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Lithuanian legends & lore:

"Ragana" ("Witch")
wood carving by D. Šakalienė


"Gabija" artist unknown
photo from

In the western Lithuania's region of Samogitia near the city of Telšiai, there is a hill named Šatrija (pronounced: "shah - tria") with the reputation as the gathering site for all witches of Samogitia. It is said that even the hill itself was built by witches mounding earth over a local Christian church. The purpose of these gatherings and what the witches did are shrouded in mystery.

Also on Šatrija in ancient times on the third Saturday of July of every year, pagan Samogitians celebrated the cult of Gabija, their goddess of fire and hearth. Before the invention of matches, the damp Lithuanian climate made it difficult to start a fire for heat and food preparation and people appealed to Gabija to preserve live charcoal in the hearth. (Click here to read more legends.)