Sventas Kovas

Although Sventas Kovas has lived most of his adult life in Cincinnati, his family is from the Baltic country of Lithuania. Sventas grew up in Cleveland, surrounded by the ways of Lietuva (Lithuania). Over the years he have interacted with a number of Baltic, specifically Lithuanian organizations, some of them of a pagan nature. Having opportunities of going to Kaunas, Lithuania to visit family, plus side trips to Latvia, has allowed access to the major pagan sites of the Baltic.

Sventas considers the Baltic aspect of his practice to be of a more familial and heritage based nature. The last few years has allowed for a Pythagorean understanding to enter his mind-stream and his actions. Being an member the ADF order of Druidry has also allowed him to see the basic Indo-European essence within Baltic practice.

Sventas has discovered that the "Baltic Way" has its own unique and profound insights and provides experiences that add to a deeper understanding of the human expression of spirit. Most of his adult life has also centered upon the practice of Tibetan Buddhism, specifically Karma Kagyu. When people need some sort of general understanding as to where he is spiritually, typically his answer is a Baltic-Buddhist -- a Pagan practitioner of the Baltic’s "Old Ways", as well as a follower of the path of the Buddha.

The Practice of Baltic Paganism

A Life and a Year in the world of the Baltic. An investigation into the rituals, festivals and related deities of Latvia and Lithuania; as well as a look into the “traditional” birth, coming of age, marriage, and death practices of these peoples. Zaltys, sacred snakes, were kept in the home and fed at the table. The sisters goddesses Laima (fate) and Giltine (death) respectively presided over the birth and death of a person. The dainos (ancient chants) sing of Saule, the Sun goddess (provider of fertility and warmth) and of Menulis, the Moon god (ruler of transformation and of health). "Rasa" (holy dew) is the name given to Saule’s summer Solstice, after which the powers of Ragana bring about the diminution of nature’s force. The workshop will end with a look at the last 200 years of Baltic paganism, a period of preservation and renewal.

What is Baltic Paganism?

The Baltic was Europe’s last pagan stronghold. Even to this day, there is a continuing fertile and thriving pagan practice in the Baltic. The culture found in Latvia & Lithuania holds a rich mythology and provides powerful spiritual ways. The Balts have always honored the ecological gifts of sacred nature, called DORA; they value DARNA (harmony) to be found and lived in each life, they revere the VELE (spirit) of the Ancestors; and through performing the song of the “Old Ways” bring honor to the land. It is through understanding the complex DAINOS (chants) of these ancient peoples that much of the Old Ways have been maintained. “Scratch a Balt and you find a Pagan.”

















Back to Top