Saule, from Celestial Goddesses


The greatest goddess of the Baltic people - the Lithuanians and Latvians - was the shining sun, the sky weaver, the amber goddess Saule.

She ruled all parts of life, from birth into her light to death when she welcomed souls into her apple tree in the west. Even the name of the ocean on which the Balts lived was hers, named for Balta Saulite ("darling little white sun"). She was worshiped in songs and rituals that celebrated her nurturance of earth's life, for she was Our Mother, called various names like Saulite Mat ("little sun-mother") and Saulite Sudrabota ("little silver sun").

She was married in the springtime of creation to the moon man Menesis. Their first child was the earth; after that, countless children became the stars of heaven. Saule was a hardworking mother, leaving the house at dawn each day and driving her chariot across the sky until dusk. Menesis, however, was fickle and carefree, staying home all day and only sometimes driving his moon-chariot. The light of Saule's life was her daughter (variously named Austrine, Valkyrine, and Barbelina, but most generally called Saules Meita, the sun's daughter), the beloved lady of the morning star.

Each evening, after she had bathed her weary horses in the Nemunas River, Saule looked for the child. But one evening she could not find her - for in her absence, Saule's beautiful long-haired daughter had been raped by Menesis. Furious beyond words, Saule took a sword and slashed the moon's face, leaving the marks we see today. Then she banished him forever from her presence; thus, they are no longer seen together in the sky - the end of the happy paradise before the evil came into our world. Saule was worshiped every day when her people would bow to the east to greet Mother Sun. But she was especially honored on summer solstice, Ligo, when she rose crowned with a braid of red fern blossoms to dance on the hilltops in her silver shoes. At that moment, people dived into east-flowing streams to bathe themselves in her light. All the women donned similar braided wreaths and walked through the fields, singing goddess songs, or daina.
Finally, they gathered around bonfires and sang the night away. *sigh*
gathered around bonfires and sang the night away. *sigh*

Saul spinning weaving Goddess

"Saule, my amber weeping Goddess creating light like thread.
As "Saules Mat" my mother sun, daily blessing your thankful world with light."

*Picture above from Lisa Hunt Fantasy and Mythological Galleries


This page last updated: 03/01/2018