THE SKYAs we've previously discussed, Winona and Fortree City has an immense appreciation for the Sky. We see this a lot in the anime version of Pokemon. They have yearly festivals, many people still live in tree houses, and they all have Flying Type Pokemon. The obvious aside, Winona does something in the anime that I actually really loved. She did a prayer to the Sky before her battle, appreciating the powers of the Sky.
"Oh great sky above, I ask that you grant us. Grant us power to conquer even in the strongest of stormy winds, and please guide us to your great blue World and let us share in its infinite power and majesty!"
This is seen as a ritualistic type of action. Ash questions why she does this, and Brock explains that she believes in the sky as a type of God. In my studies in school, we've discussed that a ritual is a way for humans to modernly reproduce a myth they believe in. Also, ritual is meaningless if you don't believe in what you are reenacting. I believe that Winona truly believes in what she is saying, and therefore her ritual is very meaningful for her. This ritual is that of Eastern Religions, being very animistic and shamanistic as well. Therefore, I decided to look up religions that worship the Sky God.
In China, the Daoists belief, tian, meaning sky, is represented with the light, the positive, and the male energies. Shangdi, literally meaning King Above, was the Sky God worshipped in China. Under Shangdi or his later names, the deity received sacrifices from the ruler of China in every Chinese dynasty annually at a great Temple of Heaven in the imperial capital. This Deity was never represented with images or idols, only with a spirit tablet, emphasizing that he isn't human-like.
Another ancient practice, Tengriism, was done by the shamanistic people in Central Asia. Those who practice Tengriism hold the belief that their very existence is sustained by the eternal blue Sky (Tengri), the fertile Mother Earth (Eje), and the holy spirit of the sky. In their creation story, Tengri gives man his soul at birth, and takes it back at death. Ever since the 1990's, this religion has been spreading once again and is continuing to grow in Asia.
When I did a research paper on the Druid religion, they also believed in a spirituality of the sky as well. However, it is important to notice that not all shamanistic religions worship, some just appreciate the Earth for all of it's wonderful gifts. They put a story to the Diety to explain and to appreciate, but they often do not give sacrifice. They simply thank, appreciate, and love the Sky. I think this is more realistic to what Winona believes in.
SKY APPRECIATIONThere are certain characteristics that I could see someone who loves the sky having. These are just random ideas that I've had, and I'm not claiming that these are correct, but they make sense when it comes to Winona's character from both the anime, game, and manga based off of her actions or things she's said.
Life has no boundaries: I feel like Winona sees life as something that you should be living, instead of being a bird in a locked cage. Like her gym, Winona is a fan of high, open spaces. Her Gym allows her to see the whole city, and farther. It gives her a glimpse on how infinite the world is and that she has the ability to travel through out the sky, seeing everything.
Humans are really tiny: When you appreciate the infinite sky, you begin to realize how small we really are. Also, how small are problems really are. Loving the sky could teach you to live life without regrets and to never burn bridges or worry about pointless things. Time and space can heal everything, and flying in the sky allows her to forget those silly worries.
Believing in true beauty: Seeing the sunset, the sunrise, the birds, the water and topography from above... all things that show the true beauty of the world. Winona is seen in the game standing on top of a tall building because she is mesmerized by the sights it allows her to see.
Embrace freedom: Staring at the sky restores your hope and makes you connected to nature. Staring at the sky slows you down and offers you a choice and chance to take a deep breath to expand your soul and embrace freedom.
What you see is pure: You can see things the way they are, real and pure. Beyond what we see on the media or what we are bombarded with by technology. Rather with the sky you can put things in the right perspective and find some fun in doing this.