- Attributes: Goddess of the Sun, day, summer and weaving
- Symbols: Sun, light and heat
- Place: Finland
Sharing some similarities with the Japanese Goddess Amaterasu, the Goddess Paivatar is the pagan representation of the Sun in Finland and sister of the Moon Goddess, Kuu. Legends tell that she lived in the sky, where she weaves the golden light of the day to throw on the earth.
One day the Sun was stolen from the sky by the toothless witch from the north cold farms, Louhi, who used enchanted music to freeze the Sun and to imprison it within a metal mountain along with the Moon. For five years the night remained, and for the next ten years not even the stars were more visible.
The gods could no longer withstand the cold and the darkness, so they called the bard Vainamoinen and the blacksmith Ilmarinen to fix the world. The blacksmith forged a new silver sun and a golden moon and hung them in the sky. The bard warned that it would not work, since mere metals would not be enough to lighten the world.
Vainamoinen disguised himself and traveled to the island of the witch to rescue the Goddesses. He confronted Louhi’s minions and, entering the estate, he came upon nine doors, each with three locks, blocking his way. He went back to the blacksmith and asked him to forge a trident, a dozen ice picks and several keys. Ilmarinen went to work immediately and also forged a heavy metal necklace.
After realizing the invasion, Louhi disguised herself as an eagle and flew to the blacksmith’s window to watch him work. She asked him casually what he was doing and he, knowing that it was the witch, told her it was a necklace to bind a witch to a stone.
In terror, anticipating the future that awaited her, Louhi returned to the north. She knew she could not run away from them so she decided to free the Sun and the Moon, and then she flew back to the blacksmith in the form of a dove. There she warned the blacksmith that the Sun was rising to the sky.
Faith to overcome obstacles
Courage and cleverness were necessary to rescue the Goddesses from their prison. These are qualities necessary for life. Finland is a Nordic country and in winter it has a rainy and very cloudy weather. Paivatar represents the annual struggle against the cold and darkness and the promise that the light will return to warm the earth.