*This article is an excerpt from "The Three Golden Hairs: Slavic & Germanic Myth in Czech Folklore," European Fairy Tales Series Vol VI.
I argue quite strongly that the phenomenon of holding a hybrid form of religion occurred clear across Northern Europe, from Britain clear to Russia. However, the manifestation of it occurred much more strongly in Slavic lands than elsewhere. In fact, the ancient faith of the Slavs was so overtly prominently practiced by the peasantry that the Slavs began to be referred to as the people of two faiths. Dvoeverie is a Russian word that is typically translated as “dual belief” or “double faith.”
These are dark days. Thousands of people are being caught up in mob mentality and literally attacking people for thoughts that they find "abhorrent." Whether these mobs are using internet bullying, harsh words, or literal physical assault, the effect is the same. We are being told that there is an institutionally approved narrative and those who don't get in line will singled out to be ruined by the mob. We have been here before. So, let us take a peek at what we can learn from history, shall we?
Over several years of studying indigenous European belief (paganism, mythology), and then studying the folk tradition (folklore, folk customs, holiday traditions, witch trial records), I began to realize that the idea that paganism died out after conversion to Christianity was simply preposterous. Native European spirituality remained an incredibly powerful force in the consciousness of the European people well into the modern era.
Most of us who have more than a cursory knowledge of folklore understand that the popular notion of a “fairy” today is completely different than in earlier eras, and that the fae were often considered very dangerous, and even as evil beings by Church authorities.
What many people don't know, however, was that communing with fairies was an act that could get you accused of witchcraft during the witch trial era.
Emma Wilby is the scholar of choice for this topic, and her work was cited in my article "When Witches Communed with Fairies." Research for that article urged me to delve deeper into the subject of "Popular Religion" to discover how old beliefs mingled with new, and how the beliefs and practices of the common folk differed from the beliefs sanctioned by the Church.
Jung's Collective Unconscious