Saturday, May 30, 2020

Genies, Djin, and Dust Devils


Compare the visual similarity of the dust devil to the manifesting Djin

The Djin is a popular character better known as a Genie. With roots as old as human records of desert phenomena, these legends are based on observation of dust devils. Ancient nomads watched sandstorms wander across the desert, and told of them in legend and story as they traveled. Their ability to magically give and take things likely stems from the sand's ability to cover up whole settlements, and to reveal what it covered long ago.

The Djin in esoteric myth is attributed to an Arabian tradition spirit formed of more subtle matter and of a higher order than humans. There are many kinds of Djin. Some say they are composed of air and were created thousands of years before humans, but like humans, will be destroyed at the last judgment. Djin are hard to kill and long-lived, but can be killed by comets flung from heaven and can kill each other. The Koranic tradition says they were created from fire and have fire in their veins. According to the Koran, Solomon employed them to help build his temple. During the spread of Christianity one could deduce that these myths became records of a culture that resisted conversion by the Church.The Bedouin  tribes say they are invisible demons. Local legends say the ancient city of Petra was haunted by Djin and was their home. At one time Bedouins killed outsiders to keep Petra a secret, perhaps to protect engineering knowledge used to move water around creating a productive oasis in the desert, and the techniques used by masons for building into the rock face.

Kings named Suleyman governed genies. According to legend they ruled the earth before the creation of Adam. One mythology records that the Djin battled the angels, lost, and were then forced to go to islands in the Arabian Gulf. Angels took a young Djin prisoner; his name was Iblis. He became their leader. When God said, “worship Adam”, the angels said “yes”, but Iblis refused. He was turned into a devil, leading the Shaytan Djin. Shaytan becomes Satan. Although not all Djin are evil, one defends against the evil ones with iron, as with European fairies. Djin are powerful spirits, which assume all kinds of shapes. They can appear as a beautiful woman, and have vertical slits for pupils. They can mate and have families. Male Djin may not marry human women, but female Djin can marry human men – the children of these unions appear human, but can fly, walk through walls, and have extreme longevity.

Folklore about Djin is an example of palimpsest by local cultures onto oral mythologies which have their roots in natural phenomenon. Placing the symbolism in context with historic and natural events helps to sort out and order the descriptions and legends surrounding the Djin. The beginnings of descriptions of a natural phenomenon became fable and legend, and as local fables were merged, the stories were added to.  Genies are a favorite character in contemporary stories and movies such as Aladdin.

Michelle Paula Snyder
Michelle Snyder is a professor of mythology, and an author, publisher, speaker, and artist. She  did her post-graduate research at the University of Wales, decoding ancient and prehistoric symbolism, mythology, folklore, and fairy tales.  Her artwork has appeared in galleries from Massachusetts to California. Michelle is co-owner of White Knight Studio.


Symbologist Michelle Snyder
Non-Fiction - Symbology:
Symbology: Decoding Symbols through History
Symbology: Fairy Tales Uncovered
Symbology: Art and Symbols
Symbology: Hidden in Plain Sight
Symbology: ReVision
Symbology: World of Symbols

Michelle Paula Snyder
Fiction – Fantasy Wonder Tales:
The Fairy Tales: Once Upon a Time Lessons, First Book
Call of the Dragon and other Tales of Wonder
Tears of the Dragon and other Tales of Wonder
A Tale of Three Kingdoms, book one: The Lost Unicorn
 A Tale of Three Kingdoms, book two The Lost Mermaid 
A Tale of Three Kingdoms, book three The Lost Dragon

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Clipper Ships and Starships


R D Enzmann 1949
The Generation Ship is a timid concept. It is brave, and at the same time anguished, hesitant, and fearful. The Generation Ship can succeed, it can carry huddled masses in enormous arks across frontiers into new lands, onward to new and better lives.
I know all too well the timidity that plagues most people, the hesitation and the fear of venturing into new lands across distant horizons into frontier regions. Such people may be compared with the masses huddled within a multi-Generation Ship.
I have so often seen what appears to me as a “Huddled Masses” syndrome. I am (old?) enough to remember the introduction of the horseless carriage (the automobile “car”, or as in Sweden, “Bile”). It was resisted. I remember the resistance to locomotive (the iron horse) by a combination of entrenched businesses, ill tempered bellicose savants, and varied holy men. The use of electricity was a surprise. Its implementation swift, practical, economic, and wonderfully beneficial.
And yet, even the most timid will venture a little. Then a little more, and yet more: growing ever stronger, wiser, and more competent. Many have died, and many more will die in the future; some quietly, modestly scarcely seen, many variously struggling, and some magnificently, as the Greeks and Thermopylae in the east, and Syracuse in the west stood fast to change worlds history.
How different are the maps of coastal navigators and those who sail the great Mediterranean out of sight of land. How different again are the maps of sailors who challenged the mighty oceans of the world – the Atlantic, and a vast Pacific. How different were their ships.  The proud (sheer and lap-straked) Viking ships which could surge through the frightful seas and storms of the north Atlantic.  They are as different from the lesser Umiak as the proposed Echo-lance starships are from the interstellar multi-generation arks.
The magnificent Viking ships evolved into the unparalleled Yankee, English, and the European Clipper Ships.  I have sailed under canvas in an American Clipper ship, it is, it was, wonderful; superlatives fail me.  I can imagine the races between greyhound’s of the sea such as Thermopylae, the Cutty Sark, and others across the world.  Lance-like ships will - and must - evolve into equivalents of the Boeing 747.  The Clipper Ships were at home in, and sailed well in all oceans, as does the beautiful Boeing 747 in the air.
I have smelled the tar and oakum, listened to the musical tink, plinck, and resonant thump of mallets as men’s swarmed over the hull the clipper, caulking it.  I briefly work at it; how good lunch tasted then. I have walked in sailing lofts where women, children, and a few men stitched, hemmed, and edged, etc. the sails which would soon challenge the winds of Cape Horn. They created the sails upon which the lives of fathers, husbands, brothers, and friends would soon depend.  And often, the man who furled, hauled, tied, sometimes beat at sails with fists to loosen them, knew who had staged, cut, and even woven the fabric.  The sailor’s a knew who had made their ropes on the today forgotten rope-walks.  Quite often in old bath Maine a sailor would have been on a trip importing hemp and tar, worked on a rope-walk, and helped rig his own ship.
It is a great sight, a great moment, when a new launched ship, fully-found, is under the hand of a master mariner headed for blue water.  The devoted work of hundreds, for years, in the hands of one man – who in whole and/or in part holds their work, toil, hopes, hearts, and many of their lives.
The rollout of a new airplane is a treat.  It is even more delicious if you are part of the community that built it, for somewhat, but not quite like the sailing ship, the airplane is yours.  There are so many things to know and to be done in building an airplane.  At its best it demands care, great skill, and love, yet it is different from the Clipper Ship – perhaps the difference lies in the nature of the voyages.
I think it is the Starship – not the Generation Ship with its huddled legions - ships like the Echo-lance, moving almost the speed of light, with small, proud, independent crews, that will be most like the Clipper Ships.

Written by Doc E, provided by the Foundation for Research of the Enzmann Archive, Inc. (FREA) . For more on starships, search for the Enzmann Starship online and visit the Enzmann Starship blog. 


Michelle Paula Snyder
Michelle Snyder is a professor of mythology, and an author, publisher, speaker, and artist. She  did her post-graduate research at the University of Wales, decoding ancient and prehistoric symbolism, mythology, folklore, and fairy tales.  Her artwork has appeared in galleries from Massachusetts to California. Michelle is co-owner of White Knight Studio and founder of FREA.


Symbologist Michelle Snyder
Non-Fiction - Symbology:
Symbology: Decoding Symbols through History
Symbology: Fairy Tales Uncovered
Symbology: Art and Symbols
Symbology: Hidden in Plain Sight
Symbology: ReVision
Symbology: World of Symbols

Michelle Paula Snyder
Fiction – Fantasy Wonder Tales:
The Fairy Tales: Once Upon a Time Lessons, First Book
Call of the Dragon and other Tales of Wonder
Tears of the Dragon and other Tales of Wonder
A Tale of Three Kingdoms, book one: The Lost Unicorn
 A Tale of Three Kingdoms, book two The Lost Mermaid 
A Tale of Three Kingdoms, book three The Lost Dragon

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Mothers

Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun, 1755-1842
Mothers are worshiped and feared, loved and resented, emulated and ignored. They are powerful storytellers, hard workers, and resilient human beings.  

Where would we be without mothers? Truth is, we wouldn't be. Mothers have been around since life began. Children are the hope of the future, and mothers bring forth children. A female’s ability to produce new life was worshiped as sacred in the oldest civilizations. The future of the human race depended - depends - upon this blessing.

Have you ever seen “cookie cutter” kids? You know, a mother with kids in tow, and they all look like mini versions of her, all copies of each other? What an amazing sight. Our hair, skin, and eye color all come from our inherited genetics. Likewise, centuries of cultural tradition and millennia of human behavior deposit genetic memories - images, symbols, called archetypes – which carry ghosts of culture and tradition. The oldest and perhaps most powerful of these symbols is the mother, a vision seen since life began. A mother’s love is said to be the most prevailing and powerful emotion.  

Inscriptions from 14,500 years ago, translated by Duncan-Enzmann, tell of mothers caring for children. Daughters were precious because they could produce life, assuring another generation and thus hope for the survival of the human race. Celebrations of Mother are found in ancient Greek and Roman festivals dedicated to the goddess Cybele. These festivals were in honor of motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” That is quite a responsibility. Today much of it lay with daycare mothers - but mothers none the less.

Scripture admonishes us to honor our mothers. An old holiday called Mothering Sunday was celebrated in Britain, a day the Church set aside during lent in which children returned to their home church, usually taking their mothers with them. In 1913, Miss Anna Jarvis instituted a day to be set aside in honor of motherhood, and since then Mothers’ Day has been celebrated both here and in Britain, eventually replacing Mothering Sunday. Mother-in-law day did not have the same success.

Today, Mothers’ Day honors love for and of mothers around the world. Husbands and children express appreciation for the endless flow of motherly love with symbols of affection: phone calls, cards, chocolates, flowers, jewelry, and framed pictures of the kids are among the most popular in the West. Taking Mom out to eat is traditional, relieving her of both cooking and cleaning up. Some children present Mom with handmade gifts or write poems for mom in cards they make. 

This Mother’s Day why not start a family tradition of your own, make a phone call, make a card, make a cake, but make it special. Be thankful for your mom - without her, you would not be. 



Happy Mother's Day, Mom. 

Michelle Paula Snyder
Michelle Snyder is a professor of mythology, and an author, publisher, speaker, and artist. She  did her post-graduate research at the University of Wales, decoding ancient and prehistoric symbolism, mythology, folklore, and fairy tales.  Her artwork has appeared in galleries from Massachusetts to California. Michelle is co-owner of White Knight Studio.


Symbologist Michelle Snyder
Non-Fiction - Symbology:
Symbology: Decoding Classic Images
Symbology: Decoding Symbols through History
Symbology: Fairy Tales Uncovered
Symbology: Art and Symbols
Symbology: Hidden in Plain Sight
Symbology: ReVision
Symbology: World of Symbols
Symbology: Secrets of the Mermaids

Michelle Paula Snyder
Fiction – Fantasy Wonder Tales:
The Fairy Tales: Once Upon a Time Lessons, First Book
Call of the Dragon and other Tales of Wonder
Tears of the Dragon and other Tales of Wonder
A Tale of Three Kingdoms, book one: The Lost Unicorn
 A Tale of Three Kingdoms, book two The Lost Mermaid 
A Tale of Three Kingdoms, book three The Lost Dragon

Fabulous flaming Firebird


The legend of the Russian Firebird is the ancestor of the Phoenix. The Firebird is a large bird with majestic plumage that glows with red, orange, and yellow light. The feathers do not cease glowing if removed; one feather can light a large room. In later iconography, the Firebird takes the form of a peacock, with a crest on its head and tail feathers with glowing "eyes.” In Faerie tales the Firebird is typically the object of a difficult quest, usually initiated by the finding of a lost feather. The hero sets out to find and capture the live bird. At first the hero is charmed by the wonder of such a creature, but eventually the hero blames the bird for his troubles. According to Russian folklore, the Firebird, owned by Tsar Vyslav Andronovitch, was used to steal golden apples from a nearby tsar’s garden. Another Russian tale states that a feather from the tail of the Firebird was presented to the Tsar by a knight-errant. The Tsar greatly desired the whole bird and sent the reluctant knight after it; in this tradition, the Firebird was huge and aggressive. In contemporary literature - the Harry Potter series, written by Cynthia Rowling - the Firebird’s descendant, the Phoenix, assists the hero in overcoming the Basilisk.


The Phoenix is a fabulous bird known for extreme longevity; likened to the stork, eagle, heron, falcon, and peacock the bird is capable of auto-combustion and can self-regenerate from its own ashes. In the accounts of Herodotus and Plutarch, the Phoenix originated in Ethiopia as a mythical bird of matchless splendor and extraordinary longevity. Having been cremated upon the funeral pyre, the bird was reborn from its own ashes. This peculiar bird is part of mythologies all over the world. The Turks call the Phoenix kerk├ęs, simurgh is the name in Persia, and the Taoists know it as the cinnabar bird. In Egypt, it is called bennu and is sacred to Ra. The heron and Phoenix are both ancient symbols of the primeval flood and the inundation of the Nile. The Imperial Romans used the Phoenix as an emblem for the undying Empire. C. d’Alviella said it well:
        “Amongst the Egyptians, the Phoenix rising from its ashes represented the sun resuscitating every  morning in the glow of dawn. Depicted on a pyre, and encircled by a halo of glory, this solar Bird became, amongst the Romans, the emblem of the imperial apotheoses, and then passed to the sarcophagi of the Christians, as a symbol of the Resurrection.”
The Phoenix is related to the Roc and the Garuda of Hindu mythology. The fabulous creature was friend to Quetzalcoatl, bringing blessings and happiness to the Aztec, Toltec, and Maya. In Chinese lore the Phoenix is called Feng Hwang, one of the four sacred creatures of the directions, representing the solar Yang and lunar Yin powers. Japan calls it the Ho-O, a bird representing the sun, which comes to earth in successive ages to herald a new era. In Arabia, the Phoenix is associated with the sun; in their legends the bird sits in a nest that is ignited by solar rays. The Greek name for the palm-tree is Phoenix; in some folklore the Phoenix nest is on top of a palm tree. The branches of the palm tree have long been associated with the sun. In Christian iconography, the three-day rebirth of the Phoenix is considered a perfect figure to represent the resurrection of the Christ on the third day, and it was the only creature in the Garden of Eden to resist the temptation of Eve.


Like many ancient symbols and myths the Phoenix has its roots in astronomical observations, and ancient cultures that recorded them. The myth of the Phoenix grew from the spectacular disappearance and reappearance of the sun during a total eclipse. Venerated as the manifestation of the sun god of Heliopolis, the Phoenix appears only once every thousand or so years. Legends claim there is never more than one Phoenix at a time in the world; total solar eclipses are rare events. Although they occur somewhere on earth every eighteen months, they have been estimated to recur at any given place only once every few centuries. As the eclipse progresses, the corona and sun flares become visible to the eye; they could be described as a great bird that catches fire, dies, and then is reborn. Our ancestors observed and recorded the phenomenon, and legends of the Firebird and Phoenix were born.

Michelle Paula Snyder
Michelle Snyder is a professor of mythology, and an author, publisher, speaker, and artist. She  did her post-graduate research at the University of Wales, decoding ancient and prehistoric symbolism, mythology, folklore, and fairy tales.  Her artwork has appeared in galleries from Massachusetts to California. Michelle is co-owner of White Knight Studio.


Symbologist Michelle Snyder
Non-Fiction - Symbology:
Symbology: Decoding Symbols through History
Symbology: Fairy Tales Uncovered
Symbology: Art and Symbols
Symbology: Hidden in Plain Sight
Symbology: ReVision
Symbology: World of Symbols

Michelle Paula Snyder
Fiction – Fantasy Wonder Tales:
The Fairy Tales: Once Upon a Time Lessons, First Book
Call of the Dragon and other Tales of Wonder
Tears of the Dragon and other Tales of Wonder
A Tale of Three Kingdoms, book one: The Lost Unicorn
 A Tale of Three Kingdoms, book two The Lost Mermaid 
A Tale of Three Kingdoms, book three The Lost Dragon