Assianism

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The symbol of Assianism, representing its theological trinity.

Assianism (Russian: Ассианство, Assianstvo; meaning the "religion of the ese", in Russian асов, asov) is a Scythian movement of Native Faith practised in Russia, based on the traditional folk religious beliefs of the Ossetians, modern descendants of the Scythians. The religion is known as "Assianism" among its Russian adherents, and as Uatsdin (Уацдин, literally "True Faith") by Ossetians in their own language, it started to be revived in a conscious and organised way in the 1980s, as an ethnic religion among the Ossetians, who have since largely embraced it. Scythian religious groups are also present in Ukraine.

The religion has been incorporated by some organisations, chiefly the Atsætæ Church (Ossetian: Ацæтæ; Russian: Асата, Asata) based in North Ossetia–Alania. Some Russians have embraced Assianism by virtue of the fact that most of the ancient Scythians were assimilated by the East Slavs, and therefore modern Russians may reclaim Scythian culture, among Russians, Assianism is advocated as a religion for all Slavs, Indo-Europeans, or even as a worldwide spiritual heritage.[1][2]

Relevance for Slavs and other Indo-Europeans[edit]

In 2009, at the Center for Conservative Research of Moscow State University, led by philosopher Alexander Dugin, a conference was held about the role of Ossetians in Russian history, among participants there was, among others, Daurbek Makeyev, the head of the Atsætæ Church. On that occasion, Dugin praised the revitalisation of Ossetian culture for it having preserved a pristine Indo-European heritage, he discussed the importance of Scythian culture in the development of broader Eurasia, recognising that Scythian culture had an enormous impact on the development of Finno-Ugric, Turkic and Slavic cultures, and despite this European scholars have paid little attention to it so far. Makeyev declared that the Atsætæ Church was founded for fostering traditional Ossetian religion, but also to share the heritage of Assianism with other peoples, because "what was preserved in Ossetia is not [merely] Ossetian, but is a worldwide heritage".[2] Russian Assian resources present the religion as a universal truth "addressed to the whole world".[3]

Theology and cosmology[edit]

Assianism has a monistic theory, expressed by three concepts:[3]

  • Xwytsau / Xuitsau (Хуыцау, "Heaven") — is the supreme God of the universe, the source of it and of the highest wisdom attainable by men. Creator and patron of worlds, he has neither image nor form, is incomprehensible and omnipresent;
  • Iwag / Iuag (Иуаг) or Iuæg (Иуæг) — is the substance of everything, both uncreated and created worlds;
  • Ud (Уд) — is the true universal self, that is attained by an individual soul when it identifies with Mon (Мон), the universal mind-spirit, i.e. God's manifestation. Ultimately, Mon and Ud are the same, and they are Xwytsau's manifestation.

On the plane of the phenomenon, God's universal mind-spirit manifests as:[3]

  • Uas / Was (Уас) — the good-spell or good-word, that is to say the well-being born of beings;
  • Uastyrdzhi / Wastyrji (Уастырджи) — the good-spell as it embodies in men, who are bearers of divine wisdom, enlightened consciousnesses (as a symbol, Uastyrdzhi is the archetypal deity of the perfected man);
  • Duagi / dwagi (дуаги; pl. дауджытæ → daudzhytæ / daujytæ), otherwise called ass (асс, pl. асов → asov; cf. the Germanic ese) — gods, divine forces endowed with measure and right that continuously mould the world, alternating forms. Among them, arvon daujita (арвон дауджита) are the divine forces underlying celestial bodies.

A further distinction is established between:[3]

  • Zedy (зэды, pl. задтæ → zadtæ) — forces who are worthy of veneration;
  • Uayugi (уайуги, pl. уайгуытæ / уайгуыта → uayguytæ / uayguyta) — parasitic forces accompanying the temporality of being and distancing from enlightenment; in mankind they are passions, fears, pride and nervous diseases;
  • Dalimon (Далимон) or Dælimon (Дæлимон) — the lowest mind that corresponds to brute matter.

According to Assian theory, human nature is the same as all being's nature; in other words, man is a microcosm within a macrocosm, or larger context, and the same applies to all other beings. In all contexts, Uas is the foundation of nobility and pure reason; daujita form both worlds and men according to this universal law, while uayguyta counter-act gods' action, and are the causes of illness and death. These forces manifest in humanity's power of consciousness and action; a man may take the side of gods or demons, and this choice manifests in this man's life and activity. If a man is able to subdue passions, not putting exclusively material motives in his actions, he becomes open to the Uas, or its receptacle (Уасдан → Uasdan, good-spell receptacle), a wise or noble who perceives the will of God and higher spirits and receives their energy. On the contrary, if a man's actions are driven by material ends, Dalimon and demons own him and he becomes a source of evil, lie and ugliness.[3]

Demography and institutions[edit]

Scythian Native Faith is popular in Russia and Ukraine among Cossacks, especially those who claim a Scythian identity to distinguish themselves from Slavs, some of them identify within the category of Rodnovery, the general "Slavic Native Faith".[4] Assianism is also practised without connection to Cossack ethnicism.

Russia[edit]

  • Ossetian UatsdinAtsætæ Church (Ossetian: Ацæтæ; Russian: Асата, Asata)

Ukraine[edit]

  • North Caucasian Scythian Regional Fire[5]

See also[edit]

Citations[edit]

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Makeyev (2007).
  2. ^ a b "Александр Дугин: Осетинский народ сделал возможным возвращение России на имперскую орбиту (Alexander Dugin: The Ossetian people made it possible for Russia to return to the imperial orbit)". iratta.com. 7 October 2009. Archived from the original on 26 April 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Основные положения традиционной осетинской веры (Basic provisions of the traditional Ossetian faith)". wacdin.com. Ассианство / Уацдин (Assianism / True Faith). Archived from the original on 26 April 2017. 
  4. ^ McKay (2009), pp. 275-276.
  5. ^ Lesiv, Mariya (2013). The Return of Ancestral Gods: Modern Ukrainian Paganism as an Alternative Vision for a Nation. Vol. 2 of McGill-Queen's Studies in the History of Religion. McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP. ISBN 077358966X. pp. 167-169.

External links[edit]