Saturday, 28. June 2008
Myths and Legends Explained

Taking an original photographic approach to look in detail at certain topics, these fascinating book provides deeper understanding and richer enjoyment of the worlds of myths and legends.

  • Looks into myths and legends of cultures from ancient Greece to Aboriginal Australia

  • Clear, informative text helps readers understand and appreciate the world of mythology

  • Features gloriously reproduced artworks and artifacts

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Myths and Legends Explained by Neil Philip, Ph.D.
DK ADULT, Revised edition 2007 | 128 pages | PDF | 21.3 MB


Calling the Gods (from the Voodoo gods of Haiti):

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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.
Category: Books & Magazines | Mythology & Epics | Myths & Sagas |




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.

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As told by Ovid in his Fasti, Apollo was about to make a sacrifice to Zeus and sent the crow to fetch water from a running spring. The crow flew off with a bowl in its claws until it came to a fig tree laden with unripe fruit. Ignoring its orders, the crew waited several days for the fruit to ripen, by which time Apollo had been forced to find a source of water for himself.


Canis Minor

This constellation originally consisted of just its brightest star Procyon, whose name in Greek means ‘before the dog’ from the fact that it rises earlier than the other celestial dog, Canis Major. It is a small constellation and contains little of interest other than Procyon itself, the eighth-brightest star in the heavens.

Canis Minor is usually identified as one of the dogs of Orion.

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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.

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This book had its origins in my skywatching guides for amateur astronomers. As I came to describe each constellation, I found myself wondering about its origin and the way in which ancient people had personified it in mythology. Astronomy books did not contain satisfactory answers. They either gave no mythology at all, or they recounted stories that, I later discovered, were not true to the Greek originals. I decided to write my own book on the mythology of the constellations.

The result, Star Tales, appeared in 1988 and remains a favourite of mine although it is now difficult to obtain. To make it more widely available, I have now transferred it to the web with amendments and enhancements.


Ian Ridpath's Star Tales - Constellation Mythology
Full version - great book - great illustrations!
Category: Astrology & Astronomy | Books & Magazines | Mythology & Epics |




Thursday, 28. February 2008
Winged Sandals

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.

I grew up between Athens and Melbourne and was immersed in the stories of Greek mythology from a very young age. The stories of magical flight, of heroic journeys into the Underworld and of immortal gods captured my imagination as a child.

Classical mythology is truly timeless because it can still create such strong visual imagery in our minds. The images of these characters have always been locked away in my imagination and I wanted to create a project that would inspire children around the world to keep dreaming.

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Greek myth has been passed down to us through ancient vase painting and through oral and written traditions. I chose this subject partly because I knew that the stories of myth would inspire animators but also to use the latest technologies of digital storytelling to let the stories speak to web audiences and inspire a thirst for the classics in a new generation. This content was literally screaming for a chance to be translated onto the web.


The underlying themes of the site were established at concept stage and the content for the site was deliberately chosen to bring out those themes. Melbourne University and ABC staff collaborated to create a strong subtext and metaphor for the site which is essentially: magical flight in the three realms.

-- Rosie Allimonos

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Winged Sandals
Category: Mythology & Epics |


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.

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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

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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.

Homer's Odyssey

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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.
Category: Gods & Goddesses | Mythology & Epics |


Friday, 18. January 2008
Women in Greek Myths

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Chloris was a Nymph associated with spring, flowers and new growth. Her Roman equivalent was the goddess Flora. She was abducted by (and later married to) Zephyrus, the west wind, who gave her dominion over spring. Together they had a son, Carpus. Carpus means "fruit" in Ancient Greek, and the natural metaphor formed by the three can be seen in the following quote: "Zephyros... the personification of the West Wind which brings with it freshness and rain in the spring. He would unite with Chloris, goddess of the new vegetation, from which sprout the fresh fruits of the soil."

She was also known as Flora, and that's the title of the picture on the left by Evelyn de Morgan.

The following site contains:

• The Famous Ones
• Goddesses
• Nymphs
• Humans
• Amazons
• Monstresses
• Men
• The Myths Pages

Women in Greek Myths
by Ailia Athena.


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.
Category: Gods & Goddesses | Mythology & Epics |


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.

The Greek Gods by History Channel, 2005.
With great graphics and excellent narratives.
Duration: 44 minutes.

Category: Gods & Goddesses | Movies & TV | Mythology & Epics |


Saturday, 03. November 2007
Chinese Mythology

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The Chinese heaven is filled with many images: mythical rulers, religious gods and goddesses, historical beings, writers, poets, philosophers, dragons, phoenixes, tortoises, unicorns, rare birds, and flowering fruit trees. Figures from conflicting time periods, different religions, and opposing philosophies appear and interact in Chinese myths. In many Chinese tales, there is no clear separation between the mythical and the real, between heaven and earth, between history and early storytelling, between past and present.

China is a mosaic of diverse groups and of multitudes of traditions. ... When we speak of Chinese mythology we need to be clear that it represents streams flowing together, running parallel, merging or diverging from many places and from many different models of reality.


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
Category: Books & Magazines | Mythology & Epics |


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!

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series is so rich in Egyptian mythological themes and metaphors that it would take a whole book to explore them comprehensively and in-depth. This editorial, obviously, does not seek to do that. My purpose is to make a rather quick, hit-the-highlights comparison between Harry’s seven-year journey and the Egyptian deceased's journey through the Underworld, to show striking similarities, and thus help us to look at these ancient Egyptian stories to make some predictions about what is to come in Deathly Hallows.

Do I think I'm overanalyzing and seeing points of comparison that are not there? Quite definitely. However, that does not negate the overwhelming evidence that JKR knows and uses Egyptian myths and motifs to frame and enrich her series.

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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!
Category: Books & Magazines | Fantasy & Utopia | Mythology & Epics |


Saturday, 09. June 2007
The Top 10 Creation Myths

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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


With its bounty of brawny, barrel-chested gods and buxom goddesses, the ancient Norse religion of the Scandinavian and Germanic countries is truly the creation myth for fans of both pro wrestling and heavy metal music. According to Norse lore, before there was Earth (Midgard), there was Muspell, a fiery land guarded by the fire sword-wielding Surt; Ginnungagap, a great void, and Niflheim, a frozen ice-covered land.

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Mother's Milk: The giant cow Auohumla feeds Ymir with her milk.


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


The Bundahishn of the Middle Persian era tells of the world created by the deity Ahura Mazda. The great mountain, Alburz, grew for 800 years until it touched the sky. From that point, rain fell, forming the Vourukasha sea and two great rivers. The first animal, the white bull, lived on the bank of the river Veh Rod. However, the evil spirit, Angra Mainyu, killed it. Its seed was carried to the moon and purified, creating many animals and plants.

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The god Ahura Mazda: At first, he was only represented as two wings, later the human figure was added.


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


The Babylonian creation myth, the Enuma Elish, begins with the gods of water, Apsu (fresh), and Tiamat (salt), spawning several generations of gods, leading to Ea and his many brothers. However, these younger gods made so much noise that Apsu and Tiamat could not sleep (a complaint still common today amongst apartment-dwellers). Apsu plotted to kill them, but Ea killed him first. Tiamat vowed revenge and created many monsters, including the Mad Dog and Scorpion Man.

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Not ready for primetime: Image of Marduk and his snake dragon. Image Credit: J. Black & A. Green, Gods, demons and symbols of ancient Mesopotamia, 1992


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


The ancient Egyptians had several creation myths. All begin with the swirling, chaotic waters of Nu (or Nun). Atum willed himself into being, and then created a hill, otherwise there'd be no place for him to stand. Atum was genderless and possessed an all-seeing eye. He/she spat out a son, Shu, god of the air. Atum then vomited up a daughter, Tefnut, goddess of moisture. These two were charged with the task of creating order out of chaos.

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Hold that pose: Geb, the god of the Earth, hoists Nut, the goddess of the sky, into position.


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


The earth mother of the Aztecs, Coatlicue ("skirt of snakes,") is depicted in a fearsome way, wearing a necklace of human hearts and hands, and a skirt of snakes as her name suggests. The story goes that Coatlicue was impregnated by an obsidian knife and gave birth to Coyolxauhqui, goddess of the moon, and to 400 sons, who became the stars of the southern sky. Later, a ball of feathers fell from the sky which, upon Coatlicue finding it and placing it in her waistband, caused her to become pregnant again.

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Mother! Please!: Coatlicue was depicted as a woman with a skirt of snakes and a necklace of hearts torn from her victims.


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


A cosmic egg floated within the timeless void, containing the opposing forces of yin and yang. After eons of incubation, the first being, Pan-gu emerged. The heavy parts (yin) of the egg drifted downwards, forming the earth. The lighter parts (yang) rose to form the sky. Pan-gu, fearing the parts might re-form, stood upon the earth and held up the sky. He grew 10 feet per day for 18,000 years, until the sky was 30,000 miles high. His work completed, he died.

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Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Pan-gu separates the Earth from the Sky.


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


The gods created two divine siblings, brother Izanagi and sister Izanami, who stood upon a floating bridge above the primordial ocean. Using the jeweled spear of the gods, they churned up the first island, Onogoro. Upon the island, Izanagi and Izanami married, and gave forth progeny that were malformed. The gods blamed it upon a breach of protocol. During the marriage ritual, Izanami, the woman, had spoken first.

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All in the Family: Izanagi and Izanami, the siblings that brought forth Japan and its inhabitants.

Correctly reprising their marriage ritual, the two coupled and produced the islands of Japan and more deities. However, in birthing Kagutsuchi-no-Kami, the fire god, Izanami died. Traumatized, Izanagi followed her to Yomi, the land of the dead. Izanami, having eaten the food of Yomi, could not return. When Izanagi suddenly saw Izanami's decomposing body, he was terrified and fled. Izanami, enraged, pursued him, accompanied by hideous women. Izanagi hurled personal items at them, which transformed into diversions. Escaping the cavern entrance of Yomi, he blocked it with a boulder, thus permanently separating life from death. (Rather like Persephone in Hades, isn't it?)

3: Hindu Cosmology's Rendezvous with Brahma


The Hindu cosmology contains many myths of creation, and the principal players have risen and fallen in importance over the centuries. The earliest Vedic text, the Rig Veda, tells of a gigantic being, Purusha, possessing a thousand heads, eyes, and feet. He enveloped the earth, extending beyond it by the space of ten fingers. When the gods sacrificed Purusha, his body produced clarified butter, which engendered the birds and animals.

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The Other Trinity: Brahma, the creator, is pictured with four heads, though he used to have five.


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


The early Greek poets posited various cosmogonies. The best-preserved is Hesiod's Theogony. In this hymn, out of the primordial chaos came the earliest divinities, including Gaia (mother earth). Gaia created Uranus, the sky, to cover herself. They spawned a bizarre menagerie of gods and monsters, including the Hecatonchires, monsters with 50 heads and a hundred hands, and the Cyclopes, the "wheel-eyed," later forgers of Zeus's thunderbolts.

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Dads, think twice about curfew: The Mutilation of Uranus by Cronus, by Vasari and Gherardi. Palazzo Vecchio, Florence.


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


Genesis, the first book of the Jewish Torah and the Christian Bible, contains two origin stories, both of which are accepted as the creation of the world by today's Jewish, Christian and Islamic faiths. In the first, God says, "Let there be light," and light appears. In six days, he creates the sky, the land, plants, the sun and moon, animals, and all creatures, including humans. To all he says, "Be fruitful and multiply," which they do. On the seventh day God rests, contemplates his handiwork, and gives himself a good evaluation.

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Gifts from a Stranger: Adam and Eve, bears the following marking: 'Albrecht Durer of Nuremberg made this engraving in 1504'


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!


Source: LiveScience
Category: Mythology & Epics |


Friday, 06. April 2007
Gods, Mythology and Religion of Ancient Egypt

Man's first gods were the forces of nature. Terrifying and unpredictable, they were feared rather than revered by our ancestors. Yet while much of the world was in darkness, worshipping cruel incarnations of natural forces, a river valley in Africa held a people who followed a different path. They worshipped gods that were beautiful to behold, luminous beings that walked the earth, guiding the human race to Paradise. They had human forms but were much more powerful; yet like humans, they got angry, despaired, fought with one another, had children, and fell in love. They lived lives that were very much like those of the people who worshipped them, the ancient Egyptians.

They were gods to be feared yes, as all gods are, but they were also gods to be loved. What's more, the Egyptians enjoyed talking about the gods. Like the gods of the Greeks and Romans, the Egyptian gods seemed to be made for storytelling. There were tales to educate, tales to entertain, and tales with morals, and in those stories, the gods didn't seem so far away and unreachable. It was comforting to hear that the gods also wept for those they had lost, to hear about the gods laughing, to learn that the gods faced many of the same problems that the people did, albeit on a grander scale. In learning about the gods on such an intimate level, the Egyptians could better relate to the universe around them.


Gods and Mythology of Ancient Egypt
Information of each god, including Mother Sekhmet. Very informative site.

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See also The Ancient Egyptian Religion.
Scroll down the site to examine all of the materials available there.
Category: Gods & Goddesses | Mythology & Epics | Religion & Early Cultures |


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.

See this 5 minute video for more about these ancient Greek Goddesses & Gods:



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.
Category: Gods & Goddesses | Mythology & Epics |


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.
Category: Astrology & Astronomy | Movies & TV | Mythology & Epics |


Tuesday, 12. September 2006
Indian Divinity: Indian Mythology - Hindu Mythology

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Brahma

Indian Mythology dates back to as early as 7200 B.C. when the first hymns of the RIG VEDA was composed. The hymns of the RIG VEDA are the first and freshest expression of the sense of beauty and gladness awakened in the Aryan race by the charms and the bounty of nature.
What began as a celebration of natural elements such as Air, Water and Fire was converted into the worship of cosmic elements. And thus formed the triad of the early Vedic Gods - AGNI, VAYU and SURYA. The VEDIC Gods are mere abstractions, intangible and illusive personifications of the powers of nature. It is in the post-VEDIC phase or in the PURANAS the gods assumed substantial shape and individual character.


In the late VEDIC period the two ITIHASAS or epics Ramayana and the Mahabharata were compiled. The heroes of the Vedic age gradually took place of the shadowy gods of the Vedic Gods and found their places in the Puranas. This formed the phase of post-VEDIC gods or the PURANIC GODS who had their seeds and roots in the VEDAS giving rise to the concept of TRIMURTI.
Thus emerged the transition of Hindu mythology from Vedic Gods (the Cosmic Trinity) to Puranic Gods (the Hindu Trinity) who took more significant form and entity and have been worshipped in various forms ever since.


Indian Divinity: Indian Mythology - Hindu Mythology

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Lakshmi


Wonderful Site!
Category: Gods & Goddesses | Mythology & Epics |


Wednesday, 26. July 2006
River Styx

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.
I am, Charon, your guide. As the boatman who transports all the souls of the dead across the River Styx, I will help you navigate your way through the watery tributaries of the Underworld. Explore Hades, the realms of Thanatos, the Elysian Fields, Limbo, the River Acheron, the Furies, the Zombies, the Cave of Persephone and the River Styx itself.

Discover the secrets of each of the Underworld's realms. Read from journals I've kept in these domains over the past four thousand years and if you think yourself worthy, ask a question by clicking on the icons marked 'Ask Charon' found throughout the Underworld. View others' questions and answers at the 'Ask Charon' bookshelf in this library.

In every world within the RiverStyx website (i.e. - Limbo, Elysian Fields, etc), there are hidden secrets (hint - you can click on them and some action will occur or something may appear). Charon keeps track of how many hidden secrets you discover along the way. To see how well you are doing, visit Hades and enter the Palace. From there find your way through the secret passages until you find the secret monitoring station.

Once you have found all the hidden areas there is a special award awaiting you at the monitoring station in Hades.
The ride across the River Styx is risky my friend, and there can be no guarantees for your safe return. However, I can promise that if you make it back to the other side, you will not step from this boat the same person. Relax, explore and allow the Specter of Death and Transformation to smile upon you as you progress on your journey.

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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.
(all English)
Category: Games & Humor | Mythology & Epics |


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.

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Re

Now Re was all-powerful, and he could take many forms. His power and the secret of it lay in his hidden name; but if he spoke other names, that which he named came into being.

"I am Khepera at the dawn, and Re at noon, and Tem in the evening," he said. And the sun rose and passed across the sky and set for the first time.

Then he named Shu, and the first winds blew; he named Tefnut the spitter, and the first rain fell. Next he named Geb, and the earth came into being; he named the goddess Nut, and she was the sky arched over the earth with her feet on one horizon and her hands on the other; he named Hapi, and the great River Nile flowed through Egypt and made it fruitful.

After this Re named all things that are upon the earth, and they grew. Last of all he named mankind, and there were men and women in the land of Egypt.


The Story of 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:

'There has been many a Pharaoh in the Land of Khem, in the Double Land of Egypt, and some of them have been great and have pleased me well.

Khufu and Khafra and Menkaura long ago who raised the great pyramids of Giza; Amenhotep and Thutmose of today who have caused the peoples of the world to bow down at my feet. Now is the dawning of the golden age in Egypt, and it comes into my mind to create a great queen to rule over Khem: yes, I will unite the Two Lands in peace for her, I will give her rule over the whole world, over Syria and Nubia besides Egypt - yes, even to the far-distant land of Punt.'


The Great Queen Hatshepsut

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Hatshepsut


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)
Category: Mythology & Epics | Religion & Early Cultures |


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