Extract from Chasing Dragons in Moravia.…
Meanwhile, my magical exercise continued, and I started to focus on Veles, God of the underworld and immediately, things flooded in. I mean engulfed me! Even something I haven’t seen anywhere – that v les in Czech means in the forest and given the Pan-like nature of Veles… why wouldn’t it? Veles – Ve les – in the forest. The green man, trickster. Water and earth – caves, underground, darkness… coming up and stealing children, women, crops and cattle – for what purpose? Netzach-like feelings…. Greenery. Horned cattle.
Veles is often seen in the form of a bear but as a shapeshifter, he could always be another animal too if he so chose. He was the trickster and mischevious. He is a horned god and most similar to Pan. He is also the god of the forest, nature, animals, agriculture, wisdom and magic. He is the patron of poets and musicians and Lord of Winter, the dead and crossroads. He is also the god of the underworld, caves, swamps and underground water. The Slavs view of the underworld was as a forest not as a dark place nor as a hell, and it coexisted with the world.
Veles is also found in other characters in Slavic mythology. He is Leshy or Lesnik (Les – forest in Czech), a protector of the forest who hides in tree trunks and under rocks while being hunted by Perun, the thunder god. It is another version of the battle between the dualities. In some instances, the same stories have Leshy portrayed as a dragon, or a snake.
For some, Veles is similar to Mercury, Odin or Hermes. His day is often cited as Wednesday, but other sources argue that Monday is Veles’ day particularly in Russia where it is his day off and it is bad luck to die on a Monday as Veles isn’t there to guide the soul.
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The Slavic pantheon is a mysterious and complex set of deities but the eternal battle between Perun, god of thunder and Veles, god of the underworld is intriguing. As Vasey invokes one and then the other of this duality, things happen. Magic happens and what seem like unrelated visits and happenings suddenly take their place in what turns out to be a shamanic process of connecting with the energies of the gods and the Slavic lands.
Dragons, Gateways to Hell (Houska Castle), Stone Circles (Kraluv Stul), Earth energies, Butterflies and Birds……… it’s all in this true and magical tale.
Review by Alan Richardson
Vasey’s new book continues to bring insights and his personal experience of a whole field of esotericism that is both ancient to the larger world, but completely new to me. I had never heard of Perun and Veles before, yet I was enthralled by his invocations of both, and his honest responses when – as often happens in this kind of Work – nothing seems to happen. When in fact, as time reveals, everything was always happening.