By Phoenix of Elder Mountain – Ancient Night (sky) Goddesses hold women’s memories and remembrances of a time when her root cultures were in the dreaming, the ancient cave dreaming, astral flight and dream walking that were all our gifts and the way we old souls moved about the earth before the coming of the patriarch. Brėkšta, the Lithuanian Goddess was and still is no different, Brėkšta or Brekszta can be derived from brėkšti meaning “it is the dawning; and the dusk which is falling” making her a goddess of twilight, of the veils in-between waking and sleeping, in-between night and day and in-between this world and the dream worlds. I love goddesses that are as old as the oceans.
Lithuania, Latvia & the Prussian Brėkšta, Brekszta, Breksta then, as a symbolic mystery is ruler over our Dreams, Dreaming, Dream Prophecy and the protects her dreamers from dusk until the early dawn. She who Keeps Watch over the World from Sunset to Sunrise. In her stillness, just before Dawn, Breksta also is among the Fog and Twilight spirits, when spirit dreams are present. Her echoes of prehistory, before grandfather’s world came to be, was our connections directly to the interplay of the consciousness of mother earth. By her stirrings of our wandering Soul, she keeps us safe from harm if we pray to her and honor her in fire and water ritual.
Breksta was first recorded (in written rather than oral tradition) by Polish historian and theologian Jan Łasicki in his treatise on idolatry “De diis Samagitarum caeterorumque Sarmatarum et falsorum Christianorum”, in 1582. Polish historian Theodor Narbutt referred to her as Brekszta in his work “Dzieje starożytne narodu litewskiego”, written between 1835. Both Łasicki and Narbutt mention this Goddess by very similar names, her functions are basically the same:
A Goddess of Twilight, she opens the doorways and she might in fact be the Goddess Vakare (Vakarine). In Narbutt’s perspective, she is a Goddess of the Night. Since neither Łasicki nor Narbutt were intimately familiar with Lithuanian culture or it’s language, it was most likely from an earlier oral tradition in which they were given and then recorded it in a written form. The name Vakarė is derived from Lithuanian vakaras which means “evening and night” and is the Goddess Vakarinė, is an older indigenous Balkan, Nordic and Slavic woman’s traditions.
As a sacred shaman and woman who honors her, I wrote a poem to the beloved Brėkšta, in the dreaming soul rites…
Flying away from the world as it was
I see the twilight’s dreaming aglow.
She lead me to the River’s forest
and I see here, my reflection upon
the river of life.
Where had she come from and where
has she gone? “Nowhere” I replied and
when I awoke it was dawn. She in neither human,
nor night itself, but my ancestors memories
do not remember her in-between the worlds
I float across her meadows and hear her whisperer
the cold night’s stillness. This is when I remember her
from long ago as she awakens me in the morning’s
light when I am still dreaming.
Wake me up into the “other” morning’s night
Breksta and I ask that you open the gate of
the “other” morning’s light. Two which are
inseparable in the Season of the Night.
I have been honoring many goddesses in my actions and ceremonies over the years, in women’s circles, new moon circles and dreaming circles. Breksta is one of my most beloved, my first ritual for community, was this Goddesses of Justice. I did ceremony by myself each night and learned very much about working with the Goddess in public and how to go inward and connect with the power of the moon.
Then next major Goddess I worked with was Bixia Juan Yun of the Colored Cloud Dawn, another night goddess who is a traditional Chinese Goddess. She had a more mystical nature of experiences I was having at that time and why I chose her. These goddess rituals became even more important, mother earth became my focus.
As a devout dreamer, which is the oldest religion of earth, Brėkšta and her other name is Vakarė are now a passion and devotion, more of a magical ceremony about the power of woman in circle, and the mirrors of nature in connection with sacred art, magic, dreaming and a more mystical earth. When I reached a relationship with mother earth and her showing me her magical powers of light and shadow it was then I did my first Brėkšta ritual.
I don’t do rituals too often, maybe a few times a year for specific reasons. I chose to do my work this way, because true ancient energies are too powerful to bring into ceremonies where I am fully and consciously responsible. It wasn’t until my own initiations of deaths and rebirths were completed after 50 years, did I even want to do them with my apprentices or an intimate circle. The results are two powerful as night goddesses bring real chaos. If you do ceremony with night goddesses and they do not bring real chaos, then you have not yet been truly initiated by mother earth. And believe me, that is a good thing.
Brėkšta is one of the closest woman’s prehistoric life, a symbol, an element if you will, not human, nor animal, nor legend, she is our Dreamer goddess, and when we dream, we enter her language, a language of the Soul, of image, of projection, of creative mirrors and through our emotional body we return to it when we need it, when nature and we, were one. In Lithuanian it reads ...
Brėkšta lietuvių mitologijoje – ankstyvo ryto aušros ir sutemų deivė.
Dawn Lithuanian mythology – early morning and dusk goddess.
Ji globojo nakties laiką nuo saulės laidos iki patekėjimo.
She who takes care of the Night (from sun set to just before sunrise.)
Pagal T. Narbutą deivė valdė sapnus, kuriais
pasinaudodama žmones įspėdavo apie būsimus įvykius.
Pagal T Narbutt, this Goddess ruled the realms of dreams and
dream-prophecy, allowing the people warning of upcoming events.
In her story, when she is complete with her night, she becomes the Fire Beast (the Goddess) Saule, the Sun, who rides on her clouds (chariot) being lead by the twin Horses. Saule is a weaver of the Sky (Daytime or Sun Goddess) and the Amber Divinity (deity). Amber is one of the most ancient fossilized tree resins, honored for its color and natural beauty since neolithic times beginning about 11,000 bce and ending between 4,500 and 2,000 bce and is still worn today in honor of Saule.
Like all prehistory Goddesses, they are our highest self as women in a more collective relationship with the self, or collective soul is a much better term. She is us, when we have mastered both our inner and outer life, our inner and outer shadow and karma healed. And our true light is never about our life or us, its about the collective and eradicating the darkness in our spiritual space and openly calling it out with that wrath and punishment from people or in a collective way with our many spiritual gifts attained.
This is the time when the Sun Goddesses begin rising again upon the earth and return to the consciousness of woman again, as we become dreamers and cave dwellers once again and live a reality of our dreaming. When we become a dreamer, we enter Breksta’s magical and mystery. Saule and Breksta can never really be separated as goddesses (woman), just like Marzanna and Lada or the Spring Goddess can never be separated cannot not be separated from the other seasons.
They are one, they operate together as the entire year, the Spring and Summer are called Fire Moons and the Autumn and Winter is called the Night Moons. These are the yin and yang or inner and outer aspects of our self as women.
As a dreamer and ancestral wind whispering which I offer as my gift, I have honored the goddess for all women who do not remember, who are not allowed to know and who are not putting them into rituals and circles. The day and night of Saule and Breksta or Vakarine of Lithuania, Saule is named for Balta Saulite (“Darling White Sun”) and she is worshiped in songs and ritual that celebrated her nurturing of earth’s life, for she is our Great Mother, called various names like Saulite Mat the “Little Sun-Mother” and Saulite Sudrabota “Little Silver Sun”.
When humanity began to enter the agricultural ages, Saule took more importance than Brėkšta and she began to wane even more with the rising of the Sun Cults (pagans and christian religious men) who took over Brėkšta’s Thunder, Storms and Lightning and Saule’s Sun.
For other Slavic Goddesses here is a continuing list I add… here.
Sources – Photos of the blue starry night by Mindaugas Riauka, Goddess Stone Idol with Child, Night by Oleg E., Lithuania, Night Goddess Illustration by Czech artist Artuš Scheiner for Romance About The Faithful Friendship Of Amis And Amil Some sources from Wiki.