Into the Underworld

As I walked around Špilbirk Castle this morning, I realized that I had very much lost my connectedness to Veles, the Slavic God of the underworld, after my vacation punctuated summer. Hardly surprising I supposed as vacations were designed to be a switch off – a reset – if you will. I also wondered if I had ever really connected with Veles at all? With Perun, God of thunder and the sky, I felt His presence and His power very plainly. Veles was a bit more tricky.

IMG_0054.HEICTricky is an apt word as Veles is the trickster God in the Slavic pantheon. A horned God of the underworld but also of cattle and so on. As I walked, I decided to re visualize Him and as I did so, step into Him and walk as One.

It is strange but this simple imaginative act of magic sometimes brings the most profound results. Today was no exception. I suddenly felt myself shorter and more squat. Muscular with a strange walking gait and two horns. The blackbird sat on my shoulder. A thought sprang into my mind almost immediately.

53Veles, the trickster, can represent our unconscious mind whereas Perun can represent the conscious mind. The unconscious mind where the shadow, the child and all of those other Jungian archetypes live. Suddenly, there was clarity which has now faded and I now have difficulty explaining myself – or Veles. That happens.

In essence, I suddenly saw Veles’ underworld as the unconscious mind. The unconscious mind is the great trickster is it not? It is where we hide as the shadow, the inner child and so on as I said above. Occasionally, our shadow will rise and peek through into the conscious mind who is the controlling side and pushes it right back again where it came from – the eternal battle between Perun and Veles can be thought of in this analogy.

So, as I take on the form of Veles, I slip into the underworld of my unconscious mind. Here there is trickery afoot but also there is great wisdom. The darkness holds secrets and getting to the bottom of those secrets is perhaps one aspect of the mastery of self.

The horns? Mostly I have seen horns as a representation of personal experience – the kind that entraps us and holds us back. The unconsciously learned behaviors and habits that bind us. Perhaps Veles’ horns show this aspect of ourselves?

It is also strange how themes repeat in various mythologies and pantheons as my mind conjured up Hathor – the horned Goddess – associated with cattle and welcoming the dead!

Suddenly I saw Veles as an invitation to explore the underworld – visit the interior of myself. The unconscious mind can be our enemy – fear, unresolved emotions, our inner demons reside in its darkness. It can also be our liberator, symbolically showing us who we are and informing us what we should be.

In a simple moment of imagination, I realised I had connected with Veles.