Of Mounds and Moles

February 7, 2010

Mrs Sibley

The secret of the stars,  gravitation.
The secret of the earth, layers of rock.
The secret of the soil, to receive seed.
The secret of the seed, the germ.
The secret of man, the sower.
The secret of woman, the soil.
My secret: Under a mound that you shall never find

~ Edgar Lee Masters (1868-1950)

The mole is a chthonic (underground and underworld) creature symbolically endowed with the powers and secrets of the earth. In Ancient Greece it was sacrificed to Poseidon, the god of the sea upon which the earth rested. Both the mole and Poseidon were capable of shaking, undermining, or otherwise disturbing anything built upon land.

In many cultures the mole is an important friend to medicine men and shamen. It is associated with the Greek Asclepius and the Indian Rudra, both gods of healing. Moles are symbols of those who have tunneled through the earth and discovered its mysteries. This journey may be understood as a symbolic death leading the initiate to another spiritual plane or to the place of the dead.

In Native American mythology the mole is the first Shaman. He is associated with the underground “Crack in the World” which he taught medicine men to penetrate in order to discover the cures for many diseases. Other worlds, the heavenly bodies, ancestors, and other ages may be seen and contacted through the “Crack in the World.”

Source: Tucker, Suzetta. “ChristStory Mole Page.” ChristStory Christian Bestiary. 1998.

God made Heaven, and then, after measuring the space underneath with a ball of thread, he began to form the earth. A mole asked to help, and God gave him the thread to hold while he wove the patterns of the earth. Sometimes the mole would let out too much thread, and finally the earth grew too large for the space under heaven. The mole was so upset that he hid under the earth.

God sent the bee to look for him; he wanted the mole’s advice on what to do about the mistake. The bee found the mole and he just laughed at the idea of advising God. The bee, however, hid in a flower and overheard the mole mumbling to himself about what he would do if he were God.

‘I would squeeze the earth,’ he said. ‘That would make mountains and valleys and make it smaller at the same time.’

When the bee heard this, he went directly to God and told him. God did what the mole had said, and everything fit fine.

~ Rumanian Creation Myth


One comment

  1. I love the mole and the bee story! How charming it is!

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