Gods of the Season: Ratatoskr

wpanimalredsqOn my other blog, I write about nature and its meanings. I wrote a piece on the Eurasian red squirrel, which is what I think Ratatoskr is. I have a long association with squirrels, in general. Usually at this time of year, acorns are dropping, reminding me to offer a prayer to the Squirrely One. (My next blog on Ratatoskr will feature that.)

This is a part of what I  wrote. The rest can be found at Nature: Observations and Meanings: Red Squirrel

Smaller and shier than Grey Squirrel, Eurasian Red Squirrel prefers living alone in the pine forests of Europe. After searching meticulously for food, He takes his pine cone to a secure branch for safety. Holding the cone in his front paws, Eurasian Red Squirrel rotates it while biting off the scales to get at the pine seeds.

People have admired Eurasian Red Squirrel for centuries. According to the Norse of Scandinavia, Ratatosk lived in the Tree of Life. He carried messages to Eagle, perched at the top, and to Snake, coiled around the roots. For his efforts, Ratatosk enjoyed the special protection of Thor, the God of Thunder.

Medieval Christians tell the story of Eurasian Red Squirrel in the Garden of Eden. He had a long thin tail like Rat’s. One day, while sitting in a nearby tree, He witnessed Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit. Eurasian Red Squirrel was so horrified by the sight, that He covered his eyes. As a reward for his faithfulness, God gave Eurasian Red Squirrel a thick bushy tail.

Humble little Eurasian Red Squirrel lives in the trees, watching the people below. From his vantage point, Eurasian Red Squirrel can touch the Heavens. He is the intermediary between two worlds – the world of the ordinary and the world of wonder. You can relish the ordinary life and have time to pause for wonder.

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