In the Heart of the Mysterious
Finnish mythology and folk tales include countless amount of elementals, nature spirits and deities. World view of the ancient Finno-Ugric tribes was animistic and they believed that every single tree, stream, river, stone, person, animal, lake and flower had a spirit inside them. Then there was supreme gods and goddesses who ruled certain elements such as waters and the forest. These deities were manifestations of nature itself. This list includes names of the deities, nature spirits and the ancient pagan festivals in alphabetical order.
Ahti – Ruler god of the seas, lakes and rivers. Protector god of fishermen.
Akka – Goddess of the earth, also known as Rauni, Maanuntar, Mannutar, Maanakka.
Annikki – Forest spirit and spinner goddess of faith. Daughter of Tapio and Mielikki.
Auteretar - Spirit of dawn.
Elina – Emuu of hares.
Emuu – Primal mother/creator goddess of a particular animal or a plant specie. Comes from proto Finno-Ugric words emä/emo meaning mother.
Etelätär – Goddess of the southern wind.
Haltia – Spirits who lived in every stream, river, lake, forest, tree, flower, stone, heath and swamp as well as in every living being.
Hela – May 1st spring equinox.
Hiisi – In it´s original form hiisi was a sacred pagan worshiping place in nature. Later on they were seen as the personifications of the mountains or as evil giants or trolls.
Hongatar – Emuu of bears.
Iku-Tihku - First horse that was made of fire and ice.
Ilma – Primal god of the air. Later turned into Ukko.
Ilmarinen – Heavenly smith.
Ismo - Daughter of air. Bringer of rain.
Juoni/Juonetar – Mistress of the forest.
Karhu – Bear shaped god of the bears and forest. Mythical ancestor of many Finno-Ugric tribes. "Karhu" means bear in modern Finnish language.
Katajatar – Tree spirit. Goddess of Junipers. Daughter of Mielikki and Tapio.
Kapo - Spirit of the rainbow. Appeared in the form of a young girl.
Keijungainen – Small winged creature that had either black or white body covered with fur. Keijungainen´s were connected to death and could often be found dancing on cemeteries. Finnish word for fairy ”keiju” is derived from keijungainen.
Kekri – Three day celebration that took place on the first or the second week of November. Finnish festival of the dead and old pagan new year. Kerki was the time when passed away relatives had ability to visit their friends and family in the land of the living. It is also possible that Kekri was old pagan god of fertility.
Kekrittäret – Female spirits of the dead that were connected to Kekri celebration.
Kirous – Spell which purpose is to harm someone.
Kuutar – Finno-Baltic goddess of the moon and night. Her name is derived from the word kuu meaning the moon. Sister of Päivätär.
Kuurikki – When someone was unkind and disrespectful to goddess Mielikki she would transform herself to Kuurikki, the terrible punisher goddess.
Käreitär – Emuu of foxes.
Lempo – Malignant forest spirit.
Loitsu – Spell or a magical incantation.
Louhi – Powerful goddess of witchcraft and shamanism. Old Finnish goddess of the moon. When culture became more patriarchal she became the goddess of the underworld,receiver of death and mother of all diseases. Protector goddess of wolves. Also known as Louhetar and Loviatar. Louhi´s name comes from expression langeta loveen which is a state where shaman falls into trance.
Lumikki – Emuu of snow white animals. Daughter of Tapio and Mielikki.
Luonnotar – Nature spirit. (plural luonnottaret) Daughters of Luonto.
Luonto – Goddess of nature.
Löylynhenki – Spirit of the sauna. Can also appear in female form as löylynhengetär.
Maahinen – Earth-elf. Spirit who lives underground. Derived from the word maa – earth. Similar to gnomes. Also known as Menninkäinen.
Mantu – Earth spirits. Sons of Akka the earth goddess.
Manua – Goddess of dry land. Daughter of Akka the earth goddess.
Matopäivä – (Spring Equinox) Day of the snakes/worms It was believed that during Matopäivä earth goddess Akka woke from her long sleep and snakes and worms rose from the ground to dance in her honor.
Merenneito – Mermaid. Female sea spirit.
Mielikki – Goddess of hunt, forest, bears, luck, healing and abundance. Derived from the old Finnish word mielu meaning luck. Wife of Tapio.
Miiritär – Emuu of mice and other very small animals.
Noita – Old Finnish word for a shaman, cunning man or a woman. In modern Finnish language noita means a witch.
Nunnus - Daughter of air. Bringer of cold breeze.
Nyypetti – Herding boy who looks after the cattle in the summer pastorage. Son of Mielikki and Tapio.
Nyyrikki – God of hunt. Son of Mielikki and Tapio.
Pellervoinen/Pellermoinen – a diminutive of pelto a ploughed field.God of grass, growth and vegetation. Also known as Sämpsä Pellervoinen.
Pihlajatar – Tree spirit. Goddess of the rowan tree. Daughter of Mielikki and Tapio.
Pohjola – Mysterious north. Often north was seen as the underworld and the place of death. For ordinary men it was a place of fear but for a hero with magical powers it offered great opportunities.
Päivätär – Goddess of the sun and the day. Derived from Finnish word päivä meaning day. Sister of Kuutar.
Raunikko – Emuu of small, furry animals.
Ristikko – Emuu of animals who has small cross on their chests (risti – cross). Daughter of Tapio and Mielikki.
Siilikki – Siilikki takes charge of the wasps that haunts the woods. Also known as Huijutar. Sometimes considered as the emuu of hedgehogs (siili = hedgehog). This however is unlikely since first hedgehogs were brought to Finland in the 19th century from Estonia.
Simatar – Goddess of honey and mead.
Sumu - god/goddess of mist.
Sumutar - Mist spirit. Daughter of mist.
Suvetar – Goddess of summer.
Tahvatar - Emuu of horses.
Talvetar/Talvikki - Goddess of winter.
Talvipäivä – Winter Solstice.
Tapio – God of the forest, hunt and bears. Tapiola is old Finnish word for the forest. Husband of Mielikki.
Tapiotar – Forest goddess. Daughter of Tapio and Mielikki.
Tellervo – Goddess of the forest animals. Daughter of Tapio and Mielikki.
Tonttu – Protector spirit of buildings. Connected to ancestral worship. Similar to elves and gnomes.
Tuometar – Tree spirit. Goddess of Bird cherry. Daughter of Mielikki and Tapio.
Tursas – A giant.
Tuulikki – Goddess of the small wind and gentle breeze. Daughter of Tapio and Mielikki.
Tuutikki - Forest spirit. Daughter of Tapio and Mielikki.
Vedenneito – Female water spirit.
Vellamo – Godess of seas, lakes and rivers. Vellamo is the protector goddess of fishermen. She has ability to rule the storms and create waves. Wife of the sea god Ahti.
Viimatar - Goddess of the cold wind.
Vuotar – Maker of salves.
Väinämöinen – Mythical shaman and a wizard. Elemental of water. His name is derived from the word väinä which means a slow stream.
Ukko – God of thunder, rain, human relations and fertility.
Ukon Vakat – Summer Solstice celebration to honor the god Ukko
Utuneito – Female personification of the mist.
Pronounced as Nee-na.
Artist, illustrator, writer, watercolorist and a folklorist. Gryffinclaw. Comes from Finland. Likes cats, tea and period dramas.
Please keep the comment section civil, respectful and connected to the topic at hand. Thank you. Spammy/rude/passive-agressive comments will be blocked and reported.