KIRAN ATMA: Shape-Changing
Showing posts with label Shape-Changing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shape-Changing. Show all posts

Paganism & Wicca - What Are Animal Gods, Familiars And Shape-Changing?

One of the most significant differences between modern neo Pagans and Peoples of the Book Jews, Christians, and Muslims is their belief in the divinity of both human and animal existence. 

Instead, all animals, including humans, are in the image of the gods or (in certain cultures) are gods themselves, "animals" are not always considered as "inferior life-forms," as they are in those faiths. Pagans' relationships with the natural world differ to some degree. 


Some Neo-Pagans believe that nature is there to be harvested, but that humans owe the spirits of animals and plants a deliberate gesture of gratitude for their contributions. 


  • Many, if not all, forms of life, according to Others, have their own intellect and integrity, and should be produced as colleagues and companions, and in some cases as instructors. 
  • Men wrapped in animal skins, presumably practicing shamanic or hunting magic, are portrayed in Neolithic cave paintings as the earliest known magical working between humans and ocher animals.
  • Dances, songs, and folktales depict the activities and adventures of significant animal species such as the bear, raven, owl, wolf, and fox, from the inuit of the Arctic Circle to the Ainu, the oldest seti people on the Japanese islands. 
  • In one Ainu ceremony, the ladies wear blankets dyed to look like crows and do a line dance to the accompaniment of drums and chant. 
  • The Ainu are also the only surviving bear cultists, who worshiped a female bear deity and drank from her skull during holy ceremonies until modern times. 
  • The shaman's capacity to take animal shape, seek the assistance of an animal friend, or co-share consciousness with an animal enables him to see and hear the world from the ground, the air, and under the sea. 
  • Wiccans and Asatru who use traditional lion trance techniques frequently report that their spirit guides take the form of animals, and many will "shape-change" during their spirit journeys, allowing them co fly and swim, as well as walk and run, in their search for hidden knowledge. 
  • Animal companions that bring good fortune or bad fortune are a global occurrence. 
  • A folk tale about a supernatural fish who bestows good or ill wishes on a fisherman is an example of an animal aid. 
  • A shape-shifting chase between a goddess and her "prey" in a British ballad recalls an incident in the Mabinogian in which Cerridwen (or Caridwin) chases Gwion Bach for stealing a magical brew meant for another, bestowing upon him the power of animal language and, after his transformation into Tales and poetry. 

  • Many deities in Norse mythology have animal forms as well as animal companions. 
  • Skadhi, a mountain giantess, could transform into a hawk, her father Thiazy into an eagle, and Freya, a Vanic goddess, into a falcon. 
  • Lieu cooks on an eagle in Celtic mythology, whereas other goddesses are associated with horses or swans. 
  • Because of their nocturnal habits, quiet flying, and spooky night cry, owls were linked with wisdom as a symbol of the Greek goddesses Athena and Demeter, but also with death or sorcery by many peoples. 
  • Many gods and goddesses that wandered the battlefield, like as the Irish Morrigan, were linked with ravens and crows, which scavenge on dead flesh. Snakes have long been emblems of feminine knowledge and strength, from the Minoan snake goddess of Knossos to the Nagas of India. 

  • Pagan religion also includes fish, amphibians, arachnids, and insects. A salmon is a sign of knowledge in Celtic mythology. 
  • Toads have been revered for their toxic and hallucinogenic secretions, frogs have been respected for their metamorphosis from toadpoles, spiders have been venerated for their ability to spin, and scarabs (dung beetles) have been venerated for their ability to emerge out of trash. 
  • Freya was believed to ride in a cat-drawn wagon. Goddesses and cats, on the other hand, have a lengthy history. 
  • The statue of a mountain goddess discovered in C::atal Hilyilk and dated to about 6000 B.C.S. is thought to be Cybele or a comparable proto-goddess; it depicts the goddess surrounded by two lions. Juno's chariot was drawn by the Lions. 
  • Only two of the deities who were known as Lady of the Beasts and protectors of all animals were Astarte and Artemis. 
  • To entice Europa, the Greek deity Zeus assumed the shape of a bull. 
  • The Templars were accused of worshiping Baphomet, a goat-headed god associated with the Christian Satan. 
  • As Paganism started its contemporary resurgence in the early twentieth century, Pan, the goat-footed deity, was rediscovered and replaced Diana as the main male and female deities. 
  • Stag gods are said to have originated in prehistoric Britain and Europe, but the rituals of the hunter and the hunted, who was both a god of fertility and a god of death, were carried on as rural pageants into the medieval and early modern eras. 


Many Egyptian gods and goddesses were animals, either by birth or by agreement. 


  • Their animal­ human essence was linked, and it is a testament to the unification of mankind and all of nature, which was ingrained in both Egyptian religion and everyday life in ancient Egypt. 
  • The most well-known Egyptian animal goddesses are undoubtedly Bast, the cat-headed goddess of the household, and her wilder sister, Sekhmet, the lion-headed goddess. 
  • Ta-urc, the hip­popotamus goddess of birthing and fertility, and Sebek, the crocodile deity of protection and retribution, as well as funerary and pharaonic deities like Tahuti ibis), Anubis jackal), and Horus (falcon), were prominent to every Egyptian deities. In many parts of the globe, cats are the foundation of wealth. 
  • As a result, it's not unexpected that cows and bulls have been integrated into religious beliefs. 
  • The primordial cow Audhumla licked the first man free from a block of salty ice, according to Norse mythology. Hathor, the Egyptian deity, is shown wearing a cow-horn headpiece. 
  • The Apis bull was an early Egyptian fertility deity with solar and chthonic characteristics, and holy bulls were slaughtered and mummified in his honor. 



Modern-day Wiccans have resurrected the Sacred Stag and his foliate form, the Green Man, as emblems of the masculine essence, replacing Pan. 


  • Pigs and boars were the main sacrifice animals for the Eleusinian Mysteries in Greece, and they represented a variety of goddesses and gods from India to Egypt to Ireland (see Mystery Religions). 
  • Dogs were linked with the virgin huntress Diana, a Roman goddess. Cerberus, a three-headed hound, guarded the Greek underworld. 
  • However, throughout the Middle Ages, dogs, particularly black canines, were linked with the Christian Satan. 
  • An intoxicated sacristan dedicated to the Virgin Mary was stumbling out of the basement to go to church when he was accosted by a bull, a dog, and a lion, according to a twelfth-century tale. 
  • In each instance, a female with a white handkerchief drove the animals away till the chef the sacristan was finally rucked into bed. 


It was thought that witches maintained familiars, or creatures that clung to their bid­ clings, throughout the Middle Ages and early modern era. 


  • Fear of a lady or man who could speak with animals and didn't follow the Christian taboo that separated people from all other creatures often resulted in the death of the individual and his or her animal companion. 
  • Much of the wanton cruelty to vehicles and dogs that animal rights organizations are fighting today likely started with these slaughters. 
  • While owls, crows or ravens, hens, and a wide variety of ocher animals are often thought of as witches' familiars, witches have been known to connect with owls, crows or ravens, hens, and a broad variety of ocher animals. 
  • To create a familiar, the witch would traditionally allow the animal companion to nurse from her or taste a drop of her blood, forming a mother-­child connection with her animal companion. 
  • Animals may have been revered as gods or symbols of gods, but they were also sacrifices in ancient times. 
  • They were sometimes simply slaughtered in a ceremonial manner—for example, to worship Cattle on their journey to the butcher's shop—but more frequently they were given in blood rituals to honor a deity or to send a message to a god in the Otherworld. 
  • Huge cemeteries filled of mummified vehicles, ibises, hawks, and other creatures provide silent witness to the temple business of animal sacrifice. 


Modern Pagans and Wiccans see animals as having souls, and therefore regard their lives as holy in the same way that human life is revered. 

  • The death of a beloved pet cat, dog, or snake may be just as painful for many neo-Pagans as the death of a human relative, and some Pagan periodicals include "in memoriam" sections where both two-footed and non-two-footed family members can be remembered. 
  • Many Witches take pleasure in vehicle herding, or at least mutual feline-human respect, and Polk traditions like as horse whispering have been extended to encompass communication with a range of nonhuman people. 
  • Human and nonhuman per­ son connection and mutual respect are essential elements in the preservation of the numerous species that are threatened today, according to most neo-Pagans.


You may also want to read more about Paganism here.

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