Re: Salamander
09 Jun 1993 23:35:11 (Tim Szeliga - NWS) writes:

>Last weekend at the Rainbow regional gathering, we built a sweat lodge,
>chanted, prayed to the four directions, and huddled in the lodge. After
>washing off and dressing, I banked the coals and tossed dirt over the coals.
>Someone noticed movement in the fire and shone the light. A salamander
>wriggled among the dirt and hot coals.
> Why do I feel like a 13-year old who saw the planchette on the ouija
>board move? Any comments? What is the mythological connection between
>salamanders and fire?

You've just seen the connection...salamanders often sleep in dead logs, and
when you put them on the fire, they'll scramble out from the log. "The Book of
Beasts" (12th century) says "This animal [salamander] is the only one which
puts the flames out, fire-fighting. Indeed, it lives in the middle of the blaze
without being hurt and without being burnt--and not only because the fire does
not consume it, but it actually puts out the fire itself. Other myths link
salamanders as being created from the fire, and when asbestos was discovered,
they thought that it was the skin of the salamander due to its fire-resistance.
So, you've just re-created thoughts of many of European logicians :-)

Bryan Jonker       "But the true secret of being a     hero lies in knowing the order
		    of things." _The Last Unicorn_ 

Back to the Top Level: