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Finnish Gods and Goddesses

Finnish mythology is a fascinating part of Finnish folklore that has been passed down through generations. It is a collection of stories, beliefs, and practices that were once central to the lives of the Finnish people. Finnish mythology is rich with gods and goddesses, each with their own unique characteristics and stories.

The gods and goddesses of Finnish mythology were believed to be responsible for various aspects of life, such as the weather, fertility, and the harvest. Some of the most prominent gods and goddesses include Ukko, the god of the sky and thunder, Tapio, the god of the forest, and Ahti, the god of the sea. In Finnish mythology, each god and goddess had a specific role to play in the lives of the people, and they were often called upon for protection and guidance.

Despite the fact that Finnish mythology is no longer widely practiced, it remains an important part of Finnish culture and heritage. The stories and beliefs that make up Finnish mythology have inspired countless works of art, literature, and music, and continue to captivate people around the world today.

Pantheon Overview

Finnish mythology is rich in gods and goddesses, spirits, and legendary characters. The Finnish pantheon consists of primary deities and nature spirits.

Primary Deities

The primary deities of the Finnish pantheon are the most important and powerful gods and goddesses. They are often associated with natural phenomena and have a significant role in the daily lives of the Finnish people.

One of the most revered primary deities is Ukko, the god of thunder and lightning. He is often depicted as an old man with a long beard and a hammer. Another important deity is Tapio, the god of the forest. He is associated with hunting and is often depicted as a bearded man wearing a cloak made of moss and leaves.

Nature Spirits

Nature spirits are an essential part of Finnish mythology. They are believed to inhabit natural features such as trees, rocks, and bodies of water.

One of the most well-known nature spirits is the water spirit Ahti. He is the god of water and fishing and is often depicted as a handsome young man with a beard. Another important nature spirit is Mielikki, the goddess of the forest. She is associated with hunting and is often depicted as a beautiful young woman wearing a crown made of leaves.

Overall, the Finnish pantheon of gods and nature spirits is a fascinating part of Finnish folklore. The deities and spirits are deeply rooted in Finnish culture and have played a significant role in the lives of the Finnish people for centuries.

Creation Myths


Finnish mythology has several creation myths, but the most famous one is the Kalevala creation myth. According to this myth, the world was created by the god Ilmatar. She floated in the void for centuries until she became pregnant with the wind. As she was giving birth, she created the world and everything in it. The first thing she created was the island of Kalevala, which became the home of the gods.

World Formation

The Finnish creation myth also tells the story of how the world was formed. According to the myth, the world was created from the egg of a giant bird. The egg was floating in the void until it cracked open and the world was born. The upper half of the egg became the sky, and the lower half became the earth. The first being to emerge from the egg was the god Väinämöinen, who played a crucial role in the creation of the world.

In addition to the Kalevala creation myth, Finnish mythology also has other creation myths that involve different gods and goddesses. These myths vary in their details, but they all share a common theme of the birth of the world from chaos and the emergence of the gods and goddesses who shaped it.

Major Gods


Ukko is the main god in Finnish mythology. He is the god of thunder and lightning, and holds significant importance in the culture. Ukko is also associated with the sky, and is often depicted as an old man with a white beard. He is known for his powerful voice and his ability to control the weather.


Tapio is the god of forests in Finnish mythology. He is often associated with hunting and is known for his close relationship with the animals of the forest. Tapio is also believed to be the father of Tellervo, the goddess of the forest. He is often depicted as a tall, slender man with a beard and a crown of leaves.


Ahti is the god of the sea in Finnish mythology. He is often depicted as a powerful man with a long beard and a trident. Ahti is known for his control over the waves and his ability to calm the sea during storms. He is also associated with fishing and is believed to be the protector of fishermen.

Overall, these three gods hold significant importance in Finnish mythology and are a representation of the different aspects of nature that are revered in the culture.



Akkas are female spirits in Finnish mythology that are believed to be protectors of the land and nature. They were also associated with fertility and childbirth. According to legend, Akkas were known to help women during childbirth and ensure the safety of newborns. They were often depicted as old women with wrinkled faces and long hair.


Mielikki is the Finnish goddess of forests and hunting. She is often depicted as a beautiful woman wearing a green dress and carrying a bow and arrow. Mielikki is believed to be the wife of Tapio, the god of the forest. She was also associated with healing and herbal medicine. Mielikki was said to have a deep connection with animals and was known to protect them from harm.


Louhi is the goddess of the underworld and the ruler of Pohjola, a mythical land in Finnish mythology. She is often depicted as a powerful and fierce woman with magical powers. Louhi was known to be a skilled sorceress and was able to control the elements. She was also associated with the moon and was believed to be able to control the tides. Louhi was feared by many, but also respected for her power and wisdom.

Rituals and Worship

Seasonal Festivities

Finnish mythology is rich in seasonal festivals, which are celebrated with great enthusiasm by the Finnish people. The festivals are based on the cycles of nature and are closely related to the agricultural calendar. The most important festivals are the summer solstice, the winter solstice, and the spring and autumn equinoxes.

The summer solstice, also known as Midsummer, is celebrated on the longest day of the year. It is a time for bonfires, dancing, and feasting. The winter solstice, on the other hand, is the shortest day of the year and is celebrated with candles and lights to symbolize the return of the sun. The spring and autumn equinoxes are times of balance between light and dark, and are celebrated with offerings to the gods and goddesses.

Shamanistic Practices

Shamanism is an important part of Finnish mythology. Shamans are believed to have the power to communicate with the gods and goddesses, and to be able to heal the sick and injured. The shamanistic tradition is still practiced by some members of the Finnish community.

Shamans use various techniques to enter into a trance-like state, such as drumming, chanting, and dancing. They also use various tools, such as drums, rattles, and feathers, to help them connect with the spirit world. Once in the trance state, the shaman can communicate with the gods and goddesses to ask for guidance, healing, or protection.

In conclusion, Finnish mythology is a rich and complex tradition that is still practiced by some members of the Finnish community. The seasonal festivals and shamanistic practices are an important part of the worship and rituals associated with Finnish gods and goddesses.

Mythological Places


In Finnish mythology, Tuonela is the land of the dead, ruled by the goddess Tuoni and his wife Tuonetar. It is believed that Tuonela is located underground, beneath the dark waters of a river. To reach Tuonela, one must cross the river by boat or by walking on a bridge made of a single hair. The journey is dangerous and requires great courage.

Once in Tuonela, the souls of the dead are judged by Tuoni and Tuonetar. The good souls are allowed to rest in peace, while the bad souls are punished. Tuonela is also home to the dead ancestors, who can be contacted through shamanistic rituals.


Kalevala is the national epic of Finland, a collection of poems that tells the story of the creation of the world and the adventures of the heroes. The epic is composed of 50 runes, each containing several poems.

Kalevala is a rich source of Finnish mythology, featuring many gods and goddesses, such as Väinämöinen, the wise old shaman, and Ilmarinen, the blacksmith who forged the Sampo, a magical object that brought prosperity to its owner.

Kalevala also features many mythological places, such as Pohjola, the land of the North, ruled by the witch queen Louhi, and the Sariola, the land of the dead. The epic is a treasure trove of Finnish folklore and a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the Finnish people.

Cultural Impact


Finnish mythology holds a significant place in the cultural heritage of Finland. It has been passed down through generations in the form of folklore, epic poems, and songs. The most famous of these is the Kalevala, a 19th-century work compiled by Elias Lönnrot. The Kalevala is a collection of Finnish folk poetry and mythology that has been translated into over 60 languages. It has had a significant influence on Finnish literature and has helped to shape the national identity of Finland.

Modern Influence

Finnish mythology continues to have an impact on modern Finnish culture. Many Finnish companies and organizations use names and symbols from Finnish mythology in their branding. For example, the Finnish telecommunications company, Nokia, takes its name from the Finnish word for a dark, furry animal that was believed to live in the depths of the forest. The Finnish national airline, Finnair, uses a stylized image of the Finnish mythological bird, the Sampo, in its logo.

Finnish mythology also plays a role in popular culture. Finnish heavy metal bands such as Amorphis and Korpiklaani have incorporated elements of Finnish mythology into their music. The video game industry has also drawn inspiration from Finnish mythology. The popular game, Angry Birds, features characters based on Finnish birds and draws on Finnish folklore for its storylines.

Overall, Finnish mythology has had a significant impact on Finnish culture and continues to influence modern Finnish society in various ways.