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Stories From Baltic Mythology

Niina is a folklorist and a storyteller who loves to research and explore myths from all around the world.

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God of the Sky

There isn't a lot of information available on Dievas's appearance. He was described as a young man wearing silver, felt, and silken attire. He also carried a sparkling silver (and occasionally green) sword that reflected the mindset of former Baltic dukes. He was instructed to dress in a grey coat and a white shirt. He occasionally wore a mask so that people wouldn't view him as a king. Dievas had the power to transform into an old man, and while in that shape, he went from house to house and village to village, aiding people and offering them presents.


Where Dievas Lived

Dievas was revered as the gods' founder. Not as the creator of everything, but as the architect of human culture. He was the deity who established order and law throughout the universe. People assumed that Dievas resided on his own property, which was perched on a tall, silver mountain. His farm was a prosperous earthly farm with fields, gardens, residences, and a pirtis (Baltic sauna). Two spotted horses known as Dievo irgai pulled Dievas' golden or silver wagon or sleigh. These mounts occasionally took the form of black hounds or black ravens.

To boost the productivity of the fields, he rode down from his heavenly peak. This explained the impending arrival of spring and summer during his leisurely descent from the mountain. He had a tight relationship with the sun goddess Saule and his occurrences followed the sun's cycles. Occasionally portrayed as her husband, her brother, or her personal servant. During Rasa, the Summer Solstice festival, Dievas and Saule were both honoured.


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Horse God

Dievas was revered as a horse god and had a special relationship with equines. Horses were revered in ancient Lithuania as gifts from Dievas. He was a deity who offered guidance to horsemen on how to care for and raise their mounts. Dievas shared a connection with Laima, the goddess of faith with three aspects. In other tales, Dievas even makes an appearance as Laima's father. Dievas had close encounters with people in the human realm during births, marriages, and funerals since he was the god of cultural values and law and order.

He was required to attend rituals where oaths and promises were made. Dievas and Laima were regarded as religious deities. The disputes and disagreements between Dievas and Laima are frequently depicted in folklore. Most of the time, she prevailed in discussions. Dievas was chosen to represent the Christian god when the Baltic regions were converted to Christianity in the late Middle Ages. This was due to Dievas' popularity and reverence among the pagan Balts, who regarded him as one of the pantheon's most powerful deities.

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Perkunas, God Of Storms

Many cultures believe that the sky god and the thunder god are one and the same, but in Baltic mythology, Dievas and Perkunas are two distinct, independent beings. The word Perk, a proto-Baltic word that means oak, is where Perkunas gets its name. His name is Perkons in Latvian and Perkuns in Prussian.

Ukko, the thunder god, had the traditional name Perkele in Finland. The god of fire, thunder, order, and chaos was Perkunas. Alkos, or holy grounds, were located throughout Lithuania under Perkunas. In these woodlands, sacred fires that belonged to Perknas were perpetually blazing, and the women who guarded them were known as vestals. Oaks and hills that had been "touched" by Perkunas lightning were revered. A rock or tree struck by Perkunas is immune to illness and evil.

For the farmers, Perkunas was the god of nature in charge of the lightning and the weather because he carried the rain with him. He sent rain, restoring the earth's fertility. Thunder was revered as a sacred occurrence. Every spring, folks would wait for the first thunder before they could begin tilling the ground. Because Perkunas awakened the soil, everything started to grow.

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Day of Perkunas

In various rituals, memorial lights known as grauduliné were lit to represent Perkunas. Thursday was Perkunas' holiest day. Germanic myths are likely the source of the relationship between Perkunas and Thursday. Everywhere in the world, the thunder deity is represented in a similar style. Perkunas was characterized as a man with a copper beard and an axe or lightning bolt in his human form. Perkunas played two roles.

He was the deity of chaos and the god of order at the same time. He might make things harmonious or break them. The representation of that was the two-headed axe. It showed both his constructive and destructive tendencies. Folklore portrays Perkunas as a god engaged in battle. Numerous tales describe him pursuing Velnias, the god of the dead. The entire year was filled with holidays for Perkunas. Perkunas Day is celebrated on June 29th, as well as Perkunas grauduliné (Candle-mass) on February 2nd, Pelenija (Mardi Gras), Joré the first bloom (Easter), and June 24th, the Perknas Fire.

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Velnias God Of The Dead

The term vélé, which denotes a spirit of the dead, is the origin of the name Velnias. The most well-known Velnias mythology is from the Baltic region. He was the underworld's deity, but he was also linked to commerce, hunting, and agriculture. He collaborated closely with the sky god Dievas, either as an enemy or an ally. He resembles the Scandinavian god Odin, the Hindu gods Varuna and Vritra, as well as the Prussian god Patula. Velnias is one of the most well-known figures in Lithuanian folklore and is frequently cited in superstitions, religious doctrines, poetry, and music. His persona changed to represent the Christian Satan after the arrival of Christianity.

In general, shape-sifting is one of the most prevalent themes in Baltic folk stories. Velnias possessed the power to manifest in various shapes and forms. Different animals, birds, and reptiles appeared as Velnias. He might appear as an individual of all ages and occupations. The interactions between Velnias and people were quite intricate. He occasionally asks for their support, love, acceptance, and friendship. He assisted people in building bridges, homes, churches, and farms. aided people in need, including hunters and blacksmiths. He might also cause individuals to harm in a number of ways. enticed them to sin, entered their hearts and lured them, laughed and jeered at them.

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Bringer of Life and Death

The keeper of the dead was Velnias. Through reincarnation and shape-shifting, he served as the patron god of animals. He also served as a protector for shepherds and herdsmen. In folklore, Velnias is portrayed as a physically alluring man who pursues women's affection and occasionally even marries them. Christians strongly refuted the claims made about Velnias and his relationships with women, which later enhanced his dubious character. In many nations and cultures, the creator(s) have a helper who aids in the realization of their ideas.

Frequently, the assistant is uncooperative or a troublemaker. Although Velnias was the gods' personal assistant, his tale is far richer than that. Velnias was regarded as one of the cosmological creator beings and one of the makers of the material universe in the oldest layers of Baltic mythology. His association with dying and reincarnation stretches back to the Baltic ancestor worship of prehistoric times.

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