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Friday, 27 December 2013

The Mysterious White Stag



Such an animal is considered rare. The white stag is a creature of legend, regarded as semi divine on par with the mythical unicorn. People, such as King Arthur and the White Witch has tried, and failed to hunt the white stags. No one sees them. They're linked with enlightenment, the gods, moon and nature spirits. First of all, Indo-Europeans worshipped them and were associated with other realms.

In some cultures, the myths of white stags are given horns. Some of them are fiery and its horns are aflame and never go out. Some of these stags wear sun signs.    

The actual white stags have been sighted and photographed in recent years in England. They are a type of ordinary red deer with extreme albinism (this is called "Leucism" where the entire body including hair is devoid of pigment but the eyes remain in colour).

White stags are associated with the winter months, royalty and magic. In Hungarian legend, in the story of Hunor and Magor, a white stag led the two sons of Nimrod to the fertile landscape that bore the settlers into two groups, Magyars and the Huns. The white stag is used as an emblem in Hungary. In Finland, the white stag legend is a sinister entity that belongs to goddess Tuonetar, who rules the underworld, and leads hunters down to this place of the dead when riding the white stag.     

The Celts and Germanic tribes viewed stag as noble animals, and white stags were often said to be part of the fairy realm, and messengers of the gods. It's believed that if you see one, it means good luck. Hunting one successfully may grant wishes.These are old superstitions though and in our 21st century world of smart gadgets and social networking, most people are too shut off now to appreciate these beautiful animals in our wilderness.  


Thursday, 19 December 2013

Fairytale Grimoire: The Snow Queen



This fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson is a mysterious one. It's broken into pieces, and was Anderson's largest story of his collected works. To explain how the story goes, and how it can be interpreted, let's begin by an outline of the adventure.

First the story begins with a demonic entity, who created a huge weird mirror. It showed the negatives of everything, and reflected only darkness instead of beauty and real life. The entity was eager to show the mirror to other sinister beings, and many entities carried it around the world. They lifted the mirror high up into the sky as far as they could go, until the mirror was destroyed by the atmosphere. It shattered into tiny millions of pieces and spread everywhere, settling into people's eyes. Whoever caught tiny pieces of mirror turned heartless and cruel.

Second part of the story shifts to a boy, named Kai, and a girl, named Gerda. These are neighbours and good friends. They often played together. One day a tiny bit of mirror landed in the boy's eye and he became unfriendly and unloving. He saw a vision of a woman made of snow in his window and she called out to him. She appeared to him again, passing on a sleigh driven by polar bears. She wore a white fur coat and a silvery white crown made of ice. She gave him candies, then kissed him to keep him warm. She was the snow queen, who children were warned about by adults. The snow queen took Kai into her sleigh and disappeared.

The boy was noticed missing and Gerda was extremely upset. People assumed he must have drowned in a local river but Gerda wanted to find him. She got into a small wooden boat and went up river. She threw her shoes into the river and asked the waters if Kai drowned there. The water responded to her, and told her that Kai didn't drown. She later reached the edge of the river, and came to an old woman's cottage, whose garden was lush with flowers. This woman was a witch and almost kept Gerda as a servant until one day the girl was doing some gardening for the old woman. She muttered to herself, asking if Kai was buried somewhere. The flowers responded and said that Kai was not dead for his body wasn't in the soil. She quickly fled the cottage to search for her friend.

She met a raven and asked if it knew where Kai was. The raven replied that there was a boy who looked just like him in the royal palace. So Gerda set off to the palace. She found the boy, but it wasn't Kai. It was a prince who looked very much like Kai. She told the prince and princess about her sad story. They gave her fresh clothes, boots, a fur coat and a horse and directed her towards the north, where the road continued and where Kai must be.

She was riding along through a quiet forested area now. Then a band of robbers appeared and caught her. They took her horse. A robber girl befriended her and listened to Gerda's story. She gave Gerda a caribou that had been kept among the robbers. She directed her on towards the north.

Gerda eventually reached the dwellings of the Finnish woman who fed her and told her that Kai must be with the snow queen. Then on her travels, on the back of the caribou, she met a Lapp woman, who directed Gerda how to reach the snow queen's palace at the North Pole.

Inside the palace of the snow queen, Kai was found fixated over a puzzle. The snow queen told him to form the word "eternity" using the ice pieces and if he succeeded, he would be free. But he didn't recognise Gerda as he'd forgotten her. She was so upset that she cried. Her tears fell into his eyes, causing the mirror to fall out and leave Kai. He then understood who Gerda was and he was overjoyed to see her again. The words in the puzzle formed "eternity" and the snow queen let them go. They both returned home.

The story is an epic, as it starts with mischievous entities. The two main characters, Kai and Gerda, are children to begin with but by the time the story finished, they're adults. Entities such as this appear in folklore and and legends everywhere. Even modern paranormal investigations gather interesting reports about entities that create havoc with people.

The Snow Queen is likely based on a character from pagan and folklore traditions in Europe, especially related to winter. She is similar to the ice giantess Skadi of Germanic myth, who resides in snowy mountains. She may be also the friendly snow maiden of eastern folklore named Snegurochka who journeys with her grandfather, "Father Frost" (Santa Claus) every winter. Another midwinter goddess, Mother Holly, is benign, loving and appears as a very nurturing maternal figure. The Snow Queen of the fairytale is not so loving but neither is she a sinister evil queen. She's just an enigma and by her very nature, she behaves like a snow storm.

First of all the magic mirror, made by supernatural forces, create chaos and distortion, insanity and misery. Their only purpose is to have caused a breakdown in friendships on earth among humans, turning  friends away from one another. The boy turned his back on his true friend and sought the snow queen's embrace in her chilly castle at the north pole. Mirrors are used in scrying and occult magic. Some say that mirrors are magical. Pieces of shattered magic mirror in someone's eye causing heartlessness and no love, is a lot of symbolic things to find meanings for. The fact some of our loved ones change personality and become cold is like that too.

The caribou, or reindeer, that carries Gerda to the north pole hints of a spiritual quest each person faces in life. Loss, searching and unlocking the puzzle mystery. The puzzle was solved by the pure magic of love and memory, which doesn't belong in ice. The cycles are at play in the story, and human emotions too. This story could also be about love and how some change their personalities. There are different layers. The snow queen is simply the threat of winter and how people fear their lives during the coldest season.

One could see many things in the fairy tale but the basic stuff is about the yearly cycle, focusing on Midwinter, snow, ice, winter and the arrival of the snow queen. Snow and ice is a message of stillness, from frigidity, to immortality, from unmovement and no change, to eternal ice. Ice, as an element is a destructive and beautiful form. Ice crystal caves look lovely and snow flakes are pretty but just as much as they can kill too.

Nature, ice and winter, isn't evil. It just IS. IS the ice rune: Is rune, Is = stillness.

Links and info on the Snow Queen:

Snow Queen at SurLaLune
Snegaruchka "snow maiden"- Russianpedia      
(The latest Disney animation loosely based on "The Snow Queen") Disney's Frozen official site  

Image on here is "The Snow Queen" by artist Lilok

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

The God Thunor




The most well known god of the Germanic pantheon was Thunor. He is famously called Thor and He has other names. To the Anglo-Saxon peoples, He is Thunor.

Everyone knows who Thor is. He is made popular in modern culture through Marvel's comic books, and recently Chris Hemsworth played Thor in films based on these adventures. This is the superhero version of Thor, and His powerful Mjollnir weapon that he wields in myth and legend.

He's a god of thunder, and His name means "thunder". In early Indo European languages, thunder also meant the same as "conqueror". In mythology, He rides a chariot across the sky, pulled by two powerful goats. The oak trees and acorns are sacred to Him. He battles with monsters and in particular the world serpent Jormungand.  

A god of power. Thor's prime weapon is the thunder hammer, called Mjollnir. When He strikes it down, there is lightening bolts and ferocious thunder issued from the impact. Hammer is an early traditional symbol of power and might, as it was once used as a weapon and a tool. Mjollnir means "to smash". Early Old Norse language indicates the name is identical with "stone". The original PIE root "Hzekmo" and the Sanskrit means both "stone weapon" and "thunderbolt". Thunder, stone weapon and conqueror tell a past when early tribes migrated over territories with their stone tools and stone weapons, like thunder, and conquering. A dominant people led by thundering conqueror warlords with heavy stones. Stone is also associated with the prehistoric structures of megaliths. Could these earlier people bringing the legendary name Thunor have been magalith builders too?

A god of fire. Before we understand His association with lightning, He is very much a sky god. A radioactive metal "Thorium" is named after Him. This element is used to power search lights, rockets, aircraft engines and nuclear reactors.

Other gods very similar to Thunor include Teshub or Tarhun (whose name means "conqueror") of the Hittites, who carries a great axe, strikes thunderbolts and battles with monsters, including a sea serpent. Indra of the Vedic religion, a god of thunder with golden hair, carries a bow and whose name means "smasher". In Greek mythology, Zeus is the supreme god, thunder god with a lightning bolt weapon, rides a chariot across the sky and linked with goats. The Romans had Jupiter. Teranis is the Celtic god of thunder, carries a thunder bolt in one hand and a wheel in the other, and further back in older languages the name is linked with Thor! Perkunus is a Lithuanian god of thunder, weapons and oak trees. Then there is the Slavic god of thunder named Perun, who carries a hammer and axe, rides a sky chariot pulled by a fierce male goat and whose sacred tree is the oak.     

So these thunder gods listed above, show that old languages contain names and meanings and myths, brought across by a migrating people from East to West.

In mythology, as quoting Snorri Sturluson's "Prose Edda", Thor owns two goats that pull the flying chariot. These goats named Tanngnjostr ("teeth grinder") and Tanngrisnir ("teeth barer") are eaten by Thor every day and returned to life because of the Mjollnir's potent lightning power. Once, Thor shared his goats among a family of peasants, but a boy named Thjalfi, breaks a bone to suck marrow. When the goats are regenerated by Thor later, one of the goats is found lame because of its broken bone. Thor made the children Thjalfi and his sister Roskva become His loyal servants. The etymology of the two servants of Thor is linked with elves, and with the two goats, traditions in some parts of north Europe celebrate a Yule Goat, a nature spirit. These stories could be because of animal sacrifices. There is also the historical fact that goats were always favoured by humans for farming and to make clothes from. Goats were domesticated by people as far back as the end of the last Ice Age. Goats represent agility, movement and the ability to climb hills.

The myth of the god Thunor/Thor, who has an ancient preViking origin that altered orally through the ages of time. Thunor came from a Neolithic era, bringing goats, thunder, weapons and stone with Him as he traveled across the continents with migrating tribes. He brought with Him the secret of thunder (power, conquering and weaponry), megalith building (stone), farming and production. The stories concerning his belt giving Him ultra physical strength and His gloves made from iron, worn by Him when using the Mjolnir. This is like a characteristic of metals, such as the Iron Age.   

Thor links

Book: "Thor: Myth to Marvel" by Martin Arnold
Book: "Thor: God of Thunder" by Graeme Davis
Thor info on Wikipedia 

Picture "Thor and his goat" by Alexander SalleS

Monday, 25 November 2013

Linseed oil, a magic ingredient



Linseed oil comes from seeds of the toxic Flax plant (Linum usitatissimum). Linseed oil, or Flax seed oil, has much special traditional uses in medicine, fabric, wood polish and plaster. The grounded seeds are used as a food ingredient and protects and heals, often rich in Omega 3 fatty acid, and it's treated for the heart. Flax is also a highly potent form of natural oil used as a guardian against witchcraft and sickness. However, flax is a poison and like most poisonous plants, they contain the ability to heal, protect and even to alter destiny.  If not used properly it can turn very toxic. Spun flax resembles blond hair and the plant grows pretty looking flowers from vivid blue to scarlet colours.

Superstitions about flax seeds include wearing a flax seed in your shoe to prevent poverty; carrying a seed in your purse is supposed to attract money; putting a flax seed under your pillow helps give pleasant dreams. Also children that run through a flax field would grow to become attractive and popular. Blue flowers of the flax are worn to protect against harmful psychic attacks. In mythology, Flax is a herb potent to maternal goddesses, especially Frigga and Holda, associated with spinning.   

Despite it's magical properties, linseed oil is dangerous. King Tutankhamun's remains were slowly burned after mummification. A TV documentary called "Tutankhamun: Mystery of the Burnt Mummy" explored this subject and found that the linen had to have been drenched in linseed oil to cause spontaneous combustion. An experiment was done to show this. It demonstrated how cloth soaked in linseed oil cooked itself at a certain room temperature alone without any fire. It reveals the power of linseed oil.

Info on Flax / Linseed:

Seedguide - Linseed oil
LadyHawke's herbs ("F" look up Flax)
Northern Shamanism - Frigga's herbs

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The Power of Nott



As we approach winter, the nights will get longer. Days will become darker. For this time is when the sun is barely visible as it's so low on the horizon. Further north, the sun isn't even visible and the grim season is fast moving, as the starry cloaked goddess of night gallops on her winged black steed.

Her name is Nott. She's a personification of night time. She is a mysterious and ancient goddess in Germanic mythology, whose name "Nott" (or Nat) means "night". This nocturnal goddess has a variety of nick names according to the Poetic Edda. The dwarves call her "the goddess of dreams." Elves call her "the goddess who brings joy in sleep". The giants call her "un-light" and the gods call her "goddess of darkness". She is the absence of light, and makes the stars appear visible to us every night. She is total darkness, night itself, and some describe her as a shadow goddess. She rides upon a black chariot pulled by her winged black horse, Hrimfaxi (meaning the "frost mane"). It's worth mentioning that a similar horse named Shadowfax appears in the Tales of Middle Earth by Tolkien.

Nott is a much earlier goddess. She predates the Viking age and reference to her can be traced as far back as the Iron Age. This type of goddess is from a time when humans were primitive. She's the granddaughter of a giant sky god, Bergelmir, who built Asgard. According to myth, she married three times. She is the mother of Dag (a god of day), Jord (the earth goddess) and Aud and she's the grandmother of Thor. She may have had other children. Nott travels the world to bring night, and her horse scatters dew and frost.

This goddess is a keeper of magic, secrets and wisdom. She can be a goddess of the inner night (subconscious) as well as the external night hours. She is a goddess of darkness and the cosmos. She is also the goddess of the obsidion mirror, the poles, the womb, ghosts, magic, alchemy. She's a goddess of the supernatural, the dead as well as the living, birth and death, and anything else that is without light but contains unseen forms.

Ancient Indo-European tribes branched out after the end of the last Ice Age and these stories of gods came from an earlier source. It's likely that certain gods and goddesses in different myths can have the same origin. In Greek mythology, the goddess of night appears as Nyx, the helper of heroes and demigods, who invokes sleep. Just like Nott, Nyx is the mother of the god of day. She has her own starlit temples.

Nott is a cosmic goddess who rules over shadows, stars the nebula. Dark goddess of all things hidden, like caves, deep sleep, vision quests, dreaming, creativity, inner knowledge, insight, divination, outer space and the unknown. Some people are afraid of the great dark goddesses. Maybe She reveals some truth that is presently invisible and undiscovered.  

Some information on the goddess:

Norse mythology Nott
Nott Goddess of Night
Northern Sky 

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Fairy Tale Grimoire: Cinderella




Cinderella is a popular fairy story about a young woman who's life is improved by magic. Everyone familiar with this story will sympathise with an unhappy Cinderella, who was treated badly by her step mother and step sisters. They made her do all the housework without any rewards, and she didn't have any decent clothes to wear apart from rags. She didn't have her own room either. She had to sleep in the kitchen beside a fire in the hearth. When invitations arrived to attend the birthday party of a prince at the palace, everyone was excited to go. The step family didn't want Cinderella to go to the ball with them. They told her to remain at home doing endless chores. After they were dressed up and gone to the royal birthday bash, Cinderella broke down in tears, when the arrival of a supernatural visitor came, the "fairy godmother". She gave Cinderella hope just for the night, instructing her to collect mice, newts, a large pumpkin and a rat. With a wave of her magic wand, the fairy godmother turned the pumpkin into a coach, the mice into white horses, the newts into footmen and the rat was turned into a coach driver. Finally Cinderella was transformed from a raggedly dressed scullery maid, into a beautiful stunner wearing an exotic gown and glass slippers.

"Be warned, Cinderella," announced the fairy godmother. "When the clock strikes midnight, your magic will fade. Your gown will return to rags. The coach will turn back into a pumpkin. The mice, rat and newts will return. So go now and enjoy yourself."

Cinderella understood. She was helped into the coach by the driver, and the white horses pulled the pumpkin coach away towards the palace ball. Everything turns glitzy and glamorous now. The ball is filled with dancers in finery. When Cinderella entered the place hall, eyes turned to look in amazement at her for she was the most beautiful one there. Even the step family didn't recognise Cinderella. The handsome prince was in awe of her and he danced with her all night. The clock struck midnight, and Cinderella had just remembered the fairy godmother's warning. Afraid of transforming back to her old self, she had to quickly leave the palace in a hurry. She ran fast and one of her glass slippers fell off and landed on the palace step outside. As she ran, her usual clothes appeared and the coach was gone. Instead was a pumpkin, newts, mice and a rat. Cinderella ran home and got her breath back. When the others returned home, Cinderella kept quiet about her magical night dancing with the prince.

The prince tried chasing after Cinderella but she had gone. Then he came upon the glass slipper that he'd seen her leave behind. He wanted to search for her. Using the glass slipper and it's unique proportions would help him find exactly where his dancer was. The prince made it official to search every house in the land, wanting every young woman to try on the slipper. No one fitted the shoe. He came upon the dwelling of Cinderella and wanted the tow step sisters to try on the glass slipper. Neither did their big feet fit into the delicate small shoe. The prince was tired and he almost gave up hope, when he turned his attention to the maid dressed in rags. He ordered her to try the slipper on, doubtfully thinking it would make a difference. Cinderella sat on a stool and placed her small foot into the glass slipper, when the discovery was made. Cinderella's foot fitted perfectly. The prince looked at her again and recognised who she was. He announced his love for her and proposed marriage to her there and then. Cinderella became the bride of the prince and they lived happily ever after.  

Cinderella is an enchanting story of a maidservant who was magically transformed into a princess. One of the most popular girl stories and perhaps the most famous. It's a very old story going back centuries, to the time of ancient Greece. The writer and philosopher Herodotus (484 to 425 BCE) compiled "historical" information about a rosy cheeked girl named Rhodopis, who'd lived as the real original Cinderella. 

The fairy story we know is a combination of folklore, magic and ancient legends. The ideas within the story that seem to go unnoticed suggest that Cinderella was not a mortal woman. Her step family, the adoptive unrelations, who were more beastly and selfish, punished Cinderella for being special all along. Her immortality shone through during the night of the prince's birthday party. Cinderella is ruled by time, and has a fairy godmother (her own mother?) guiding her on a life's path. She appears ordinary in the day but for one night she is something more. Now the fairy godmother is also interesting because, like the fairies of other folktales and stories, they have the nature of the goddess about them.

Most people haven't established that the glass slipper is the only object that didn't transform! It remained "magical" because it wasn't a fake or an illusion but the identity code of Cinderella's actual true glorious nature. The pumpkin is a symbol of autumn, witchcraft, Halloween and harvest. Pumpkins are traditionally used as lanterns and guardians of the home, to keep evil entities away. As Cinderella, in her truest form, is driven towards the palace, the coach (a pumpkin in disguise) protects her.

Rats and mice are linked to dark, dirty, dusty things. Newts have always been a creature of healing and white magic, according to old superstitions. Rats, mice, newts and pumpkins are altogether not a very nice vision, so these were given a disguise, to shield the vision of a young goddess hidden in the coach as she's taken towards her future.

Links:

Pretty artwork on here is "Cinderella" by Lia Selina   
Cinderella info   

Friday, 8 November 2013

These are noble birds




Ravens and crows.

I've always considered them my most favourite birds. Of all the birds, these are the most mysterious and misunderstood. I've observed them and befriended them too. Take it from me, ravens are beautiful.

A local park with a big fish pond is home to a lot of different animals and birds including ducks, swans, even pigeons go there to feed from crumbs. Now at certain times of the year, seagulls go there and behave like nasty bullies towards all the other birds. If crumbs are thrown to a duckling or a sparrow, seagulls would be straight in on there and push aside the others to steal that other bird's snack. Seagulls are quite vicious but yeah some people like them. When the gulls were at the park, I almost walked away until a flock of ravens appeared. I watched in surprise as all of the seagulls scarpered to a different area. Ravens and crows had a presence and made harmony again.

Some people may also witness that?

Crows and ravens are associated with bad things in superstitious myth and literature. Crows and ravens have high intelligence and they are able to count up to 5. The oldest known living crow was 59 years old but their life span varies between 25 and 30 years. Crows and ravens are often seen as birds of death, such as the Morrigan of Celtic mythology and the Valkyries of Germanic mythology. Odin Himself has two messenger ravens that fly across the world and report information back to the All Father. Due to their colour black, these birds are linked to the unknown, from death, magic and the creation of life. In some cultures, ravens are believed to be a creation bird. They are guardians of the earth's secrets and these birds are a connection to spirits. In Hinguism, crows are regarded as our spiritual ancestors.

 More on the phenomenal crows and ravens:

Cultural depictions of ravens
Raven in mythology
Odin's ravens Huginn and Muninn
Crow in Hindu scriptures
Crow spirit animal

Art by Nene Thomas

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Halloween's tricks



That time of year again, which I really love. Autumn, and Halloween, fire festivals, bonfire nights, mischief nights and remembering the war dead. This year I made a few Halloween decourations and attended one cute disco last week with everyone dressed up. I know it's all fun and dress up, with pumpkins and the ghosts.

Spiders, bats, witches, black cats, skeletons, gouls, goblins, ghosts, monsters, werewolves, the night and moonlight all remind us of Halloween. We all know Halloween is a much ancient tradition called Samhain (pronounced sow-wain). The ancients believed that this was a time that souls of the dead, as well as other creatures of the dark, would harass people because sunlight is shorter and nights get longer. To combat the evil spirits and monsters, people kept them away by tricking the entities, using fiery lanterns, bonfires, images of monsters and gouls outside houses. People even dressed up as ghosts and ghastly creatures to blend in with the horrible supernatural things and avoid notice. That passed down through the ages, to what is now Halloween. Trick or Treating is a blend of Samhain and the old English "mischief night" when children went out playing practical jokes on people.          

Celtic and Germanic myths and folklore blends tales together like weaving woodlands. The stuff we all recognise to do with Halloween has a place in legend too. The witches flying on broomsticks made to look like sinister hags are a combination of dark fairies, banshees, wise women and healers. The typical witch is often female, and a demonised woman. Historically there was a religious war and a mass hysteria, when ignorant people condemned others of witchcraft. Witchcraft was always a crime (until recently). Thousands (it's argued that it was about 9 million) of people were executed, tortured and imprisoned for witchcraft, even if there was no proof and all that mattered was hearsay and gossip.

Not everyone accused of witchcraft were "witches". Not all of them understood magic, the occult, the old ways or followers of the old pagan gods. Many of the accused were Christians, and some of them belonged to the clergy! Often these people were victims of harassment, gossip, spite or for being different. Some lived as hermits. Some practised science. Some were involved in disputes and were wanted out the way. But of all of them were treated horribly by the State. Also not all of the accused were women. The notion "Burning Times" is a modern name to describe this witch hunting period of human history, but described by the inventor of Wicca. Not all countries burned witches.

History is bloody and the witch trials were scarier than the myth of cackling witches flying on broomsticks. They didn't celebrate Halloween much during the Middle Ages. The entities crossed into our dimension and drove everyone insane.

Source:

"Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology" by Rossell Hope Robbins

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Nature's spooky special effects



Here is a list of some really cool sights created by nature. Some are really rare, many are weird, some associated with the paranormal but explained away.

Fire Rainbows - These are called circumhorizontal arcs, and look like flaming rainbow colours in the sky. Ice crystals make these pretty displays.

Moonbows - Also called "black rainbow" is a night time occurring rainbow due to the reflections of a bright moon and air moisture.

Sun Dogs - Two orbs of light in the daytime sky on either side of the sun. Scientifically called Parhelian.

Light Pillars - These can be caused by a sun low on the horizon or with artificial light upon a shining surface. Sometimes people say this is paranormal.

Lenticular Clouds - Some people mistake them for UFO's or claim that "cloaked UFO's" are hiding behind clouds in saucer shaped clouds. These are really high altitude layered clouds in the troposphere.

Fairy Rings - A ring of mushrooms either formed because of underground spore pattern.

Sailing Stones - A strange behaviour of heavy rocks moving across a desert, like those in Death Valley national park. No humans interfered with the rocks but research suggests that they appear to move because of melting icy water but it still remains a mystery.

Raining animals -An uncommon weather feature of falling frogs and fish during a heavy rainfall. Theories suggest that animals have been sucked into the air by a waterspout but usually these weird rainfalls have the same species. 

Brocken Spectre - An optical illusion of a giant shadow projection of an observer on a mountain top, created by sunlight and fog. It's a natural ghost phenomena called "Glory"

Blood Rain - A rain of blood red liquid has been noted since ancient times and seen as a warning. Studies found using samples of blood rain showed dust, meteorite particles and iron oxide.   

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Fairytale Grimoire: Snow White & Rose Red



This is a fairy tale about another girl called Snow White, who had a sister named Rose Red. Both sisters have an adventure together in this tale of magic. It includes a rude dwarf and a bear. The girls are linked with a pair of rose bushes outside of their mother's house, that grew white roses and red roses. Snow White, with the blonde hair was named after the white roses. Her sister Rose Red with the auburn hair was named after the red roses.

There are similarities with the elements. It could be that both sisters represent two halves and maybe two opposites.

Snow White's name indicates the season of Winter. Rose Red's name for the Summer. Both sisters are different, one is red and the other white. Not only is red and white for the cycles of the year but times of the day. Red is for the sun. White is for the moon.

Red = Roses, flowers, fire, warmth, Summer, solar.
White =  Snow, ice, water, coldness, Winter, Lunar.

One sister is a priestess of the moon (Snow White) and the other is the priestess of the sun (Rose Red).

Divine Sisters 

In mythology, twins are everywhere. Gemini can be portrayed as male and female. Myths are full of twin brothers or twin brother and sister. There are very few stories of twin sisters in ancient mythology but after some digging I found these few very beautiful gems of divine twin girls.

In Greek mythology, the mystical twin sisters are called Leucippides (White Horse Maidens) named Phoebe and Hilaeira. The name Phoebe itself means "lunar bright" and Hilaeira's name means "softly shining". Both were brides of the star crowned godlike Dioscouri, the twin brothers. All four were given immortality. Again the sisters are divided as white and red (lunar and solar).

Another story of twin girls in Greek myth concerns Irish and Arke. Iris was the goddess of the luminous rainbow, and she had golden wings.Her sister Arke is less famous, and transparent. She was the goddess of shadow and the faded second rainbow. Her wings were iridescent. She fell out of favour with the Olympian gods by allying herself to the Titans and falling out with Iris. One girl is light and the other darker.

In Egyptian mythology are twin sisters Isis and Nephthys. Isis was the queen goddess of the throne of power, a celestial goddess mainly regarded as a solar figure, and a protector of the dead, rebirth and children. A goddess of life, symbolised with the sun disk, the cow and ankh. She had a long lasting worship right up until the Roman Empire.Her sister Nephthys wasn't too different as her images show her with an ankh but also a goddess of death, funerals and the afterlife. She was feared. It was said that this goddess was able to destroy anything with a blast of fire. A goddess of night, water and dreaming.


Again appears the Bear in "Snow White and Rose Red". This particular bear is the hero, or anti hero, and is actually a man in disguise! He reveals himself to be the prince and marries Snow White, while his brother is weds Rose Red. Bears like this, and other animals with manlike traits in fairytales are possibly a reminder of the once feared warrior order, the berserkers.You can find the rest of the plot HERE.

(There is a dwarf in the story too that is nasty and ungrateful, as well as a large fish, an eagle, a fairy and mother's teleporting rose cottage! Dwarves will be covered in a future "Grimoire" post).

Links:

Tonight's Bedtime Story
Theoi

Monday, 7 October 2013

Giants in the mists



These are giant rock pillars called Manpupuner, or the Seven Strong Men, found in the Urals. In local legend these rock formations were once wandering giant men. By a twist of climatic and supernatural elements, these giants were frozen into solid rocks. Ancient spirits gather there according to certain beliefs.

It's possible that these pillars were created many millions of years ago in the Jurassic era. They are said to be the oldest mountains on earth. Time weathering and ice corrosion transformed the mountains into the huge statues today. The region is inhospitable and expert mountaineers find the rocks very difficult to climb up.

They are between 40 and 80 metres high. Ranked as one of the Seven Wonders of Russia, the Manpupuner is an amazing wild feature of the landscape. Is it perhaps worth thinking if these giant rocks were built by an ancient race?

Beside these gigantic prehistoric statues, the Urals itself is full of mystery. It's the region of snow monsters, countless UFO sightings, ghosts, huge geoglyphs, mysterious caves and megaliths. The Urals is also the recent site where a big fireball meteorite hit early this year.

The Urals is a misty, cold, shadowy mysterious part of the world with vast landscapes. Much of it is uninhabited by people. It's mainly unlivable and yet there are locations where traces of prehistoric peoples left tools, buildings, structures, mounds, artwork and ruins.

Links:
Megaliths in the Urals
Geoglyph in S Urals
Official images of Manpupuner
     

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Gentle feminine leadership



It's popular for women to be aggressive and in your face, just to succeed in life and get what they want. For women in positions of authority, they think taking on macho characteristics helps them improve to better positions. Also being fierce and cruel is a trait adopted by female bosses. It's well known that such powerful women have been unpopular, feared, or stirred up tension. Women such as Margaret Thatcher was called the "Iron Lady". Other women who captured adoring fans with severe dancing and singing tend to be the norm. Powerful women and women in key positions give out this strong, angry, aggressive, vicious, witchlike public displays of working. The seas are not always stormy. Calm gentle seas can be just as good or better. The forgotten and unfashionable trait of being soft, calm and gentle for a woman in power can be just as affective and even more influential.

Gentler women in history
The quiet, gentle and calm women of history that have made such an impact because of their softer approach includes a variety of famous individuals that have reached out to many. These women are queen Nefertiti, Sappho, Praxilla, Florence Nightingale, Mary Shelley, Jane Austin, Marie Curry, Marilyn Monroe, Louise Brooks, Sarah Bernhardt, Veturia, Cornelia, Saint Helena,  Mother Theresa, Molly Pitcher, Grace Kelly, Frida Kahlo, Amelia Earhart, Pocahontas, Olga of Kiev and these are just a few.

Gentler women in myth and stories
The most well loved soft, kind-hearted, gentle and even maternal female figures tend to be the most powerful. They include the fairy godmothers in "Cinderella", the twelve fairies in "Sleeping Beauty", the blue fairy in "Pinocchio", Glenda the good witch and Ozma in "Wizard of Oz" adventures and Mother Holle. Such women have supernatural abilities. They are an echo of ancient myths, with stories of the Graces, Norns, Fates, who weave destiny, and the benign mother and daughter goddesses of sky, sea and earth.

Gentle natured women today
It's rare to find powerful women in key positions of authority who use gentleness and sweetness to charm their way. But really this isn't a trait that most other women have any longer because it may be considered "weak" but it isn't. With anger there is calm. Being gentle means being compassionate towards others. There are some gentle natured women in influence today that are popular, considered icons of the year and "mother" figures to the nation. The present chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, is called "mother" because she does emit a calm gentle warmth. In entertainment, Holly Willoughby is a fairy godmother type who appears on TV. Both are feminine, non-aggressive and have a wide influence.

Look at it this way, in nature itself balance and harmony is better observed than disharmony. 

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The Power of Idun



Idun is a lesser known goddess of Germanic mythology but she happens to be the most important and possibly the most significant one. Her name Idun is also spelled "Idunn" and sometimes "Idunna", but this was an Anglicised version of the ancient PIE and Norse/German cross "Ithun". The "D" is a "recent" pronunciation of the of the letter "ð" that was pronounced as "th". Her name was pronounced "Ee-thun-a". Many people compare Idun with Eden as they sound similar. Eden itself is a name of a Biblical garden paradise but possibly rooted in ancient Arabic "edinnu" that means plain or a flat land suited for plants and water. This is unlikely the cause of Idun's name but the Germanic goddess is rooted far back in time than the arrival of Christianity. Idun Goddess' name would've sounded closely like "Athena" to the ancient Greeks. PIE myths have a link going back to the first beginnings of agriculture during the change sweep after the Ice Age. Idun was born from a time when people became farmers. The goddess is a symbol of agriculture and immortality. 

Idun is a goddess of apples. She guards the sacred golden apples of youth and immortality. It must be noted that way back in ancient Europe, there were no juicy apples that we have today growing on trees all over. Apple trees originated from the Far East but these apple types were wild. It was people like Alexander the Great who introduced the first apples to south Europe and the Middle East. The Romans started bringing cultivated apples to the rest of Europe.

Idun the goddess of apples was written by Snori Sturluson in the 13th century, basing it on apple celebrations among the Norse people. To understand the powerful goddess, one has to bury into the ground and find apples and treasure. Once, people from England, to Scandinavia, Germany, the Baltic, Russia, Celtic lands and along the Mediterranean buried their dead with apples and nuts.

Apples are associated with longer and healthier life, a long journey, fertility, a spiritual journey and wisdom. In Norse myths, apples are also responsible for creating newborn babies! Don't forget that to the ancient Europeans, apples were considered a foreign fruit. To the Greeks in the sunnier regions of Europe, apples were symbolic fruits of love. To the Christians the apple was a fruit of sin and evil but the origins of this tale are unknown and could be a confusion of languages. Apple pips are a poison as they contain small amounts of cyanide. 

Iduns' apples are golden. Golden apples appear in many myths and legends. In Greek myth, golden apples are guarded by three girls (nymphs or goddesses) in a secret garden orchard named "Hesperides". It is owned by Hera the queen goddess and wife of Zeus. The apple trees were also protected by a dragon. Avalon, a mythical island that appears in the Arthurian legend, is Welsh for "Apple Island".

The golden apples that gave immortality and eternal youth to the gods cannot be just ordinary apples, wild or cultivated. The apples are something else. The very sign of them being "golden" is a symbolic colour and metal of the divine, the sun and eternity. Apples represent the sun, the heart and fertility. What kind of being, other than the gods themselves, could have long lasting eternal youth and can live forever? The Turrytopsis nutricula (immortal jellyfish), bacteria, Bristlecone Pine trees of the Great Basin and the freshwater Hydra species. Life forms such as that are biologically equipped to form and reform and alter and so on. The myths suggest that the gods need to eat something to stay immortal and young. That suggests too that the gods were mortal men and women before that!

In the fairytale of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", the princess Snow White is given a poisoned apple. She dies, and a prince's kiss wakes her from death. The originator of the apple was her step mother, the wicked queen. Who was that supposed to be? A darker version of Idun? Step mother queens in fairytales, who appear as powerful deadly sorceresses, are actually goddesses who control destiny. These step mothers have been demonised over the centuries but they were given bad traits. Look at it another way. The powerful queen (goddess Idun) gives Snow-White one of the sacred apples to make her immortal!!!

In Norse mythology, Idun is kidnapped by an eagle, and Loki has attempted to remove her from the garden of golden apples, so that the gods lose immortality. Loki seeks the destruction of the gods. It seems that there is a different story of an eternal battle going on. And Idun is the key queen on the chess board, sat beside her husband Bragi.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Living vegetables



It's been researched that flowers and plants are capable of producing sound. People who love trees, forests, garden plants and flowers feel a special bond, nurturing them to grow and some eccentrics will chat to them.  I can think of the plant orchestra that can be listened to by a special audio. Plants respond to external sounds. There might be a reason for the way plants react and especially seeds. Now insects communicate through sounds and they seem to respond to plants in a way that they understand and can hear plants making their own signals.

It's said that different plants make different sounds. They don't play music like the garden flowers did in Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" animation film. Yet it's not really far off though. Consider the way each flower communicates and interacts with everyone. They shunned a miniature Alice because she wasn't part of their orchestra and they thought she was a weed. So in a way wild flowers and other flowers don't get on too well.

I discovered that letting wild plants to grow instead of getting rid of them, actually helped make the garden greener. It attracted more bees, butterflies and other healthy insects to thrive there. Many little spiders appeared on webs. New flowers bloomed, making way for berries that I didn't know was there before. The other flowers and shrubs are doing okay.

Do vegetarians realise that they're eating living creatures? Vegetables are no different than trees and flowers or even animals. They also produce sounds and they communicate and give out vibes. They have auras. They resonate with the other plants and they interact with insects, the soil, stones and other plants. Vegetables are more intense and complex because they're full of vitamins and minerals, edible to humans, while flowers and trees are not. We could go onto discuss fruit and nuts too as well but this is for another post. These vegetables are grown from the soil and have roots contained in the dirt. They collect nourishment from the sky and earth. There are so many myths and folklore about vegetables.

Eating vegetables is important as drinking water. Vegetables are a biological mineral with nutrients and they each have spirits. Sometimes veggies are able to transfer into a tapestry of energy after we eat them and it's the chemicals and supplements that do this. These messages from the vegetables are consumed too and appear in our health. 

Facts on some vegetables:

Radish = It originated in China. Pyramid builders ate radishes. Ancient Greeks considered radishes food that the gods ate. Radishes are medicinal. 
Potato = Potatoes originated from South America. It was imported to the rest of the world after the Spanish conquistadors named it. Potato is full of starch and is considered unhealthy.  
Carrot = Carrots come from the Middle East and is full of healing properties. Carrots are supposedly magical. Centuries ago, carrots were a variety of colours, mainly purple. Today they are all orange.  
Peas = Originated in Southern Europe and the Near East and grown for thousands of years. Peas were considered a type of confection "sweet" by the ancient Greeks and Romans. Peas contain vitamins, minerals and fibre.   
Beans = They originate from the Americas. Bean pods are edible and medicinal as well as and possibly more than beans. 
Broccoli = This is part of the cabbage family. It can be more powerful than modern pharmacuetical medicines. It beats cancer cells in some experiments. High in fibre, vitamins and folate.
Cabbage = This is the oldest vegetable in the world. It's rich in vitamins and other supplements and very medicinal. They contain defenses against some cancers and high in Vitamin K and zero fat.  
Pumpkin = These pumpkins originate from north America. Used as Halloween lanterns, pumpkins are also made into a soup, stew, pie and cake. Associated with autumn months. Pumpkins are high in nutrients. Pumpkin seeds are filled with calcium, vitamin C and fat.   
Turnip = A native vegetable of Europe. Eaten in the summer months, turnips were also kept in vinegar in winter. Filled with medicinal and healing properties. 
Leek = Leeks are part of the onion family but are gentle on the mouth. It's said they originated in Egypt but also some evidence shows leeks coming from India. 
Corn Salad = Another name for it is "Rapunzel". Often looking like weeds, these edible plants are often added to soup.
Melon = Originated from Asia, melons contain potassium and vitamins.
Cucumber = This first came from the Far East. They are used as a medicine to treat skin problems and burns.
Pepper = There are many types of peppers grown all over the world. Some are flaming hot and others are mild to sweet. There are many colours ranging from red, yellow and green.
Onion = These were cultivated for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians found onions as sacred. Many have found onions to treat illnesses and boost strength and fertility. It has been used as an insect repellent. It's mostly filled with water and chemicals.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Fairytale Grimoire: Goldilocks



Hello there. Welcome to the Fairytale Grimoire and read through carefully without burning the paper. I want to educate you on a journey of magic and stories. You know the popular fairy tales? These are just about them, and digging deeper to find the hidden nuggets and crystals within these folktale legends, stories of fantasy and myths. Perhaps you might want to skip? Fine if you do.

This is about "Goldilocks" most well known from the story "Goldilocks and the Three Bears." I could introduce you to the main character herself and make it easier or just narrate it?

An outline of the story:

Goldilocks is the name of a girl with full golden hair. She finds herself lost in the woods, and discovers a house. When no one answers to her knocks, she discovers that the door is open and she enters. She finds three bowls of porridge and so hungry that she tastes one. The biggest one. It's too hot. She tastes the porridge from the middle sized bowl. It's cold. She tastes the porridge from the smaller bowl and it's yummy so she eats it all. She wants to sit down after finding three chairs. She goes to the biggest chair and finds it too high. She doesn't stay sat on the middle sized chair because it's too soft. Yet she goes to sit on the smaller chair and breaks it. Upstairs to check out the beds, she wants to go to sleep. She tries laying on the largest bed and it's too hard. The medium bed is too lumpy. The smaller bed is just right and she snoozes off. While asleep, three bears return to their home after being out in the woods. They notice someone's been eating their porridge, and someone's been sitting in their chairs but the little bear cries because the smaller chair was broken and someone's gobbled up the little bear's porridge. The bears go upstairs to look for the culprit. They find Goldilocks asleep, then they wake her up. She flees from the house and is never seen again.

Puzzles:

As simple as it sounds. The story centres around the number three. Three is a sacred number. It centres on the Goldilocks character heroine. It's also surrounded by bears. Porridge is the focus diet. Wooden chairs and beds are the prime household objects. All is circulated by a forest or wood. The magical three bears go out of their central house/heart/hearth and in goes Goldilocks. She intrudes the house, steals the food and breaks things. She sleeps in the house that isn't her own. Many look upon her as a type of burglar. Some folklorists say that she's no different to when princess Snow White found the home of the seven dwarfs and ate their food and slept in their beds. So who was Goldilocks? Why was she lost in the woods? Where did she come from? The answer lies in the origin of the story, the magic of number three and the bears. 

Number three:

Three appears in the ancient triquetra symbol. Three is for time meaning past, present and future. There are three headed gods and goddesses in ancient cultures, sometimes three sets of divinities owning time and destiny. Pyramids contain three shapes and three sides. There are three dimensions (length, height and depth). Our home world Earth is the third planet away from the sun. Three primary colour bands, red, blue and yellow. A triangle is of three sides that are the most rigid of all the shapes. Three is a prime number. Ancient people wrote in three glyphs. Three is also III in Roman numerals and it means "giant star". The number three appears in all religions and belief systems. Three is associated with superstitions. In other fairy tales, there are three little pigs and three wishes.    

Bears:

The bears represent the mystical prime number three. This could indicate that the bears are a cosmic order. Big, middle and small. Man, woman and child. The earliest version of the "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" has three fully grown adult bears. Bears appear in myths and legends as a sacred noble animal. Bears are omnivorous and have a more powerful sense of smell than dogs. Like humans, bears are able to stand upright, walk upright and sit upright. Bears are daytime animals instead of nocturnal. Unlike other mammals, bears are more likely to keep themselves to themselves. Bears love to sleep during winter. The bear is a national animal of Finland, Greenland, Russia and Taiwan. Bear worship and bear cults have existed throughout the ancient world. The celestial bears are Ursa Major (great bear) and Ursa Minor (small bear).

Goldilocks:

Before the character we know as girl with golden hair was "Silverlocks", an old woman. But the original character before she became known as "Silverlocks" was a fox! It was a story about a naughty vixen that crept into the home of three mature bears while they went out. The fox, being nocturnal, was tired and fancied herself a lie down in the beds after eating food. This later was changed so the vixen was no more and an old woman replaced her but the idea was quickly altered to make her into a child. "Goldilocks" was named but the girl also took on the early traits of the fox who stole food and broke things. So the original Goldilocks was a cheeky fox! The fox, entering the home/centre and hearth of the magical three bears could be looked at as a symbol of disorder and rebellion. However, Goldilocks' name is given to a type of planet.

Links on the subject:

Goldilocks planet
Arctolatry - Faith of the Bear
History of Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Triquetra
Artist Jasmine Becket Griffith "Goldilocks".

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Golden Girl Project: Helen of Troy



The final part of my "Golden Girl Project" series of posts is this one. It's about the ultimate Goddess-like mortal woman. She's the most written about princess of ancient Greek mythology. The woman's beauty alone caused the downfall and destruction of an entire city.

Helen of Troy is also called "Helen of Sparta". She was born in Sparta, possibly during the Mycenaean Bronze Age. It was during a time when later Greeks of other periods looked back on this time as "the age of heroes". She was written about by the poet Homer, who lived centuries afterwards. In a later time, Euripides composed some literature on Helen, stating that she was the daughter of Leda and the god Zeus. The story goes that Zeus transformed into a swan and mated with Leda. As a result, two eggs were laid from the mortal woman Leda. Human children were hatched from these eggs, two boys in one, and a girl in the other. The girl was Helen and the brothers were Castor and Pollux. In adulthood, the brothers became the "Dioscuri" and were hunters. They became two of the Argonauts, heroes of the Argo ship, whose leader was Jason. They were involved in many adventures, and shrines were built in their worship. It was also stated that of the brothers, only Pollux came from an egg and was the son of Zeus, and Helen came from either another egg or the same egg, daughter of Zeus. Castor and another sister Clytamnestra were mortal children of Leda and her husband king Tyndareus.

An older version of Helen goes that she is the daughter of Zeus and the goddess Nemesis. She was a baby inside an egg who was given to a mortal woman Leda to care for. Again is a similar theme of heroes and heroines, who have no parents or whose parents are either unknown or divine.

The Greek geographer Pausanias, of the 2nd century C.E., traveled to Sparta to locate Helen's birth egg shell. The site was located at the Spartan acropolis. The name "Helen" is means "shining light". It's an Anglicised version of the Greek "Helene" or "Helena".

First of all, Helen was a beautiful woman who attracted the admiration of both gods and men. From a young age, it is said she was trained in fighting and hunting along with her brothers. She was once abducted by a god Theseus, who wanted her to be his wife. After leaving her with his mother in Athens, he went away to the dangerous underworld on a quest and Helen was rescued by her brothers, Castor and Pollux. Helen attracted hundreds of suitors who wanted to marry her. Menelaus was finally selected (by Helen's father and brothers) to be marry her.

There are different versions of the next phase of events but Helen was swept off her feet (or kidnapped) by Paris, a Trojan prince. Her husband was furious and wanted her back, raising an army to sneak warriors into Troy via having them hidden inside a giant wooden "Trojan Horse". This started off the Trojan war. As a result, Helen is despised by the people of Troy. She developed a friendship with Hector, who was another Trojan prince and also a warrior. Paris and Hector were killed in battle. The grief stricken Helen was then returned to her husband while Troy was left in ruins.

The rest of Helen's life is completely vague. Either she died or vanished. Again, this is a common theme with goddesses whose names also often contain the meanings "light", "shining" and associated with fire. It's very possible that Helen was not a mortal woman but a goddess. A goddess who was mortalised through the ages to tell the saga over and over. Her origins, if going further back in time long before Homer and long before the Mycenaean period, Helen seems to be likely one of many solar goddesses from primitive Indo European traditions. Here is a story of a destroyed "lost city" that was blamed entirely on this woman/goddess. After the Ice Age, many disasters happened such as the sinking of entire islands, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Helen might've been an echo of a former sun cult that thrived in these areas. Whatever she really was, she was a true Golden Girl of myth and legend!

Links about Helen:

Helen of Troy - Heroine or Goddess
"Helen of Troy" (book) by Bettany Hughes
.
(Picture "Helen of Troy" by Lan Jun Kang)

Monday, 19 August 2013

The queen of poisons



Aconitum, as it's officially called, is a pretty wild perennial flower. It usually grows in pastures, valleys and mountain sides of picturesque countrysides with shade from the big trees. This plant can be found from countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas. The green stalks and leaves bloom to a layer of pink, blue, purple, yellow and white petals. These "pretty maids in a row" look photogenic as they can appear to be like miniature girls in fancy dresses. They bare fruit and seeds. However none of them are safe to eat or touch. The Aconitum flowers are poisonous. They're given different names including "the queen of poisons", "blue rocket", "monkshood" and "women's bane" but the most well known of these flowers is "wolfsbane".

The poison is so strong. If you eat a wolfsbane plant, death becomes you. Touching the flower and it's leaves can be harmful. The poison of Aconitum has been used in hunting and during war, tipped on arrows and spears. If you accidentally consume Aconitum you'll suffer pain, vomiting, diarrhea and eventually death.

Despite it's deadly quality, Aconitum is a food source for a few species of moths. Aconitum can be detoxified and used in medicines. It was used to treat a variety of illnesses and is a special ingredient in Chinese herbal medicines.  .     

In folklore wolfsbane (Aconitum vulparia lycoctonum) was used to destroy werewolves instantly. Wolfsbane was used by witches in their magic potions to cast spells, according to some written sources.  

Links:
The poison garden website
Wolfsbane seeds for witch's garden
The wolfsbane potion

Monday, 22 July 2013

The Power of Ran



In ancient northern mythology, there is one particular goddess that is powerful. Her name is Ran and She's the goddess of the sea. In Old Norse, the name is Ran, and it's pronounced "ron" or "rha - an". The name is linked to an early Norse word to mean "rob", in characteristics of "robbing the dead at sea". To argue with firm beliefs, the German "Rhine" and Old English "run" (to flow) comes from Old Norse "rinna" and Sanscrit "rinati". Run, rin, ran... all to do with the flow of water!

Some consider Her to be a type of dark goddess as she's associated with death. A beautiful giantess of the sea, wife of the sea god Aegir. Aegir hosts parties and rules the ocean and it's creatures. Interestingly, Aegir's origins seem to belong to an earlier era and He may not be entirely confined to the Scandinavian myths. Ran and Aegir had nine daughters, called the "billow maidens". Each daughter of Ran was named after different types of ocean movements:
"Bara" (Barra) to mean the wave.
"Blodhughadda" (Blodigadda) means bloody red hair.
"Bylgja" (Bilgia) to mean big or choppy waves.
"Dufa" (Dewfa) the pitching or pointy tipped wave.
"Hefring" ( Heffrig) to mean the tide or surge.
"Himinglaeva" (Hemiglaiva) to mean reflecting water.
"Hronn" (Herna) to suggest the surf.
"Kolga" (Kolda) the cold waves.
"Unnr" (Una) the bubbles or foam.

 This goddess Ran uses a net to catch men who've fallen into the sea. She claimed the souls of the drowned dead who are sent to Her domain. As a result, sailors keep gold and treasures aboard ships so that if they were to find themselves ship wrecked, Ran would be most pleased with them. She is gifted by sunken ships containing treasure chests. Here is a piece about Her in the Prose Edda:

"To the sky shot up the Deep's Gledes
With fearful might the sea surged
Methinks our stems the clouds cut,
Ran's Road to the moon soared upwards".

Ran is not just a goddess of the sea. She's a Vanir goddess of the storms including hurricanes. She was much feared by the ancient people who ventured out to sea. So they carried some treasure in the hope She would be kind to them. The earliest origins of Ran goddess has scattered and confusing connections with more older European myths and words. Now the name Ran as mentioned before is "rob" and "robbery". This is because of drowned seamen. Yet there is "She" before Ran, as many said "She robs! (at sea)". Sea Ran, or She Robs. There is another word from a different Indo European branch, Σειρήν which is ancient Greek for "Siren" (sei - ren).

There are many different sea goddesses, sea nymphs and sea spirits of myth. It's hard to keep track, or define who might be related to whom or who is the same as another. Maybe they're just not? The more interesting thing is that the sea goddesses tend to exert power so much that they have a following and even temples dedicated to their worship. Fearing the idea of entering a stormy sea would've frightened people into making offerings to the sea gods.

Despite how much She was feared, Ran was considered a sea queen and an aquatic giantess of love and beauty. Her element is Water, and Her special colour is blue. Her gemstone is the pearl. I feel sure that this goddess was around in West and North Europe before the catastrophic event thousands of years ago. Where the North Sea is today, there was once a land mass, connecting the continent of Europe with the British Isles. There are clues. This now sunken place is called "Doggerland" and has been nicknamed "Atlantis" by the press.  There are many sunken islands and cities as well as ships.

The mysteries of the sea is unknown. Most have rejected the power of the sea and people don't respect the sea as much as they used to. The sea is teeming with life and it contains inner worlds and secrets. Gods and goddesses of the sea are its rulers.  Remember that the sea provides, nourishes and guides, but beware of its dangers. Those who know the sea take superstitions and omens seriously.        

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Astral spirits






Sometimes when I meditate, I end up having visions of being in places. I can touch things and smell them. Often I end up falling asleep because it turns so vivid and the deeper into subconscious I go, the more real the places are.

When I have an OBE (out of body experience), I first appear in my house and outside. It's usually night time when I do this, so it's night also in the visions when it's quiet too with no one around. Except that there are drifting spirits! These entities are silent and don't seem to notice me. Occasionally if I talk to one, they look at me for a moment and then move away. I can see them interacting with one another but I can't hear what they're saying. I've seen animals too, usually dogs in spirit among these phantoms.

On another astral trip this year, I went to Hawaii. I didn't know very much about the place and I arrived there in a forested area and not at a beach that I wanted to see. I was confronted by a group of spirits. These looked a bit like people but were not quite people. One of them was small and cube shaped. Another spirit was large with big saucer eyes. I hadn't seen anything like those spirits before. They were guardians and told me that I couldn't just wander into their island, so I returned.

Since then I looked into Hawaiian myth and came across sculptures of "Tiki" men or gods. They look very similar to those guardian spirits that I encountered during my astral trip! Whether these were actually the Tiki themselves or not, I have no idea. To give an example of the Tiki, and what they look like, check this out:

Mythic Hawaii
Aloha magazine - Tiki


On another astral journey, I become a wolf. At times I can travel fast as the wind. I see a lot of stray ghosts and entities lingering around. I visited my dad's grave hundreds of miles away, and went to a castle where spirits had a party. A few years ago I kept appearing in a snowy wood to visit a cabin "home" and here I met one of my old dogs (who passed away when I was ten years old). Sometimes astral flights are very emotional.

There is another interesting feature that I can see during astral travel. There is a giant tree that glows in form. It sometimes stands near my house or it's further away. This must be a sacred tree of a different plane.

Have I been to the moon? No. I've attempted this and got a panic attack. I'm sure people have gone there though during astral travels. Don't attempt anything if you're scared. Astral travel was a way for me to look for healing and answers during an illness.

Why spend money on a plane ticket when you can lie down and drift?...

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Brunhilde - the awakened princess



Brunhilde, or Brynhildr, is a warrior woman that appears in Germanic mythology and operas. Her name is pronounced Brun - hil - da. She's a "shield maiden" (a term for an historical woman in battle) and a Valkyrie.

First of all Brunhilde is probably widely known today as the Queen of Iceland in the 2004 film "Sword of Xanten" (retitled "Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King"), directed by Uli Dedel. Queen Brunhilde is played by Kristanna Loken and comes across as cool, strong but quite vulnerable too. She encounters Siegfried from eye contact passing the smithy, then another meeting one to one after a meteorite falls. Here is where the hero, Siegfried finds the meteor to create his sword, and loves the queen. Only a dream about finding her sleeping in a circle of fire makes reference to the myth about Brunhilde's sleep. That particular film is based on Richard Wagner's "Ring" cycle.

Her being an Icelandic queen in that film is an idea taken from the medieval poem "Nibelungenlied" (The Song of the Nibelungs). In that Brunhilde was far more treated severely. Siegfried loved her once but a sorceress princess Kreimhild gave him a love potion so that he would love her and forget anyone else, including Brunhilde. She challenged Siegfried in a duel of strength, and if he wins, she'll accept him as her husband but if he loses, he'll be executed. However, Siegfried is not as he appears but is in a disguise of King Gunther using magic. Siegfried's strength comes from bathing in a dragon's blood that he'd killed. Only a fallen leaf on his back made that small area on his back vulnerable to attack. The rest of him was invinsible. He used and manipulated dwarf magic to trick queen Brunhilde. So in disguise as King Gunther, Siegfried wins the contest and Brunhilde is married to King Gunther. Brunhilde later discovers the trick made on her.    

In the famous Wagnerian opera there is the tragic fairytale concerning Brunhilde and Siegfried. This is found  in the operas "Die Walküre", "Siegfried" and "Götterdämmerung". Brunhilde is a goddess who became mortalised as punishment by the All Father Odin. Brunhilde is the daughter of the god Odin and goddess Erda. She disobeyed her father's orders and turned mortal but given ever lasting sleep surrounded by a ring of blazing fire. Only a man could waken her. Siegfried is the man who enters the fire and wakes Brunhilde with a kiss.

Anyway apart from this literature, the character of Brunhilde is possibly based on both the mythical Valkyries and swan maidens, as well as true historical woman, princess Brunhilda of Austrasia. She lived in around the years 543 - 613 C.E. and part of the Visigoth tribes. This princess could've been the reason poets and writers used ancient myth of Valkyries to interweave with this woman's life.

Going back to the myths, what is a Valkyrie? "Chooser of the slain", a band or army of supernatural women who select warriors to venture into Valhalla. According to earlier texts, these Valkyrie women were often garbed in white swan feathers. They were associated with swans, and called swan maidens. They didn't fly with those feathered cloaks but rode on winged horses. Sometimes the swan maidens have worn metallic armour (chain mail) with helmets.  Their style of dress is white swan feathers, armour, helmets, and waist length golden hair. They were often seen in the sky or descending to the ground if a battle took place.

They sound, so far, quite angelic. These are warlike woman with the ability to travel in the sky and across the seas. They guard the war dead into the afterlife. They are also said to eat corpses though! Dressed in black raven wings, the valkyries have been said to behave like ghosts. It's very likely that the darker valkyries were more so a demonised version of something pure. This is not coincidental that the influence of Christianity and other enemy forces tainted old myths. 

Ancient amulets show valkyries wearing long gowns, with their flowing hair pulled back in ringletted tails, holding out drinking horns. The pretty objects were treated by ancient tribes of people as good luck tokens. These little metallic figurines of valkyries were ancient lucky charms. Placing them in the home would be blessing the space. To serve magical mead and offer a sacred potion, the icon valkyries closer to the origin of meaning. These were not demonic furies as some academics point out, but girl angels and celestial nymphs. The maidens of Odin were seen as sources of love and light.

Of Brunhilde, she as a Valkyrie appears in much later development of the whole myths, sagas and pantheon. She incarnated into the fairytale "Sleeping Princess" (the Sleeping Beauty and Briar Rose). Woken by the prince and rescued from eternal sleep. The story of Sleeping Beauty is traced back to the earlier story of Brunhilde. The ring of fire becomes the overgrown thorns covering the castle where she slept. Once she fell into a deep sleep, the entire kingdom froze in time also. It's as though she herself is more than a woman but a goddess that stops time when she enters sleep. This is like nature itself when maiden goddesses bring light and warmth back to the world after emerging from the underworld. The Grimm Brothers chose to base the Sleeping Beauty story on Brunhilde's tale, and not be too much like the tragic princess in Perrault's version. 

One of the children's favourite Disney princesses is Aurora, the sleeping beauty herself. This is a very gentle mordernised Brunhilde (the name Aurora reflects Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis, another name to describe the Valkyries).

     

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

8 legged friends



They are cute fluffy balls scurrying around the floor. Sometimes they hide. The little creatures are gentle but often up to no good. Mischievous things.

Spiders!!!

Baby spiders are like teeny beads learning how to sew their first webs. Spiders are the most needful, practical tiny animals on earth. Yet they're the most feared too. On the phobia top ten list, spiders are up there, second to the fear of heights. After spiders, people are afraid of fire, the dark, claustrophobia, ghosts and snakes. Phobia is basically a hotchpotch of human fears but some is completely irrational. Apart from rare poisonous spiders in the world, spiders are generally harmless and are far more scared of people. To a spider, a human is a gigantic monster with the ability to crush. I can understand the fear of heights, fire and snakes because these things are more capable of killing. Even non-venomous snakes can kill by strangling its victims. Being afraid of life threatening situations is natural. The fear of spiders and other bizarre things like ghosts, the dark, clouds is just psychological.

Spiders are friends.

If it wasn't for the existence of spiders, the planet would be populated with grub and giant vampiric insects and vermin. Perhaps mammals and other wildlife would never have been able to evolve if the world was dominated by nasties?

If people want to go ahead and wipe out the arachnid species, consider this: spiders are a vital part of the food chain. Do this and pests will explode in population. Diseases, plagues and famine even will escalate on a massive scale. Then other beasts, such as wasps, bees, butterflies, then birds... ect will fall and die out.

Anyway the ancients understood the importance and beauty of the Spider.

There are spider gods and goddesses. Spider wisdom. Spider lore.

There is the cosmic goddess in Native American mythology, called the Spider Woman. In Greek mythology, the first spider to be appear was a human woman named Princess Arachne. The Germanic cosmic goddesses of fate and destiny, the Norns, had spider characteristics. In Hinduism, the goddess Maya is a spinner of fate (she has two sisters) and she's depicted as a spider as well as a young woman. Anansi is the spider goddess in Africa. Spiders have been associated with women, dreaming, weaving, art, magic, witchcraft and the sun. In Japan is the fairytale figure of Jorogumo, (Joro) a spider that transforms into a seductive woman.  

Spiders have always been linked with women in folklore and mythology, mainly because weaving, looming and spinning on wheels was part of women's every day lives.  

Works of fiction by authors like Tolkien and J.K. Rowling created horrible big spiders with non-spider traits. Yet works such as "Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White, Marvel's Spider Man and eventually Spider Girl, and the "Miss Spider" series of children's books by David Kirk, feature good friendly spiders.  On the kids TV show "Wooly and Tig" a cuddly spider gives a little girl comfort and words of wisdom.

Basically spiders are useful, helpful and industrious little things, that deserve respect. They should be looked at as small tiny animals and not presented as horrific monsters, which they're not. It's all imaginary.

Ancient people understood that the spider is an important key to survival. Without them and we're all doomed.

Be good to spiders. Don't fear them. Say "hello" to them. Let them into your homes and watch how they keep mites, ants and bugs away. Spiders cured the infestation of ants in my house. Share the world with spiders. Spiders are cheeky and they're doing what we do, sleeping, eating and playing. 

Spider Link:

Goddesses who spin and weave

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Golden Girl Project: Joan of Arc




The Golden Girl Project started a year ago when I had an inspiration from a dream to write about famous and legendary women, linked to beauty, power and the supernatural. As there are plenty of topics and debates about men who are heroes, monsters and kalki avatars, nothing has been written about women of similar calibre. So far I've written 8 posts on the individual these special, incredible women. The female Avatara, goddesses incarnate, from Cleopatra, the Four Beauties of ancient China, Marilyn Monroe and Lady Godiva. One is a fairytale princess, Cinderella.The ninth post on the Golden Girl Project is about Joan of Arc.

Most of us know that Joan of Arc was a very strong willed French peasant girl who was religious, then rose to power with an army. She fought in battle, lost, and was executed for the crime of witchcraft. There are films made about her. Books written about her, even children's books have something on her. This is what we know, the very basics. Historically she was a type of super girl, but there is another side too that history overlooks. She was gifted with psychic abilities, she a warrior woman and she was goddess-like.

Joan was born Jehanne D'arc on 6th January 1412, in Domrémy, Barroise, France. Her father was Jacques D'arc, and her mother Isabelle Romee. As a child she would've been raised on a farm. The country itself was troubled between the French and English. There was a bitter feud among the French royalty about retaining a truce with England and others who disagreed because it posed a threat of English take-over. The two factions made a split in French society at the time. The Burgundians were in favour of the agreement between France and England, while the Orleanists didn't want any English invaders.Sometimes the Burgundians caused trouble. They once burned a village near where Joan lived, so as a little girl she would've been witness to such unrest.

Joan reported seeing visions of angels. She claimed to see a variety of angels, including saints. These beings spoke to her and guided her throughout her life since growing up. They told her to attend church and practice religion, as she did. These visions then wanted her, from the age of twelve, to warm with the Orleanists as it's leaders Duke Charles and Count Bernard II were "loved by God". During her trail she described seeing "light" when the voices spoke and she knew this was from angels. She could see Saint Michael and Saint Catherine. Even she'd seen the Virgin Mary. It was these very paranormal influences that encouraged this girl to take up arms and fight against the Burgundians, to protect France from the English.

She was a prophetess who could foresee the outcome of Burgundians winning. It wasn't a France she loved or wanted to happen. It was as if these supernatural visions were forcing through a chain of events and making history through this one girl. Or the girl had special gifts she didn't understand well. Maybe she was mentally ill, as people have diagnosed these symptoms as psychosis. Whatever it was really but this girl managed to alter history on her own! Dressed in armour, and informing commanders where to go, and what she wanted by the voices and the angels, she was regarded as a "holy figure". Looking at her made military men want to bend on their knees for being in divine presence. When she was captured by the Burgundians and handed over to the English, she was able to discuss her psychic abilities. During her execution, she was screaming to God that she had done holy work as told and will be ready for paradise. (In other words, she was a Valkyrie going home to the All Father in the Halls of Valhalla). After she died, many including the English felt a sense of shock for they realised they'd killed a powerful and divine woman!

Joan of Arc was a mortal goddess. She was canonised as a saint and is now the Patron Saint of France. She was 19 years old when she died. Not just any teenage girl, or even a girl who was mad, but a girl who was filled with thunder and sunlight, and could shift a country one way. This girl motivated France and is an icon.  
     
More details on Joan of Arc can be found:
 Joan of Arc at Wikipedia
.Joan of Arc Archive
 The picture on this post is "Joan of Arc" by Michael C Heyes.   

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

A midsummer day's dream



Aerra Litha to mean the season of midsummer. The summer solstice can last from the 21st to the 26th June. As well as we know, bonfires are traditionally lit to celebrate this magical earth blessed time of light. Bonfires also are said to keep the negative spirits away that may appear. Entering a stone circle during midsummer's night would enable one to see fairies manifest. Walking on ley lines divert anything paranormal. Sun wheels placed on fire is a sign of the glowing sun.

Most sacred animals to the sun are "solar animals".
First is the Lion: king of the beasts. A lion represents the sun, strength, royalty, leadership, dominance power, wealth, conqueror, mighty predator, guardian, wisdom, honour, aggression, gold, heat, fire, pride.
Second is the Salamander: A small and pretty amphibian, always been considered as a mythical creature belonging to fire.
Third is the Ram: Assoiated with agility, energy, fire, arrival of light, warmth and sun.
Fourth is the Rooster: with bright plumes, both a symbolic animal of sunlight and the dead.
Fifth is the Peacock: A bird with a vibrant display of colours in its fan, this peacock symbolises reality of light, beauty, spiritual wakening, gracefulness, royalty, love and compassion.
Sixth is the Horse: An animal companion of humans, and symbolic of journeys, power, freedom, law, loyalty, rebirth and swiftness.
Seventh is the Spider: This little creature is a web weaver, and throughout many cultures it's always been a symbol of creativity. The spider is linked to eternal life, dreams, women, threads, intelligence, the number 8, magic, cosmic wisdom, domesticity and weaving.
Eighth is the Eagle: This is another dominant animal, ruler of the sky, bird of prey, and symbolic of air and sunlight. This magnificent bird, along with mythical birds such as pheonix, firebird and thunderbird, are linked to flight, astral travel, freedom, power, fire, air, sky, men, nobility, guardian, insight, justice and supernatural.
Ninth is the Dragon: The most key animal with four elements and a solar power creature of myth and legend. A creature of fire as well as ice and water. This is a major being that belongs to the category of myth but has always been firmly set in heraldic, flags, signs of office, royalty, power, dominance, wisdom, magic and time. The dragon is inter dimensional, magical, potent, a guardian, protector, destroyer, mover, medicines, alchemy, beauty, wonder, fear, flames, ancient knowledge and a keeper.           


The rocks and metals of the sun flash with charm. Bronze, gold, diamonds, rubies, topaz, even amber. Adorn in the colour of the sun, yellow, gold, orange and red. Paint in those colours, wear something in these shades at the solstice. Get solar flowers, like roses, daisies, chrysanthemums and lotuses. Eat and drink solar foods, like ginger biscuits, exotic fruit, sugary and spiced meals, honey, ale, tea and mead.   

Dinsul, the fairytale looking island "hill dedicated to the sun" where pagan priests and priestesses kept an eternal fire. This place is now called St Michael's Mount, found off the coast of Cornwall, England. It looks like a magical green hill of flowers and mist, rising above the water with a castle on top. A place for celebration, holidaying and old ghosts, where some favour visiting during the summer.

One doesn't have to visit Avebury, Stonehenge, Wayland Smithy or Dinsul (old name) to enjoy the summer solstice. Celebrating in one's back yard, or in a local park, or a nature reserve, is just as, or more than, cool. One won't have to bother with the hassle of getting to these packed places that are often commercialised now. Make your own stonehenge if you want.

A vision of fairies, or butterflies and moths below the clouds, escapism, bubbles, the smell of rain and cut grass, ice cream, lemonade, and honouring the sun. The sun, in the form of a goddess, Sunna.

Goddesses and women gather in a web of trees, hedges, slopes and rocky pastures. There is a vast wheel, connected by land and sea. North, South, East and West. To the north is a grove of fairies, who are distant memories of ancestral spirits and gods of nature. The Isle of Avalon ("apple land") where Idunn (Athena/Sulis Minerva) sits in guard over the sacred golden solar apples. Freya the green Goddess appeared recently as the new "Lady of the North" or Northumberlandia, in the grassy hills of Cramlington in England. Valkyries aide fallen warriors to enter the halls of Valhalla. West is the setting of fairies, guardian women at Slieve Gullion in Ireland. Daughters (Sidhe) of Odin and Tuatha de Danann sing at the return of the sun and light. In the east of broad fields then thick dark forests, Rusalka women leave the cold water to play on swings. The mavka (tree spirits) retreat into the forests at daylight. In the south, where it's crumbling islets of warm sand and pillars, the nymphs and goddesses play music. At the centre is a dwelling of islands, with prehistoric secrets, including a dinosaur park in the Isle of Wight, a few leylines, Stonehenge, Carnac Stones in France and Externsteine in Germany. Trudging through the centre are heroes and folklorists, damsels and priesthood.

Written like the solar system the land is a reflection. In honour of Sunna, the All powerful Queen of the heavens, the sun goddess stands from Her shining throne to bless us with life's energy.

Links for summer:

The Megalithic Portal
Tuatha De Danann (Transcaltic)
English Fairies (Mysterious Britain)
Midsummer (Wikipedia)