Zemina


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Slavic

Meaning: “The one who belongs to the Earth.”

Pronunciation: (zeh-MEE-nah)

Nicknames: Zemi, Mina

Detail: The Lithuanian Earth Goddess.

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Freyja


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Norse

Meaning: “Lady.”

Pronunciation: (FREY-yah)

Nicknames: Frey, Fay, Reya, Ray

Detail: Freyja is a goddess in Norse mythology associated with love, beauty, fertility, gold, seiðr (witchcraft), war, and death.

In most Germanic languages the day is named after Freyja, such as Frīatag (Old High German), Freitag (Modern German), Freyjudagr (Old Norse), Vrijdag (Dutch), Fredag (Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish)

Variations:

  • Freia
  • Freja
  • Freya
  • Freyja

Persephone


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Greek

Meaning: “Bringer of death; Destoyer.”

Pronunciation: (per-SEF-oh-nee)

Nicknames: Sephy, Seffy, Poppy, Phee, Effy, Posy

Detail: As the story goes, one day in the valley of Enna, where spring reigns eternal, Persephone was innocently picking flowers. Hades, god of the underworld, saw her and it was love at first sight. He came charging in his chariot into the valley and snatched her away.

Demeter finally persuaded Zeus through adamant pleading, to demand for her daughter back from Hades. Hades agreed to return Persephone as long as she had not eaten anything from the underworld. (There is a permanent bond for those who consume food in the Underworld; they are bound to it eternally.) However the sly Hades, who fancied Persephone to pieces, duped her into snacking on a few pomegranate seeds.

This caused some intense arguing, but Zeus, being the crafty old mediator that he was, came up with an agreement by which Persephone could stay with Demeter in the spring and summer to help out with the botany business and then go back down to live with Hades for six months or so, creating a season for nature to take time off, winter break.

Demeter has never been satisfied with this, and that is why winters are so gaunt and cold. So you can thank Hades for when you have Jack Frost nipping at you.

Zorya


A girl plays with a tame wolf in the village of Nadbiarezha

Gender: Feminine

Origin: Ukrainian

Meaning: “Rising star.”

Pronunciation: (ZOHR-yah)

Nicknames: Zori, Zor, Zora, Zoro

Detail: The future of our universe rests in the hands of three young women, the Zorya. The most important task of these heavenly Slavic stunners is to guard over the doomsday dog who tries to eat the constellation Ursa Minor (the little bear). If the dog ever breaks free from the chain, the universe will end.

In ancient Slavic mythology, the Zorya are the guardian goddesses of sky and light. There was the morning star (Utrennyaya); the evening star (Vechernyaya); and the midnight Zorya (Polunochnaya).

Idunn


Idun by Arthur Rackham

Gender: Feminine

Origin: Norse

Meaning: “Ever young; rejuvenator.”

Pronunciation: (EE-doon) [“oo” short like in “book”]

Detail: In Norse mythology Idunn is the goddess of spring and wife of Bragi. She is the keeper of the apples of the gods. Whoever eats of these apples will be granted eternal life and youth.

Variations:

  • Idonea
  • Idonia
  • Idony (ID-uh-nee)
  • Idun
  • Idunn
  • Ithun (EE-thoon)
  • Ydun

Psyche


Gender: Feminine

Origin: Greek

Meaning: “Soul.”

Pronunciation: (SAHY-kee) Psyche

Nicknames: Psych

Detail: Personification of the Soul, Goddess of Beauty and wife of Eros.

The ancient Greek word for butterfly.

In this tale Psyche is a young girl of admirable beauty who is unfortunately subject to the jealousy of the goddess Aphrodite. Aphrodite sends her son Eros (Cupid) to Earth to make Psyche fall in love with the ugliest living man but the young god falls in love with her himself. She was united with him after Aphrodite’s jealousy was overcome, granted immortality and bore a daughter (Volupta, which means bliss, delight or pleasure).