PaganSquare


PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Recent blog posts
Elemental Spirits and Lore: The Thunderbird

Only those who have had visions of the thunder beings of the west can act as heyokas. They have sacred power and they share some of this with all the people, but they do it through funny actions. When a vision comes from the thunder beings of the west, it comes with terror like a thunder storm; but when the storm of vision has passed, the world is greener and happier, for wherever the truth of vision comes upon the world, it is like a rain. The world, you see, is happier after the terror of the storm.” – Black Elk Speaks, as told through John G. Neihardt, 1932

The thunder beings and the thunderbird(s) are synonymous throughout Native American lore and cultures. This powerful spirit associated with water, storms, holy powers and the West is known and revered among tribes from the Pacific northwest to the plains to the Eastern coasts, including the Sioux, Arapaho, Lenape, Cherokee, Iroquois, Ojibwe, Salish, Menominee and many others.

To me, the Thunderbird represents a veritable symphony of all elemental powers. To Native Americans he was and is at once that embodied force of nature as well as a mighty cryptid creature, even if that creature only exists in our imaginations and hearts, without which we may manifest nothing. Why then must “imaginary” be inherently exclusive of reality? There is often a very fine line between the two.

There are theories that the earliest ideas for the Thunderbird were inspired by discoveries of pterosaur fossils (not pterodactyl, which only applies to a specific genus of pterosaur), if not perhaps by sightings of late-existing actual pterosaurs or some similar megafauna.

Thunder beings of various kinds are known in cultures the world over, most of which are anthropomorphic e.g. Thor-Donar of Norse and Germanic lore, and Zeus-Jupiter of Greek and Roman mythology. However, speaking of Norse cosmology, there is also a great hawk or falcon named Veðrfölnir  (Old Norse for “storm pale”, often Anglicized as Vedfolnir and roughly pronounced as VETH-fol-neer) who sits between the eyes of an unnamed eagle perched atop Yggdrasil, the world tree. 

From its three great roots the tree attained such a marvelous height that its topmost bough, called Lerad (the peace-giver), overshadowed Odin’s hall, while the other wide-spreading branches towered over the other worlds. An eagle was perched on the bough Lerad, and between his eyes sat the falcon Vedfolnir, sending his piercing glances down into heaven, earth, and Nifl-heim, and reporting all that he saw.” – Myths of the Norsemen by Helene A. Guerber

...
Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Meredith Everwhite
    Meredith Everwhite says #
    I see. Yeah I definitely know what multimedia is, just wasn't sure what exactly you meant in context! Thanks for clarifying, good
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I think the thunder beings and possibly the birds of prey are trying to transmit a story through you. Humans are story telling cr
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    The Foundation for Shamanic Studies website had some articles on it. In one of them the author described going to meet a thunder
  • Meredith Everwhite
    Meredith Everwhite says #
    I don't think I am either, as I said. Actually I know I'm not. That is a very specific and very powerful role that few have been o

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Secret Star

They say that in the old days there were many signs by which our people would recognize one another.

This is the story of one of them.

...
Last modified on
Become An Alchemist: Healing Lunar Libations

No matter what sign or moon  phase, witch’s brews can improve your life. Tea conjures a very powerful alchemy because when you drink it, you take the magic inside. For an ambrosial brew with the power to calm any storm, add a sliver of ginger root and a pinch each of chamomile and peppermint to a cup of hot black tea. Before you drink, pray:

     This day I pray for calm, for health,

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Ban 'Everest' Tourism Now

Do mountains have rights?

As a pagan, I believe that they do.

The ancestors, in their wisdom, understood that some places must simply be “set aside.” This is the price that we must expect to pay for the permission to “use” other places: that some should be left to themselves.

Surely the highest mountain in the world merits such respect.

In indigenous lore, the peak of Chomolungma—the Mountain Mother of the World—was preeminently one such place: the residence of a goddess, sacrosanct, in her sanctity forbidden to humanity.

For 65 years now, she has instead been polluted with the excrement (tons of it!), garbage, and even the frozen corpses, of climbers.

If hubris has a tag line, “conquering 'Everest'” must be it. No one has ever conquered, or ever will conquer, the Mountain Mother of the World. Rather, in her ruth (mercy), she has permitted those who profane her to depart alive.

Increasingly, now, she withholds her ruth. Should anyone be surprised?

Last modified on
Herbal Alchemy: Plant Infusions That Heal and Help

Many enthusiasts enjoy several cups a day of their favorite herbal infusion which is a large portion of herb brewed for at least four hours and as long as ten. I recommend placing one cup of the dried herb into a quart canning jar and filling it with freshly boiled water. After the steeping, strain with a non-metallic method such as cheesecloth or bamboo. Herbal infusions can be made with the leaves and fruits which provide  healing aspects of this comforting brew. Many of the favorite kitchen garden herbs contain minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals including the list herein. 

 

...
Last modified on
When Does Belief Become Superstition?

My undergrad Philosophy of Religion prof defined “superstition” by breaking it down into its component parts: Latin super, “over” + stitio, “standing” (< stare, “to stand”).

“A superstition is just an old belief that has 'stood over' from the past,” he said.

...
Last modified on

In my last blog here I talked about blending personal gnosis and folklore or other people's anecdotal accounts. Today I want to look at another important factor to consider as you set off on the Fairy Road - considering the perspective of the sources you are using. We live in a time when there are possibly more resources for studying fairies than ever before but the quality of these sources is, shall we say, exceedingly wide ranging. There are an abundance of good quality sources of course but people seem to take any and all such material equally rather than giving different weight to each based on its individual biases and viewpoint.

Considering a source's perspective is very important in deciding how to approach the material - to put a twist on an old saying 'not all sources are created equal'. And not all sources share a common view or understanding even of the same subject. The way that the educated English of the early modern period understood and approached fairies is very different from the way that the people in rural communities seemed to have done the same, and both are very different again from how people in Ireland in the same period understood the Daoine Sidhe. Lowland Scottish folklore about fairies found in the ballad material has its own perspective as well. And all of these differ from anecdotes we may find today in those same places. We also have to consider that people - myself included - who are outside the living cultures may have a different perspective as well.

...
Last modified on

Additional information