Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Myths, part I

Enjoy.

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East Asia:
-pearl as source of dragons' power
-Bardo Thodol: Tibetan guide to death + otherworld
-Kui Xing: exam god
-oracle bones

Asia Minor/Central Asia/Arabia:
-Barometz: vegetable lamb
-Bahamut: what lies beneath the darkness under the water under Bahamut is not known
-rukh: giant bird of prey
-Hadramaut: "death has come"
-Book of Kings/Shahnameh (Firdasi): Iranian legends
-Avesta: Zoroastrian holy book; Vendidad/Videvdat: Laws against Demons
-Angra Mainyu/Ahriman: Evil Spirit, archdemon, can be lizard/snake/youth
-all demons live in north
-demons: Aeshma (fury/outrage), Azhi Dahaka (three heads, six eyes, three jaws, lizards + scorpions)
-Ardvi Sura Anahita: water/ocean, source of life
-mace of Mithra: Mithraism popular with soldiers (sun god, slayed bulls, honor, courage)
-Tishtrya: god of rains, fights as white horse against Apaosha (black horse)
-seven regions of the world, central has humans, big as other six put together
-Saena Tree: World Tree
-Gaokerena: healing plant
-jadugar: magician/sorcerer
-riding through fire to prove innocence
-Tiamat: saltwater sea
-precious stones: those who sided with Ninurta, Sumerian war/hunt god
-Marduk: chief god of babylon, dragonslayer
-magi: interpreting omens/dreams, practice magic, astrology
-Enuma Elish: Mesopotamian Creation story
-Cybele: mother goddess

Greece/Egypt/Rome:
-"If Hell is a house, the house of Hades, it is natural that it have its watchdog; it is also natural that this dog be fearful." (Borges 59)
-Rhiphaean Mountains: where hypogriffs live
-Iolaus: companion of Hercules
-nymphs:
-dryads - trees
-nereids/oceanids - sea
-naiads - lakes/streams
-oreads - mountains and caves
-napaea - glens
-alseids - groves
-Parthenope: dead siren, namesake of Naples
-Isis cult
-Bes: household god, amulets in battle
-Sekhmet: lion-headed war goddess
-Amalthaea: goat that nursed Zeus
-cult of Prometheus
-Asclepius: god of healing
-Roman festivals: Lemuralia, Feralia (day of dead, merged w/ Samhain), Floralia (spring fest, merged w/ Beltane)
-Vestal Virgins

Celtic Europe:
-Druidic nature worship: water heals, gods all around
-digging pits/shafts to commune with underworld
-stag gods
-mistletoe is sacred peace token
-horned one Cernunnos: fertility and abundance
-horse goddess Epona
-Morrigan: "phantom queen", horses, war, death
-Niamh: goddess of Irish otherworld

Scandinavia:
-Norns: Urd, Verdandi, Skuld; rule the fates of gods and men; also personal norns who decide individual fates
-Aesir and Vanir: two races of gods
-sacrifices by hanging at temple of Uppsala, Sweden
-Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson
-World Serpent Iormungand
-Heimdall: watchman, herald of the end of the world
-Caucasian demon: Syrdon
-Gefion: virgin goddess, associated with ploughing
-Ginnungagap: "beguiling void" btw. Muspel (fiery south) and Niflheim (frozen north); site of creation
-Embla: elm or vine, one of first two humans
-Bifrost: rainbow connecting Asgard to midgard

Russia:
-white stone latyr from which all rivers come
-submerged city Kitezh
-water-dwelling dragon Chudo-Yudo
-not allowed to let the fire go out
-leshii: forest spirit, must follow rules of the hunt or get led astray/killed
-"In still waters devils dwell." (Warner ?)
-rusalka: kind of like sirens
-Koshchei the Immortal: hides death "in a duck's egg, inside a duck, inside a hare, inside a box, at the food of an oak tree, on an island in the middle of the ocean"
-"She came, that evil murderess, cold from the blue sea, hungry from the bare open field." (Warner ?)
-Marya White Swan: sorceress
-"walking near and far, low and high, shallow and deep"
-malevolent magpies
-unwillingly receiving sorcerous knowledge
-koldun: male wizard, killed only by brass button, hair has special powers
-throw handkerchief, create bridge/lake/sea
-Baba Yaga's chicken-leg house, gate of human bones
-"beyond the thrice-nine lands, in the thrice-ten kingdom"

South America:
-tigre capiango: werejaguars
-Popol Vuh: Mayan Holy Book
-Huitzilopochtli: Aztec war/sun god, "blue hummingbird of the left"
-Tezcatlipoca: "lord of the smoking mirror", summer sun, harvest, drought, darkness, war, death; obsidian mirrors used to predict future

North America:
-Great Serpent Mound in Ohio
-Iroquois myth: giant stone people of the west
-Sedna: Inuit sea goddess, queen of the underworld

Sub-Saharan Africa:
-Cagan: Kalahari creator god, magic power in teeth

Australia:
-Dreamtime, walkabout
-Rainbow Serpent: creation and fertility

Etc.:
-dragon hiding stone in brain: carbuncle
-mirror worlds
-"For the dignity of science it was essential that Salamanders exist." (Borges 197)
-in the summer dragons drink elephant blood
-start with a formless deep (Nu/Nun)
-rejection of human sacrifice
-new year celebration in spring

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Need to learn more about: East Asia, Rome, Scandinavia, Americas, Africa, Australia. This site looks promising.

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Borges, Jorge Luis, and Margarita Guerrero. The Book of Imaginary Beings. New York: Dutton, 1969. Print.

Curtis, Vesta Sarkhosh. Persian Myths. Austin: University of Texas, 1993. Print.

Davis, Kenneth C. Don't Know Much About Mythology. New York: HarperCollins, 2005. Print.

Page, R. I. Norse Myths. Austin: University of Texas, 1990. Print.

Warner, Elizabeth. Russian Myths. Austin: University of Texas, 2002. Print.

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