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)

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.

Burning like a silver flame: The Mother of Rome and the Patroness of ancient Wine Festivals (reblog)

Originally the early Latin goddess of vegetation, a patroness of vineyards and gardens, Venus became deliberately associated with the Greek Goddess Aphrodite and assumed many of her aspects. The name of Venus then became interchangeable with Aphrodite as most of the tales of these two goddesses are identical. However, like every Roman gods with their Greek counterparts, there were differences. Venus arguably became more popular in ancient Rome, and became more ingrained in the city life. She took on the aspect of a gracious Mother Goddess full of pure love as well as assuming the divine responsibility for domestic bliss and procreation.

Read more here.

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Diana: Sky Goddess?

One thing that’s always puzzled me about the theory that Indo-European languages are a guide to the mythologies of the peoples who speak them is the reluctance to take up the question of Diana and other “Divine” goddesses. After all, if *Dyéus is the sky-father, are Diana, Divona, Dione and Divuša sky-mothers?

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Inventing Folklore: The Origins of the Green Man (reblog)

James Frazer has a lot to answer for.

He was born in 1854 in Glasgow, Scotland. He became a Fellow of Classics at Trinity College, Cambridge. From there he leapfrogged sideways into folklore studies and comparative anthropology, two disciplines he knew nothing about (although to be fair, at the time, neither did anyone else really.) His masterwork was The Golden Bough, two volumes of meticulously researched albeit fairly wrong comparative mythology from all over the world.

Find out more about James Frazer, Lady Raglan, and the Green Man.

And read Lady Raglan’s original article. (PDF link)

Image by Sue Rickhuss from Pixabay

Belisama: Goddess of the River Ribble (reblog)

  Belisama is the goddess of the river Ribble, which runs from Ribble Head in North Yorkshire, through Ribblesdale, Central Lancashire and out to the Irish Sea. Her name is known from Ptolemy’s Geography 2AD, where at co-ordinates corresponding to the Ribble’s estuary he places ‘Belisama aest[1]’. Inscriptions to Belisama have also been found in Vaison-la-Romaine in Provence and Saint-Lizier, in the Pyrenees[2]. Her name has received a number of interpretations. Nick Ford translates ‘Rigabelisama

Source: Belisama: Goddess of the River Ribble by Lorna Smithers | Blog Preston

How to Make a Curse Tablet (reblog)

In this instructable I will show you how to make a simple curse tablet in the same manner as most tablets found from Roman Britain. The Latin word for these was “defixio”. I will also mention some other types of curse table and how to make them, but this will be in less detail than how to make a defixio. A defixio is a type of curse found throughout the Greco-Roman world, in which someone would ask the gods, spirits, or the dead to do something to a person or object, or in some other way make the curse happen.

Read more…