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from The Roots of Slavic Magic by Patricia Robin Woodruff

Chapter 4
The geography of the spiritual realms

The terms Prav, Jav, and Nav (Prava, Iava, Nava) are often used by modern Rodnovers and the self identified “Old Believers.”  Prav is the Spirit World, Jav is the physical world that we live in, and Nav is the Underworld. The terms would seem to originate in the questionable literary source, the Book of Veles, however, the concepts are a good way to describe the world of the seen and unseen. You can certainly use these terms if they work for you, but so as not to give them undue credibility, I will stick with Svarga, Zemlja, and Virij or their English equivalents of the Spirit World, the Physical World, and the Underworld. While we are defining these as separate “worlds” they overlap energetically, and as such, can be traveled between.

Our connection to magic and Spirit is rooted in the unconscious mind. This we can direct with the conscious mind using various tools, the primary one is the language of symbols. As Psychiatrist Carl Jung pointed out, there are many symbols that are collective in their origin and these tend to be religious in nature. The Tree of Life is one of them. It shows up in many varied cultures as The World Tree or axis mundi. This symbol is used in shamanistic practices to “travel” to other realms. In the night sky, the North Star is called the Pole Star because it stays still and it looks like the constellations rotate around it. So the World Tree is seen as reaching up to the Spirit World centered on the Pole Star. For a more in depth study on how to navigate these worlds, I would recommend, Rebekah Elizabeth Gamble’s book, Map to Otherworld.    

The ancient Slavs bel...

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