Finnish Goddess Ilmatar


Ilmatar by Robert Wilhelm Ekman

Goddess Ilmatar

Finnish Air Goddess


Primordial Goddess Ilmatar is a virgin Finnish Air Goddess, also known as Luonnotar or Luonotar, is depicted as a virgin floating on the sea.  Her feast day is August 26th and she is known as the cosmic egg cookery.  Ilmator is worshipped in Finland and was born of the air.  She created the universe from seven cosmic eggs.  Longing to be pregnant, and a virgin Goddess, after great longing, she did become pregnant by the wind and sea and gave birth to the Gods of music, magic, and smithing, and Vainomoinen.  Her name is derived from the Finnish world ilma, meaning “air” and the suffix -tar, meaning female spirit…her name literally means “female air spirit”.  In the Kalevala, the Finnish epic she was called Luonnotar, which means “female spirit of nature”.  

The Story is as follows according to the Kalevala Epic:

In the beginning there was only Ilmatar, the void and a great deal of wind.  She was alone in the beginning of time.  She lived in the heavens, but eventually she grew restless and slipped into the vast sea. She floated and frolicked for centuries (some writings say 700 years) in this primordial ocean counting rainbows and letting the wind play with her hair. She began to long for a son, so great that the East and West took pity upon her. She found herself being buffeted and tossed by the wind’s love-making until she was so exhausted she could bear it no longer and collapsed.  During that great storm, she became pregnant and conceived Vainamoien, child of the wind. Ilmatar floated for centuries in the seas unable to give birth, as there was no land. After the seventh century, she began to lose hope and Ukka (old man, grandfather, god of the sky, weather, harvest and thunder) took pity on her and sent her a duck. The duck, tired and in need of a nest, was desperately looking for a place to land to lay her eggs.  Ilmatar saw the bird struggling and quickly offered the bird her knee to land on.  The bird came swooping down and laid half a dozen cosmic eggs.  The bird gathered them up and sat upon them to rest.  Ilmatar sat and watched the bird happily as she was so happy that finally after all these centuries something was happening. After a while Ilmatar became uncomfortable and needed to move, to stretch her leg, but the seven eggs rolled off and fell into the raging sea. These cosmic eggs are very delicate, so as soon as they hit the waters, they broke open. Ilmatar watched in amazement as the broken egg shells formed the heavens and earth.  The yolks became the sun, the whites the moon, and the scattered fragments of the eggs became the stars.  The world was formed.  The seventh egg was iron, and it’s black yolk became a thundercloud.  Ilmatar was so delighted with the events, she began shaping the lands and adding all the finishing touches. Even though she had created the land, she still remained pregnant for thirty more summers while she was finishing the world.  She soon began to feel a stirring inside her, Vainamoinen began waking up after 30 years of being in the womb and was now eager to see the world.  His birth was a struggle, but Ilmatar gave birth to a bouncing, bonnie old man who became known as the world’s first Shaman, who began to help her finish creation.  

There isnt much more written about Ilmatar, maybe she is still busy creating here on earth.  Through her one gesture, she was able to create a majesty.

For me, I am feeling that change doesnt have to be so radical, one small step at a time.  As we are going into our harvest season, examining those things we need to change for the better, maybe we should take Ilmatar’s ways and just do one thing at a time.  One pebble dropped in the middle of the pond makes many ripples.  

Here’s to one small step toward greater things!


Sirona Rose

~ by TerraRubrae on August 25, 2017.

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