Animal Wisdom: Connecting People and Animals

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EURASIAN WREN: Sacred Mysteries

The “Wren” of Europe, Eurasian Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) is the only Wren that lives in the Old World. Known as Bran’s Sparrow to the Celts, Wren foretold the future with his songs. The Celts called their sacred Wren “Drui”, (meaning “The Druid among Birds”). Under the protection of Taranis, the Celtic God of Thunder, Wren often nested in his oaks. Killing a Wren brought the wrath of the Gods upon unwary people.

To various peoples from Japan to Germany, Eurasian Wren is the King of the Winds. Plutarch tells the story of how the Wren became the King of the Birds. The Birds decided whoever could fly the highest to the sun would rule over Them. The Eurasian Wren secreted Himself under Golden Eagle’s down feathers. When Golden Eagle tired, Eurasian Wren flew out and ascended higher, getting singed by the sun’s rays. Returning, the other Birds proclaimed Eurasian Wren their King. Cunning and cleverness had outwitted strength.

During the winter, this tiny Bird lives in a communal roost with other Eurasian Wrens. To keep from freezing, They share their warmth. Just before dusk, Eurasian Wren calls to the Others. They answer and then enter their roost one by one. Many as sixty Eurasian Wrens will share an abandoned nest site.

In British folklore (Eurasian) Wren ruled the winter and (European) Robin ruled the summer. As the representative of the Old Year, Wren was sacrificed to bring in the New Year (as represented by Robin). This ritual killing of Wren ended winter and the Old Year.

Later Christians associated Eurasian Wren with the Virgin Mary. Now the ritual killing of the Wren by the Wren Boys happened on the day after Christmas, which was St. Stephen’s Day. One theory to this ritual occurrence was that people celebrated the ending of Paganism and the coming of Christianity. Another posits that Eurasian Wren betrayed St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr.

The smallest and shiest of the Wrens, Eurasian Wren sings the loudest. Quivering and exposed on a branch, He trills his divine melodies. Except to end winter, His killing brings misfortune. With these examples, Eurasian Wren demonstrates the paradoxes of life. A sacred Bird, Wren sings as He unwraps the sacred mysteries of the universe. Spend time with Eurasian Wren to understand life’s prophecies.

Teachings of Eurasian Wren also Includes:
Being Small but Mighty
Singing Your Own Song
Cunning and Stealth

Science Notes:
1. Except for Eurasian Wren, the Wren Family lives only in the Western Hemisphere.
2. Eurasian Wren is actually a species complex with 27 subspecies.

WREN FAMILY: The Mysteries of Happiness

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Virginia Carper, a Roman Polytheist, lives in the Washington D.C. area with her family. She navigates life with a traumatic brain injury which gives her a different view on life. An avid naturalist since childhood, she has a blog called “Nature’s Observations.” Having experienced the animals directly, she teaches on-line classes about the spiritual and natural aspect of animals. She has published articles on her brain injury, Roman polytheism, and working with extinct animals. In addition her writings on animals (including dragons and other mythic creatures) can be purchased her book site, Animal Teachers.  


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