TNO Watch- Dziewanna

Helios on Dziewanna– Cmon, deep down you know you long to get a little wild, rip off the chains of society and just… let loose, right? Well, this is the Transneptunian goddess for you!

The Astronomy- 471143 Dziewanna is a trans-Neptunian object in the scattered disc, orbiting the Sun in the outermost region of the Solar System. It was discovered on 13 March 2010 in Chile. Based on its absolute magnitude and assumed albedo, it is very likely a dwarf planet with a calculated diameter of approximately 470 kilometers.

The minor planet orbits the Sun at a distance of 32.6–108.3 AU once every 591 years and 4 months (215,992 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.54 and an inclination of 29° with respect to the ecliptic. It is currently 39.1 AU from the Sun and will reach perihelion in 2038. A ten-million-year integration of the orbit shows that this object is in a 2:7 resonance with Neptune.

The Myth- Devana or Dziewanna is the Slavic goddess of the wild nature, forests and the hunt. She is the Slavic equivalent of the Roman goddess Diana, and Greek Artemis mentioned by 15th-century Polish historian Jan Długosz in Annales seu cronici incliti regni Poloniae (History of Poland). Her name, though similar to Diana’s, is apparently derived from Slavic word that means ‘virgin’ or ‘maiden’ (dziewadziewica) or else from the Proto-Indo-European root *dewas (“god, wonder”). Victorian folklorist, Sir James George Frazer tells us that an effigy is carried in from the woods, “which goes by the name of Summer, May, or the Bride: in the Polish districts it is called Dziewanna, the goddess of spring.”.

Another name of Devana is Ciza, whose etymology is traced to the Slavic root cic or cec, meaning the mother’s breast. She was known as “Mother of the forest”, wild and unrestrained. Under the name variations Dzydzilelya, Zizilia or Didilia, she is known as the goddess of love and wedding, fertility and infancy among West Slavs; this name is explained as meaning “she who pampers babies”. Her virginity was renewed every spring in a ritual by bathing in the water of the river or a lake and is a symbol of female sexual power and freedom. Apart from being mostly a forest goddess, she is also associated with rivers and lakes. Her trees are a hazel tree and willow.

She was married to the god Veles (or Volos), who was the god of earth, waters, forests, and the underground, and sometimes of cattle and peasants. He is sometimes equated with the Scandinavian Loki, or with the Greek Hermes, and oft seen as a trickster, with a penchant for mischief such as unexpected storms. The Slavic people would tell this tale: “In the beginning, the goddess was opposed to this marriage, however, Veles found a way to placate her. He turned himself into a basil flower and thus soothed a bit wild Devana.” The couple’s child, Yarilo, was the god of war and anger, but also sexuality and fertility.

It is said she had a twin sister, Marzanna, who symbolized the end of the summer or dying sun. There are references to rituals involving both goddesses, celebrating the cyclic nature of the seasons.

Her sacred animal was a mare, and on Mount Devica, which is connected to Devana, a rock with a picture of a mare was found.

Why She Matters– Well, all of you who clamor for a pure Artemis archetype in the solar system (not one bogged down by Selene attachments like our Moon or its apogee), here you go! This one is a pretty clear one-to-one transliteration of our girl Artemis! And since I cannot find any myths to pull from that are specific to this version of Artemis, let’s give her all the trappings that the Goddess of Maidens, Virginity, and the Hunt deserves! Honestly, the Slavic version suits her far better than the Greek title ever did- The Greeks are far too civilized for Artemis to ever fit in without the connection to Selene, in the Slavic interpretation she can be far more true to herself, given free roam to do whatever she pleases.

I’m hard-pressed to come up with anything new about Artemis, because she is easily one of the most well-known goddesses of any pantheon. The maiden goddess of the hunt, protectress of women, virgins, and wildlife… Honestly with the way our world seems to descend further and further into madness, led there by madmen drunk on their power, who all seem to commit unspeakable atrocities with their power (mostly to the vulnerable communities of women, children, and nature) we could use a resurgence of power for this most beloved Goddess. You’ve been sorely missed, Dziewanna, and we’re elated to welcome you back. 

Zane Stein adds that she is strongly related to community, a sense of belonging- Family. I agree, and wholeheartedly so. I would expand that to remind you of the inverse of that, of how horribly painful it is to not have a sense of family, of anywhere to be or belong. When you have nowhere where you belong, all you are left with is a longing to be something to someone. For those of us who feel this, the ache that comes from a lack of roots or ties, we can always look to the Mother of the Forest.

To find out where she shows up in your chart, go to astro.com, put in your birth details and in the extended options, all the way at the bottom of the next page, there will be a menu of additional objects. Under that is a blank space where you can enter the number 471143, for Dziewanna. Once you have it entered, generate the chart! Where does Dziewanna affect your life? Let us know in the comments below!

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