Nowadays we are living a resurrection of pagan religions. In Europe and North America there are many people who look back to pre-christian religions and traditions. This revival is growing through groups, councils and conferences. I feel very near to this movements and because of it there will appear many posts related to heatenism in this blog.
Today I want to talk about Lithuanian religion: Romuva. Lithuania was the last country to be Christianized, in 1387, and was a very difficul task that last for centuries. However their pre-christian cults have survived by the oral traditions, and their religion is one of the most powerful of the heathen religions rebuilt in our times. Nature is a very important point in this religion. It has many Gods and Godesss that symbolize the Nature powers, are the bond of people with supra-natural facts.
To reflect about the Lithuanian religion I want to watch this image of a Goddess. The image was created by Ritmas Tarabilda for the World Pagan Conference that took place in Vilnius in 1998. It is not a concrete goddess taken from the Lithuanian pantheon, but a generic deity. Maybe the artist wanted to create a common goddess to unify the goddesses of many traditions: she is a global Goddess.
The colour of this global goddess is green: this links her directly with the Nature. All the heathen religions has a big component of conservationism, and the gods and goddesses represent different aspects of Nature.
It´s also important than the artist has chosen a goddess instead a god. This is a particular aspect. The lithuanian pantheon has many important gods, even more than goddesses, but the communities are mainly matriarchies. The female is the most important member of the Romuva community, as the very ancient cultures of the World.
The Goddess is placed inside an egg or almond (just like Christ Pantocrator in the Romanic representations), this means she is the center and origin of the Universe. In both sides there are two stars: the Sun and the Moon, with symbols inside, related with the natural order of the Earth. Around the body there are birds and bees, that relates the Goddess with the air, and the serpents placed down relates her with the ground. She holds with the right hand a candle that means she is light and guide, and holds an egg with the left hand that means fertility.
All this elements could be common to many goddesses and I think this is the intention of the artist: to compose a goddess in common with many religions.