Forever intertwined, Morana, goddess of winter and death, and Vesna, goddess of spring and rebirth, could not exist without each other. However, they could not possibly exist in the same place at the same time either. They are the forces that kept the ancient Slavic world turning in a cycle of death and rebirth. One goddess loved for her beauty and bounty, the other feared and hated for her ugliness and darkness. The modern traditions are an echo of how these two were once celebrated and ritually murdered, and they show how interconnected the goddesses were, and continue to be.
Morana, the Doddess of Winter and Death
Commonly known as Marzanna, her Polish name, Morana (as she is known in Czech, Slovene, Serbian, and Croation) is the Slavic goddess of winter and death. Also known as Moré, in Lithuanian, Morena, in Slovak and Russian, and Mara, in Belarusian and Ukrainian. Some scholars believe that the etymology of her name derives from the Proto-Indo-European name for death “mor” or “mar,” or the Latin word for death “mors.” However, it is unclear if this is the true origin of her name due to her story as it fits into Slavic mythology as will be discussed later.
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