Matka ZiemiaMati Syra Zemia

Mati Syra Zemia

Perhaps the Slavs' oldest pagan deity the Earth herself, her identity later blended into that of Mokos. Mati Syra Zemia (Moist Mother Earth) or Matka Ziemia (Mother Earth) is probably one of the oldest and most important deities. Her name explicitly describes her as forever fertile, life-giving and reproductive force , her identity later blended into that of Mokos. The cult of the mother goddess originates from the period of matriarchy, the system that, in some of its forms, lasted among the Slavs even until the 10th century.

She was never represented in a human form, but was rather worshipped as the divine Earth itself. As we know, this type of perception is characteristic of the oldest form of religion – animism. In animism, everything that surrounds the man is divine and infused with a soul.

In Book of Veles she is mentioned as the cow named Zemun, the divine cow connecter with the constellation of the Bull. The cow is related to a goddess of fertility, since every mother goddess is represented as having many breasts. Mother goddess was the only deity whom the Slavs addressed directly, without mediators or using priests' services. She had the role of an oracle that the Slavs consulted for advice, but she was also a divine witness and judge. In the disputes about private property, people used to plead with her to be their witness and they swore by her name.

Since Mati Vlazna Zemlja was one of the most worshipped deities, it comes as no surprise to find traces of her cult among the Slavs even after they converted to Christianity. In Russia, after year 988 there was a period of the so-called religious duality, during which pagan gods were worshipped along with Christ and Christian saints. Characteristics of mother goddess were transferred to Virgin Mary.

Mother Earth

Mother Earth