World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


In Slavic mythology, the Zorja (alternately, Zora, Zarja, Zory, Zore = "dawn"; Zvezda, Zwezda, Danica = "star") are the two guardian goddesses, known as the Auroras. They guard and watch over the doomsday hound, Simargl, who is chained to the star Polaris in the constellation Ursa Minor, the "little bear". If the chain ever breaks, the hound will devour the constellation and the universe will end. The Zorja represent the Morning Star and the Evening Star.

The Zorja serve the sun god Dažbog, who in some myths is described as their father. Zorja Utrennjaja, the Morning Star, opens the gates to his palace every morning for the sun-chariot's departure. At dusk, Zorja Vechernjaja—the Evening Star—closes the palace gates once more after his return.

The home of the Zorja was sometimes said to be on Bouyan (or Buyan), an oceanic island paradise where the Sun dwelt along with his attendants, the North, West and East winds.[1]


  • Morning Star 1
  • Evening Star 2
  • In art and literature 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5

Morning Star

The Morning Star is Zorja Utrennjaja (from Russian utro, meaning "morning"; also known as Zvijezda Danica, Zvezda Danica, Zvezda Dennitsa, Zwezda Dnieca, Zvezda Zornitsa, Gwiazda Poranna, Rannia Zoria, Zornica, Zornička), who opens the gates of Dažbog's palace each morning so that the Sun may begin his journey.[2]She is a patroness of horses, protection, exorcism, and the planet Venus, and Slavs would pray to her each morning as the sun rose.[3]

Conflicting accounts exist of her marital situation. In some myths, she is described as the wife of Perun and would accompany her husband into battle. In this role she was known to protect those warriors she favoured against death by letting down her veil. In other accounts, both she and Zorja Vechernjaja were the wives of the male Myesyats, the moon god, and by him bore all of the stars.[2] However, some have both Zorya as virgin goddesses, while describing Myesyats as an unrelated female moon goddess.

Evening Star

The Evening Star is Zorja Vechernjaja (from Russian vecher, meaning "evening"; also known as Večernja Zvijezda, Večernja Zvezda, Zvezda Vechernaya, Zwezda Wieczoniaia, Zwezda Wieczernica, Zvezda Vechernitsa, Gwiazda Wieczorna, Vechirnia Zoria, Večernjača, Večernica), who closes the palace gates at dusk, after sunset and Dažbog's return. She was associated with the planet Venus or Mercury. Some myths described both her and her sister Zorya Utrennyaya as the wives of the moon god Myesyats and the mothers of the stars, but other accounts cast both Zorya as virgin goddesses.[2][3]

In art and literature

  • Zorja Vechernyaya is a sextet for oboe, bassoon and string quartet by Australian composer Julian Cochran.
  • The Zorja appear in the novel American Gods by English author Neil Gaiman. Here Gaiman includes a third sister, Zorja Polunochnaya, the "Midnight Star". A third sister is described in some versions of the myth, but Gaiman has stated he invented her for his work.[4][5]
  • The Zorya appear in Kevin Hearne's series of urban fantasy novels The Iron Druid Chronicles.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^
  5. ^
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.