Thunder

The feet of the elephants winning the presidential election over the donkeys surely makes noise like thunder - which is this weeks symbol.

It seems that all multigod mythologies has one or many thunder gods. This is of course natural given the impact thunder must have had on people in ages before lightning conductors. An immense force that easily were interpreted as the wrath of some god and that occasionally set fire to things.

ford thunderbirdCommon divine tools to make thunder is hammer, axes and sling. The thunderbird of native american mythology makes thunder with its wings. Thunderbird is a symbolic concept that has made its way deep into western culture.

Africa has its fair share of thunder gods. Mulungu is known as the creator god in most of eastern africa and by many worshipped as a sky god speaking with thunder. The Yorùbás in Nigeria traces their ancestry to Shango - god of thunder. He wears a double axe on his head, has six eyes and features a ram as symbolic animal. He once was the fourth king of the Yorùbá and japanese for thunderwas deified after his death. Oya - one of Shangos wifes is the goddess of thunder. She stole the secrets of magic from her husband.

Japanese mythology features a number of thunder gods - some of them starting their names with rai, japanese for thunder (Not to be confused with the sort of bedouin music carrying the same name.) Raiden - god of thunder (rai) and ligtning (den) - is depicted as a red demon with sharp claws beating on a drum to make thunder. He is accompanied by Raiju (thunder animal) a demon of lightning. A tree beaten by lightning is said to have been scratched open by Raiju's claws. Raiden is nowadays a character in the video game Mortal Kombat. zeusThe receding and approaching of thunder is explained by the thunder god Aji-Suki-Taka-Hi-Kone. Apparently he was so noisy that the other gods had to carry him up and down a ladder to keep him quieter. Raitaro - the thunder baby - was given by Buddha to a peasant called Bimbo in answer to prayer for rain. Bimbo adopted Raitaro and became a wealthy farmer due to Raitaros ability to call forward clouds in times of need.

It is, of course, impossible to write about thunder without mentioning Zeus, king of the greek pantheon, having the thunderbolt as his main attribute. Zeus saved the cyclopes from a dungeon and mjollnirwas given thunder, the thunderbolt and lightning as gratitude.

The nordic counterpart of Zeus is Thor. He made thunder just by traveling in a chariot drawn by Tanngrísnir and Tanngnjóstur, magical goats that he could eat one day and then recreate the next with a little help of his hammer Mjollnir. A hammer that caused lightning and wonderously returned to its owner whenever thrown. Even the infinitely strong Thor needed a pair of iron gloves and a magical strengthincreasing belt in order to use Mjollnir.

The gods mentioned in this short overview of thunder are but a few of all known thunder gods.