|“||The Evil God I'm hunting is no one else but Veles of Kitezh. He is my one true rival... My poet... My dear... ly departed!||„|
He was the highest god of the Slavic pantheon. Perun was often depicted as a either a warrior or eagle, who resided on the top of the world tree and had a bitter rivalry with Veles, the slavic god of the Underworld.
His other attributes were fire, mountains, wind, iris, eagle, firmament (in Indo-European languages, this was joined with the notion of the sky of stone), horses and carts, weapons (hammer, axe, and arrows), and war. He was first associated with weapons made of stone and later with those of metal.
Powers and Abilities
Perun was the ruler of the living world, sky and earth, and was often symbolized by an eagle sitting on the top of the tallest branch of the sacred tree, from which he kept watch over the entire world. Deep down in the roots of the tree was the place of his opponent, symbolized by a serpent or a dragon: this was Veles, watery god of the underworld, who continually provoked Perun by creeping up from the wet below up into the high and dry domain of Perun, stealing his cattle, children, and wife.
Perun pursued Veles around the earth, attacking him with his lightning bolts from the sky. Veles fled from him by transforming himself into various animals, or hiding behind trees, houses, or people; wherever a lightning bolt struck, it was believed that this was because Veles hid from Perun under or behind that particular place. In the end, Perun managed to kill Veles, or to chase him back down into his watery underworld. The supreme god thus reestablished order in the world, which had been disrupted by his chaotic enemy.
He then returned to the top of the World tree and proudly informed his opponent down in the roots "Well, there is your place, remain there!".
Myth and Legends
In Slavic mythology, much like in Norse and Baltic mythologies, the world was represented by a sacred tree, usually an oak, whose branches and trunk represented the living world of heavens and mortals, whilst its roots represented the underworld.
While the exact pantheon characterization differed between the various Slavic tribes, Perun is generally believed to have been considered as the supreme god by the majority, or perhaps by nearly all Slavs, at least towards the end of Slavic paganism. The earliest supreme god was probably Rod; it is unclear precisely how and why his worship as the head of the pantheon evolved into the worship of Perun. Another candidate for supreme deity among at least some Slavs is Svarog
- To the Slavs, the mythological symbolism of a supreme heavenly god who battles with his underworldly enemy through storms and thunder was extremely significant.