Jul 13, 2012

Magick of Thunder and Lightning

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[1]  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. [2]  
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. [3]
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 before
In 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

Lightning oil

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 lightning
NOTES: 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, Shadow-333@hotmail.com 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.

[2] As mentioned on here http://community.essence.com/forum/topics/20-superstitions-black-people
[3] according to http://www.lightningsafety.com/nlsi_info/myths.html
[4] 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.
IMAGE CREDITS: The thunder image is from www.science.howstuffworks.com and is used here WITH NO ILL WILL, for illustrative purposes.  Same goes for fulgurite image that is from    www.nature.com and is used here for illustrative and explanatory purposes only


Anonymous said...

Not to be picky, but I have a small correction to make: the concepts of "ashe" and the spirit Chango (or "Shango") are not part of Hoodoo, but they are part of Lukumi ("Santeria"). Hoodoo is the folk magic of the American South,which is not the same as the Caribbean-based, African-derived tradition of Lukumi.

Hoodoo also has roots in Africa, but in the Congo, specifically the Bantu region. So, again, "Hoodoo," strictly speaking, does not have the concepts of Orishas or Ashe. Not that these are not useful concepts, of course. Just making the point for the sake of clarity.


Shadow said...

Thanks for Your correction. Strictly technically speaking, yes, both "ashe" and Loa Chango are not part of Southern style rootwork or Hoodoo.

But the term "ashe" is loosely used in Hoodoo often, to describe "Divine energy" which is indeed believed to run trough everything and anything, in Hoodoo.

As for Chango, as one of the "Seven African powers" he is a part of New Orleans Voodoo Hoodoo system of magick, which is not the same as Southern Hoodoo, spelt just Hoodoo, as You noted

Thanks for reading and commenting, and many Blessings :)