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Book Review – Slavic Deities & Their Worship: The Roots of Slavic Magic – Book 1 by Patricia Robin Woodruff

Teachings of the Mythic Past – Book Review on Roots of Slavic Magic Book 1 , Deities and Their Worship by Patricia Robin Woodruff
The Roots of Slavic Magic Book 1 is an excellent resource for students and curious individuals who are interested in learning a great deal of fascinating information about pre-Christian Slavic beliefs and about a wide variety of Slavic deities. 

Roots of Slavic Magic Book 1 BOOK COVER

I recommend this book as a guide and tool for deep and thorough information and research when it comes to Slavic Magic and Paganism and learning about Slavic deities. Since much of Slavic Pagan beliefs were not written down (in comparison to Greek or Norse for example), the author Patricia Robin Woodruff has dedicated her life to discovering and uncovering a variety of beliefs found in other fascinating ways.

By studying research on archaeology, language, cultural symbols, Slavic artwork, folklore, songs, holidays and more, Woodruff gives us a giant missing piece to the puzzle regarding the ancient beliefs of Pre-Christian Slavic people.

It is abundantly clear that the author has put in a great deal of effort to compile this incredible volume. Similar to contemporary literature on Norse mythology and Paganism, there are modern publications on Slavic magic that exhibit a tendency toward particular agendas or supremacist beliefs. Contrary to that, this magnificent book is anything but! Traditional “Rodnovery” beliefs do not apply to this text because the author offers novel insights on ancient concepts. A significant portion of current Rodnovery ideas are white supremacist and patriarchal.

Woodruff’s book provides a more refreshing retrospective examination, devoid of any white supremacist or nationalistic biases and touches on various elements of beliefs that are inclusive of seeing things in a number of ways. The book aims to inform readers that with Slavic Magic there is not just a black and white way of doing or seeing things. Woodruff has employed a multidisciplinary methodology of thinking and writing about the contents of legendary Slavic tales and pre-Chrisitan customs of Eastern Europe.

Her book can be described as restoration of lost traditions across the entirety of Old Europe that were previously deteriorating remnants of ideas that have finally been unveiled.

This book provides a comprehensive introduction to both well-known and lesser-known Slavic deities, as well as the natural phenomena with which each is associated, including things like symbols, plants, different types of weather, animals, and others. Although the book may not be particularly suitable for novice readers, I would still recommend it to anyone interested in delving much deeper than the surface of what some may consider Slavic magic.

More than 1,100 sources have been cited by the author. The level of detail presented in the book is just mind-blowing. Evidence of links between Slavic tribes and other civilizations complements the wealth of knowledge about the ancient Slavs, their religion, and the gods they worshiped including comprehensive lists of their many faces and names. Even though Woodruff’s work is reminiscent of Marija Gimbutas, she takes a broader view of the Goddess and incorporates male deities into her compositions. There is no other source that compares to this one in terms of drawing parallels between the Slavs and the people and cultures ancient of Pan-Europe. Nowhere else will you find the links that this book makes!

An enormous index of gods and spirits is another thing that I adored about the book. Naturally, there is also a substantial amount of Slavic folklore sprinkled throughout the text like magical fairy dust. This is the most comprehensive resource on Slavic deities and their associations with nature and magic that I am aware of at this time; the index is a great assistance when doing research, and the book is truly a wonder to behold.


About the Author:

Kimberly Anne author photo

Kimberly Anne is a USA freelance writer and Administrative Secretary of Art and Music at a college near her hometown. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, she holds a bachelor’s degree with honors in Creative Writing and English Literature and is also a member of Sigma Tau Delta. She is currently working on her Masters in Library and Information Science degree. 

After devoting a decade to the personal study of global mythology and folklore, she began writing about them. She focuses primarily on Nordic, Germanic, and Slavic pre-Christian beliefs. Kimberly has worked with various clients on freelance work including Patricia Robin Woodruff, PhD. MDiv and the YouTube channel Mythology Unleashed. She is a polytheist with animist beliefs who loves to talk about it all! You can find her in the book stacks of the library, in a forest with Landvættir or at