The Zoryas

April 7th, 2008 by sabrina

The Zoryas are Slavic Goddesses of dawn and dusk, who guard the universe from destruction. They watch over the doomsday God, in the form of a dog who is chained to the star Polaris in the constellation Ursa Minor. If the dog ever breaks free, he will eat the constellation and the universe will be destroyed.

There is some controversy over whether there are two or three Zoryas. Zorya Utrennyaya (“Aurora of the Morning”) is the Morning Star. Every morning she opens the gates of the eastern palace of her father Dazhdbog, the sun God, so that his horses may pull his chariot across the sky. She is also known as Zvezda Danica, Zvezda Dennitsa, Zwezda Dnieca, or Zvezda Zornitsa (Zvezda means “star”).

Zorya Vechernyaya (“Aurora of the Evening”) is the Evening Star. She closes the gates again in the evening when Dazhdbog returns home. She is also known as Vecernja Zvezda, Zvezda Vechernaya, Zwezda Wieczoniaia, Zwezda Wieczernica, or Zvezda Vechernitsa.

Some versions include a Midnight Star, Zorya Polunochnaya, but, as Polunocnica or Lady Midnight, she has a counterpart named Poludnica or Lady Midday. This fits better with the dual nature of many of the Slavic deities, such as Dolya and Nedolya.

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