LITHUANIAN GODS + GODDESSES
Multiple faiths + practices can be used to place the practitioner in communion with the divine/holy or with deep underlying truths about the world. A good place to start is to look to the historical belief systems in one's own ancestral past. Here are a few of the divinities from my own (harkening back to before the Christianization of Lithuania).
- •DievasGod, the beginning of all the divinities. In disguise as a traveling beggar, he, as Dievas Senelis, the Good Old Man, comes to humanity to judge and heal and perform miracles.
- •PerkūnasGod of the Thunder. His power is as guardian of the peace and punisher of the wicked. Judgment is his, and he keeps the order of the world. Chaos is his enemy, and he is the custodian of truth.
- •SaulėGoddess of the Sun. The world is her dominion. She is of life and warmth and health and fertility. Her husband is Mėnulis, the Moon, though she also has children with Perkūnas.
- •MėnulisGod of the Moon. Also Mėnuo. A disloyal husband, he had his face ravaged by his wife Saulė in retribution for his infidelities. When he fell in love with Aušrinė, their marriage was stopped by her father, Perkūnas, who punished Mėnulis mightily.
- •AušrinėGoddess of the Morning Star; sometimes also Aušra, the Dawn. The daughter of Saulė and Perkūnas. In good scandalous mythological tradition, her mother's husband Mėnulis once fell in love with Aušrinė. Saulė is frequently jealous of her daughter's beauty, but Aušrinė continues to serve her mother faithfully and to prepare the sky for her coming each morning.
- •VakarinėGoddess of the Evening Star, sometimes also called Vakarė. Aušrinė's closest sister and the most important of the stars after her. She prepares Saulė's bed each night after the day is over and the Sun's work is done. Aušrinė and Vakarinė are one another's counterparts and foils and antipodes; they are two sides of the same coin. When connected to modern scientific explanation, it can be said that neither of them is a true star after all but rather the planet Venus seen at different times of day.
- •ŽvaigždėsThe Stars. In addition to Aušrinė and Vakarinė, other notable sisters include Indraja, Sėlija, Žiezdrė, and Vaivora.
- •GabijaGoddess of the Holy Fire. Honored offerings of bread and salt. A shapeshifter and a wanderer but an important member of the house, which she protected.
- •DaliaGoddess of Fate and Weaving. Allots to everyone their proper share. The giver and taker of goods and property, she oversees the distribution of wealth and inheritances so that everyone has what is their due.
- •LaimaGoddess of Fate and of Marriage and Childbirth. She is the one who makes the decision about whether a given person will live or die, and she knows how a person's life will unfold.
- •Deivės ValdytojosThe Governing Goddesses. Associated with Dalia and Laima. They are seven sisters who weave the lives of people. Verpiančioji spins the threads of life, Metančioji guides the weave, Audėja does the weaving itself, Gadintoja breaks the thread, Sergėtoja minds the way, Nukirpėja cuts life's cloth, and Išskalbėja launders.
- •ŽemynaThe Goddess of the Earth and Soil. She nourishes all life, and the people thank her and know that to her they will one day return.
- •AšvieniaiDivine twins who pull the chariot of Saulė across the sky. Often depicted as horses.
- •TeliavelisThe Blacksmith who forged the Sun. He overcame the Devil and gained his wisdom; he is the taking of chaos through order.
- •MedeinaThe Goddess of the Hunt and Forests. She is also known as Žvoruna, and she is associated with witches. She is accompanied by wolves.
- •KiškisThe Hare God, a trickster.
- •VelniasThe Devil, God of the Underworld, the Old Man of Bones. Sometimes called the Ghost God, for it is from the same root that comes vėlė, the Lithuanian word for ghost or soul. Brother of Dievas. God of the dead, wisdom, wealth, metamorphosis, and magic. In some tellings he came before Dievas, and in some tellings after. Note that Velnias is not evil; he is not the Christian Devil. He is merely a chthonic deity who cares for the spirits of those who have passed and punishes the unrighteous.