World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0000806047
Reproduction Date:

Title: Aušrinė  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of Lithuanian mythological figures, Saulė, Lithuanian goddesses, Characters of Lithuanian folk tales, Baltic Myth, Legend & Folklore
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Aušrinė (not to be confused with Aušra – dawn) is a feminine deity of the Morning Star (Venus) in Lithuanian mythology. She is the antipode to Vakarinė, the Evening Star.

Her cult possibly stems from that of the Indo-European dawn goddess and is related to Latvian Auseklis, Greek Eos, Roman Aurora, and Vedic Ushas.[1] Aušrinė is the goddess of beauty and youth. After the Christianization of Lithuania, the cult merged with Christian image and symbolism of Saint Mary.[2]

Aušrinė was first mentioned by Jan Łasicki as Ausca and described as goddess of the rays of the sun that descend and rise above the horizon.[3] According to folklore, each morning Aušrinė and her servant Tarnaitis (possibly Mercury)[4] prepare the way for Saulė (the Sun). In the evening, Vakarinė prepares the bed for Saulė.[2] The relationship between Saulė and Aušrinė is complex. Sometimes Saulė is described as mother of Aušrinė, Vakarinė and other planets – Indraja (Jupiter), Sėlija (Saturn), Žiezdrė (Mars), Vaivora (Mercury), and even Žemyna (Earth).[5] A popular myth describes how Mėnulis (Moon) fell in love with beautiful Aušrinė, cheated on his wife Saulė, and received punishment from Perkūnas (thunder god).[3] Different myths also depict rivalry between Saulė and Aušrinė as Saulė is jealous of Aušrinė's beauty and brightness (Venus is the third brightest object in the sky after Sun and Moon).[3][5] Despite the adultery or rivalry, Aušrinė remains loyal and continues to serve Saulė in the mornings.[5]

Another myth, analyzed by Algirdas Julien Greimas in detail, tells a story of Joseph, who becomes fascinated with Aušrinė appearing in the sky and goes on a quest to find the "second sun."[6] After much adventure, he learns that it was not the second sun, but a maiden, who lives on an island in the sea and has the same hair as the Sun. With advice from Northern Wind, Joseph reaches the island, avoids a guardian bull, and becomes maiden's servant caring for her cattle.[6] In the tale, Aušrinė appeared in three forms: as a star in the sky, as a maiden on land, and as a mare in the sea. After few years, Joseph puts one hair of the maiden into an empty nutshell and throws it into the sea. A ray from the sea becomes reflected into the sky as the biggest star. Greimas concludes that this tale is a double origin myth: the story describes the origin of Tarnaitis and the ascent of Aušrinė herself into the sky.[6]

See also


  1. ^ Mallory, J. P.; Douglas Q. Adams (1997). Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture. Taylor & Francis. p. 148.  
  2. ^ a b (Lithuanian) Jonas Zinkus; et al., eds. (1985–1988). "Aušrinė". Tarybų Lietuvos enciklopedija I. Vilnius, Lithuania: Vyriausioji enciklopedijų redakcija. p. 143.  
  3. ^ a b c  
  4. ^ Vaiškūnas, Jonas. "3. Star Names in the Folklore and Ethnographic Compendiums". Lithuanian Ethnoastronomy. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  5. ^ a b c Andrews, Tamra (2004). Wonders of the Sky. Libraries Unlimited. pp. 71–73.  
  6. ^ a b c  
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.