You are here:
  1. » Home
  2. » Areas
  3. » Mythology
  4. » Europe
  5. » Latvian mythology
  6. » Laima
Cite/print/rate article
Send comment    References

Laima

by Aldis Putelis
Laima is the deity of fate, the personification of it, whether as luck or as bad luck. The name is similar to laime - "luck", with both grammatical variants traceable in the folklore material. The name of this deity also differs in different sources. She assists childbirth, therefore is honored by both maidens and married wives, controls the most important events of a person's life, such as birth, marriage and death. As a person may mention or even condemn the respective Laime, it may be understood that the concept 1) was in stage of turning into a synonym for liktenis - 'fate', 2) this deity is understood as opposable, although the judgment cannot be affected in any way. One of the first appearances of Laima in a document is again Paul Einhorn's Historia Lettica (1649).

She is also the deity of pregnant women and can ensure a good pregnancy as long as she is in the house. Frequently mentioned together in the song texts with Dievs, in some cases God's horses are outside her door (meaning suitors arriving at a maiden's house), but it is a very weak motif among those of the heavenly wedding. She is the central one of the alleged trinity of Laimas or destiny deities, together with her sisters Karta and Dekla. There are texts mentioning 'three Laimas', although not giving their particular names.


Article details:

  • Also known as:
    Laime

Page tools: