Many ancient civilizations believed that spirits lived in sacred places such as trees, mountains and stones.
One such place is the mysterious Vottovarra Mountain in Karelia that was sacred to the Sami people. This enigmatic place was also an ancient pagan site and is still visited by neo-pagans who consider it to be of special importance.
Karelia has always been an area in Northern Europe of historical significance for Finland, Russia, and Sweden.
Archaeologists have uncovered many fascinating rock carvings in the region. On the eastern bank of Lake Onega, the second largest lake in Europe archaeologists discovered about 1,200 rock drawings that are estimated to be from 5 to 6 thousand years.
Known as the Onega petroglyphs, these astonishing rock carvings were deliberately made to display stunning special light effects, just like a prehistoric cinema.
Another intriguing site in Karelia is located about 20 kilometers from Sukkozero lake. It is here we find the beautiful Vottovaara Mountain that became famous for its odd boulders that are scattered across the site.
The boulders known as Seida, Seyda or Seid (Finnish language Seita), were sacred to the Sami culture is the oldest culture in large areas of the North Europe. Before the Swedish, Finnish or even the Viking culture had developed, the Scandinavian was populated by the Sami people (earlier refered to as the Saemieh.
The Sami people speak a language that is a member of the Uralic language family along with such languages as Finnish, Hungarian and Estonian. Interestingly, Norwegian and other Indo-European languages are not related to the Sami language. Image via wikipedia
The unusual thing about Vottovaara seidas is that many of them look like they were intricately cut, but they are natural formations when the glacial ice retreated about 10,000 years ago. Seidas are usually situated on the gentle rocky slopes and they can be very large.
The ancient Sami people treated the boulders as sacred and believed spirits lived in these magical, large stones. Before Christianity, traditional Sami peoples’ beliefs were based on the practice of shamanism and animism.
Animism was manifested in that all significant natural objects, such as animals, plants, rocks, etc. possessed a soul. So, it’s only natural that the Sami people also believed in the existence of a number of spirits.
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