Re: [tied] Fire and the naughty little squirrel

From: João Simões Lopes Filho
Message: 5628
Date: 2001-01-18

The association of fire with red squirrels it's interesting. But there's
also a strong link with birds (remember Loki and Agni) - a bird-shaped god
who steals the fire (or nectar) is a well-defined myth around the world,
it's hard to say if it's some kind of universal tale or have some more
specific geographic context.
----- Original Message -----
From: Glen Gordon <glengordon01@...>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, January 18, 2001 8:34 AM
Subject: [tied] Fire and the naughty little squirrel

> I was thinking some more on "Fire-Born", otherwise known as *PerkWnos, and
> have come to my senses regarding the meaning of my hypothetical
> (or something along those lines). The real meaning would have to have been
> "Fire-Maker". It was suggested by someone else on this list before (Chris?
> Joao?) that *PerkWnos was the "father" of fire, but it had settled in my
> subconscious for a while only to resurface last week when I discovered
> something interesting when flipping through a book about North Asian
> mythology.
> Stepping back for a moment, let me re-explain that I view IE mythology to
> a result of the "EuroAnatolian mythos" radiating out of the Balkans from
> about 6000 BCE or even earlier, which itself was a product of the
> hybridisation of three sources: PreIE European, Semitoid and Steppe. So,
> working slowly but surely to arrive at describing these three different
> mythological traditions in a satisfying way.
> I've got Old European figured out... Nothing but a triaspectual goddess,
> here. How hard is that? :P
> The Semitoid mythos needs some work and all I know is that *Alu and *Ba`lu
> were only a small part of this polytheistic mythology. It was these two
> above that survived so well only because they became hopelessly entangled
> into the European Creatrix/Destructrix opposition that served as the core
> EuroAnatolian mythos.
> As for Steppe or Early IndoTyrrhenian mythology, I only knew of a possible
> god named *T:eian or *T:eieu, a non-descript formless sky god who was
> represented in human form. That's all I knew... until now. I now suspect
> strongly that there was in fact another deity, a Steppe storm god, totally
> different from the EuroAnatolian concept involving a strong, male rival
> opposing the sky god with his double-axe in hand with which he created his
> lightning and thunder. Instead, it appears that storms in Asia were
> represented from prehistoric times as a great eagle made of stone, the
> archetypal "Thunderbird", as in North American religion. It was with his
> stone claws that lightening was sparked.
> "So what's up with the naughty little squirrel?", you ask. Interesting
> question, thanks for asking :) It would appear that some Asian traditions
> talk about some small creature, usually a squirrel in association with the
> great stone eagle. The small creature is invariably the prey because
> what eagles do - they hunt squirrels, rats... y'know, eagle-food? This
> observation of nature led to the myth that a lightening strike was due to
> the Thunderbird trying to catch Squirrel.
> Who the hell's this Squirrel? Well duh! Squirrel is the mischievous
> who stole one of the fire-eyes of the sky. These eyes are the sun and the
> moon. So, the squirrel stole the fire from the moon and the Thunderbird
> chasing him down to try and get it back. The squirrel in this myth serves
> the "fire god". He has in a sense harnessed the fire of the sky and is
> therefore the embodiment of fire itself. So the squirrel (or any small
> critter of a similar ilk) is portrayed to be like fire, which can be both
> aid and a tool of destruction. Thus the squirrel was seen similarly as a
> healer and a bringer of plague. Sound familiar? The myth is alot like Agni
> and the mouse. I will let you all simmer on that a while. It would appear
> then that Squirrel became entangled in the new EuroAnatolian mythos where
> *XegWnis the fire god became associated with mice or squirrels by way of
> these die-hard Steppe beliefs. If I calculate right, there should be a
> little rivalry between *XegWnis and *PerkWnos in IE myth.
> I'm further convinced about this Squirrel god because of something I may
> have posted a long time ago on this list concerning SinoDene and Steppe.
> >From what I had already deduced, the word for "squirrel" or "mouse" in
> Steppe was *sik:Wru (*k:W is a fortis labiovelar), based on Uralic and
> Altaic. I found it interesting in itself that the word might relate to a
> SinoDene *c@...?kWu, my own Athabascan-looking reconstruction based on
> SinoTibetan and NWC. Now I have a mythological motive for the borrowing...
> Teehee! Thoughts? Anyone recommend a good mental asylum?
> - gLeN
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