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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in thunder god

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Question of Theology

There were once three neighbors who lived side-by-side: a Dakota, a heathen, and a santero. Each had a fine large backyard garden.

One afternoon a beautiful thunderstorm rumbled through and watered all the gardens.

Grateful, the three gave thanks, respectively, to the Thunderbirds, Þórr, and Changó.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Thunder Snow

Sleet chitters against the panes as I write this. Our all-too-brief Bridey's Spring is, it would seem, well and gone, alas. Cold air masses are sailing down from the north towards us (they call them “Alberta Clippers” here), driving snow before them, with deep cold in their wake. Today they're predicting Thundersnow.

Thunder-and-lightning snowstorms aren't something that we see here very often. To hear the very Voice of Summer in Winter's cold midst cannot fail to feel uncanny. Thunder and snow just don't keep company much.

We last heard Thunder's voice on October 6th. Perhaps, like other birds, the Thunderbirds fly south in the winter. The First Thunder of the year is always a sure sign of spring. In Russia they say that Perún is breaking up the ice with his hammer. Snorri, no doubt, would have it that þórr is smiting the Frost Giants.* According to our local folk wisdom, spring's First Thunder is a sure predictor of future weather: six months later comes First Frost. Apparently the climatological evidence (here in Minnesota, anyway) actually bears out this correlation. Today is February 10. Oh dear.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks Anne, I'm honored. Around here the spiritual and the meteorological just naturally seem to go hand-in-hand.
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Oi, indeed. What a great post -- I love your work!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Thunderstruck in Reykjavik

The way I heard it, back in 1972 the heathens of Iceland petitioned the Althing—Parliament—for federal recognition. The official state church in Iceland is the Lutheran church, and everyone pays tax dollars to help support it, but there are a few other recognized religious organizations that you can designate to receive your money instead. The heathens, very reasonably, asked to be included on the list.

Parliament thought it was a joke. (Hey, it was 1972.) “Odin? Thor? Come on, this can't be serious. Recognition denied. Jeez.”

That night (almost I want to add: of course) the Parliament building is struck by lightning. Lights go out all over Reykjavik. (I should add that thunderstorms are rare in Iceland.)

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

The Jewish year 5775 begins at sundown tonight (Wednesday). In Hebrew, “new year” is r'osh ha-shana: literally, “head [of] the year.” Interestingly, the Arabic term for “new year” is the same: r'as as-sana. Clearly this expression goes back a long, long way, possibly even to Proto-Semitic times. In any event, the phrase long predates monotheism. One should probably posit an Arabic—possibly Moorish—origin for the Italian word for “new year,” capodanno. Three guesses what that means literally.

New Moon” in Hebrew is r'osh hodesh, literally (you guessed it) “head of the month.” Why would the head of something come to mean its beginning?

I can think of two possibilities.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

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Child of the first mortal

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