Introduction to Finnish Paganism
The place of nature and guardian spirits in Suomenusko
What first draw me in Finnish paganism during my first trip to Finland in 2006 was the fact that like Shamans, Finnish pagans value nature greatly.
Finnish Paganism also referred to as Suomenusko is a path very connected to nature. In Finnish paganism everything in nature is connected to a deity or a spirit. The spirits that control nature are referred to as Haltija (Germanic origins= Father or Mother) which represent the invisible powers of nature. Those spirits have control over natural elements such as fire, water, plants and even animals. Spirits play a significant role in Finnish paganism. Nature had to be treated with great respect since Finnish pagans were in a constant interaction with it.
Every pagan had its guardian spirit, life and death forces. Every Guardian spirit had to be treated with respect in order to offer protection, if treated badly the spirit seeked revenge causing bad luck and misery to the individual.
Creation of the world and Cosmic Gods in Finnish Paganism.
The Creation of the world in Finnish Paganism is a two tailed theory. The first belief was that before the creation of earth the only thing that existed was the sea. The first myth supports that a seabird dived into the sea and brought up a seed that later became the earth. The second myth supports that a seabird laid an egg on the knee of the cosmic God Vinminen who was floating on the sea at the time. The egg fell and broke and from its remains earth was created. Vinminen in Finnish Paganism was considered to be the oldest Cosmic God and had great power over the seas and water in general.
In Finnish Paganism the cosmic Gods were three: Vinminen, Ilmarinen; and Joukahainen. Their mother was Iro who gave birth to her three sons while she was a virgin. Those Gods are called cosmic because according to the ancient Finns they were born before the creation of the world. Vinminen was the oldest of all and associated with water, Ilmarienen was the second son and he was associated with fire. Ilmarinen was the first to create fire when he created a thunder and forced it into the sea. Joukahainen was the youngest son of Iro and he was associated with air.
The divine brothers were essential for the creation of the world and humanity. Vinminen was also considered to be the world's first healer in Finnish Paganism and the only one who could travel in the underworld (as a fish in Finnish mythology since the world of the dead was considered to be under the sea)
Ilmarinen also referred to as Ukko
Ukko means old man. It was a tittle that expressed wisdom in Finnish paganism. Ukko was the chief God the ruler of weather, storm and thunder. Even though he wasn't the oldest of the cosmic Gods anceint Finns worshiped and feared him greatly, since the weather in such a cold country was what defined life and death at the time. Finn pagans named Ilmarinen Ukko in order to avoid calling his real name during thunderstorms.
The Sun and the moon
As in many shamanic religions the ancient Finns worshiped the sun. In Finnish Paganism the sun is associated with the cycle of the year, life and happiness. Pivtr was the sun God in Finnish paganism. Unfortunately there are not many information on Him since the Catholics destroyed a lot of evidence during the 16th century.
The moon was associated to fate and destiny. The faces of the moon were very important and people believed that the phase of the moon was responsible for the outcome of any action. Ancient Finns always took the phases of the moon into account during rituals, spells, prayers and even in performing simple actions in their everyday life. The phases of the moon were four in Finnish Paganism each lasted approximately for a week. The first was the birth of the moon, the early moon, the second phase was the upper moon which ended in a full moon the third phase was the lower moon (Alakuu) that would end in the fourth phase which was the old moon and the birth of a new one. The moon Goddess was Kuu she has a significant place in the practices of Finish Paganism, while some even believe that it was her knee responsible for the creation of the world, personally I support this belief.
Additional information: http://www.spellsofmagic.com/read_post.html?post=583839
Those are considered to be the basic information on Ancient Finnish mythology.
Attention: Suomenusko is a form of neo Paganism based on Ancient Finnish mythology it may involve a few alterations.
If anyone is interested in additional information I have books to recommend. Feel free to mail me anytime.