Terms

Lithuanian Gods

Lithuanian Gods
 
The highest Lithuanian god, the creator of the world, was called Praamļius, Satvaras or Prakurimas, and sometimes simply Dievas (the God). The word Dievas has Indo-European connections since similar words can be found in other Indo-European languages: Dyaus in Indo-Aryan, Zeus in Greek, Deus in Latin, etc. The highest god of Old Prussians was Okopirmas. Probably, as early as in the Neolithic, the personified heavenly bodies appear: Saule (the Sun) and Menulis (the Moon) as well as the planets, the Sun's daughters: AuĻrine (the morning Venus), Vakarine (the evening Venus), Indraja (Jupiter), Selija (Saturn), Ziezdre (Mars) and Vaivora (Mercury). Interpretation of names of the last four planets has been done by Slavenas [42] on the basis of mythological materials. Moreover, several folk-tales and songs say that īeme (the Earth) is the Sun's eldest daughter. It should be noted that, in contrast to many nations, the Lithuanians had mythical imagery of the Sun as a goddess and the Moon as a male god. The same applies to gender usage in modern Lithuanian: the Sun is feminine and the Moon masculine. For all the planets are given feminine names. In some folk-tales, Venus is called Mariu īvaigļde (the Sea Star) and Mercury is AuĻrines Tarnas (Morning Star's Servant). In Latvia, the morning Venus is called Auseklis and the evening Venus is Rieteklis.
Saule (the Sun) was imagined as a beautiful goddess of the sky who lived in a palace somewhere far east. Every morning she drives into the sky in a brilliant chariot of gold, copper or fire pulled by two white horses. In the evening the chariot goes down into the Baltic sea and Saule changes the chariot into a golden boat which takes her across the sea. The boat is steered by the goddess Perkunele who bathes the tired and dusty Saule and sees her off, the next morning, refreshed and shining for a new journey through the sky.
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