Matthew Osmund, Editor-in-Chief
I’ve always had a natural interest in probing the unknown, and was a keen writer from a young age. These interests led me to attain a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism—but I quickly realized the deeper mysteries and meaning of life, and the metaphysical questions which interested me most, were best explored outside a career in conventional media.
I had a spiritual yearning and interest during my youth, but perceived that the religious institutions around me lacked something and couldn’t provide what I sought. As I matured out of adolescence I felt a growing restlessness to fulfill some higher purpose I couldn’t define—and I knew in my bones there was a higher purpose for being alive—but I wasn’t sure where to turn to understand or pursue it, and it frustrated me that most people didn’t seem to know or care about it. Around that time I had a series of metaphysical experiences which confirmed to me that existence does have a deeper aspect and potential. This drove me to seek a practical means to delve into, understand and explore it further. Thankfully I found some like-minded people and a knowledgeable source of information which made the inner quest I was seeking practically possible. Having felt a calling to pursue spiritual studies from that time, I’ve been a committed practitioner since 2004; it’s been a ongoing journey since then that’s led me to what I practice today—The Religion of the Sun. On The Spiritual Sun, I put my skills and inquisitive nature towards shedding light on the ancient Religion of the Sun, which I investigate both as a writer/researcher and practitioner.
I’m personally descended from indigenous Indo-European peoples of Europe, with mixed ancestry from Germanic, Norse and possibly Celtic roots. All once practiced indigenous religions carrying remnants of the ancient Religion of the Sun prior to Europe’s Christianization. More specifically, I’m mainly of Anglo-Norman descent, with ancestors on both sides of my family from that heritage who, it appears, lived in Ireland at different times following the Norman conquest of that country, as well as England. One ancestor, who took part in the Norman conquest of Ireland, inaugurated a regional ruling dynasty there, while more recently, one of my great grandfathers emigrated there from France, carrying a family name originating from Normandy itself—the French region settled and ruled by Scandinavian Norseman/Northman who gave the realm its name and forged the Norman culture that later expanded. I likely have a mixed descent from the Norse Viking settlers of Normandy, and the Germanic Franks of France and Anglo-Saxons of Britain they intermarried with—populations which themselves stem from much earlier westward migrations of Germanic tribes into lands then peopled by the Celts, whom they mixed with.
Due to my personal heritage, I have a particular interest in exploring the roots and traditions of the Indo-European branch of the Religion of the Sun that connects back to my ancestors and their former sun-oriented religions. To that end, I am drawn not only to understanding the ancient religious traditions of Europe, but also of India and the subcontinent (among others), where an unbroken tradition of Indo-European religious practice lives on to this day, having never been replaced by the expansions of latter-day missionary religions as happened in many other places. I’m fortunate, I feel, to have a unique window into Indian culture through my wife, as it is her land of origin. Having visited India and explored ancient sites and witnessed Vedic sun ceremonies with her, I am grateful that such a rich living culture survives providing a time-capsule of sorts preserving remnants of an ancient religious knowledge that was once widespread globally, and which, going back into prehistory, directly connects to my own heritage.
Beyond exploring traditions linked to my personal background, I have a broader interest in exploring all knowledge, practices, sacred sites and traditions of the world which descend from or were influenced by the ancient Religion of the Sun. It is my hope that all people who are interested can tap into this wisdom—once treasured by our ancestors—and practice it, experience it, and bring it to life again in the present.
My other interests include music, and I enjoy classical and folk music from various regions, including Europe, South Asia, Peru, and North America, some of which we feature on this site. I’ve also played in bands and written songs from a young age. While I’m not much of a performer or musician, music itself, and the process writing, listening and participating in it, has always had a treasured place in my heart, and I’ve felt it to be connected to spirituality in some way.
Jenny Belikov, Managing Editor
Having moved continents multiple times early in life, I grew up with a somewhat unique exposure to different cultures, religions, and alternative ways of living, and those experiences marked the beginnings of my investigations into the times and cultures of remote antiquity. Some paranormal and spiritual experiences I’ve had growing up gave me a glimpse of otherworldly things, later leading me to explore spirituality and world religions.
While in university my interest in the ancient past led me to obtaining a BA in History, with a special focus on ancient civilizations. I also studied psychology, sociology, anthropology, religion, and languages — all subjects that had a strong draw for me since I often pondered whether something was missing in modern life, and whether there was something we’ve lost touch with or had forgotten as the wheel of time turned? I intuitively felt there were clues in the study of ancient civilizations that might offer insight into this, something that would help me put my finger on what that “something forgotten” was.
Learning about the lost civilization of the sun and the Religion of the Sun has filled in many gaps in my search for these answers, and led me to become a researcher and practitioner of this ancient religion, as well as a writer and Managing Editor for The Spiritual Sun website.
This journey has also led me to re-discover and re-connect with my Slavic roots and the native religion and way of life of my ancestors, and its interconnectedness with other cultures who celebrated the spiritual sun throughout history. I’m also very interested in visiting sacred sites around the world and their connection to the ancient Religion of the Sun — my husband Jordan and I travel to various (often lesser-known) ancient sites to explore them in person whenever possible.
Jordan Belikov, Webmaster
I’ve always been intrigued by religious and spiritual practice, studies, and texts. I even remember coming home from preschool one day and telling my mom with much enthusiasm and sincerity that I wanted to be a spiritual teacher!
I went on to receive an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Religion (and English and French as a Second Language) at university, but ultimately found the purely academic study of religion quite lacking. I’ve been actively exploring and studying the practical side of spirituality since 2003; began regularly participating in solstice and equinox revival events in 2011; and have also been researching, investigating, and more recently visiting ancient sites aligned to the sun throughout the world since then.
In 2013 my wife Jenny and I created a website to write about ancient spiritual practices and our personal experiences with them, and after having been joined by contributors Justin and Vida Narovski, began researching further into sacred texts and uncovering ancient practices used in traditions descended from the sun that are part of an ongoing research project The Spiritual Sun is undertaking that will be released in the future.
As for my background, I grew up in Canada as a fourth-generation Canadian, but can track my family tree further back mostly through Eastern Europe and Russia, and mainly in areas now known as Poland and Ukraine. As fate would have it, Jenny was born in the USSR, and I’ve been slowly learning Russian ever since we met. Due to this background and as a researcher and active practitioner of the ancient Religion of the Sun, I have a particular interest in exploring the manifestation of it in the various Slavic cultures historically.
Having been playing and performing music on a wide variety of instruments as well as voice from the age of three, I also aim to connect with the ancient Religion of the Sun through traditional music, mostly via playing the Andean flutes known as the quena and panpipes, which I first took up in 2009. I currently contribute to the Spiritual Sun project mainly as the site’s webmaster.
Justin Narovski, Contributing Writer and Researcher
I’ve been a student of the spiritual and mystical since 2002, and I’m also a student of history and a published history writer. I bring these skills together as a contributing writer here at The Spiritual Sun, where I explore the Religion of the Sun as both a researcher and practitioner.
I have a particular interest in alternative perspectives on history and in exploring the earliest origins of humanity. This interest has led me to study the ancient Civilization of the Sun, and in my research I try to trace its legacy through cultures influenced by it, the megalithic and sacred sites it constructed, and ancient spiritual texts containing its wisdom.
I have spent time exploring a number of sacred sites around the world with my wife Vida (particularly in my home continent of North America) which I find to be one of the most powerful and tangible ways to connect with the mysteries of the past. I hope to visit many more such sites in the future.
Outside of research, my favourite past-time is spending time in nature, which I try to do on a daily basis. I also have a deep love of music—both to listen to and to create with others, which I do as a singer and guitarist. My tastes are eclectic and include classical music from both east and west as well as traditional music from many world cultures.
Vida Narovski, Contributing Writer and Researcher
I’ve always been intrigued by spirituality and mysticism from a young age, and very early on wanted to find out whether there was more to life than commonly thought. This lead to a deep interest in the ancient civilizations who practiced the Religion of the Sun, especially after having noticed the influence of the Civilization of the Sun within the culture and traditions of my Lithuanian family. This influence is evidenced in cultural practices (my Great-Grandmother used to greet the sun each morning!) symbols, textiles, music, and sacred sites.
I am a contributing writer and independent researcher for The Spiritual Sun and a practitioner of the Religion of the Sun. I enjoy spending time exploring ancient sites that align to the sun with my husband Justin, trying out ancient practices, learning to sew traditional clothing and singing folk songs, especially those from the Baltic tradition.
David Arkyn, Contributing Writer and Researcher
I have been interested in spirituality for as long as I can remember, and have always thought that ancient cultures were fascinating. In many ways however, I found it hard to connect on a personal level with the stories of the world’s great cultures taught about in school or explained in books as they seemed so remote and often indecipherable and irrelevant to modern day living. Since learning about and beginning to practice the Religion of the Sun however, it feels like a missing piece of the puzzle has fallen into place that sheds light on why the ancient cultures who practised the Religion of the Sun lived the way they did, and why they left us so many clues about their spirituality that would stand the test of time and eventually lead to the re-discovery of this ancient religion. Practising the Religion of the Sun feels like picking up a long buried and ageless thread of great value that can connect us with spiritual seekers that came before us throughout the ages, making their sites and practices once again accessible and meaningful. I am constantly amazed by the similarities in the ancient sites and sacred texts of these cultures, and I find it exciting and rewarding to try and understand them more and more deeply.
I am particularly interested in the ancient spirituality of Ireland and of the wisdom bringer Odin, with whom I feel a particular affinity and I can trace my ancestry back through Ireland and the British Isles to Nordic countries, both places where the Religion of the Sun was once practiced. One day I hope to explore many of the sacred sites in these areas. I have always felt that Glastonbury Tor, a site which was built to align to the rising sun on the winter solstice, was a particularly intriguing place, so I might start there! In the meantime I content myself with exploring the different traditions, texts, and symbols of the Religion of the Sun, and I contribute to this website as a writer / researcher and administrator.
Jon Alswinn, Contributing Writer and Researcher
My main interest in life is inner change through practicing the revived Religion of the Sun. I have been involved in solstice and equinox celebrations since 2011, and have been dedicated to practicing spirituality since 2006.
From an early age I was interested in ancient cultures and civilizations, regularly reading books and articles on history. I was fascinated by a past seemingly richer than the present, at odds with modern society’s preoccupation with a materialistic and often atheistic life.
I studied a wide variety of subjects at university as part of my Bachelor of Arts, including historical studies, art in history, philosophy, literature, and cultural sociology, receiving two awards for academic excellence. The skills I learned have been invaluable for my current research.
I am of mainly German and Anglo-Saxon ethnicity, with a little Slavic (Polish) and Celtic (Irish). Looking into the lives of my ancestors has been a fulfilling experience, learning of the rich pre-Christian European cultures and ultimate Proto-Indo-European root from which so much of the ancient Religion of the Sun has been spread throughout the world.
I dabble in photography and video, and love to sing mantras and play music related to the Religion of the Sun and from cultures who practiced it, such as Germanic, Celtic, Slavic, Andean, and Indian.
I have visited petroglyphs and solstice/equinox aligned sites throughout the USA’s Midwest and Northeast, and plan to make many more trips to ancient sites of the Religion of the Sun in the future.