Rauni, Finnish Goddess of The Rowan Tree

Rowan tree illustration by Arthur Rackham

The Rowan tree also known as the Witch tree and Rune tree is a symbol of protection in Celtic Tradition. Rowan trees are sometimes discovered growing near stone circles and sacred sites such as Ley lines and are connected to energy earth lines also known as Dragon lines.

rabbit among the fairies

Above illustration of Rabbit Among the Fairies” by John Anster Fitzgerald

Legends tell of a mystical race known as the Tuatha De Dannon that imported the Rowan tree from Tir Tairnagire which means the “Land of Promise.” When they journeyed across Ireland, the Rowan tree berries dropped seeds, thus Rowan trees began to sprout along their paths.


illustration of a nature goddess by Paul Wood-Roffe 1905 (Public Domain)

Rauni, is a Finnish Rowan tree goddess or spirit also known in Sámi and Estonian mythology. She composes the sacred Northern spiritual and mystical powers of the Rowan tree rituals. Rauni is a great healer and knows how to eliminate pain in folks.

According to Sámi lore Maderakka, the first akka, was mother of the tribe, goddess of women and children, she who gifts people their bodies. Women and girls belong to her, as do boys until they are declared men. Maderakka is popular among modern Sámi feminists. Her three daughters are:

Sarakka, the goddess of fertility, menstruation, love, human sexuality, pregnancy and childbirth. After a birth, a woman would eat a special porridge dedicated to Sarakka. The modern Sámi women’s organization The Sarahkka formed in 1988 and is attributed to her.

  1. Juksakka, “akka with an arrow”, the guardian of children.
  2. Uksakka, who shapes the fetus in the mother’s womb and assigns people their gender.
  3. Jabme-Akka, “the akka of the dead”, is a goddess of the underworld. She comforts the spirits of deceased babies, but all other spirits dwell in sorrow. Her otherworld is said to reflect the land of the living, where everything is the opposite. The dead would be buried with tools of the living to make their spirit lives more comfortable.

    According to the Finnish creation lore, Rauni is disguised as a Rowan tree, she is mother earth’s first tree sprouted. Rauni first flew to earth and observed there was no tree or plants. Her partner, the thunder deity Ukko zapped her with a lightning bolt thus, she birthed a Rowan tree and the origin of all plants.

In Estonian mythology, Rauni is known as Maan-Emo

According to tree lore Rowan wood and its berries are considered to be an effective, protective amulet.

rowan tree amulet

Photo above courtesy of the very talented Isabella, Speaking of Witch Wands @TheWandCarver on Twitter. FB, Instagram and she is on WordPress.com

One can purchase her wonderful amulets and crafts on Etsy.com


Mature European Rowan tree is also known as a Mountain Ash in North America.



Written by Nifty Buckles  Copyright@2018




Sources & References:

  • C. A. Gottlund: Ruotsin suomalaismetsiä samoilemassaSuomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, 1928.
  • Andrews, Sara. “Women in Saami Society”
  • Haavio, Martti: Karjalan jumalat. Porvoo: WSOY, 1959
  • Etsy.com online
  • Guirand, Félix (1959). Larousse encyclopedia of mythology. Prometheus Press.


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