Mielikki

Mielikki

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Mielikki is the Finnish
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 goddess
Goddess
A goddess is a female deity. In some cultures goddesses are associated with Earth, motherhood, love, and the household. In other cultures, goddesses also rule over war, death, and destruction as well as healing....

 of forests and the hunt. She is referred to in various tales as either the wife or the daughter-in-law of Tapio
Tapio (spirit)
Tapio is an East Finnish forest spirit or god, who figured prominently in the Kalevala. Hunters prayed to him before a hunt. His wife is the goddess of the forest, Mielikki. He was the father of Annikki, Tellervo, Nyyrikki , and Tuulikki...

. She is said to have played a central role in the creation of the bear
Bear
Bears are mammals of the family Ursidae. Bears are classified as caniforms, or doglike carnivorans, with the pinnipeds being their closest living relatives. Although there are only eight living species of bear, they are widespread, appearing in a wide variety of habitats throughout the Northern...

.

In the Kalevala
Kalevala
The Kalevala is a 19th century work of epic poetry compiled by Elias Lönnrot from Finnish and Karelian oral folklore and mythology.It is regarded as the national epic of Finland and is one of the most significant works of Finnish literature...

, the Finnish national epic based on Karelia
Karelia
Karelia , the land of the Karelian peoples, is an area in Northern Europe of historical significance for Finland, Russia, and Sweden...

n folklore, the hero Lemminkäinen offers her and Tapio prayers, gold and silver so he can catch the Hiisi
Hiisi
Hiisis are a kind of tutelary spirits in mythologies of the Baltic Sea area, especially in Finland. In Christian tradition, they are most often considered to be malicious or at least very horrifying...

 elk. In another passage, Mielikki is asked to protect cattle grazing in the forest. In a country where the forest was central to providing food through hunting, gathering and cattle grazing, it was thought very important to stay on her good side. She is also offered prayers by those who hunt small game and those who gather mushrooms and berries.

Mielikki is known as a skillful healer who heals the paws of animals who have escaped traps, helps chicks that have fallen from their nests and treats the wounds of wood grouses after their mating displays. She knows well the healing herbs and will also help humans if they know well enough to ask her for it. Her name is derived from the old Finnish word mielu which means luck.

Trivia

  • Mielikki is referenced in the song "Elvenpath" by Finnish
    Finland
    Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

     metal band Nightwish
    Nightwish
    Nightwish is a Finnish symphonic metal band from Kitee, Finland. Formed in 1996 by songwriter and keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen, guitarist Emppu Vuorinen, and former vocalist Tarja Turunen, Nightwish's current line-up has five members, although Tarja has been replaced by Anette Olzon and the...

    , as "Bluecloak, healer of the ill and sad".
  • Mielikki is a goddess of the northern woods who comes to inhabit the Argo
    Argo
    In Greek mythology, the Argo was the ship on which Jason and the Argonauts sailed from Iolcos to retrieve the Golden Fleece. It was named after its builder, Argus.-Legend:...

     in Book One of the Merlin Codex, Celtika, by Robert Holdstock
    Robert Holdstock
    Robert Paul Holdstock was an English novelist and author best known for his works of Celtic, Nordic, Gothic and Pictish fantasy literature, predominantly in the fantasy subgenre of mythic fiction....

     .
  • In R. A. Salvatore's popular Forgotten Realms
    Forgotten Realms
    The Forgotten Realms is a campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game. Commonly referred to by players and game designers alike as "The Realms", it was created by game designer Ed Greenwood around 1967 as a setting for his childhood stories...

    , "Legend of Drizzt Do'Urden
    Drizzt Do'Urden
    Drizzt Do'Urden is a fictional character in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game. Drizzt was created by author R. A. Salvatore as a supporting character in the Icewind Dale Trilogy. Salvatore created him on a whim when his publisher needed to...

    " series, the titular character is a drow
    Drow
    The drow or dark elves are a generally evil, dark-skinned subrace of elves in the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy roleplaying game.-Publication history:...

     ranger
    Ranger
    -Law enforcement:* Arizona Rangers* California State Rangers* Colorado Mounted Rangers* Council ranger, a type of officer in Australia* Newfoundland Rangers* New Mexico Rangers* Pakistan Rangers, a Pakistani paramilitary force* Texas Ranger Division...

    and follower of a variation of Mielikki.

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