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

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Seven Inches of Sacredness

In my religion, snow is sacred.

Try to remember that.

It's late winter. It's been a cold winter, and winter in Minnesota is always too long. The Sun climbs higher in the sky every day, the buds are starting to swell, and the redbirds are singing their spring song (“Pretty bird! Pretty bird!”), but spring is still only a hope on the rose-red dawn horizon. We're coming up on the snowiest time of year.

So it's good to be reminded that snow is a gift.

We call Him Thunder for His Voice, but you could call Him Storm. In summer, He gives His good gift of rain; in winter, snow.

Ah, beautiful snow. Look closely and you'll see that it's actually every color but white. Snow is a wonder, so varied, so full of character: light, heavy, wet, dry, granular, fluffy. “The higher the snow, the higher they grow,” they say, meaning, of course, the crops. It's a true saying, too.

Against winter cold, snow makes the best insulation. That's the paradox of snow: it's cold, but keeps us warm.

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How Thunder Slew the Three-Headed Giant

They say there was once a three-headed giant named Motho.

Well, that's what they say.

You know giants: they're greedy. Motho just couldn't be content until everyone, everywhere, was his slave.

He went through the whole world, chaining the people. Wherever he went, balance was broken. Wherever he went, hatred and discord sprang up.

In time, it seemed as if he might enslave all the world. Then from their chains, the people called to mighty Thunder: men, women, and children, they called.

Mighty Thunder arose. His anger burned hot. He took up his lightning hammer and smote, smote, smote. He broke the baleful heads of Motho; he broke the chains that bound the people.

In this way, Motho was killed, and the world was freed.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Horned Hammer

As pagan bumperstickers go, it was really pretty subtle.

A Thor's Hammer with antlers.

What it meant to whoever owned the van, I don't know. I could imagine several possibilities.

But I know what it meant to me. Hey, I've heard the stories.

They say that Old Hornie—but he would have been Young Hornie then—used to live up in the sky, in the House of Thunder, to the West.

Well, they say he didn't just live there.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Best of luck in the learning, Anthony. Bwa ha ha.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Well now I have an image of Deerper from Monster Falls with Journal 3 in his left hand and Thor's hammer in his right hand in my m

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Peering through the Eye-Holes

It lies at the opposite pole from All gods are one god.

All gods are distinct.

So Thórr ≠ Perún ≠ Perkunas ≠ Zeus ≠ Jupiter ≠ Indra ≠ Ba'al ≠ Changó?

Yikes.

Although, in a History of Religions sense, I can see a certain merit-of-convenience to the hyper-Distinct school of thought, I have to ask myself: just how far does this extend? Is African Changó a different god from Brazilian? Is the Thunderer of my valley existentially distinct from the Thunderer of your valley next door?

If dreary monism is the danger of “All gods are one god,” is not the danger of “All gods are distinct” atomization? Personally, when I see gods getting smaller and smaller, I worry.

Looking at pagan history, I note a pronounced tendency to look for one's own gods behind the masks of other people's.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Ian Phanes
    Ian Phanes says #
    You asked: Is African Changó a different god from Brazilian? This question has been carefully considered Sandra T. Barnes, though

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Oak Flowers

What is harder and more enduring than oak?

What is more delicate and ephemeral than a flower?

Oak flowers: a seeming paradox, but all those acorns must come from somewhere. The contradictory softness of the hard. The oak being Thunder's tree and all, one thinks of all those stories in mythology in which the Thunderer, most manly of gods, dresses in women's clothing. Clearly, he's not all bluster and bravado. Clearly, he too has his hidden depths.

Welcome to the season of paradox: the blooming of the oaks. You may need to expand your mental picture of what a flower looks like. But flowers they are, male and female, and they bear within themselves the oaks of millennia yet to be.

While visiting my cousin in Germany, I picked up some jars of oak honey at the village shop. It was amazing, the least sweet honey I've ever tasted, dark upon the tongue.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Thunder on the Mountain

Some stories tell themselves.

In The Miracle Detective: An Investigation of Holy Visions, Rolling Stone editor Randall Sullivan tells the story of the supposed Marian visionaries of Medjugorje, of the processes by which the Vatican authenticates (and de-authenticates) visions, and a personal tale of unbelief wrestling with belief.

But (to this reader, at least) the book's most intriguing story is its underlying pagan subtext.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Witch Doctor Clause

Saturday night we offered to Thunder.

Together we sang, danced, and prayed that He be merciful to our gathering.

Sunday night the big storm hit.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Gerald Home
    Gerald Home says #
    Steven, Thank you for leading that ritual to appease the Thunders. Though, I was one who teased you post storm, I was appreciative
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Along with the sheer animal fear, I'll admit to some moments of self-doubt while I stood there, water running down my back, knowin
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    ah, as we often say in my Reclaiming Witch community - "This shit is real "

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