The Wind Mother

Pronounced: Sail-ah-nya

Origin: Hungary

Szélanya literally means “Mother of the Winds” or “Wind Mother”. Szélanya is the wind, but she is also the goddess who controls the winds. Szélanya stores and guards the winds in a cave at the top of a tall mountain at the end of the world. It’s very important not to offend her because if she feels slighted, she releases violent storm winds. To some extent, the winds mirror her moods. When Szélanya is feeling placid, so is the weather.

Post-Christianity Szélanya was demoted to a witch goddess however traditions survived in the guise of superstitions. It was considered dangerous to curse the wind or to refer directly to Szélanya using derogatory words for witch. Whirlwinds contain witches, according to a common belief in Central and Eastern Europe. Thus it became traditional to slash or cut a whirlwind (or any strong wind) with an ax or knife so as to weaken, frighten, or harm the witch within. Hungarian folk wisdom strongly advises against this practice, as it enrages Szélanya, raising her hackles and hence the winds.

Weather witches may consider Szélanya their goddess. She is invoked when you require a strong wind or when you need existing winds to lessen in intensity. She can send powerful cleansing winds when needed or can keep the air very still. She may also be invoked when winds of change are in order.

Manifestation: Szélanya usually manifests as an elderly lady, but she can also literally appear as wind.

See also:

  • Feng Popo
  • Samovila
  • Samovili

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.

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