Category: Myths

Dragon Legends: Myth or Half-Truth?

Dragons play a popular role in legend, Where might their origins have begun, and can we see parallels between them and other creatures, mythical and real?

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Women on a Quest: The Hawaiian Saga of Pele the Volcano Goddess and Hiiaka

The saga of Pele's youngest sister Hiiaka is a heroic quest across the Hawaiian archipelago. It conveys a perspective of women throughout Hawaiian culture.

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This, That and the Other: Folklore of the Three Realms

A lot of folklore is concerned with other realms. Worlds that exist apart, yet overlap or interact to varying degrees. It is this aspect that aligns many features of myth, folklore and…

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King Arthur, the Mabinogion and Wales’ Legendary Landscapes

The National Library of Wales discuss their exhibition 'Arthur and Welsh Mythology', and how Welsh folklore is engrained in its legendary landscape.

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Trows, Changelings and Wise Women in Early Nineteenth Century Kirkwall

A nineteenth century autobiography written by the minister William Leask offers a fascinating insight into supernatural belief in contemporary Orkney.

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Off the Grid: The Epic Tale of The Dun Cow, or… How Now Brown Cow?

There was once a bright-white cow which travelled round the world, giving milk enough for all comers. Whoever drank of her milk immediately became wise.

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The Duality of Modern Haitian Vodou

When the traditional Vodun religion of West African slaves collided in the Caribbean with the incoming Christianity of colonists, Haitian Vodou was born.

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A Welsh Legend: The Men in the Cave by Horatio Clare

In this short story, Horatio Clare presents a retelling of the sleeping hero tale of Arthurian legend through the eyes of Gaheris, King Arthur's nephew.

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Spinning a Tale: Spinning and Weaving in Myths and Legends

Spinning is a fundamentally human thing, and something that we have been doing since far into the ancient past.

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Fairy Folklore: Come Away, O Human Child

To be led astray, Peter Pan style, by a fairy – ‘pixie led’ – is an old fear from isolated communities where weather and terrain seemed to judge and punish.

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Protection and Punishment: Beliefs About Angels in Tudor and Stuart England

In Tudor and Stuart England, angels were believed to deliver messages, protect the godly, carry souls to heaven, punish sinners, and carry out God’s will.

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Dolphin Folklore of the Ancient World

Dolphins are frequently found in ancient Greek and Roman folklore, where tales tell of their roles in medicine and myth, and as helpers to Gods and mortals.

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Tinker Bell’s Lover: The Hidden Desires of Celtic Fairies

“The ocean is not so strong as the waves of thy longing,” the fairy whispered to the man she desired as a human lover. Was she casting a spell on him?

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Harbingers of Heaven: Chinese Dragons of Earth and Sea

Chinese dragons are believed to be symbols of good luck and wisdom, bearers of immense power, and controllers of the sea and the weather.

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Animal Legends: The Wild Wolves of Ancient Rome

Wolves played a vital part in Roman myths. A defining symbol of ancient Rome is the image of the twins Romulus and Remus being suckled by a she-wolf.

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Five Reasons Fig Trees Are Folklore Royalty

No plants feature so often in folklore, in so many places, as fig trees. There’s a biological basis to many of these stories.

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The Cretan Labyrinth – Myth, History, and Archaeology

The labyrinth has a long history. Depictions in rock art may date back as far as 10,500-4800 BCE. But the most famous labyrinth is that of ancient Crete.

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The Seal Children: Sealskins and Soulskins. Or, When We Were Migrants

The first story that I found in this land where I live was The Seal Children, and as we walk the path to Maes Y Mynydd where the story is set, my…

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A Thousand Years Before Tolkien: The Original Evil Magic Ring

An evil magic ring, associated with dwarf and dragon – what a great idea Tolkien had for his books! But he actually borrowed it from ancient Viking legends…

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From Thor to Twitter: Flyting and the Norse Tradition of Insulting Your Enemies

One of the main tactics the Norse gods employed in their struggles, aside from outright trickery and brute force, was trading verbal insults.

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Toil and Trouble? The Goddess Hekate in Ancient Greece

Hekate: goddess of witchcraft, ghosts and the restless dead, frequently represented as a triple deity, associated with dogs, crossroads and flaming torches.

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The Folklore of Eggs: Their Mystical, Powerful Symbolism

For millennia and across the world, the egg has been a powerful symbol, representing the earth, fertility and resurrection.

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From the Gorgon to the Gift Shop: A Brief Archaeology of the Evil Eye

The matiasma is an apotropaic amulet designed to ward off the evil eye in Greek folklore.

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Fishing with the Living and the Dead: The Sáiva Lakes of the Sami

For the Pre-Christian Sami people who inhabited parts of modern-day Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Russia, fishing was a livelihood.

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Irish Myths: The Children of Lir

Today we have a featured story from The Emerald Isle, and Dee Dee Chainey talks to Ronan Burke, who runs the website – a great place to find stories of Ireland and…

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The Winged Demoness of Death: Vanth and the Etruscan Underworld

On the walls of a 300 BCE Etruscan tomb, Vanth, a winged demoness of dark and stern gaze, flanks a door to the Great Unknown.

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Finnish Folklore: Louhi, Witch of the North

Do you know the stories of The Kalevala? If you do you are in select company like J.R.R. Tolkien who loved the stories and drew on them for his own writing.

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Tree Folklore: Birch, the Lady of the Wood

The birch has a particularly graceful, flowing habit that always reminds me of a stream of water, extending right to the tips of its delicate black twigs in a shower of leafy…

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A Coin for the Ferryman: Charon and the Journey to Hades

There was a time when the living covered the mouths of their dead with a single coin before their final goodbye.

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