Magical Buffet Mythology: The Zorya

Article by Rebecca
Image by Will Hobbs (

The fate of the universe rests in the hands of three young women. Eat your hearts out Charlie’s Angels! We’re talking about the Zorya. These celestial Slavic beauties fill many important roles, but the most important one is the task that keeps the universe from being destroyed. The Zorya are generally three, but sometimes two, goddess who act primarily in the role of guardians. They keep watch over a hound chained to the constellation Little Bear. If the dog ever breaks loose, the universe comes to an end. No pressure.

Let’s do a Zorya role call, shall we? First, there is Zorya Utrennyaya, the Morning Star. Generally that’s all that is known, but according to the random folks at Wikipedia, “She opens the heavenly gates for the chariot of the sun in the morning. She is depicted as a fully armed and courageous warrior. She is the patron goddess of horses, and is associated with the planet Venus. She is invoked to protect against death in battle.”

Next up is Zvezda Vechernaya, the Evening Star. Again, our unverifialbe source at Wikipedia says, “She closes the gates of heaven each night as the sun returns home.”

Finally there is Zorya, or Zorya Polunochnaya, the sometimes unmentioned Midnight Star. Our Wiki pal tells us, “Each night, the sun dies in the Midnight Zorya’s arms and is then restored to life. She is a goddess of death, rebirth, magic, mysticism, and wisdom.”

I know that some legends prefer there to be only two Zorya, whonot only keep the hound of universe ending chained up, but also flank the sun. Personally, I can’t help but like three of them. The classic archetype of the maiden, mother, and crone. Of course, I would never tell one of these ladies that I consider her a crone!

As I’ve made abundantly clear, the primary source for most of my information is a touch on the questionable side. So why use it? Because if I opted not to this article would have been one paragraph, because I liked what I read, but most importantly, it’s because it’s what I want the three women who protect the universe to be like.