Wednesday, April 25, 2012

V is for .....Vainamoinen

Vainamoinen is a god in Finnish mythology.  His mother is
Ilmatar and she was pregnant with Vainamoinen for 730 years.
Ilmatar was the maiden of the air and she had been 
impregnated by the waters. This is the creation myth of the Finns.
This time of pregnancy seems to have been mostly spent
floating in the water, so at least her feet didn't hurt.

When Vainamoinen (at last!) was born, he went to
the land, but found it barren. It is interesting that
he then asks the Great Bear in the sky for help, and
a boy is sent down with seeds from which grow
all the flora of the earth.

Vainamoinen is a shaman, a wizard.
He is the wise old man, the sage, and the bard.
He possesses a magical singing voice. 

Vainamoinen is the main character in the Kalevala,
the Finnish national epic although he predates  Lonnrot's
  Kalevala by centuries. Agricola lists him in 1551  among the
Tavastian gods. Although with the arrival of Christianity, Vainamoinen 
has gone away, he will return when he is needed.

Gandalf in JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings may
have been influenced by the immortal  god
Vainamoinen