October 3rd, 2009 by sabrina
Tuonetar (pronounced TWOAN-et-ar) is the Finnish Goddess of the underworld. She is the wife of Tuoni, God of the underworld, which is called Tuonela. Her appearance is that of a hag, and her touch could pull a mortal’s soul from their body and send it to the underworld. Tuonetar is the mother by Tuoni of a number of other dark Gods and Goddesses, including Loviatar (Goddess of plagues), Kipu-Tytto (Goddess of illness), Kivutar (Goddess of disease), and Vammater (Goddess of pain). In one myth in the Kalevala, the hero Väinämöinen journeyed to the underworld, and Tuonetar greeted him with a stein of beer in which frogs and worms were swimming. She told him that he would not be allowed to leave the underworld and had him caught in an iron net. Väinämöinen, however, was able to change shape, and he changed himself into a snake and escaped. Tuonetar’s name means “queen of the dead.”
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