Lithuanian myth of lost love

Perkunas, God of Thunder, was the father God. The fairest goddess was Jurate, a mermaid who lived in an amber palace in the Baltic. Kastytis was a courageous fisherman living along the coast near the mouth of the Sventoji River.

Kastytis would cast his nets to catch fish from Jurate’s kingdom. The goddess sent her mermaids to warn him to stop fishing in her domain. He did not stop. After the mermaids failed, Jurate went to demand he stop. When she saw how handsome and courageous he was she fell in love with him and brought him to her amber palace.

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( goddess Jurate and fisherman Kastytis, sculpture by Nijole Gaigalaite, 1961. Palanga, Lithuania)

Perkunas, knowing Jurate was promised to Patrimpas, god of water, was angered to find an immortal in love with a mortal. In anger, Perkunas sent a bolt of lightning to destroy the goddess’ palace and kill her mortal lover. Her palace was destroyed and Jurate was chained to the ruins for eternity.

She weeps tears of amber for her lost lover. When the storms stir the sea, fragments of her palace ruins are driven onto the shores of the Baltic. Tear drop shaped pieces are thought to be particular treasures as they are the tears washed from the grieving goddess’ eyes. These amber pieces are said to be as clear and true as her tragic love.

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Posted on 29/10/2013, in amber. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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