Myth of the Month Club: Krampus

Krampus is the dark companion of St. Nicholas, the traditional European winter gift-bringer who rewards good children each year on December 6. The kindly old Saint leaves the task of punishing bad children to a hell-bound counterpart known by many names across the continent — Knecht Ruprecht, Certa, Perchten, Black Peter, Schmutzli, Pelznickel, Klaubauf, and Krampus. Usually seen as a classic devil with horns, cloven hooves and monstrous tongue, but can also be spotted as a sinister gentleman dressed in black, or a hairy man-beast. Krampus punishes the naughty children, swatting them with switches and rusty chains before dragging them, in…

Mighty Myth Month: Trees.

No, this isn’t about the 1976 Rush song. It’s about trees. In Norse mythology, Yggdrasil is the tree that represents all levels of above, middle, and below for mankind: In Norse mythology, the World Tree called Yggdrasill runs like a pole through this world and the realms above and below it. Yggdrasill is a great ash tree that connects all living things and all phases of existence. Trees represent life, growth, and perhaps greatest of all: potential. Trees symbolize strength, honor, as well as other less-attractive human qualities such as jealousy, greed, and death: Trees—or the fruit they bore—also came…

Myth-of-the-Month Club: Billy Goat G-ROUGH

In honor of my husband’s birthday, this post is dedicated to a cryptozoological creature of the southwest/central Americas: the Chupacabra.  It’s not that I question their existence, (though I do), or that I am skeptical (which I am), but the deeper question to me is, “Why do people in these current times, attribute acts of violence, etc. to made- up critters? Why isn’t there more of an investigation?” Because, seriously, think about it–if there really is a creature that sucks livestock’s and domesticated animals’ blood, leaving behind a wake of death and destruction, and is possibly FROM OUTER SPACE…shouldn’t we…

Snake charmer.

Talk about your bad hair day.  Once again, some goofy mortal chick is just hanging out, being beautiful, and some god takes an interest in her, and she pays the price: Medusa, one of the three Gorgons, daughter of Phorcys and Ceto. She was the only one of the Gorgons who was subject to mortality. She is celebrated for her personal charms and the beauty of her locks. Neptune became enamoured of her, and obtained her favours in the temple of Minerva. This violation of the sanctity of the temple provoked Minerva, and she changed the beautiful locks of Medusa,…

Myth-of-the-Month Club: Lady Gaga Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga. Even the name sounds retching. She is the Crone: all bone-crushing, baby-killing nastiness. That object that she’s flying around in is a mortar and pestle, which is a little bowl, made of hard, dense ceramic material or rock/granite, and a stubby club-like instrument made to grind spices and concoct potions/herbs in. Cooks still use them, I guess because grinding spices in this old-fashioned way may increase the flavor of the spice.   Okay, this isn’t a cooking lesson, but I do think it’s interesting to note that in many stories of witches and bad grandmas, kitchen utensils are the weapons or modes of transportation of choice. Women…

Myth-of-the-Month Club: No need to PANic.

Pan – the little goat-man, lover of beautiful girls, and chaser of dreams. His presence creates panic in men because of his wild nature, the forces that cannot be controlled, when we lose ourselves to crazy behavior, mob rule, or “herd” mentality. When we act like sheep, Pan is the deity to blame. PAN was the god of shepherds and flocks, of mountain wilds, hunting and rustic music. He wandered the hills and mountains of Arkadia playing his pan-pipes and chasing Nymphs. His unseen presence aroused feelings of panic in men passing through the remote, lonely places of the wilds….

Myth-of-the-Month Club: Gone fishin' (King of Sharks – Hawaiian)

This is a story with some bite to it:      The King of Sharks retold by S. E. Schlosser One day, the King of Sharks saw a beautiful girl swimming near the shore. He immediately fell in love with the girl. Transforming himself into a handsome man, he dressed himself in the feathered cape of a chief and followed her to her village. The villagers were thrilled by the visit of a foreign chief. They made a great luau, with feasting and games. The King of Sharks won every game, and the girl was delighted when he asked to marry…

Myth-of-the-Month Club: Kiyohime

There are many stories of love-gone-wrong. And when women especially get their hearts broken, well, brother, you had better watch out. They change. They destroy. They…get…really…upset. Today’s legend is the Japanese story of Anchin and Kiyohime. Just a couple of crazy kids, in love, planning a life. Until Anchin becomes bored, restless, and is ready to move on, literally and figuratively, taking his love on a boat ride…Well, that’s one version. Other versions say he was just hanging out, minding his own business, and Kiyohime mistakes him for her one true love, and turns into a snake/serpent to show that…

Myth-of-the-Month Club: Janus

 My fellow bloggers out there in the technosphere have taken up the challenge to write a post-a-day on their blogs for the month of January. (“I can do that!” Mrs. L thought to herself.) So what if there’s laundry to do, meals to prepare, and holiday decorations to take down? I can do this! Or can I? And like any good resolution, which is also part of the “resolve” word family (resolution, resolve, resolute) I am going to give it my best. But I needed a theme. I love themes. Those are the universal truths and connections among all cultures,…