by Aldis Pūtelis
"velt: to roll." The souls of the dead, no adequate translation exists. The veļi are sometimes connected with the appearance of rolling gray clouds, although some scholars tend to connect it with Velns, the "devil." They are the living dead, continuing their lives in the realm of Veļu māte, a parallel world, an underworld.
The veļi are sometimes differentiated from the souls (dvēseles), and mingle with the living at important events. There is a period in autumn, when veļi are expected to revisit their homes, and meals are ritually prepared for them.
In the Dievturība there is a theory of a trinity within a human being, consisting of miesa ("the flesh"), dvēsele ("the soul") and veļis ("the astral body"). However, there is no text mentioning all three together; velis and dvēsele mutually substitute each other. Similarly, velis and vels are sometimes mixed, allowing again the explanation of Velns as a form of Veļi, or a deity of the dead.1