October 28, 2010

Slavic Goddess Lada

Mother of the gods.
The Slavic goddess of love and beauty, who appears as Freya, Isis, or Aphrodyte with other peoples. It is, of course, linked to the planetary power of Venus who is, besides love and beauty, associated with fertility. Lada is represented as a girl with long golden hair sometimes with a wreath of ears of grain braided into her hair, which symbolises her function of fertility deity thus making her an aspect of Mother of Wet Land. A symbol of Sun, a mark of lifegiving power was sometimes on her breasts. As a fertility goddess, Lada has her annual cycles, which can be shown by the belief that she resides in the dwelling place of the dead until the vernal equinox comes. This world of the dead is called Irij, and here, besides Lada, dwells Veles, the horned god of cattle. At the moment when Lada is supposed to come out into the world and bring spring, Gerovit opens the door of Irij letting the fertility goddess bless the earth. At the end of summer, Lada returns to Irij (there is a similar myth in German mythology in which Freya spends a part of the year underground among the elves, whereas Greek Persefona dwells in Had during the winter period). Although her reign begins on the 21st of March, Lada is primarily the goddess of summer. She follows Vesna, the Slavic spring goddess. However, both of these goddesses are associated with fertility so sometimes it can sometimes be difficult to separate their functions. As we can see, Lada's reign begins in spring, the proof of which is ladenj, another name for April, given after this goddess. Apart from the Sun, Lada is also associated with rain and hot summer nights, the ideal time for paying respect to the love goddess.



Lada's animals are a cock, a deer, an ant and an eagle, whereas her plants are a cherry, a dandelion, a linden and a peony. Besides Venus, Lada is connected with the constilation of Taurus, which Aleksandar Asov wrote about in The Slavic Astrology. Here, we can once again see here her function of fertility goddess, whose reign begins in spring, mix with the function of the goddess Vesna. A myth says that Lada is married to Svarog who is only with her help able to create the world. According to another one, she is a companion of Jarilo, thus associated with Aphrodyte, whose lover is Ares. Rituals performed in Lada's honour are most often linked with contracting marriages, or choosing a spouse. Jumping over the fire is another characteristic of rituals performed in Lada's honour. This custom existed in all parts of Europe and its purpose was to ensure fertility as well as to protect people and cattle from evil forces.

Southland Tales the movie

Out of Sight release

32 comments:

  1. thanks i didn't know half of this stuff

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  2. lada niva, for all weather conditions

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  3. Interesting stuff as always. Thanks for the post.

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  4. I first knew about her playing Valkyrie Profile! FREYA rules!

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  5. how do you pay respect to the love goddess?
    you make llooove

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  6. I love learning about this stuff. I just learned in art class *because there was a painting of it* that we have winter because some goddess' daughter gets taken away 6 months out of the year by Hades and we have winter because thats when the goddess mourns losing her daughter and then in the spring she celebrates because thats when her daughter is returned to her

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  7. lada, this stuff is so interesting!

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  8. It seems that the gods from different religions aren't that different at all. They just have a different name and maybe a slightly different background story

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  9. good post, thx for checking me out :)!

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  10. You don't really see to many Pagan blogs about. Though I hardly right about it in my blog. I was initiated into Wicca, then took a solitary path and became and Eclectic Pagan myself. Good to see another though!

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  11. They need more attractive images of her >.<

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  12. for some reason she reminds me of lord of the rings :P Anyway, cool blog!! come check mine out when you have a chance :)

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  13. I have been exploring connections of Hyperborea, Apollon and his mother Leto with Slavic religion (as Hyperborea is believed by many to have originated as a telling of a northern origin of this god and goddess. I have many reasons for association Jarilo as a possible northern origin for Apollo (as it bears similarity to his name, and shares many of Apollon's functions especially among the Doric race who were said to have brought his cult into Greece, including as a war god in addition to ruling the spring and summer and harvests) and a goddess who became known as Leto (also bearing similarity and ironically similar to the hypothesis of a Lydia origin of the same type..lada), with a changed around mythology for their relationship. My research has made strong notations of commonality between Leto and Persephone, and reasons that Apollon in the mysteries was also considered the son of Persephone. Both Persephone and Leto having underworld associations being one. So I have found these posts to be very helpful to my own research regarding Apollon and Leto's northern origins.

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