Sunday, July 13, 2014

Wheel of Wonder July 13, 2014

The Finnish Pagan faith, or Native Religion, is called Suomeniusko.  Although the official religion of Finland is Lutheran, like in other areas of Northern Europe and the former Soviet Union, there has been a strong resurgence, and even new, old acceptance of the people's native faiths.  Such are the times we live in.   I surmise, we are not only on the threshold of greater scientific knowledge , we are also allowed, perhaps some are even hungry for, remembering that as Human Beings, we are also people of Spirit.  I intended to spend this week discussing Uralic neopaganism, encompassing Finnish, Estonian, Mari-El and Mordovian native religions, taking us across the Baltic Sea and clear to the River Danube.
  A large area, but one of similar spirituality. Finalnd however has had a longer time to remember, renew and revitalize pre-christian spirituality, as the other Uralic groups didn't really start this process until the 1980's and 1990's, around the time of the fall of the Soviet Union.  So this week will only be about Finnish Neopaganism.  The other Uralic perspectives on this spirituality will be covered in other Wheel of Wonder entries/shows.
  It also happens that in my research, I found that this day: July 13th is the date of a major Suomeniusko holiday called Karhunpäivä. This is the day of the Bear.  The Bear is, like the Stag of the UK, a sacred animal, a king of the forest in  Suomeniusko and Taaivaannaula neopagan spirituality. Karhunpäivä is a holiday that celebrates his spirit and  the forest goddess Mielikki and is in part, drawn from the sacred rituals people have always done in Finland when killing a Bear for food; rituals to assure that he would reincarnate into the forest and the gods would know he was killed for a special reason, not just out of carelessness or for sport.

The Finnish world view, like other spiritual and Shamanic perspectives in many cultures, consisted of three different layers of reality:  the upper world, located to the south and in the sky, the middle world, where people live, and the lower world, located to the north and under the flat earth, leading eventually to Tuonela, the land of the dead.  The picture above is titled "Journey to Tuonela 1"  representing the river that flows through the middle world and to the North (Pohjola), and eventually into Tuonela.  I found the picture on DeviantArt, and it is by a tattoo artist named Tuomas Koivurinne

After this week, I'll be on the road again, and Wheel of Wonder will be hosted by Lori, from last week, and some other partner djs until August 10, 2014.  Thanks for listening to Wheel of Wonder, streaming live at!