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Three powerful natural spirits: Auteretar, Otavatar, Suonetar

Auteretar, Otavatar and Suonetar are three natural spirits from Finnish folklore. But what did these ancient forces of nature represent and would their message still be useful for women today?

Auteretar is the soulful goddess of healing

Auteretar was the goddess of purification, healing, nurturing, peace and holiness. In addition, she offered a way to connect with the spirit world.

Auteretar was also associated with the sauna and the spirit of relaxation. Auteretar comes from the Finnish word ”Auer” or ”autere” meaning haze or mist. So, this female spirit was believed to be the owner of steam in the sauna. When the water hits the hot stove stones, it was Auteretar that created the steam.  In Finnish folk tradition, saunas have been used for renewal and healing as it was believed to cure pain  thanks to Auteretar- and births have also taken place in saunas. Today, the sauna is still a haven of peace and relaxation for Finns.

Auteretar’s teaching for today’s woman is related to the power of the soul and spirit. The steam reflects the life force in us, the spirit. We can still relax in the sauna and ask ourselves how we have treated our body and spirit lately. Auteretar reminds us of the importance of peace and cleansing rites. We can continue to nurture them, for example, with the help of sauna, steaming and steam breathing and the rites connected to these.

Otavatar is the bringer of hope

Otavatar was known as a guide, and a bringer of messages and hope. She was named after the constellation Big Dipper which is Otava in Finnish. People valued the messages brought by the stars and considered them important. The constellation was used for orientation, and Otavatar was used for help in finding the destination.

Otavatar’s lesson for today’s women is related to our inner wisdom. We can use her to guide us to the right path and to our purpose. If there are things in our life that we need guidance on, we can turn to our inner Otavatar. Her steadfast strength invites us to trust our inner light.

Suonetar represents the wisdom of the body

Suonetar was also the goddess of healing, and the spirit of herbs and body wisdom. Her name comes from the Finnish word for vein “suoni”. In Finnish folklore, Suonetar is known as a helper who was relied upon in challenging cases of healing. Our body can heal better when we harness the power of our mind to support the body’s recovery. This is also where Suonetar’s power lies.

For today’s woman, Suonetar represents wisdom and knowledge. She is our inner healer. Suonetar helps woman believe in her ability to take care of herself, stay healthy and heal. That doesn’t mean we don’t need medical care and doctors but we can ask Suonetar´s guidance on our healing processes. Suonetar encourages us to think independently and supports us to trust ourselves. Her message is that everything is possible and you are the healer of your own life.

Written by Satu Ilta. The article was first published in Finnish on kuudesaisti.net

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