Origin: Russia

Sirin, a spirit of beauty, joy, and happiness, manifests as a bird with a woman’s face. Her name derives from the Greek Siren. (She may be a Siren who flew off to Russia and found new friends and myths.) Like the Sirens, she is a psychopomp. Sirin serenades the dying, her songs so beautiful and compelling that those who hear her are oblivious to everything else and die happily and peacefully. Sirin does not kill randomly; she is an escort spirit similar to an angel of death.

Sirin also protects the living, together with her sister spirit and alter ego, Alkonost. Originally, they were venerated together as spirits of good fortune and guardians of the home. Sirin kept watch at night, while Alkonost patrolled during daylight hours. Post-Christianity, all the sisters’ positive aspects were assigned to Alkonost while Sirin’s associations with death and night caused her to be considered an evil or at least inauspicious spirit.

See also: Alkonost; Psychopomp; Sirens

From the Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.