The “Cherokee legend of the two wolves, myth or fact? The possible damage from FB and other media sources not checking out their information or quotes…

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The “Cherokee legend of the two wolves, myth or fact? The possible damage from FB and other media sources not checking out their information or quotes…

 

FB memes, blogs and more quotes… without researching on knowing already, being on a meme, FB or on a blog, does that make it true? Does it take away from the story ideal they are trying to share? Not really, but it depends on the meme or source and agenda. Can or do these types of Memes and constantly reinforce ignorance by passing on unsubstantiated “bits of wisdom” ( often taking it for themselves, marking it and never giving credit to the original artist even) cause any harm or damage? In some ways, yes. We look stupid every time we believe something like this. I recently saw a really funny meme on FB that used Einstein as a quote source… .the meme was funny, point made..but Einstein never said that.

 

This is a humorous but also serious blog from a Native American (labeling him and his people in this way as if they are an object to be idealized and I do think he addresses that point) http://apihtawikosisan.com/2012/02/check-the-tag-on-that-indian-story/

“Wow, I’m just shivering with all that good Indian wisdom flowing through me now.  Give me a moment.

Okay.  I’m better now.”  

..and I laughed here and at the dialogue between the two wolves he has uploaded from this blog. 

He also goes on to share this regarding all cultures being both appreciated, idealized and objectified:

“This kind of thing is harmful

These misattributed stories aren’t going to pick us up and throw us down a flight of stairs, but they do perpetuate ignorance about our cultures.  Cultures.  Plural.

Not only do they confuse non-natives about our beliefs and our actual oral traditions, they confuse some natives too.  There are many disconnected native peoples who, for a variety of reasons, have not been raised in their cultures.  It is not an easy task to reconnect, and a lot of people start by trying to find as much information as they can about the nation they come from.

It can be exciting and empowering at first to encounter a story like this, if it’s supposedly from your (generalized) nation.  But I could analyse this story all day to point out how Christian and western influences run all the way through it, and how these principles contradict and overshadow indigenous ways of knowing.  Let’s just sum it up more quickly though, and call it what it is: colonialism.

And please.  It does not matter if this sort of thing is done to or by other cultures too.  The “they did it first” argument doesn’t get my kids anywhere either.

The replacement of real indigenous stories with Christian-influenced, western moral tales is colonialism, no matter how you dress it up in feathers and moccasins.  It silences the real voices of native peoples by presenting listeners and readers with something safe and familiar.  And because of the wider access non-natives have to sources of media, these kinds of fake stories are literally drowning us out.”

 

So, all in all… Wisdom, yes… Native American? Nope…no matter what FB and other blogs says. It’s actually a Christian-style/derived parable from Minister and Evangilist Billy Graham in 1978. (info also from  http://apihtawikosisan.com/2012/02/check-the-tag-on-that-indian-story/ )

 

The various forms this story takes all over the internet from random sources that popped up during my general google search and all said it was “Cherokee proverb/wisdom/legend”:

 

Two-Wolves2 (1)

 

From: http://unbelievableyou.com/a-native-american-cherokee-story-two-wolves/

 

This one elaborates on the story even more:

(See the link at the end of this blog entry for the rest)

 

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.”It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf will win?”

You might heard the story ends like this: The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

In the Cherokee world, however, the story ends this way:

The old Cherokee simply replied, “If you feed them right, they both win.” and the story goes on:…”

http://www.awakin.org/read/view.php?tid=927

 

“One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed“.

http://www.psychologymatters.asia/article/65/the-story-of-the-two-wolves-managing-your-thoughts-feelings-and-actions.html

 

I happen to know the artist that creates these images and she kindly lets all people have access and use to her works, which she must have done here but is originally from “Mystic Magic” on FB by Dreamweaver.

 

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http://starcovenofwiccaandwpa.blogspot.de/2013/07/have-masquerade-in-my-head.html

 

Many of us also know this one, which has been all over FB for a long time now:

 

download

 

A there is a youtube video on it even:

 

Shared by Moro

 

The opening artwork is stunning, despite it too buys into the falsehood of the source: Art title ” Two Wolves Saying’ by artist:  IrvingGFM @http://irvinggfm.deviantart.com/art/Two-Wolves-Saying-330891051

 

 

 

 

 

Elves are Fairies? Wait, what?

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Elves are Fairies? Wait, what?

Dökkálfar and Ljósálfar, light and dark Elves; Seelie and Unseelie, Light and Dark Fae…

 

To begin and in general regarding Elves, this this blog has this to share with it’s readers. “The elves are luminous beings, “more beautiful than the sun,”[2]whose exalted status is demonstrated by their constantly being linked with the Aesir andVanir gods in Old Norse and Old English poetry.[3] The lines between elves and other spiritual beings such as the gods,giants, dwarves, and land spirits are blurry, and it seems unlikely that the heathen Germanic peoples themselves made any cold, systematic distinctions between these various groupings. It’s especially hard to discern the boundary that distinguishes the elves from the Vanir gods and goddesses. The Vanir god Freyr is the lord of the elves’ homeland, Alfheim,[4] and at least one Old Norse poem repeatedly uses the word “elves” to designate the Vanir.[5] Still, other sources do speak of the elves and the Vanir as being distinct categories of beings, such that a simple identification of the two would be misguided.” (1)

 

At the earliest point it seems there were generally two types of elves:

“Ljósálfar” (“Light-elves”) of Álfheim…In Norse mythology, the light elves (Old Norse: “Ljósálfar”) live in the Old Norse version of the heavens, in the place called Álfheimunderneath the place of the Gods. The idea of the light elf is one of the most ancient records of elves (Old Norse: “álfr” singular, “álfar” plural) preserved in writing, as close to the prototypical idea of the elf as we might get (Nordic mythology preserved an ancient German paganism).

According to the early Nordic source that mentions light versus dark elves, the Nordic Eddas of the 13th century, the light elves are bright and radiant. The Edda “Gylfaginning” by Snorri Sturluson, says that they are “fairer to look upon than the sun” (Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur’s translation).” (2)

 

Also in Norse mythology, Svartálfar (“Swart-elves” or “black elves”), sometimes considered synonymous with “duergar” (“dwarves”), are subterranean creatures who dwell in the world of Svartálfheim. They may be either benevolent or malevolent. The original Svartalfar worked the forges on the lowest level of the world tree. Their roles and countenance vary throughout Germanic folklore but are sometimes mentioned with Black or Dark skin as a result of working at the forge.

The Dökkálfar (“Dark-elves”) are male ancestral spirits who may protect the people, although some can be menacing, especially when one is rude to them. They are generally light-avoiding, though not necessarily subterranean. (3)

 

The lines of distinction are pretty vague now but probably was a bit more clear during this ancient time. Then the legends of the Germanic Dwarfs is intermingled with the Dark Elves. On top of that, the Greco/Roman pantheon later had some affect on how things were interpreted into more Forest like spirits for the High Elves as the Dark elves had altered with the Germanic Dwarves. Time passed. Countries and cultures changed. Legends and myths were exported and then reimported with a new interpretation and influence from that culture, then exported again! This happens a few times, including various changes from religion to religion, their appearance, stature and very nature. We have our current classifications or what we think they are now because of this, later writers and romanticism.

 

So, how does this relate to or have anything to do with Elves being Fairies?

“Fairy comes from the Old French word faerie. The word has been overused to describe a supernatural being….” (4) Early Fae had no wings and had much in common with elves, both having light and dark races. The Fae has history from France and all over Britain. In the Scottish traditions, There were two kinds of Fae, the Seelie or Beings of light and the Unseelie or dark beings. This is also true of the elves, as already mentioned.

 

In summary, we have the wonderful and rich culture of the Norse mythos to draw from giving us  the Elves, and all magical beings in their pantheon. In emphasis, I also repeat how we have seen how they altered with time, culture, religion on top of being, again, exported, altered and reimported several times too so they became all under the umbrella of the “Fairy” title. Now today, we see them as separate beings, thanks largely to, again, popular and wonderful fictional authors.

 

 

(1) http://norse-mythology.org/gods-and-creatures/elves/ (I highly recommend you visit this blog packed with Norse myths and information.)

(2)  http://en.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enwiki/167247

(3) http://en.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enwiki/179251 (Check out this page/link/site for more info on this, sources and info relating to Scottish Trow and Drow “Elves” !)

(4) http://www.timelessmyths.com/celtic/faeries.html (I highly recommend you visit this blog packed with fairy mythos and history, including types of fairies and from what countries and cultures!)

 

Moro

(I did not write this article in any way, other than small additions. I simply enjoy sharing pearls of wisdom and beauty from different sources into one source for many to enjoy. If inspired to from there, go to the original sources to discover more!)

Art title: ‘Differences” by artist: liiga @ http://liiga.deviantart.com/art/Differences-87959548

 

“Spiritual Warrior”

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“Spiritual Warrior”

(From Native American Prayers and Poetry)

“Life offers us the opportunity to become a Spiritual Warrior. 
A warrior is one who bravely goes into those dark areas within 
themselves to ferret out the Truth of their being. 
It takes great courage, stamina and endurance to
become a Spiritual Warrior.

The path is narrow, the terrain rough and rocky.
You will walk alone: through the dark caves,
up those steep climbs and through the dense thick forest.
You will meet your dark side. The faces of fear, deceit, and
sadness all await your arrival

No one can take this journey but you.
There comes a time, in each of our lives,
when we are given the choice to follow this path.
Should we decide to embark on this journey,
we can never turn back…. Our lives are changed forever
On this journey, there are many different places we can
choose to slip into and hide. But the path goes on.
The Spiritual Warrior stays the course, wounded at times,
exhausted and out of energy. Many times, the Warrior will
struggle back to their feet to take only a few steps before
falling again.

Rested, they forge on,
continuing the treacherous path.
The journey continues. The Spiritual Warrior
stays the course. Weakened, but never broken.
One day, the battle, loneliness and desperate fights are over.
The sun breaks through the clouds; the birds begin to sing
their sweet melodies. There is a change in the energy.
A deep change within the self.

The warrior has fought the courageous fight.
The battle of the dark night of the soul is won.
New energy now fills the Warrior.
A new path is now laid before them.
A gentler path filled with the inner-knowing
of one who has personal empowerment.

With their personal battle won, they are filled with joy.
A new awareness that they are one with the Spirit beams
as they go forth to show others the way.
They are not permitted to walk the path for others.
They can only love, guide and be a living example
of the Truth of their being.”

(Check out this source for more that inspires you in your life and personal journey)
Source:  http://www.blackhawkproductions.com/poetrynative.htm

Moro

(I did not write this article in any way. I simply enjoy sharing pearls of wisdom and beauty from different sources into one source for many to enjoy. If inspired to from there, go to the original sources to discover more!)

Art title: “Native Silhouette” by artist: Sakaib @http://www.deviantart.com/art/Native-Silhouette-140155759

The Irish Celtic Legend of the Fomorians? Who were they?

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The Irish Celtic Legend of the Fomorians? Who were they? 

In this, I share four different sources of information but none of them, nor in total has the truth behind the myth and legend ever been fully solved. They are more often than not now thought to be ancient settlers from the the Northern Mainland that were physically much larger in comparison to the different migration waves of the Celtic people in the years to follow. 

Source one has this to say: “Quite honestly, Griffon, nobody knows! This drawing of a Fomorian is from an old manuscript. In all of the descriptions from writings derived from the oldest of oral traditions, the Fomorians were hard-fighting giant sea monsters, each of them with a single leg, arm and eye. They made several incursions into Eire, dating all the way back to the island’s earliest history, as they were already in Ireland when Partholon came. A warfaring race, they battled with everyone they met, notably the Tuatha De Danaan with whom they also intermarried.

As to who they actually were, speculations abound. Their symbolic identity is as much debated as their geographical origins. Some sources suggest they were the gods of chaos pitted against the Tuatha De Danaan who were the gods of order. Others theorize they are symbolic of the gods of pre-Goidelic Ireland, or something like the hunter-gatherers who eventually ceded to the neolithic farmers, as they were living off whatever they could kill before Partholon and his tribe came with their plows and cattle.

In Old Irish, fo muire means “under the sea”. After the age of myth had passed, any and all sea raiders were called Fomorians, further muddying their original identity. We’ll probably never know who they really were, especially since actual material (artifacts & archaeology) evidence is almost nil.”(1)

Source two has this to share: “ Fomorians : Having now “disposed of ” the Fomorians it is a good time to review their influence on Ireland. Chronologically they do not fit easily into our picture. They appear first in the antique period of Partholon and continue to reappear until their ultimate defeat by the Tuatha de Danann. Long as their tenure was they are not represented as the “aboriginal” Irish race but as a sea-roving people who established themselves on a base in Tory Island, off the Donegal coast. Their influence seems over the years to have extended over a large part of the country. Sheep-farmers in life-style, they are given a “bad press” by their more civilized (?) rivals. Thus we hear they were associated with evil – night – death. They are described as grotesque — sometimes with one arm, one eye, one leg. Interestingly there are drawings of the” unusual” people found in the West Indies and in America after Columbus which have many points in common with the Fomorians! (Psychological reaction to the new – unfamiliar – and therefore terrifying) .They were also stated to practise child sacrifice, not unknown among many ancient peoples, and certainly attributed to the Phoenicians/Carthaginians — another seafaring race and avid colonists. The name of one of their leaders — Balor — has been suggested as being derived from the Phoenician/Carthaginian god Baal (also spelt Bealiah). As sea-rovers they are also suggested to have a Scandinavian origin. (Rock scribings in Norway indicate the use of quite large ships from the Bronze Age at least).”(2)

 

Source three offers: “In Irish mythology, the Fomoire (or Fomorians) are a semi-divine race said to have inhabited Ireland in ancient times. They may have once been believed to be the beings who preceded the gods, similar to the Greek Titans. It has been suggested that they represent the gods of chaos and wild nature, as opposed to the Tuatha Dé Danann who represent the gods of human civilization. Alternatively, they may represent the gods of a proposed pre-Goidelic population of Ireland. (3)

 

Finally, the forth largest contributor to this wonderful myth and legend shares this:

“Ireland’s Wars: The Mythic Conflicts Of The Fomorians, Tuatha De Danann And Milesians
Posted on January 3, 2012 by HandsofBlue  (For the rest of this great article and even more information, please see the original article)

“Next up were the Fomorians, who have many guises depending on who you read, variously described as God-like beings, spirits of chaos and nature, giants, more descendants of Noah, farmers, or just plain old pirates from Africa. They settled Ireland after the demise of Cessair and remained there until the arrival of even more descendants of Noah: the followers of Partholon, a man from Greece or the Middle-East depending on the sources. One wonders why he couldn’t find anywhere better to settle between here and there.

Three years after arriving in South Kerry (and after he had caused several lakes to spring up from the ground miraculously) Partholon and the Fomorians came to blows in the first recorded battle of Irish “history”.

The Fomorians in Ireland were led by a fellow named Cichol Gricenchos – the second name meaning “footless”. The Fomorians were, apparently, a simple people who lived a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, while Partholon and his crowd were farmers, that is, more advanced.

The battle between the two took place at least two millennia before the birth of Christ. Numbers are not made clear, but Partholon had less than 10’000 followers total. Cichol had 800 at the battle. He might have been outnumbered.

They fought at the Battle of Magh Ithe, a plain somewhere between Lough Swilly, Lough Foyle and the River Finn (so, Donegal or Tyrone really). Cichol and his Fomorions were defeated and wiped out to a man, but it was not the last time that race would pop up, Dalek-like, as Irish mythologies stock villain.

With the other contending occupiers gone, Partholon settled in for a more peaceful life, but did not plan for another batch of plague that wiped out him and all of his people at the same time, somewhere near Tallaght in modern day Dublin (“Tallaght” meaning “Plague burial place”).

30 years later, a relative of Partholon, Nemed, arrived in Ireland from the Caspian Sea. He wasn’t there long before more Fomorians, this time under Kings of the name of Gann and Segann began to harass and raid the island yet again, leading to Ireland’s first proper war.

Nemed was a leader of some renown and his people were fierce warriors. He defeated the Fomorians at Ros Fraechain where both of their Kings were killed, following that up with three more victories at Badbgna (somewhere in Connaught), Cnamros (somewhere in Leinster) and Dal Riada (in Ulster), going on to build the first forts. It would seem clear that the Fomorians just weren’t that great in battle, or were more used to simple raidings.

But things were soon looking up for them. The old enemy – plague – stuck the Nemedians hard nine years after their arrival, killing three thousand of them, including Nemed himself. The Fomorians had gained great leaders of their own, in the form of two brothers, Morc and Conand. They had established a mighty tower on Tory Island and from there, were able to oppress what remained of the Nemedians, extracting huge amounts of tribute in goods and slaves.

So things remained for over two centuries (people lived long lives back then) before the Nemedians, all 60’000 of them at this point, had enough and rose up in rebellion. Led by three great champions, Semul, Erglan and Fergus Red-Side, they attacked the Fomorians, reached Tory Island, and pulled down Conand’s tower, killing him and, conveniently, all his heirs too. Morc still remained, and the two sides fought a great sea battle nearby. Whatever it was, bad weather or divine intervention, the seas rose and both fleets were wrecked, only 30 or so Nemedians surviving out of both forces. Those survivors left Ireland, leaving the land desolate once again.” (4)

 

AFTER READING THIS, WHO DO YOU THINK THEY WERE? 

 

(1) http://www.ancientworlds.net/aw/Post/542273

 

(2) http://www.knowth.com/ireland-prehistory.htm 

(3) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fomorians 

(4) http://neverfeltbetter.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/irelands-wars-the-mythic-conflicts-of-the-fomorians-tuatha-de-danann-and-milesians

 

Moro

(I did not write this article in any way. I simply enjoy sharing pearls of wisdom and beauty from different sources into one source for many to enjoy. If inspired to from there, go to the original sources to discover more!)

 

Art title: ‘The Battle of Lugh and Balor” by artis source:  Ionus @ http://ionus.deviantart.com/art/The-Battle-of-Lugh-and-Balor-115297124

 

Note from Artistic source: “In this occasion, here is one of the chapters of Celtic mythology I like the most: the fight between Lugh, the celtic god of Sun, and Balor of the Fomors, his grandfather and foe. It was said that Balor was an one-eyed giant that kept his eye closed, but at the moment he opened it, he was capable of killing instantly in one look an entire army. You can imagine how it ended: Lugh won him by sticking his spear into the Fomor’s eye at the moment he was about to open it.”

“Introduction to Faerie Paganism”

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“Introduction to Faerie Paganism”

“The Faerie Folk have inhabited the hills, valleys and plains of the Earth since 
the very beginning of time. Shamanism is as old and as vast as the night sky.
Paganism, as a religion based on paganism, has been a part of humanity since the
building of the first small communal village. Faerie Paganism is a modern
expression of these three Universal Creations.

Faerie Shamanism and Paganism is a religion and belief system of great personal
and universal power. Imbedded in the Faith of the Fey is a deep reverence for
the Earth and all of her bounties, a firm belief in the Faerie Folk of the
Ancient Celtic and Norse Worlds, a respect for all life from the tiny insect to
the gigantic whale, a personal internal and external power called Magick, a love
of the nature inherent in human beings both inner and outer, and a communion
with the Ancient Divinities of the Earth, Sea, Sky, and Stars.

One of the first and most important beliefs of Faerie Paganism is a respect for
the Earth and an environmental consciousness which runs so deep it connects with
the divine spirit within. Energy and healing are gained from the soil. knowledge
and wisdom are gained from the trees, cleansing and purging comes from the
lakes, rivers, and streams. protection comes from the rocks and fire. The Earth
is a magickal, mystical Realm which mirrors the Astral Other Worlds and it is
important to see her as the Ultimate Mother who nurtures and protects her
children, whether they are Faerie, Human, Animal, Plant, and Mineral. Rites are
practiced which attune the seeker to the harmonious workings of the seasons of
nature.

Faerie Paganism has a firm belief in the Faerie Folk stemming from the
mythologies and folk beliefs of the Celtic and Norse Peoples. The Faeries are
sought for protection, companionship, wisdom, knowledge, inspiration, and
magick. They are invited to all of the Rites and Rituals, and they are
acknowledged in every aspect of life. Along with this comes a respect for all
creatures, both great and small. For the Fey are Shape-Shifters, and can assume
any shape. from a lady bug, to a bear, to a rock, a tree, or spring mist.

Magick is an integral part of the Faerie Shaman Faith. Magick is the art and
science of causing change in ones environment in conformity with one’s will.
Magick can be used to heal, to divine, or to assist in the obtaining of goals.
The only possible limits of Magick are the self, the imagination, and the
knowledge of the Faerie (or any other) Magickal System.

In Faerie Paganism, the natural human body, soul, and mind are seen as
beautiful, powerful, and divine. Human beings were not cast out of paradise,
they are born into it. Human beings are not born inherently evil or bad, they
are born innocent with the gift of choice. Human beings do not answer to the
laws of an omnipotent god, they answer and account for their own actions. And
the eternal afterlife of a human being is not judged by one lifetime alone. many
lifetimes will be traversed before we are all reconnected with divinity.

Finally, in Faerie Paganism, there is the communion with the Ancient Divinities
of the Ancient World. the Gods and Goddesses, Heroes and Heroines of the ancient
Celtic and Norse lands. The original race of Faeries who first came to the Earth
from the Stars were known to the Celts as the Tuadha De Dannan, or People of the
Goddess Dana. Eventually, when the Milesians (humans) came to inhabit the Earth,
the Tuadha De Dannan moved into the Realm of the Faerie, or Faerie Land. We know
speak and commune with them when we travel to their Realm or when they cross
over into reality….”

from http://www.ladyoftheearth.com/faeries/faerie-paganism.txt

 

Moro

 

Art title: ‘Believing‘ by artist Josiane-Rey @ http://jorgeremmy.deviantart.com/art/Believing-256323340

The Woman, the Snake, and the Witch:

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The Woman, the Snake, and the Witch:

Originally a series of posts, then made into a note for this blog’s mother page of FB’s Pagans, Witches, Warlocks, Shamans and Sages, I was inspired to seek this out again and blog it because of a very sweet woman finding such correlations and discovering this for her self on my friends list.  The agenda of this series is to connect the ancient wisdom and secrets of the snake to women and how the snake was iconized and used to shun women’s rights from the light of day and banish us into shame. With this in mind, it has a strong feminist feel to it but does not, in any way shape or form meant to slander our brothers and the modern masculine gender. Times have changed for many of us in the Western world, but time has also held very still for other cultures and countries. I didn’t realize to what extent until I moved here and have seen old or sick women of supposed “no monetary” value wearing their full Burqas (or Burka) and forced to sit by the popular pedestrian areas and beg for money.

 

Women, the healers, the midwives, the wisdom innate within us and witches, yes, a very few were actual witches because of their natural abilities, watched all of it taken away by the twisting of the ancient symbol of life and knowledge, the snake.

 

Still standing proud are two snakes, representing the knowledge of medicine,  and are wrapped around the Caduceus as a symbol of medicine. This symbol connecting as ancient healers is now stripped from us as women.  We were powerless through out ancient times as we watched our rights as women ripped from us, no longer allowed to help those in need and indeed, banished by popular religions connecting the three, woman, knowledge and snake. In times past, we were instead accused and burned as witches and to this day, we have never fully recovered.

 

I am by far not the first to know this nor am I the last. Spread the love and knowledge dearest brothers and sisters, so that our legacy may not be completely forgotten in the mists of time.

 

Let’s first take a look at the various meanings, cultures, god, goddesses through out the world.

 

In American movies, snakes are pretty much used as a standard creepy-crawlies creature to get the girls to scream and the tough guy to protect them. Although they are used in this way in Asian cinema as well, there is another application: snakes don’t scare women: they are women. And it is the men who had better start running, lol.

 

So below, we have in summary the various aspects of snakes connecting them to knowledge and trees. Why, in modern popular religions are snakes demonized in connection to trees, healing, knowledge and then woman? Next we I will share with you the very same aspects of healing, shamans, knowledge, women then directly to witchcraft. Following this, how that connection was the very cause which instigated the destruction of female wisdom, healers through the accusation of witchcraft…a nasty means to an end.

 

Initially, snakes are most connected to Wisdom, then Cycles, Rebirth, Patience, Fertility, Balance, Cunning, Intuition, Awareness, Healing, Intellect, Protection, Solemnity, Rejuvenation, Transformation, Occult (hidden), Male/Female, Yin-Yang, Duality, Protection, Regeneration, and the Primal life force.

 

The serpent is often found associated with a sacred tree, perhaps guarding some sacred fruit. This chthonic serpent may be coiled at the bottom of the tree. The snake as protector at a sacred tree is seen in Biblical and Norse mythology, as well as in the tales of the Bodhi tree of Buddhism.

 

Ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, Scandinavia, Greece, and Pre-Columbian America, to name just a few, all shared the symbolism of the snake in their religion and folklore. Snake gods and goddesses are seen throughout different ancient cultures such as the Greek Medusa with snakes for hair, or the Minoan Snake Goddess, or the Sumero-Babylonian Enki, the Serpent Lord of Wisdom and trickster god. They are significant deities with fierce and fearful power.

 

Snakes were an extremely popular representation of deity, of magical powers, and of regeneration and life. Indeed, serpents are life-giving and life-affirming. The Arabic has related words for serpent (hayyah) and life (hayat), both coming from the same root with the implication of the serpent being a life-giver.

 

Mythological Snakes Hold Opposite Interpretations.

 

Serpents represent both good and evil in mythology. Worship and fear of serpents has been seen throughout religious history, as the snake represents a male, a female or androgynous god. Throughout the world the serpent may symbolize opposing qualities to different peoples, such as death, destruction, rebirth, authority, sin, trickery, temptation, wisdom, prophecy, mystery, fertility, healing, medicine, poisoning, warning, renewal, mortality, and immortality.

 

Snakes serve as guardians in folklore. Symbolically they can represent the earth and the underworld. Snakes are thought of as secretive and are equated with the hidden and most sacred aspects of religion. Early religion used the serpent as a phallic symbol, and also as a symbol of the mother goddess. Their forked tongues are thought to show duplicity, and their words cannot be trusted.

 

Cosmic Serpents:

 

Much folklore worldwide depicts a great serpent that encircles the world. In this case where the snake swallows its own tail to form a circle, it is known by the Greek term Ouroboros, although the symbol first appeared in Ancient Egypt. Such a cosmic serpent is found in the Norse Jormungandr which encircled the world in the deep of the oceans, swallowing its own head.

 

The snake also inhabits the subterranean earth or the underworld, where he is a guardian of sacred entrances. Serpents are found throughout Egyptian mythology, usually as females. The cobra is a symbol of the goddess from antiquity and appears on the crown, the Uraeus, and in the hieroglyphic names of female goddesses. The cosmic chthonic serpent of Egypt is a male, however, known as Apep. Apep, an evil demon, represented darkness and chaos. Apep, who appeared from the Middle Kingdom onward, was considered the enemy of the Sun God, Ra.

 

The Egyptians practiced many rites to aid the god Ra to make his successful journey through each night undefeated by Apep. During the New Kingdom, the serpent Apep became associated with the god Set. The great antiquity of the place of the cosmic snake against the solar god was found in Egypt with a snake figure shown as an enemy of a solar deity. This was depicted on an ancient pottery bowl, now in the Cairo Museum (Naqada I, ca. 4000 BCE).

 

As a Native American Indian symbol (depending on the nation/tribe) the snake can be a masculine symbol, associated with the phallus of lightning which is considered a medicine staff of tremendous assertive power. Other tribes lean in the direction of feminine attribution for the snake and pair it with mothering (creation), and lunar (moon) symbolism.

 

Whether raising itself in masculine authority, or encircling the Earth in a motherly fashion the snake symbol of the Native American’s was highly regarded; utilized in ritual to invoke an element of pointed focus and weighty influence.

 

The ancient Celts were extremely nature-wise too, and approached snake symbolism from the behavior and life cycle of this magnificent creature. From the Celtic perspective, the snake was a symbol of secret knowledge, cunning and transformation.

 

Further, the snake Celtic symbol comes from observations of the European viper (also known as the adder) which is the only (along with the common grass snake) species able to tolerate the colder climate of the ancient Celts.

 

In the keen Celtic mind, snake symbolic meaning of transformation came from the shedding of its skin. Physical evidence of leaving its form behind (casting off the old self), and emerging a sleeker, newer version made the snake a powerful symbol of rebirth and renewal.

 

As far as the occult (hidden) symbolic meaning in Celtic and other cultures, this can be connected to the sleuth-like ways of the snake.

 

Disappearing in colder months and summoned by the sun marks the snake’s connection to the shadow worlds with its successful ability to live within the dark realms for extended periods of time. Alternatively, the snake softly moves into the embrace of the sun, and so it encapsulates the ancient magician’s creed of moving in perfect rhythm of natural forces.

 

In Eastern Indian myth the Sanskrit word for snake is Naga and these are associated with the element of water. Picking up water’s symbolism of emotion, love and motion, Nagas in this light are considered a feminine aspect and embody nurturing, benevolent, wise qualities.

 

To wit, the practice of Nagayuna in Eastern Indian alchemy seeks to achieve loving harmony between the physical and ethereal. Simply put, all of us striving to better ourselves by calmly easing into places of personal balance within the cosmic balance of the whole are practicing this ancient technique.

 

Snake tattoo symbolism varies according to the bearer of the mark. For example, My frien has a back piece depicting two serpents (nagas) wrapped around the seven prime chakras down the length of her spine. This (to me) incorporates the kundalini power available to all humans.

 

Additionally, this entwined snake imagery hearkens to the caduceus, in which the staves of Asclepius are made of two polar (and copulating) serpents which symbolizes balance, equanimity, union and regeneration.

 

We have looked at many things so far to really look at the histories, cultures, deities, and meanings behind snakes and how they are connected to women, more often than not, wisdom, healing and even the connection to sacred trees. I have been building up to this to help people understand why the most popular prevalent religions shame now both women and snakes, dismissing the knowledge and the healing wisdom within women and dismissing our rights,  subjugating us through the ages. I am using the well know myth connection of the snake as the archangel Lucifer…both the most beautiful creatures in heaven but both banished for “pride”, the snake into the sacred tree of knowledge and the using of the icon Eve to bring down and shame all women in connection to all. This is propagated one way or another throughout all modern popular religions and shaped the way many cultures and societies viewed and treated women. Then came the inquisition and the witch trials. Don’t think for a second that there was any real “religious” reason for what they did, but instead used these associations as a means to an end. Let’s look at its history and how it has affected us in our modern society and still even today.

 

“By the early 1970’s feminists were becoming aware of a variety of race women were abused or treated unjustly by the medical system. As healthcare professionals, women were largely confined to subordinated roles as nurses and aids. As consumers of care, we found ourselves we found subjects insensitive and hazardous treatment; unnecessary hysterectomies, over-medicated childbirth, insufficiently tested contraceptives, involuntary sterilizations, and the almost universal condescension of male doctors.

 

We were not supposed to know anything about our own bodies or to participate in decision-making about our own care. As girls, the women of our generation had grown up thinking of their reproduction organs as the unmentionable region “down there.” In the Ladies’ Home Journal, which many of our mothers read, the medical advice column was entitled “Tell Me, Doctor.” Women who asked too many questions or insisted, for example, on “natural” childbirth, frequently found themselves labeled, right in their medical records, as uncooperative or neurotic. Serious complaints were likely to be dismissed as “psychosomatic” and attributed to women’s assumed suggestibility.

 

We were beginning to suspect that women had not always, in all circumstances, been so disempowered with respect to their own bodes and care. After all, medical technology and the medical profession that monopolized it were relatively recent historical developments, and yet somehow our female ancestors had, however imperfectly, negotiated the challenges of the female life cycle.

 

Sometimes, in conventional histories of American medicine, we found tantalizing references to a time when women predominated as healers – but only as an indication of how “primitive” American society was.

 

There is now wealth of information about women as lay healers, midwives, and “doctresses” in early America and their subsequent exclusion from formal medical education in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. If anything, even more information has become available about women as lay healers in early modern Europe, and their fates in the witch persecution of the time – enough to tempt us into what could be many rewarding years of study.

 

First, on the matter of the number of women killed as witches, we used the estimates available to us at the time – scholars accepted figures of one million or even much higher. Although the body count will never be exact, historian John Demos writes that recent studies yield estimates that “fall in a range of 50,000 to 100,00.” Demos adds that, “These, in turn, were just a fraction of a much larger number of suspects….”

Second, we should clarify the role of the European medical profession relative to church and state. Witch trials represented extraordinary cooperation (and sometimes conflict) among all the dominant institutions, including both the legal and medical professions, which were heavily dependent on approval from the highest authorities. It was the medical profession that provided the courts with expert testimony: for example, Paulus Zacchias, the personal physician to two seventeenth-century Popes, authored a seven volume treatise called Medico-Legal Questions to demonstrate ”where medical knowledge could inform Canon Law on such issues as…the causes of foetal death, types of madness, poisoning, impotence, malingering, torture, [and] witchcraft…”

 

Physicians benefited from the suppression of their competition: In the European cities where they congregated, they practiced in a market filled with lay healers and empirics. In London, in 1600, there were fifty physicians affiliated with the College of Physicians (a stronghold of Galenic medicine), outnumbered by some 250 mainly unlicensed practitioners (not including surgeons, apothecaries, midwives, and nurses) who made a living. In 1581, the College of Physician, which claimed the right to regulate medical practice in London, attempted to prevent a lay healer named Margaret Kennix from practicing – but Queen Elizabeth had intervened decreeing that “the poore woman should be permitted by you quietly to practice and minister to the curing of diseases and wounds, by the means of certain Simples [herbal remedies] in the applying where of it seemth God hath given her an especial knowledge, to the benefit of the poorer sort…” Such protection for her favored few was not to last after Elizabeth’s death in 1602.

 

We stand by our assertion that male physicians were both more dangerous and less effective than female lay healers. Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626) himself a scientific originator, thought that “empirics and old women” were “more happy many times in their cures than learned physicians”. The conservative philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588 – 1679) concluded that he would “rather have the advice or take physic from an experienced old woman that had been at many sick people’s bedsides, than from the learnedst but inexperienced physician.”

 

Third, we made the assumption that witches may have met in “covens” or other organized groups, and we referred to Margaret Murray when we said that “some writers speculate that these may have been occasions for pagan religious worship.” Murray’s research has since been discredited, and today most scholars seem to agree that the beliefs of women who were executed as witches cannot be differentiated from those of the rest of the population, and most were avowedly Christian. Some pagan religions or remnant did survive in places but the connection between this and women accused of witchcraft remains unclear.

 

Another point worth revisiting concerns the religious wars in the background of the witch hunts. We wrote: “…witch-healer’s methods were as great a threat (to the Catholic Church, if not the Protestant) as her results, for the witch was an empiricist…” we can no more do justice here to the conflicts of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation than we could in a short booklet. But it should be noted that while Protestant fought the Roman Catholic Church, they tortured and executed witches too.”

 

From the Book: Witches, Midwives and Nurses-a History of Women Healers (second edition)

By Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English copyright 1973

 

Much work has been done to support this in the decades that followed, but it still completely altered our society and our world. Even in modern times, though amazing efforts have been made to counteract this…it is nor ever will be enough for what they have done, not to a culture, not to a country, not to a group of people belonging to a specific gene pool but to the entire female population. the treatment of atrocities still goes on today in our culture, under the curtains of political correctness and in other cultures and societies, it is blatant and lawful, even encouraged.

 

Moro

 

Note: This article was done sometime ago and several contributing sources were not appropriately given credit. I do apologize for this and if you happen to see a source that you recognize, please feel free to let me know so that I may also look it up and give them credit.

 

Regarding the Art: I must tell you this was a difficult original owner to track down because it is such a popular altered wallpaper nowadays. Even when I found it originally, it was from Nexus Desktops. I am glad to have found the original artist and very happy to share her link to this great piece.

Art title: ‘wrath‘ by pieceesnp @ http://pieceesnp.deviantart.com/art/wrath-138460567?q=gallery%3Apieceesnp%2F1054735&qo=26

 

 

 

 

“What is the difference between a Spirit Animal, a Totem Animal and an animal ‘Familiar’?” ” What is a Totem Pole?”

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“What is the difference between a Spirit Animal, a Totem Animal and an animal ‘Familiar’?
” What is a Totem Pole?”

A “Spirit Animal” is the one who will present life’s lessons. The Spirit Animal is the one who comes to you in order to show you, through its own unique nature and skills, how to deal with the manifestations of your Spiritual Journey. Spirit Animals do not necessarily guide you, but they come to teach you that which you need to learn, in order to know how meet the challenges of your Spirit Walk.

Each Spirit Animal has certain powers and skills to teach and certain knowledge to share, for each Spirit Animal has its own methods of overcoming the many challenges it must meet in order to survive.

The Spirit Animal’s appearance signals a time to connect with your true Self and your life’s purpose. Pay attention to the repeated appearance of this animal and of repeated patterns or themes. Awakening to the recognition of these seemingly synchronistic occurrences teaches you to be aware of the hidden messages in everyday experiences.

There are many ways by which your Spirit Animal may make itself known to you and many ways by which by which it may pass on its message. Do not let your perceived image of the animal prejudice you as to the significance of its message. You will meet with the Spirit Animal whose lesson you need to learn.

You do not choose your Spirit Animal, it chooses you. Do not try to “compel” your Spirit Animal to manifest itself just because you want it to. True Spirit Animals will appear only at the time and place in your life when you are ready to accept them and the wisdom the come to offer.

And … they always turn up at exactly the right moment.

A “Totem Animal” is an animal spirit that you call upon or invoke, as an individual or a tribe, for its special powers and survival skills, to serve as a guardian or protector when facing adversity.

It is customary for many Native American tribes (as well as others) to be made up of smaller groups or “Clans” united by actual or perceived kinship and descent and formed around a founding member or “ancestor”. Often this ancestor is an animal spirit which becomes the Clan Totem. The clan totems are often the animals that inhabit the local area, (The wolf, bear, turtle, and deer are common clans of the Great Lakes area.), and which have a unique relationship to the tribe and its heritage.

Some of the clans of the Six Nations are the turtle, bear, wolf and the heron and often within these clans there are different “sub-clans” represented by such animals as the Snapping Turtle and the Painted Turtle in the example of the Turtle Clan.

The “spiritual powers” of the various totems help each clan to carry out its own special duties and responsibilities within the tribe in accordance with the attributes of that totem. (The Turtle Clan usually being the tribes “Keepers of Wisdom”, the guardians of the legends and mysteries mysteries within the tribes ceremonies and practices.)

Again, never let your perceived image of an animal effect how you see its ability to serve as a “Totem”. Though it may seem incongruous to invoke a rabbit as a totem for battle, remember the wisdom shown by “Bre’r Rabbit” in defeating an enemy.

Totem Poles

The Totem Pole is an arrangement of symbols representing animal totems from the tribe’s ancestral past. Totems were a form of communication for the Pacific Northwest Coast Native Americans as they had no written language and thus the Story Poles were used to convey their legends, stories and events. Totem poles may also be messages passed on by those that carve them. The pole’s symbols may often tell a very personal story of the carver himself, as well as that of his own family, clan or tribe.

Totem Poles

The Totem Pole is an arrangement of symbols representing animal totems from the tribe’s ancestral past. Totems were a form of communication for the Pacific Northwest Coast Native Americans as they had no written language and thus the Story Poles were used to convey their legends, stories and events. Totem poles may also be messages passed on by those that carve them. The pole’s symbols may often tell a very personal story of the carver himself, as well as that of his own family, clan or tribe.

“The Familiar”

A third type of Animal Spirit, little heard of outside of Shamanism and Witchcraft is called a “familiar”. The familiar is a spiritual entity that will appear as a facilitator in the communion of the human, animal and spirit realms.

The true shaman or witch does not just decide to walk the “Path”. They must first be chosen by and then accept a spirit being or deity as their mentor. Usually, this mentor will send forth an animal spirit to guide the initiate to them, or in many cases, they themselves may take the form of an animal spirit, only later revealing their true nature.

One example, in the case of shamans and witches who come from the background of the European Celtic traditions, the Goddess Morrigan will often appear to the initiate in the form of a raven or crow as their familiar and she will reveal her true self only after the initiate has actualized as an “enlightened being”.”

http://www.spiritwalkministry.com/spirit_guides

Moro

Photo/art from: http://www.crystalinks.com/totemanimals.html