Wednesday, December 23, 2015

EURASIAN WREN: Sacred Mysteries

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

 To various peoples from Japan to Germany, Eurasian Wren is the King of the Winds. Plutarch tells the story of how the Wren became the King of the Birds. The Birds decided whoever could fly the highest to the sun would rule over Them. The Eurasian Wren secreted Himself under Golden Eagle’s down feathers. When Golden Eagle tired, Eurasian Wren flew out and ascended higher, getting singed by the sun’s rays. Returning, the other Birds proclaimed Eurasian Wren their King. Cunning and cleverness had outwitted strength.
During the winter, this tiny Bird lives in a communal roost with other Eurasian Wrens. To keep from freezing, They share their warmth. Just before dusk, Eurasian Wren calls to the Others. They answer and then enter their roost one by one. Many as sixty Eurasian Wrens will share an abandoned nest site.

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

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

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

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

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

(Note: Revision of Winter Wren blog of 2008.)

Monday, December 21, 2015

Norse Runes: Runic Engergies of Scorpions

Fehu:       The pet trade for emperor scorpions provides wealth for collectors.      
Uruz: As an Order, scorpions have existed on earth for at least 450 million years.

Thurisaz:    The scorpion uses its stinger to impart its venom.            

Ansuz:    Since there are almost 2,000 species of scorpions, each with its own variable venom, scientists have researched for the antidotes for each and every venom. 

Raidho: Scorpions have traveled worldwide by hiding cargo ships.  

Kennaz:   To hunt an insect, scorpions skillfully use their acute sense of smell and touch.

Gifu: Emperor Scorpions are given as pets.

Wunjo: Watching a scorpion leave its home permanently and go someplace else makes people happy.

Hagalaz:       Scorpions grab small prey with their pincers and crush their victim. 

Nauthiz:  Since they can only ingest liquids, scorpions use their venom to liquidate their prey.

Isa: Whilst hunting, scorpions remain still to detect the vibrations of their prey.

Jera: For 450 million years, the adaptable scorpion has lived on earth as an Order within the Arachnids.

Eihwaz:    Scorpions are solitary by nature.

Perthro: The variability of the venom for each species changes the probability of dying from a sting.
Elhaz: The scorpion’s stinger provides for defense against its enemies.

Sigel:   Energy occurs when a scorpion converts solid prey into a liquid pulp for digestion. 

Tyr: Since it takes weeks to liquefy its victim, a scorpion is patient and focused on the act of eating.

Berkana: A mother scorpion will protect and carry her scorplings up to 2 years. Her fertility enables scorpions to continue as an Order.

Ehwaz: Some people think that owning a fattail scorpion (one of the deadliest) enhances their status.

Mannaz: “Scorpion” is its identity with 2000 species divided into 13 families.

Laguz:          Venom flows out of a scorpion.

Inguz:  Scorpions reproduce in a spectacular mating dance.

Dagaz: The venom of the scorpion changes the prey from solid to liquid.

Othala: The legacy of the scorpion is its adaptability as one of the first land animals.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Norse Runes: Energies found in Palm Trees

By going deeper into Norse Runes, you can find their energies elsewhere. For example, palm trees.


Fehu:  In ancient times, possessing a date palm tree was a source of wealth, since it provided food, clothing, utensils, oil, and wood.        

Uruz:  The durability of a palm tree is its many uses for people.

Thurisaz:         The leaves of some species of palm trees can cut flesh if the person is not careful.

Ansuz:       Palm trees have been important to humans by providing them with the means to live in arid areas and on islands worldwide. 
Raidho: Because dates are portable and energy dense, people carry them on caravans.    
Kennaz:    Since hybridization of palm species readily occur, the taxonomy of palm trees is problematic. Botanists need skill to organize them into meaningful genera, because there is flux amongst the entire group.

Gifu: The gift of the palm tree is its usefulness to humans. For example, people chew palm nuts, harvest wax, and make furniture from palms.

Wunjo:  Seeing an oasis of date palms in a dessert makes people happy.

Hagalaz: Coconuts fall from palm trees and hit the ground hard.

Nauthiz: Palm trees fill the need of hunger with dates, coconuts, nuts, and palm hearts. 

Isa: Palms are trees, and by nature are stationary.

Jera: Palm trees have contributed to mankind’s success in populating arid lands.

Eihwaz: With their shade, palm trees provide introspection by inviting people to sit under them.

Perthro: The probability of a palm tree dropping coconuts on a person depends on the wind, ripeness, the position of the person, amongst other things.

Elhaz: In South Carolina, sabal palmetto logs were used in building Fort Moultrie. The spongy wood absorbed or deflected cannonballs.

Sigel:   Palms wood is used for torches, and palm oil for cooking.

Tyr: Protecting endangered palms takes dedication since cross-pollination leads to hybrid species.

Berkana: In 2005, a 2,000 year-old date palm seed was successfully germinated.

Ehwaz: In ancient Mesopotamia, owning many date palms was a sign of status.

Mannaz: Scientists have grouped the 2,600 species of palms into the Monocot Order of Arecales. The Family Arecaceae has about 15 sub-families, with almost 200 genera.

Laguz: Palm wine, syrup and oil are made from palm trees. 

Inguz: The potential of palm trees lie in their multiple uses for people. 

Dagaz: The palm tree changed the future for humans by providing for their needs, and by being portable. 

Othala: Today, trees live in widespread places ranging from islands to deserts.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

WREN FAMILY: The Mysteries of Happiness

(Revised from a 2008 blog entry.)

Wrens, a family of little brown Birds, are well-known for their high energy and trilling songs. Friendly and active, House Wren is often called “Jenny Wren” in children’s storybooks. Meanwhile Carolina Wren, one of the largest Wrens, flits from perch to perch looking for tasty bugs, delighting gardeners.

Voracious in their nesting endevours, Wrens build nests in boots, mailboxes, and even car radiators. Quick and agile Cactus Wren builds his nest amongst the sharp spines of a cactus. To impress the Female Wrens, Marsh Wren frantically builds as many dummy nests that He can in the wetlands. The scientific name for Wrens is “Troglodytidae,” which means “cave dwellers.” This comes from the elaborate enclosed nests that many Wrens build. Besides housing eggs, these roofed nests also act as their communal roosts.

Although most wrens live secret lives in dense forests, Cactus Wren (Genus: Campylorhynchus) and his Friends live in the open semi-arid areas of the Americas. Gathering in small flocks, Cactus Wrens will help the Breeding Pair in feeding. One of the largest of the Wrens (the size of a starling), He is pugnacious in defending his territory whilst fending off larger birds.

Best known for their bubbly tunes, Wrens often have as many as 130 different songs in their repertoire. Although They do sing all year round, Wrens are most famous for being the joyful harbingers of spring with their trilling melodies. And, Winter Wren, a shy Bird, has the loudest songs of all the Wren Family.

In addition, Wrens’ songs have a magical quality to them. In some Native American stories, Wrens can bring the dead back to life with their powerful singing. Called the Snow Bird, Black-headed Wren is said to summon the snow. However, He does know the direction and time of the storm.

Wrens are legendary for their spiritedness. Whether defending their territory or building nests Wrens conduct themselves great zest. Let these little brown Birds induct you into the mysterious of happiness. Lose yourself in their songs, and be enriched beyond your dreams.
Science Notes: 

1. Members of the wren family called the Troglodytidae. The wrens of Australia, New Guinea and New Zealand are not related and are not wrens. They belong to their own families. The New Zealand wrens are the Acanthisittidae, an ancient bird family. Meanwhile the wrens of Australia and New Guinea belong to the Maluridae Family, which includes fairy-wrens (Malurus), emu-wrens (Stipiturus) and grasswrens (Amytornis).

2. Firecrested wren is the common firecrest (Regulus ignicapillus), while golden-crested wren is the goldcrest (Regulus regulus). They belong to the Kinglet Family and are not wrens.

3. Antwrens (Myrmotherula and Herpsilochmus) are members of the antbird family (Thamnophilidae) of South America. Wren-babblers of South Asia are cupwings (the Pnoepygidae).

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Norse Runes: Energies found in Hurricanes

By going deeper into the Norse Runes, you can see their energies play out elsewhere in life. This is one example:

Fehu:   Hurricanes blow open inlets and form channels to allow ships into inaccessible areas. They bring wealth by creating new shipping lanes.

Uruz:   Measured in strengths up to Category Storm 5, hurricanes have powerful winds that can wipe entire cities.

Thurisaz:    Hurricanes destroy everything in their paths.      

Ansuz: Since hurricanes are so powerful, they encourage meteorologists to study them intently to predict their paths.

Raidho:   A hurricane transports water and debris great distances over oceans and lands. Also, these storms cross oceans to make landfall.

Kennaz: Predicting the landfall of a hurricane requires great skill.    

Gifu: The gift of a hurricane is water to replenish lakes and streams after a drought.

Wunjo: The happiest time for a hurricane is the clean air after the storm is over. Also, when a hurricane uncovers buried treasure, people are happy.

Hagalaz: Hurricanes bring heavy, pelting rains.

Nauthiz: A hurricane creates a need to rebuild after it passes. Also, to prepare for the eventual landfall of a hurricane, people need to find a sturdy shelter, and gather with plenty of supplies.

Isa: Sometimes a hurricane will stall over an area for days. Moreover, the eye of the hurricane is stillness amidst the swirling winds.

Jera: The hurricane replaces the water table in Central America, allowing for plentiful harvests. Hurricanes have beginnings and ends.

Eihwaz: Hurricanes propel winds and water across vast distances.

Perthro: The path of a hurricane is highly variable. A storm can turn direction at any time, and come ashore at any place without notice.

Elhaz: The circular wall of the winds keeps the hurricane from falling apart.

Sigel:   Hurricanes form over tropical seas, thereby transforming the tropical heat into moist winds. They actually become moving energy.

Tyr: Hurricane prone areas require discipline of the people who live there. They have to protect themselves against potential storms, and prepare for any that are arriving.

Berkana:        Hurricanes bring water to thirsty lands to allow for new growth. They transfer seeds and whole plants from place to place in a process known as plant dispersal.

Ehwaz: The status of a hurricane rises when it breaks a record in both winds and destruction. The storm’s name is retired from regular use. For example, Katrina, which destroyed New Orleans, will never be used again.

Mannaz: The identity of a hurricane lies in how well the storm is organized around its winds. Falling apart quickly turns a tropical storm into an unorganized mess.

Laguz: Hurricanes are storms that move long distances over water. They flow across the ocean.

Inguz:    The seed of the hurricane is warm tropical water. The potential of the storm is in the strength of its winds.

Dagaz: Hurricanes change the land that they blow over. They flood cities, destroy barrier islands, create new shorelines, and move beaches.

Othala: The legacy of a hurricane lies in how it changes the land. Also, the legacy is in how people remember it like Hurricane Andrew.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Shadow Animals: terms defined: Darkness, Shadow Archetype

My latest blog at Witches and Pagans is up.
Some of what I wrote:

The term “shadow” has many connotations, depending on its use. When working with your “Shadow Animal,” you will probably want to explore what type of shadow the animal is. That will determine how you work with Them. I will define the terms: “darkness and light,” “the shadow archetype,” “nahualli,” “heyoka,” “trickster,” and “shaman’s death” in several blog postings. Finally, I will conclude with how to work your “Shadow Animals.”

Darkness and Light
In Christian thought, which permeates much of Western philosophy, is the concept of the duality of “light and dark.” Life is divided into two separate and distinct parts of light (good) and dark (evil). These two parts war with each other over the control of the universe. However neither will overcome the other, but instead remain in a dynamic balance, that shifts back and forth.

Shadow Archetype:
First defined by Carl Jung, the term “Shadow” describes the repressed or denied part of ourselves. Our shadows are those parts that we have split off, repressed or denied, usually the parts that we are afraid to publically show.

Read the rest at Witches and Pagans: Animal Wisdom

Friday, December 04, 2015

FATTAIL (FAT-TAILED) SCORPION: Power of Life and Death

The most dangerous of the Scorpions are Members of the Fattail Scorpion Complex (Family: Buthidae Genus: Androctonus). The toxicity of the venom from these Scorpions equals that of a Cobra, and is just as deadly. Called “The Mankillers,” Members of Fattail Scorpion Complex have the ability to paralyze the heart muscles of a person in a few minutes. Moreover, They possess extremely large stingers to inject their lethal venom with.

 The eighteen Members of this Complex live in northern Africa and the Middle East. Unfortunately for people in these regions, these deadly Arachnids like to live in brick homes, especially in the wall cracks. Other places that you will find Them are under stones or in the steep slopes of sand dunes. Aggressive and bellicose in nature, Fattail Scorpions are difficult to eradicate from human settlements. This makes Them doubly dangerous. For these reasons, people have had to abandon their homes. Moreover, local hospitals keep, on hand, the antidote for the venom of Fattail Scorpions. However, because of their fearsome reputations, foolish people want to keep these Arachnids as pets. Local authorities usually dissuade such idiots from doing so before they endanger everyone else.

In Ancient Egypt, Fattail Scorpions were representatives of the Goddess Selket (Serqet). Depicted with a Scorpion on her head, Selket helped with the rebirth of the Newly Dead in the Egyptian Underworld. She would give the “breath of life to them.” (Her name, Serket hetyt, means “She causes the throat to breathe,” thereby describing the effects from the sting of a Scorpion.) Selket was one of the Four Goddesses protecting Tutankhamen in his tomb. If beseeched, She would also protect the living from the stings of Fattail Scorpions.

A king of the Predynastic Period of Upper Egypt has been depicted with a Scorpion sigil. “King Scorpio,” as he was called, entered into public imagination via the various popular movies that depicted him. Although his actual standing is hotly debated amongst Egyptologists, they did find ivory tags depicting Scorpions. These tags, belonging to King Scorpio, seemed to be for royal purposes. His choice of Fantail Scorpion probably reflected his desire to rule over his enemies.

Because of the deadly sting of Fattail Scorpions, ancient Egyptians often asked the Goddess Isis to protect them. Since Isis had a Scorpion Escort to protect Her against the God Set, people believed that her worshipers would not be harmed. Moreover, She had healed a child bitten by one of her Escort. Therefore ancient Egyptians had spells preventing a sting from a Scorpion that included a depiction of a Scorpion without a stinger and with an invocation to Isis.

Since They hold the power of life and death, Fattail Scorpions inspire fearsome awe in people. The Ancient Egyptians understood that because Fattail Scorpions protected Isis and her Son, Horus. Meanwhile, Selket, the Scorpion Goddess, eased the transition of the Dead into their new lives in the Underworld. Remember to responsibly use the terrifying power that Fattail Scorpions possess in your life.

Fattail Scorpions’ Teachings Also Include: 
Journey into the Underworld