Raven, Crow and Magpie, Totem and Animism

YATAGARASU

By Phoenix of Elder Mountain – As a dreamer (shaman), I have both a relationship to crow, raven and magpie trough my own animism souls attained with them and with understanding the deeper totemic relationship. This has taught me much about the medicines of the soul-birds through my experience over the decades. All I did in my path was bow deeply mother earth, both her consciousness, served her for decades, and passed all of her tests of wrath. Now as I enter elder, her avian, animals, insects and oceanids come to help me without asking.

I do ceremony, but don’t have or keep feathers, horns or animal skins with the ceremony, they are not needed, I only focus with intent on what is to heal, personal, inter-personal, for others or for specific collective work. Shaman mean’s healer or medicine person and that is it, to heal the self when the cancer rises, not using medications, plants, or doctors. It meant that a million years ago and it applies true today.

In animism, which is the deeper and much older teaching than totem, is a path or walk of living attainment through the decades of karmic purification of the emotional body, soul body, mental and physical body. Those who shape shift into raven, crow or magpie consciously, know them best. This excludes most sorcerers who just project shifting, but are not really shape soul shifting into an animal or bird (the puff and smoke illusions) in reality in the shape-shifting. In fact, there are more people who shift into animism soul that have demonic souls, than there are with pure souls.

Illustration by Plaksin for Russian Folk Tale, the Magpie-Crow, 1969, Soviet Artist.jpgThe evolution of the loss of our animism souls and how the artists from ancient time to today show it in their work…

1. First was the animal (which animal and human shared a soul) the living animism through shamans and shamanism;

2. Beginning losses as the Sun cults rises in all cultures, even indigenous. Effigy’s of half bird half woman are the oldest of earth until the sun cults began.

3. As the sun cults and then kingdoms were built by government (war, science and religion) which was the newly developing men’s religions), the art cultures then depicted “half animal/bird and half human” like the centaur, or lion with wings etc (zoomorphic);

4. Complete loss of grandmothers shamanic cultures in art is where the human, is riding the animal or bird” or being drawn by a cart like the goddess Freya, reduced to cats and pigs as the animals. Even in indigenous cultures but pretty much was destroyed between the 3rd and 8th century.

5. Modern Pets and domestic animals, farm animals, which are in great abundance, and the lowest form of the “human-animism soul” today. Most humans who have a pet, that is their animism soul and all the freedom and nature has been bred out. Or if they once had a wild animism soul, such as bear or wolf, those are now demonic, and stuck with the demon human shadow in the underworld, or roaming in spiritual or native groups in-between the veils. This is what skinwalker, werewolves, vampires etc are.

Crow, Raven and Magpie Totem and Folklore

Crow and Raven can be either dark (shadowy or demonic ensouled), having taken their karmic attributes, or they can be light (helpful friend, protector in the form of watcher). Crow, what I have witnessed as a shaman is much darker than Raven when it comes to humans and their animism soul. The magpie carries a unique balance of both and neither and is the great bridge of finding center between light and dark. Magpie is found only in a few cultures teachings, and has both black and white colors. Raven and Crow correlates to the struggle between shadow and light, good and evil, empowerment verses power, which is the relationship of soul (water) and spirit (fire).

This is why in mythology and folklore, the crow and raven shifted from the light side of shadow (white crow) into the dark sides of the dark in the sun cults (the sun) mythologies of all people. Societies and tribes alike were building and building more and more karma. War and killing is the main destroyer of the animism soul besides shamanic plants, drugs and pot.

The sun stories related crow and raven as thief (trickster), shapeshifter and messenger of both sides. The bird who was white and transformed to black, bringing luck to some and to others, a messengers warning of the presence of shadow. Magpie is always referred to as a Heavenly Messenger, this has to do with overcoming the duality of crow and raven’s light verses dark battles. Or its much more of a trouble makers than Crow himself.

This is the meaning of the “triple footed crow” behind the art of the Chinese, represent in their mythology. This also has been seen in some art in ancient coins from Lycia in Greece and Pamphylia, an Ancient Region of Anatolia. But like the Chinese they too pushed out the grandmothers older shamanic cultures.

The Chinese had lost their original grandmother shaman culture’s connection, so too Native American and Aboriginal when the sun cults arrived three-thousand years ago. What was left over from prehistory, is in all crow and raven teachings today and are all very similar. What also remains, especially in Chinese mythology, is the direct connection of the “three” (magpie, crow and raven) in visual ancient art connected to the older time before the sun cults, when moon and sun cultures ruled together before paganism and that is the “three legged crow legends.”

magpie

Raven and crow and magpie, all fall into neutral territory as a bird soul shamanism teaching, they live in-between the worlds in their respective order, and this makes me associate them with both the dawn and dusk goddesses and the shape-shifting of shaman’s animism reality. They are not truly night or day, I have seen ravens and crows out at night and the daytime, but mostly day, as they are not nocturnal. As a totem raven and crow can go both ways, they can be messengers to warn of shadow, to those of the light. Or they can be messengers of light, giving warnings to the shadow people or the walking dead.

In local modern folklore or folk teachings, I have seen many pot farms associated with the more shadowy sides of Crow (but not raven), which mean the more warrior aspects of men (dark side of the light) have crossed the line and gone over to the shadow sides (dark side of the dark). I have also seen groups of warrior types of people, native or non-native who have taken their dark side (karmic side of their own past life warrior killing) and carry that integrated past life of the demonic astral shadow body, into this life, again, Crow displays this but not raven.

All this is what makes raven, crow and magpie very unique as soul totems, and why they are associated with the double standards of Gemini. In the archetype of Gemini, is the symbol of magic, and trickery, and the self indulgent thief who can walk the two way doors of deception. An example is the charismatic spiritual leader who is really dark underneath, but those who cannot see, only see their charming or charismatic side. For those with the light side of crow and raven animism or totem, will always see the shadow of these people who use trickster medicines. This is why crow and raven are complicated totems, they are not straight forward and fall into the difficult spiritual task of overcoming “illusion”.

When it comes to the esoteric or mystery, crow and raven are self serving both to its shadow attributes and its light attributes and why its similar to coyote aspects of totems. Owl and Vulture are straight forward in their dealings with the dead and darkness.

Ravens and Crows are black representing the night, but live during the day in the Sun, and that has helped them to obtain mystical and then mythic status as the birds who govern both night and day, life and death, but not the underworld. Those who are stuck between life and death, or those who are the living (dead, because of their sickness, or addictions etc). Vulture, unlike raven or crow, is associated with the underworld and death, the dead and with lost souls and the nourishment or fertility that comes from the breaking down of the physical life into the spiritual. But raven and crow do not carry these qualities, they are strictly messengers like hawk.

So to sum up the Totem: Raven and Crow are dualistic in nature, they are either the “dark side of the dark” (demonic) or they are the “light side of the dark” (fighting against the dark for purposes and intent of the light) and why the black raven and crows colors, once white, not fight the dark, and their coloring is black.

Bird Shaman Animist woman Permian animal style VI-XII centuryPrehistory Shaman Grandmothers, into Goddess cultures and lastly the earliest parts of Paganism

In Japan, the Shinto Goddess, Amaterasu is sometimes represented as a giant raven, Yata-Garasu. The raven has long been used in religious and astrological symbolism across China and Japan, particularly among those involved with sun worship and onmyōdō. Raven represent heaven, the earth, and the soul (bird). Also while the crow itself represents the sun. This was a time when the sun was a Goddess who rules over wisdom and benevolence, since then many of the sun goddesses were changed into the sun God.

In England, tombstones are sometimes called “ravenstones”. Among the Irish Celts, Raven was associated with the Triple Goddess, the Morrigan, who took the shape of Raven over battlefields as Chooser of the Slain. Before pagan traditions in the purer or older Goddess traditions she sat as the grandmother who was protector of her female warriors, later in the pagan cults, she was a protector of warriors, such as Chuhulian and Fionn MacCual.

Raven in paganism and druid traditions is also the totem of the pan-Celtic Sorceress and Goddess Morgan le Fay, called the Queen of Faeries. In some tales, she is Queen of the Dubh Sidhe, or Dark Faeries, who were a race of tricksters who often took the form of ravens.

The Scottish Goddess of Winter, The Cailleach, also shape shift into raven. A touch from her brings death (rebirth). The Cailleach is also older than Paganism and in the Shamanic eras would be called a Bone Mother which the raven is the smallest level of the animism souls of the shaman, for there are many.

Before the Apollo political cult took over the oracle and mystery women’s temples and centers of pre-Greece, Apollo consumed Athena’s Raven. The goddess Athena turned Coronis white crow into a black crow like many of the worlds cultures did.

Raven had brought bad news of the changing societies of the Minoans, Dorians and Ionians and their destruction by the rising Greeks, so long to Athena that she changed the light side of the dark of raven, into the dark side of the dark (Coronis from white to black). Then the rising Greek men had banished the Raven altogether from the Acropolis because it spoke the truth of the political men’s destructive behaviors of building the Greek political agenda against the soul (birds represent the soul in ancient traditions.)

Raven and Crow are not oracular birds like the owl is because they are ‘day’ birds, they are messengers of the waking life when it pertains to shadow. Owl is oracular and prophetic as night birds (the soul at night). Athena use to carry both birds, making her older than paganism, of the earlier tribes of the Dorians, Ionians and Minoans and their shamanic tribes.

Prehistory into History

Кутх, Хантай и Пеликен представят Камчатку на всероссийском конкурсе сувениров

The Kamchatkans

Kutkh (also Kutkha, Kootkha, Kutq Kutcha, Кутх), is the Raven Ancestor Spirit traditionally revered in various forms by various indigenous peoples of the Russian far east. Kutkh appears in many legends as a key figure in creation, as a fertile ancestor and as the mighty trickster of the shaman female and sometimes male. Its a popular animist stories of the Chukchi people and plays a central role in the mythology of the Koryaks and Itelmens of Kamchatka.

Many of the stories regarding Kutkh are similar to those of the Raven among the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, a long history of indirect cultural contact between Asian and North American peoples. Kutkh (raven) is known among a wide group of people that share a common Chukotko-Kamchatkan language family. Raven is also known as Kutq among the Itelmen, KútqI, KútqIy, KúsqIy in the southeastern Koryak language; KúykIy or QúykIy in northwestern Koryak; and Kúrkil in the Chukchi language.

In Koryak it is employed commonly in its augmentative form, (KutqÍnnaku, KusqÍnnaku, KuyÍnnaku) all meaning “Big Kutkh” as creator, which is also a sun cult myth. The tales of Kutkh come in many, often contradictory versions. In some tales he is explicitly created by a Creator and lets the dawn onto the earth by chipping away at the stones surrounding her.

In others (sometimes out of an old fur coat) Raven takes pride in independence from the Creator. In some, Kamchatka, a feather is dropped while flying over the earth. In others, islands and continents are created by defecation, rivers and lakes out of her waters. The difficult volcanic terrain and swift rivers of Kamchatka are thought to reflect Kutkh’s capricious and willful nature.

The bringing of light in the form of the sun and the moon is also a common theme. Sometimes, tricking evil spirits which have captured the celestial bodies much in the style of analogous legends about the Tlingit and Haida in the Pacific Northwest. In others, it is Raven who must be tricked into releasing the sun and the moon from its bill. Kutkh’s children who are ravens, copulating with other animal spirits (animism) and creating the peoples who populate the world.

In the animistic tradition of north-Eurasian peoples, Kutkh has a variety of interactions and altercations with Wolf, Fox, Bear, Wolverine, Mouse, Owl, Seal, Walrus and a host of other. Many of these interactions involve some sort of trickery in which Kutkh comes out on top about as often as raven is made a fool of. An example of these contradictions is given to the Chukchi legend of Kutkh and the Mice….

The great and mighty raven Kutkh was flying through the cosmos. Tired from constant flight, he regurgitated the Earth from his gut, transformed into an old man, and alighted on the empty land to rest. Out of his first footsteps emerged the first Mice. Curious, playful and fearless, they entered the sleeping Kutkh’s nose. The fury of the subsequent sneeze buckled the earth and created the mountains and the valleys.

Attempts to stamp them out led to the formation of the ocean. Further harassments led to a great battle between the forces of snow and fire which created the seasons. Thus, the variable world recognizable to people emerged from the dynamic interaction between the mighty Kutkh and the small but numerous Mice. Although Kutkh is supposed to have given humankind variously light, fire, language, fresh water and skills such as net-weaving and copulation, raven is also often portrayed as a laughing-stock, hungry, thieving and selfish.

Ravens are often associated with death in mythology

In its contradictions, raven’s character is similar that of other tricksters, such as Coyote and sometimes Fox. The early Russian explorer and ethnographer of Kamchatka Stepan Krasheninnikov (1711–1755) summarizes the Itelmen’s relationship to Kutkh as follows:

“They pay no homage to Raven and never ask any favors; they speak of Raven only in derision. They tell such indecent stories about Raven that I would be embarrassed to repeat them. They upbraid Raven for having made too many mountains, precipices, reefs, sand banks and swift rivers, for causing rainstorms and tempests which frequently inconvenience them.

In winter when they climb up or down the mountains, they heap abuses on him and curse Raven with imprecations. They behave the same way when they are in other difficult or dangerous situations.” 

The image of Kutkh remains popular and iconic in Kamchatka, used often in advertising and promotional materials. Stylized carvings of Kutkh by Koryak artisans, often adorned with beads and lined with fur, are sold widely as souvenirs. The Chukchi creator-deity, roughly analogous to Bai-Ulgan of the Turkic pantheon. The Koryaks refer to him as Quikinna’qu (“Big Raven”) and in Kamchadal (Itelmens) mythology, is called Kutkhu.

eaglehawk and crow, aboriginal rock art

Australian Aboriginals

In Aboriginals tales of the raven is believed to have originally been a white bird who was scorched by the sun (cults). In Australian Aboriginal mythology, Crow is a trickster, culture hero and ancestral being. In the Kulin nation in central Victoria he was known as Waa (also Wahn or Waang) and was regarded as one of two moiety ancestors, the other being the more sombre eaglehawk Bunjil. Legends relating to Crow have been observed in various Aboriginal language groups and cultures across Australia.

Crow and Magpie – The various groups of Western Australia offer two versions of the same story about the Crow and the Magpie. The crow and the magpie are brothers (once brother and sister), both born with pure white feathers. Both were vain and would argue as to which was the most beautiful. Perched in a tree, they began to argue and then fought. The people with the crow as their totem will tell you the brothers fell into a fire below, the Crow getting burnt all over, the Magpie only partially burned.

One common myth concerns Crow’s role in bringing and stealing fire to humankind. According to a version of this story told by the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation, in the Dreamtime, fire been a jealously-guarded secret of the seven Karatgurk women who lived by the Yarra River where Melbourne now stands because women are the original fire keepers and do not misuse nature’s spirit. These women carried live coals on the ends of their digging sticks, allowing them to cook yams.

One day Crow found a cooked yam and, finding it tastier than the raw vegetables he had been eating, decided he would cook his food from then on. However, the Karatgurk women refused to share their fire with him and Crow resolved to trick them into giving it up. Crow caught and hid a number of snakes in an ant mound then called the women over, telling them that he had discovered ant larvae were far more tasty than yams.

The women began digging, angering the snakes, which attacked. Shrieking, the sisters struck the snakes with their digging sticks, hitting them with such force that the live coals flew off. Crow, who had been waiting for this, gathered the coals up and hid them in a kangaroo skin bag. The women soon discovered the theft and chased him, but the bird simply flew out of their reach and perched at the top of a high tree.

Eaglehawk and Craw – Bunjil the Eaglehawk, who had seen all of this, asked Crow for some of the coals so that he could cook a possum. Crow instead offered to cook it for him. Soon, a large group had gathered around Crow’s tree, shouting and demanding that he share the secret of fire with them. The din frightened Crow and at last he flung several live coals at the crowd.

Kurok-goru the fire-tailed finch picked up some of the coals and hid them behind his back, which is why to this day firefinches have red tails. The rest were gathered up by Bunjil’s shaman helpers, Djurt-djurt the nankeen kestrel and Thara the quail hawk. The coals caused a bushfire which burnt Crow’s feathers permanently black and threatened to consume the entire land, until Bunjil’s efforts halted its spread. The Karatgurk sisters, meanwhile, were swept into the sky where they became the Pleiades (the stars are said to represent their glowing fire sticks).

Those whom have the magpie as their totem will tell the story the same, but that the brothers fell into thick black mud, and the magpie only slightly stained his feathers, the crow covered in the mud. As for the crow, as in all Indigenous Australian totems, it is known for its cunning and intelligence, a trickster too, and old spirit with prescient knowledge or carrying old knowledge of many lifetimes (like reincarnation). Very powerful too, as in the totem itself is one of the ones with powerful natural magic, and depending on the language groups own mythology the holder of the totem will either carry great respect, or suspect.

Crow and Swamp Hawk – In another legend, Crow was travelling down the Murray River when he met Swamp Hawk. Deciding to play a trick on the other bird, he planted echidna quills in the deserted nest of a kangaroo rat and enticed Swamp Hawk to jump on them. The quills stuck and grew into Swamp Hawk’s feet, but the bird was pleased with this as he found he was now able to catch rats more easily. Some accounts have Crow ultimately leaving the earth altogether, having been called up into the heavens where he became Canopus, the second-brightest star in the night sky.

Crows attacking spirits on the way to the afterlife. The Yanyuwa people have a legend that says that as spirits of the dead approach the afterlife, they are attacked by crows carrying digging sticks. The crows are said to be angry with all people because people often chase them away from campsites when they scavenge. The spirits are saved by hawks and falcons.

Pacific Northwest Natives

Pacific Northwest Natives

Raven Tales are the traditional people and animals creation stories of the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast and are also found among Athabaskan-speaking peoples and others. Raven stories exist in nearly all of the First Nations throughout the region but are most prominent in the tales of the Tlingit and Tahltan people. Raven and eagle are known by many different names by many different peoples and is an important figure among written and oral traditional stories.

His tales are passed down through the generations of story tellers of the people and are of cultural and historical significance. It’s important to note that Native myths such as the Raven Tales, as opposed to tall tales and little stories for children, are not entertainment and are cultural property of the clan or individual that the story originates from. It is customary that others should not tell stories that are owned by another clan, especially if they do not live in the same area. While each culture’s stories of the Raven are different, there are even those that share the same title; certain attributes of Raven remain the same.

The Raven is always a magical creature able to take the form of human, animal, even inanimate objects. He is a keeper of secrets, and a trickster often focused on satisfying his own gluttony for whatever he desires. His stories tell of how worldly things came to be or offer suggestion to children on how to behave. Raven’s creative nature shows itself through circumstance rather than intent, through the desire to satisfy his own needs, rather than any altruistic principles. Raven is both the protagonist among the stories of some groups, and the antagonist of others; he is a hero and an amusement. Tales that feature the Raven as the hero are specific to areas in the north of the continent such as northern British Columbia and Alaska and their peoples, such as the Tsimshian and the Haida.

While Raven tales tell the origins of human beings, they do not address the origins of organized society. In tales which mirror development and organization of Native American societies, the hero is often humanity itself. Raven tales do not offer a detailed picture about the social relations and realities of life. ng the seashore all alone but would stop whenever he came upon a village. When he met people whom he saw take disadvantage of others or use their power for evil, he would kill in his efforts to deprive them of power.

Raven traveled for many years along the coast of the Tlingit territory, first travelling south, having started in the north until he had gone so far south, beyond Tlingit territory until he reached the Mink people at which point he turned around and continued back the other direction. He did this north south, south north journey for several years. Not until his work along the coast was done, did he head inland along the Stikine river all the way to its source. He also traveled along the Nass, Skeena, and Taku Rivers and all of their many streams never staying in one place for very long and never traveling far off from the water ways.

Through his inland journeys he met the Kaska, the Haida, and other nations to the east. Later in life, when Raven had done all the work he could do, he traveled back out to the coastal regions guided by the setting Sun until he disappeared mysteriously. The only suggestion is that he may have gone to live with the Kanu’gu and other ancient ancestors on an island far out into the ocean where they believed weather was created from.

The cult of Mithras

Paganism, then into History or World Mythology

The cult of Mithras is one of the earlier Pagan cultures of the Persians, and one of the most widespread and mysterious of the world’s cults. They’re mentioned as far back as the writings of Plutarch, but we know relatively little about what actually went on in their rites and rituals which tells us they were Grandmother shamanic cultures in their beginnings.

What we do know, however, is that the Raven played an integral part in the cult’s mythos. Mithras is credited with killing the sacred bull which was the destruction of the shamanic cultures, and, in doing so, creating life from the different parts of the bull. In many depictions of the moment of killing and creation, a raven is perched on the bull’s back.

For those who were initiated into the cult of Mithras, there were several levels through which they could progress. The lowest level, whose members were little more than servers during ritual feats, was called Raven (corax). Raven’s role in nature was messenger and as scavenger—these new initiates into the cult were scavengers of the thoughts, ideas, and knowledge of others, and it was also the raven were messegers for the Mithras, gathering information in the same way.

In Greek mythology, ravens are the ancestors of prophecy according to the political Apollo cult, and was victory for the rising kingdoms that overthrew first the tribes (shamanism) and then the pagans, this is why it became a symbol of good luck, success and messengers in the mortal world of trouble brewing. In the cult of Apollo also had a white raven (and crow) and they were used as spies against women, it was once Athena’s totem along with the owl but that had changed and only became symbolic rather than shamanic animism.

Ravens and crows in animism shape-shifting can be both shadowy or light. The demonic ravens and crows, whose animism souls have turned, because of the shadow human, will hang out in larger groups, especially those who are warriors gone bad.

The raven in Hebrew, are the first species of birds to be mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, and ravens are mentioned on numerous occasions thereafter. In the Book of Genesis, Noah releases a raven from the ark after the great flood to test whether the waters have receded (Gen. 8:6-7). In men’s laws, the Law of Moses, ravens are forbidden for food (Leviticus 11:15; Deuteronomy 14:14), a fact that may have colored the perception of ravens in later sources.

 

Raven from the Sutton Hoo shield Anglo SaxonIn Sweden or the Viking cults, Ravens were known as the ghosts of murdered people, be that from war and the military or from individual mishaps. In later paganism, the Vikings came, and in their Nordic traditions Odin appear flanked with two birds on a 6th-century bracteate and on a 7th-century helmet plate from Vendel, Sweden. In later Norse mythology, Odin is depicted as having two ravens Huginn and Muninn serving as his eyes and ears.

Huginn being referred to as thought and Muninn as memory.Each day the ravens fly out from Hliðskjálf and bring Odin news from Midgard. The Old English word for a raven was hræfn; in Old Norse it was hrafn; the word was frequently used in combinations as a kenning for bloodshed and battle. Which means in Religious and Pagan eras, the black was seen as a masculine attribute for killing and war.

Chinese Mythology and Legend

The three-legged raven or crow is commonly found in mythology and art of East Asia, specifically China, Japan and Korea. The bird inhabits and is a representative of the sun. It is a bird ancestor the earliest forms is a tripedal footed crow still found in modern-day China. 3 legged crowEvidence of this earliest bird, was the Sun-Bird motif (animism ancestors) or totems, excavations from around 5000 bce from the lower Yangtze River delta area. This Sun-Bird was also observed in later Yangshao and Longshan Cultures. The Chinese have several versions Sun Crow tales. But the most popular depiction and myth of the Sun crow is that of the Yangwu or Jinwu, the “golden crow”. According to folklore, there were originally ten Sun-Ravens or Sun-Crows which settled in ten separate suns. They perched on a red mulberry tree called the Fusang, literally meaning “the leaning mulberry tree”, in the East at the foot of the Valley of the Sun.

This mulberry tree (some say hibiscus), was said to have many mouths opening from its branches. Each day one of the sun crows would be able to travel around the world on a carriage, driven by Xihe the ‘mother’ of the suns. As soon as one sun crow returned, another one would set forth in its journey crossing the sky. According to Shanhaijing, the sun crows loved eating two sorts of mythical grasses of immortality, one called the Diri (Chinese: 地日; pinyin: dìrì), or “ground sun”, and the other the Chunsheng (Chinese: 春生; pinyin: chūnshēng), or “spring grow”.

The sun ravens would often descend from heaven on to the earth and feast on these grasses, but Xihe did not like this thus she covered their eyes to prevent them from doing so. Folklore also held that, at around 2170 bce, all ten sun crows came out on the same day, causing the world to burn; These are celebrated in the Mid-Autumn Festival for variants of this legend.

In Chinese mythology and culture, the three-legged crow is called the “sanzuwu” and is present in many myths. The earliest known depiction of a three-legged crow appears in Neolithic pottery of the Yangshao culture dated from around 5000 to 3000 bce.  The culture flourished mainly in the provinces of Henan, Shaanxi and Shanxi. The sanzuwu is also of the “Twelve Medallions” that is used in art, fashion, sacred robes, etc. Mural from the Han dynasty period found in Henan province depicting a three-legged raven.

 
Western Han silk painting funeral procession banner found in the Mawangdui Han tomb of Lady Dai (d. 168 bce), depicting the lunar three-legged toad and moon rabbit and the solar three-legged crow. The most popular depiction and myth of a sanzuwu is that of a sun crow called the Yangwu or more commonly referred to as the Jīnwū or “golden crow”. Even though it is described as a crow or raven, it is usually colored red instead of black.
 

f46ffd9de8bf0384f5ea3c26c8401c71In Chinese mythology, there are other three-legged creatures besides the crow, for instance, the yu 魊 “a three-legged tortoise that causes malaria”.  The three-legged crow symbolizing the sun has a yin yang counterpart in the chánchú 蟾蜍 “three-legged toad” symbolizing the moon (along with the moon rabbit). According to an ancient tradition, this toad is the transformed Chang’e lunar deity who stole the elixir of life from her husband Houyi the archer, and fled to the moon where she was turned into a toad.


The Fènghuáng is commonly depicted as being two-legged but there are some instances in art in which it has a three-legged appearance. Xi Wangmu (Queen Mother of the West) is also said to have three green birds (Chinese: 青鳥; pinyin: qīngniǎo) that gathered food for her and in Han-period religious art they were depicted as having three legs. In the Yongtai Tomb dating to the Tang Dynasty Era, when the Cult of Xi Wangu flourished, the birds are also shown as being three-legged.
 

Korea – Three-legged crow flanked by dragon and phoenix. In Korean mythology, it is known as Samjok-o (hangul: 삼족오; hanja: 三足烏). During the period of the Goguryo kingdom, the Samjok-o was considered a symbol of the sun. The ancient Goguryo people thought that a three-legged crow lived in the sun while a turtle lived in the moon. Samjok-o was a highly regarded symbol of power, thought superior to both the dragon and the Korean bonghwang.

 

Although the Samjok-o is mainly considered the symbol of Goguryeo, it is also found in Goryeo and Joseon dynasty. In modern Korea, Samjok-o is still found especially in dramas such as Jumong. The three-legged crow was one of several emblems under consideration to replace the bonghwang in the Korean seal of state when its revision was considered in 2008.[15] The Samjok-o appears also in Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC’s current emblem. There are some Korean companies using Samjok-o as their corporate logos.

 

threeleggedbird_han_dynasty
 

Japan – In Japan, the crow, with its three legs is a common depictions of Yatagarasu, or “eight-span crow,” an enormous crow of divine purpose, which was most likely a thunderbird in origin. It is divine itself and an ancestral crow. The appearance of the great bird is construed as evidence of the will of Heaven or divine intervention in human affairs.

In Japan, the crow has also been a symbol of the sun since ancient times, appearing in Japan’s earliest written works. It is a holy creature and a servant of the sun goddess, Amaterasu.  Originally Yatagarasu was depicted with two legs, but in the 930’s ce, the Chinese myth of the three-legged crow made the bird smaller and with three legs and thus merged into the story of Yatagarasu.

Although Yatagarasu is mentioned in a number of places in Shintō, the depictions are primarily seen on more modern Edo wood art, dating back to the early 1800s wood-art era. Although not as celebrated today, the crow is a mark of rebirth and rejuvenation.

 

Yatagarasu as a crow-god in later history, is a symbol specifically of guidance. This great crow was sent from heaven as a guide for Emperor Jimmu on his initial journey from the region which would become Kumano to what would become Yamato, (Yoshino and then Kashihara). It is generally accepted that Yatagarasu is an incarnation of Taketsunimi no mikoto, but none of the early surviving documentary records are quite so specific.

magpie ‘the cunning prophet‘ , they are associated with divination, prophecy and the symbolism of bridges.

Magpie

As a totem, Magpie is known as ‘the cunning prophet‘ and they are associated with divination, prophecy and the symbolism of bridges, walking from one world into the other and back. Its called the heavenly bridge which takes great strength and many dangers to overcome.

Magpies represent risk taking and come into our lives to help us use our instincts to our advantage which border the clever or even stealthy.  It represents the ability to balance, not only of physical, but the balancing of any strong opposites in our life.  The taking of joy in personal change, to let go the old and find the new with confidence and clarity.  Intelligence, adaptability and success are all traits of the magpie.

In Bulgarian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Russian and Slovak folklore the magpie is seen as a trickster and thief and is connected with human interactions and other animals which live around humans, wild and domestic.

In Slavic traditions, the Soroka, Wehtitsa-Magpie is considered a dangerous bird that is connected to the werewolf; and the shape shifting of a witch into a bird. The good witches can be harbinger, or fortuneteller.  Soroka is one of the usual forms of a witch, a mention that is constantly encountered in historical and literary writings. Witches as magpies fly home at night and steal still unborn babies, which of course is why Baba Jaga images always have a magpie in her stories and artwork. Of course that is all religious nonsense and corruptions to hurt pagans.

In Sweden, it is with Nordic pagan witches as one of their totems. Magpie is considered cunning and thievish, but also the bird of huldra, the underground people. Magpies have been attacked for their role as predators, which includes eating other birds’ eggs and their young. They are the ultimate trickster, much more than crow and raven. But there is no real evidence of effects, that as predators they dwindle songbird population growth rates.

In Europe, magpies have been historically demonized by humans, mainly as a result of superstition and myth. The bird has found itself in this situation mainly by association, says Steve Roud: “Large blackbirds, like crows and ravens, are viewed as evil in British folklore and white birds are viewed as good”. These are based on medieval European folklore, associated with a number of superstitions and surrounding its reputation as an omen of ill fortune.

In Scotland, a magpie near the window of the house is said to foretell death. In Korea, where the magpie is celebrated as “a bird of great good fortune, of sturdy spirit and a provider of prosperity and development” is a very positive omen. Similarly, in China, magpies are seen as an omen of good fortune and good luck. This is even reflected in the Chinese word for magpie, simplified Chinese: 喜鹊; traditional Chinese: 喜鵲; pinyin: xǐquè, in which the first character means “happiness”.

The thief, the cunning prophet or good luck omen, Magpie certainly plays both sides of shadow and light, and challenges your personal belief and folklore.

The Qixi Festival, also known as the Qiqiao Festival, is a Chinese festival that celebrates the annual meeting of the cowherd and weaver girl in Chinese mythology. It falls on the seventh day of the 7th month on the Chinese calendar. It is sometimes called the Double Seventh Festival, the Night of Sevens or the Magpie Festival.

The festival originated from the romantic legend of two lovers, Zhinü and Niulang, who were the weaver maid and the cowherd, respectively. The tale of The Weaver Girl and the Cowherd has been celebrated in the Qixi Festival since the Han Dynasty.[8] The earliest-known reference to this famous myth dates back to over 2600 years ago, which was told in a poem from the Classic of Poetry. The Qixi festival inspired Tanabata festival in Japan and Chilseok festival in Korea.

 
References: wiki, A shaman (goddess) on a horse with a bird on her shoulders. VII-VIII centuries. Kurgan of Cherdynsky district, Perm region. Bronze Permian Animism; heartmoonblog.com, aboriginal eaglehawk and crow, aboriginal rock art; Susa Morgan Black @ http://www.druidry.org/library/library/animal-lore-raven, magpie art: https://www.etsy.com/listing/206123540/magpie-otherworld-nordic-bird-viking; W. Bogoras. (1902) “The Folklore of Northeastern Asia, as Compared with That of Northwestern America” American Anthropologist, 4:4, pp. 577-683. Jump up ^ Menovschikov, G.A. (1974) Сказки и мифы народов Чукотки и Камчатки (Tales and myths of the people of Chukotka and Kamchatka) Nauka, Moscow. 636 pp. (in Russian) Jump up ^ S.P. Krasheninninkov (1972) Description of the Land of Kamchatka E.A.P Crownhart-Vaughan, (trans.) Portland: Oregon Historical Society. (originally published in 1755). D. Koester (2002) “When the fat raven sings: mimesis and environmental alterity in Kamchatka’s environmental age.” in People and the Land, Pathways to Reform in Post-Soviet Siberia, ed. E. Kasten. Berlin: Dietrich Reiner Verlag. W. Jochelson (1908). The Koryak. Leiden, E.J. Brill. D.S. Worth (1961). Kamchadal Texts Collected by W. Jochelson ‘s Gravenhage: Mouton.

The Women of Water

Yuriy Ivanovich Starodubov.png

Doris of Greek mythology is an Oceanid, her name represents the bounty of the sea as she is a daughter of Oceanus and Tethys. Doris was mother to the fifty ‘Nereids’ including Thetis, who is was mother of Achilles and Amphitrite. The ‘Sea Nymphs’ are the three thousand daughters of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys, and each are a spirit guardian of a particular Spring, Pond, Lake, River, Sea, Rain and Clouds.

Nymphs and Nereids are not human, they are spirit guardians of nature. Through the journey of humankind over thousands of years, they have been portrait by artists as young maidens. But its wise to remember that they are spirit guardians of water, especially if you are fond of doing ceremony with water. Doris when not associated with a god, is considered the fertility of the ocean, of the rich fishing-grounds found at the mouths of any rivers where fresh water mingled with the brine of the ocean.

Being an Oceanid meant she is the Spirit Guardian where the Ocean and River meet.

Her name is derived from two words:
Dôron meaning the “gift” or “abundance”
Zôros meaning the “pure” and “unmixed”

Zôros was often used to describe fresh water in terms of the pure soul of a woman (enlightened in todays terms), and from this derived words such as zôrua “the transference of flowing water” or the purification processes of the living source (within) and zôrux “water conduit” which meant the connection to the source.

art

The Sea Nymph Okyrhoe
“swift running and fast flowing”

Okyrhoe’s father was Chiron, wisest of the Horse clan (Centaurs) and her mother was the water nymph Chariklo. Okyrhoe main gift of healing and prophecy, both waking and dreaming. In one of the myths, Chiron was entrusted by Apollo to care for a baby named Aesculapiu and so he brought the child to his cave. Okyrhoe came out to greet him, and upon seeing the child burst forth into his prophecy:

“Grow strong, dear boy, healer of all the world. Often to you, Men shall owe health and life, and yours shall be the rites of the departed souls. And, though you dare this once in heaven’s despite, Jove’s bolt will thwart that gift a second time. You, now divine, shall be a lifeless corpse, and from a corpse become divine again, and twice born, you shall renew your destiny and fate.”

In this, she predicted that the baby would grow up to be one of the greatest healers able to bring the dead back to life (the dead karmic soul aspects) or what is termed transformational healing today, death and rebirth medicines. But in doing this, he would eventually anger the gods, who would strike him down and yet even within that, the Fates who were stronger than any God, would bring him back to life, and thus he would be reborn.

Emanuela Comito.jpgOkyrhoe was a Prophet, but the ruling men of the day had used maidens gifts for their own advancement in the building of their kingdoms and were punished if it didn’t serve these ruling classes. If she broke the rules, she suffered for it. One day, she predicted that her father, would be granted death by the other gods because the pain of a serpent’s venom would torment his soul (in order to heal it). But she only was able to speak part of the prophecy:

“And from her deepest heart sighed, and tears ran down her cheeks; she said: “The Fates halted my speech. I am allowed to say no more. What good was there in having learned this art, if now it only draws the wrath of men against me? Would I not be better off without the power to predict the course of days to come? I can already sense that they are stripping all my human semblance.” (Ovid’s Metamorphoses of woman’s story of their corruption by the new clans of pagan and religious men). She was a maiden, she was not an adult woman nor a grandmother, so she could not protect nor defend herself from the abuse.

Its wise to remember when working with mythology of the Goddess, that these ancient goddess names were born forth from the elements like fire, water, wind… they were not “human” they were the spirit of the elemental. Its also wise to remember that the Greeks (or any writers that were men in any tradition on earth around the 2nd bce to 2nd ce centuries), made symbolism of the real soul and its emotional experiences non-existent when equating it to emotional sensitivities and their deeper meanings of real human beings, especially women.

Ancient Theater back then like today, did bring forth the actions of emotional embodiment into a living process but it was during the destruction of the feminine, the female in cultures, and the soul which was then eventually overtaken by mind-body cultures. The dreaming tree died.  But, it has been the artists, the philosophers, actors and women scholars over the ages who have not only brought back the symbolic meaning into the actions of our real soul and our emotional meaningful past (that was deemed either hysterical or over sterile) throughout history, but it was not.

by Branislav JovanovićOriginal mythologies spoken through oral traditions, folk stories and folk legends of women are centered around Symbolism, Dreaming and the Creative Art processes giving a real life communications to our soul’s life.  The real living ‘waters’ or actions to the soul to our human story outside of pain and suffering and outside the perimeters of war, kingdoms and conquering which caused that suffering.

Source: Water Maiden (Nymph) painting by Yuriy Ivanovich Starodubov; Water Lantern on the Coast by Branislav Jovanović; http://www.zanestein.com (Ocyrhoe myths); Emanuela Comito

Ukraine Traditional Folk Dress, Ivano- Frankivsk Region, Ukraine

 

 

Ivano-Frankivsk Region, Snyatyn District, Ukraine
Ivano- Frankivsk Region, Snyatyn District, Ukraine

For the whole series of each region of Ukraine go to:
https://www.youtube.com/user/FilmUaGroup/videos

The Wolves of Midwinter – Rites of Romania and the forgotten Rites of Pre-history Animism

lupi

Compilation of Ancient Romanian Folk Culture Traditions & Animism of Shamanism shares by Phoenix of Elder Mountain – This article is about the Romanian traditions of folklore rituals and shamanic connections with the Animism of the Wolf Clan people. But can animism can be applied to any tradition around the world, because the animism soul is cross culture of an older time before paganism or goddess eras. We do not get to chose our animism soul(s), its like dna of our physical body, its already predisposition at birth. The eternal soul in its light and shadow is eternal, both human form and animism for, from our own ancient souls. Even sorcerers who are all puff and smoke in their projection of an animal, is no match for those shamans who ‘are’ the wild animal soul (devoid of any human, its personality or its human soul) in their shape shifting.

I divided this article to a simple basic history of the ancient wolf people called the Dacian Tribes; The realm of shape-shifters of animism and its past life karmic loss; Wolves who turn into werewolves and why; and one of my shamanic ceremony similar to the folklore; and lastly, a dream of wolf by a maiden and youth who I know and their story with my intervention as a dreamer (shaman).

Romania, as I have discovered, never lost its connection with nature and especially to its forests, its “forest woman spirits,” to its wolf, bear and other inhabitants that populate the pantheon governing early animistic beliefs. Villagers, past and present-still, remain faithful to such symbols knowing that “She” protects and preserves the fertility and creation of all those who inhabit this cosmic space. The magic of life generated by these great forests resonates in the passages shared with us in the “Folk Almanac.”As we read them, they become instantly recognizable, and fascinating, as an unending umbilical cord stretching back into Neolithic or even Paleolithic times.

Romania has two specific ancient animal traditions that are still celebrated in Winter Rituals, one is the Wolf and the other the Bear. The more ancient Dacian tribes, the Kingdom of Dacia was a territory encompassing today’s Romania and the lands adjacent to it. The Dacians were one of Eastern Europe’s indigenous peoples who never left their inherited lands. Like most indigenous people including the white indigenous clans who were eradicated first, some small groups survived. The Dacia did not survive, but they showed a religious syncretism between the Wolf, the Dragon and the Serpent. Because they were indigenous and voiced their story traditions rather than written languages, little is know about them today. Fortunately, part of their history is written in stone.

Singer Ruslana and a Beautiful Polish Wolf

The Wolf Clan Dacian people also called themselves “Wolves” and the legends says they were shape-shifters who changed from human into wolves (animism) and back again. They had an ancestral spirit wolf guardian, a big white wolf who in the end when war came, had to fight next to the Dacians when their capital Sarmizegetusa fell to the Romans. Rome was also a wolf clan as well, but the earlier Etruscans were not. Rome brought in a symbol of the more aggressive and war like wolf as a symbol. Dacians were a diligent people, who thrived in the lands in and around the Carpathian Mountains of what we now call Romania.

“Our Peasants will end in life after life, but men of Empires and Wars will end in death after death. Angels wear Joy, while Men wear Empire Clothing and will wear Mourning.” ~Romanian Petre Tuțea.

dade6fc0df2b953b34031e506a3ce0c6Modern Romania is a merging of two principalities named Wallachia and Moldova who were independent tribes and they joined as one in 1859. In 1877, Romania gained independence and four years later, Romania became a kingdom (constitutional monarchy) and enjoyed decades of stability and progress. The nation itself was only officially established in 1918 – the year that all three principalities, Wallachia, Moldova and Transylvania came together. In 1947, King Mihai I was ousted from power and what followed was half a century of communist rule and repression. After the 1989 Revolution, Romania parted with the communist past and in 2007 became a member of the European Union. Although Romania has always consisted of a large majority of their own ethnic Romanians, the ethnic minorities that settled over the centuries during the upheaval of changes of the 1800s, and they have all influenced the social, economic and ethnographic landscape. (http://www.folkwearsociety.com)

“Eternity was born in the Village” says one of the most famous quotes by Romanian philosopher and poet Lucian Blaga. In his poem “The Soul of the Village” he talks about the scenery of the Romanian village and its connection to the Romanian peasant, where “every thought is slower, and the heart beats more slowly, as if it beats not in your breast – but deep down somewhere in the earth”.

The feminine and female mythical connections and representations related to Dochia of Romania was their honoring of the Neolithic Mother Goddess who dies starting late Autumn and is then Reborn on Spring Equinox. In our Slavic traditions we called her Marzanna and Morena and she is in honor of this ancient tradition that is still performed today in a more simplified way. I do ceremony and ritual with Marzanna that starts on the Autumn equinox and she is done with shamanic ritual and then put on the lands at the Winter Solstice and then burned on the Spring Equinox for specific intention of my shamanic rites.

The Dochia is the old and powerful grandmother who is connected to the prehistory and primal earth. Beginning with Dochia’s Day, March 9th, the equinox of the old almanac and the female representations of divinity are grouped into their three generations (Triple Goddess): The Old Goddess (Grandmother) Dochia; Mother Goddesses: Mary the Virgin, the Woods Mother and the Caloian’s Mother; and Maiden Goddesses: Floriile, Sanzienele, Dragaicele, Lazaritele, Ielele.

Edward Kinsella

The Wolves of Midwinter

Their are two Saint (modern traditions) associated with the older Pagan wolves, the first was the night of Saint Andrews is a legacy passed down from the Romanian ancestors, the Dacians, or wolf warriors as they were known given their battle symbol in the figure of the wolf headed dragon, a custom shrouded in mysticism. Old legends say that the wolves accompanied the warriors and that the one who was their leader watched over apostle Andrew through the wilderness of Dobrogea to the sacred Grandmother Cave that was offered to him as shelter.

The Wolves of Midwinter – Another legend of the winter traditions but much later than the Dracians is the peasant villager, specifically the Shepherds of Romanian.  A folk almanac was compiled by Romanian writer Ion Ghinoiu and I will share below. I make a note, that the Serbians Peasant Villagers also are a wolf clan people, who also have a strong prehistory connected to the wolf clan as well that still remains in smaller rituals of villagers by the elder women, the men’s wolf ritual dance circle and the whole community,  in a positive way of their relationship to their Midwinter Wolves.

dacian-woman-carrying-the-ancient-symbol-of-her-people-the-wolf“The She-Wolf”
by Vedan Kolod

In the darkness, in its very deep in the Taiga (forest), the Broad Taiga (forest) there’s an old Tree and under that tired old Tree, the mighty She-Wolf dreams a Dream.

She was the leader of her wolves’ pack, she was the wise Queen of the frost stunned Siberian Taiga. But her bones became weak when era’s had passed, and the death is flying above her head.

She-wolf is old and tired and wolves’ howls freeze in the air.
She can only dream a dream of her children running free.

The Wolves of Midwinter is a prehistory Shamanic relationship to nature through her animals and those of us who are old souls who carry the lineage of an animal, avian, insect (fairy) or oceanid soul which today are very underdeveloped because of our karma of past lives of destruction during the last three millenniums. These ways which were fully active before the Patriarch, which was then carried into ancient Paganism, and then into  their last destruction of the Christianized influences. In some Slavic and Balkan traditions these were more of a confluence with paganism and Christianity which helped preserve the stories.

One of these mergings is the celebration called Sânpetru which falls around the third moon of winter (January 16-20) also called the Wolves of Saint Peter. The folk tradition tells us that the Wolves gather in packs at howling places where they start singing to call their great divinity (mother earth, then god, then saint) to distribute their share of prey to which they are entitled for a whole year.

 This divine one arrives at midnight on a white horse and allots each wolf its prey: a lamb, a sheep, a deer, rabbit or a human. The wolves would spare no morsel of the shares promised. The story is told of a shepherd being curious to see how wolves meet their divinity. To find out he climbed up to a howling place in broad daylight, and hides himself among the branches of a high fir-tree. After the wolves had gathered and howled their calling, Saint Peter arrived on a white horse and quietly distributed the prey to each, but before the end of the meeting, a lame wolf came limping. Seeing him, Saint Peter barked at him: Since you didn’t come on time, you should eat that human over there, hiding in the fir-tree. Within a year’s time, the curious shepherd was eaten by the lame wolf. (19 Ghinoiu, 1997, p. 45).

nedeia-wolves

Myth narrates a sacred history; it relates an event that took place in primordial time. In short, myths describe the various and sometimes dramatic breakthroughs of the sacred (or the “supernatural”) into the world. It is this sudden breakthrough of the sacred that really establishes the world and makes it what it is today.  ~Romanian Mircea Eliade

 

Because Romanian culture like most older pagan and shamanic cultures didn’t live by sun calendars in pagan times, they lived diligently by the seasons and divided winter into several rituals and ceremonies and the “Wolves of Midwinter” was one of them. The Peasants say if they give back to the middle of winter, then winter will give back in the form of returning spring on time. Sânpetru believers say that the wolves were and still are an intricate part of the cycle of winter and a protection against evil.

a-shepherd-wears-a-coat-known-as-a-subaIn the Folk Almanac, the winter was a time of magic and charms; foreseeing the weather and how rich the new year will be. At this time, it is believed that the Heavens open and animals speak and that treasures burn. In reaction to this, purifying magical practices, hallowed waters (consecration by the priests) and rituals are predominant.

In North-Eastern Transylvania, they light fires (Ardeasaâ in Bucovina); spreading of bad-smelling substances; fumigating people, cattle and household. In their fight against evil spirits people got help from the “Midwinter Wolves” which they say are able to see the demons and chase them and tear them with their teeth. Frightened by the wolves, the devils jumped into waters and those men who were brave enough jumped after them.

Priests would throw their hallow waters with consecrated water and would throw in the cross driving away evil spirits is also horse running or horse chasing. Once every year in Midwinter the two rivals: the Wolf and the Horse, the former being master over winter and the latter being master of summer, fight for a common cause, namely driving away the demons and devils.

January 29 is the Winter “Phillipies─ (phillipies) are divinities who protect wolves and are celebrated by shepherds until the beginning of February. In the Folk Almanac the Winter Phillipies mark the end of a long mating period for wolves, having started about eighty days before in Autumn.

the-carpathian-mountains
The Carpathian Mountains where white Indigenous still live (Hustul, Lemko and Romanians).

Ancient Romanian “Nedeia Wolves” (Night Wolves)

Similar to the Winter Ceremony Sânpetru, the Romanians say that in the middle of the night, the “Nedeia Wolves” around Midwinter or a month after Winter Solstice, the Night Wolves come to gather to get their share of food for the whole year. The deity or saint rides the white horse, bringing offerings to wolves. That when the wolf clans gather, they howl and gather usually at the crossroads:

“We are going to eat the sheep of this village” but tonight, at the midwinter, one important night of the year, guided by the divine Peasants leave good out for the wolves to honor them. Then the Priest (and what used to be the Grandmothers but were forbidden after Religion came), is that they put their sheep in the stables with belief that their animals will now be guarded by wolves all year long.

taranii-nostri-our-peasants

“The Romanian Book of the Dead, another landmark of spiritual culture of the Carpato-Danubian people, contains sacred texts initiating the soul of the dead into a mythical journey on the path separating this earthly world from the world beyond. These texts are sung by a women’s choir at particular places and at significant moments of the funeral ceremony. The messages are addressed to the dead, to the goddesses of destiny (Zorile) and to the surviving husband. The Goddess of Death appears in the shape of a bird of prey (the kite, the raven, the vulture) or as a goddess that looks human (the Old Fairy, the Virgin Mary, Mother Irodia).

The texts to the songs contain, one by one, providential guides (the wolf, fox, or otter), well intentioned customs, as personified means of orientation (the willow tree in bud, the apple tree in blossom), psychopomp characters (the horse, the stag) and finally, in the world beyond, the dead person’s relatives.”

One last note…  because Ukraine is along the border of Romania, it too has wolf lore, but those are later Pagan era’s when the focus was only on men and male gods. In Ukraine the “white wolf” is connected to Lesovik, a Forest Spirit who was previously probably god of the forests and before that a shamanistic grandmother or female forest soul; this spirit is often called, among other names, “the wolf’s shepherd”. It’s important to note that the motif of a wolf chasing after the Moon exists in both Nordic and Slavic along with Romanian mythology. The ancient Nordic peoples believed that a wolf called Hati is chasing after the Moon, which he will devour when he finally catches up with it, creating thus a lunar eclipse.

Symbolically this means when the seasons change (eclipses), our moon, which is our soul, catches up with us at each solar and lunar eclipse if we do not do emotional work. For many, this has now accumulated for decades and thus our diseases come faster and are more and more serious.

rubrum-lepus-russian-illustrator-6

Animism Part 1: The Fragmented, then Lost Souls of our Animism Rites

Animism is rare around on earth today and pretty much was shut down between the first century ce and the 13th century or the dark ages. It’s rare because people living today, accrued their real karma of their past lives during those centuries. It wasn’t because we fell asleep, although that is a part of it, our animism souls were destroyed by the constant suffering from rising war cults of the Patriarch (Religion, Military and Science.) Each war or wars we went through in our past lives accrued in losses, be it a victim or a soldier of fortune. The stresses, strains, loss of community and rape effected all indigenous whites, reds, black, yellow and brown peoples.

 

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My focus is to always help others to understand that relearning of our relationship to our shamanistic purity and our karmic soul, its relationship to our emotional body (at both our instinct levels and our lack of boundaries) and their relationship to nature (non plant non drug shamanism). Our personal and our real past life karma binds these two parts of our soul inside of us, sometimes both (the emotional body and the soul astral body) are not even merged together and separate, which makes it even harder to heal. The animism and other souls we have which are not our human aspects – do not live in this world, they live in the dream worlds (energy fields across the veil from us) which is less than five inches away energetically and remain there in the first gate of the middle worlds of earth.

imagesAnimism is also a lifelong “sober” dedication. When we are young and pure, we may have a glimpse or shape shift a few times, but after 30 (first Saturn return) its a different story and most of that is lost as the gates to youth and childhood close). Many also have trauma in childhood and this too effects the animal souls destruction and loss. After the first saturn return, we enter adulthood and this is where karma and karmic purification of our next 30 years begins. Most people, even spiritual people live regular lives and are not in a constant state of crisis that occurs with karmic purification, or what people refer to as the dark night of the soul. One dark night can seem like ten years and in actual work, the crisis can last from ten to thirty years of the dark night for the devout spiritual persons journey.

Since the early 70s, many things have been superimposed onto shamanism that really is not a part of shamanism and animism. Even Plant shamanism is new on earth (only since the 1500s), but opinions of those who do them for ten or twenty years will try to convince you otherwise. Just try to stay sober when dealing with shamanic reality, that will pay of after fifty or sixty with better health.

Part 2: My Ritual Shamanic purification work with Animism

Wolves in nature have a hierarchy and a complex family and so do wolf clan people. Much of the issues that arise is complex family issues that need to be addressed and healed and takes a long time for such work to play out. I just completed a six month ceremony a few weeks ago on a local werewolf and aware of who it’s human is and he has a complex, very complex issue in relationships in regard to family. In animism, the soul of the animal, bird etc. can be possessed by the human karmic shadow astral body (demon) which would then turn a wolf into werewolf.

Because our shadow human body is in the underworld or free and roaming the dream planes, the mystical connections between our light or dark soul and our animal soul has an evolution that started long ago from the past and its past lives. That is the simple explanation.

%d0%bf%d1%80%d0%b8%d0%bb%d0%b5%d0%bf-%d1%80%d0%b5%d0%b3%d0%b8%d0%be%d0%bd-bulgaria-prilep-regionI was surprised when I found this folk almanac today, that was a Romanian shamanic custom which I was doing without knowing a few weeks ago. That made my day and brought a smile to my face. The story of the werewolf of my shamanic work started six months ago, as I began to hunt a werewolf shadow soul after it attacked me on the full moon on the land. I did most of my shamanic work in that Gemini moon cycle six months ago and when the Sagittarian Moon arrived (its opposition) in late November, early December, I waited for the signs in order to complete this job. Of all the work I have done that is not collective, but individual, the werewolf soul is by far the most dangerous.

Having finished most of the work, the werewolf shadow soul of this human was reduced into a smaller size (the raccoon) through the slaying, which carried what was left of the demonic human soul drastically reduced. After that work, again the chickens were killed in the Sagittarian Moon cycle but not eaten.

I then did the final ceremony with my apprentice to call both the Bobcat clan in and the Coyote clan who live close to us, to assist me in catching this raccoon, and I also said some intentional prayers asking the Ancestral bobcat and coyote clan ancestors to help as well. We left the ancestors and the bobcats and coyotes, all five of the chickens which had been killed at “Midwinter” as an offering. And for them to guard the remaining goats and chickens and honoring them for helping us. It took three days – but finally the bobcats and coyotes came and took all the dead chickens.

Yesterday the dead raccoon was on the road and the werewolf roaming the dreaming or energetic fields (in-between the veils) is slain completely now and its human counterpart, remains unharmed and untouched. I have done this job with two Skinwalkers and they were easy compared with the werewolf, but Skinwalkers are Coyotes, not Wolves. Wolf is a whole different complex system of clan, family and the more root of animism because of its complex social system. Up until now, as long as this human person’s demon owned his werewolf – he receive no karma, only other people have. That time is over now in his lifetime and he continues his path as a human without the power of the werewolf.

Lycan was an ancient Greek human who can shape shift into their animal soul (animism), lycan is a dark term, meaning werewolf, one whose soul has gone into killing but not having paid the karma by suffering themselves.

In my shamanic work I live by the ancient Slavic traditions and do my work according to that practice over the years along with the cycles of the moon as timing and synchronicity of my work. I live by the 1/2 Year of Fire (spring and summer) and the 1/2 Year of Night (autumn and winter). Wolves have just returned here  the Pacific Northwest, where I live, so eventually with their return, this shamanic origin ceremony will be preformed by me in the future if they come near the area, but I will still do it with coyotes and bobcats as well to honor them in Midwinter from here forth. To have a relationship with nature and its wildness is mandatory in the ways of respecting and honoring wolves, bears, coyotes etc.

Boris Zabirokhin

Part 3: Two High School Friends have a Dream

A high school Maiden gave me permission to share her dream, I will call her Cloud, her mother is one of my eldest Apprentices so she as daughter, who was familiar in the last six years of this type of work with her mom, the dos and don’ts…

Her Dream: Cloud went to help her friend Dex confront a giant black and red eyed demon when they dreamed together one night. She saw Dex shifting into a wolf partially, mostly just facial features, eyes, cheeks ears etc. Cloud remembers being in a house that she knew her mother was at in the dream with Dex. A great room with a huge kitchen counter island.

Dex was holding Cloud in a protective way as they hid under the counter facing a huge wooden door. There were lots of younger children and Cloud was telling them everything was ok and sending them out to different areas of the house. But when they were all gone she told Dex “we may die you know” and he said “yeah I know”. Then Cloud saw the bolts and screws holding the wooden door securely to be pounded by the other side of something that wanted in. They started to twist their way out on their own and she told Dex, that the huge demon was trying to get in and get them.

a0fd70654c6e28e5818066077c0371b5So Dex moved next to the door and hunkered down like a wolf, and that’s when she saw his face start to shift… he took off his shirt and she saw that he had a tattoo on his upper middle back that was healing, like it was done recently, like an iron cross type of design and two smaller tattoos on each shoulder blade. Then the door blew off the hinges and it slammed into Cloud pushing her against the wall and she saw the demon walk in. It was about 9 or 10 feet tall, red skin like a frogs skin and black marks on its face with an elongated pointed chin and large slanted red eyes and huge protruding muscles like the hulk.

She heard Dex scream her name in shock when she got slammed into the wall by the door and hearing him she popped out of the dream. She woke up, and she got out of bed crying and went to the bathroom and saw she had a red marks on her forehead where the door hit her in the dream.

My notes: Dex is in High School and does drugs weekly, because of that, he was weak in the dreaming, and lost power. Cloud is his best friend and that is why she showed up in his dream. Dex of course has a “undeveloped” shamanic wolf soul that is still pure, but now with someones demon interfering, that shadow wants to possess that part of Dex soul and once that happens, there is no longer any soul wolf that belongs to Dex this lifetime or future lifetimes.  He would become a werewolf.

If and when that happens if he doesn’t get sober, then he gains power, shadow and its demonic power and being so young, he won’t know the difference between good and evil, because the werewolf will entrap and control him in the dream realms that effects him and his relationships in this waking world.

The ego in this world then gains power until he or anyone meets someone like me… a dream shaman who is a dream huntress to slay the shadow and free the human. Dex has no power to fight this werewolf off. Regardless of what you hear out in the world, no one can fight a “real” demon until they have earned their second level soul animal or bird and can shape shift into it without any human soul interfering. Basically, Dex is about to loose his birth rite wolf, if he doesn’t stop doing drugs and I don’t find out who the werewolf is. In almost all cases, its someone in the family because wolf rules the archetypal structure of family.

My work of Dex and his Father George came next:

I completed this work recently (a few weeks after Dex coming to the near loss of his wolf soul) and I could do all the work in my dreams now that my 40 years of initiations as a death shaman (black shaman in Siberian terms) was completed. Dex’s father George, had a shadow past life demon who I call Blackie which I was following in the dreams over three nights to get more information. Blackie was gaining more and more power over George and George was encouraging his son Dex to do drugs, and stay out all night and party and it was getting worse and Dex was getting weaker and starting to lose part of his soul because of Blackie. He was also skipping school this past year and making it impossible for Cloud to have him in her space.

The werewolf of George, was still in a prison (not free to roam here or Dexs dream space) because Blackie the human demon of George had not possessed Dex yet, but was getting close and just across the threshold ready to come over and the transformation of loss was going to occur. This is the way it is all over the world, this tightly wound woundedness of lifetimes in the family of many people with gifts. Kids are  not trained, parents don’t believe and then it all becomes lost or the kid is put on medication or worse, the teen or young adult starts self medicating with pot, alcohol or shamanic drugs.

I went into the dreaming again on the forth night, and slayed the demon Blackie and sent him back to the underworld. Both father and son were freed and their behaviors will improve immediately. The father pushed away some of the dark people he had put in his son’s life and the son began a friendship of respect with Clouds within two weeks.

As of today, everything shifted once Blackie was sent back to the underworld and locked down never to return this lifetime, and werewolf was then out of everyone’s dreams and was pushed even further into the realm of the past, into the past life where the fathers wolf was overtaken (most likely the middle ages and a few centuries before where most of wolf clan men damage was done).  Werewolf had no power as long as the father’s demon Blackie was gone.

Forty years of initiation and training from real demonic activity makes my work very easy today, its done fast and complete.

“In life for those of the Wolf Clan
we feed the good wolf or we feed
the bad wolf’s demon human
who then frees the werewolf
to kill the wolf soul.”

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Those who are wolf clan people like the Romanians or Serbians take it very seriously but the demonic scourge of all military on earth and their wars for any reasons – destroys this indigenous aspect of all of us who are willing to suffer and heal our karma. 

The werewolf is one of the darkest and most powerful karmic animism souls to deal with and this destruction from wolf into werewolf began with the rising powers of the Kingdoms and Chiefs of earth from accumulated individual karma. It first began in the spread of the war cults such as Rome, Greece, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Jerusalem, North Africa (Egypt), Iraq or any country that built a religious-wars over the last 5,000 years. America was only the last to join the ranks.

“In ancient Arcadia, it certainly seems to be have been an important center of wolf worship. The story of king Lykaon leads us to Zeus Lykaios (another Arcadian “wolf god” who was Apollo Lykaios). Zeus Lykaios is the “Wolf Zeus”. In his honor, a religious festival called the Lykaia was celebrated on Mount Lykaion, the “wolf mountain.”

A historical example of where the wolf soul of a human being is destroyed and lost, and the werewolf becomes part of the man, and he returns much stronger and ten times more powerful…

“Regarding these sacrifices during the Lykaia, we are also having the incredible story of an Olympic boxing champion that Pausanias (6.8.2) tells us: “Damarchus, an Arcadian of Parrhasia, (…) who 5614b4a09aaadc89f2feeed7afd221cbchanged his shape into that of a wolf at the sacrifice to Zeus Lykaios, and how nine years after he became a man again”. He allegedly was turned into a wolf after he ate the flesh of a boy that was sacrificed to Zeus Lykaios by the Arcadians; Pausanias, writing in the Roman period, tell us that he “cannot believe what the romancers say about him [i.e. Damarchus]”.

Pliny’s Natural History (NH 8.34): “Agriopas (…) informs us that Demænetus, the Parrhasian, during a sacrifice of human victims, which the Arcadians were offering up to the Lycæan Jupiter, tasted the entrails of a boy who had been slaughtered; upon which he was turned into a wolf, but, ten years afterwards, was restored to his original shape and his calling of an athlete, and returned victorious in the pugilistic contests at the Olympic games.”

There were no werewolves in goddess and (early) pagan cultures, so there were no historical references to werewolves in the early Rome or Greek writings, only poetic historical accounts of the shifts of culture from shamanism and animism into paganism and religious kingdoms approximately around 2,500 bce until the 2nd century bce. History is based on written accounts and the soul history is based on ancient art and oral tradition and folklore. But shaman’s stories of the animism souls were not shared, and falls under the mysteries and rites of the shaman. Even I, outside the context of my apprentices do not share that much compared to what I experience everyday.

“Arcadia: The story of wolf transformation spread more widely and seems to have become quite popular during the Roman period. We learn about the entertaining story of Niceros who, during Trimalchios’ fantastic dinner party, told this story about his friend, a soldier, who transformed into a wolf in a graveyard: “He stripped himself and put all his clothes by the roadside. My heart was in my mouth, but I stood like a dead man. He made a ring of water round his clothes and suddenly turned into a wolf. Please do not think I am joking; I would not lie about this for any fortune in the world. But as I was saying, after he had turned into a wolf, he began to howl, and ran off into the woods. At first I hardly knew where I was, then I went up to take his clothes; but they had all turned into stone…”; and later he became a human again, returning to Nicoros’ house (Petronius, Satyricon, 61f, c. CE 60).”

 

Sources: Illustration by Edward Kinsella; Illustration by Boris Zabirokhin, wolf and man Russian Illustrator; Singer Ruslana and a beautiful Polish Wolf; http://www.beyonddracula.com/the-wolf-warriors; Photo of wolf via danais.ro; Romanian basic history from http://www.folkwearsociety.com – Folkwear Society is a not-for-profit initiative, founded by social anthropologist Ana Bogdan; The Romanian Folk Almanac compiled by Ion Ghinoiu Translated by Doina Carlsson from the Comoara Satelor: Calendar Popular, All Rights Reserve, Published by BTFF, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Copyright © 2010, Ion Ghinoiu; http://ralphhaussler.weebly.com/wolf-mythology-italy-greek-celtic-norse.html; SIM. FL. Marian – the holidays the Romanians, 1898. (David Romano and Mary Voyatzis, suggesting ritual activities on Mount Lykaison since circa 3,000 bce via http://ralphhaussler.weebly.com/wolf-mythology-italy-greek-celtic-norse.html). Pliny’s Natural History 8.34 via http://ralphhaussler.weebly.com/wolf-mythology-italy-greek-celtic-norse.html; 

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Thunderstorms in the Twilight – Part 1: The Pleiades

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By Phoenix of Elder Mountain – I am doing a three part article on the shadows of Star Lore and how we have gone too far from earth because of the mind cults, and as earthlings everyone is born, dies and are reborn from our mother (earth) even the aliens. The first will be the Seven Sisters who science called the Pleiades. The seven sisters sit in a cluster inside the belly of Taurus the Bull, one of the four sacred cardinal points and associated with the Bull cultures like the Hindus, the Minoans etc. The Bull is feminine and so are her cultures, its symbolic meanings and shadows of the lost ones who wish to find themselves again after lifetimes. The second article will be Orion and the third article will be Sirius, the dog star-lore.

The wisdom of the Seven Goddesses (sisters)…

When one finally chooses to move onto the path of choosing a relationship to seek the authentic self, our truth telling and telling our self the truth path, its filled with emotional ups and downs and learning to bend chaos to stay grounded. The knowledge-spiritual, psycho-spiritual, social-spiritual, plant (drug) spiritual, drama-spiritual, dating-spiritual, paranormal-spiritual and book-spiritual all tend to fade away when we begin a self healing, self mastery and self spiritual journey and its duration. This generally starts around 37 when the Uranus opposition occurs and the energy of truth/chaos vs freedom energy begins. The adult crisis or transformation time.

The Pleiades no longer mark the ancient rites of passage in ceremony of the great circle of women and have a more blissful or adventure star-lore in modern times, but their origins do not seem to hide the struggles and the struggles of collective myth. The problem is with the reality of collective in general when it comes to mental body arts as in written myth handed down for millenniums. Its hard to master the person and impossible to master the collective, because… its the collective. The associations have persisted nevertheless of the morning and shadow sides accounts for the significance of the Pleiades in older cultures and astrologically.

“The Moon is set and the Pleiades.
Night’s half gone, Time is passing.
I sleep alone now.”    ~ Sappho

The Seven Sisters name means “Daughters of Pleione” from the Greek word pleiôn “Ladies of Plenty.” Her Age of Taurus of her Bull and Cow 1,200 bce – 2012 ce.

Maia – “grandmother,” “mother,” “nurse,” “the great one” or “good nursing mother.” The oldest of the Pleiades, she is the mother of Hermes.

Alcyone – Also called Halcyone, “queen who wards of evil storms” or “strong helper”. By Poseidon, she is the mother of Anthas, Aethusa, Hyperenor and Hyrieus.

Asterope – Also spelled Sterope, “lightning,” “twinkling,” “sun-face,” “stubborn-face,” “star-faced” or “flashing-face.” Mother of Oenomaus, the king of Pisa. Ares and Oenomaus are her husbands.

Celaeno – “swarthy,” “black” or “dark.” She is the mother of Eurypylus and Lycus. A different account says that by Prometheus, she is the mother Lycus and Chimærus.

Electra – “amber,” “shining,” “bright.” Mother of Dardanus, the founder of Troy. Some accounts place Electra as the mother of Iasion. She is called Atlantis by Ovid. According to Thaumas, this Electra may be the mother of the Harpies.

Merope – “eloquent,” “bee-eater,” “mortal” or “sparkling-face.” The youngest of the Pleiades, she was wooed by Orion. Merope sons: Glaucus, Ornytion and Sinon. She is sometimes said to be the mother of Daedalus, Alcippe and Iphinoe.

Taygete – Also spelled Taigete, “long-necked” or “of Mount Taygetus.” Mother of Lacedaemon, the founder of Sparta. She is an important goddess.

Seven Sisters Asteroids, Pleiades Asteroids:

Maia asteroid #66 (Maja)
Alcyone
Asterope asteroid #233
Celaeno asteroid #3857
Electra asteroid #130
Merope asteroid #1051
Taygete

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When I work with archetypes, symbolism, synchronicity which are the actions or results of symbolism in the real living aspects, or lore and folklore, art, ancient art, myths, folkology, oral traditions, traditional folk arts, or fine arts, astrology, esoteric, even astronomy – all of them are seeking perception of the other side of the entire reality we live in the old dynamics of the myth makers world.

As we unplug from the blindness and the ancient myths that no longer serve, its all about our emotional and mental health or the wellspring, some call it the gates to the self.  I have walked this path for the truth (personal, interpersonal and collective in that order) and the truth to seek wholeness and pick out the corrupted or rotten parts of self, to apply this to the working symbolism and healing of my spiritual path…

Lets start with the Pleiades Star Lore…

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In Ukrainian traditional folklore the Pleiades are known as Стожари (Stozhary), Волосожари (Volosozhary) and Баби-Звізди (Baby-Zvizdy). Stozhary can be etymologically traced to “стожарня” (stozharnya) meaning reduced to the root “сто-жар”, (sto-zhar) which means a ‘hundredfold glowing’ or “a hundred embers”. The name for this constellation in Lithuanian is Sietynas and Sietiņš in Latvian. Both of which have a root word: sietas meaning “a sieve.” In Ukraine this asterism of the seven sisters was considered a female talisman until recent times.

Ukraine ‘Volosozhary’ means she with the glowing hair and ‘Baby-Zvizdy’ (female-stars) referrs to the female tribal deities of the goddess traditions. According to legend, seven mothers who lived long ago used the round dance in the autumn equinox to winter solstice, to sing the glories of the ancestors and old ones. After their death the ancestors turned them into water deities and took them to the Heavens, what is today know as Nymphs who don’t really carry any of the ancient qualities. Round dances in their origins of the Slavs and Balkans where symbolic for the “moving and movements the time” which was based on Nomadic lifestyles.

In both Latvian and Lithuanian folktales, the Pleiades constellation is shown as an inanimate object, a sieve that is stolen by the devil from the god of thunder used to bring light rain by the thunder god’s wife and children. In some Lithuanian folk songs, Sietynas is depicted as a benevolent brother who helps orphaned girls to marry.

the-heavens-seemed-to-be-on-fire-kay-nielsenKnown since ancient times, its popular name of was: Pleiades, Mother Hen with Chicks designated by their mythological names from the Greek poet Aratus (III century BCE). Later, when Christians were approaching the Goddess and Pagan era’s it was known as the Dove, and dove is associated with peaceful soul. But almost all of the traditional and indigenous traditional stories reveal that the Pleiades shows symbolically that they are associated with loss, destruction and shadow, probably after the wars on the soul of the building of the kingdoms through religious domination over paganism and goddess cultures and then strictly through the military of the kingdoms which developed later after the 7th century ce.

In world lore, the Pleiades seem to have two meanings, the first and oldest lore, its associated with planting and harvesting times. The second and later folklore is about morning and loss. to the Bronze Age people and probably considerably earlier, the Pleiades were associated with funerals of the clans and tribes, since its the time after abundance, cross-quarter day between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice, it was from this acronychal rising that the Pleiades became associated with mourning.

SYMBOLISM MYTHOLOGY

Contrarianism – Daughters of an Amazon Queen – While many variations of the Greek myths in the Idylls, the Pleiades are the daughters of an Amazon Queen and the only one who listed by the Greeks or what was left, was the Grandmother. She is also in the Roman mythology as the Goddess of fertility, Latin Maia, literally “She who brings increase,” related to magnus “great.” Maia, one of the Pleiades Greek Goddesses was then reduced by the Greeks into daughter from the Amazons Great Grandmother and Romans great Mother. Maia to the Greeks is daughter of Atlas, mother of Hermes, literally “mother, good mother, dame; foster-mother, nurse, midwife,” said by Watkins to be from infant babbling.

Their Amazon Pleiades names are: Coccymo, Glaucia, Lampado, Maia, Parthenia, Protis and Stonychia and these sisters created ritual dances at nighttime in what are legends today (before Dionysus Cult took them over).

North Africa & the Old Kingdom of Egypt
The goddess Hathor has an interesting take in her role and aspect as a Mother goddess for it was believed by the ancient Egyptians that “Seven Hathors” would appear at the birth of a new baby, foretelling the baby’s fate. The reason they’re mentioned is that during the Ptolemaic Period, when Egypt was under Greek rule, the Seven Hathors became identified with the Pleiades star cluster. Aside from Hathor, the Pleiades also represented the goddess Net or Neith, the “Divine Mother and Lady of Heaven.”

The Tuareg Berbers call the Pleiades by the name of: Cat ihed, s “daughters of the night” and Amanar “the guide” and Tagemmunt “the group.” The changing of the seasons to prepare for the heat of summer and the colder weather that the rainy season brings.

East Africa – In the Swahili language, the Pleiades are called: “kilimia” which means to “dig” or “cultivate.”

South Africa The Basotho call the Pleiades “Seleme se setshehadi” meaning the “female planter.” When the Pleiades leave the night sky around April, marks the beginning of their cold season. The Khoikhoi tribe call the Pleiades by the name of Khuseti, the stars of rain or rain bearers.

Mesopotamian –
Babylonian mythology and astronomy, the Pleiades are called MUL.MUL or “star of stars”.

ArabicThe Pleiades are known as al-Thurayya, the star, Aldebaran, meaning “the Follower” which is part of the Taurus constellation is seen as forever chasing al-Thurayya across the night sky.

Iran, Persian Pleiades are known as Parvin.

Judeo-Christian Pleiades are identified as being Kimah, meaning “cluster,” there is an indirect reference to this asterism found in Revelations 1:16: “In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword.” A context of harshness and the power of language and word over all things feminine. The Talmud Rosh Hashanah tells that mankind’s wickedness, removes two of its stars and caused that this star cluster would rise with the dawn and out of season alignment. This mean’s that men have done destruction and harshness to the earth and her seasons, I think Nasa and Cern have been the living proof of such destruction to not only the magnetic fields, but now the auroras.

Pakistan Carrying a positive in the name Parvin, the stars it represents is a symbol of beauty.

Karatgurk – Wurundjeri of Australia, the Pleiades represent a group of seven sisters known as the Karatgurk. They were the first to hold the secrets of fire and each of the sisters carried live coals on the end of their digging stick. The sisters refused to share the coals with anyone and eventually were tricked into giving up the secret of fire to Crow who in turn brought the gift of fire to the rest of humanity.

Kidili – A moon god of the Mandjindja from Western Australia, he had tried to rape some of the first women on Earth. In retaliation, the lizard men, Wati-kutjara attacked and castrated him using a boomerang before leaving him to die in a watering hole. As for the women, they became the Pleiades star cluster.

Kungkarungkara They are the ancestral women in the lore of the Pitjantjatjara tribe.

Makara Adnyamathanha tribe, the Makara (The Pleiades) are the wives of stars within the Orion constellation.

Napaltjarri From Central Australia, they were seven sisters being chased by Jilbi Tjakamarra. He had attempted to use love magic on one of the sisters. She refused Jilbi’s advances and she and her sisters fled from him.

In this story of the Koori’s Dreamtime, the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters were a group of seven beautiful ice maidens. Their parents were huge mountain whose peaks were hidden by the clouds and an ice-cold stream who flowed from some snow covered hills. The Seven Sisters would wander the land, their long hair flowing out behind them like storm clouds. One day, a man by the name of Wurrunnah, caught two of the sisters and forced them to live with him while the others continued on their journey home to the sky. Wurrunnah soon found that the sisters he caught were ice-maidens and took them to his camp fire in order to try and melt the ice off of them. This only served to put out his fire and dimming the brightness of the two sisters.

Berai Berai Brothers And The Seven SistersAnother story told of the Seven Sisters is that when they were on earth, of all the men in love with their beauty, the Berai Berai or two brothers were the most devoted. They always brought all the choicest catches from their hunts to the Sisters as an offering and token of their love. This love was not returned and when the Sisters wandered away, up to the mountains, the Berai Berai followed after them. After the Sisters left for their journey to the sky, the Berai Berai mourned. A grave depression fell upon them that they eventually died. The spirits of the Dreamtime took pity on the brothers and placed them up in the sky, up where they could hear the Sisters sing. On clear nights, the Berai Berai can be seen, represented by the stars that form Orion’s Sword and Belt.

Ben Raji – Living in western Nepal and northern India, the semi-nomadic Ban Raji refer to the Pleiades as the “Seven Sisters-In-Law and One Brother-In-Law” or “Hatai halyou daa salla.” For the Ban Raji, when the Pleiades rise up over the mountains at night, they see their ancient kinfolk. e.

Celtic – The Celts associated the Pleiades with grief, mourning and funerals. At this period of time and history, the time of the Autumn Equinox and Solstice would have occurred around the time that the Pleiades star cluster rose in the eastern skyline as the sun set.

Aztecs – The Aztecs strongly believed their ceremony would prevent demons of darkness from coming to the Earth and devouring mankind. For this, they offered up to the gods human sacrifices to the Pleiades.

Chinese – Pleiades are known as Mao, the Hairy Head of the White Tiger of the West. The Pleiades seem to be the first stars mentioned in astronomical literature, appearing in the Annals of 2357 B.C.E. Aside from the name Mao, the Pleiades are also known as The Blossom Stars and Flower Stars.

Greek CatasterismIf the Pleiades weren’t getting chased by Orion, then they became stars after committing suicide over the fate of their father Atlas, a Titan. Or the loss of their siblings the Hyades and Hyas. After their death, the god Zeus placed the sisters up into the heavens.

India – Pleiades are known by a number of different names such Karttikeya, Kṛttikā, Kārtikā, Kumara or Subrahmanya. In both Indian astronomy and Hindu astrology, the names Krttika and Kartika translate into English means “the cutters.” Hindu – A story associated with this star cluster tells how the war-god Skanda was raised by six sisters known as Kṛttikā, making it so that one of his names he is known as is Kartikeya or “Son of the Kṛttikā.” Skanda or Kartikeya was born to Agni and Svāhā after the Kṛttikā had impersonated themselves as six of the seven wives of the Saptarshi in order to make love with Agni. When the Saptarshi learned of this incident, they began to doubt their wives’ chastity and divorced them.  The Pleiades are known as the Star of Fire and one of the most prominent of nakshatras associated with anger and stubbornness. They are ruled by the Hindu god of war, Kartikeya. Another deity associated with Kṛttikā is Agni, a god of sacred fire. Additionally, it is ruled by the sun or Surya and has the symbols of a knife or spear.

Japanese – Pleiades star cluster is known as Subaru, meaning “coming together,” “cluster” or “united.”

Blackfoot – The Lost Boys – This is a story in which the Pleiades are a group of orphaned boys not taken care of by anyone, and Sun Man was angered by the boys’ neglect, so he punished the people with a drought, causing the buffalo to leave and be destroyed. The wolves, the only friends the boys had ever had, intervened for the people to have the buffalo return. Sadden by their lives on earth, the boys asked the Sun Man to allow them to play up in the heavens. In addition, to remind the tribe of their neglect of the children, they hear the howling of the wolves calling.

Cheyenne A Cheyenne legend, “The Girl Who Married a Dog,” tells how the Pleiades stars represent puppies that a Cheyenne chief’s daughter gave birth to after being visited by a dog in human form. Dogs are the lowest form of men in their animism shape from too much karma.

Cherokee Both the Cherokee and Onondaga tribes tell a similar story about a group of seven boys who refused to any of their sacred responsibilities and only wanted to play.

Crow The Crow military societies have many songs that use a play on words referencing the Pleiades constellation of high ideals to many amusing or comical stories.

Inuit Nanook, the Inuit Bear God, a great bear threatened all of the people. This bear was chased up into the heavens by a pack of dogs.

Kiowa There is a legend told about how seven maidens were being chased by giant bears. The Great Spirit created Mateo Tepe, the Devil’s Tower and placed the young women there. Still the bears pursued the maidens, clawing at the sides of the sheer cliffs.

Lakota There is a legend that links the origin of the Pleiades with Devils Tower. This constellation is known as Cmaamc, an archaic plural form of the noun cmaam, meaning “woman.”

Mono The Monache tell a story how the Pleiades are six women who loved onions more than their husbands were thrown out of their homes by their angry husbands and found their way up to the heavens. When the husband grew lonely and tried to find their wives, it was too late.

Nez Perce They have a myth about Pleiades that parallels the ancient Greek myth and the Lost Pleiades. In this myth, the Pleiades are a group of sisters and one of the sisters falls in love with a man. When he died, she was so grief stricken, that she finally told her sisters about him. The other sisters mocked her, telling her how foolish she is to mourn the death of a human. This sister continued to grow in her sorrow, to the point she became ashamed of her own feelings that she pulled a veil over herself, blocking herself from view in the night sky.

Onondaga Their version represented lazy children who wanted to dance instead of doing their chores. All the while as they ignored the warnings of the Bright Shining Old Man. Eventually, light headed and dizzy from hunger, they died.

Shasta – In their stories, the Pleiades are the children of Raccoon who are killed by Coyote while avenging their father’s death. After death, they rose up to become the Pleiades. The smallest star in the asterism is seen as Coyote’s youngest child who helped Raccoon’s children. This shows the lower form of animals as having power instead of the greater ones and the trickster (coyote) verses the viscous ones (raccoon).

ZuniThey used the Pleiades as an agricultural calendar. Among the Zuni, the Pleiades were known as the “Seed Stars.” When the Pleiades disappeared on the western horizon during spring, it was time for planting seeds as the danger of frost had pass. The Zuni also knew to finish all of their planting and harvesting before the Pleiades returned on the eastern horizon with the return of colder autumn weather and frost.

The story of a missing Pleiad also appears in other cultures such as African, Asian, Australian, European, Hindu, Indonesian, Jewish, Mongolian and Native American mythology. The star Celaeno is currently the dimmest star. However the star, Asterope is actually two stars, both of which are dimmer than Celaeno. There does seem to be a basis for this part of the legends as astronomical evidence clearly points to a once visible star within the Pleiades cluster that has since become extinct by the end of second millennium B.C.E.

pleiadi-nebra_scheibeThe Nebra sky disk is a bronze disk of around 30 cm diameter, patinated blue-green and inlaid with gold symbols. These are the Generally interpreted as a sun or full moon, a lunar crescent, and stars (including a cluster interpreted as the Pleiades). Two golden arcs along the sides, marking the angle between the solstices, were added later. A final location addition was another arc at the bottom surrounded with multiple strokes of uncertain meaning, as the Milky Way or as a Rainbow.

The disk is attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt in Germany, and dated to c. 1600 bce. It has been associated with the Bronze Age cultures of Unetice and the disk is unlike any known artistic style from the period. According to an analysis of trace elements by x-ray fluorescence by E. Pernicka, the copper originated at the Mitterberg in Austria, while the gold is from the Carpathian Mountains.

Sources: Fountain in Belgium, etching from the mid 1600s called the three fountain maidens linked to the alchemy of mercury; Painting of the Pleiades (The Pleiades) by Elihu Vedder, 1885 Се Плейоны Плеяды (The Pleiades) Илайхью Веддер, 1885 год; List of Symbolism from https://brickthology.com; The Heavens Seemed to be on Fire- Kay Nielsen;

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Voices that Breathe

Vanquishing means to conquer or subdue by superior force, as in battle, control or slavery. This video is about how the wise Grandmother who was once great leader, chief, shaman and leader of ceremonial rites of early pagan and pre-pagan worlds. Not all grandmothers bought this suppression to be vanquished. Try to understand that fairytales are too limiting for the greatness of our soul and its huge expression. If its limited we suffer, if we express or real truth, we heal.

Romanian Iele & Sânziană

d-_paciurea_-_himera_laviuThe Iele are mythical young women in Romanian mythology and there are several differing descriptions. Often they are described as Fairies (Zane in Romanian), with great seductive powers and power over men. They have great magical skills and attributes similar to the Ancient Greek Nymphs, Naiads and Dryads which means they were all women who were and still are witches.

The same common mythological base is suggested by the close resemblance with the Nordic female elves, youthful feminine spirits of great beauty living in forests and other natural places, underground, or in wells and springs. Their sacred tree is the maple; and with magical powers, they have the ability to cast spells with their circle dances. Dancing before the Dionysus and Pan cults, were the great communication of women of empowerment who worked together to keep their community both safe and purified. These mythological terms such as  the älvdanser (“elf dances”) or älvringar (“elf circles”) were attributed to women after they lost their goddess circles because of men and their wars, and men and their Christian religions.

Arguably, Iele are the Romanian equivalent of the Fairies of other cultures, the small aspect of the magical soul connected to the insect kingdoms of earth, including the butterflies. Greek and Roman Nymph mythology, the Vili of Slavic mythology and the Irish Sídhe all fall under this domain. The Iele can fly and sometimes live in the sky, in forests, in caves, on isolated mountain cliffs and in marshes, and reported to have been seen bathing in the springs or at crossroad as they would then serve the goddess Hecate.

They mostly appear at night by moonlight, as dancing Horas (light), in secluded areas such as glades, the tops of maples, walnut trees, ponds, river sides, crossroads or abandoned fireplaces, with bells on their ankles and carrying candles. In almost all of these instances, the Iele appear to be incorporeal and the effect of their specific dance, the Hora (light) is similar to the dances of the Bacchantes.

The place where they had danced would after remain carbonized, with the grass incapable of growing on the trodden ground and with the leaves of the surrounding trees scorched. Later, when grass would finally grow, it would have a red or dark-green color, the animals would not eat it, but instead mushrooms would thrive.

Dimitrie Cantemir describes the Iele as ‘’Nymphs of the Air’’ but the origin of these beliefs are unknown. Most likely they are after Christianize Romania, in order to hold onto the magical nature of their past, but vilified them to match the anger women must have felt when Religious men began to control everything in villages and communities.The name iele is the Romanian word for “they” (feminine). Their real names are secret and inaccessible, and are commonly replaced with nicknames based on their characteristics which are Iele, Dânse, Drăgaice, Vâlve, Iezme, Izme, Irodiţe, Rusalii, Nagode, Vântoase, Domniţe, Măiestre, Frumoase, Muşate, Fetele Codrului, Împărătesele Văzduhului, Zânioare, Sfinte de noapte, Şoimane, Mândre, Fecioare, Albe, Hale, etc.

These names must not be used randomly, as they may be the basis for dangerous enchantments and it is believed that every witch knows nine of these pseudonyms, from which she makes combinations and which are the basis for spells.

The Iele are not to be solitary creatures, but gather in groups in the air, where they can fly with or without wings; they can travel with incredible speed, either on their own, or with fire. The Iele appear sometimes with bodies, at other times only as immaterial spirits. They are young and beautiful immortals, their frenzy causing delirium in onlookers, and with bad tempers, but not  necessarily evil. They come in groups of three or seven. This version is mostly found in Oltenia.

They can resort to revenge only when they are provoked, offended, seen while they dance, when people step on the trodden ground left behind by their dances, sleep under a tree which the Iele consider as their property, drink from the springs or wells used by them. Terrible punishments are inflicted upon the ones who refuse their invitation to dance, or the ones who mimic their movements. The one who randomly hear their songs becomes instantly mute.

A main characteristic is their beautiful voices which are used to enchant their listeners, just like the Sirens from ancient Greek mythology. Invisible to humans, there are however certain moments when they can be seen by mortals, such as when they dance at night. When this happens, they abduct the victim, punishing the “guilty” one with magical spells  after they previously caused him to fall into sleep with the sounds and the vertigo of the frenetic Hora, which they dance around who they abducted, to disappear forever without a trace.

Iele are also believed to be agents of revenge and when they are called upon to act, they hound their victims into the center of their dance, until they die in a furor of madness or torment. In this, the Iele are similar to the Ancient Greek Erinyes and the Roman Furies. To please the Iele (because they could not please the witches anymore) people dedicated festival days to them:

The Rusaliile, the Stratul, the Sfredelul or Bulciul Rusaliilor, the Marina etc. Anyone not respecting these holidays was said to suffer the revenge of the Iele: men and women who work during these days would be lifted in spinning vertigo, people and cattle would suffer mysterious deaths or become paralyzed and crippled, hail would fall, rivers would flood, trees would wither, and houses would catch fire.

People also protected themselves from the Iele with Garlic and Mugwort tied together and  worn around the waist, in the bosom, or hung from the hat; or hanging the skull of a horse on a pole in front of the house. The most important cure is the dance of Căluşari. This custom was the subject of episode of the popular TV series, The X-Files.

2000 year old Ritual Dance


The Sânziană

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Sânziană is the Romanian name for gentle Fairies who play an important part in local folklore, also used to designate the Galium verum or Cruciata laevipes flowers. Under the plural form Sânziene, the word designates an annual festival in the fairies’ honor. Etymologically, the name stands for sân (common abbreviation of sfânt – “saint”, “holy”) and zână (a word used for fairies in general). Another likely etymology is that the word comes from the Latin Sancta Diana, the Roman goddess of the hunt and moon, also celebrated in Roman Dacia (ancient Romania). Diana was known to be the virgin goddess and looked after virgins and women. She was one of the three maiden goddesses, Diana, Minerva and Vesta, who swore never to marry.

People in Romania and Moldova celebrate the Sânziene holiday annually, on June 24. This is similar to the Swedish Midsummer holiday, and is believed to be a pagan celebration of the summer solstice in June. According to the official position of the Romanian Orthodox Church, the customs actually relate to the celebration of Saint John the Baptist’s Nativity, which also happens on June 24.

The folk practices of Sânziene imply that the most beautiful maidens in the village dress in white and spend all day searching for and picking flowers, of which one MUST be Galium verum (Lady’s bedstraw or Yellow bedstraw) which in Romanian is also named “Sânziànă”. Using the flowers they picked during the day, the girls braid floral crowns which they wear upon returning to the village at nightfall. There they meet with their beloved and they dance around a bonfire. The crowns are thrown over the houses, and whenever the crown falls, it is said that someone will die in that house; if the crown stays on the roof of the house, then good harvest and wealth will be bestowed upon the owners. As with other bonfire celebrations, jumping over the embers after the bonfire is not raging anymore is done to purify the person and also to bring health.

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Another folk belief is that during the Sânziene Eve night, the heavens open up, making it the strongest night for magic spells, especially for the love spells. Also it is said that the plants harvested during this night will have tremendous magical powers. It is not a good thing though to be a male and walk at night during Sanziene Eve night, as that is the time when the fairies dance in the air, blessing the crops and bestowing health on people – they do not like to be seen by males, and whomever sees them will be maimed, or the fairies will take their hearing/speech or make them mad.  In some areas of the Carpathians, the villagers then light a big wheel of hay from the ceremonial bonfire and push it down a hill. This has been interpreted as a symbol for the setting sun (from the solstice to come and until the midwinter solstice, the days will be getting shorter).

The consequences of heavens opening on Sânziene are connected by some to paranormal events reported during that period of each year. According to popular beliefs, strange things, both positive and negative, may happen to a person wandering alone on Sânziene night. Strange ethereal activities are believed to happen especially in places such as the Băneasa forest (near the capital of Bucharest) or the Baciu forest (near the city of Cluj-Napoca).

Sources: Phoenix of Elder Mountain and the Mythology from littlespyeye.wordpress.com; image of the Chimera by D. Paciurea, Romanian artist; Tumblr, Romanian Folklore

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