Interview – Patricia Robin Woodruff, Author of “Roots of Slavic Magic Book 1: Deities and Their Worship”

An Exclusive Interview with Patricia Robin Woodruff 

With the release of a new book and years of research, I figured it was time to sit down and get some answers from one of the most knowledgeable women I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing: Patricia Robin Woodruff. Her newest book was released this year in March and she is not stopping there.

She’s currently working on a very large series with multiple volumes, each one with its own unique place on the shelf of any library.

But for those who are not yet familiar with the author or her work and multitude of ideas, I decided it was time to get some answers straight from the author herself.

Patricia Robin Woodruff grew up on the East Coast of the USA and her interest in Slavic Magic started during her childhood. Like many North Americans however, she was searching for a deeper connection to her ancestral roots.

This is something we as North Americans often get laughed at for (from what I’ve seen) by people in other countries. 

It’s important for everyone to realize, that just because our parents or grandparents migrated here doesn’t mean we should disregard and completely forget the culture they brought with them, and eventually taught us! 

Can you tell us a bit about your background? How did you become interested in Slavic Magic?

“Despite my mom having a Ukrainian background, most of that heritage was lost in my ancestors’ efforts to be assimilated into American culture.

The only tradition we practiced was the traditional pysanky eggs which we created every Easter.

We used a method that not many people have heard of.

Rather than using a tiny funnel-like kistka, we put a pin in the eraser of a pencil. We used the head of the pin to warm up a drop of wax and then pulled it to form little shapes, like suns, birds and trees.

I found out that this distinctive drop-pull method is a distinctive tradition of the Lemko people and Romanians. This helped me figure out that my ancestry wasn’t actually Ukrainian but rather that of a Lemko Highlander.

Lemkos are a little known ethnicity from the Carpathian mountains. The Lemkos have been claimed by Ukraine, Galicia, and Poland and that’s just in the past 200 years!

This tradition of pysanky really intrigued me and I know now that it is a way to write magic spells that has existed for possibly thousands of years.

File:Ukrainian folk pysanky.jpg

But it was around ten years ago when I was taking a year-long class on magic and leading ritual that we were encouraged to avoid cultural appropriation and to look at the pre-Christian religions of our ancestors.

I thought about my maternal lineage and thought, “Well, I guess they’re Slavic. What the heck do the Slavs believe?!”

It was at that point that I started researching, found the Slavic Pantheon (or what I originally thought was a Pantheon until I did more research) and fell head over heels down the rabbit hole!”

When you understand that we are all connected, we are all manifestations of spirit, that all those plants and animals are not “other” but rather beings like yourself, you’ll begin to grasp most of what Slavic Paganism is all about.

To touch on Woodruff’s point regarding ancestors acclimating into American culture, my family too experienced this as I’m sure did many others.

My own maiden last name for example is a rare Polish name, featuring a letter that is not in the English alphabet.

With this being said, my family name on my grandfathers side was Americanized when my family arrived here from Poland or while they were on the way here from Poland.

The governments in charge of immigrants coming to the United States would often drop foreign letters, or write simple spelling mistakes on passenger lists, and thus the names became English.

This has happened thousands of times with countless families who’ve migrated here from Europe and other places in the world.

Names were not the only parts of identity left behind when one traveled to the new world.

Despite saying goodbye to the lives they once knew, there aspects of their own unique cultures and traditions that remained forever embedded in their hearts and souls.

Change can be scary, so keeping something familiar close to their hearts most certainly brought them comfort.

Because of this, people from all over the world have managed to grasp onto bits and pieces of Paganism and their own cultural pre-Christian beliefs. 

What advice can you give people who are searching to connect with Slavic Paganism?


The two primary things to do is to learn everything you can about the land, water, trees, plants, bugs, and animals around you. Get to know them as entities in their own right.

The second is to connect to the spirit of your ancestors, who are still around and eager to aid you.

When you understand that we are all connected, we are all manifestations of spirit, that all those plants and animals are not “other” but rather beings like yourself, you’ll begin to grasp most of what Slavic Paganism is all about.

Preserved in the beliefs of the Slavs is the indigenous beliefs of the Euro-Slavic part of the continent.

In order to connect with the Earth we don’t need to culturally appropriate other indigenous beliefs, we have our own!

So at the heart of Slavic magic you will find a shamanic core although it has less of an outward display compared to a drumming Tunguš shaman or rattling Native Medicine Man.”

It often is a little old grandma with her headscarf, apron, and housedress softly chanting her rhyming charm under her breath and doing actions with ordinary household items like eggs, beeswax, a bowl of water, charcoal from the fireplace and a black-handled kitchen knife.

What is your opinion on a Slavic Pantheon and ideas such as Perun, for example being a “God of Thunder”?

“Perun is definitely connected to thunder and lightning, but that gets a little misunderstood. It’s actually life energy that he’s connected to.

The thunderstorms that cause the plants to grow, the sunlight that nourishes them, the fire that warms the home, the life energy that sparks the beginnings of a child, and the fierce energy that protects them.

In modern Rodnovery his goddess partner is almost forgotten.

In Book 1 of the Roots of Slavic Magic I’m able to slowly add pieces of evidence to show there are pairs of Gods and Goddesses and what that reveals about the concept of a Pantheon.

While you can look up individual Deities, the book is really designed to be read all the way through, adding evidence upon evidence for my eventual conclusion that a Slavic “family” of deities or a Pantheon per say does not exist.”

Do you have suggestions for magical tools or things people can do at home to get in touch with their own Slavic magic?

“Slavic magic is bone basic! Thorns are protective. You want to protect your home, put hawthorn on the windowsills. Or make an equal armed cross out of hawthorn and hang it up in the home. This projects the energy out over the four directions.

Water is cooling and cleansing. When a child has a severe fright, to prevent it from causing them anxiety and future problems, several small pieces of hot charcoal are taken from the wood stove and extinguished in water along with a short rhyming spell.

The child should drink some of the water and wash their face with it. This is an energetically soothing action.

Red is connected to blood and life energy. If you want to protect a newborn from withering, deathly energy and spirits of sickness, it’s a tradition to tie a red ribbon or thread around their wrist.

This is still done today! But many folks don’t know its meaning.

When I was in Poland and I talked to people about what I was discovering, they implored me to translate my books into Polish so they could learn about it!

(I’m still working on that. I have two of my small books that have been translated into Polish and Italian, but I still need to get the covers designed and get them out there.)”

What is your perspective on the infamous Baba Yaga?

“When the Pagan clergy got forced out of their villages by the incoming religion, they turned into traveling minstrels. They likely had already been teaching through fairy tales and remembering lore through songs, but this made it even more so.

Various deities were turned into fairytale characters, where they transformed into a personality all their own. This is what happened to Baba Yaga.

You can see that Baba Yaga is connected to Mora/Morana, the Goddess of Death, Medicine and Rebirth.

Baba Yaga has a boney fence showing her death aspect, but she also travels in a mortar and pestle, showing that she knows the magics of herbs, how to balance the energy of life and death.

And Baba Yaga aids in rebirth, which we see in tales where she helps the young Spring hero return to the land.”

Baba Yaga by N.Karazin

“In a culture of reincarnation, the Goddess of Death wasn’t as feared. It was an ending that then brought about a new beginning.

It was like winter where it was prepared for and there’s some trepidation, but you know that Spring will come again.

.”..When the linear viewpoint of the Christians came, death began to be greatly feared because you only had this one chance and then it all ended and you could be going to hell for eternity. The fear of mortality is what makes Baba Yaga into a “wicked” character. There’s a lot to be learned from Baba Yaga in the way of herbal lore, healing, magic, and the secrets of the Underworld.”

However, when the linear viewpoint of the Christians came, death began to be greatly feared because you only had this one chance and then it all ended and you could be going to hell for eternity.

The fear of mortality is what makes Baba Yaga into a “wicked” character. There’s a lot to be learned from Baba Yaga in the way of herbal lore, healing, magic, and the secrets of the Underworld.”

What is your most memorable accomplishment/achievement to date?

“I was really excited to be personally invited to Slovenia in 2023 to present at an international conference in the capital city of Ljubljana.

The conference was re-examining what we “think” we know in light of new evidence.

I was able to present my thesis on The Triple God of Old Europe showing my evidence that the various titles of gods come in threes and they may indeed be various cultural titles for the same triune Deity.

Plus, I was able to meet the scholar Mark Lublanski who has probably cracked the previously untranslatable Etruscan writing.

This would be like meeting Jean-François Champollion, who first translated Egyptian Hieroglyphics! Yeah, I know… nerdy fangirl here. LOL I regularly put in twelve hour days of research and writing, because this is my PASSION!

I just feel its so important because the Slavic lands have been overlooked for so long and really… it’s right in the middle of everything!”

To learn more about Patricia please visit her at

The Roots of Slavic Magic Group 



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