November 4, 2010
He always carries his sword (sometimes bow) in one hand, and in the other a drinking horn. Svetovid had a white horse which was kept in his temple and taken care of by priests. It was believed Svantevit rode this horse in battle. The horse was used for divination. Victory in battle, merchant travels and a successful harvest all depended on Svantevit.
Svetovid is associated with war and divination and depicted as a four-headed god with two heads looking forward and two back. A statue portraying the god shows him with four heads, each one looking in a separate direction, a symbolical representation of the four directions of the compass, and also perhaps the four seasons of the year.
The main temple of Svantevit, as he was called by the local Rani, was located in Arkona on Rugia Island in the Baltic Sea (today Rügen, in Germany).
Some interpretations claim that Svetovit was another name for Radegast, while another states that he was a fake god, a Wendish construction based on the name St. Vitus. However, the common practice of the Christian Church was to replace existing pagan deities and places of worship with analogous persons and rituals of Christian content, so it seems more likely that Saint-Vitus was created to replace the original Svanto-Vit. According to a questionable interpretation, Svantevit was a Rugian counterpart of the all-Slavic Perun common in Slavic mythology.