In Slavic mythology, Dola (sometimes called Dodola, Niedola, Odola, or Doda) is the personification of fate and destiny. At birth, each person received Dola as a gift from the gods, and they were bound together for life. At times, Dola was inherited from one’s parents, and it could happen that one Dola accompanied family members for several generations (from great-grandfather to grandfather to father to son, for example).
The type of Dola a person had was their fate, fortune or misfortune. This determined their life as well as personality to some extent. If a person had misfortune, it was often said they had niedola – a negative variant.
Dola could be good, bad, fickle, lazy, clumsy, etc., and that unfortunately (or fortunately) had consequences in the life of the person she was bound to. Her kindness ensured success in life. Sometimes a good Dola would watch over a careless spendthrift, bringing him success and good luck despite his shortcomings; while a bad Dola could bring a cautious, thrifty man to ruin.
The Slavs believed that they could secure good fortune or at least fall in favor with their Dola by offering her a bountiful supper, other offerings or prayers. They also believed that waking early, working hard, scrimping and saving would ensure Dola would bring them happiness and fortune.
From what I was able to gather, it seems Dola is a dethroned (by Christianity presumably) goddess who was of equal ranking as Perun, who was the highest god of the pantheon. Perun was the god of thunder and lighting. You will not find much information on the two of them together, but you will find information about a pagan tradition called Dodola.
In certain areas of Central and Southeast Europe, she was called upon during ceremonies to bring on rain, and for that rainwater to be good and “living.”
In Central and Eastern Europe, there are still rituals and traditions connected with Dola. In Poland, there is Dyngus, which is a tradition of pouring water on young women the day after Easter. Of course, no one speaks of Dola, as most pagan traditions have been transformed by the church.
The word dola is in the Polish vernacular is used to mean fate (los). Both those words can have positive and negative connotations. They are synonyms, but the difference between them is that you have less control over your dola compared with your los.
Dola and Rodzanice
You may remember my post about Rodzanice, and you may be wondering if there are any ties with Dola. There are, but I am uncertain how they went together exactly. Rodzanice were not present with a person constantly like Dola. The fate Rodzanice brought was not dependent on them; they were more like messengers. The fate a person received from Dola was completely dependent on her whimsy.
So was Dola evil or good? The answer depends on whom you ask.
Other names for Dola:
Albania – Dudule
Bulgaria – Dudula, Didiula
Croatia – Dudeleica, Dudilasz
Latvia – Dudina perkuonins
Lithuania – Dundulis
Romania – Diodóla, Dindiul
Serbia – Dodolica, Dodola
Other Slavic groups that have been divided by current geopolitical borders – Dunder, Dungus, Dudulica, Duduleica
Book: Zych, Paweł and Witold Vargas. Bestiariusz Słowiański. Olszanica: Bosz, 2012. Print.