Fragmented, and I quite like it that way

Saying that the pagan community in The Czech Republic is fragmented could be a fine example of euphemism. But that's basically what it is and has been as long as I remember. Which, to be honest, isn't that long period of time, no matter how much the increasing lack of hair on my head try to prove me otherwise. To clarify this, I am talking about 2002-2012 timeframe. Following recount is also very likely to be incomplete. Because my non-academic radar has a very limited scope.

Back in 2003, we (not me, but the Czech community in general) had a strong Asatru group. They called themselves Heathen Hearts of Boiohaemum. We also had a seemingly strong Slavic group Rodna vira. Both these were strictly reconstructionist. Right here is one of the most significant specifics of the Czech (and Slovak too, by the way) region. And to make things clear, by the term reconstructionist I am referring to traditions that are very much based on ethnicity, ethnic heritage and prefer not to combine elements of various cultural origin. Right here is one of the most significant specifics of the Czech (and Slovak too, by the way) region, by the way. Unlike in Western Europe, the pagan revival wasn't originaly started by people coming from the western mysticism (here I am referring to the first movements such as the Ancient Druid Order, OBOD and Wicca). The first visible signs of modern paganism in The Czech Republic are definitely coming from the reconstructionist/ethnic side of it, started mostly by people with former nationalist/far-right field of interest, from living history groups and even by academics.

Unfortunately, neither of these two groups survived in a lively form to these days. To be fair, Rodna vira is still active to some extent, but the members seems to be scattered. I personaly still hope in renewal. Not having a thriving Slavic oriented pagan organisation in a country that speaks a Slavic language seems strange to me.

We see a vastly different picture today. There is much larger number of groups and there is a big variety amongst them, both in terms of age groups, social groups and pagan paths in general. So, let's be fair and start with reconstructionists. 

We have two reconstructionist groups, interests of one of these are unknown to me, though there is likely a strong link to the far-right scene. This group seems to have a close link to another reconstructionist group which mostly consist of pagans openly calling themselves 'militant' and including the 'blood and soil' principle into their beliefs. On this blog, I am not going to write anything else about this part of the Czech pagan world, since it is well beyond my scope of interest. 

We then have (well, hopefuly) Rodna vira, the reconstructionist, ethnic oriented Slavic organisation. I myself still have a strong hope in this one and would like to see it strong and very active. We have a lot of small groups, scattered across the country, some of them even trying to live the traditional way of life and being both living-history and pagan. 

Remaining on the more reconstructionist (but more open-ended side), we have a strong member base (that means about 20 in Czech terms, funny I know) of the ADF, the druid organization from the U.S. A bit further to the ecclectic side of the spectrum we found another strong member base of OBOD, a British druid organization. Both these have their problems too, but the developement seems rather promising to me. We have very few Wicca, well obviously, I am one of them. These have a strong connection to Austria, through which we are connected to the UK. These groups are linked to the Czech Pagan Society, which was founded by the former Czech PFI team.

There are other small groups interested in Druidry, Celtic polyteism, Roman or even Egyptian polyteism. Druidove Boiohaemum, Per Kemet, Symmachuv Kruh, Brothrjus Wulfe etc. Can't name them all.

There are many other groups and more importantly, individuals. We have a huge amount of ecclectics of all kind, most of them interested in Wicca or witchcraft, but many of them experiment with shamanism and other areas of western mysticism. They are scattered in various groups, either those mentioned above or open occult groups, alls sorts of forums, etc. The general unwillingness of Czechs to be organized as part of something is striking. The scepticism towards anything that has a link to foreign country is even more prevalent.

So, the mixture is quite diverse, to say the least. There has been few attempts in the past to get most of these groups under one umbrella, all of which failed. In my opinion, any activity based on an assumption that Czech pagans can be somehow gathered and herded is doomed from the very beginning. The diversity is huge, we are strong individualities. Most of us want to do things their way and are not interested in any sort of imaginatory supervision. There are suspicions and prejudices. To some of you it might sound familiar, to some it might sound like their own history or even a sci-fi. I know. 

The Czech pagan scene is fragmented. Completely. I may be in minority with this opinion, but I quite like it that way. I used to have some ideals about big cooperation accross the board. But that was years ago. In the mean time I found out that we, human beings are... well human beings. And Czechs.

Some recommended reading. It's from year 2008, outdated, but still good.


  1. Good to have found this blog! Thx for a great article.

    OOT: Ancient Egypt is not poly. ;)

  2. Pěkný blog, jenom škoda, že není v češtině. Anglicky moc neumím a z překladače občas lezou dobrý hlody. ;-)