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Basque Deities Aatxe ( Aatxegorri ) Basque spirit in the form of a red bull.

Some people call it evil, but folktales depict it as someone who protects caves and whom attacks criminals, the mean, thoughless and spiteful people. There is even the legend that a red bull attacked and set the evil village of Bermeo on fire. As a cave dweller he is seen as a representative of the underworld Euskal Herria Aide ( Aideko ) A goddess of winds. She can be evil or good depedning on how forceful she is. Akerbeltz ( none ) Among the Basques, a representative of the goddess Mari, depicted as a black billy-goat. The occupation of goat and sheep herding was vey important to the Basques and this representation of Mari is a protective one of herds and herders. This representation was severely demonized with the onset of Christianity and black billy-goats were prominent familiars at witch trials. It is better to remember that the Akerbeltz (ram-field) was a healing goddess in male goat form. Atarrabi and Mikleats ( none ) The two sons of the supreme goddess Mari and her consort Maju. These two are personified, like their parents through weather. Atarrabi is good and Mikleats is evil. However with Christianity they were often both depicted as demons so sometimes Atarrabi is the evil son and other times it is Mikelats. Atarrabi and his brother were captured by a wizard. The wizard decided to use them as house slaves but two was too many so he turned out Atarrabi intending to keep Mikelats.But the older brother Atarrabi offered himself so that his brother could leave. So the wizard kept Atarrabi but gave him menial work, and kept control of Atarrabi by constantly asking him: Atarrabi, where are you? to which he had to respond: Here I am. But Atarrabi was very smart and taught the flour sieve how to respond for him. So when the wizard inquired the sieve would respond. This son of Mari planned his escape. however the wizard caught the spirit of Atarrabi just as he was making his escape. His body got away but his spirit did not. Atarrabi devised a plan to get it back. He hung himself next to a flock of doves who carried his body to his spirit and so they were reunited. Mikelats, the evil son of Mari has been seen as a malicious god by most of the Basque peasants. They say he forms the violent storms to destroy flocks and crops. They say in the area from Zugarramurdi to Sara that Mikelats studied in a cavern of Zugarramurdi, under the guidance of a woman wizard named Etsai. Some sources say Atarrabi also studied in the cave , but that it was Mikelats who finished the teaching and killed the wizard so he could have more power. Basajaun ( Bas-Jaun ) A benign wood spirit of the Basque, whose name means "lord of the woods". He protects the flocks and herds against predators and thunderstorms. He taught mankind the art of agriculture and forging. The spirit is mischievous, but not malignant. His wife is Basa-Andre. Basandre ( Basa-Andre )

A Basque spirit, the wife of Basa-Jaun. She is occasionally portrayed as a sorceress, sitting at the entrance of a cave, combing her long hair, luring men to their doom. However that is a Christian perversion of the fact that she heldped her husband, and when he was holding some human for sacrifice she often let the victim free. Beigorri ( none ) Red cow genie that, according to Basque mythology, lives in caves and gorges and guards them. Benzozia ( none ) Creation (mother) goddess to the Basques. This is the story of creation of the world and everything else. The world was a cold flat place. There was no mountain, no valley no sea. There were no sources of warmth. There was only a very cold wind blowing continuously across a flat plain. Beneath the earth lived Mother Dragon, Benzozia. She was a huge serpent with 7 heads, and 7 pairs of fangs. At first she slept, but slept restlessly. She turned and turned, her scales every hue of red and blue separately and combined rubbed against the floor of the world above. Finally the floor of the earth above cracked, and heaved and shot high into the air. The Pyrenees were born. When Benzozia turned around her faces were pointing to the floor above and as she breathed fire rushed forth and escaped between the cracks in the floor. Above as the flames gushed forth from valley and mountain the ground and the air was heated so much that clouds formed and from the clouds came rain, which pushed the fire to the ground and burnt all the grasses and bushes. The grasses and bushes grew back, back to a warm, wet land, and land with mountains and with valleys. So they grew taller, and thicker than they ever had before. Trees were born. The sparks from Benzozia's fires came down from the highest heights and when they touched the trees the Basques were born, the first humans on this earth. Benzozia still lives, still sleeps beneath the floor of the earth, and still she turns restlessly so quakes occur from time to time. Still she breathes, so fire erupts from the ground from time to time. But she is the mother of everything, the mother of us all. Betadur ( none ) According to the Basque beliefs, there is a lot of force in the eyes. A look can be magical, and it can affect other people. This magic power of the sight is called Betadur, and if it is an evil force it is called Begizko. Eate ( Egata ) Basque god of fire and storms.With his dark, low voice he warns against approaching hail storms and devastating fires. Ekhi ( Eguzki ) Basque female personification of the sun. One single beam of her light is destroys nocturnal spirits and evil wizards. Ekhi is the daughter of the earth-goddess Lur and sister of the moon-goddess Ilazki. Erditse ( none ) A goddess of maternity, and perhaps childbirth. The only thing we know of her comes from a Basque altar dedicated to her.

Erge ( none ) Basque spirit which takes men's lives. Etsai ( none ) A spirit of knowledge in Basque mythology, his name means "devil" or "fiend". He teaches in a cave, and knows a great deal, but he is feared because, at the end of his lectures, he requires one of his students to remain at his service forever. Atarrabi and Mikelats were once his pupils. At the end of their studentship, Etsai asked Mikelats to stay and serve him. Atarrabi, the good son of Mari, proposed instead that he should take his brother's place. Etsai agreed, but was suspicious of his servant, and thus often called Atarrabi's name. And he would answer "I am here". But in the meantime, Atarrabi taught a flour weevil to talk and answer for him, and he managed to escape Etsai's cave Euri ( none ) In Basque mythology, it is the spirit of the rain. It is a very positive being, a bringer of life both as enhancer of crops and as vector for the reincarnation of the soul. Gaueko ( none ) Basque lord of darkness."He of the night" appears as a gust of wind, sometimes friendly, but mostly destructive towards people. Herensugue ( Herren-Surge ) A Basque spirit in the shape of a seven-headed snake who must be appeased by offerings of human beings (in some stories) but in all it is like a dragon even able to fly when the need arises. It is written that it is born again and again. It grows one head for each year. On the seventh year, as the new head forms it leaps into the sky and falls into the sea with a great roar and steam arises for it is like a from an ember. People may see this dragon as it falls in flames from the sky into the sea, but not before. It grows in wild isolated places, and if someone should see it, no more heads will grow and the person shall suffer many misfortunes for each remaining in the normal life cycle of the dragon. Ilazki ( Illargui, Iretargui ) Basque name for the feminine moon and sister the the female sun goddess Ekhi. She is a daughter of the earth-goddess Lur. Ilazki is a goddess of light who shines in the dark for the souls of the dead. Her other names include Iretargui and Illargui (both meaning "light of the dead"). Inguma ( none ) An evil night spirit who strangles people while they sleep. Itsaso ( Amato Itsaso ) The Sea in Basque mythology. It is an evil feminine being that attracts all the water to her. Lamia ( none ) Water sprites which may have been manifestations at one time of the goddess Mari herself. Their legends are many and there have been various place names in Euskal Herria named after these beautiful creatures. In some legends they take on human form, in others they have the feet of a duck and in coastal regions they are half human and half fish. They are extremely beautiful and most legends revolve around

men falling in love with them, only to find out their real identitly when viewing their feet. They are often seen combing the blonde hair with combs made of gold. To steal such a comb would unleash their wrath, otherwise they are always benign. There does seem to be similarites between the Lamia and Mari, such as blonde hair, combing their hair with combs of gold, marrying humans and living in caves. Laminak ( none ) Basque fairies, related to the Celtic little people. The Laminak live underground in beautiful castles. Lur ( none ) Basque name of the earth-goddess, the source of all life-force in the universe. Maiju ( none ) Basque snake spirit spirit - see Sugaar. Mari ( none ) The supreme goddess of the Basque pantheon. She is the goddess of thunder and wind, as well as the personification of the Earth. The thunder spirit Maju (Sugaar) is her consort, and the benign spirit Atarrabi and the evil spirit Mikelats are her sons. She protects the travelers and the herds, and gives good council to humans. She rides through the sky on a chariot pulled by four horses, or on a ram. Sometimes she assumes the shape of a white cloud or a rainbow. Mari ("quee ") is represented as a woman with a full moon behind her head, or in an animal shape. Her symbol is a sickle. She gives good counsel, protection and love to decent kind generous people. She is also a harsh judge of those that lie, cheat or act too proudly. Mari lives deep within the earth and caves of Euskal Herria. She is an incredibly beautiful woman with blonde hair. She is often seen at the mouth of a cave combing her beautiful hair, or at a spinning wheel. She takes on many forms, depending on what she needs to do. Sometimes it is as a beautiful woman, a black goat, a woman with goat legs, a skeleton, or a sickle of flames. She can often be seen flying across the sky surrounded in flames. She has the power of storms and her laisons with her consort Maju produce violent thunderstorms with hail and lightning. People say Mari is angry when a thunderstorm approaches and they will often place a sickle or axe in the front yard with the blade up to protect themselves. If you call her name three times she will appear above you. However, if you ask something of her you must give something in return. It is often the sacrifice of a billy goat in one of her caves - gold coins and actual Roman currency have been found in the caves of Santimamine. If you enter her cave to receive counsel or ask for her protection you must only stand up straight in her presence. You must also exit her dwelling the same way in wivh you entered. If you walked in facing the cave, you exit walking backwards and facing the cave. Failure to do so will invoke her wrath. Attempts to steal the gold left to her as an offering is futile. When you exit the cave, her gold turns into a rotten stick Orko ( none ) A thunder god serving Mari people while they sleep. Sugaar ( Maju ) Basque snake-like spirit of thunder whose sexual encounters with his consort Mari cause terrible thunderstorms or hailstorms.

Many people think Maju is separate from Sugaar (Mari's mate) but they do share the attributes of flying, taking the shape of a firey sickle and dwelling in caves and the underworld. The information is very sparse. Torto ( Tartalo,Tartaro ) Fearsome Basque spirit.The Torto is a Cyclopes who abducts young people and after cutting them up live, eats them with garlic and cheese. This sounds suspiciously like a creature invented by parents to frighten their offspring into compliance with the parent's wishes. There are many stories about a similiar being called the Tartaro which may be the same or maybe different. It is sometimes just a wild animal in description and sometimes a cyclopic beast. He often depicted as a hunter and shepherd. In all the stories he is outwitted by humans. Urtzi ( Ortzi, Urcia,Yaun-Goicoa ) Basque sky-god. This seems like the Sioux's god which preceeded everything, and by just thinking about it created the cosmos. He created the three principles of life: Egia, the light of the spirit; Ekhi, the sun, the light of the world; and Begia, the light of the body. The literature is not clear whether this is just a paternalization Mari, but it seems to be.