Beaivi

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Beivve Sami Sun symbol
Sami Shaman drum found in Nærøy, Norway

Beaivi, Beiwe, Bievve, Beivve or Biejje, is the Sami name of the Sun or might refer to the Sami Sun-deity. The Sami Sun-deity is mostly depicted female but sometimes also as male. In Sápmi, north of the Polar circle, where the Sun during the winter-period, does not even reach the horizon, it is not hard to believe, that the Sun was appreciated and played a major role in the cultic coherence. Buorre beaivi means good day in Northern Sámi but doesn't have to associate with the Sun-deity.

Beaivi is the spring and sun goddess of fertility and sanity was worshipped by the Sami, one of the indigenous peoples of Fennoscandia.

At Winter solstice a white female reindeer was sacrificed in honour of Beivve, to ensure that she returned to the world and put an end to the long winter season. At the time of the year when the Sun was returning, butter (which melts in the sunshine) was smeared on the doorposts, as a sacrifice to Beivve, so that she could gain strength during her convalescence and go higher and higher in the sky. At Summer solstice, people made sun-rings out of leaves and pinned them up in her honour. At these occasions, they also ate butter as a sacral meal.

Beivve was often accompanied by her daughter, Beaivi-nieida (the sun maiden) in an enclosure of reindeer antlers.

Beivve brought fertility back to the Arctic region, she made the plants grow, so that the reindeer flourished and reproduced, and brought wealth and prosperity to the humans.

At the time of the year when Beivve returned, prayers were made for the people who were mentally ill. The Sami considered - quite correctly - that madness in the shape of psychoses and depressions were provoked by the lack of sunshine and light during the dark winter-season.[1]

In Sami myth, she travels with her daughter Beaivi-nieida through the sky in an enclosure covered by reindeer bones, bringing green plants back to the winter earth for the reindeer to eat. She was also called upon to restore the mental health of those who went insane because of the continual darkness of the long winter.

Worshippers of Beaivi used to sacrifice white female animals, and thread the meat onto sticks which they bend into rings and tie with bright ribbons. They also cover their doorposts with butter so Beaivi can eat it and begin her journey once again. This is called the Festival of Beaivi.

She is associated with the fertility of plants and animals, in particular reindeer.

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