Finnish Paganism

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Forums -> Other Paths -> Finnish Paganism

Finnish Paganism
By: / Novice
Post # 1
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.

  • Creation of the world

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.

  • Cosmic Gods

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.

  • Other important deities

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:

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.

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Re: Finnish Paganism
Post # 2
This was so interesting to read! Thanks for posting.
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Re: Finnish Paganism
Post # 3

That was a very interesting and informative read with clear and consise content! Thoroughly enjoyed that thankyou! As it happens I have actually just moved into a house with two finish girls who know a lot about paganism over in their country, had such interesting conversations with them. Their father is apparently a Viking Archeologist over there

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Re: Finnish Paganism
By: / Novice
Post # 4
made Favorite...thank you Fox13

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Re: Finnish Paganism
By: / Novice
Post # 5

Thank you all for your comments. I m glad you found it interesting.

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Re: Finnish Paganism
By: / Novice
Post # 6

A few links for further reading to whoever is interested.

Official Finnish Book of mythology:

History of pagan Europe:

Finn religion:

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Re: Finnish Paganism
By: / Novice
Post # 7

The Human Soul according to Finnish beliefs.

I think Finnish beliefs according the soul are quite interesting. It's actually one of the things that first draw me in that path.

Finnish pagans believe that humans have many forms of souls. In order for a person to be considered "whole" and healthy three souls should be present: the Henki , the Itse and the Luonto .


Henki in Finnish is translated to "breath" this soul represents life in Finnish paganism. It enters the person when it's still a fetus and it's believed to manifest through body functions such as breathing. In case of death the Henki was the first soul to exit the body and in most cases it takes the form of a small animal (eg small bird)


In Finnish Itse means "self". Itse is the main soul, the first to enter the body at the minute someone is born. Itse is the soul that defines the person's character and attributes. Unlike other forms of human soul, itse is independent and it's able to survive without the body before birth and after death. When a person died the Itse would go to the underworld or remained as a spirit or a ghost within the person's family. Itse does not leave the family stream after the body's death. It is thought to return to its loved ones with rebirth in a different generation. So to conclude Finnish pagans believed that they can be reborned over and over but always in the same family.

However suicide was not acceptable by Finnish people since they believe tha if a person commits suicide the itse can not enter the underworld or be reborned into the family. In cases of suicide or violent death the itse would change its independent form and become trapped between worlds.


Luonto is defined in Finnish as the "nature of a person" and it represents the guardian spirit. According to Finnish Paganism every person has a Luonto in order to help them accomplish goals, provide them with luck, protection and health. A new member of the family was fully accepted when they recieved their Luonto. Usually childre recieved their Luonto in the age they got their first tooth. The Luonto was believed to be the protector and usually appeared as an animal or a deseased person that had a significance in the clan. The Luonto usually appears in the person's dreams, however in ancient Finnish mythology the Luonto was believed to have the ability to take a physical form (mostly the person's) and appear to others right before the actual person. Through rituals the Luonto could be improved and enhanced. Ancient Finnish seers (tietaja) who had a respectful place in the community and were also the healers of the clan were thought to have a very powerful and ancient Luonto which obtained them with their powers. Tietaja used to meditate in order to get in touch with their Luonto when healing. However it was possible for a person to lose their Luonto especially if they had a traumatic experience or if they were disrespectful towards it. Id one loses their Luonto they are unfortunate miserable and most of the times sick. Once the Luonto is lost it is nearly impossible to return.

If you have any questions do not hesitate.

Thank you for reading

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