I can truthfully tell you that it is
a blessing to talk with a unicorn.
—N. J. W. Mitchell,
Hannah, the Witch, and the Unicorn (2002)
Here’s a secret: expert unicorn spotters can “see” more unicorns, per capita, with their eyelids shut than the average person can see with eyes wide open. That’s because they have an intimate friendship with the sounds unicorns make. As you concentrate with eyes closed and mind focused, you may detect the telltale song of the unicorn, announcing the presence of the venerable creature and beckoning you to begin your quest. When you open your eyes, the unicorn may not be immediately visible, but you’ll know where to start looking.
Mystics from time immemorial have believed the alphabet to encapsulate divine creative power. This illustration from the late 1800’s shows how the entire alphabet is crystallized in a unicorn’s body. It’s little wonder, then, that unicorns are such miraculous communicators.
Hearing a unicorn requires time, patience, and “deep listening” skill on the part of the human, and vocal projection on the part of the unicorn. Because we live in a highly visual world, we rarely exercise the full range of our hearing. Yet our ears can detect things that our eyes automatically neglect. By listening as opposed to looking, we can avoid overlooking. Practice can be richly rewarding, whether one is listening for unicorns in particular or neglected delights in general.
They do speak, sir, although not with words.
The unicorn sent her thoughts right into my head.
I understood her meaning.
—L. E. Engler, The Forgotten Isle (2004)
A soft gentle voice whispers in your mind as if carried
by the breeze passing through the gentle grove.
—Pharos, “Crest of the Unicorn” (2004)
This free e-book is lovely illustrated and offered in several online formats, such as eco-friendly, black text on white and a page by page version.
Zecharia Sitchin is a best-selling author of books promoting the ancient astronaut theory for human origins. He attributes the creation of the ancient Sumerian culture to the Annunaki (or Nephilim) from a hypothetical planet named Nibiru in the solar system. He asserts that Sumerian mythology reflects this view, though his speculations are largely ignored by mainstream scientists and historians.
Zecharia Sitchin uncovers the lost and hidden archives of the Annunaki: Where did these Anunaki come from? Sitchin says and NASA scientists concur, that there may be a mysterious 10th member to our solar system: The planet the Sumerians called Nibiru.
Some interesting bits on the history of the Sumerians and as always: you decide.
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon (also known as Hanging Gardens of Semiramis), one of the Seven Wonders of the World, which symbolised power, extravagance and wealth, but remains shrouded in mystery.
The lush Hanging Gardens are extensively documented by Greek historians such as Strabo and Diodorus Siculus, but otherwise there is little evidence for their existence. In fact, there are no Babylonian records of any such gardens having existed.
In this BBC Production, a team of experts visit the Jordanian desert on a quest to discover the mythical oasis.
His face stares down at us from the roofs , pillars and doorways of our great cathedrals and churches, he appears on second century Roman columns in Turkey and in Jain temples in Rajasthan.
He is found all over England, some parts of Wales and Scotland and a few rare places in Ireland.
On the continent he has been seen and noted in Germany, France, Italy, Holland and is said to be found in Spain, Hungary and Poland. India and Malaysia have their own Green Man and though he doesn't seem to appear in Native American traditions he can be seen in his modern role as a bringer of fortune on the walls of banks in New York and Chicago.
‘The Green Man’, a name coined by Lady Raglan in 1939, is a mediaeval image usually found in churches. Carved in stone or wood, depicted on stained glass, illuminated manuscripts and where else, he can be recognised as a face, often grotesque, with foliage sprouting from his mouth, nose, eyes or ears. Alternatively, he may be a face composed entirely of leaves. Exterior or interior, he features on capitals, corbels, choir stalls, bench ends, fonts, screens, roof bosses - indeed, any surface open to ornamentation.
However, the mighty questions of who, what and why - the search for a meaning behind the symbol - have no answer yet.
In the older religions, trees were held sacred; forest groves were perceived as the dwelling place of gods, goddesses, and a wide variety of nature spirits. Some scholars now think modern May Day revels were once part of pagan spring fertility rites (complete with pole representing the phallus) since the pageants have overtly sexual elements — and yet we can never really know for certain, for the original meanings of the ceremonies have been lost through the centuries, and the Church was quick to assign lewd connotations to all pagan practices.
A staunchly animist outlook (with a strong reverence for trees and the holiness of nature) was particularly entrenched among the peoples in the far north of Europe and in the British Isles.
The Green Man is one of the commonest decorative motifs which we can put a name to, yet there is very little indication of its meaning. We know what an angel is; we know what a mermaid and a dragon are but we know almost nothing about the face made out of leaves.
Many pictures from the Green Man in Canterbury, Kent, Devon and Green Man Curiosities.
For me the Green Man is a symbol of our connection with nature, with the earth, a reminder that we are a part of the cycle of life and death of all living things on earth. He is for me a reminder of our humility and weakness against nature.
For over a thousand years, storytellers have spun tales of King Arthur of Britain, his Queen Guinevere, and the circle of his noble Knights. Why do these stories endure? How does an outlaw in Lincoln green with a taste for disguise and foolery survive for six hundred years to inspire disguised tricksters from Alta California to Revolutionary France to the farthest reaches of the galaxy?
How have these songs and stories twisted and turned over the centuries, and how have they defined our expectations of heroism, romance, and adventure?
This is Paula Kate Marmor's personal journey through the worlds of Robin Hood, King Arthur, D'Artagnan, and other swashbuckling characters of balladry, fiction, and film, from the shores of Avalon to the dungeons of Zenda.
Cryptozoology is the search for animals that are rumored to exist, but for which conclusive proof is missing. This includes the search for living examples of animals that are known to have existed at one time, but are widely considered to be extinct today.
Dr. Bernard Heuvelmans who is considered the father of cryptozoology defines the word cryptozoology as:"... I began to use more and more often the term 'cryptozoology' to define my research. I had derived it from the Greek roots kruptos, meaning 'hidden', zôon, 'animal', and logos,'discourse': in short, 'the science of hidden animals'".
This video will give you an impression of its numerous facets.
Runtime 16 minutes.
On the internet there are many websites about cryptozoology. So here are some I like.
A good point to start is The Cryptozoologist by Loren Coleman. He is one of the world's leading cryptozoologists. Coleman has written several books and more than a hundred articles on the subject, has appeared frequently on radio and television programs, and has lectured from Idaho to London.
CryptoMundo - Blog of Loren Coleman, Rick Noll, and Craig Woolheater. Includes late breaking news, educational articles, facts, and funnies. A place to enjoy the adventures, treks, theories, and wisdom of some of the most respected leaders in the field of Cryptozoology.
White's The Bestiary: A Book of Beasts was the first and, for a time, the only English translation of a medieval bestiary. Bestiaries were second only to the Bible in their popularity and wide distribution during the Middle Ages. They were catalogs of animal stories, combining zoological information, myths, and legends. Great attention was given to bizarre, exotic, and monstrous creatures. Much of the content of bestiaries was drawn from much older sources including Aristotle, early English literature, and oral traditions. White provides an excellent appendix that explains how the creatures of the bestiary influenced the development of allegory and symbolism in art and literature.
Secrets of the Incas presents completely new evidence taken from an Inca myth. In this, Dr William Sullivan believes, lies the key to the basis of the old man's prophecy and, indeed, to the formation of the Inca empire itself. This myth is nothing less than a dire warning of an impending precessional event that, to the Incas, predicted future ruin.
More at Channel 4, producer of Secrets Of The Incas - War Against Time.
Imbolc is one of the four principal festivals of the Irish calendar. Originally dedicated to the goddess Brighid, in the Christian period it was adopted as St Brigid's Day. In Scotland the festival is also known as Latha Fhèill Brìghde, in Ireland as Lá Fhéile Bríde, and in Wales as Gwyl Ffraed. Find out more here:
Originally, her festival on February 1 was known as Imbolc or Oimelc, two names which refer to the lactation of the ewes, the flow of milk that heralds the return of the life-giving forces of spring. Later, the Catholic Church replaced this festival with Candlemas Day on February 2, which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and features candlelight processions. The powerful figure of Brigid the Light-Bringer overlights both pagan and Christian celebrations.
The divinity acknowledged in these early Spring rites is the goddess Brigid, the queen of heaven. She is the greatest of the Celtic divinities and is closely associated with the land. She is the protector of the wells and springs. She is the guardian of nature, and therefore agriculture. She is specifically associated with livestock. As a fertility goddess, Brigid is also the patron of the poets, artists, and others who create. Hence, her name is invoked at childbirth.
When Brigid slipped into the world, a tower of flame rose from the top of her head to the heavens. Her fire aspect means she is the goddess of the hearth, and the forge. She is the guardian of those who worked with metal. By extension, she is the goddess of the machine. If we have difficulties with our cars or computers, our pleas for divine intercession might be properly addressed to Brigid.
In the Highlands of Scotland, the married women of the house created a Brigid figure from a sheaf of grain and decorated it with ribbons, flowers, or other objects. With rushes and grain, they made a sort of bed next to the hearth. After ritually inviting Brigid to fill this bed, the women placed the figurine.
Beside it, they put a straight, peeled stick of birch or similar wood to serve as "Brigid’s wand," a symbol of sovereignty or perhaps a phallic symbol. Then they carefully smoothed the ashes of the hearth. The next morning, the women examined the hearth for signs of Brigid’s favor: the imprint of a foot or the wand. If there were no such marks, the family assumed that Brigid had been offended.
In her monumental The Festival of Lughnasa, Mire Mac Neill writes:
Fuller understanding of the old goddess's part in the harvest festival must wait on studies, still to be made, of the local legends of the myth of the mythological old woman known as the Cailleach BhÑara, and also of the cults of St Brigid and St Ann . . . Brigid must have been closely connected at least two important Lughnasa sites were dedicated to her, and she is named at several others. Still she hardly appears in the festival legends. She has only a passive part in the Lughnasa complex.
No, you can't see a Bigfoot but over 3,000 of sightings can be loaded up to Google Earth. Clicking on a place mark icon for a report on the Google Earth map will reveal a hyperlink to the sighting report.
You can get the file from Mangani's BigfootMaps (near the bottom of the page). Or download it here by the Google Earth Community.
It's easy to use.
Of course you need to have Google Earth. See the Google Earth home page for details, or just go download GE 4 now. GE 4 has many new features not available in the earlier version.
Once installed, download the bigfootreports.kmz file and double click it.
It will open in Google Earth.
From Of Like Mind Productions and Producer/Director Lisa Hutchison, "Atlantis in the Andes" is based on the ground breaking work of satellite photo analyst and Plato expert Jim Allen and his two books on the topic: "Atlantis: The Andes Solution" and "Along the Atlantis Trail".
He has used modern technology and his understanding of ancient measurement systems to locate and area of the world that he believes matches Plato's physical descriptions of Atlantis. In a nutshell, he places the capitol of the empire in Bolivia - and he believes that the entire continent of South America is, in fact, Atlantis. He does have an interesting theory - and he has found some remarkable evidence to strengthen his claim.
Allen's contentions are supported by the latest scientific data from a host of the world's top archeologists, geologists and other scientist's, authors and investigative journalists including:
Multi- talented journalist, author and video producer, Doug Kenyon. Mr Kenyon is the editor and publisher of Atlantis Rising magazine; Lake Titicaca expert - Archeologist, Mark Aldenderfer; Emmy winning documentarian and author John Anthony West; Classics Professor, Kathryn A. Morgan; Archaeoastronomist and Chaos Specialist George Erickson; author Michael Cremo; Skeptic Michael Shermer; and many more.
All this in "Atlantis in The Andes" (2001) - Runtime 46 minutes.
The three hares motif was clearly revered in all the different contexts in which it is found, but, as yet, we have not come across a contemporary written record of its meaning. It may be expected that the motif would have had different meanings in different cultures but, as an archetype, perhaps there was an element of meaning common to all.
The hare is strongly represented in world mythology and from ancient times has had divine associations.
Its elusiveness and unusual behaviour, particularly at night, have reinforced its reputation as a magical creature. The hare was believed to have mystical links to the female cycle and to the moon which governed it.
The theory of the Ancients that the hare was hermaphroditic and could procreate without a mate led to the belief that it could give birth to young without loss of virginity. In Christian contexts, the three hares may be associated with the Virgin Mary in her role in the redemption of mankind.
This might explain why a three hares boss is often juxtaposed in western European churches with a boss of the Green Man, perhaps a representation of sinful humanity.
The Three Hares Project by Chris Chapman. He has documented all known occurrences of the three hares motif in Devon and the rest of Britain. With beautiful images.
Three hares are chasing one another in an everlasting circle. They share between them only three ears which form a triangle in the center of the design, yet each animal has two ears. The earliest known appearance of this motif is in the Mogao caves near Dunhuang, China, which were created during the Sui to Tang dynasties (581-907 AD). Along the Silk Road other sightings of the three hares (and sometimes four hares) are found. The hares seem to have traveled in distance and time, adapting to different religions and taking on new meanings where they settled.
Here are some of the earliest known images of the three hares motif from the ceilings of Buddhist caves at Dunhuang in northwest China together with related examples from Tibet and Ladakh: The Three Rabbits in China by Wei Zhang and Peter Rasmussen.
Writer and historian James Crowden follows three historical detectives from a church in Devon to a high mountain kingdom in the Himalayas searching for the meaning and origin of the ancient symbol of the three hares. Don't miss this BBC Radio Program: Chasing Hares.
And mathematics historian David Singmaster looks at the three hares as a geometrical puzzle and explores its relation to other body sharing images: The Three Rabbits and Similar Puzzles.
Samhain, Halloween, Diwali, Tihar and Day of the Dead
Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, is the time when we remember every saint who hasn’t been given their own day. Well, that is certainly how our Christian churches would want us to honour the last day of October. But for many, Halloween is all about guising, turnip lanterns and dooking for apples - which on the face of it doesn’t seem to have much to do with saints.
That's because long before Christianity reached our shores, Halloween was known by the older, darker and altogether more mystical name of Samhain.
Samhain is the time when the sun is furthest south of the equator. Ancient Celts considered it to be the beginning of their new year and the death of the old. It was a time of celebration, to give thanks for the summer harvest and to ask a blessing for the coming months.
Samhain was not just about year's end and the coming of winter. It was also the feast of the dead, the season of the earth’s decay when evil was held to wander the planet. The shield of the female warrior Skathcach was lowered, and the barrier between the two worlds faded. The forces of chaos invaded our globe, and the world of the living joined with the world of the dead.
And also by The Scotsman: What happened on Halloween 1590 in North Berwick is up for debate. What is certain is that the fragments of evidence handed down through centuries is a witches' brew of intrigue. North Berwick and the brew of tortured witches
Samhain (Scots Gaelic: Samhuinn) literally means “summer's end.” In Scotland and Ireland, Halloween is known as Oíche Shamhna, while in Wales it is Nos Calan Gaeaf, the eve of the winter's calend, or first. With the rise of Christianity, Samhain was changed to Hallowmas, or All Saints' Day, to commemorate the souls of the blessed dead who had been canonized that year, so the night before became popularly known as Halloween, All Hallows Eve, or Hollantide.
November 2nd became All Souls Day, when prayers were to be offered to the souls of all who the departed and those who were waiting in Purgatory for entry into Heaven. Throughout the centuries, pagan and Christian beliefs intertwine in a gallimaufry of celebrations from Oct 31st through November 5th, all of which appear both to challenge the ascendancy of the dark and to revel in its mystery.
... So as this Samhain approaches, what is ending in you? What do you have inside that it is time to let go of? No healing is complete until you get beyond recovery. Use Samhain to take the thirteenth step: Transformation. In the Tarot, the thirteenth card of the Major Arcana is Death, and it is ruled by Scorpio. Samhain occurs in Scorpio. The card of Death doesn't necessarily mean physical death (though it can mean that), but more productively, it can be seen as an inevitable heavy change or transformation. Something old must be gotten rid of to make room for something new to be able to come in. Use the magic of this time to say good-bye to an old habit or addiction, an old relationship, or anything else it is time to leave behind.
Lonegren looks at many other aspects of this season as well: its history, the role of the Crone Goddess, a special apple-bobbing divination practice, and more.
Elsewhere on the planet:
Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, is celebrated this week, from India to Bali.
Diwali comes from the Sanskrit words deepa and avail and literally means "row of lights." The festival is associated with several Hindu myths about the triumph of dharma (righteousness) over adharma (unrighteousness) and light over darkness.
Padmanabhan explains that one story holds that on Diwali, the Hindu Lord Krishna destroyed Narakasura, the demon and titan of hell who conquered and plundered heaven and Earth.
Time has come around again for one of the most celebrated and pompously enjoyed festivals of the Indian subcontinent. Diwali is back.
Though I have covered quite a few of the sweet dishes and savouries prepared specially for diwali, there are so many tasty crunchies prepared with special fervour and enthusiasm for this occasion.
Tihar, the festival of lights is one of the most dazzling of all Hindu festivals. In this festival we worship Goddess Laxmi, the Goddess of wealth. During the festival all the houses in the city and villages are decorated with lit oil lamps. Thus during the night the entire village or city looks like a sparkling diamond. This festival is celebrated in five days starting from the thirteenth day of the waning moon in October. We also refer to tihar as 'Panchak Yama' which literally means 'the five days of the underworld lord'. We also worship 'yamaraj' in different forms in these five days.
In other words this festival is meant for life and prosperity.
This week also brings us El Dia de los Muertos, Mexico's Day of the Dead.
What is the difference between Halloween and the Day of the Dead? Halloween is based on a medieval European concept of death, and is populated by demons, witches (usually women) and other images of terror -- all of them negative. The Day of the Dead, in contrast, is distinctly different, It is a uniquely Indo-Hispanic custom that demonstrates strong sense of love and respect for one’s ancestors; celebrates the continuance of life, family relationships, community solidarity and even finds humor after death -- all positive concepts!
This is an ancient festivity that has been much transformed through the years, but which was intended in prehispanic Mexico to celebrate children and the dead. Hence, the best way to describe this Mexican holiday is to say that it is a time when Mexican families remember their dead, and the continuity of life.
The original celebration can be traced to the festivities held during the Aztec month of Miccailhuitontli, ritually presided by the goddess Mictecacihuatl ("Lady of the Dead"), and dedicated to children and the dead. The rituals during this month also featured a festivity dedicated to the major Aztec war deity, Huitzilopochtli ("Sinister Hummingbird") ...
Mermaids exist in the twilight place between land and sea, in the psychological intertidal zone between life-giver and life-taker. Wanton, seductive and alluring, these amphibious goddesses of classical myth toy unabashedly with a man’s affections, offering him sweetness yet bringing only death. The paintings of the pre-Raphaelites portray mermaids as lovely maidens with a silvery aquatic tail, who comb their luxurious tresses in serene repose along a placid shore, but the mermaids of old were neither so innocent nor demure. With the sultry curve of their breasts and the dulcet darkness of their dreamy eyes, those half-forgotten ocean deities promised to reveal the secrets of the unattainable fathoms, only to drown men with their savage affection.
We are fascinated by mermaids because they represent the unknown, the mystical, and the dangerous predator behind a graceful face. Mermaids have captured our interest in the same way in which they snared the hearts of sailors, dizzying us and disorienting us, pulling us under the turquoise waves.
Many of the oldest stories claim that the merfolk have no tongues, yet this doesn’t keep them from casting their spell over the poor unfortunate who falls in love with them; one tale tells of a fisherman’s daughter who becomes infatuated with a merman but, when she discovers that he can never proclaim his love for her, she follows him into the ocean, only to perish.
Some claim that mermaids still sing their wordless melodies, playing amongst the waters and the waves. Juan Cabana, wandering the lonely shores of secluded beaches, has often found the mortal remains of these creatures. In life, they swim below the surface and rarely rise from the crushing deep, but upon death, the merciless storms cast their bodies up from the dark waters to deposit them on the white sand. Juan knows the distant coves where the currents bring them, and he gathers their remains with the hope of preserving them, honoring them, and showing humanity that we are not the only intelligent species on this beautiful planet. These teratisms of terrible beauty, wild and exotic, lie beyond the taint of human civilisation. They live in harmony with their aquatic environment, and Juan's respect for them has resulted in a never-ending search for mermaids and sea monsters around the world.
I assure you that they are art, maybe macabre art.
Artist Juan Cabana, using the remains of dead fish and assorted animals as his medium, creates fantastic new lifeforms for people to enjoy today. His life-like creations reflect his interest in Cryptozoology, Anthropology and Science Fiction. Currently, sea monsters and mermaids are his central focus. Juan hopes to someday have the world’s largest sea creature museum.
Our historic strongholds have become intertwined with stories of ghosts and ghouls, offering a fascinating insight into an often bloody past. In the final part of our series on myths and legends, Claire Smith tells tales to make you shiver.
Part 4: Origins
Scotland's Dr Evil?
Did the first King of Scots employ an Austin Powers-style trapdoor to dispose of his Pictish enemies, and was the daughter of an Egyptian pharaoh really the founder of our nation?
Part 3: Monsters
The one that got away
Nessie has become one of the most iconic symbols of Scotland, with a history stretching from St Columba to The Simpsons. But is it one big hoax?
Part 2: Magic
Away with the fairies?
In the second day of our myths and legends series, Ian Johnston looks at Thomas the Rhymer, the man known as Scotland's Nostradamus, credited with predicting the Battle of Bannockburn.
Part 1: Heroes
A lion of the north?
Long known as the quintessential English knight, there is growing evidence that iconic hero King Arthur was from Scotland, says Ian Johnston.
Ich bin auch dabei. Es stimmt- deine Arbeit ist wunderschön und wir vermissen deine Präsenz. Deshalb besuchen wir dich immer mal wieder und hoffen, dass es dir gut geht. Viele liebe und dankbare Grüße Von Mona
I think the focal point of mainstream religion has changed - http://www.ebook-search-queen.com/ebook/reli/religion+and+ethics.all.html .That’s part of the “see the world in black and white” that the fundamentalists find so important about their “my way or the highway to hell”. Its far easier to use religion as the label for making oneself feel better or more important than someone else. I don’t murder, so I’m better/God loves me more than…
I have to link to this blog because I think that is so important when it comes to manifestation and getting what you want in life. All the great successful people in the world today did some form of visualization. And a vision board is one of the most powerful manifestation tools to date in my opinion.
Looking so Kumbh Mela of 1895 is wonderful, the power of a faith like that, that can make multitudes upon multitudes of the old and weak and the young and frail enter without hesitation or complaint upon such.
Only a supremely powerful intellect could pierce of veil of hypnotic deception to bring the truth to the teeming masses of smooth-brained mouthbreathers that we all must be. Such courage and mental prowess in the mind of a single person. Thank you so much for attempting to free me of my mental prison of hypnotic malaise. His neck must be substantially stronger than the average “man-on-the-street” to…
idk if they are real or not. i’ve never seen them. but as big as this earth is, wt makes you think we’re the only one’s here. we have animals. y wouldn’t there be any other animals we don’t know about? think about it. there is a lot of things we thought were real a long time ago that wasn’t. like the world being flat. n things we thought…
of course mermaids and mermen are real, maybe not thease ones but were d yu think thay got the idea from,if no one believes in thease myths then christmas wouldnt be, all the stories for children wouldnt be oh how sad, and thats coming from me a banshe with a leprichourn for a husband lol..x