Getting to Know the Powers: Sky

 

A basic introduction of the deity
Sky is the first of the Powers of the three Realms – Land, Sea and Sky – and most like his adoptive father Abundance. Together with his wife, Rain, he rules over the Upperworld, and thus is king of all things that fly, move through, or touch the sky – clouds, storms, rain, lightning, mountains and cliffs. But he is also connected to the worlds below, ever competing with his brother Water for the affections and love of their sister Earth. He is rambunctious, lascivious, prone to long and loud laughter and shouting, a fierce defender and generous ruler with a vastly expansive appetite for all good pleasures. He directs the weather patterns and keeps the order of the cosmos intact through his wisdom and sense of justice, as well as a willingness to strike those who would disrupt it with his mighty weapons. Of all things that fly, he loves prey-birds the best (particularly eagles), and of those earthly animals he loves, one is the child of the winds itself, and thus intimately connected with the sky (horse), and the others are stubborn and fierce noble protectors with mighty horns (bulls and goats).

Symbols and icons of this deity
Thunderstorms, lightning bolts, oak trees, horses, hammer/club, mountains, birds of prey, wheels, clouds, bulls, goats, cauldrons, iron objects, brewing vats and storage kegs/barrels (particularly those made out of oak)

A favorite myth or myths of this deity
The Establishment of the Three Realms
When the Mother, the Twins and the Sisters set forth the bounds and the rules of existence, setting into motion the Great Pattern, the world was still formless and amorphous, potentiality still wrapped in chaos but enfolded within the Pattern. And so the Mother began to shape the next stage of the Pattern, forming the world tripartite. She took a lash from her eye and breathed upon it, and it became a man, full of sight and truth, far-seeing and able to control the powers of the heavens. She took a tear and mixed it with spittle, and held it to her heart, and it became another man, brother to the first, full of wisdom and compassion, deeply-knowing and able to control the powers of the deep. And finally, she took a hair from her groin, mixed it with her fluids and blood, and held it to her belly, and it became a woman, lovely and fertile, both nourishing and consuming, and able to control all the powers of the world. And she revealed these to her other children, and they rejoiced, and the divine twin of light took them to himself and named them his own.
And the man of sight took to the high places, and wed himself to the queen of heaven, the Sister of the seeing, and claimed all of the upper reaches as his kingdom, from the treetops to the mountains, from the dawn on the horizon to the very edge of night.
The man of wisdom took to the deep places, and gave himself to the queen of the waves, the lurker in the depths, and claimed all of the lower reaches as his kingdom, from the rivers to the ocean, from the waves on the shore to the bottom of the trenches.
And the woman surveyed all that remained, the hills and the valleys, the peaks and the caves, the forests and marshes and plains, high and low and in-between, and gave herself to herself, and named herself queen over all things, subject to no man or woman but Night and the Sisters and the Great Pattern itself, and she rules over all things that move and live upon this world, from the birds of the air, to the creatures of the deep, for her realm contains and touches the others. But over the creatures and beings of the land she rules alone.
And the brothers quarrel endlessly, desiring the woman for themselves, to woo her and gain her favor. And at times she chooses the first, at at other times she chooses the second, but she is bound to neither, for she is the Earth, and all things that live and move in this world are born of her, nourished by her, and shall be consumed by her in the end.

Members of the family – genealogical connections
Mother – Night
Father – Abundance (adoptive)
Siblings – Divine Twins, Weird Sisters, Earth, Water
Consorts – Rain, Blood, Earth, Water
Children – Life, Wind

Other related deities and entities associated with this deity
Rain
Earth
Water
Life
Wind
Maker

Names and epithets
Lord of Thunder, Old Man, Grandfather, Lord of Clouds, Lord of Birds, Good God, Lord of Horses, Striker, Slayer, Lord of Heaven, Storm-Lord, Thunderer, Luck-Giver, God of Fortune, Bringer of Rain, God of the Wheel, High God, King of Eagles, Father-God, Giver of Blessings, Oak-King,
Thor, Thunor, Donner, Perkons, Perkunas, Perun, Taara, Fárbauti, An Dagda/Eochaid Ollathair, Taranis, Sucellos, Zeus Pater, Jupiter, Perëndi, Zibelthiurdos, Tuireann, Eacus, Sabazios, and Tinia are all Euro-American deities and spirits that can potentially work in this slot, for those pursuing specific cultures and mythologies.
Non-Euro-American deities that work are Indra, Teshub, Dyauṣ Pitrā, and Adad/Hadad/Ba’al
Euro-American (Finnish) deities that work but should probably not be used due to oppression/appropriation issues are Tuuri and Ukko/Jumala.
Euro-American deities that work but should not be used oppression/appropriation issues are Tiermes/Horagalles and Pajonn (Sámi), and Urtzi*/Orko (Basque)
*Note: Urtzi has not been definitively proven as a Basque deity other than as the word for sky, however many related words and concepts are similar to those of such figures as Thor and Zeus, which may indicate actual deification.

Variations on this deity (aspects, regional forms, etc.)
Sky has three main aspects – the Good Giver, the Striker, and the King on High
The Good Giver is the most personal and benevolent aspect of Sky. He is beloved because he is free with his gifts, loving to all who come to him, and never turning away from need. He loves food and drink, music and games, and, above, all sex with any and all who desire it. His stores are never-ending, his cups never empty, his hall never silent. He can bring the dead to life again with a touch, and he shares good fortune with all who ask for it.
The Striker is the most commonly called to aspect of Sky. He is the defender of the people, the mighty warrior whose weapon of choice (hammer, club, axe, or bolt) resounds through the sky during the storm. He wields lightning and thunder, and protects the balance of the cosmos from tipping too much into chaos. He is in eternal conflict with his brother, Water, often immortalized as a contest between an eagle and a serpent, for the affection and love of Earth.
The King on High is the aspect of Sky who rules over the Upperworld, and thus (in most tripartite cosmologies) the cosmos itself. He is the Ruler of Heaven, whose very presence is the embodiment of Law and who carries out justice. He rules and lives high above the world in the mountains of the clouds, where he can see all that happens below, and his eagles carry messages and information to and from his throne.

Festivals, days, and times sacred to this deity
Festival of Winter (Feast of High Winter/Yule)
Festival of the Sun
Oak Moon
Tribe Moon
Dawn to dusk

Any mundane practices that are associated with this deity?
Law enforcement
Jurisprudence
Horse-riding
Flying
Bird-keeping
Falconry
Beer brewing
Storm-chasing
Feasting
Mountain climbing

How does this deity relate to other gods and other pantheons?
Ruler/Lawkeeper

How does this deity stand in terms of gender and sexuality?
Sky is highly masculine, both in the boisterous, rowdy sense, and in the regal, kingly sense. He is a warm and comforting father-figure, a stern king, a wise judge, a polite guest and a magnanimous host.
Sexually, as with all of the other Powers, Sky falls into a multisexual spectrum. He is married to Rain, one of the consorts of Earth, and intimate with many humans and spirits of all genders and sexes. He also has a passionate love-hate relationship with his brother, Water, and many storms are the result of their affair.

What quality or qualities of this god do you most admire? What quality or qualities of them do you find the most troubling?
I admire his dedication to justice, to joy, to good things and good living, to peace and stability. But I find that his vision can become stagnant, black and white, vision without compassion or wisdom, all of the negative qualities of Lawful run rampant, unless balanced out with the depth of his brother. Those who are drawn to him can also lose sight of reality in their quest for unity, for perfection, for ascension, for truth without regard to the effect of those things on actual persons and the Pattern.

Art that reminds you of this deity




















Music that makes you think of this deity
Thor the Thunder God, Hildr Valkyrie
Riding with Thunder, Native Flute Ensemble
Ride of the Thunder Gods, Averil White
Bold Asa Thor, Verdandi
Jupiter, Bringer of Jollity, Gustav Holst
Sky Stroll, Joe Hisaishi
Porcelain Sky, Rajna
Dagda, Adiemus
Harp of Dagda, Dagda
Storm, Inkubus Sukkubus
Highland Storm, Nox Arcana
Storm, Nox Arcana
Far Beyond Yon Mountain, Aine Minogue
Mountain Chant, Krys Mach
Vuolgge Mu Mielde Bassiv Arrai (Come with me to the Sacred Mountain), Mari Boine
Higher, Libana
Fly, Fly, Fly, Libana
High mountains flowing water, Luo Tian Ping
Sailor of the Skies, Kelli Rabke (Children of Eden OST)
Endless Skies, VNV Nation
July Skies, Sharron Kraus
Finding Heaven, Helen Trevillion
Eagle’s Path, Ah*Nee*Mah
Ascent, Meredith Monk and Chorus
Let’s Go Fly a Kite, Dick Van Dyke
In Flight, Clannad

A quote, a poem, or piece of writing that you think this deity resonates strongly with
“That’s a misconception, Lennie. The sky is everywhere, it begins at your feet.” – Jandy Nelson
“In the sky there are always answers and explanations for everything: every pain, every suffering, joy and confusion.” – Ishmael Beah
“I let my head fall back, and I gazed into the Eternal Blue Sky. It was morning. Some of the sky was yellow, some the softest blue. One small cloud scuttled along. Strange how everything below can be such death and chaos and pain while above the sky is peace, sweet blue gentleness. I heard a shaman say once, the Ancestors want our souls to be like the blue sky.” – Shannon Hale
“I took the dog out for a walk tonight, and together we wandered across the meadow next door. It was a warm summer’s night, dark, and moonless. There were a handful of fireflies flickering intermittently, some so close to me I could see they were burning green as they flew, and some further away, who seemed to be flashing white.
And in the sky above them a continual roil of distant summer lightning (the storm distant enough that it was silent) burned and flashed and illuminated the clouds. It seemed as if the lightning bugs were talking to the lightning, in a perfect call and response of flash and counterflash. I watched the sky and the meadow flash and flash while the dog walked ahead of me, and realised that I was perfectly happy…” – Neil Gaiman
“At that instant a dazzling claw of lightning streaked down the length of the sky. The hedge and the distant trees seemed to leap forward in the brilliance of the flash. Immediately upon it came the thunder: a high, tearing noise, as though some huge thing were being ripped to pieces close above, which deepened and turned to enormous blows of dissolution. Then the rain fell like a waterfall. In a few seconds the ground was covered with water and over it, to a height of inches, rose a haze formed of a myriad minute splashes. Stupefied with the shock, unable even to move, the sodden rabbits crouched inert, almost pinned to the earth by the rain.” – Richard Adams
“…and there is a Catskill eagle in some souls that can alike dive down into the blackest gorges, and soar out of them again and become invisible in the sunny spaces. And even if he forever flies within the gorge, that gorge is in the mountains; so that even in his lowest swoop the mountain eagle is still higher than the other birds upon the plain, even though they soar.” – Herman Melville
“The eyesight for an eagle is what thought is to a man.” – Dejan Stojanovic
“There are times when a man has need of the open heavens to compass his thoughts.” – Kathryn Worth
“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.” – Pema Chödron
“Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need. ” – Kahlil Gibran
“In the cherry blossom’s shade
there’s no such thing
as a stranger.” – Kobayashi Issa
“Eating, and hospitality in general, is a communion, and any meal worth attending by yourself is improved by the multiples of those with whom it is shared.” – Jesse Browner
“All true friendliness begins with fire and food and drink and the recognition of rain or frost …” – G. K. Chesterton
“Mountains seem to answer an increasing imaginative need in the West. More and more people are discovering a desire for them, and a powerful solace in them. At bottom, mountains, like all wildernesses, challenge our complacent conviction – so easy to lapse into – that the world has been made for humans by humans. Most of us exist for most of the time in worlds which are humanly arranged, themed and controlled. One forgets that there are environments which do not respond to the flick of a switch or the twist of a dial, and which have their own rhythms and orders of existence. Mountains correct this amnesia. By speaking of greater forces than we can possibly invoke, and by confronting us with greater spans of time than we can possibly envisage, mountains refute our excessive trust in the man-made. They pose profound questions about our durability and the importance of our schemes. They induce, I suppose, a modesty in us.” – Robert MacFarlane
“I’m a person of the mountains and the open paddocks and the big empty sky, that’s me, and I knew if I spent too long away from all that I’d die; I don’t know what of, I just knew I’d die.” – John Marsden
“Long, blue, spiky-edged shadows crept out across the snow-fields, while a rosy glow, at first scarce discernible, gradually deepened and suffused every mountain-top, flushing the glaciers and the harsh crags above them. This was the alpenglow, to me the most impressive of all the terrestrial manifestations of God. At the touch of this divine light, the mountains seemed to kindle to a rapt, religious consciousness, and stood hushed like devout worshippers waiting to be blessed.” – John Muir
“The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man’s life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die.” – G.R.R. Martin
“[…]YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.
“So we can believe the big ones?”
YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.
“They’re not the same at all!”
YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THENSHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET—Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME…SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.
“Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what’s the point—”
MY POINT EXACTLY.” – Terry Pratchett
“For there is but one essential justice which cements society, and one law which establishes this justice. This law is right reason, which is the true rule of all commandments and prohibitions. Whoever neglects this law, whether written or unwritten, is necessarily unjust and wicked.” – Cicero
“If you tremble with indignation at every injustice then you are a comrade of mine.” – Ernesto Guevara
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
“But men often mistake killing and revenge for justice. They seldom have the stomach for justice.” – Robert Jordan
“Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it.” – William Penn
“In all debates, let truth be thy aim, not victory, or an unjust interest.” – William Penn
“A unjust law, is no law at all.” – Martin Luther

Any suggestions for others just starting to learn about this deity?
Dance in a thunderstorm, learn weather magic, learn your local weather patterns, protect eagles and other endangered birds, set up a bird feeder, be a generous host/guest, learn a wide number of practical skills, watch the clouds and make up stories about them, meditate in a high open place, learn about justice and law enforcement.

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