Mother Danube

The Ancestral Waters

Symbols: Water, waves, spirals, foam, seeds, water birds, fish, cetaceans

Colors: Blue (various shades), blue-green

Possible Holy Time: Unknown

The seeds of the Holy Sea break out of your shell.

The eternal sea’s waves are waving, and rolling.
Their waves are rocking and their foam is hissing.
There is no earth yet anywhere…

How shall we create such a world, my dear father?

— This is the manner in which we can create it:
In the depths of the waving, blue Sea of Eternity are the
sleeping eyes , sleeping seeds, the sleeping Magya’s.

Descend therefore to the depths of the Great Sea and
bring up the sleeping seeds and dreaming eyes, so that
we can create a world out of them.

– Excerpt from the “Hungarian Myth of Creation”

Mother Danube is a deity of two-fold importance to me, both relating to ancestry in some way. On one hand, she is the “eternal” sea, the primordial waters from which the land and all living things were brought out of. Everything on earth came from her (she’s basically step 2 of creation; step 1 was making the whole universe out of Hajnal Anyácska). The Sun King, Napkiraly, had to transform into the first bird and dive into her to bring the seeds of life up from the depths, along with some muck to make dry land from. She now exists surrounding the world that we know.

On the other hand, the river Danube literally goes through the regions in Austria and Hungary that I have known ancestors from. She is literally the water source of my ancestors, whether for drinking, fishing, travel, or whatever. That is why I named the blog after her, her waters are a symbolic link between me and the heritage I seek to make traditions from.

However, unlike how Celtic-leaning circles refer to the deity, I find Mother Danube the deity to be impersonal, and primarily outside our world. As the Eternal sea our world floats inside her and is surrounded by her, but she’s still outside the Upper/Middle/Under world cosmological concept.

Now there most likely is a Danube the river wiht over in Europe. In which case, I would consider that to be different, a local land god that represents the major god for me. Something like the Wakčéxi or Rusalka.

Images that remind me of them:

Mother of the World by Nicholas Roerich

The Gorges of the Danube from



Magyar, Adorjan. Excerpt of the legend of creation from the Hungarian saga: The Saga of the Legend of the Stag.


Filed under Sagas Legends Folklore

3 responses to “Mother Danube

  1. Ah, Mother Danube.. I didn’t even know she’s a deity but now I am glad I got to know it through your blog – I am from Bratislava and, living in Helsinki, I honestly and truly miss Danube… I love that river, I love the nature around it, my hometown, the birds, its not very nice color, the annual floods…everything 🙂 Perhaps she is my deity as well; a personal goddess or something.

    • Hi! The cognates for Danube (Danu) is thought to refer to at least one deity, mentioned in both Indian and Celtic records (though a lot is simply speculation) and there are several rivers named with the cognates as well, causing people to believe that the name referred to an important being from the past. This post is also speculation, as the creation story doesn’t actually give a name to the Sea (though other stories have, and even a river was used as the “primordial sea” in one story). So there’s a bunch of different deities you could get to know. The Danube river always sounds so gorgeous it’s one of my life goals to visit it someday.

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