Ursi's Eso Garden
Your Competent Esoteric Guide
Saturday, 28. June 2008
Myths and Legends Explained
Myths and Legends Explained by Neil Philip, Ph.D.
DK ADULT, Revised edition 2007 | 128 pages | PDF | 21.3 MB
The designs known as vevers are used to call the gods and are drawn on the earth in flour. At the centre of the circle in a Voodoo ritual would be the poteau-mitan, the center-post by which the gods make their entrance to the ceremony.
The ship symbol stands for Agwé, the god of the sea and formal consort of Erzulie. Agwé himself is generous, faithful, and strong.
Tuesday, 01. April 2008
Ian Ridpath’s Star Tales - Constellation Mythology
Corvus and Crater
These two adjacent constellations are linked in a moral tale that goes back at least to the time of Eratosthenes.
But in a famous legend from Attica (the area around Athens), recounted by the mythographer Hyginus, the constellation represents Maera, dog of Icarius, the man whom the god Dionysus first taught to make wine.
Ian Ridpath's Star Tales - Constellation Mythology
Full version - great book - great illustrations!
Thursday, 28. February 2008
The Winged Sandals site began with a dream. I kept dreaming of an animated version of the Homeric Hymn to Pythian Apollo where Apollo transforms himself into a dolphin and founds the Oracle at Delphi.
Tuesday, 29. January 2008
Mythweb: Heroes, Gods and Monsters of Greek Mythology
Mythweb is a website that covers the basics of Greek mythology. Its offhand narrative style and comical cartoon illustrations make it an entertaining refresher for myth-lovers of any age.
Writer Joel Skidmore and political cartoonist Mark Fiore teamed up to produce the most eye-catching portion of the site — the Heroes' stories. Here, you'll find short and snappy recaps of the stories of Hercules, Perseus, Odysseus and more, complete with colorful snapshot cartoons, some of which are animated. The site also features profiles on the major Greek gods as well as short takes on the familiar stories of King Midas, Atlas, Tantalus and others, explaining how they are still relevant today.
If a hero is properly defined as somebody who does something dangerous to help somebody else, then the heroes of Greek mythology do not qualify. They were a pretty selfish bunch, often with additional antisocial tendencies thrown into the bargain--in other words, not exactly role models for the younger generation of today. But knowing their names and exploits is essential for understanding references in literature and even popular culture today. So let's recognize and celebrate Hercules and Perseus and the others by their proper dictionary definition: "In mythology and legend, a man or woman, often of divine ancestry, who is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his or her bold exploits, and favored by the gods."
Illustrated Stories of the Heroes of Greek Mythology
There you'll see an icon for the hero Jason, who was in line to become the king of Iolcus before his wicked uncle usurped the throne. As a child Jason was entrusted to the protection of a kindly centaur. This creature, half-man and half-horse, saw to it that Jason got an education suitable for the great quest that lay in store for him. This was nothing other than to journey to the furthest ends of the known world in search of a magical golden fleece guarded by a fire-breathing dragon.
The myth of Jason, the Argonauts and the Golden Fleece
Son of the supreme god Zeus himself, Hercules was the greatest of the heroes. To atone for a crime committed in a fit of madness, he was challenged to perform a series of heroic tasks, or Labors. Among them were retrieving the golden apples of the Hesperides from a dragon-guarded garden at the far end of the world, killing the many-headed monstrous Hydra, and bringing the hellhound Cerberus up from the underworld of the dead.
The myth of Hercules
As told by the blind minstrel Homer in his great epic The Odyssey, the tale of Odysseus is one of the highlights of Greek mythology. The Trojan War has finally come to an end after nine long years, and now the hero must make his way home to his faithful wife and son. But the homecoming will be long delayed as Odysseus faces perils like the enchantress Circe who turns his men into animals, giants who bombard his ships to smithereens, the angry god Poseidon who stirs up a hurricane, and the one-eyed Cyclops who wants Odysseus for his dinner.
And then there's a complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Greek Mythology, a handy (and searchable) index of characters and terms. So if you don't have time for the full story and just need to know who exactly the Harpies were, or whatever happened to Orion, this is the place.
Friday, 18. January 2008
Women in Greek Myths
This site was born out of my personal interest in Greek myths - particularly the lesser discussed myths about women - when I was 13 years old (back in 1996) and wasn't really meant to be a definitive source for anybody. My particular interest, the reason I thought it was worth having a separate site, was that, at the time, there was virtually nothing with pictures alongside the stories. Personally, I think the pictures add a lot; they both aid in visualizing and realizing the stories and people and tell us a good deal about what aspects of the stories are important to people today.
Sunday, 09. December 2007
The Greek Gods
This documentary presents an overview of the Greek Gods, studying the myths and legends that surround them, and the many visual interpretations of each God.
The movie explores the fascinating history of these enduring figures through period accounts, interviews with renowned historians and classicists, and stunning location footage, including glimpses into the gods' phenomenal temples. From their mythical home atop Mount Olympus, the Greek gods played an integral part in Ancient Greek life.
Learn why the ancient deities were endowed with human failings and discover the significance of the most famous Greek myths. View the magnificent artwork that preserved their images and learn how these epic figures have been integrated into modern life. From Aphrodite to Zeus, 'The Greek Gods' presents an unforgettable exploration of the mythic and monumental world of Greek deities.
With great graphics and excellent narratives.
Duration: 44 minutes.
Saturday, 03. November 2007
Myths contain strong influences from Chinese folk religion, Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Chinese folk religion, the oldest of the four, pays homage to ancestors who watch from afar and guide the lives of those still living on earth. In the fifth century B.C., the philosopher Confucius introduced his ideas, which stressed fulfilling obligations and maintaining proper conduct. Although Confucianism is not a religion, its influence is deeply ingrained in Chinese ideas about behavior and government.
Between 600–300 B.C. Taoism emerged. At first, it was a philosophy that encouraged people to seek harmony with the Tao, or the Way, a nature force. Later, it evolved into a religious system involving many gods, goddesses, spirits, ghosts, demons, magical powers, and the quest for immortality.
Chinese Mythology by Irene Dea Collier
Enslow Publishers, 2001 | PDF | 3.4 MB | 129 pages
Saturday, 21. July 2007
Egyptian Myths in Harry Potter
No matter where you live - Zurich, Switzerland, Hong Kong, China, or Ding Dong, Texas, - since it was 12:01 am in your time zone, the final Harry Potter book can become yours.
If you are - or are not - a Harry Potter fanatic, this essays by Susan Sipal aka S.P. Sipal are amazing!
Egyptian Myths in Harry Potter:
Part 1 - Harry of the Two Ways
Part 2 - The Contendings of Harry and Voldemort
Part 3 - Harry's Sacred Egyptian Triangle
S.P. Sipal prior featured editorial on MuggleNet was One Last Memory. Also very interesting! (By the way - MuggleNet is an unofficial Harry Potter fan site).
I very much enjoyed this essays and I cannot urge you enough to go to read them!
Saturday, 09. June 2007
The Top 10 Creation Myths
What I really wanted to share with you, is something I stumbled up on LiveScience. A collection of the 'top 10' creation myths. I really don’t know how they determined the top ranking but it is a nice little quick introduction of ten different creation myths.
10: Hammer of the Gods: Norse Mythology
When the cold of Niflheim touched the fires of Muspell, the giant Ymir and a behemothic cow, Auohumla, emerged from the thaw. Then, the cow licked the god Bor and his wife into being. The couple gave birth to Buri, who fathered three sons, Odin, Vili, and Ve. The sons rose up and killed Ymir and from his corpse created from his flesh, the Earth; the mountains from his bones, trees with his hair and rivers, and the seas and lakes with his blood. Within Ymir's hollowed-out skull, the gods created the starry heavens. What can we say: Pure metal magic!!
9: Zoroastrianism, the Religion of Ancient Persia
Across the river lived the first man, Gayomard, bright as the sun. Angra Mainyu also killed him. Ouch! The sun purified his seed for forty years, which then sprouted a rhubarb plant. This plant grew into Mashya and Mashyanag, the first mortals. Instead of killing them, Angra Mainyu deceived them into worshipping him. After 50 years they bore twins, but they ate the twins, owing to their sin. After a very long time, two more twins were born, and from them came all humans (but specifically Persians).
8: By the Rivers of Babylon
Ea and the goddess Damkina created Marduk, a giant god with four eyes and four ears, as their protector. In tangling with Tiamat, Marduk, bearing the winds as weapons, hurled an evil wind down her gullet, incapacitating her, and then killed her with a single arrow to her heart. He then split her body in half and used it to create the heavens and the earth. Later he created man to do the drudge work that the gods refused to do, like farming, telemarketing and accounting. (Marduk currently appears on Cartoon Network's Sealab 2020!)
7: Spirits of Ancient Egypt
Shu and Tefnut generated Geb, the earth, and Nut, the sky. First they were entwined, but Geb lifted Nut above him. Gradually the world's order formed, but Shu and Tefnut became lost in the remaining darkness. Atum removed his/her all-seeing eye and sent it in search of them. (Just how all-seeing it was, and what did Atum do without, remains a mystery.) When Shu and Tefnut returned, thanks to the eye, Atum wept with joy. (Presumably he/she re-inserted the eye first.) Where the tears struck the earth, men sprang up.
6: South of the Border, Down Mexico Way: The Aztecs
Coyolxauhqui and her brothers turned against their mother, whose unusual pregnancy shocked and outraged them, the origin being unknown. However, the child inside Coatlique, Huitzilopochtli, the god of war and the sun god, sprang from his mother's womb, fully-grown and armored (talk about a C-section!). He attacked Coyolxauhqui, killing her with the aid of a fire serpent. Cutting off her head, he flung it into the sky, where it became the moon. That was supposed to comfort Coatlicue, his mother--some comfort!
5: China, the Middle Kingdom
His parts transformed into elements of the universe, whether animals, weather phenomena, or celestial bodies. Some say the fleas on him became humans, but there is another explanation. The goddess Nuwa was lonely, so she fashioned men out of mud from the Yellow River. These first humans delighted her, but took long to make, so she flung muddy droplets over the earth, each one becoming a new person. These hastily-made people became the commoners, with the earlier ones being the nobles the first example of mass-production!
4: Japan, this Island Earth
3: Hindu Cosmology's Rendezvous with Brahma
His body parts transformed into the world's elements, and the gods Agni, Vayu, and Indra. Also, the four castes of Hindu society were created from his body: the priests, warriors, general populace, and the servants. Historically later, the trinity of Brahma (the creator), Vishnu (the preserver), and Shiva (the destroyer) gained prominence. Brahma appears in a lotus sprouting from the navel of the sleeping Vishnu. Brahma creates the universe, which lasts for one of his days, or 4.32 billion years. Then Shiva destroys the universe and the cycle restarts. Relax everybody, the current cycle has a couple billion years left.
2: The Greeks and the Titans
Next came the gods known as the Titans, 6 sons and 6 daughters. Uranus, despising his monstrous children, imprisoned them in Tartarus, the earth's bowels. Enraged, Gaia made an enormous sickle and gave it to her youngest son, Cronus, with instructions. When next Uranus appeared to copulate with Gaia, Cronus sprang out and hacked off his father's genitals! Where Uranus's blood and naughty bits fell, there sprang forth more monsters, the Giants and Furies. From the sea foam churned up by the the holy testicles came the goddess Aphrodite. Later, Cronus fathered the next generation of gods, Zeus and the Olympians. And, boy, were they dysfunctional!
1: The Genesis of the Judeo-Christian and Islamic Faiths
In the second story, God creates the first man, Adam, from the earth. He makes a garden in Eden for Adam, but forbids him to eat fruit from the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil." Adam names the animals but remains lonely. God anesthetizes Adam and makes one of his ribs into the first woman, Eve. A talking serpent persuades her to eat the forbidden fruit, and she convinces Adam to do likewise. When God finds out, he drives them from the garden and makes man mortal. They should have stuck with apricots!
Friday, 06. April 2007
Gods, Mythology and Religion of Ancient Egypt
See also The Ancient Egyptian Religion.
Scroll down the site to examine all of the materials available there.
Tuesday, 06. March 2007
The Ancient Greek Goddesses & Gods
Today I stumbled over a nice videos about the ancient Greek Goddesses & Gods.
In the Olympian pantheon of classical Greek Mythology, Hera was the wife and older sister of Zeus. She also presided as goddess of marriage, the patriarchal bond of her own subordination: her resistance to the conquests of Zeus is rendered as Hera's "jealousy", the main theme of literary anecdotes that undercut her ancient cult. Her equivalent in Roman mythology was Juno. The cow and peacock are sacred to her.
Athena was the goddess of civilization, specifically wisdom, weaving, crafts and the more disciplined side of war (violence and bloodlust were Ares' domain). Athena's wisdom encompasses the technical knowledge employed in weaving, metal-working, but also includes the cunning intelligence (metis) of such figures as Odysseus. The owl and the olive tree are sacred to her.
Artemis in Greek mythology the daughter of Zeus and of Leto and the twin sister of Apollo was one of the most widely venerated of the gods and manifestly one of the oldest deities (Burkert 1985:149). In later times she was combined with the Roman goddess Diana.
Demeter is the Pelasgian goddess of grain and agriculture, the pure nourisher of youth and the green earth, the health-giving cycle of life and death, and preserver of marriage and the sacred law. She is invoked as the "bringer of seasons" in the Homeric hymn, a subtle sign that she was worshiped long before the Olympians arrived. The Roman equivalent is Ceres.
Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love, lust, beauty, and sexuality. Her Roman equivalent is the goddess Venus. Myrtle, dove, sparrow, and swan are sacred to her.
More Greek Goddesses @ Wiki
More Greek Gods @ Wiki
Zeus is the king of the gods, the ruler of Mount Olympus, and god of the sky and thunder in Greek mythology. His symbols are the thunderbolt, bull, eagle and the oak. His Roman counterpart was Jupiter.
Hades refers to the ancient Greek underworld and the god of the dead. Hades was also known as Pluto (from Greek Ploutōn), and was known by this name, as "the unseen one", or "the rich one", in Roman mythology.
In Greek and Roman mythology, Apollo, the ideal of the kouros (a beardless youth), was the archer-god of medicine and healing, light, truth, archery and also a bringer of death-dealing plague; as the leader of the Muses and director of their choir, he is a god of music and poetry. Hymns sung to Apollo were called Paeans. The American missions to the moon, Project Apollo, were named for the god.
Hephaestus is the Greek god whose approximate Roman equivalent is Vulcan; he is the god of technology including, specifically blacksmiths, craftsmen, artisans, sculptors, metals and metallurgy, and fire.
In Greek and Roman mythology, Dionysus associated with the god of wine, represents not only the intoxicating power of wine, but also its social and beneficial influences. He is viewed as the promoter of civilization, a lawgiver, and lover of peace - as well as the patron deity of agriculture and the theater.
Hermes is the Olympian god of boundaries and of the travelers who cross them, of shepherds and cowherds, of orators and wit, of literature and poets, of athletics, of weights and measures and invention and commerce in general, and of the cunning of thieves and liars. In the Roman adaptation of the Greek religion, Hermes was identified with the Roman god Mercury.
Sunday, 01. October 2006
Thunderbolts of the Gods
Who would have guessed that the myths of ancient cultures could throw new light on the mysterious surface features of planets and moons? Or give new meaning to current work in artificial-lightning laboratories? If mythologist David Talbott and physicist Wallace Thornhill are correct, then ancient myths and symbols are a key to an expanded and holistic understanding of both history and the physical universe.
Watch now 'Thunderbolts of the Gods' - A Radical Reinterpretation of Human History and the Evolution of the Solar System.
This streaming video takes 63 minutes.
For more information about this film visit Thunderbolts of the Gods Official Web Site.
Tuesday, 12. September 2006
Indian Divinity: Indian Mythology - Hindu Mythology
Wednesday, 26. July 2006
It's not Edith Hamilton (Mythology) or Robert Graves (The Greek Myths, The White Goddess), not Plato or Virgil, but it's inspiring and entertaining. I liked "the lessons" of life from the afterlife.
What Is this Site About?
Welcome to the River Styx, a world filled with possibilities for those willing to open to the experience of life from a different vantage point. Be forewarned, these experiences can be difficult and challenging and there is always a chance you may not survive the trip.
RiverStyx - Travel with Charon, the mythic ferryman to an underworld of mystery, amusement and philosophical commentary. (English)
You like more serious information for Styx?
For general survey: Hades / Pluto by Michael Lahanas.
For advanced study: STYX by the Theoi Project, Guide to Greek Mythology.
I like also this site: The Myths of Hades by TheRiverStyx.net.
Tuesday, 17. January 2006
Ancient Egypt: the Mythology
In the beginning, before there was any land of Egypt, all was darkness, and there was nothing but a great waste of water called Nun. The power of Nun was such that there arose out of the darkness a great shining egg, and this was Re.
Amon-Re, the King of the Gods, sat upon his throne and looked out upon Egypt. Presently he spoke to the assembled council of the gods - to Thoth and Khonsu and Khnemu, to Isis and Osiris, Nephthys, Horus, Harmachis, Anubis and the rest - saying:
Ancient Egypt: the Mythology is dedicated to providing the most detailed and accurate information about the gods, goddesses and religious beliefs of the ancient Egyptian people.
Ancient Egypt: the Mythology by April McDevitt. (English)