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Svarog – The Slavic God of Fire, Father of Gods and Creator of the World

Every God has his own elements, and Svarog reigns in sign of fire

Photo © Slavorum / source: slavorum.org

Slavic regions are full of mystic creatures and gods that inhabit these areas. Even though it’s polytheistic, Slavic mythology has only one supreme god. This absolute god is the one to whom all the other ones subordinate, a god called Svarog.

Symbol of Svarog - "Svarga" 
Svarog symbol: “Svarga”

Svarog was considered as the creator and master of all other gods, even though he was never strong and powerful as Perun. He was also the lord of Svarge (word Svarga in Sanskrit means heaven). To Slavic people, Svarga meant something like the world of gods and dead. According to some historians, he has two sons, Daždbog or Dabog sun god, and Svarožić. Svarog is associated with the sky, forging iron and fire. Comparing it with the Greek Uranus and Hephaestus (blacksmith god). According to legend Svarog coined the sun and put it in the sky.

Etymology and origin of name “Svarog”

Root “svar” – is Indo-European for “sun” + continuation “og” ( Serbo-Croatian: Brl-og, vrtl-og). Accordingly “Svarog” name means “place of the sun”, personified means the god of the sky or the sun god.

According to some historians, he has two sons: Daždbog (Dabog) sun god (according Ipatski chronicles, under 1114.god.) and Svarožić. Svarog as the main sun god is associated with the sky, forging iron and fire.

Different People – Same God

Heathens. Stepanovskoye, 30 km from Moscow, Russia. September 24, 2005.
Photo © Ллир / source: wikimedia cc

It is interesting that in Russian mythology the highest god was Perun, but he was also called Svarog, while Polish, Croatian, and some other people believed in Svarog himself. They believed he was a creator of the sky. There were special holy groves in which people worshipped this god. In the traditions of the Eastern Slavs, Svarog is mentioned as a blacksmith god (similar to the Greek Hephaestus) and his sons Daždbog as a sun god and Svarožić as the god of fire and hearth. South Slavs worshiped him as the god of the sun, light, and fire. Scythian people who were under Slovenian cultural influence feared the God of heaven, whom they called Svargus.

Tales of Svarog

svarog creation
Vasnetsov’s painting of Svarog, the father of Gods

Svarog was honored as the god of the sun, fire guard and protector of blacksmiths. However, the role of the sun god and god of fire took his sons. Daždbog became the sun-god and the god of fire, and Svarožić became the god of fireplace. But, it is uncertain whether the Svarožić is one god or he represents all Svarog’s sons.

According to some stories, Svarog sleeps and in the dream he created this world, the world that he entrusted Perun and other gods to take care off. He cannot act directly on the physical and material environment that he dreams, but he can affect the willingness of other gods, and his influence is enormous. His awakening will mark the end of the world. 

bog_svarog
Painting © KRYZHANOVSKY VICTOR / source: vk.com

When it comes to Svarog, the biggest problem is the lack of true writings about him. In every old writing, it’s almost always mentioned his name, but not much more. So when it comes to Svarog we must rely on folk tales and songs, which are quite often ambiguous and extremely confusing. That is why there are so many different tales and stories about this god.

In the end, even though Slavic mythology has so many gods, they all should be thankful to Svarog since without him none of them would exist. The amazing fact is that he controls all of deities while he sleeps, so his power is inconceivable. Shhh, we don’t want to wake him up, do we? I just hope he is a heavy sleeper, but you should probably lower your voice and turn off the alarm, just in case.

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