- Finnish Neopaganism
Finnish Neopaganism ( _fi. suomenusko or " _fi. suomenuskoinen pakanuus" [cite web |url=http://www.taivaannaula.org/suomenusko.php |title=Suomenuskoinen pakanuus |accessdate=2008-08-20 |publisher=Taivaannaula ry |language=Finnish ] ; also formerly " _fi. ukonusko") is a
Neopaganreligious system that attempts to revive old Finnish paganism, a pre-Christian ethnic religion of Finland. Finnish paganism died out during the millennia-long period while Finland has been a part of the Christianworld. Many of the pagan traditions however have remained even under a Christian context.
The main problem in the revival of Finnish paganism is the nature of pre-Christian Finnish culture, which relied on oral tradition and was completely illiterate. The primary sources concerning Finnish native culture are written by latter-era Christians. They may be biased, tainted or unreliable.
Finnish Neopaganism is
pantheistic-polytheistic; believing in a number of deities as representation of the ultimate reality, identified with Ukko.
Finnish Neopaganism is essentially
pantheistic- polytheistic, with a pantheon of many deities worshipped:
Ukko: the sky god, and chief deity in the Finnish pantheon
*Rauni : goddess of fertility, and wife of Ukko
Kuu: the moon god
Äkräs: the fertility god
Ahti: the sea god
Peko: god of the crops
Nyyrikki: the hunter god
Mielikki: goddess of forests and the hunt
Tuoni: god of Tuonela, the underworld
Kalma: goddess of death and decay
For Finnish Neopagans, the afterlife is a place called
Tuonela, and it is a place where several different deities live, including Tuoni.
Various folk festivals are followed:
*A festival held in May to protect the crops.
Mittumaari, in June
*Jul, the winter solstice.
There is no sacred text in Finnish Neopaganism, such as the
Christian Bible, but the folk epic of Finland, the Kalevalais important as it is a collection of folk beliefs describing the gods and goddesses.
Some Finnish Neopagans visit sacred forests, where wooden god-images or sacred stones can sometimes be found. Some celebrate the circling of the year at certain dates, for example by burning bonfires, dancing, sacrificing, or making other kinds of rituals. One ritual, which is also an authentic practice of the ancestors, is to drink a toast for the thunder god
Ukkoat the midsummer festival. [ [http://www.taivaannaula.org/finnish_paganism.php Finnish Paganism] ]
Relation to Asatru
Some Finnish Neopagan circles in Finland are
Asatruars, considering Asatru a part of Finnish culture and tradition. Others think it is foreign, and prefer Suomen religion over Asatru. Those who oppose the spread of Asatru in Finland think it is based too much on beliefs of neighbouring countries and not on their own local traditions. Some even see Asatru as a kind of cultural imperialism. Still, the ancient faiths of Finland and its Scandinavian neighbours have many similarities, for example a thunder god who strikes lightning with his hammer, and rides in the clouds with his chariot making thunderstorms. (compare Thorand Ukko). Finnish folklore told about a great wizard Väinämöinen, the first and oldest human being, and maybe originally a god, who is — according to some — close to Odin.
* [http://www.lehto-ry.org/english.html Lehto] - Finnish organization for Earth-based religions
* [http://www.taivaannaula.org Taivaannaula] - Finnish Neopagan organization
* [http://www.hiitola-foorumi.net Hiitola] - Finnish Paganism Forum
* [http://nic-nac-project.de/~anssix/finnish_paganism.html Finnish Paganism] by Anssi Alhonen
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