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by Aldis Putelis
The Moon. In a number of texts - protector of travelers and soldiers, probably as the source of light at night. In Latvian tradition - masculine, opposed to many other Indo-European mythologies, although there are linguistic data (G. F. Stender. Neue vollstaendige Lettische Grammatik. - Braunschweig 1761; J. Lange. Vollstaendiger lettisch-deutsches Lexicon. - 1773.) supposedly proving the feminine aspect of Meness. Meness ("moon") is one of the suitors of the sun goddess Saule or her daughters, Saules meitas. He appears in several mythological motifs: he counts the stars, and finds out that Auseklis is missing; he is in hostile relations with the Sun because he stole Auseklis' bride. He also appears as a counterpart of Saule, the one who shines at night. Although Meness is generally masculine in modern language, still in a number of variants a feminine form appears.

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