The Tempestarii are a race of beings who control the weather from their magical land of Magonia. Because they live in the clouds, naturally they can’t grow crops. So, they cause magical storms–the crops ruined by these storms are in fact taken back to Magonia on great sky-ships.
In Medieval Europe, fake wizards would pretend to be able to control the Tempestarii, and charge the population a certain portion of the crops to keep these weather pirates away.
In 815, in Lyons, France, such a storm occurred. The local population discovered three strangers just after it, and immediately realizing they were Tempestarii who had fallen from their ship, threw them in prison. The local Roman Catholic bishop, Agobard, argued them out of jail before the livid population stoned them to death.
Henry Charles Lea, A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages, Harper & brothers, 1887Wikipedia: Tempestarii
(Please note that–at the time of writing–the Wikipedia article confuses the Tempestarii and the fake wizards who took money to keep them away. But I used it as a source, so I’m referencing it here.)http://teresawilde.wordpress.com/2010/11/13/tempestarii-magical-weathermen/
Among the ancient myths that carried over to the Middle Ages was that of a skyland called Magonia, whose inhabitants sent fleets of ships disguised as clouds to plague the people of this earth. Very probably, the shapes of certain clouds suggested mammoth sailing ships, while the way in which low clouds scudded swiftly before a heavy wind seemed further proof that they were bound upon some monstrous mission. But the final and most convincing touch was supplied by hailstorms, which were plausibly attributed to the Magonians dumping cargoes overboard, obviously with malice aforethought, because they not only damaged crops, but drove people to shelter, so that it was impossible for people to protect their fields.
This led to the belief that the cloudmen landed their ships at the finish of such storms, loaded the crops that the hailstones had beaten down, and took off again for Magonia, greatly enriched at the expense of the poor earthly peasants, who were left to reap the pitiful remnants of their devastated harvests.
This fitted the pattern of ancient pirate raids along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, as well as later ravages of the Vikings and the Norsemen on the coasts of England and France. Just as such invasions were often aided by spies who signalled from land, so did the Magonians depend upon treacherous earthly folk. Their raids were blamed on a special class of witches known as Tempes-tarii, who actually raised the storms that brought the ruthless cloudmen.
Fleecy clouds, drifting over the ripening fields, were cover for Magonian scout ships, picking up signals from the ground below. Flashes of lightning, rumbles of thunder and especially chill winds that preceded hailstorms, were proof that the Tempestarii were at work. After the damage was done, the outraged peasants, looking up to the sky, not only saw long rakish clouds that represented departing Magonian ships; sometimes they spotted stray, scudding wisps that resembled human shapes. Those, of course, were the Tempestarii, chasing after the Magonians to collect their fees, fitting the notion of witches flying into the sky.
As a result, the peasantry was easily bamboozled by a special class of practitioners who claimed they could nullify the machinations of the Tempestarii, but demanded a share of the undamaged crops in return. Thus the ancient art of witchcraft merged with the coming science of insurance. Unfortunately, these practitioners lacked the modern devices so necessary to their trade — statistics and computers. When they guessed wrong, which was often, they attributed it to increased activity by the Tempestarii and a witchhunt was apt to follow.
Charles Godfrey Leland (1824-1903), noted student of European folklore and gypsy sorcery, has traced the Magonia legend back to the ancient Etruscans (about 600 B.C. or before), basing his findings on the survival of such myths among the natives of modern Tuscany. Other scholars, however, have found similar legends throughout the Orient, notably in Japan, and amid the Mayan lore of Mexico and Central America.
Around the year 820, Agobard, Bishop of Lyons, rescued three men and a woman from a mob that was about to stone them to death, thinking that they were Magonians who had fallen from one of their cloud ships. More probably they were stray members from a band of roving gypsies. Agobard also denounced other superstitions prevalent in his time, but to little avail. They continued to spread and the Magonian legend was confirmed four centuries later by a historical writer, Gervase of Tilbury, who told how one of their ships dropped an anchor from a low cloud, only to have it hook so firmly in a mound of earth that they could not free it.
Thereupon a sailor came down the rope, but before he could release the anchor, he slumped to the ground, gasping from the increased air pressure. Some people arrived and started pulling the rope downward and the Magonians, hearing the shouts from below, cut the rope and took off through the clouds, abandoning their comrade to his fate. He soon died from the crushing force of air pressure upon his chest and was buried with due ceremony, while the anchor was mounted over the door of the local church as proof positive that the Magonians had been there.
Oddly, this account may have had some bearing on modern talk of flying saucers and mysterious space ships, a phenomena which can be traced back through the centuries. Maybe the Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO's) of today were the things that they reported then. Whether they were or not, is something that does not matter. That people will believe in anything, no matter how absurd, is an axiom, or self-evident truth that does not have to be proven.http://188.8.131.52/freebies/goodies/NWO/books/BANNED%20BOOKS/Okult%20books/wicca/wiccan/wicca06/05.htm
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