VELES, Slavic God of Animals and Forests
The cult of Veles is very strong and dominant. Apart from Perun, he was the only Slav deity worshiped by all Slavs. His cult survived for a long time with Slavs from the Balkans and the Carpathians. Veles is a God of earth, son of God Rod, the patron of cattlemen and farmers, in charge of crops, fields and animals, domestic and wild. Slavs depended on Veles for whatever they would do. He was represented as a strong young man with bull's horns on his head, but also as an old man, with long beard and a stick in his hand. As a god of beasts he was represented as a bear, symbol of a forest king to the Slavs, patron of the forest animals, fruits and the forest itself. He was celebrated at harvest time, seed time and grazing. Spiritual forces attributed to Veles were dragons; places of his cult were, apart from temples, fields, pastures, cattle pens and graveyards. The rites included carnivals, imitating wolves and making oaths. His symbol was a stick, but also grass, wolf, black cock and domestic animals.
A wooden statue of Veles was carved with images of oxen, plows and winged lion with a head of an eagle. Lion (dragon) had a lily at the end of its tail. Veles' clothes were lavish – very appropriate for the patron of cattlemen. Veles' beard was represented by wheat grains.
Veles is also protector of contracts and the given word. Just like Perun, Slavs would swear by Perun and Veles to keep the promise. He is also the protector of magic and wisdom, as well as music which is closely related to magic.
Measures 4 3/4" in height.