principles of faith of the Romuva:
The Community continues the traditions of
the native ancient Baltic faith (hereafter referred to as the
faith). It aims at the unison and the harmony with the God and
the Gods, with the ancestors, the nature and the people, exalts
the sanctity of the nature as the most obvious
manifestation of the divinity, nurtures the Baltic traditional
moral way of life, their own way towards the divinity, which
was created through many centuries.
The Baltic faith respects the traditional
and other religions recognized by the State. The source of the
faith of the Community is the uninterrupted Baltic spiritual
tradition. As a tree, which gets its strength from the depth
of the Earth, so the members of the Romuvos (the Romuviai) get
their spiritual experience and strength from old songs, tales,
legends and customs from all the heritage of their ancestors.
The Baltic faith unites all the faithful -
living and dead. The Romuviai believe that death is a regular
transformation of nature, that, when a body dies, the soul can
endure by passing into another shape.
The Sanctity is the most perfect quality of
the World's life. It unites, conciliates and recreates. The
Sanctity is being created by the Divine forces. The Divinity
manifests Itself in nature and everyday life. The main feature
of a Romuvis is respect to the Divine creating power in the
nature and in a human being. The pivots of the Baltic faith
are harmony and honesty. The pursued virtues of a Romuvis are
justice, diligence and the ability to get along with other
people and the World.
The Romuviai observe
and other holidays. The religious rituals shall be performed
in nature at the communal and home shrines, places of worship
and other public places.
The source of the Baltic faith is a living,
uninterrupted and unwritten tradition of spiritual practice.
The old folk songs, tales, legends, customs and other heritage
of the ancestors still contain its manifestations.
About Lithuanian Gods:
Which is your God?
followers of Latvian Ethnic Religion have named themselves
"Dievturi," which would be "Dievaturiai"
or maybe even "Dievanešiai" in Lithuanian. In other
words, to hold or carry God in yourself. If you chose to
worship a form of God in your spiritual or religious practice,
the essence and goal is holding that God in your daily life
and carrying that God throughout your life. This is the Baltic
way. Devotion is not just singing a few dainas to your God
once a day or once in a while. Prayer begins with the dainas
and ends with God being part and parcel of your entire life.
Laima and Žemyna are the three most beloved Lithuanian
deities. Dievas accompanies us especially through our work,
while the mothers guide our steps from birth to death and
nourish us, each in her own unique way.
Gods, like Perkūnas, Saulė, Mėnulis, Aušrinė, Bubilas,
Austėja, Bangpūtis, Vėjas, Kovas, etc., are worshiped when
there is a particular need or by a specific segment of society
(farmers, bee-keepers, sailors, soldiers, etc.).
Who is your deity? How do you hold her or
padėk. Laima palaimink.
Audrius Dundzila, Ph.D.
and water in rites:
During every traditional Baltic holiday a
fire (ugnis) is lit, whether such is in an altar or bonfire,
or by candle. Fire is the most important symbol of Lithuanian
traditions. During ancient times, the Baltic people were known
as fire worshipers. The Eternal Flame burned at Sventaragis
Valley at the very center of Vilnius. Every household had a
hearth, which was particularly respected by each member of the
family, but cared for and safeguarded by the mother. The fire
had greater meaning than merely the source of light and
warmth. It symbolized the unbroken lifeline of the family and
its ancestry. The Eternal Flame of the community served to
unify not only its immediate members, but was also the
unifying link with ancestors who had long since died and were
now with the Gods. It was believed that numerous generations
of the dead continued to live on at the hearth of the fire.
"Throughout all of Lithuania, people
held fire to be sacred. Thus it was obligatory to honor it
and behave before it with respect. Coals had to be closely
accumulated. Fire could be extinguished only with cold and
clean water. Fire was not to be insulted. It was not to be
harmed nor polluted. People were not to spit nor urinate into
fire, nor was it permitted to kick it or to stomp upon it. All
that was considered sinful, and any such actions were sure to
invite punishment, either while the person was still alive or
after their death" (author J. Balys, Lietuviu Tautosakos
Lobynas (Treasure Chest of Lithuanian Folklore), 1951, pg.39).
"No live coals nor
were to be extinguished on holiday days for that was
considered a sin - it was necessary to wait until the fire
burned out on its own accord." (Salakas) Thus, we should
adhere to such tradition during rituals as well.
"When salt is sprinkled on the fire
and it begins to crackle, it is said: 'Sacred Gabija, be
nourished.' " The expression "to make the bed for
the fire" - meant that it was to be carefully edged and
ashes poured around delicately (Laukuva).
"When the fireplace was being lit at
home, everyone had to remain quiet and were not to turn away,
even in the event they were to hear someone calling"
(1854 by A. Kirkoras). A cup of clean water was to be placed
near to the fire, in order that "the beloved little fire
would have the means to wash itself."
The fire for rituals was lit either on a
hearth of stone or on an altar. Good oak logs were to be
selected with care for the fire. A sutartine (archaic round
refrain song) was chanted while lighting the fire, "Rimo
rimo tuta, Rimo rimo tuta, Sutarjela, Sutarjela"
(SIS.,1587). A prayer was said to the fire, as follows: "Sventa
Gabija! Sugobta gabek, suziebta zibek" ("Sacred
Gabija! As you were gathered, stay whole, as you were lit,
Another prayer was, "Thank you, little
fire, for this our day, let us greet our good little night,
and protect ourselves from those wish us bad, and let those
who are lost find their road." The words can be
improvised to express both desires, as well as wishes for
others. All the participants to the ritual can approach the
fire one by one, express their good will and offer their
donation. Contact with Gods and with one's ancestors is sought
through the fire.
Sacrificial donations to the fire can be
bread, grains, beer grasses and flowers. Circling the Fire
clockwise, three times, strengthens the ritual. All those who
have gathered can also walk in a circle around the hearth.
(maldos) to Fire (ugnis) and Gabija
Ugnis, the fire, is honored in all Lithuanian celebrations and rites.
When Ugnis is fed salt, it is said: "Sacred Gabija, be satiated."
To "make a bed" for the fire - means to set her up nicely, surrounded by stones, and cover her in ashes - "Sacred Gabija, forged - may you lay, kindled - may you shine!"
A cup of pure water is placed near the fire, so that "Ugnis may wash herself."
Rise thy steam,
Spit not thy sparks
Stay through the night,
Promise the sun.
Fire of our home,
Flame of our hearth,
Shine for us
Be with us,
Gabija, oh Goddess
- Kernave, 1967
is the man, who seeks the way to the eternal Romuva,
And desires, in the light of everlasting fire
To live forever. Naught will stand against him.
May we see, what is eternal and sacred.
Throughout the ages, it will bless us all!"