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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in animal

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Do Animals Have Religion?

A friend of mine insists that her dog is pagan.

Well, if one defines “pagan” as “following the thews (customs, life-ways, religion) of one's thede (= tribe, people),” I guess I could buy it. Witches (insofar as we follow anything) follow the Witch religion, dogs follow the Dog religion. I would imagine that the Dog religion is a pretty basic biological religion, with an ethical code strongly based on loyalty.

Rather like human paganism at its best, actually.

Then, of course, there's the Kitty-Cat religion. I'm certainly not privy to the inner mysteries here, but so far as I can tell, Cat religion is monotheistic.

There's one god, and it's Me.

Maybe that's where the Abrahamics got it from. This would fit with my theory that monotheism is essentially narcissism writ large.

I'm playing here, of course, but the question is a serious one: can animals—let me be specific and say non-human animals here—be said to have religion? The answer, of course, would depend on how one defines “religion.”

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Lost Species Day: Steller's Sea Cow

November 30 is Lost Species Day.

Steller’s sea cow, a cold water relative of the manatee and dugong, was unknown to modern people until 1741. At that time, the crew of Vitus Bering’s ship, the Sv. Piotr was ship-wrecked off the coast of Kamchatka, where the last remaining herds of these mammals lived. Through overhunting, Steller’s sea cow went extinct thirty years later.

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Introduction of Correspondences for The Elements and Animals

 In their daily lives, animals are closely aligned with the elements. Based on their elemental correspondences, animals will often act as caretakers of that element. For example, the sandgrouse has a net of filaments on his upper body. After he returns from soaking at the water hole, his chicks drink from the water stored in his net. One could think of the sandgrouse as a guardian of water. This desert bird could be called upon for water magic in arid areas. (Since the elements correspond to the directions, an animal could be asked to guard a particular direction, as well.)  

For the next series of posts, I will be offering suggestions for the pairing of various animals with the elements. This is to give people an idea of how to go about doing this for themselves. I will first list the mammals, since many people have an affinity with them. In other postings, I will continue with birds, reptiles, and insects.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Calling Upon the Animals

When you are feeling aimless, you might want to call upon Beaver to fill you with a sense of purpose.  If you are frightened, invite a courageous animal like Lion to fill you with courage.  Calling on animals for their gifts is a part of understanding the animals of whom you work with.  Remember to always thank them when you are done. 

The following examples of calling upon the animals come from “Shamanism Vol. III: Animal Medicine Powers” by Dolfyn.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Connecting to Animal Spirits

Animal spirits are the collective consciousness and wisdom of their species.  When you call upon Wolf, you are invoking the power, knowledge, and experiences of all wolves living and who have gone on before.  When you call on the energies of an animal, you receive the totality of the species for guidance. 

A simple way to invite an animal in your life is to visualize and then call to them.  Some people find it helpful to have a picture of the animal nearby.  Others may adorn themselves with things of the animal, and some move like the animal. Other people have carvings of animals that they will use.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Why I No Longer Celebrate Freyfaxi

Freyfaxi is an American Asatru holiday based on the American Wiccan holiday Lammas. Lammas means loaf mass, that is, a holiday celebrating harvest and the baking of loaves of bread. It is generally celebrated on August 1st.  In the early days of American Asatru, Asatruars borrowed Lammas from Wicca and then tried to find an appropriate heathen name for it. They knew that in ancient times, heathens regarded the horse an an appropriate animal for sacrifice. They found the name of a horse in the lore and named the holiday after the horse. 

I have been reading The Sagas of the Icelanders and just read the one about the horse. The name of that story is the Saga of Hrafnkel Freysgodhi. The story is a tragedy, in that Hrafnkel brought about his own downfall through his tragic flaw of rashness. Hrafnkel swore a rash oath to kill any man who rode his stallion Freyfaxi, whom he had dedicated to Freyr. Someone rode the horse, and Hrafnkel killed the man. Hrafnkel was outlawed for it. He lost his chieftanship / priesthood, his land, and the horse, too. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Giganotosaurus: Be Spectacular

Discovered in 1993, Giganotosaurus gave notice to the world of the huge South American dinosaurs. Because of this continent’s isolation, the dinosaurs there grew to tremendous sizes. At 45 feet (14 meters), Giganotosaurus displaced Tyrannosaurus rex as the largest meat-eater of the dinosaurs. (Later Spinosaurus supplanted them both.) At 9 tons, Giganotosaurus had to be big for She hunted 90 ton Argentinosaurus, the largest land animal ever found (so far).

As one of the Shark-teeth Dinosaurs (Carcharodontosauridae), Giganotosaurus had serrated teeth. They were thin, sharp with jagged edges similar to shark teeth. (In contrast, T. rex had blunt rounded teeth.) With her jaws, Giganotosaurus could manipulate her mouth to act like a pair of scissors. Instead of chomping through bones, She would slice through muscles and flesh. By doing that, She would weaken Argentinosaurus until He collapsed from blood loss.

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