God of the Underworld

Velnias was the god f the underworld and the protector of the dead. In historical sources, he is also associated with agriculture, hunting, trade and crafts. Depending on the story he participates with Dievas (god of the skies) as an antagonist or as an assistant in the creation of the earth. Velnias protected the fertility and bounty of the earth and animals.

The partial transformation of Velnias t the antipodes of God, that is to the Devil or Satan, took place after the introduction of Christianity. Velnias in folklore is often associated with the Christian devil and is a popular character within folktales. He appears in the shape of various animals, birds and reptiles. His relationship with people is often complicated. Sometimes he seeks the friendship of people, love or help. Sometimes he helps them in various ways: protects them from wrong-doers, builds houses, bridges and help them to till their land.

He can also harm people, mock them, misleads them, tempts them to commit sin, and try to seduce them.

In pre-Christian mythology, Velnias was the guardian of the dead. He was a patron of animals and protected the herdsmen and shepherds. In Lithuanian mythology, the deities are celestial beings and according to the myth, Velnias was created to be the Gods (Dievas) double on earth, which is why his kingdom was in the underworld and everything there was the opposite to what happened on earth.

Veliona the Queen

Veliona (Latvian Velu Mate) was the goddess of the dead. In the town Veliuona a church was built on top of a famous temple that was dedicated to the goddess Veliona. Veliona is a chthonic goddess, she is seen as a goddess who guards over the underwater world, streams, caves, waters and soil (but she should not be confused with the earth goddess Zemyna).

Veliona had a similar role to Valkyries in Germanic mythology. It was believed that she received the souls of those who died in a battle.

According to folklore, there was a widespread sacrifice of pings to Veliona. Other animals were hens and roosters, female calves and ewes.

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Niina's Fairychamber

Niina's Fairychamber

Illustrator, writer and a folklorist. Likes cats, tea and period dramas. Currently writing a book about Finnish mythology. A host of the Little Women Podcast.