Tag Archive: finnish mythology


Goddess Luonnotar

"Light Goddess" by Mi9

“Luonnotar’s themes are creativity, tradition, fertility and beginnings.  Her symbols are eggs, the East Wind and poetry.  A Finno-Ugric creatrix, Luonnotar closes the month of February with an abundance of creative, fertile energy. Her name means ‘daughter of earth’, and according to legend She nurtured the cosmic eggs from which the sun, moon and stars developed. In the Kalevala, Luonnotar is metaphorically represented as the refreshing east wind – the wind of beginnings. She also created the first bard, Väinämöinen.

The Kalevala is the epic poem of more than twenty thousand verses that recounts the history and lore of the Finnish people. Luonnotar appears in the creation stanzas, empowering the entire ballad with Her energy. If there’s anything in your life that needs an inventive approach or ingenious nudge, stand in an easterly wind today and let Luonnotar’s power restore your personal muse. If the wind doesn’t cooperate, stand instead in the breeze created by a fan facing west!

To generate fertility or internalize a little extra resourcefulness as a coping mechanism in any area of your life, make eggs part of a meal today. Cook them sunny-side-up for a ‘sunny’ disposition, over easy to motivate transitions, or hard boiled to strengthen your backbone!”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“In the beginning, there was only the Goddess Luonnotar, whose name means ‘Daughter of Nature’. She was becoming bored of being alone in the void of emptiness, so She let herself fall into the primal ocean where She floated aimlessly. The breath of the wind gently caressed Her, and the waters of the sea made her fertile. As she floated, a duck swam by looking for a dry place to build her nest and lay her eggs. She came upon the Goddess floating in the ocean, and perceived her knee to be a small island. The duck climbed up onto Luonnotar’s knee and laid 3 of her eggs, on which she sat for 3 days. On the end of the third day, Luonnotar felt a horrible burning pain on her knee, and jerked it up violently, tossing the 3 eggs and the duck back into the sea. The eggs did not break, but rather turned into beautiful things. The lower half of the eggs became the bountiful Earth, bringing plants and animals into existence. The upper part of the eggs became the sky, the speckled parts becoming the starry heavens, the dark patches becoming the clouds in the sky and the yolks joining to become the sun. Luonnotar completed the work of creation by causing springs of water to well up, nourishing the Earth. She also dug trenches, flattened out the ground and planted the first seeds of life so that the planet could flourish.” [1]

"Luonnotar" by Lisa Hunt

In another version, Luonnotar “floated for centuries on the primordial ocean, until one day an eagle landed on Her knee and built a nest. Luonnotar sat and watched the bird eagerly, happy for something to finally be happening after centuries of loneliness and boredom. She became too excited, however, and upset the nest, and the eggs fell and broke. The broken shells of the eggs formed the heavens and the earth. The yolks became the sun, the whites the moon, and scattered fragments of the eggs transformed into the stars. Afterward, Luonnotar fashioned the continents from the eggs that made up the land, and divided the seas.” [2]

“A Goddess similar to Azer-Ava, Luonnotar was occasionally seen as a triple Goddess.  She had three sons, all culture-heros (VäinämöinenLemminkäinen and Ilmarinen representing poetry, magic and smithcraft respectively).  She was sometimes dual-sexed, with Her alternative name, Ilmater, sometimes described Her masculine name.  When part of the Goddess-trinity, Luonnotar is connected with Udutar and Terhetär, sisters who live together sifting mist through a sieve to cause disease.  In some traditions, Luonnotar gave birth to the world’s first woman, Kave, who in turn gave birth to humanity; yet at times, Kave is used as a title of Luonnatar.  Her connection to the dual Goddesses Suvetar, daughter of summer and Etelätär, daughter of the wind, is unclear, although both are invoked with titles resembling those of Luonnotar.” (Patricia Monaghan, Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines, p. 364).

Sources:

The Eclectic Magazine of Foreign Literature, Science and Art, Vol. 42.

Monaghan, Patricia. Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines. “Luonnotar“. Greenwood, 2009.

Blessed Shrine of Isis. Finnish Mythology

Goddess Mielikki

“Mielikki’s themes are change and providence. Her symbols are bears, grain and woodland plants.  The Finnish Goddess of game, hunting and the forest, Mielikki protects our resources during the remaining cold season by keeping the pantry filled. As the Goddess of abundant grain, she also encourages the return of fertility to the earth.

Go into your kitchen and get a small handful of any grain-based cereal. Take this outside and release a pinch of it to the earth, saying something like:
‘Mielikki, see this grain and bless
return to earth in fruitfulness
Hear the prayer that fills my heart
to my home, providence impart.’

Take the remaining pinch back in the house and store it in an airtight container, symbolically preserving your resources.

Tyvendedagen means ‘twentieth day after Christmas’. In Norway, today marks off the official end of the Yule season. It’s celebrated with races, sleigh rides, and the storage of ornaments and by burning the Christmas tree to drive away winter. So, when you dismantle your Yule tree, keep a jar full of its needles handy. Burn these throughout the year to banish frosty feelings or to warm up a chilly relationship. The pine smoke, being from a woodland tree, also draws Mielikki’s attention to any pressing needs you may have.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

In one legend, Mielikki plays the central role in creating the first bear.  Click here to read the story.

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