#AtoZChallenge – R is for Rasputin

RasputinMy eighteenth post in the A to Z blog challenge was obvious from the beginning. Dust to Blood posits strange religious practices begun under Grigori Rasputin as part of the reason Ivan and his cohorts have dust as blood–and no memories much older than the timeline of the book.

Rasputin was a charismatic mystic active in the court of the final Tzar of of the Romanov dynasty, Nicholas, and his wife Alexandra. He was trained as a monk in the Russian Orthodox Christian tradition, which meant he was still free to marry. He had three children by his wife, and an additional child outside the bounds of matrimony.

He is a greatly controversial figure in Russian history already, with some blaming him for the fall of the Romanovs. Others worry about his affiliation with the Khlysty (a banned religious sect of “flagellants” who were accused of reaching states of spiritual and physical ecstasy through their activities). He was murdered in December 1916 by a group of right-wing politicians worried about his ongoing influence at court.

Everything about this man speaks to the mystical past of Russia, including the legend of his cremation, where stories say he sat up in the fire. He’s revered as a righteous man in many quarters, though myth and legend surrounds most of what is known of his life.

And then there’s Boney M’s song “Rasputin” to take you from the sublime to the ridiculous, and enjoy a bit of a throwback and a laugh while you wait with me for tomorrow’s release.

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