Thunder and/or lightning is a fierce natural phenomenon, appearing as a result of electric discharge in/from atmosphere. But how can the lighting , so dangerous and intangible to human, be used in magick? What does this powerful symbol stands for in occultism ? This is so very neglected topic, unfortunately , which has led to plenty of misinformation and misconception among newcomers to world of occult and esotery.
The Bible says : “The LORD sent thunder and hail, and lightning flashed down to the ground.” Exodus 9:23, which basically supports even primordial beliefs regarding this phenomenon. For humans, it was always seen as an act of Divine will, before the scientific explanation of the same, and even after that, for many. Even pagan deities, and usually that/those who were ruling pantheons had power to throw lightning on people and other beings, creatures, entities. In Christianity , lightning is a symbol of G’d will, power, anger and punishment, regardless of what some fanatics, conspiracy theory supporter, self proclaiming Christians ( of they can even be called that ) post over and over, piteously on the world wide web, claiming how anything with a lightning symbol must be employed by the fiend ( Dev*l ) in some way. The Bible speaks of befall of an Angel , like lightning, but not being the lightning (Luk 10:18 ) , it’s simply a comparison, a metaphor describing swift and ferocious free fall , not identification of the two motives.
In occultism Thunder is of Fire element. According to some ( newer source s ) with a dash of air as well , no pun intended lol It symbolizes Divine interdiction, acceleration , ferocious power and magick and sorcery in general. As opposed to common every day reaction of evading in wide perimeter places struck by lightning ( which is btw, highly irrational ), spiritual workers and cunning folk always seen lightning struck places, objects as prominent sources of power, that should be employed however possible, to tap onto ancient powers. Certain trees , such as Oak, when hit by lightning were considered to be picked by Higher authorities ( mostly by Tiranis in Celts ) as even more special among these “Holly” trees. Cunning folk and folk magick practitioners have also had high respect for lightning struck wood, Oak in particular. It could have been that this belief was ( somehow ) imported in magick from Slavic pagan religions, for Perun, Slavic pantheon chief deity, had been said to rule over the thunder and Oak, among other things. Slavic people have seen Oak as sanctity, and is so even today in Slavic countries, where often protective inscriptions are inscribed in Oak, even nowadays, though being that now commonly Crosses are inscribed, it is most likely a latter input , coming from Christianization.
Beliefs and folklore about lightning
African people believe how Thunder and Lighting can be conjured, pretty much as other elements, in terms of weather making magick, Sotho-Tswana people also believe in a deity called Modimo that manifests ( among other means ) through thunder and lightning. Black people also say that when Rain, Sun and Thunder ( so called Sunwash ) are present together De*il is beating his wife ( ??? ) and also that one should never talk on phone or be near Tv when there are Lightning about. There is another deity among Africans, Umpundulo being the lightning bird-god of the Bantu tribesmen in Africa. Even today their medicine men will go out in storms in order to bid the lightning to strike far away.
Also, The Navajo Indians hold that lightning has great power in their healing rituals. And they associate it with wind, rain, and good crop growing. 
In New Orlans Voodoo Hoodoo system of magick , with these particular elements Loa Chango ( or Xango sometimes ) is associated and he is believed to manipulates them , to an extent. They are therefore symbolic of raw , masculine power and energy, among other.
St Barbara, a venerated Christian Saint, is often called Patroness of Thunder and Lightning, and is Voodoo Hoodoo syncretism , her image is sometimes used to represent Chango. I have written about St Barbara beforeIn Orthodox Christian church, another Saint, St Elijah the Prophet has the epithet or being “Thunderous” or “thunderer” , meaning one that brings thunder, and is said to ride the skies in fiery chariot. Eastern European orthodox Christians say that If it thunders on his feast day, there will be no figs , nor hazels that year, meaning the reaping of the same will be poor, or insignificant. I heard this superstition repeated over and over , as I grew up, ever since child, my granny used to mention it a lot. On few occasions I bothered to check how much merit is there to this belief, it had seemed to be very accurately ominous indeed.
Herbs and Minerals that call or repel lightning
Throughout centuries herbs and minerals were associated with Thunder and used accordingly to repel it or even attract it. Hawthorn, Birch, Wood Betony and particularly Houseleek were used to protect from Lightning and electric storms. Out of the listed Houseleek was considered to have most protective power, against electric storms and lightning, furthermore when strategically deployed around the house, usually in four corners of the house, or yard. Pilot weed burned during electric storms is belived to avert lightning [4 ] Feverfew protects from acciednts involving electric energy, so the Hoodoo herbalism says , and closely looking up on it, it makes much sense to believe it's protective against lightning strike as well.
On the Other hand, Obeah Wood, Ebony, Nut tree ( Jugulans sp. ) were considered to attract the lightning. Oak was also believed to attract lightning , and was associated with all sort of “thunderous deities” ( Zeus, Perun etc. ) . Pieces of lighting struck wood resonate with spiritual power, and have been used to conjure and invoke lightning and electric storms* , and also in weather magick. In Hoodoo, they are used to empower or honor Loa like Chango .
|Fulgurite or "Lightning glass"|
Fulgurite is a naturally occurring mineral formed when Lightning strikes in sand beaches. The heat from the lightning fuses nearby sand particles together, in a form of glass-y material, which is often listed and sold under mineral s used in crystal-therapy , and magick. Fulgorite is believed to be great adjunct to power,
As well as powerful tool in fire magick and defensive magick. Amber, which is , as we know, not really mineral, but fossilized resin, has natural tendency to create static electricity and is therefore often associated with protection from Lightning and manipulation of electric energies, in “psionic “ type energy work. Crystals that have photoelectric effect can also be used the same manner .
Catching the lightning’s or Thunder’s “ashe”
As with anything else, Lightning is believed to have it’s “ashe” in Hoodoo, which can be rather useful in empowerment and defense against evil. Mojo bags can be created outdoors when thunders cut the sky, and are kept raised toward s the skies, open, to “catch” the energy, the “ashe” of the lighting. A suggestion made about how to make Fulgurite onself, has some very magical methodology behind it, incidentally or not, and is a nice form to catch Thunder's energy and "ashe" , perhaps even literatily lol . If You'd like to try here's how to make Your own Fulgurite
Oil and lightning both correspond to same element, fire. So I was thinking, and came up with this simple Lightning oil formulation :· Base oil
· Piece of Lightning struck wood
· Optional: Piece of Fulgurite, Amber or Lodestone
If possible, combine all in an open vessel during the thunderstorm and raise above head , so that the oil may absorb some of the lightning energy.
Could be used in weather witchery, empowerment or defense against evil, to strike fear or banish evil spirits, casting them away. Could also make great adjunct to Uncrossing rituals and formulas. Maybe also as devotional l oil to “thunderous” deities ( such as St. Barbara, Chango, St. Elijah the prophet etc )
Same could be made into mojo bag, minus the oil and plus Obeah wood , for example. Such could be used for empowerment, mastery over adverse conditions and weather spells*
A little bit of Langikappe :
I suggest this grea scrap from London times, If You wish to know more on folk magick protection against lightningNOTES: This article was written and composed by myself , should You wish to use any part of it elswhere online, add credits, Shadow of Shadow's magick place, Shadowfirstname.lastname@example.org or a direct link to this post. Oil formula is my own personal "invention" so You may only post it elswehere online with giving credits and if You make no profit out of such.
CREDITS AND REFRENCES :
 http://books.google.me/books?id=8rGpO_TzeCsC&pg=PA35&lpg=PA35&dq=african+beliefs+about+thunder+and+lightning&source=bl&ots=mmzoKhitkc&sig=3DWrp9MyQAa5F6bdHE2UK7DkPFg&hl=en&sa=X&ei=WvP8T96AOYfGtAal87TwBQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=african%20beliefs%20about%20thunder%20and%20lightning&f=false As mentioned on here http://community.essence.com/forum/topics/20-superstitions-black-people
 according to http://www.lightningsafety.com/nlsi_info/myths.html
 According to Cunningham Scott
*Why’d someone used weather spells and magick , or conjure thunderstorm ? Looking back on history of Persia, Egypt, Rome, Greece, and medieval Europe to destroy someone else’s lands or crops, or even harm people, like opposing army forces , for example. Sometimes, practitioner may summon Lightning or Storms , as instructed by spirits, to express their will or attitude towards something. Mamzelle Leveaux was said to had once conjured up a thunderstorm , and that way had interrupted that public execution that was believed to be unfair.