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WarriorZhanna
July 17th, 2007, 05:39 PM
What I'm posting here is my own knowledge of Estonian Paganism as an Estonian Pagan (since I was raised with that kind of a spirit).
Some of my sources are: "Eesti Mütoloogia" (translation: "Estonian Mythology") by M. J. Eisen (printed in 1920; the Estonians are very thankful to Eisen because he managed to collect & research as much as he could about the extinct Estonian Paganism, his book is the main source for us). I will try my best to give you detailed information. If anyone has any questions, you can PM me or just ask me here. :)

Estonian mythology is a bit confusing because there are so many variants and names for one creature and there hasn't survived much about Estonian Paganism (because of all the invaders like Russians, the crusaders, monks, missionaries, Christians and others who tried to kill Paganism) so I am posting as much as I can gather and find. I will still keep updating and researching more so please remain patient.

The world of Estonian mythology begins with a bird’s egg. Birds were believed to be messengers from heaven, the link between the world’s past and the beyond. In Estonian language, the term for the Milky Way is "Linnutee" meaning "The Bird's Way" - believed to be the path where souls travel. In our national epic Kalevipoeg (translation: "Kalev's Son"), Linda as the mother of Kalevipoeg (from now on I shall use the English variant "Kalevide"), was born from a bird's egg.
The epic ends with the death of Kalevide due to his own bewitched sword accidentally cutting of his legs yet promising to rise again someday and a new, free Estonia would be born. The Estonian epic has 1,200 verses and was composed from old Estonian folklore and songs into an epic by Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald, later finished by Faehlmann.



Gods:

Koit (Dawn) - god of dawn, eternal lover of Hämarik.
Pikne/Pikker (Lightning) - the long one, god of thunder.
Reegutaja/Rõõgutaja - protector of the eye crops, women in labor and the Narva city.
Peko - Setonian god of fertility & brewing.
Taara/Tharapita/Tarapiita - the most important god of the Estonians, a sky-god and the Osilian god of war; believed to be related or derived from Thor. Taara is the high god and can manifest himself in everything. Sacred tree: the Oak (he was worshipped in Oak groves called "Hiis" in Estonian.
Also, the Chuvash (a small nation in Siberia) have a god named Tora & it is believed it might have some connection to it as well, although Tora is the god of all (Chuvash religion is monotheistic).
Another interesting thing is that there is also a Tara in Hindu and Irish mythology (hence the Tara Hill). Apparently, according to the Livonian Chronicles, the Estonian Pagans cried out the name "Tharapita" in battle and those who did not speak the language were not sure what they meant by that. Nowadays, many assumptions have been made by Estonian linguists and scientists but the mystery still remains. I shall elaborate on this more a bit later. Now, I'll continue with the deities.
Uku - the supreme god of lightning and thunder, he has a great temper but also provides rain and a good harvest.
Vanemuine (The Ancient One; Also known as "Väinamöinen" in Finnish epic) - god/a wizard/sorcerer of songs, he plays the Estonian Kannel instrument (J.R.R. Tolkien's favourite language was Finnish and the epics inspired him to create his character Gandalf who's very similar to our Vanemuine in appearance and magic).
Vanetooni - the god of the dead, he guides them to their last resting place.
Maaema (Earthmother) & Anti - husband and wife, the gods of land and water.
Aio - the Estonian version of the Sandman; he brings people to sleep and each night he takes them on a journey in their dreams.
Vanejumi - a fertility god, he makes grain grow, flowers blossom & women have children.


Goddesses & Female Spirits:

Hämarik (Dusk) - goddess of the dusk.
Ilmatar/Ilmatütar - daughter of the air/world.
Haldjas (The Ruler) - elf, fairy, protector of some area/animal/plant specie.
Ilo/Ilu (Joy) - the hostess of feasts.
Maaema- the Mother Earth.
Põrguneitsi - the virgin of Hell.
Tulihänd/Pisuhänd/Kratt (Tail of Fire) - flying house elf, helps to gather and protect wealth.


Heroes and Others:

Jeekim - a ghost, lives in graveyards.
Kalev - the father of Kalevipoeg and the husband of Linda.
Kalevipoeg, Kalevine (Kalev's son/Kalevide) - a giant, mythical ancient king and hero of Ancient Estonia.
Kaval Ants (Crafted/Sly Hans) - wicked farm hand who deceives his master.
Vanapagan (Old Devil) - the Devil.
Koerakoonlane - half animal warrior with dog snout (probably after medieval Mongoloid solders of invading Russian armies).
Kurat/Kuri/Vanakuri (The Angry One) - the Devil.
Kõu (Thunder) - son of Uku, brother of Pikne.
Leiger (Player) - a g iant living in Hiiumaa island.
Lapi Nõid - the witch of Lapland.
Linda - mother of Kalevipoeg.
Maa-alune (Underground) - a dwarf living under the Earth.
Olevipoeg - the successor of Kalevipoeg, builder of Tallinn, related to St Olaf.
Alevipoeg - a relative of Kalevipoeg.
Sulevipoeg- no information, only a mention of the name.
Osmi - parallel name of Kalevine.
Puuk - parallel name of Tulihänd.
Tuuslar - a sorcerer living in Finland who tried to rape Linda.
Udres-Kudres - serf, called "Son of the Sun", hero of folksongs.


Christian Saints misinterpreted as "Gods":

Laurits (St Lawrence) - god of fire.
Mart (St Martin) - god of fertility.
Tõnu (St Anthony) - god of the crops and pigs.


Estonian Mythical Animals:

Libahunt -the werewolf.
Sinilind - a magical bluebird.


Estonian Mythical Objects and Places:

Valge Laev (The White Ship) - a mythical ship that brings freedom or takes people away to better land.
Hat of Nails - some magical item that makes the bearer usually invisible.
Lindakivi (Linda's Stone) - a boulder in Lake Ülemiste. It is believed to be one of the boulders Linda was supposed to carry to Kalev's grave at Toompea, but which fell off her apron. She sat on the boulder and cried, thus creating Lake Ülemiste.
Toompea - Kalevipoeg's grave.

WarriorZhanna
July 17th, 2007, 05:49 PM
Some Pictures:


Statue of Linda
http://www.einst.ee/Ea/heritage/images/weiz3.gif


Kalevipoeg (wearing Estonian national folkclothes)
http://www.kalevipoeg.info/Kallis4.jpg
http://www.kalevipoeg.info/Kallis3grand.jpg

Agaliha
July 26th, 2007, 02:58 AM
Oh, thanks for posting! Looks informative :) I'll read it more in depth later. If you have anymore info feel free to post!

Nightlady
June 3rd, 2008, 06:33 PM
Interesting that everything sarted with a birds egg... somewhat like in the Kalevala where the world was created when a birdsegg fell from a nest made on the godess/spirit Ilmatars (air maiden and mother of Väinämöinen the hero of the epic) knee...

BenSt
June 3rd, 2008, 08:43 PM
This is cool stuff! Would you know of any where where more information could be gathered?

I find it interesting though that in the Wiki article about the epic and about estonian mythology... M. J. Eisen is said to have created a lot of whats now in the book and that it isnt actually from estonian mythology... but was boprrowed from Greece, the Finnish Kalevala and put together. Is this true?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estonian_mythology

WarriorZhanna
December 22nd, 2008, 01:12 PM
This is cool stuff! Would you know of any where where more information could be gathered?

I find it interesting though that in the Wiki article about the epic and about estonian mythology... M. J. Eisen is said to have created a lot of whats now in the book and that it isnt actually from estonian mythology... but was boprrowed from Greece, the Finnish Kalevala and put together. Is this true?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estonian_mythology

Really? I have never heard of Eisen doing that. Here he is more of a "saviour" to us (as in he had a hand in preserving a lot of our folklore) and is regarded quite highly by Estonian scholars. :toofless: Or... well, at least that's what I've come across so far in my homeland. Not sure if wiki's statement is true though. I have to research this a bit more.

I will post a little more about Estonian folklore/myth/paganism. I'm in the process of gathering information. :)

WarriorZhanna
December 22nd, 2008, 01:26 PM
By the way, on a quick note - I edited my first post (some grammar mistakes and other minor things).

Will post more soon.

David19
December 22nd, 2008, 07:50 PM
Very cool info, WarriorZhanna, Estonian Mythology sounds very cool.

WarriorZhanna
December 23rd, 2008, 05:54 AM
Thank you! I'm flattered! :D

David19
December 23rd, 2008, 09:39 PM
Thank you! I'm flattered! :D

No problem :).