An Annotated & Illustrated Collection of Worldwide Links to Mythologies,
Fairy Tales & Folklore, Sacred Arts & Sacred Traditions
by Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.




Sacred Ikons

Mary Magdalene of the Plants
(Used with the kind permission of St. Petersburg Times:
see below for their entire collection)

In this eco-spiritual ikon, the Magdalene, or Myrrh-Bearer, carrying a vessel of now-unneeded death-perfume, was the first to recognize Christ in a fertile garden after his resurrection.  She bears crushed myrrh in the midst of a Green World: a powerful metaphor for death-in-life, life-in-death -- themes expressed through the plant world and mediated by a woman said to have been possessed by seven demons.  Woman and the natural world -- both have been so much abused.  Yet, here they are, in this pivotal "garden-moment," lying at the heart of Christianity. [Link updated 9/17/00]
The Novgorod Icon Gallery:  This excellent site offers more than 175 thumbnails (click on them for enlargements) of sacred ikons from the ancient city of Novgorod.  They are arranged by subject as well as date ("date" is better, since not all the available ikons are included under subject).  There are several long texts detailing the history and spiritual importance of this art form.  Flaw: the site can be quirky and sometimes you may get a "server is down" message for days.  Keep trying -- the ikons are worth it.

 Leaf-covered John the Baptist
(Used with the kind permission of St. Petersburg Times:
see directly below for their entire collection)
Here is another eco-spiritual ikon:  in Christian myth, John was the first to recognize Christ among the verdant, water-loving trees growing along the Jordan River.  Usually in Christian art he is shown as a wild, emaciated man dressed in hairy skins, but here, honoring his broader connection with nature, he is elegantly depicted here in a leafy robe.
St. Petersburg Times/Neva Press:  this site is currently in Russian only, but the wonderful 114 ikons (12/page for 9 pages + 6 on a 10th page) need no translation.  The 114 are thumbnails: click on them for enlargements.  Note: to get to the 10 pages, click anywhere on the decorative hollow-rectangle that appears on the opening page; scroll down slightly until you reach the clickable 10 pages.  When I first e-mailed Darja and Denis at this site to ask for permission to use several of their images, and to clarify that these ikons were not for sale, they wrote back [April 1998]:
 /sorry for our poor bad Engilsh/   You can use icons from this pages. In general, it's only _virtual_ collection, and icons don't care will not be sell. We are much pleased to know that our page needed to people. You may also put link to the page.  We want you successes in your work.
I felt humbled.  We sell them pizza, blue jeans, rock music, IBM, Nike, MacDonalds.  They share the splendour of their ancient art -- and then are pleased and grateful that we should notice.  Please e-mail them if you enjoy these ikons.  I think it would honor them.
NOTE:  They will be continuing to add to this site in the future.  They also have two additional ways of access..... if you have trouble connecting through the new URL's opening graphic, this one will take you directly to the "catalogue" page with the 10 groupings:

And this one will take you to a framed version.  Normally, I loathe frames, but the advantage here is that about 2 dozen of the icons are identified with names in English:
A beautiful little site with ten ikons (click on the thumbnails for enlargements) against tiny green leaves.  Very restful for word-weary eyes.
"Russian Orthodox Church":  This is a Mining Company (a.k.a. cultural site (compiled by Linda DeLaine, see under Russian Information: General).  The long list of excellent links to history, saints, theology, ikons, will keep you occupied for many hours.
"Russian Iconography":  This is another Mining Company (a.k.a.  site, specifically focused on ikons -- wonderful history and background here -- you'll need many more hours to explore this.  Near the bottom, if you click on "Russian Icons," you'll find 81 more lovely examples of this sacred art from Auburn University.
This is a Barnes and Noble site on books about Russian Orthodoxy, again designed and compiled by Linda DeLaine.  You'll find a fine collection of books on ikons and Eastern Orthodox history and spirituality (my personal favorite is Vladimir Lossky's The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, a 1976 classic still in print).  Also available are liturgical music and videos.  At the bottom of the site are links to more books in the general categories of history, literature, Russian Jews, children's fairy tales, and travel.  On-line bookorders are only a few clicks away.

On a personal note: the site ends with a flying Pegasus: when I contacted Linda in April 1998 to see if I might use this same animation for my own website, she said it wasn't copyrighted and she gave me the site where she had found it originally.  So my own Pegasus is due to Linda's gracious help.

Up to Europe's Opening Page
Eastern Europe Menu:
Pan-Slavic Traditions & Beliefs:


Fairy Tales & Folklore: ||| Sacred Ikons: ||| Music:
The Balkans:
(Note: here you'll find links to individual Balkan countries/states/kingdoms: Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia, once these have been activated.
*** For Greece, see under "Western Europe"; for Hungary, see under "Eastern Europe: Finno-Ugric Peoples.")

Kosovo/Serbian Peace Invocation:

Other Slavic Lands

Baltic States:

Estonia: ||| Latvia: ||| Lithuania
Finno-Ugric Peoples:
Finland: || Hungary:

(Note: for Estonia, see "Baltic Sates";   for Sami and western Siberian peoples, see "INDIGENOUS: Circumpolar.")

Eurasia: The Caucasus & Beyond:

Down to Western Europe


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This page created with Netscape Gold 3.01
Technical assistance: William Weeks
Text and Design:
Copyright 1998-2000 by Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.
Updates after the 11/13/98 launch:
17 September 2000 [checked all links].