Radien – The Sky God

Radien (right Raedie) is according to Sámi mythology, The Sky God, keeper of the world order who has the power to create human souls. In the research literature, this Sky God is also known as Radien (right Raedie < from word råd, control), Veralden Olmai (right Värálda ålmáj; Man of the world) or Veralden Radien (right Värálda ráde; Raedie of the world).[1]

As a Sky God Radien was believed to hold on the so-called pillar of the world and to prevent this collapse Radien was given offerings. Old sources mention that Radien’s worship was associated with the creation of these symbolic world pillars/statues which was in many cases birch tree cut at the appropriate height. The worship included the features of the fertility cult, such as the sacrifice of reindeer genitals.[1]

An Image on a shaman drum. Radien-Trinity figure on top of the structure representing different levels of the sky. The medieval Christian influence is reflected in the halos of the figures. [2]
Radien were referred to as Trinity, father, son, and wife. This may be the result of the influence of Christianity even before the actual missionary commencement. In the South Sámi shaman drum, Radien is presented as three human figures with a halo over their heads. According to one theory, Tiermes was the original Sky God of the Sámi and Radien is a newcomer later born from the influence of Christianity.[1]


[1] http://senc.hum.helsinki.fi/wiki/Taivaanjumala

[2] http://senc.hum.helsinki.fi/wiki/Esikristilliset_jumalat

Referenced 16.10.2018