© 2011 Bruce Johnson – Reprinted with permission from Shining Lotus Metaphysical Bookstore Newsletter November 2011
by Bruce Johnson
Chapter 9 in the biblical Book of Acts recounts Saul’s journey to Damascus and his experience of having a light from heaven suddenly flash around him. Following this vision of inner light, Saul was transformed into Paul, scales fell from his eyes, and he was converted from a hostile skeptic into a devoted follower of Jesus. The books of Matthew and Luke both refer to lightning from the East as a sign indicating the arrival of the Kingdom of God. Like ancient mythology, these allegories show lightning as a symbol of Divine Power that brings a spiritual enlightenment to the recipient. The Tower card of the tarot includes the same “bolt out of the blue” symbolism, its lightning bolt signifying the jolt of Uranian energy from the Soul.
Lighting represents the sudden and unexpected descent of Divine Light that activates a spiritual rebirth in the one who experiences it. Many ancient gods and divine beings were specifically linked to lightning. The Hindu gods Vishnu and Indra revealed themselves physically in the form of a lightning bolt. The Book of Enoch describes the prophet Enoch receiving the secrets of lightning and thunder in a vision. The Greek Titan Prometheus revealed the art of bringing down lightning from the sky to ancient humanity. The Norse God Thor, like Tupan of South America, were gods of lightning and thunder, and both appeared as bolts of lightning which could be creative or destructive toward mortals.
Knowledge of physical lightning as atmospheric electricity was taught in the ancient mystery schools of India, Egypt, and Persia. Lightning rods were commonly used to protect temples and buildings from destructive lightning strikes. The white bryony vine was used by Etruscan priests to avert lightning strikes, combining their knowledge of botany with the laws of electricity.
The belief in amulets that provided safety from lightning strikes was widespread in ancient times. Hyacinth or zircon, nephrite jade, and certain red-colored stones containing astrological and other symbols were shaped into protection amulets. Magnetite was a lightning attractor in some legends, and believers never carried one during a storm.
Unlike spiritual lightning that brings illumination, physical lightning can be very destructive, and you will want more protection than a lightning amulet can provide. The National Lightning Safety Institute at 891 N. Hoover Ave. in Louisville, Colorado is a great source for lightning safety information.
Bruce Johnson has over 30 years of study in the fields of Ancient Wisdom and occultism. He has taught classes on a wide range of topics, from Atlantis to mediums to Zoroaster. He is also a spiritualist minister, with a background in spiritual astrology. He lives in Colorado with his wife and their cat.