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Aušrinė is the goddess of the Morning Star (Venus) in the Lithuanian mythology. She is the goddess of beauty and youth and the opposite of Vakarinė, the Evening Star. Her cult originated from the Proto-Indo-European religion and was closely linked to Latvian Auseklis, Greek Eos, Roman Aurora, and Vedic Ushas. As the Christianization spread out in Lithuania, the cult adapted Christian image and symbolism of Saint Mary.

Jan Lasicki first mentioned Aušrinė as Ausca, the goddess of sun rays who came down from heaven and ascended above the horizon. According to the myth, her relationship with Saulė (the Sun) is complicated. Every morning, Aušrinė and her servant Tarnaitis (Mercury) prepare the way for Saulė however Vakarinė prepares the bed for Saulė during the evening. In some instances, Saulė was referred as the mother of Aušrinė, Vakarinė and other planets – Indraja (Jupiter), Sėlija (Saturn), Žiezdrė (Mars), Vaivora (Mercury), and even Žemyna (Earth).

In a popular folklore, Mėnulis (Moon) fell in love with Aušrinė and cheated on his wife Saulė. As a result, Mėnulis received punishment from Perkūnas (thunder god). Several myths describe the competition between Saulė and Aušrinė. Saulė is jealous of Aušrinė's beauty and brightness. Regardless of the adultery or rivalry issue, Aušrinė chose to be loyal and continues to serve Saulė.

In a myth that had been analyzed by Algirdas Julien Greimas, Joseph was ensnared by Aušrinė who appears in the sky. He decided to find the “second sun”. Later on, he discovered that what he saw was not a second sun but a maiden. Aušrinė lives on an island in the sea and possess the same hair as the Sun. Taking the advice from Northern Wind, Joseph went to the island, stayed away from a guardian bull and became Aušrinė’s servant who cares for the cattle. The story also described Aušrinė’s appearance as as a star in the sky, as a maiden on land, and as a mare in the sea. As years went by, Josept placed a hair of the maiden into an empty nutshell and tossed it into the sea. A ray from the sea got reflected into the sky and became the biggest star. According to Greimas, this tale is the origin myth of Tarnaitis and Aušrinė.


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  • (Lithuanian) Jonas Zinkus, et al., ed (1985–1988). "Aušrinė". Tarybų Lietuvos enciklopedija. I. Vilnius, Lithuania: Vyriausioji enciklopedijų redakcija. p. 143. LCC 86232954.
  • Greimas, Algirdas Julien (1992). Of Gods and Men. Studies in Lithuanian Mythology. Indiana University Press. p. 77. ISBN 0-253-32652-4.
  • Vaiškūnas, Jonas. "3. Star Names in the Folklore and Ethnographic Compendiums". Lithuanian Ethnoastronomy.
  • Andrews, Tamra (2004). Wonders of the Sky. Libraries Unlimited. pp. 71–73. ISBN 1591581044.
  • Greimas, Algirdas Julien (1992). Of Gods and Men. Studies in Lithuanian Mythology. Indiana University Press. pp. 64–84. ISBN 0-253-32652-4.