Monday, November 19, 2012

Medeina / Žvorūna (Lithuanian Forest Goddess)

Article by Ty Hulse

A Lithuanian forest-goddess which were entered into various chronicles listing deities of the pagans of Lithuania. Unfortunately only a little may be surmised about their cult.
First it is likely that they correspond with the goddesses Diana (from Rome) and Artemis (From the Greeks). Which the Indo-European's likely borrowed from the Ugric peoples who previously inhabited Lithuania.
It is likely that the first animal caught in the hunt each year was sacrificed to Medeina / Žvorūna. It also seems likely that certain aspects of her religious worship corresponded with the bear cult.
When people would build a new home they would try to get a bear to go inside, if the bear resisted that meant that there were bad spirits in the house and it needed to be cleansed or a new house needed to be constructed. A black hen was than sacrificed with it's head cut off above water and it's blood aimed to spray into the house.
Bears were worshiped as a bridge between the human and nature, believed to be somewhat related to humans but magical beings of nature.
Up into the the 20th century people would avoid visiting the forest around Winter Solstice, or cutting down trees in order to appease Žila (The Goddess of the Forest).

See our list of fairies at