the Finnish mythology
The Kalevala (or The Kalewala) is a 19th-century piece of work of epic poetry compiled by Elias Lönnrot from Karelian and Finnish oral folklore and mythology.
Lönnrot and his contemporaries (Matthias Castrén, Anders Johan Sjögren and David Emmanuel Daniel Europaeus) collected most of the poem variants scattered across rural areas of Karelia and Ingria.
Ilmatar by Joseph Alanen, 1913-1916
An inner Goddess
I became a mother in Finland. Here, I found my inner Goddess, Ilmatar. To me, she symbolises the challenges of maternity, the excitement and terror of all creation, the power of Nature.
That is also this feeling that encouraged me to become a doula.
Ilmatar's creative powers are in you and her spirit is all around you. I want you to feel her protective hands on you, her benevolent eyes looking at you.
I want you to swim in a sea of love. Don't fight the stream, float in peace, let the waves rock your soul. They will take you back to the shore.
Navigate through your pregnancy like a Goddess. Feel the wind on your face, smell the seaspray and the freedom of being yourself.
If a woman doesn’t look like a goddess during labor, then someone isn’t treating her right.
-Ina May Gaskin
the virgin spirit of the air
Etymologically, Ilmatar is composed of the word "ilma" meaning the air element, and the suffix "-tar" denoting a female spirit.
In The Kalevala, Ilmatar, was occasionally called Luonnotar, spirit of Nature. ("Luonto" means nature).
Goddess of the air, goddess of Nature, Ilmatar was also the daughter of the Sky.
In the night of times, were only primal waters and Sky. Ilmatar descended to rest for 700 years in the calm waters. When she woke up she found a bird that she hosted on her lap. There, the bird felt safe and laid seven eggs: six were made of gold and one was made of iron. As the bird was incubating its eggs, Ilmatar's lap started to warm up until it was burning. Out of reflex, she moved her leg, which dislodged the eggs from their nest of flesh. They fell and shattered in the waters, amniotic cradle of the world. The bottom of the eggshells formed the land while the top formed the sky. The white of the eggs created the Moon and the stars while the yolks became the Sun.
Ilmatar continued to float for a few hundred years admiring the spectacle of her creation. Then, an urge to create popped again. Everything she touched came to life. Each of her moves was a silent incantation to life. Her footprints became pools for fish, and simply by pointing out with her finger, she created the contours of the land.
Impregnated by the water, she gave birth to the first man, called Väinämöinen.