Recently, I came across some information regarding a form of Paganism I’d previously overlooked. A form that may prove to be an important key in my quest to understand the root religion of the Indo-Europeans. This is the Paganism of the Balts.
The Balts are close neighbors of the Germans and Scandinavians and have even used runic letters in their writing, though they speak a different language group and practice a different form of Indo-European Paganism.
The surviving members of the Baltic language family today are Lithuanian and Latvian, but in the past this family included mighty Prussian. Though the Prussian identity has since been absorbed by Germany, the Latvians and Lithuanians have retained much of their own original language and culture.
The Lithuanian language in particular, is said to be the most archaic surviving Indo-European language. That is, Latvian is closer to Proto Indo-European than any other language in existence.
Anyone wishing to hear how Indo-Europeans spoke should come and listen to a Lithuanian peasant: Antoine Meillet
The Lithuanians were relatively late converts to Christianity, even later than the Scandinavians. The official conversion of Lithuania was not completed until the 14th century and Paganism remained in practise among the peasantry until the 17th or 18th. Of course, many Pagan elements have remained in Lithuanian folk practise right up to the present day.
The Lithuanian Pagan revival movement, known as Romuva, began early in the 19th century and survived even during the Soviet occupation. The Romuvans can rightfully lay claim to an ancient tradition that is unbroken or very nearly so. Today, Pagansim is said to be a well accepted part of Lithuanian culture and folk traditon. The face of one famous Pagan revival leader even graces the front of the 200 Litas banknote.
Much more research is necessary.