mother goddess.
Zlata Maja (and/or Maja Zlatogorska) - definitely not a traditional deity of the Slavs, but a product of later pagan scripts. Pagan Slavs did not believe in or worship her/them. Some believe Maja Zlatogorska was Zlata Maja’s form in the mortal realm. Either way, this deity supposedly takes on the characteristics of all other mother goddesses of fertility and beauty.
Voden - the Slavic god (or demon) of all waters: rivers, lakes, seas. He was worshiped by fishermen and sailors. Slavic women would release their offerings to the god onto the water, so that they would please him and invoke his mercy. By some myth, he was the husband of Morana, the goddess of death, so he was more likely to drown than let live. The myth also says that he was the one to send off souls to Nav, the underworld. Some claim there had even been human sacrifice as well, young women offering themselves to the water,
Kostroma is the goddess of fertility and fruitfulness. In Slavic mythology, she was the one that provides fertility and abundance of land, being invoked every spring through various rituals. Kostroma brings those born on this day a special talent in writing and speaking and she’s also the goddess of signs and coincidences. There’s a peasant tale about she and her twin brother, Kupalo, the god of the summer sun. One day, they went to the river to listen songs of the bird Sirin, whose singing made people forget everything. It then took Kostroma away and she was separated from her brother for many years until they met again, when she was walking by the river with a flower crown in her hair and the wind threw it to the water; it was then caught by Kupalo, passing by on his boat. He gave the flower crown back to Kostroma, a gesture that meant in the Slavic traditions that he should marry her. They fell in love without remembering each other and got married - however, the gods were angered by their marriage and told them the truth. Ashamed, they killed themselves: Kupalo threw himself into the fire and Kostroma drowned herself into the river, becoming a forest mermaid. Seeing what they had done, the gods felt pity for them and brought the twins back to life as a flower that is now called Ivan-da-Mariya. In this tale it’s also mentioned that they both were made gods: Kupalo became the god of the summer sun and Kostroma, the goddess of fertility.