Category Archives: Mythology

it could be argued… that any myth is a neutral structure that allows paradoxical meanings to be held in a charged tension. Indeed, we might argue that this is one of the defining characteristics of a myth, in cotnrast with other sorts of narriatves (such as novels): a myth is a narrative that is tramsparent to a variety of constructions of meaning.
(Wendy Doniger, The London Review of Books, 30: 7 (10 April 2008): 27-29)

How the new Wall gods came to be: the case of the Veteres (reblog)

There are some intriguing deities on Hadrian’s Wall. Some might have been ‘born’ or ‘re-born’ when incomers from foreign lands, trying to make sense of their new situation, created brand new ‘gods of place’. The enigmatic Veteres are possible candidates here. 61 altars to a god called Veteris (or to gods called the Veteres) have been found in Britain, with the great majority coming from the wall zone, including 13 from Carvoran and 11 from Vindolanda.

Read more here.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

The Rex Nemorensis – King of the Wood: The Ghastly Priest who Slew the Slayer (reblog)

Under the influence!

Image by Gerson Martinez from Pixabay

“From the still glassy lake that sleeps

Beneath Aricia’s trees

Those trees in whose dim shadow

The ghastly priest doth reign,

The priest who slew the slayer,

And shall himself be slain” (1)

Thomas Babbington Macaulay

These words by Thomas Babbington Macaulay succinctly sum up the deadly duel of life and death to decide the Rex Nemorensis, the legendary High Priest of Diana Nemorensis of the Sacred Grove of Lake Nemi. The Rex Nemorensis was a shadowy figure in ancient Greek and Roman myth and legend. Most versions of his story agree that he earned his title and role by winning a fight to the death to become the “ghastly priest” of the above verse. Here we shall briefly discuss the mythical goddess of the Sacred Grove, Diana Nemorensis, followed by a look at her high priest and his deadly duel…

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Airmid – Celtic Goddess of Healing and Herbal Lore (reblog)

Airmid, also known as Airmed or Airmeith, is the Celtic Goddess of the Healing Arts. She was  a member of the Tuatha De Danaan, the most ancient race of deities in Ireland and just as they did, she had great magickal powers…

Read more here.

Image by Couleur on Pixabay.

Hestia: Domestic Goddess

At a time when we’re all staying at home and trying to find ways to make it interesting (provided we’re not ill), it might be worth taking a look at the hearth-goddess Hestia. She tends to be overlooked, and doesn’t have a lot of myths, but now is a good time for a reappraisal of this quiet but essential goddess.

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Review of Women Who Fly (reblog)

Serinity Young’s Women Who Fly: Goddesses, Witches, Mystics, and Other Airborne Females, is a cross-cultural, multi-period, feminist study of flying women in myth, literature, ritual, and history. Through examination of sky-going females evident within the religions and iconography of the Ancient Near East, Europe, and Asia, as well as in shamanic, Judeo-Christian, and Islamic cultures, the author creates a typology of flying women through history that culminates in an examination of 20th century fictional airborne women and real female aviators.

Read more here.

Azorean Folktales: Genadius the Necromancer and the Island of the Seven Cities (reblog)

Several years ago I wrote a post about the legend of Ys, which sank because of Queen Dahut’s misuse of magic (and sexual predation). It interested me because her legend somehow got grafted onto Arianrhod, and repeated endlessly on the internet.

This is another story about how someone’s flaws and overweening ambition led to the sinking of an island, but this story comes from the Azores, and features a Prospero-like sorceror.

Click here to read the story.