Jul 19, 2012

St Elijah the Thunderous

St Elijah is the Old Testament Bible prophet and Saint , whose name , when translated is indicative of his strong faith in One True Lord/God, God of Abraham and Israelites. He was born in city Thisbe, hence sometime  called St. Ejijah Thisbite, and he had lived in Syria 850 years BC .

St Elijah, shown being
fed by Ravens
He had lived in time of reign of king Ahab and his dominant, evil  worshiping/er wife Jezebel, and was the one to  deliver a message  to king Ahab about  his wicked ways and the consequence they will have upon his people and lands. He had warn them that for the three and a half years, their lands  shall be arid, that the “Heavens will close”  and  no rain drop, nor even dewdrop shall be present on their grounds. And it had been so, the trees and plants were scorched and dry, and they  starve d.  He then, led by    Divine providence went to reside  at  brook Cherith nearside Jordan, where he had been fed by ravens, miraculously, and had drunk  from the brook . Once the brook dried up , due to the dry weather.

Here is how the good book describes these events (1Ki 17:1 ): 

Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe[a] in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”
2 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: 3 “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. 4 You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.”
 5so he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.” [1]

God sent him certain widow of Zarephath, who  brought him meals and drinks, and fed him. In gratitude he miraculously replenished meat and oil in her store, and had resurrected her deceased son. He had then , with help of one of the solider of king Ahab, requested king’s acquaintance, and Ahab had  arrived at Elijah’s residing place, referring to him as “ troubler of Israel” , and they agreed to  organize a public sacrificing, in order to demonstrate what faith is true, Elijah’s or Ahab’s.  King’s priests  had officered  sacrifices to their profane deities, including the demonic Baal that Jezebel worshiped, and Elijah offered the miracle to his Lord. Miraculously, as soon as Elijah had finished his praying, the thunder , in form of radiant blue fire  descended from the Heaven and enveloped the sacrifice of Elijah, proving therefore that his faith was the  true way. 

Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench” [2]

He was forced to fled into wilderness, due to Jezebel’s threatening she would make sure to take his life. He slept in cave and was miraculously fed by Lord’s Angel by cake and water.  On his way to Horeb he took residence at cave where G’d in his mercy, spoke to him, giving him insight in questions he asked the Lord.

About six years afterwards he warns Ahab and Jezebel of their violent deaths, and how Jezebel would be eaten by dogs, and he had also warned his successor   Ahaziah that he will die  due to illness, and all those prophecies came to be.

As the time of his departure drew closer, Elijah had went to  Gilgals, to visit his anointed prophet successor Elisha, who refused to be parted from his teacher and went alongside Elijah. Witnessing wondrous miracle of ascendance of St Elijah into Heaven  in a fiery chariot, he  requested a double partition  of his teachers spirit.  Ascending into Heavens, St Elijah said  that his request will be granted and his mantle, falling from chariots felt into Elisha’s hand, thus being symbolically indicative of such.

You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.”

11 As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. “ [3]

The “cult” of St. Elijah in folk magick

Throughout the Europe, St Elijah had been  identified with  all sort of spirits, despite the fact that he had  been a living person at certain point, like with Helios (???)  in Central Europe for example .In Russia and Eastern Europe, St Elijah is  highly venerated as folk saint, and often referred as “Thunderous” or “Thunderer” , due to belief  that he posses power over thunders, lightning and storms. On his feast day 20th of July ( according to Julian calendar, celebrated to 2nd of Auust according to Gregorian calendar, in Eastern Orthodox churches communities ) , and on this day folk people will not saw, harvest or do any sort  of field , or cattle work, due to the fear that this fiery Saint shall punish them and destroy their harvests , and lands.

In some remote parts of Balkan peninsula animal sacrifices are even today offered to this Saint, to “appease” him, associated either with agricultural goals ( in which case, the sacrifice, usually pig, is eaten by community, using bare hands to rip the  meat off the bones :S ) or health of the specific family member ( in which case the animal would be leaft to rot naturally outdoors and be eaten by scavengers ), so we can see how the first type of sacrificing, is more  a community ritual, whereas the latter is more a inside-family ritual.

Folk people in Europe, gladly  transfer orally legend of how St. Elijah was born, indicating how he is fiery and Thunderous. They say  how his Father saw Elijah as baby being surrounded by Angels that fed him with fire.  In Hungary they have even more weird legends about St Elijah. Some ethnologists think how he was ( in a way ) syncretized with Perun,  the Thunderous chief deity of Slavic pantheon , or more likely simply took it’s place in folk magickal traditions of Russia and Eastern Europe. In association with this is the belief explained bellow in text.

Folk people of Balkan petition Elijah against Ale ( demonic chthonic spirits, plural of “Ala”, they bring the bad weather ) and believe that he banishes them away and whirls  lightning at them, much like Slavic deity was believed to  Perun once had. Eastern Europeans believe that Ale are so nasty and devouring, that If it was not for St Elijah  and some other Saints and few spirits that fight them, they’d eat the Moon itself. Which according to folk belief would draw to Sun  fading from sorrow for his mate. Luckily St Elijah can get Ale , even If they hide in hollow trees.

If the thunders are heard on his feast day folk people of Eastern Europe have a habit to say: “That’s Elijah , drivin’ in his fiery chariot, across the sky, throwing ‘em devils down, whit lightning”  Indeed, folk people also believe that he vanquishes demons and evil spirits , with lightning, and furthermore that lightning - struck  places created on his feast days are indicative of where the demons stood , doing their mischief on this day. In connection to that is the ritual of collection of St Elijah’s  water, described latter in the text.

Cunning folk, and  folk likewise, in Eastern Europe had known  to invoke and petition Elijah  for many other things as well, such as to bring rain, or justice even. I remember reading a story of an old lady , when I was a little kid, in local newspaper. Her son was killed by neighbor and buried  somewhere on their land, but no one had believed her and the neighbor had mocked her, telling her how she would never encounter the body of her child, also being the key evidence of  this neighbors guilt. The old lady then, devastated, cried to St Elijah , “not to allow that the earth devours the evil secret" and asked   for justice. As the article then said, the skies opened on old lady’s cries and  a terrible storm started all of a sudden,   a storm that was not forecasted nor expected ( was a very dry , long summer ) and the rain started falling so intensively , followed with  an terrifying thunderstorm. In the morning, the body of the old lady’s son was found in mud , on the neighbors land, from which a great amount of soil was washed away by the rain. The justice was done.

Suggestions for  Hoodoo style working with St. Elijah

Ah, dang it, another one not on the list :S ( there are Saint’s we “do not work” with in Hoodoo because they are not on the “lists” of commonly petitioned  Saints in Hoodoo ) and If You want to know what I meant by that, I’ve addressed this issue in one of my previous posts, so to evade sounding like a broken record, perhaps You can read my article on St.Cosma and Damian

Colors we may associate with St Elijah are colors of Thunder and fire, therefore red and electric blue, latter in my humble opinion being somewhat finer , both corresponding to colors of the clothes and mantle he is usually wearing on religious depictions of this saint. He is said to be patron  Saint of sleep and sometimes transportation, but we could address Elijah for justice and mastery over adverse conditions ( such as torments by evil spirits as well ).  As we said above, in folk tradition he is petitioned against bad weather. I see no reason why he could not be petitioned for such as well.His feast day is 20th of July , even though of course he could  be petitioned at any time. He could be given thanks in form of lightning a candle from him, or offering him a piece of cake and glass of water ( as he had found such in desert, when an Angel in his  dream told him to wake up and eat )   or even by  donation to Churches dedicated to him. He is also considered to be  patron Saint of the St. Elijah Church, Aliquippa PA [4]

Here is my suggestion for composing   St. Elijah oil

·         Base oil , Olive oil would make good choice

      ·         Juniper berries or Juniper essential oil

      ·         Piece of Lightning struck wood

Preferably made on his Feast day,  or under stormy skies during summer. Optional  ingredient may be an Raven’s feather.

And another thing that could be  used in working with this Saint is St Elijah water, used in magick as demonifuge, and uncrossing agent , also for empowerment, banishment and mastery over adverse conditions. As a very good substitute use Lightning oil
St Elijah's tarditional, Greek Orthodox
Icon , depiction

 St Elijah (  the Thunderous ) water

Simply :

·         Rainwater collected in a vessel on  St Elijah feast day

Use as in florwashes, baths or as a sprinkle

Following Orthodox Christian hymn can be used in work with St Elijah, preceding or following, a heartfelt prayer :

An angel in the flesh and the cornerstone of the prophets,

the second forerunner of the coming of Christ,

Glorious Elijah sent grace from on high to Elisha,

to dispel diseases and to cleanse lepers.

Therefore, he pours forth healings on those who honor him”[5]

Hope You find this informative and useful, many Blessings
Shadow  :D

NOTES: This article was written and composed by myself , therfore If You wish to use any part of it eslwhere on line, feel free but add  credits, Shadow of Shadows magick place,   or  Shadow-333@hotmail.com or a direct link to this post.
[2] http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1Ki%2018:38&version=NIV
[3] http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2Ki%202:10-11&version=NIV
[4] according to  http://stelijahserbianorthodoxchurchaliquippa.com/the%20holy%20prophet%20elijah.htm
IMAGE CREDITS: The image depicting Prophet  Elijah siting on mountain stone is a traditional ,  orthodox Greek  Ikon, and comes from  www.wikipedia.com , and the other , showing Raven's feeding St Elijah is from www.St-Takla.org used here with no ill will, for illustrative and explanatory purposes only :)


No comments: