Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Witch Well

A Hole in the Ground Erupts, to Estonia’s Delight

Estonia is noted for it's sink holes, some of which exhibit mysterious behavior:

...The famed Witch’s Well of Tuhala erupted last week for the first time in three years, attracting pilgrims from all over Estonia...the visitors dangled pendants to test energy fields and held arthritic fingers perfectly motionless over stones...

I was not aware of the rich Pagan polytheism of old Estonia. Like many Pagan cultures, monotheism was not to kind:

...Estonia has been bullied into a series of belief systems over the centuries, from Catholicism to Lutheranism to Russian Orthodoxy and Soviet atheism. Seventeen years after gaining independence from the Soviet Union, Estonia is one of the world’s most secular nations; in the 2000 census, only 29 percent of its citizens declared themselves followers of a particular faith. That does not mean they are atheists. Craving an authentic national faith, Estonians have been drawn to the animistic religions that preceded Christianity...

Ellue Rouk, a 69 year old believer in the old ways, considers herself deeply involved in the natural word:

...Her special ally is a birch tree in her yard, so powerful that a malicious neighbor has plotted to kill it, she said. When she cuts roses and sets them in a vase, she said, they sprout roots. These dramas, she said, are an “inheritance” from her ancestors. “There is an old Estonian god, Taara,” Ms. Rouk said. “He lives. He exists. Though there are people who would like to get rid of him...”

"Taarausk" was a God worshiped in forests. Here's my favorite bit from the article:

“...Christians,” she added, “have no respect for nature.”

A very wise woman, that Ellue Rouk.


Livia Indica said...

Does it make me a bad person to get a chuckle from seeing monotheism in the negatives list right next to Soviet enforced atheism?

genexs said...

A bad person? Not at all. I suffered some guilt when I laughed a bit to hard at a comment I saw over at wildhunt:

"I pine for the day when the coliseums are packed and the lions are well fed."


Anonymous said...

The Baltics do seem to have a rich pagan tradition (no surprise, really). I've had some correspondence with a Lithuanian blogger, and she's been filling me in on some of the details.

I wasn't aware of the "witch wells." Reminds me of the Mexican cenotes (sinkholes).