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Sharks: Mythology, Spiritual Importance and More

Sharks have been an essential part of native cultures along the coasts across the world for 1000s of years. You can find them in tales as being human hybrids, Gods, monsters with superpower like abilities and more. Since I was a young kid I have had a special love and connection to the oceans and Sharks have always been special to me. In fact the Hammerhead shark is one of my spirit animals. I even have two tattooed as a part of my left sleeve who swim around my matron goddess Rán. I even had my own personal spiritual experience with a school of Hammerheads in the U.S. Virgin Islands. So today I want to dive deep into the world of Sharks in folklore, spirituality and more.

Once Upon a Time in St. Croix

It is a long story so I will try to be brief with this personal experience of mine. During my U.S. Coast Guard career I spent a tour in the U.S. Virgin Islands, specifically on the beautiful island of St. Croix. With two friends of mine we decided to go dive a shallow water shipwreck right off the coast in about 50 feet of clear blue Caribbean water. My two friends were geared up with SCUBA and I was free diving with my snorkel and fins.

My two friends dove down to go inside the shipwreck as I was swimming along a reef nearby when suddenly a school of Yellowfin Tuna swam by me at such a fast speed I was surrounded by bubbles. I was maintaining neutral buoyancy when suddenly out of the distance appeared a school of Great Hammerhead sharks! It was incredible to say the least. This species of Hammerhead can reach up to 20 feet in length and one swam by me that I would guess was between 12 to 15 feet. I was surrounded by at least two dozen. It probably lasted for 30 seconds but felt like a lifetime. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

Sharks in Global Mythology

  • Greek

The Myth of Lamia: Lamia was the daughter of the sea god Poseidon. She had an affair with the king of the gods, Zeus. When Hera, Zeus’ wife found out about the affair she stole and murdered Lamia’s children, which drove Lamia mad. To help her get revenge, Zeus turned Lamia into a giant shark monster so she could devour the innocent children of others as revenge.

The Myth of Cetus: After Andromeda, the princess of Aethiopia’s mother Cassiopeia, was bragging that her daughter was more beautiful than the sea god Poseidon’s daughters. Poseidon decided to take revenge by sending a giant shark/whale monster name Cetus after her. Luckily for Aethiopia, the legendary hero Perseus was able to save the day and kill Cetus.

Akheilos: Akheilos is the son of Zeus and Lamia and was a lesser known sea god with a shark head and a fiery fish body. Akheilos was turned into a shark as punishment after boasting that he was more attractive than the god of beauty Aphrodite.

  • Hawaiian

Kamohoali’i: Kamohoali’i was the king of the sharks gods and guardian of the Hawaiian Islands. He could transform into both a human and a variety of different sea creatures to help people.

Ka-moho-ali’i swam in the area around the islands of Maui and Kahoolawe.

Ka’ahupahau: A shark goddess that was born a human. After being transformed into a shark god, she dedicated her life to protecting people from shark attacks.

Kane’apua: Was the trickster shark god, who could perform magical feats to entertain and delight all.

Keali’ikau ‘o Ka’u: Keali’ikau ‘o Ka’u fell in love with a human and gave birth to a green shark that would help people trapped at sea.

Kuhaimoana: Was a massive shark god that protected the Ka’ula islet and ensured fisherman had a bountiful catch.

Kane’i’kokala: Was a shark god that would save shipwreck victims.

  • Fijian

Dakuwaqa: was a major god of the Fuji islands. Dakuwaqa was half shark, half man. He would help fishermen avoid danger at sea, protect people from ferocious sea monsters, and would help ensure a bountiful catch. In the Cook Islands, Dakuwaqa was known as Avatea, and was also the god of the sun and the moon. In Tonga, he was known as Takuaka and was a warrior god that would protect people from other vicious gods.

  • Bahamian

Lascu: is a half-shark, half-octopus sea monster with a bad temper from Bahamian mythology. Lascu is responsible for sinking ships, drowning swimmers, and causing whirlpools. Lascu is said to be responsible for the blue holes, or sinkholes found along the island. It is said she will make a sinkhole whenever the residents of an island have angered her.

  • South American

The native tribal people of Brazil and Guyana, believed that the constellation Orion’s belt was actually the leg of a hunter named Nohi Abassi. After tiring of his mother-in-law, Nohi abassi trained a shark to eat her. What he did not know is his mother-in-law found out and disguised her other daughter as the shark. Instead of attacking the mother-in-law, his sister-in-law attacked him and sawed off his leg. That leg became the constellation.

  • Maori

Kawariki: was a princess who fell in love with a simple peasant boy Tutira. Her father, a sorcerer king was not happy and so he cursed Tutira, turning him into a shark. Rather than be defeated, the two still met in secret and would swim together at night. One day, there was a huge tsunami that destroyed the village and swept all the villagers out to sea. Tutira, as a shark, saved the villagers and brought them back to shore. Once Kawariki’s father realized the shark that had saved them was Tutira, he was so impressed with this heroic act, he turned Tutira back to a human and apologized by letting him marry Kawariki.

  • Zanzibar

The myth of the monkey and the shark is a simple fable about how a monkey living in a fruit tree and a shark became friends. The monkey would help the shark eat fruit from the tree and the two would talk. To repay the monkey, the shark offered to take him on his back to his home for a big feast. Turns out the shark only befriended the monkey because his king was sick and needed a monkey heart to cure him. When the monkey found out the shark’s goals, he tricked the shark into thinking he had left his heart back at the tree. The shark took him back to the tree where the monkey climbed up and mocked the shark for being stupid. The moral of the story, never trust a shark or a monkey. SOURCE

In #fijian #mythology, the deity of the sea known as Dakuwaqa is regarded as a shark-god. He was very popular with the fishermen because he would protect them from sharks and other dangerous creatures at sea. When Dakuwaqa was going to Kadavu Island to conquer it, he was attacked by an octopus. After a great battle, the octopus managed to pull out its teeth and restraining him with its 8 arms to prevent the massive attack by the demon. He was a helper during sea disasters but  was also a killer. Today, many parts of Fiji claim to have remnants of his former home and that he once lived among them. The village of Rukua in Beqa for instance has a cave where Dakuwaqa once lived with his two daughters. He is often described as a muscular man with an upper torso that’s usually associated with a great white shark but he can also alter his appearance due to his abilities of shape shifting. According to other legends, he can grow to 60 feet long and has the head and tail of a whale with a brown spotted or mottled back.
The Tiburones  are said to be flying sharks, with razor sharp teeth, crushing jaws, and able to circle their prey from the air. ‘Tiburon’ is Spanish for ‘shark’, most English translations of the Ibalon use this name for the creature (Triburon). In Bikol, these creatures are known as Pating na Pakpakan. In the Ibalon epic, they were tamed by the warrior-hero Handyong. SOURCE

The Cook Islands

From the Cook Islands comes the popular legend of Tekea the Great, the king of all sharks.

One of the most popular tales is that of Ina and the Shark. Though there are many versions of this story, it basically says that Ina was a beautiful, young maiden in love with the god of the Ocean, Tinirau. Tinirau lived on a floating island and asked Ina to come and see him. But she needed transportation across the waters and an unnamed shark offered to help her. She hopped on his back and they were off.

Afterwards, she became hungry and she wanted to break open one of the coconuts she had carried along. She hit it against the shark’s head to open it, denting his head in the process. The angry shark threw her off and she would have drowned (or he would have eaten her). Luckily, Tekea the Great came to her rescue and carried her to meet Tinirau.

Anyway, the islanders believe the knock on the head was how sharks got the indentations on their heads. SOURCE

I own a copy of this amazing book and one chapter covers the story of Nanaue, the Shark-Man of Hawai’i folklore and it is a book I highly recommend. You can purchase a copy HERE.

The Shark as a Spirit Animal SOURCE

Shark teeth have long been a symbol of strength and manhood.

Sailors and surfers often wear them for good luck and protection from drowning. In the Middle Ages people donned a shark tooth to protect them from poison in foods and beverages, which could easily translate into safeguarding us from toxic situations.

In Hawaii a story tells us that a young, brave warrior fought the God of the Sea. He won, and for his reward he received a necklace of shark teeth. So again we see them symbolic value of safety.

In this part of the world people consider the Shark spirit as a type of Ancestor or Deity known by the name Aumakua.

In Polynesia people wear a row of dots around their ankle to protect from Shark bites (or in this case whatever’s nipping at your heels). Shark as a Spirit Animal could be letting you know to watch for those who would try to bring you down by “cutting your legs out from under you”.

In the animal kingdom, males are often presumed to be the most dominant, but in the ocean, does this presumption hold water? Scientists search for answers to understand if the biggest and baddest sharks of them all are female. From the great white sharks of South Africa to the tiger sharks in the Maldives, scientist teams seek to uncover the ultimate rulers of the waves.

People born with a Shark Totem have amazing energy and deep emotions. Now, this may sound odd considering Sharks pretty much have only one facial expression that we are aware of. But, with Water as their element, of course they are creatures of the dreamscape and the real of psychic awareness.

In this, Sharks are not void of emotion but, rather, complete masters of it. They do not wear their emotions on their fins but you may rest assured they “feel” a great deal.

Wherever Shark people swim it seems like opportunity is only a cresting wave away. Shark people have intense drive and enthusiasm. You come by it naturally. Remember, Sharks never stop moving.

You may find yourself wanting to travel and find challenging adventures. In the pursuit of your goals, those with Shark as a Totem Animal will torpedo fearlessly forward until they’ve caught the bait.

Symbolic Meanings of the Shark

  • Comprehension
  • Family Safety
  • Sure Movement & Action
  • Personal Power
  • Leadership
  • Work Ethic
  • Advancement
  • Past Life Awareness
  • Transformation
  • Shape Shifting
  • Productivity
  • Independence
  • Bravery
A team of shark scientists from Florida International University, are on an expedition to try and find the world’s biggest great hammerhead.

So as you can see there is a LOT regarding the world of Sharks in worldwide coastal culture and I could have kept going on but instead I feel it can conclude here but with some further resources I looked into that I highly recommend checking out. Sharks are given such negative representation by Hollywood and even in media yet Sharks are one of the most important species regarding the ecosystem of the oceans of the world and must be respected and protected. I can only hope that doing my part with this blog post will help others realize how essential they are not just in the balance of nature but in our spiritual lives as well.

Further Resources

Hawaiian Shark Mythology

Sharks in Hawaiian mythology

Sharks in Mythology

Unveiling the Mystical Connections: Sharks and Indigenous Mythology

Sharks, Sawfishes, and Rays: Their Folklore

Takuaka – The Myth of the Shark God

Shark Folklore Around The World: Myths And Legends

Fiji’s Shark Legends

In Photos: How Ancient Sharks and ‘Sea Monsters’ Inspired Mayan Myths

The Shark spirit animal : Symbolism and meaning

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The Akhlut of Inuit Folklore

Creatures of folklore from indigenous cultures around thew world is one of my many fascinations. From the Rougarou of Cajun folklore to the Selkies of Irish folklore and many in-between. However I must say my absolute favorite has to be the Akhlut of Inuit folklore and for two specific reasons which its makeup of being a hybrid of a Wolf and Orca. I briefly touched on the Akhlut in my Orca blog post but today I wanted to go into more detail on this fierce creature who hunts the Arctic regions of Canada and Greenland.

In Inuit folklore, the kăk-whăn’-û-ghăt kǐg-û-lu’-nǐk or akh’lut is an orca-like composite animal that takes the form of a wolf when on land, and is sometimes depicted as a wolf-orca hybrid.

In 1900, the American naturalist Edward William Nelson described the kăk-whăn’-û-ghăt kǐg-û-lu’-nǐk among a number of other mythical and composite animals:

“It is described as being similar in form to the killer whale and is credited with the power of changing at will to a wolf; after roaming about over the land it may return to the sea and again become a whale. While in the wolf form it is known by the above name, and the Eskimo say they know that this change takes place as they have seen wolf tracks leading to the edge of the sea ice and ending at the water, or beginning at the edge of the water and leading to the shore. … These animals are said to be very fierce and to kill men.”

– Edward William Nelson

Nelson attributed stories of the creature to the orca (akh’lut), and explained wolf tracks appearing to lead into the sea as the result of ice breaking away from the edge. He identifies other composite animals among Inuit folklore, including a white whale that can transform into a reindeer, and says that belief in the kăk-whăn’-û-ghăt kǐg-û-lu’-nǐk is prevalent among Inuit along the shore of the Bering Sea. SOURCE

Akhlut are known for their ferocity, and they hunt humans and animals alike.

The Akhlut is from Inuit mythology and is considered a rather vicious beast.  As you can see, it has orca traits as well as four legs.  This is because this aggressive spirit takes the form of an orca, but transforms into a wolf in order to hunt on land.  You can tell one has been around when you find wolf tracks leading to or from the icy water.  This is pretty much it as far as physical traits since it is fairly elusive.  There are times where it is described as a hybrid of a wolf and orca like above.

There are many origin myths for the Akhlut, but this is the one I found most often.  A man became obsessed with the sea and wanted to stay there.  It reached the point where the people of his village could not recognize him, so they made him leave.  He ‘hungered for revenge’ and joined a pack of wolves to survive.  He may have worked with the wolves to attack villagers, but that wasn’t consistent.  Anyway, his love of the ocean returned after he fed and he dove in to transform into an orca.  Now, he remains in that form, but returns to land and becomes a wolf whenever he is ‘hungry for revenge’.  It does appear that this eventually evolved into hungry for food over time. SOURCE

In this exhaustive story collection, the rich tradition of Inuit storytelling becomes accessible to the rest of Canada for the first time. Unipkaaqtut is the Inuit word meaning “to tell stories.”
This definitive collection of Inuit legends is thoughtfully introduced and carefully annotated to provide the historical and cultural context in which to understand this rich oral tradition.
Read about the origin of thunder and lightning, the tale of the man who married a fox and many animal fables from the North. Fascinating and educational, this little-known part of Canada’s heritage will captivate readers of all ages. As a work of historical and cultural preservation, this text will be invaluable to those studying Inuit.

What Always comes back into these stories though, is that there are footprints of a wolf to be found going to, or from the ocean, without any signs of the wolf leaving, or going to the ocean. There are, however, some simple explanations for this. First of all, the chunk of ice the arctic wolf was coming from/ going to, simply broke off. Either with the wolf still on it, or with the wolf already having left, but a few meters away. The second solution is somewhat more mysterious, and still some kind of myth. It says that sometimes, when alder arctic wolves are being rejected by a pack, they would commit suicide by jumping in the cold, icy water and drown themselves. This is rather odd, however, because survival instinct should prevent them from doing that, because it’s very strong with animals. The third explanation is that the wolf jumped into the water, swam a little bit, and came onto shore a few meters away. However, this would mean that the wolf would need a reason to swim, because it’s not really nice to swim at the north pole, and it can be rather dangerous, so this theory also has his flaws. SOURCE

Discover the world of Inuit mythology! In this video you will delve into the rich culture and beliefs of the Inuit peoples of North America. Discover their gods and spirits, their legends and myths that have been passed down from generation to generation. In this video you will learn the history of the Inuit gods, such as Sedna, the goddess of the sea and marine animals, and Nanook, the god of bears and hunting. We will also explore Inuit spirits, such as the Tupilak, spirits that could be summoned to harm others. In addition, you will discover the fascinating Inuit legends, such as that of Igaluk, the god of the moon and Malina, goddess of the sun. You will also learn about the legend of the Tunita or Dorsett, who according to legend, were the first inhabitants of their land and are described as having the musculature and strength of a polar bear.

So as you can see there is little known about this fearsome creature of the Arctic but even with what is known the Akhlut is not only my favorite creature of folklore but actually one that really resonates me on a personal and spiritual level especially due to the origin story of the Akhlut. In the future I do plan on featuring other creatures of Inuit folklore along with creatures of folklore from around the world.

Further Resources

Akhlut

Akhlut, Hunter From the Depth

What is the origin of the akhlut’s name?

Things that go bump – Akhlut

Sedna: Inuit Goddess of the Sea

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Chechnya: The Folklore, Mythology and Ancient Religions

If you have followed my blog over the past two years you will know how fascinated I am by ancient culture, mythology, folklore and indigenous traditions. Some I have shared are very well known and some not so much. Today I want to dive into a place and people that unfortunately most are not aware of have a rich history regarding their spiritual beliefs that is on a small scale as far as I have researched still exists. That place is the land of Chechnya and its people. So let’s get into it and I hope you enjoy what I am about to share with you.

Introduction

The Chechens (/ˈtʃɛtʃɛnz, tʃəˈtʃɛnz/Chechen: Нохчий, Noxçiy, Old Chechen: Нахчой, Naxçoy), historically also known as Kisti and Durdzuks, are a Northeast Caucasian ethnic group of the Nakh peoples native to the North Caucasus. They are the largest ethnic group of the North Caucasus and refer to themselves as Nokhchiy; singular Nokhchi, Nokhcho, Nakhchuo or Nakhtche). The vast majority of Chechens today are Muslims and live in Chechnya, a republic of Russia. The North Caucasus has been invaded numerous times throughout history. Its isolated terrain and the strategic value outsiders have placed on the areas settled by Chechens has contributed much to the Chechen community ethos and helped shape its national character. Chechen society has traditionally been egalitarian and organized around many autonomous local clans, called teips.

A teip (also taip, teyp; Nakh [ˈtajpə]family, kin, clan, tribe) is a Chechen and Ingush tribal organization or clan, self-identified through descent from a common ancestor or geographic location. It is a sub-unit of the tukkhum and shahar. There are about 150 Chechen and 120 Ingush teips. Teips played an important role in the socioeconomic life of the Chechen and Ingush peoples before and during the Middle Ages, and continue to be an important cultural part to this day. Teips being sub-units of tukkhums, members of the same teip are traditionally thought to descend from a common ancestor, and thus are considered distant blood relatives. Teip names were often derived from an ancestral founder. As is also true of many other North Caucasian peoples, traditionally Chechen and Ingush men were expected to know the names and places of origin of ancestors on their father’s side, going back many generations, with the most common number being considered as 7. Many women also memorized this information, and keener individuals can often recite their maternal ancestral line as well. The memorization of the information serves as a way to impute clan loyalty to younger generations. Among peoples of the Caucasus, traditionally, large scale land disputes could sometimes be solved with the help of mutual knowledge of whose ancestors resided where and when.

The Chechens, who call themselves noxchii (singular noxchi or noxchuo ) and their land Noxchiin moxk (“Chechen land”), are the largest indigenous nationality of the North Caucasus. They speak a language of the Nakh-Daghestanian, or East Caucasian language family that is native to the Caucasus, and have lived in or near their present locations for millennia. Chechnya is a small territory of about 5,000 sq. mi. (13,000 sq. km.) corresponding to about 85 percent of the historical Chechen lands (the rest is in today’s Daghestan), with some non-Chechen steppe land added in the north. The lower North Caucasus foothills and adjacent plain including the capital city of Grozny (Soelzha-ghaala “Sunzha City” in Chechen, a name still much in use despite its official renaming to Djohar in 1996) are the most densely populated part of Chechnya. The Chechens numbered just over a million in mid-2000 according to a Danish Refugee Council census. Somewhat over half of the world’s Chechens live in Chechnya; most of the others are scattered throughout Russia, several tens of thousands live in Kazakhstan and nearby, and a few tens of thousands in JordanTurkey, and Syria. Continue reading HERE.

Chechens: Culture and Society is an ethnography that elaborates the lived experiences of Chechens, focusing primarily on relationships and socio-cultural norms within the context of the current conflict in the Chechen Republic.

The Mythology and Folklore

Although the Vainak peoples (Chechens and Ingush) of the North Caucasus were Islamized relatively late in the early modern period, Amjad Khaimuka (2005) explores their pre-Islamic religion and mythology, including traces of ancestor worship. I propose to rebuild some of the elements. and a funeral cult. The Nak, like many other peoples of the North Caucasus, such as the Circassians and Ossetians, practiced tree worship and believed that trees were the abode of spirits. The Vainak have developed many rituals for offering specific types of wood. The pear tree held a special place in Vainakh beliefs.

Jaimoukha (2005), page 252, contains a list of reconstructed ‘Vainak gods’. Dar (Chechen), Dar (Ingush) or Dara – Supreme God. Corresponds to the Greek Zeus, the Roman Jupiter, the Germanic Wodan, and the Circassian Teshwe. Gal-Yerdi or Gela – Sun god and patron of cattle breeders. Worship services were held on Nak New Year’s Day, with metal spheres, candles, and sometimes animal sacrifices. Hera – God of Darkness. Seela or Sela – God of stars, thunder and lightning. Sera is often portrayed as an evil and cruel deity in Vainak mythology. His skeins (loose bags made of animal skins) contained “nights” (stars, lightning, thunder). He lives on top of Mount Kazbek in a fiery chariot. It was he who chained Puharmat to the mountain for stealing fire, and for this reason it was forbidden to carry embers and ashes on Wednesdays in his month in the old Vainakh calendar. During the period of Christianization in Chechnya and Ingushetia, he (like Vatshira in Ossetia and Ilya Muromiets in Russia) was identified with Elijah the Prophet and maintained his status. He also, like the Greek Zeus, was unable to control his mortal lust for women (to the dismay of his wife Hulki), and as a result of his episode with a mortal maiden, his daughter, the goddess Sera Sata was born. Sata or Sera Sata – According to various versions, Sheila’s wife or daughter. Goddess of craftsmanship, especially female craftsmanship, equivalent to Satanaya in the Northwest Caucasus. Her face is described as beautiful and shining like the sun. She guides Pukarmat to the top of Mount Kazbek and helps him steal Serra Fire for Earth’s inhabitants. Maetsill – God of agriculture and harvests, and protector of the weak. Ishtar-Deela – Lord of life and death, ruler of the underworld (“Deeli-Malkhi”), responsible for punishing the wicked. Molyz-Yerdi – War god who brought victory to Vaynak. Elta – God of hunting and animals, and of the harvest before Maethir took over the role. He was blinded in one eye due to his father Dheera’s disobedience. Amgali (-Yerdi) – minor deity. Taamash(-Yerdi) – (“Lord of Wonders”) Lord of Destiny. It’s usually small, but when it gets angry, it becomes huge. Tusholi – Goddess of fertility, protector of those greater than her father, Deela. She is believed to live in the sacred Gullane Am Lake. According to scholars, Tushori was the primary deity in early beliefs. People petitioned her for healthy offspring, a bountiful harvest, and a prosperous herd of cattle. In later times, Tushori became an object of worship mainly for childless women. She had a holy day, Tushori Day, on which women brought offerings such as red deer horns, bullets, and candles to the sanctuary of Mount Dheerateh (except for priests and priests). could only be entered with explicit permission). (It was forbidden to cut down trees.) Her day is now considered “Children’s and Women’s Day”. The hoopoe, known as the ‘chicken of Tushori’, was considered ‘her’ bird and could not be hunted except with the permission of the high priest and strictly for medical purposes. Dartsa-Naana (“Mother of Blizzards”) – Goddess of blizzards and avalanches. She lives on the snowy summit of Mount Kazbek, drawing a magical circle around it, which no mortal of any sense dares to cross. If any would dare to do so, Datha Nana would cast them into the abyss and let deadly snow roll upon them in her mountain home. Mok Nana – Goddess of the wind. Seelasat – (“Oriole”) Guardian of the Virgin (probably identical to Sata / Sela Sata, see above). Meler Yerdi – God of plants and cereal drinks. Aira – Guardian of the Eternal Timeline. Mozh – The evil sister of the Sun and Moon. Shrikes have eaten all their other relatives in the sky and are now in constant pursuit of their celestial brethren. A rare eclipse occurs when she catches up with them and takes them prisoner. Mr. Moz agrees to release Sun and Moon only at the request of his innocent eldest daughter. Bolam-Deela – Not much is known about him/her. He/she may or may not have been equal to Dheera Mark. Khagya-Yerdi or Maetzkhali – Lord of the Rock. Mattir-Deela – Another lesser-known god. P’eerska – (Friday) Keeper of Time. SOURCE

Closed Captions in English is available for this video.

When meeting the Chechen mythology and Chechen pagan cults, their connection with the culture of Asia and Europe is clearly traced. This is explained by the fact that since the third century AD, the Caucasus has been the intersection of the routes of communication of many Eastern and European civilizations. Thus, in the language, cults and mythology of the Chechen Republic, in its everyday traditions, up to the present day, the features of the culture of the peoples of Asia, the Mediterranean and Europe are preserved. The same applies to the Chechen theater, music and dance culture of Chechnya. Due to the constant military actions on the territory of the Chechen Republic over many centuries, a significant part of the cultural heritage of the people was irretrievably lost. But the traditions turned out to be alive thanks to the Chechen people, who retained their cultural and ethnic identity.

The number of genres of modern Chechen folklore is impressive: it is the traditional Nart heroic epic and associated mythology, various fairy tales, legends, tales and legends, religious, children’s and ritual folklore, plays, songs and poems of the so-called tyullik and Zhukhurgov. Chechen mythology is not so rich, but it is interesting with relics of pastoral and agricultural cults and totemic beliefs, and the myth “How the sun, moon and stars happened” is just a fundamental work of cosmogony and a significant historical monument of folk culture.

The Vainakh symbol of Dela-Malx. on the stone is the Ingush symbol of sun/earth motion, as is on the flag of Ingushetia:
Dela-Malx was the main god. In ancient Vainakh traditions they days honoured were the winter and summer solstice, except it is in the opposite perspective… in December, the darkest day of the year, was celebrated the “birth” of the sun (positive sense) and in June, the lightest day of the year, was the “death” of the sun (almost negative sense), as the days would then become shorter.

The heroic epic of Chechnya is in many ways similar to that of the Balkars, Ossetians, Circassians and Karachais – both in form and content. Basically, it has three epic groups: legends about giants (cyclops, giants with two eyes and giants – the founders of clans), works about national heroes and traditions – legends that are not associated with the Nart epic, but have a heroic-epic typology. Here is a translation of an excerpt from a legend typical of the second epic group of works:

So only on the battle lined up both nations with the leaders,
Troy sons rush, with chatter, with a cry, like birds:
Creek is such a crane is distributed under the high sky
If, having avoided both winter storms and endless rains,
Screaming herds fly through the rapid flow of the Ocean,
Swearing threatening and killing men undersized, pygmies,
With terrible rage on whom from air heights attack.

Chechen fairy tales are very similar to works of a similar genre of other peoples of the North Caucasus and Europe. The plot is a fairy tale magic, domestic, tales of animals, where good always triumphs over evil, and the main character usually comes out the winner from various difficult situations. SOURCE

The Vainakh peoples (Chechen: вайн нах, Ingush вей нах “our people”) are the speakers of the Vainakh languages. These are chiefly the ethnic Chechen, Ingush and Kist peoples of the North Caucasus, including closely related minor or historical groups.

Vainakh Deities

The gods of the Chechen and Ingush peoples SOURCE

Necropolis in Itum Kale(Chechnya), and tower of Tsoi-Pheda protecting the peace of the dead

The following is a list of Vainakh divinities — from “Amaga-erda”, the protector of lakes, to the “Votshabi”, the spirits which watch over herds of aurochs. This list was copied from Mariel Tsaroieva’s amazing Anciennes Croyances des Ingouches et des Tchétchènes (“Ancient Beliefs of the Ingush and the Chechens”, published in 2005), which I found in a remainders bookshop in Brussels. Ms Tsaroieva is of Ingush origin, and holds a PhD in History of Religion from the prestigious Institut National des Langues et Civilizations Orientales in Paris. A former teacher of romance linguistics at the state universities of Chechnya-Ingushetia and Kyrgyzstan, she has published many articles and books on folklore and “geolinguistics”, both in Russian and in French.

The list reads as follows:

The Gods of the World

“diala” — the god-father

“tusholi” — the goddess-mother

“kurkhars” or “tshugul” — the hairstyle of Ingush women

“tq’a” — the god of the universe

“nana latta” — mother earth

“h’al-erda” — the sky-god

“mago-erda” — the god of magic and of wisdom and knowledge

“eshtar” — the god of the afterlife


The Astral Divinities

“malkha” — the sun-god

“but’ ” — the moon-god

Seela or Sela – God of stars, thunder and lightning. Sela is often portrayed in Vainakh myth as an evil and cruel god. His skein (a loose bag made of animal skin) held the “night” (stars, lightning and thunder). He lives on the top of Mount Kazbek with his fiery chariot.


The Gods of Nature


“seli” — the god of (thunder-)storms and lightning

“dardza-nana” — the goddess of snowstorms

“mikha-nana” — the goddess of the winds

“khi-nana” — the goddess of rivers and springs

“amaga-erda” — the protector of lakes

“hagar-erda” or “hirga-erda” — the aurochs-god or the rock-god

“amgali-erda” and “saniba-erda” — the tribal gods

“kherkh-erda” — the god of fruit-trees (also protector of great trees, with the “naj-gantskhoi”, the spirits which protect “naj”, “oak trees”)



The Gods of Various Domains of Rural Life

“elta” — the god of hunting

“votshabi” — the spirits which protect herds of aurochs

The “Masters of the Woods” and their daughters or sisters, the “almas”

“tamij-erda” — the god of stock-breeding

“mat-tseli” — the god of agriculture and of justice and equality

“matir-diala” or “matar-diala” — the god of haymaking

“mats-khali” — the god of renewal (of crops)

“boalam-diala” — the god of plants (vegetation) and of travellers



The Gods of Social Life

“susan-diala” — the protector of women and of maternity (i.e. the protector of mothers)

“agoi” — the protector of girls

“orkhus” or “orkhush” — the god of fecundity and procreation

“dika-seli” — the god of goodness and kindness

“arda” — the god of boundaries (or of boundary-markers?) and of clan possessions



The Gods of Work and Handicrafts

“sela-sata” — the protector of handicrafts and know-how

“p’harmat” — the blacksmith-god

“malar-erda” — the god of intoxicating drinks (i.e. the god of alcohol)

“moloz” — the god of war


The Gods of Disease

“una-nana” — the goddess of contagious diseases

“higiz” or “hegiz” — the goddess of smallpox



Some Forgotten Gods of Antiquity

“ami” and “h’ur-ami” or “fur-ami” — perhaps the god of good tidings and the goddesses of the winds, respectively

“baini-seli” — the god of agriculture, perhaps, now replaced by “mat-tseli”; apparently related to the Georgian Mokheve (i.e. the inhabitants of Khevi, the valley of the Terek between the Djvari Pass and the Daryal Gorge)

“falkhan” — probably related to Mago-erda, the god of wisdom and knowledge

“suvsa” — probably the ancient goddess-mother

“sampai-tsuge” or “siampai-tsuoge” — probably the ancient god of trees or of forests; sometimes worshipped as the rain-god

In Conclusion

I really enjoyed putting this post together and learned quite a lot regarding this subject and plan to look more into the traditions and folklore of the people of Chechnya. I found a real treasure trove of resources which I will include for those of you who want to learn more about the amazing folklore and mythology which originated from the ancient people of such a fascinating culture.

Further Resources

Chechen native religion

The legend of the “Hordune-Din” (the “Sea Stallion”)

The Pagan Religious Practices of the Chechens and the Ingush

The Shamanic Themes in Chechen Folktales

The Origin of the Chechen and Ingush: A Study in Alpine Linguistic and Ethnic Geography

The Diversity of the Chechen culture: from historical roots to the present

Chechen Fairy Tales, Fables and Stories

The Abrek in Chechen Folklore

Dancing Through Mythological Threads: Unraveling the Symbolism of Chechen Dance

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The Kingfisher: Facts, Folklore and More

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I was exposed to a huge variety of Flora and Fauna in the beautiful nature that is Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. My favorite was and still is the coastal region of the PNW. It is common to see Terns, Seagulls, Orcas, Sea Lions and more. One little colorful and energetic coastal bird that is quite common to see, especially around the Columbia river bar is the Belted Kingfisher.

Recently after reading a small excerpt from one of my books and discussion with a close friend of mine I had quite the revelation that my bird spirit animal is indeed the Kingfisher. Making all four spirit animals of mine marine animals (Canadian Coastal Wolf, Hammerhead Shark, Giant Manta Ray and Kingfisher).

So with today’s blog post I want to cover the facts, folklore and spiritual meaning of this beautiful and very important species.

Kingfisher facts

kingfisher, any of about 90 species of birds in three families (Alcedinidae, Halcyonidae, and Cerylidae), noted for their spectacular dives into water. They are worldwide in distribution but are chiefly tropical. Kingfishers, ranging in length from 10 to 42 cm (4 to 16.5 inches), have a large head, a long and massive bill, and a compact body. Their feet are small, and, with a few exceptions, the tail is short or medium-length. Most species have vivid plumage in bold patterns, and many are crested.

These vocal, colourful birds are renowned for their dramatic hunting techniques. Typically, the bird sits still, watching for movement from a favourite perch. Having sighted its quarry, it plunges into the water and catches the fish usually no deeper than 25 cm (10 inches) below the surface in its dagger-shaped bill. With a swift downstroke of the wings, it bobs to the surface. It then takes the prey back to the perch and stuns the fish by beating it against the perch before swallowing it. Many species also eat crustaceans, amphibians, and reptiles. SOURCE

More Fun Facts

  • Kingfishers have something called a nictitating membrane which is a thin translucent eyelid that protects their eyes when they dive underwater.
  • When they breed they build their nest burrow into the stone-free sandy soil of a low stream bank. These burrows can also be utilized by Swallows.
  • You won’t see these birds near polluted waters since the fish population is not big enough to support them. Each Kingfisher needs to eat its body weight in fish everyday.
  • Males and females will combine their territories during breeding season in order to feed their young. During the colder months they will often divide their summer territory. Each territory covers about 1km of river. SOURCE
A Belted Kingfisher relaxing on the shores of the Columbia river bar Chinook Harbor, Wa. SOURCE

Cool facts of the Belted Kingfisher

  • The breeding distribution of the Belted Kingfisher is limited in some areas by the availability of suitable nesting sites. Human activity, such as road building and digging gravel pits, has created banks where kingfishers can nest and allowed the expansion of the breeding range.
  • The Belted Kingfisher is one of the few bird species in which the female is more brightly colored than the male. Among the nearly 100 species of kingfishers, the sexes often look alike. In some species the male is more colorful, and in others the female is.
  • During breeding season the Belted Kingfisher pair defends a territory against other kingfishers. A territory along a stream includes just the streambed and the vegetation along it, and averages 0.6 mile long. The nest burrow is usually in a dirt bank near water. The tunnel slopes upward from the entrance, perhaps to keep water from entering the nest. Tunnel length ranges from 1 to 8 feet.
  • As nestlings, Belted Kingfishers have acidic stomachs that help them digest bones, fish scales, and arthropod shells. But by the time they leave the nest, their stomach chemistry apparently changes, and they begin regurgitating pellets which accumulate on the ground around fishing and roosting perches. Scientists can dissect these pellets to learn about the kingfisher’s diet without harming or even observing any wild birds.
  • Belted Kingfishers wander widely, sometimes showing up in the Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, the British Isles, the Azores, Iceland, Greenland, and the Netherlands.
  • Pleistocene fossils of Belted Kingfishers (to 600,000 years old) have been unearthed in Florida, Virginia, Tennessee, and Texas. The oldest known fossil in the kingfisher genus is 2 million years old, found in Alachua County, Florida. SOURCE
The Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher is one of the most enigmatic and rarely filmed birds in the world. This fascinating documentary spends a year with them as they survive monsoons, droughts and predators to raise their brood for the next season.

Kingfisher as a Spirit Animal

In Polynesia, where the bird is sacred, the Kingfisher represents control over the seas. The connection is easy to see when you learn about the Kingfishers’ preference for living near water bodies where they can find food. Some clever Kingfishers even take to stocked backyard ponds!

When Kingfisher arrives in your life as a Spirit Animal, it heralds a time of abundance and peace. You have harvested the results of competent labor and begin attracting good fortune. Rejoice! Open your wings and fly on the winds of prosperity. Kingfisher will pull you back, however, if you misuse the blessing.

Kingfisher sometimes arrives as a Spirit Animal when you struggle with a specific fear. Kingfisher teaches you how to invoke courage and tackle anything coming your way head-on. The fear you experience may be because of an “unknown”- something you won’t truly discover until you reach the horizon. Kingfisher Spirit reminds you, such situations can open the way to expanded consciousness. Transform fear into anticipation.

The Kingfisher Spirit Animal brings new things into your life. Perhaps there will be a change in careers, a potential mate, or a skill you’ve been trying to develop. Whatever focus the Kingfisher brings, stick to it. Keep it in your sights. The best part? You will have a ton of fun.
For individuals who struggle with self-expression, the Kingfisher is a welcome ally. Explore the words you use and how you use them. Think about body language. Apply the psychic gifts you have for tapping into intent. If you heed your Spirit Animal’s advice, people will see you, hear you, and understand you fully.
SOURCE

Take a dive into the wonderful and diverse world of kingfishers. Explore their physical characteristics and how they differ between the different families, the habitats in which they abide and what they eat (not all is what it seems!) and the countries where they are found. Discover over 50 species of kingfisher and what makes them all incredibly unique.

Celtic symbolism connects the kingfisher to serenity, patience, and the vibrant beauty of nature. The way that kingfishers wait for their prey alongside ponds and streams evokes a sense of tranquility and watchfulness. The Welsh poet William Henry Davies wrote of the kingfisher in his 1910 poem of the same name:

“It was the Rainbow gave thee birth,
And left thee all her lovely hues;
And, as her mother’s name was Tears,
So runs it in my blood to choose
For haunts the lonely pools, and keep
In company with trees that weep.
Go you and, with such glorious hues,
Live with proud peacocks in green parks;
On lawns as smooth as shining glass,
Let every feather show its marks;
Get thee on boughs and clap thy wings
Before the windows of proud kings.
Nay, lovely Bird, thou art not vain;
Thou hast no proud, ambitious mind;
I also love a quiet place
That’s green, away from all mankind;
A lonely pool, and let a tree
Sigh with her bosom over me”

William Henry Davies

Kingfisher in Dreams

Dreaming of a kingfisher is largely a positive experience which indicates the start of a peaceful or joyous period in one’s life. A kingfisher’s appearance in a dream may mean that you have entered a period of rest or calm, and that you should take this time to renew yourself and acknowledge your blessings with gratitude.

A kingfisher dream may also indicate longing. It may be a sign that your energy is too focused on something unattainable. Be especially cautious about nostalgia. The past is perhaps the most unattainable object of all; you can only move forward. SOURCE

More than one hundred species of kingfishers brighten every continent but Antarctica. Not all are fishing birds. They range in size from the African dwarf kingfisher to the laughing kookaburra of Australia. This first book to feature North America’s belted kingfisher is a lyrical story of observation, revelation, and curiosity in the presence of flowing waters.

The kingfisher—also known as the halcyon bird—is linked to the mythic origin of halcyon days, a state of happiness that Marina Richie hopes to find outside her back door in Missoula, Montana. Epiphanies and a citizen science discovery punctuate days tracking a bird that outwits at every turn. The female is more colorful than the male (unusual and puzzling) and the birds’ earthen nest holes are difficult to locate.

While the heart of the drama takes place on Rattlesnake Creek in Missoula, the author’s adventures in search of kingfisher kin on the lower Rio Grande, in South Africa, and in London illuminate her relationships with the birds of Montana. In the quiet of winter, she explores tribal stories of the kingfisher as messenger and helper, pivotal qualities for her quest. For all who love birds or simply seek solace in nature, Halcyon Journey is an inviting introduction to the mythic and mysterious belted kingfisher.

Kingfisher Encounters and Omens

An encounter with a kingfisher is often a sign that you need to slow down and exercise some patience. Kingfishers are the ultimate stoics, placidly surveying the water below for as long as it takes. If you encounter a kingfisher, it may mean that you must wait in order to achieve your goal.

Additionally, a kingfisher encounter may be an invitation to stop and smell the roses. Do your best to enjoy the present without fixating on a singular goal or desire. Nature’s beauty is all around us and it never costs a dime. The kingfisher reminds us to be grateful for what we have and for all of the amazing things that we have the opportunity to experience each day. SOURCE

Kingfishers in Folklore and Mythology

The kingfisher is a small blue and orange bird that can be found in most of the world. In Greek mythology, Alcyone, a Thessalian princess, and Ceyx, the son of Lucifer, were married. They sometimes called themselves Zeus and Hera. This angered Zeus and he threw a thunderbolt at Ceyx’s ship while he was out to sea. Ceyx was killed. Morpheus, the god of dreams, came to Alcyone in a dream as Ceyx and told her of his fate. Alcyone was overcome and drowned herself. The gods took pity on them and turned them both into kingfishers. Kingfishers were also known as Halcyons in Ancient Greece. Any days of calm and peacefulness are called Halcyon days.

Polynesians believed the sacred kingfisher had control over the water and the waves.

Different Native American tribes have different symbolism for kingfishers. According to Makkah legend, when the earth was populated by the Two-Men-Who-Changed-Things, they turned a fisherman who was also a thief into the kingfisher. The white feathers around the kingfisher’s neck were the shells from the necklace that the thief had stolen. A kingfisher on a totem pole represents speed, agility, luck, and patience. The Sioux associate the kingfisher with fertility. Most North Coast Indians view the kingfisher as a sign of good luck.

The Dusun people in Malaysia consider the kingfisher a bad omen. Warriors who saw a kingfisher when going into battle were supposed to return home.

In China, kingfishers are symbols for faithfulness and happy marriages.

In Sabah, from 1982-88 the coat of arms depicted a kingfisher. Traditional fishermen considered the kingfisher a messenger of the gods. SOURCE

This is the story of an animal filmmaker who fulfilled a childhood dream: a documentary, featuring the reclusive and rare kingfisher. The material was not shot in some distant country; it was made here in Germany, in the centre of Europe’s green heart, near a tributary of the Rhine. Animal filmmaker Hans-Jürgen Zimmermann used to admire the flying diamond even as a small child. As an adult, he could at last capture this beautiful bird on film – closer and more intensive than ever before. The results enable us to share his observations as if we had actually participated in the film our-selves. Watch the kingfisher, caught on the wing whilst hunting. Experience how elegantly and powerfully the bird breaks the surface of the water, thereby catching small fish. Enjoy detailed footage of the exciting family life of these fascinating animals. The film reveals the secret life of the timid kingfisher, from the beginning of territorial conflicts in spring, the digging of a breeding hollow and the hostile attacks of a sparrow hawk, to the persistent expelling of the young birds from the parental territory – all captured in truly unique pictures. Experience a passionate and unforgettable documentary. Look forward to this delightful declaration of love to our wild nature – and to the flying diamond.

There is so much more I could add regarding this amazing global species known as the Kingfisher but I feel I have covered a really good amount of content. Even as I put this blog post together I have felt a deeper connection to the Kingfisher and even plan to purchase the book I found for this post. I feel like I personally need to learn more about this species and specifically focus on the Belted Kingfisher which I absolutely intend to do.

Further Resources

The Myth of Halcyon – Halcyon Days

Kingfisher Symbolism: 7 Spiritual Meanings of Kingfisher

The Ancient Greeks Believed Kingfishers Were Born of Epic Love

Native American Kingfisher Mythology

Take on Nature: Why the kingfisher is known as ‘the halcyon bird’

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Pinecones – the Ins and Outs 

Pinecones – the Ins and Outs by W1tchsbrew

Be sure to check her Etsy shop Wood ov Wyrd

Pine trees, which belong to the ancient group of plants called gymnosperms, are one of the oldest plant species on earth, dating back to more than one and a half million years.

 They produce cone-shaped organs known as pinecones.

The main function of a pinecone is to keep a pine tree’s seeds safe. 

Pinecones close their scales to protect the seeds from cold temperatures, wind and animals – such as squirrels, birds or deer.

Pinecones open up and release their seeds when it is warm and easier for the seed to germinate.

However, despite popular opinion, pine trees cannot grow from the cones themselves. 

The cone is the husk, protecting the seeds inside.

Pinecones can sometimes stay on pine trees for more than 10 years before falling to the ground.

Pinecones, as you know them, are the FEMALE of the species.

The male cones, even at maturity, are smaller, softer, and much less distinctive than the iconic female cones. You might not have ever noticed them. The male cones release pollen, which drifts into the air and eventually finds female cones.

All members of the pine family (pine, spruce, firs, cedars, larches, hemlocks, yews, etc) have cones, but “pinecones” only come from pine trees.

 The largest recorded pinecones in the world are from the Coulter Pines of California/Baja California. Known as “widow makers,” these giant cones with dagger-like scales can weight up to 11lbs.

The Fibonacci numbers are Nature’s numbering system. They appear everywhere in Nature, from the pattern of the florets of a flower…to the bracts of a pinecone.

In this case, we see a double set of spirals – one going in a clockwise direction and one in the opposite direction. 

When these spirals are counted, the two sets are found to be adjacent Fibonacci numbers. This is otherwise known as the “golden ratio”.

Pine Cones are everywhere in the Sierra Nevada foothills where we live. We use them in our wood stoves as kindling, but I’ve never really stopped to think about what they really are, what their purpose is or why they’re so dang sharp. Today, I learned more than any one person should about the common Pine Cone. Turns out they’re actually very interesting.

Are pinecones edible?

When prepared properly, some green pine cones are technically edible, although, for some, they may be difficult to digest.

Pine nuts, also known as pine seeds, are the edible seeds contained within pinecones. Pine nuts contain protein, carbs, fat, vitamin K, vitamin B1 (thiamine), and magnesium.

Pine nuts have been a staple for Native peoples for thousands of years. Historically, Native peoples ate the raw nuts, ground them into a pine nut flour, made pine nut butter, or used them in soup.

Pinecone Jam (similar to honey) has long been a staple in Ukraine, Georgia and Russia. 

Made from the natural syrup of boiled soft, green, young cones, the aromatic jam is used as a folk remedy for weakened immune systems. 

Pinecone jam has been used for centuries to treat bronchitis, cough, asthma, respiratory diseases, TB, arthritis, and cancers.

Additionally, cooks worldwide use the immature, green pinecones to use as edible garnish, season meat, or to slip into tea. 

Italians have been using pinecone nuts (“pignoli“) since the Middle Ages as a prime ingredient in pesto, and desserts such as torta della nonna, and pignoli cookies.

Since the pine tree is able to sprout after forest fires, on mountainsides, and in semi-desert climes, it is no surprise that the ever-resilient tree signifies longevity, wisdom, and immortality. From the pine cone staffs carried by the worshipers of Bacchus in the classical world to their role in the movement to establish national parks in nineteenth-century North America, pine trees and their symbolism run deep in cultures around the globe. In Pine, Laura Mason explores the many ways pines have inspired and been used by people throughout history.

Mason examines how the somber, brooding atmosphere of pine woods, the complex forms of pine cones, and the coniform shape of the trees themselves have aroused the creativity of artists, writers, filmmakers, and photographers. She also considers the many ways we use the tree—its resin once provided adhesives, waterproofing, and medicines, and its wood continues to be incorporated into buildings, furniture, and the pulp used to make paper, while its cones provide pine nuts and other food for animals and humans. Filled with one hundred illustrations, Pine provides a fascinating survey of these rugged, aromatic trees that are found the world over.

Pinecones in history, cultures and religion

The pineal gland takes its name from the pinecone. Not only is its shape similar, but just as the pinecone closes its scales when it’s cold or dark and opens itself up again when the warm weather returns, similarly, the pineal gland regulates melatonin levels to keep people awake during the day and asleep at night.

In 1600s Old English, the word “apple” was applied to coin terms for many fruits and flora such as “earth apple” (a potato), “love apple” (a tomato), and “oak apple” (the round nut produced by oak leaves). “Pine apple,” was named as such for the tropical fruit’s resemblance to pinecones. “Pineapple” is the only one of these Old English terms that stuck.

Throughout the span of recorded human history, pinecones have served as a significant symbolic representation and has always been a synonym of good wishes, embodying the meanings of life force, immortality and divinity.

As a symbol of royalty, the Pine was associated with the Greek goddess Pitthea.

To Sicilians, pinecones are a symbol of fertility, prosperity and abundance. 

In Greek mythology, Dionysus (also known as ‘Bacchus’ in Roman mythology), the god of wine and fruitfulness, carried a Thrysus – a fennel staff woven with ivy and leaves and topped with a pinecone. This staff was a symbol of fertility and was used for ritualistic purposes.

 Celtic women believed that placing a pinecone under their pillow would promote their chances to conceive.

For the Aztecs and the Assyrians, pinecones were a symbol of spirituality, immortality and enlightenment.

The Mexican god “Chicomecoatl” is sometimes depicted with an offering of pinecones in one hand, and an evergreen tree in the other. 

In Hinduism, several gods and goddesses are depicted with pinecones in their hands. 

Shiva, the deity of destruction, even has a hairdo that resembles a pinecone. 

The Egyptian Staff of Osiris (1224 BCE) depicts two spiraling snakes rising up to meet at a pinecone.

 The Catholic church uses the pinecone in its iconography as well. There is a pinecone carved into the staff that the Pope carries during religious ceremonies. Additionally, at the Vatican in Rome, you will see a gargantuan bronze pinecone statue.

In Buddhism, the pinecone’s role as a seed and its potential to grow into a towering tree are seen as symbols of the potential for enlightenment within all beings. It represents the inherent Buddha nature within each individual and the journey towards spiritual awakening.

In modern spiritual practices, such as Wicca and contemporary Paganism, the pinecone is often used as a symbol of nature’s wisdom, spiritual growth, protection, and the cycles of life and death. As a natural object, it is highly valued for its symbolism.

Pinecones and magic

Pinecones can be used for cleansing, purification, attraction, and repelling negative energy. 

Hang a pinecone over your bed to ward off nightmares, or illness during winter months.

Keep a pinecone on your altar or spiritual space to assist with keeping evil influences and negative energies at bay.

Place a pinecone in your car to provide protection from physical harm.

Burn pinecones in your hearth to protect and warm your home, or hang a pinecone over your door to bring positive, cleansing energy. 

(Please note: pinecones are extremely flammable. You only need one or two for a large fireplace – too many, and you’ll have a fire hazard.)

Placing a pinecone at your work desk is an excellent way to increase success and prosperity. 

Carry a pinecone to increase fertility, or to maintain health and strength. 

Meditate with a pinecone to help alleviate dark moods, or to connect your third eye and manifest your higher consciousness. 

You may use pinecones in ritual spells to cleanse, attract prosperity, to protect against negative energy, or to help “stay the course” during difficult times. 

In short

Pinecones have been an integral part of human societies and cultures since ancient times. 

As a practical and beautiful object, the pinecone continues to inspire and captivate human imagination. 

While it might appear like a simple object, it is replete with symbolism and meaning, making it highly valued in many different cultures and architecture.

Embodying rebirth, the essence of the majestic pine tree is captured in its beautifully simplistic and symmetric cone. Pinecones have thus come to represent, not only enlightenment, but our connection with the divine.

Further Resources

Did you know that many pine trees are edible? & not just edible but medicinal too? Pine trees are packed full of vitamins & antioxidants plus they are also antibacterial, antifungal & more! The pine trees bring with them many gifts into our world, The needles, bark, resin & even pollen all have many special properties free for us all to enjoy all year long. In this video we’ve created a guide to pine where we learn how to identify pine tree’s easily with 3 simple steps & we explore their world of free food & medicines so we can all welcome the joys & benefits of pine into our lives.

When do pine cones fall? And what to do with them

11 Amazing Uses for Pine Cones You Probably Didn’t Know

Can You Eat Pine Cones? {5 Best Uses for Edible Pine Cones}

6 Ways to Use Pine Cones in Your Garden

9 Clever & Practical Pine Cone Uses in the Home & Garden

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Aquamarine: The Sailor’s Stone

Aquamarine: The Sailor’s Stone by W1tchsbrew

Be sure to check her Etsy shop Wood ov Wyrd

Aquamarine is a beryl – a rare silicate mineral found in igneous and metamorphic rocks around the world, and a blue-green sister to the deep green emerald.

Aquamarine gemstones are found in a number of exotic places including Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Pakistan and Mozambique, and Brazil.

Color is a defining aspect of this gemstone, which is why most Aquamarines are heat-treated to remove yellow tones and enhance the bright blue hues in this stone.

There is an unmistakable passion behind the consistency with which Aquamarine is compared to the ocean.

Everything about this crystal swirls around water; from its name to its beautiful blue coloring’s, and even deeper – right down to its very meaning.

In Latin, Aquamarine was named ‘water of the sea’ – with Aqua meaning “Water” and Marine, “Of the Sea”. 

History and Folklore

This ocean blue gemstone was once believed to be the treasure of mermaids and was also said to be sacred to Neptune, Roman god of the sea. 

Early sailors would wear the jewel, with Neptune’s likeness carved into it. 

Aquamarine was often referred to as the “sailor’s gem” and was carried by Roman fishermen as a talisman on seafaring journeys for good luck with their catch, to protect them from rough seas, storms, shipwrecks, and even to avoid seasickness. Roman physicians would use this stone to treat overeating and bloating.

As a last resort, sailors caught in severe storms were said to throw their Aquamarines overboard in a desperate attempt to calm the gods.

In Greek mythology, this is reflected similarly, with the equivalent sea god, Poseidon. According to Greek legend, Aquamarine washed ashore from the toppled treasure chests of the sirens. 

Furthermore, in Roman legend, Aquamarine was said to absorb the atmosphere of young love and was considered an appropriate gift for a bride the morning after a wedding.

It was also believed by many to be an antidote to poison, a mermaids spell, and a talisman or offering that helped to bring the rain thundering down upon lands of drought.

Aside from the Romans and Greeks, this gem has been coveted by many different cultures, spanning throughout the ages for thousands of years.

During the Middle Ages, Aquamarine was thought to be the source of power for soothsayers, who called it the ‘magic mirror’, and would use it to answer questions about the future or to tell fortunes.

Aquamarine was linked to the apostle, St. Thomas, who frequently traveled by boat.

It was also appreciated in Indian culture, as it was connected to the Buddhist religion and used as a symbol of love and mercy. 

The Sumerians, Egyptians and Hebrews alike, all admired Aquamarine crystals and considered them precious gems. 

Beads made of this crystal were discovered with Egyptian mummies. 

It was also believed that the High Priest of the Second Temple wore Aquamarine stones engraved with the six tribes of Israel. 

Metaphysical and Healing Properties

Spirit Magicka Rock’n Crystals

Traditionally, Aquamarine is the birthstone for March and, as a water stone, gets its many benefits from the planet Venus, correlating with the zodiac signs of Pisces and Aquarius.

Shamans use stones like Aquamarine because it is believed to allow us to look both within and outward.

Aquamarine is said to help gain truth and wisdom, making it the perfect crystal for gaining a clearer perspective.

Aquamarine is often used as a good luck stone and is thought to bring feelings of peace, love, joy and happiness to those who wear it.

It is also considered to be the stone of courage and preparedness and is believed to help maintain balance and order during chaos. 

The properties of this gemstone contain the healing, vibrant powers of our ancient seas. 

A comprehensive and beautifully illustrated guide to crystals, The Crystal Bible is the perfect gift for a beginner or experienced crystal enthusiast.
Find a known crystal instantly or identify an unknown crystal in this easy-to-follow directory, featuring over 150 crystals.

It includes:
– Photos of over 200 crystals, many in both raw and polished forms
– Detailed descriptions of each stone’s colors and appearances
– Individual properties of each crystal, to help improve your health, heal your body, and stabilize your energy

The Crystal Bible also includes introductions to chakras, auras, crystal grids, and more, providing the basic knowledge needed to use crystals effectively and serving as a quick reference for those with more crystal healing experience.

Evolved over millions of years, Aquamarine helps to sooth unpleasant emotions such as grief or loneliness, as well as assisting with communication and self-expression.

You can also use an Aquamarine gem essence to cleanse your environment and infuse it with the healing frequencies of this gentle and uplifting water stone.

Aquamarine brings its watery wonder to Feng Shui, ensuring that its peaceful presence soothes a room in an instant.

These are only a few of the many benefits Aquamarine is believed to have. 

By stimulating the Throat chakra, working with the Aquamarine helps to enhance immunity by opening the flow between the heart and the throat energy centers.

Sometimes referred to as the “breath stone,” Aquamarine is said to alleviate sinus, lung, and respiratory problems. 

It is also believed to help with bronchitis, colds, hay fever, and various allergies.

As sailors need clear eyes to watch for storms on the horizon, Aquamarine is all about supporting strong eyesight and bringing life, light and vision, both spiritually and physically. 

How to utilize Aquamarine

The therapeutic uses of Aquamarine have a long and well-documented history.

You can activate your Aquamarine crystal by holding it under tap water or natural running water. Set your intention while the water activates your crystal.

Aquamarine can unblock or realign Chakras. To unblock the Throat or Heart Chakra, meditating with this gem is believed to be extremely helpful. Simply find a quiet place to relax and place an Aquamarine gemstone over the appropriate part of the body. 

Lie still or meditate if you prefer, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Aquamarine is ideal for wearing in jewelry close to the skin, such as necklaces, rings, or bracelets. 

This way, the stone’s power can have a direct connection to the energies of your body and instill you with its protective and supportive energy.

Aquamarine works for insomnia by bringing deep relaxation to the mind and body. When wearing this crystal-clear blue stone, you can experience a fluidity and ease that allows you to let go, physically and mentally, and rest deeply.

You can also place your Aquamarine anywhere in your home in order to allow its impactful energy to flow into your physical space. 

This can not only cleanse the energy in your home but also emit protection, healing, and all of the other metaphysical properties of Aquamarine as well. 

Additionally, practicing witches will often use this shining ocean gem in many different rituals and spells. 

Aquamarine is known as a highly affective, magical and spiritual tool. 

Aquamarine “do not’s”

Aquamarine rates a 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs hardness scale. 

Heat exposure is not recommended for this gemstone, but the color is stable against light exposure. 

In order to protect your Aquamarine stone from inadvertent damage in the cleaning process, avoid all cleaning products that contain ammonia or alcohol. 

This beautiful crystal can be attacked by hydrofluoric acid. 

Warm soapy water is always a safe cleaning method for Aquamarine.

This stone does possess chemical components that require caution. 

This does not necessarily mean it poses a threat to life, however, because of its chemical components and structures, how you use it is very important. 

This gemstone is extremely dangerous if inhaled. If you work in an industry that granulates aquamarine crystals, take the precautionary measures to ensure that you don’t inhale the dust from aquamarine. 

If you soak your aquamarine in water, ensure to not drink such. Whether the intent is spiritual, physical or otherwise, doing this exposes you to extremely serious health hazards.

Aquamarine is a powerful gemstone. When you use it the correct way, there are unending spiritual and metaphysical benefits you stand to enjoy. 

Aquamarine is part of the beryl family of crystals along with gems such as Emerald and Morganite. It comes in a dazzling range of aquatic blue hues. All Beryls grow in a hexagonal formation that creates a balancing energy in our lives. They allow you to integrate your spirituality with your physical, everyday life. Finding balance in your life by working with crystals of the beryl family will facilitate your connection with nature and the spiritual consciousness of its elements. This consciousness is often experienced by us in the forms of beings such as fairies, gnomes and, in the case of Aquamarine, as mermaids and mermen.

Further Resources

Aquamarine: A Neptunian Stone’s Plutonic Origin Story

Aquamarine Meaning, Powers and History – The Meaning and History of Aquamarine

Crystal Basics: The Energetic, Healing, and Spiritual Power of 200 Gemstones

Gemstones of the World: Newly Revised Fifth Edition

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Amphitrite: Greek Goddess-Queen of the Sea

For those who know me well know that I have a deep connection and fascination with the Gods, Goddesses and all spirits of the sea. I feel like most of the deities of the sea are not talked about enough and today’s blog post is honor and share with my readers all about the amazing Greek sea goddess Amphitrite.

AMPHITRITE was the goddess-queen of the sea, wife of Poseidon, and eldest of the fifty Nereides. She was the female personification of the sea–the loud-moaning mother of fish, seals and dolphins.

When Poseidon first sought Amphitrite’s hand in marriage, she fled his advances, and hid herself away near Atlas in the Ocean stream at the far ends of the earth. The dolphin-god Delphin eventually tracked her down and persuaded her to return to wed the sea-king.

Amphitrite was depicted in Greek vase painting as a young woman, often raising her hand in a pinching gesture. Sometimes she was shown holding a fish. In mosaic art the goddess usually rides beside her husband in a chariot drawn by fish-tailed horses or hippokampoi. Sometimes her hair is enclosed with a net and her brow adorned with a pair of crab-claw “horns”.

Her name is probably derived from the Greek words amphis and tris, “the surrounding third.” Her son Tritôn was similarly named “of the third.” Clearly “the third” is the sea, although the reason for the term is obscure. Amphitrite was essentially the same as the primordial sea-goddess Thalassa. Her Roman equivalent was Salacia whose name means “the salty one.” SOURCE

Amphitrite (1866), by François Théodore Devaulx (1808-1870). North façade of the Cour Carrée in the Louvre palace, Paris.

Birth & Family

According to Hesiod (c. 700 BCE) in his Theogony, Amphitrite was the daughter of Nereus, a sea god who was sometimes referred to as the ‘old man of the sea’, and Doris, an Oceanid who was the daughter of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys. Amphitrite was one of the 50 Nereids.

And Nereus and Doris, lovely-haired
Daughter of Oceanus circling stream,
Begot and bore, in the unfruitful sea,
Their children, most beloved of goddesses:
Protho, Eukrante, Sao, Amphitrite,
Eudore, Thetis, Galene, Glauce, and
Cymothoe, Speio, and quick Thalia,
And lovely Pasithea, Erato and
Eunike with her rosy arms, and fair
Melite, Eulimene, Agave,
Doto, Proto, Pherousa, Dynamene,
Nesaia, Aktaia, Protomedeia, and
Doris, Panope, and the beautiful
Galatea, and the lovely Hippothoe,
Rosy-armed Hipponoe, Cymodoce,
Who, acting with trim-ankled Amphitrite
And Cymatolege, easily can still
Waves on the misty sea, and calm the blasts
Of raging winds.


(Hesiod, Theogony, 241-259)

Nereids

The Nereids were beautiful sea nymphs, with the highest-regarded being Amphitrite and her sister Thetis. They are represented in Greek art as sitting on dolphins and holding either tridents or garlands of flowers. Their primary duty was to attend to Poseidon. After Amphitrite married Poseidon, the Nereids became part of their royal court.

They were worshiped by sailors and fishermen with altars dedicated to them located on the seashore. Offerings of oil, honey, and milk were made to them, and sailors invoked them so they may have a favorable voyage and safe return to shores. SOURCE

Amphitrite Wife of Poseidon, The Queen of the Sea Goddess.Amphitrite is commonly referred to as the Nereids, one of the 50 nymph daughters of the Greek sea god Nereus, and his wife, Oceanid Doris. This indeed, is descended from the Amphitrite given by Hesiod (Theogony).

Etymology

The etymology of the name “Amphitrite” (Greek Ἀμφιτρίτη, translit. Amphitrítē) is uncertain. Its first element seems to be the Greek prefix ἀμφί- (amphí-), meaning “around, on each side,” while the second element resembles the Greek adjective τρίτος (trítos), meaning “third,” but also the verb τιτραίνω (titraínō), meaning “to pierce.” 

Thus, Amphitrite’s name could possibly be interpreted as either “around the third” or, alternatively, as the only slightly less nonsensical “piercing on each side.” Which of these etymologies is correct—or whether the true etymology is entirely different—is impossible to know.

Titles and Epithets

As a daughter of Nereus, Amphitrite was a “Nereid” (Νηρηΐς, Nērēḯs); for sources that made her a daughter of Oceanus, of course, she was an “Oceanid” (Ὠκεανίς, Ōkeanís).

Amphitrite also had a number of colorful individual epithets in ancient literature. She could be described as εὔσφυρος (eúsphyros, “fair-ankled”), βοῶπις (boôpis, “ox-eyed”), or κυανῶπις (kyanôpis, “dark-eyed”), terms that highlighted her beauty; or by the more obscure χρυσηλάκατος (chrysēlákatos, “she of the golden spindle”); or even as Ποσειδωνία (Poseidōnía, “she who is Poseidon’s”), emphasizing her role as Poseidon’s queen. Amphitrite may have also shared the Homeric epithet ἁλοσύδνη (halosýdnē, “sea-born”) with her sister Thetis.[1] SOURCE

Poseidon and Amphitrite, Greco-Roman mosaic 4th A.D., Musée du Louvre. Poseidon (Roman Neptune) and Amphitrite ride across the sea in a chariot drawn by four Hippocamps (fish-tailed horses). The god holds a trident and the two are both crowned with shining aureoles. They are accompanied by a pair of winged Erotes (love-gods) who bear a billowing, rainbow-like sash.

More Facts About Amphitrite

  • The “Bibliotheca,” a collection of Greek myths and legends collected in the 1st or 2nd century, describes Amphitrite as a daughter of Oceanus and Tethys.
  • Amphitrite at first didn’t want to marry Poseidon and hid from him.
  • Another god, Delphin, talked Amphitrite into marrying Poseidon and earned a place in the sky.
  • Just as the Romans called Poseidon Neptune, they called Amphitrite Salacia.
  • The Romans considered Salacia to be the goddess of salt water.
    • Amphitrite is also believed to have given birth to a variety of sea-creatures including seals and dolphins.
  • Poseidon wasn’t a good husband and cheated on Amphitrite with other nymphs and goddesses.
  • On one occasion, Amphitrite got so angry that she tossed magical herbs in the nymph Scylla’s bath, and the herbs turned Scylla into a horrible monster.
  • Later Greeks viewed Amphitrite as a personification of the sea, which was also called Thalassa.
  • Many ships in both the US and British Royal Navies were named after this goddess.
  • There is also an asteroid called 29 Amphitrite.
  • The Louvre has a statue of Amphitrite that was carved by Jacques Prou in the early 18th century.
  • “The Triumph of Neptune and Amphitrite,” which was painted by Nicole (Nicolas) Poussin in 1634, depicts their marriage. SOURCE

Amphitrite is a sea goddess that is truly worthy of honoring and even to this day statues and paintings of her done over the centuries can be found across Europe and the US. It is said if you visit a statue of her and leave an offering of a coin or sea shell she will grant you good luck upon your way. I plan at some point to create something in her honor and will put it on display. She is certainly a sea goddess I have much respect for.

Further Resources

Greek mythology continues to appear in popular movies and books today but have you ever wondered about where these characters started out? Discover the origins of your favorite characters from Greek mythology with this collection of profiles to tell you who’s who in classical lore!

In Greek Mythology, you will discover the backstories of the heroes, villains, gods, and goddesses that enjoy popularity in today’s shows and films. With comprehensive entries that outline each character’s name, roles, related symbols, and foundational myths, you can get to know the roots of these personas and better understand the stories they inspire today. With this character-focused, handy reference, you will never be confused about Ancient Greece!

Poseidon and Amphitrite: The God and the Queen of the Seas – Greek Mythology – See U in History

Amphitrite Goddess

Amphitrite – an overlooked Greek goddess

Amphitrite

In ancient Greek mythology, Amphitrite was a sea goddess and wife of Poseidon and the queen of the sea.

Composed in a more intuitive than traditional way and dedicated to the Greek sea goddess known as Amphitrite. This track has a light, etheric feel to it. But there is also a slightly darker, more mysterious variation to this track called “Legacy of Amphitrite”. Can be used for listening, relaxing, studying or even for rituals. Enjoy!


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Water – In Depth

Water – In Depth by W1tchsbrew

Be sure to check her Etsy shop Wood ov Wyrd

Humans have always been deeply connected with water, which we are mostly comprised of and need to survive.

Being attracted to water isn’t just a survival mechanism – it reflects our body’s internal makeup. 60% of the human body is water. 

  • brain and heart – 73% water 
  • lungs – 83% water
  • the skin – 64% water
  • the muscles and kidneys – 79% water
  • the bones – 31% water

Next to air, water is literally the most important thing we need as humans to survive.

Water and biology:

What does water do in our bodies? It is essential for digestion, for forming the basis of saliva and absorbs nutrients from in the small intestine. Water helps the brain make hormones and neurotransmitters. You need water to keep your body at a safe temperature—if you get too hot, your body will make sweat to cool you down. Water keeps your body safe by cushioning your delicate brain and spinal cord and acting as a shock absorber. Your body carries oxygen to all of your vital organs using your blood, which is primarily made of water. Water greases your joints, helping them to move fluidly. Your body uses water to flush out waste and other impurities through the kidneys and bladder, and it also plays a vital role in your bowel movements. Your body’s cells cannot grow, replicate, heal or live without water.

If you’re thirsty, your body has already begun to dehydrate. Dehydration has many severely detrimental affects and can be fatal if not promptly resolved. If you’re one of those people who drinks just enough water to stay out of the hospital, but not as much as you should – congratulations, you’re still dehydrated.

Some of these “chronic dehydration” symptoms may include fatigue, confusion or memory issues, nausea or appetite changes, headaches, vertigo, blood pressure issues, constipation or digestive issues, lightheadedness, sleep issues including insomnia and night terrors, mood swings or general agitation, kidney or liver issues, heart palpitations, joint or muscle pain, and more. 

Think you need to see your doctor? Make sure you’re hydrated. 

Most people need about six cups of plain water each day to be even close to hydrated. Experts recommend drinking one full gallon of water a day to claim the “full” benefits of hydration.

Aside from consummation, how can we utilize our connection with this element?  

To better understand the answer, one must first “dive in” to the history and meaning of water, what it’s known for, and what potential it holds. 

Asthma, allergies, arthritis, hypertension, depression, headaches, diabetes, obesity, and MS. These are just some of the conditions and diseases that are caused by persistent dehydration. But there is a miracle solution that is readily available, all natural, and free: water. In WATER: FOR HEALTH, FOR HEALING, FOR LIFE, Dr. F. Batmanghelidj reveals how easy it is to obtain optimum health by drinking more water and supports his claims with over 20 years of clinical and scientific research. Thirsty readers will discover what they never knew, that water can actually:

Prevent and reverse aging
Cure asthma in a few days, naturally and forever
Eliminate pains, including heartburn, back pain, and migraine headaches
And much, much more.

Water Folklore, Culture & Religion:

Throughout history and across all cultures, water was revered, being associated with deities, spirits, souls, and the Otherworld. 

There are tales and myths involving water that are vastly scattered throughout folklore and spirituality. 

One of the most famous is of the River Styx, the river in Hades that separates the living world from that of the dead.

The Celts believed water to be sacred and viewed it as a liminal place, a place between our world and the Otherworld.

Across Europe, especially in the UK, there are several sacred wells and natural founts or springs riddled with folklore. While different in location and water type, it was generally believed that these sources of water were imbued with healing properties that could cure just about any ailment. 

Wells, in particular, had been revered not only for their curative and cursing properties but also for their connection with the Otherworld as a portal.

Apart from wells, rivers played a key role in many folktales that still survive to this day. As previously mentioned, several myths involving the Underworld include traveling across a river, such as the River Styx or Sildir from Norse mythology. 

Diverting from rivers, streams and wells and moving on to oceans – the norse sea goddess, Rán, is a perfect example of the personification of water. This deity is said to protect sailors who call upon her aid while at sea, while carrying any lost souls down into the ocean depths with her mighty net.

Many Norse cultures practiced water burials or incorporated water elements into their funeral rituals. Often the high ranking was honored in death by being laid to rest on a boat or ship, which was then launched out to sea. Other times they buried the dead in graves made to look like a ship made of stone.

Buddhists believe that when we die, we return to the four elements that make up life: water, air, earth, and fire. That just as water gives life, it takes life back to the earth at death. Some Tibetan Buddhists practice water burials, where the deceased is laid to rest in a flowing river.

The tradition of water burials is alive and well in modern Hawaii. Native Hawaiians have practiced water burials for thousands of years and they are still practiced, with some modifications today. In addition to more traditional burials on land, some ancient Hawaiians were buried at sea. Fishermen, in particular, were laid to rest this way. Fishermen who passed were clothed in red shrouds and buried at sea. These ancient Hawaiians believed that after sharks consumed the fisherman’s body, that would allow their spirit to live on in the ocean and protect their people from shark attacks.

A modern Hawaiian sea burial looks a little different. Guests wear aloha attire, scatter flowers from leis, and there is often music, prayers, and hula dancing. A variation of this ceremony has been adopted by surfers, who will paddle out on their boards to scatter the ashes of a fellow surfer onto the water. Other times mourners will take kayaks out instead of surfboards.

Water shapes our landscapes and makes our world unique. Only water can be found on earth in three states of aggregation – gaseous, liquid and solid. This is what makes the molecule so fascinating. No other substance has been so studied and yet still holds so many questions as water. Scientist try to unlock the secrets of Water. 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by liquid water. The documentary gives us insights into the fascinating landscapes created by water: Underwater worlds, interesting ice worlds and unknown caves. But it also shows us the importance of water for the forest ecosystem and for us as living beings.

While being associated with death and the Otherworld, rivers and oceans have long been associated with healing and life as well. 

South-flowing rivers are believed to be healing rivers in Scottish folklore while other Celtic traditions believe water traveling toward the Sun is gifted with healing properties. 

In the case of the Egyptians, the Nile River was viewed as a life-bringer as its annual flooding brought life-giving water to the valleys so crops would flourish.

Water deities of mythology:

Celtic: Belisama, goddess of lakes and rivers, fire, crafts, and light. 

Damona is a water goddess associated with healing and rivers.

Irish: Sinann, goddess of the River Shannon. 

Lir a god of the sea.

Roman: Juturna, goddess of fountains, wells, and springs.

Neptune, the god-king of the sea.

Salacia, goddess of saltwater. Neptune’s consort.

India: Varuna is the God of oceans and aquatic life; the water deities of the seven sacred rivers.

Indra, King of the Gods, God of weather, and bringer of rain, thunderstorms and clouds. 

Saptasindhu, the seven holy rivers of India, namely: Ganga, the Goddess of the Ganges River.

Greek: Poseidon is the God of seas and Peneus is God of rivers.

African: The Yoruba river is presided over by Goddess Oshun.

Egyptian: Anuket, goddess of the Nile.

Osiris, god of the dead and afterlife; originally a god of water and vegetation.

Sobek, god of the Nile river, depicted as a crocodile or a man with the head of a crocodile.

Hapi, god of the annual flooding of the Nile.

Germanic: Njord was the god of the sea and the wind.

Rán is sea goddess of death who collects the drowned in a net, wife of Ægir, a Jotünn – together they have nine daughters who all are named after the waves of the sea.

Slavic: Moktosh, moistness, lady of waters, goddess of moisture.

Vodyanoi, a water demon who lived in lakes and rivers.

Dodola, goddess of rain.

Chinese: Shuimu, goddess of water. 

Tam Kung is a sea deity with the ability to forecast weather.

Hawaiian: Kamohoalii, shark god.

Ukupanipo, a god who controls the amount of fish close enough for the fisherman to catch.

Nãmaka, sea goddess.

Native Americas: Alignak, a lunar deity and god of weather, water, tides, eclipses, and earthquakes.

Sedna is a goddess of the sea and its creatures.

Read the sea like a Viking and interpret ponds like a Polynesian—with a little help from expert navigator Tristan Gooley, New York Times-bestselling author of How to Read a Tree and The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs

In his eye-opening books The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs and The Natural Navigator, Tristan Gooley helped readers reconnect with nature by finding direction from the trees, stars, clouds, and more. Now, he turns his attention to our most abundant—yet perhaps least understood—resource.
 
Distilled from his far-flung adventures—sailing solo across the Atlantic, navigating with Omani tribespeople, canoeing in Borneo, and walking in his own backyard—Gooley shares hundreds of techniques in How to Read Water. Readers will: Find north using puddles
Forecast the weather from waves
Decode the colors of ponds
Spot dangerous water in the dark
Decipher wave patterns on beaches, and more!

Water Magic:

Also called:

  • Blue Magic
  • Hydromancy/Aquamancy
  • Water Commands/Spells
  • Water Witchcraft/Wizardry 

Water Magic draws on the depths of the oceans and tides, as well as the rivers and lakes that flow back to it. 

This energy source is at its strongest during high tide and inside bodies of water, and is also strengthened during rainfall.

Water has been used in countless sacred ways since ancient times through religious and spiritual blessings, for cultural cleansing rituals, and personal healing as a therapeutic tool.

It has been viewed among many cultures and spiritualities as an element of emotions, healing, purification, and renewal. Water is the perfect element to work with during the winter months because it is during this period that we’re encouraged to spend time reflecting and setting goals for the future.

Each body of water, whether it’s the ocean, a river or mountain stream, has a different energy or ‘presence’. For sensitives (those of us who are sensitive to energy), this change in essence is palpable and every water source very much alive. 

Sit at the water’s edge and listen. Ask for insight to a question or problem and then simply wait for your answer. Like a slow breeze, the answer may come in a hushed whisper or an internal “knowing”.

*Simple Water Rituals

Cup ritual:

Pour yourself a cup of water and hold it between your hands. Channel the intention of what it is that you would like to see in your life. Imagine that your intention is being transferred into each atom of the water. When you feel like the intention is set into your water, take a deep breath in and take your first drink. Allow yourself to feel the message of your intention being carried into your body. When you’re ready, take your second sip and repeat this process until you feel you’re finished.

Overnight ritual:

Bless your water before bed and allow that intention to sit overnight. You can infuse your drinking water with a written prayer. To do this, write down your prayer of affirmation on a piece of paper and then wrap it around your water bottle (glass bottle preferable) before you sleep. Envision a healing light in the water when setting your intention for your bottle. When you wake up, utter the words of affirmation you wrote on the paper out loud and then drink your water with the intention in mind.

Cooking with water:

Say a prayer over the water you would use for cooking. Express gratitude and pray that it will cleanse and heal the bodies of those who are going to consume it.

Shower ritual:

Take a shower to wash away negativity energy and stress. Turn on the water, and then state out loud “This shower will wash away anything that is not serving me”.  Next, express gratitude for the water for taking away any negative energy. While in the shower, close your eyes and imagine that the water is made from pure, glowing, white light and allow it to cleanse your body.  This is an excellent method for those of us that are highly sensitive “emotional absorbers”, or empaths, to do regularly. 

You can do this same thing in a bath, if preferred. 

Moon water:

Water and the moon are inextricably linked. Just as the moon has power on the tide – it has an effect on the human body, as we are mostly made of water. The power of the moon can be harnessed in many ways but one practical way is to create moon water. Simply fill a clean mason jar with water (spring water is preferred) and leave it to “charge” under the moon for up to three nights. You may also speak a prayer to the water or recite a specific intention over it.

Depending on what cycle the moon is in will reflect the energy your water is charged with. For example, a full moon vs a new moon.

Honoring Water Deities: 

When making offerings to water deities, be aware of the signs that they send you. If your offering is not substantial, you may feel some slight anxiety or discomfort while you’re setting your offering or before you leave. Trust your intuition, reset your intentions if needed, or come back at a later time when you feel compelled to continue.

Beach ritual:

Collect a few shells and natural ornaments that you find at the water’s edge. Place them in front of you and light a small white candle. If you brought additional offerings with you, place them alongside the candle. Create a sacred circle by calling upon the elements (earth, wind, fire, water), your ancestors, or spirits for protection as draw a circle around you in the sand. Sit in the space you’ve created and write out a petition or spell on a very small piece of paper. Meditate on the intention of the spell and try to envision its positive effects in your life and others around you. When you’re ready, burn the paper and say “So mote it be” or “So it is”. Collect everything you brought with you as you leave but leave the natural shells and ornaments. Continue to light the same candle at home over the next few days until it’s completely burned out. Once you feel your prayer or spell has been answered, follow it up with a separate gratitude ritual to give thanks.

Ocean Magic:

Also called:

  • Maritime Magic
  • Oceanic Magic
  • Pelagic Magic
  • Sea Magic
  • Ocean Sorcery
  • Thalassomancy

For millennia, the ocean has been appreciated as a source of healing and divinity. It is a place of respite, rituals, and deep transformation. Constant yet ever-changing, this vast and beautiful expanse of water sustains us all, providing much of the air that we breathe.

Ocean covers more than 70% of our blue planet, yet still holds untold mysteries. Within it lies another world and a deep wisdom that can shift our perspective of life on land.

In key moments of transition, like the start of a new year, the sea offers us an opportunity to connect with its deepest gifts.

Whether through meditation or reflection, leaving offerings to sea deities, grounding your energy, casting spells or manifesting wishes, the ocean is widely known for its powerful reciprocity when utilized in spiritual workings and rituals.

It’s nature’s elixir–so powerful it can carve our landscape, yet so nurturing it can spawn life and support its intricate matrix. And it’s the only substance on Earth that can exist in three separate forms.

What now? :

Drink your water, fill your moon water jar, meditate during a recharging shower –  whatever makes you feel personally connected in your water practices, and in life, is exactly what you should pursue to further your own journey towards your higher self. 

Water is simply one of the countless tools we’ve been given to further aid our evolvement, not only physically but spiritually and emotionally as well. 

Further Resources:

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The Dacians: Wolf Warriors and Their People

The history the ancient Roman empire is a subject I have studied extensively for many years and with that always expanded my studies of interest regarding the different tribes of people and other civilizations they encountered and battled in their expansion across Europe, Norther Africa and into the East. One of these groups of people are one of my favorites during that period of history and they were the Dacians. The Dacians much like the Celts were not always one unified group of people but in Dacia, which today is modern Romania, they were many different tribes of people who lived in one territory but it would be their encounters with Rome that would eventually cause reason to become one Wolf and rip into the Lion of Rome. Here is their story.

The date and credibility of the earliest reports concerning a Dacian people are contested. The ancient assumption, that slaves, who figured in New Attican (4th century B.C.) plays under the name of Daos, were in fact Dacians, is less than plausible, for the first confirmed report of the Dacians’ existence refers to a time at least two centuries later, whilst the Romans first reached the Danube even later, between 76-73 B.C. The utility of our data is limited both by the fact that only fragments of the detailed chronicles survive, and by the fact that the reflections on individual peoples found in these chronicles often compress events stretching over several historical periods. Thus historical research has not been able to establish clearly whether King Oroles of Dacia made war against his eastern neighbours, the Celtic Bastarnae, in the 2nd century B.C., or in some much later, equally indeterminate period. There is a similar lack of consensus over such an essential question as the identity of King Rubobostes, who is claimed by one source to have built up the power of Dacia; was he the first significant Dacian ruler, some time during the 2nd century B.C., or was his name merely a misspelling of Burebista, the king who is generally credited with founding a powerful Dacia? A further difficulty derives from the fact that more than one name has been attributed to the Dacians. The tribes that spoke Thracian and lived in the eastern half of the Balkan peninsula, the lower Danube valley, and Transylvania were called by a variety of names in Greek and Roman literature. The Thracians proper, who had very early contact with Greek culture, inhabited a region bounded in the north by the Balkan Mountains and in the west by Macedonia, while the Getae lived in a region north of the Balkan Mountains, along the lower reaches of the Danube. The Dacians of Transylvania, who were the {1-43.} last Thracian-speaking people to come to the notice of Greco-Roman world, are also called Getae in Greek sources; and Roman historians, who drew upon Greek sources, often — and arbitrarily — translated the appellation ‘Getae’ as ‘Dacian’, even when, as it happened, they were referring to authentic Getae. Thus caution must be exercised when dealing with the fragmentary sources that mention Dacians in the context of the wars, waged by the Romans in the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C., on the northern borders of Macedonia, against various Thracian, Getian, and Celtic tribes. Continue reading HERE.

The Dacians or Geto – Dacians were part of the great people of the Thracians. They were organized into tribes that are scattered throughout the Tisa, the Carpathians, and the Black Sea, and one side of the lower Danube. They had a developed civilization , made money, searched for gold and silver and they made from them, with great skill, jewelry, religious objects, etc… was the first king who united , in 82 BC, the Geto-Dacian tribes into one kingdom, great and powerful. He had a conflict with the Roman emperor, Cesar. Burebista was assassinated in 44 BC. After the assassination of Burebista, the kingdom broke into 4 – 5 smaller kingdoms.

They dealt mainly with farming, bee keeping, grazing and making pottery. It have been found many ceramic vessels.

The ancient Greeks called them Dacians or Geto – Dacians. The Romans cold them Dacians and their territory was called Dacia. They were well known for their organization, their bravery and diligence. Continue reading HERE.

Romania was internationally recognized in 1878, but its history is much older. To understand the people who inhabit this country, one must go back thousands of years and meet the first king who united the local tribes, Burebista. He and his successor, Decebal, warred against Roman legions, and although they displayed extraordinary bravery and military prowess, it wasn’t enough to preserve their independence. In this book, you will discover how Romania developed from a distant Roman province on the fringes of the Roman Empire to a modern state in eastern Europe, one ready to adopt Western values.

Romania lies on Europe’s eastern border, and as such, it is often neglected in history. Although it is a culturally very rich country, the world displayed little interest in its promotion. By reading this captivating history of Romania, you will learn about the turbulent past of the region, the many wars it fought, and the people who led them. You will also learn the truth behind the character of Vlad the Impaler and decide for yourself if he was a ruthless, bloodthirsty ruler or a politician, tactician, and national hero.
Map of the Roman province of Dacia, part of modern-day Romania and Serbia, between the era of Trajan (106 CE) and the evacuation of the province in 271 CE. Roman settlements and legion garrisons with Latin names included. SOURCE

The Carpathian Mountains were a favorable environment for the Dacians’ economic development, primarily due to seasonal migration of livestock from the hills to the mountains (a practice called “transhumance”), the Dacians’ main occupation being sheep-herding. For practicing sheep-herding, the Dacians created paths through the mountains in order to reach the Carpathians’ abundant pastures. Transalpina is nowadays the most famous tourist route as the highest altitude road crossing the Carpathian Mountains; it still serves as a transhumance route, a tradition kept alive since the Dacians’ times.

Apart from transhumance, the Dacians were known for beekeeping and for their knowledge in the usage of medicinal plants. The tradition of producing honey and collecting medicinal plants was maintained until today in the traditional Transylvanian village and ancient works from the 1’st and 2’nd century BC certify that the Dacian practitioners of natural medicine had principles similar to those of the school of Hippocrates, father of medicine.

The usage of medicinal plants was woven with the spiritual-mystical side of the Dacian people and transposed into their rich mythology. Thus, according to the supreme Dacian deity, Zalmoxe, one could not try healing the body without healing the soul. Hereby, the Dacian people showed that they understood the connection between the body and the soul, these psycho-somatic notions being probably particularly rare at that time.

The Dacians believed in the immortality of the soul, for them death being only a passage from the material world to the spiritual one, governed by Zamolxes. The harmonious blending with Christianity led to the conservation of some aspects and traditions; Some Dacian deities evolved into Christian characters such as St. Elijah or Romanian fairy tale characters such as Prince Charming (Făt-Frumos – son of the sun) and Ileana Cosânzeana (daughter of the moon). SOURCE

The Dacian Wars

Deep within the wild and mysterious Carpathian Mountains of modern day Romania, nestled upon a series of hillsides, lie the ruins of an ancient metropolis that reached its heyday nearly two thousand years ago. It’s name was Sarmisegetuza, and it’s from this great mountain stronghold that Decebalus, the last king of the Dacia, masterminded his wars against the Romans.

After securing peace with Domitian in 89 CE, the Dacian King – Decebalus – was viewed as a rex amicus (a king friendly to Rome). However, the peace was seemingly weighed in favor of the Dacians, which irked the Romans. Worse still, the empire was suffering from shortages of metals – both gold (affecting the currency) and iron and copper (for arms and armor) – which needed to be addressed as a matter of priority. Fortunately for the Romans, Dacia was rich in these precious raw materials, and the belligerence of Decebalus and the lopsided Domitianic treaty meant that conflict could be justified. This is the casus belli given by Cassius Dio, writing some time after the war, but who nevertheless remains the most complete account of Trajan’s campaign.

Trajan’s Dacian War actually occurred in two stages. The first war lasted from 101-102 CE. The Romans advanced into Dacia from the city of Viminacium. The city had been the base for the Roman invasion of Dacian territory during Domitian’s war previously. After crossing the Danube River and marching into the heart of Dacia, Trajan and the Roman forces decisively defeated a Dacian army at the Second Battle of Tapae. With winter looming, Trajan hesitated in the advance on Sarmizegetusa, the Dacian capital. Decebalus took advantage of the pause and marched to assault the Roman province of Moesia.

A first battle, near the future city of Nicopolis ad Istrum, was a tentative Roman victory. The second engagement, the Battle of Adamclisi, was a hard-fought Roman victory. Decebalus, seeing that defeat was inevitable, requested a truce. Trajan agreed, under the provision that the Dacians yield territory held by the Romans, as well as the weapons and materials they had received after the treaty of 89 CE. Although Decebalus acquiesced to the terms, this would only be temporary… Continue reading HERE.

Historians believe that the Dacians and Getae were essentially the same group of tribes during successive periods, related to Thracian tribes from territory south of the Carpathian Mountains, but their exact relationship in place and time is a subject for debate. Those called the ‘Getae’ by ancient Greek sources were actively expanding by at least the 4th century BC; some enlisted as mercenaries in Roman armies during the 1st century BC, and others later clashed with the army of Augustus, fighting alongside the Sarmatians. The people whom the Romans called the ‘Dacians’ are best known from wars against the emperors Domitian in AD 85–89 and Trajan in 101–106. At their peak, the Dacians and Getae defeated neighbouring peoples stretching from modern Slovakia to southern Ukraine and it is believed that the effectiveness of their weapons caused modifications in Roman infantry armour.

The Dacian Draco

A Dacian Draco relief of Trajan’s Column.

The Dacian draco was a military standard used by troops of the ancient Dacian people, which can be seen in the hands of the soldiers of Decebalus in several scenes depicted on Trajan’s Column in Rome, Italy. This wind instrument has the form of a dragon with open wolf-like jaws containing several metal tongues. The hollow dragon’s head was mounted on a pole with a fabric tube affixed at the rear. In use, the draco was held up into the wind, or above the head of a horseman, where it filled with air and gave the impression it was alive while making a shrill sound as the wind passed through its strips of material. The Dacian draco likely influenced the development of the similar Roman draco. SOURCE

This Dacian Draco military standard hangs above my desk in my living room.

Gods and Goddesses of The Dacians

GEBELEIZIS, He is the Thunder. He is a celestial god. His attribute is the eagle. Gebeleizis, represents the clear sky. Everything that disturbs his harmony, storms, clouds, have to be combated. That’s why the Dacians shoot arrows towards the sky, in the clouds – to drive them away, to help Gebeleizis (this custom is related by Herodotus).

The goddess Bendis is corresponding to Artemis, in the Greek mythology, or Diana, in the Roman mythology. Therefore, Bendis is a goddess of the moon, of the forest. Herodotus wrote that this goddess is adored by the Thracian women, being borrowed from the populations at the north, who can only be the Dacians.

The cult of this goddess was confirmed by the archeological discoveries (a head of bronze found at Costesti, a medallion of clay, discovered at Sarmizegetusa, and a bronze bust from Piatra Rosie).

Her cult survived during the period of Roman occupation, in the form of Roman godess Diana. The name of Diana can be traced in the Romanian words zana, sanziana (Sancta Diana) or cosanziana (Quo Sancta Diana).

Derzelas (Darzalas) is a Thracian chthonic god of health and human spirit’s vitality.

Darzalas was the Great God of Hellenistic Odessos (modern Varna) since the 4th century BC and was frequently depicted on its coinage and portrayed in numerous terra cotta figurines, as well as in a rare 4th-century BC lead one, found in the city. There was a temple dedicated to him with a cult statue, and in 238 AD, games (Darzaleia) were held in his honor, possibly attended by Gordian III. Darzalas was often depicted in himation, holding cornucopiae with altars by his side. Continue reading HERE.

Herodotus goes on to describe a ritual that the Getae perform once every five years. For this ritual, the Getae would cast lots to determine who to send to Zalmoxis as their messenger. He would be given instructions as to what favors the Getae want their god to grant them on that occasion. After that, the messenger would be sent to Zalmoxis via the following means:

“They arrange three lances, with men to hold them, and then others grab the hands and feet of the one being sent to Zalmoxis and throw him up into the air and on to the points of the lances. If he dies from being impaled, they regard this as a sign that the god will look favorably on their requests. If he does not die, however, they blame this failure on the messenger himself, call him a bad man, and then find someone else to send.” SOURCE

Dacians and The Wolf

The wolf is the symbolic animal of the Dacians, who also called themselves “wolves”. The legend says they could turn into wolves. Some legends say that a big white wolf fought next to the Dacians when their capital Sarmizegetusa fell to the Romans. SOURCE

The oldest mentioning of the werewolf comes from 6th century BC and has its origins on the actual territory of Transylvania, according to the ancient historian Herodotus, all of this happening centuries before any other European references in regard with this subject.

The Legend of the Great White Wolf states that in lost times, a high priest of Zamolxis was roaming through Dacia’s forests in order to help the needy. Zalmoxis realizing the potential of his servant, called him into the mountains to be close to him. Far beyond human territory, the beasts of Dacia considered him their leader, wolves appreciating him the most. After some time Zalmoxis summoned him and asked him to serve in another way, and with his approval, the deity transformed him into a large and mighty White Wolf, the most respected and feared beast from all of Dacia. His purpose was to gather all the wolves from the forests and protect Dacia when needed. Whenever the Dacians were in danger, the wolves came to their aid when they heard the howl of the Great White Wolf.

The incorrect international adaptation of the werewolf concept, due to the lack of information and folklore research, reinvented him as a negative character, although according to the Dacian mythology this creature has a divine role of man’s protector.

The Dacians used to call themselves “daoi”, a word inherited from the ancient Phrygian language, daos, meaning wolf, as they had a strong connection to these animals. Their battle flag called Draco was formed out of a wolf’s head with its mouth wide open alongside the body of a dragon, symbolizing the spirit of this vivid animal guardian.

Thus, the basic legend of the Great White Wolf has its origins in the Dacians’ respect for the wolf and from this picture the werewolf idea came to life. However, its purpose was a noble one, as the werewolf was protecting the Dacian people in times of war. SOURCE

The legend of the Big White Wolf is part of the Romanian folklore. That means it has been passed down from generation to generation since ancient times. Here is my own translation of the legend from Romanian to English:

The Big White Wolf is not an animal, he is human…

Once, in forgotten times, a priest of Zamolxis was wandering the realms of Dacia without respite. He was helping those in need, and conveying to the Geto-Dacians that the great god was watching over them. In contrast to all others, without being old, he had hair and beard as white as snow. His faith, courage, and perseverance were known not only by humans and by Zamolxis himself, but also by the wild beasts. The god, realizing the value of his servant, keeps him at his home in the mountains to have him closer. Far away from humans, the priest continued to serve with the same determination as before. In short time, the wild beasts of Dacia came to obey him and consider him their leader. He was most adored by the wolves, for they were the only ones without a leader, only hunger keeping them in a pack.

After a while, Zamolxis speaks to his priest and decides that time has come for the priest to serve him in another shape, thus transforming him into an animal. However not into any animal, but into the most feared and respected beast of Dacia. Into a White Wolf, as big and strong as a bear, giving him the mission to gather all the wolves from the forests in order to defend the realm. In this way, whenever the Dacians where in danger, the wolves came to their aid. It was enough for the Big White Wolfs howl to be heard and from wherever they were, the wolves jumped forth to defend those who had become their brothers. But the White Wolf was also a judge, punishing the cowards and the traitors.

One day however, the god summoned his servant again, this time to give him the possibility to choose for the last time whether he wants to remain wolf or become human again. Although feeling sorrow in his heart, knowing what times are to come, he decides to remain by his god, hoping that this way he will better serve his territory and his people. Despite the vigilance of the Geto-Dacians, of the wolves and of the Big White Wolf, the Romans manage to infiltrate into their ranges. When the big invasion was about to start, the Romans planted in the hearts of some cowards the seed of mistrust towards the big god. Thus, some Dacians start fearing that the god will not be by their side in the great battle. The traitors taken over by fear start killing all the wolves that come in their way hoping that one of them would be the Big White Wolf whose head they could offer to the Romans in exchange for their lives. The wolves that managed to escape run into the heart of the mountains and never returned to help the brothers who had betrayed them. The White Wolf and Zamolxis withdraw into the Sacred Mountain from where they will see with grief in the heart how the Geto-Dacians will be conquered by the Romans because of the betrayal.

Dacian Wolf Legend

The Dacians had such a rich culture in all regards and it still carries great influence in Romania and surrounding areas to this day. As you have seen there is so much written about them and yet there is still so much we do not know but hopefully through ethical Archeology and other research we can uncover more about the fierce and proud Wolf warriors and their people of Dacia.

Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire – Episode 6: Dacian Wars (Documentary)

Further Resources

The Dacians, The Wolf Warriors

The Celts and The Dacians

The Dacians: Wolf Warriors

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Blue Whales: The Elusive Leviathans of the Deep

After getting a blog post request from a friend I decided it would be interesting to see what I might find regarding one of the most elusive mammals of the ocean depths. It turned out to be quite a challenge and to be honest I found far less than I had hoped for. You see this request was a post regarding the Blue Whale, their part in folklore, mythology and spiritual significance. So I did dive deep into looking to see what I might find which is what I will be sharing with you in today’s blog post regarding the Blue Whale.

Introduction

Blue whale, (Balaenoptera musculus), also called sulfur-bottom whale, the most massive animal ever to have lived, a species of baleen whale that weighs approximately 150 tons and may attain a length of more than 30 metres (98 feet). The largest accurately measured blue whale was a 29.5-metre female that weighed 180 metric tons (nearly 200 short [U.S.] tons), but there are reports of 33-metre catches that may have reached 200 metric tons. The heart of one blue whale was recorded at nearly 700 kg (about 1,500 pounds).

The blue whale is found alone or in small groups in all oceans, but populations in the Southern Hemisphere are much larger. In the Northern Hemisphere, blue whales can be seen regularly in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and off the coasts of Monterey, California, and Baja California, Mexico. They spend the summer in polar waters, feeding on shrimp-like crustaceans called krill. During a dive, the blue whale may engage in a series of turns and 360° rolls to locate prey and rapidly reorient its body to sweep up large concentrations of krill in a single open-mouthed lunge. A single adult blue may consume as much as eight tons of krill per day. In the winter blue whales move toward the Equator to breed. After a gestation of about 12 months, one calf about 8 metres (about 26 feet) long is born in temperate waters. While nursing, calves gain up to 90 kg (about 198 pounds) per day on the rich milk of their mothers. Young are weaned after seven to eight months, when they have reached a length of about 15 metres (about 49 feet). SOURCE

Blue whales are the largest animals to have ever existed. Learn why they’re larger than any land animal and why they were hunted for years, making them endangered.

Somewhere in the midst of the mammoth ocean; there exists the preposterously huge whale.

– Nikhil Parekh

Spiritual Significance

When Blue Whale symbolism appears to you, there are always big things happening in your life right now. However, this creature is reassuring you that although things feel overwhelming right now, these changes are necessary. Thus, you need to stay focused and connected to yourself so you can wok your way through to resolution. In other words, Blue Whale symbolism reminds you to have faith in your abilities and allow yourself to be still enough to see the way. SOURCE

Blue Whales are associated with the Virgo sign (August 23rd – September 22nd) and attributed to reliability, intelligence, being analytical, clever, liking to please and leadership.

When we take on the attitudes relevant to the symbolism of the blue whale, we are able to navigate safely through and back out of our emotional depths. This in turn allows for more perceptive both inward with our emotions/thoughts and outward in the world.

By deeply navigating our inner experiences we can develop a better understanding of what we are feeling; emotional clarity. With this clarity, we can develop more emotional creativity; more sensitivity to the nuances of our inner world.

For example, if we had a pattern that we wanted to change, we could make more lasting behavioral change by digging into the emotions around that unwanted pattern. With a clarity of what those emotions are and why we feel them, we can begin to step away from reactions and into responsibility.

Go to the depths of our selves. Dive deeper than the surface emotions to get to the root. Through that work we will develop a deeper understanding of the world as well.

The metaphor of the ocean as our emotions works well because emotions can be fluid, deeper than they appear, and holding many mysteries about our true selves.

This is why the blue whale symbolizes navigating our inner experience and moving through emotional depths. Embrace the unknown of our selves and dive through it. Continue reading HERE.

This provocative book of photography offers bold new insight into the lives of the world’s largest mammals, along with their complex societies. In these pages, we learn that whales share an amazing ability to learn and adapt to opportunities, from specialized feeding strategies to parenting techniques. There is also evidence of deeper, cultural elements of whale identity, from unique dialects to matrilineal societies to organized social customs like singing contests. Featuring the arresting underwater images of Brian Skerry, who has explored and documented oceans for over four decades, this book will document these alluring creatures in all their glory–and demonstrate how these majestic creatures can teach us about ourselves and our planet.

The size compassion of Blue Whales really puts it into perspective on how massive they truly are.

The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is a marine mammal belonging to the baleen whales. At up to 29.9 metres (98 ft) in length and with a maximum recorded weight of 173 tonnes (191 short tons) and probably reaching over 181 tonnes (200 short tons), it is the largest animal known to have ever existed.

So as you can see, unlike some other species of Whales, the Blue Whale is so elusive and in a sense rare that they have little involvement in human folklore or mythology but I did find a few snippets here and there which I will include below for you to explore. Being a man of the sea I have always considered Whales a favorite of mine and have been honored to see several species in the oceans including a few close encounters but yet to have experienced with my own eyes the Blue Whale, Hopefully someday I get the spiritual privilege.

Further Resources

Leviathan; or, Whale Theology

Blue Whale Mythology and Mystery

The Blue Whale

Blue Whale Songs

Whale Symbolism & Meaning

Whale Myths and Legends

Whales In Mythology | History and Interesting Facts

Icelandic Myths and Tales of Whales