Light & Shadows of Chalandor Book of Shadows
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Title: ~A-B-C~
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Autumn_Heather
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(Date Posted:02/20/2009 01:16 AM)
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All Critters of Myth beginning with A-B-C will be placed here when found.

Abominable Snowman or Yeti

Abominable Snowman or Yeti, legendary wild man of the Himalayas. Reports of sightings have come from Nepal (where the creature is known as Yeti) and from parts of China, Siberia, and other areas in Asia. Sightings have also been reported in North America, where the Abominable Snowman is called Bigfoot in the United States and Sasquatch in Canada. These creatures are said to be elusive; to be heavily built, apelike, hairy, and malodorous, with facial features resembling those of a human being; and to communicate by grunts, cries, or whistles.
The "wild man of the woods" is a familiar figure in folklore. References to such a figure include the Russian leshiy, Enkidu of the Gilgamesh Epic, Silenus and the satyrs in Greek mythology, and Grendel in the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf. Contemporary reports of the Abominable Snowman, therefore, are regarded by some as little more than modern variations on an ancient mythological theme, and some sightings have indeed proved to be hoaxes. However, it has been argued that the widespread presence of these creatures in folklore indicates that they have actually existed since ancient times and may still inhabit remote regions of the earth. Some theorists propose that the sightings are of an unknown species of ape or of isolated surviving Neandertal specimens. Other theorists associate sightings of these creatures with the activity of extraterrestrial beings.
Over the years, investigators have reviewed the local folklore of areas where sightings of the Abominable Snowman have been reported, collected casts of footprints, and devised schemes for the capture of the creature. The alleged physical evidence-footprints, body parts, and indistinct photographs-nevertheless remains ambiguous. In 1960 the renowned mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand undertook to investigate reports of the creature, including one made by the father of Tenzing Norgay, Hillary's Sherpa guide; Hillary found no evidence of it.
Skeptics doubt the existence of the Abominable Snowman and its counterparts because conclusive physical evidence has not been found. Also, because the sightings often occur in remote areas and from a considerable distance, the chances of mistaken identification are great. Skeptics interpret the Abominable Snowman sightings as a reflection of the modern fascination with the wild and the popular sense that a few pockets of wilderness remain in a world dominated by civilization.

Aswang
aswangAswang
An Aswang (or Asuwang) is a ghoul in Filipino folklore. The myth of the aswang is popular in the Western Visayan regions such as Capiz, Iloilo and Antique. The trademark or major feature of Aswangs which distinguish them from other Filipino mythological creatures is their propensity to replace stolen cadavers with the trunk of a banana tree carved in the cadaver's likeness. They are also said to like to eat small children. Their favorite body parts are the liver and heart. Other local names, especially in Capiz are tik-tik and wak-wak.
Aswang, at times, is also a generic term applied to all types of mythological creatures, ghosts, manananggals, witches, shapeshifters, lycanth and monsters. Aswang is often interchanged with manananggal, but they are different. There are also characteristics and features that the Aswang also varies from Filipino to Filipino.They usually live near the mountains and they never go in to cities
The myth of the Aswang is popular in the Visayan region of the Philippines, specially in the western provinces of Capiz, Iloilo Antique. Aside from entertainment value, mothers are said to tell their children Aswang stories to keep them off the streets and keep them home at night. Similar to Count Vlad III Dracula of Transylvania in Vampire stories, the most popular characters are the clan of Teñente/ Tenyente/ Tiniente Gimo of the town of Dueñas, Iloilo.
 
Appearance and activities
An aswang is a regular towns person by day and prefer an occupation related to meat, such as butchery or making sausages.
Aswangs have an ageless appearance and a quiet, shy and elusive manner. They can be distinguished from humans by two signs. One is the bloodshot eyes from staying up all night looking for opportunities to sneak into houses where funeral wakes are being held, and stealing the dead bodies.
According to the elderly, the Aswang can also transform from human to animal and animal to human. The Aswang can disguise him/herself as a pig, dog or a black bird. Supposedly if a person looks at them in the eyes, the reflection would appear inverted. During their nocturnal activities, they walk with their feet facing backwards and toenails reversed.

One type is the tik-tik which transforms into a huge bird/bat at night and prowls. The tik-tik looks for a pregnant person. Then extends a very long proboscis into the womb and licks the baby to kill it. While performing, a 'tik-tik' sound is heard.
In some stories, the tik-tik is an aswang's familiar, said to confuse people by its 'tik-tik' sound. If the aswang is near, the sound would be faint so that people hearing it would think that the aswang is still far away.
The term wak-wak or wuk-wuk is frequently used for the same creature in the Cebu region. The legends of the wak-wak and tik-tik are much the same, but the wak-wak is specifically supposed to change into its birdlike form by leaving behind its lower body, much like the Manananggal, another Philippine vampire. The cry of a night bird which makes a "wuk-wuk-wuk" sound is believed to be the call of this monster and is feared by superstitious villagers. As with the call of the tik-tik, the wak-wak is believed able to make its cry sound distant when the creature is near.

Argus
 
He was a hundred-eyed herdsman whom was earth-born. Hera ordered him to watch over Io, because she had been turned into a cow for having an affair with Zeus. Zeus sent Hermes to kill Argus. After putting him to sleep with the flute, Argus was crushed by a boulder. Hera honored him by having his eyes put into the feathers of the peacock.

A 100-eyed giant (also called Panoptes) who was assigned by the goddess Hera, wife of Zeus, to guard Io, of whom she was jealous. Zeus, who favored his mistress Io, changed her into a heifer to protect her from Hera. The god Hermes, dispatched by Zeus to rescue Io, slew Argus by lulling his eyes to sleep with music and then severing his head. In one version of the story, Argus subsequently became a peacock; in another, Hera transplanted his eyes onto the peacock's tail.
Also known by the name Argus was the old dog of Odysseus, Greek leader during the Trojan War. When his master returned after 19 years, Argus recognized him and promptly died.

Argus (or Argos ) was a monster in Greek mythology. He was famous in legend for having many eyes. With his multiple sets of eyes, he could see nearly everything in his vicinity. And indeed, with his keen vision, Argus was regarded as an almost perfect mythological guard creature. Why only almost perfect? Read on to see the answer to this question, and to learn more about the story of Argus. There are several legends in which Argus plays a part. Two of these tales involve creatures that terrorized the area in and around Arcadia (incidentally, Arcadia is located in the Peloponnese, a peninsula in Greece). Argus set about ridding Arcadia of its troublesome pests. His first task was to subdue a wild bull that was destroying the Arcadian countryside. Then, Argus eliminated a malicious cattle-stealing satyr. The other important legend in which Argus appears features some famous characters from myth, including Hermes, Zeus, Hera, and Io. According to the story, Hera, the Queen of the Olympian gods and goddesses, commanded Argus to watch over Io. Io was a woman with whom Zeus - the ruler of the Olympians - had conducted a passionate love affair. However, in order to protect his mistress from the wrath of his wife, Zeus had transformed Io into a heifer. So Hera, who was quite clever, had Argus guard her rival, the heifer Io. Zeus was not pleased. He sent the god Hermes to dispatch the monster. Hermes managed to subdue Argus, and here the details differ depending on the source of the myth. Some sources suggest that Hermes lulled Argus to sleep, while others state that Hermes killed the monster. So in the end, the nearly perfect guard creature was defeated by the wit and cunning of Hermes. Hera paid tribute to Argus by placing his eyes into the tail of the peacock, her favorite bird. In this way, Argus was immortalized, his eyes adorning the feathers of Hera's peacock.

Argus was a Giant with 100 eyes that were placed all over his body. He never closed all of his eyes at once, sleeping with at least half of them open. For this reason he made an excellent guard. The Goddess Hera had him guard the maiden Io, a lover of Zeus who had been turned into a white cow. Zeus sent Hermes to rescue the maiden, which the god was able to do by singing to Argus and getting him to close all of his eyes. When Argus was completely asleep and unaware, Hermes killed him. In return for his service and sacrifice, Hera placed his eyes onto the tail feathers of the peacock, a bird which from then on has been sacred to the Goddess.

Argus was a creature that supposedly had hundred's of eyes all over his body. Argus, ordered by Hera, had the responsibility of watching over a young priestess named Io because she was having a love affair with Zeus and Hera was mad. After the affair Hera turned Io in to a cow! Zeus responded to this by sending Hermes to rescue Io and to kill Argus. Hermes killed Argus by putting him to sleep playing his charming flute and then crushed Argus with a large boulder. Hera put the eyes of Argus on the tail of the peacock for a memorial.

The hundred-eyed character that was given by Hera the task of guarding Io, one of Zeus's many mistresses. Hermes lulled him to sleep and killed him. Hera, distraught, took his eyes and placed them on her favorite bird, the peacock.



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RE:~A-B-C~
(Date Posted:02/20/2009 01:20 AM)

Baba Yaga by Ivan Bilibin

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In Russian folklore there are many stories of Baba Yaga, the fearsome witch with iron teeth.

She is also known as Baba Yaga Boney Legs, because, in spite of a ferocious appetite, she is as thin as a skeleton. In Russian that's: 'Baba Yaga Kostianaya Noga'

In some stories she has two older sisters, who are also called Baba Yaga, just to confuse you!

Her nose is so long that it rattles against the ceiling of her hut when she snores, stretched out in all directions upon her ancient brick oven.

Not being a boringly-conventional witch, she does not wear a hat, and has never been seen on a broomstick. She travels perched in a large mortar with her knees almost touching her chin, and pushes herself across the forest floor with a pestle.

Whenever she appears on the scene, a wild wind begins to blow, the trees around creak and groan and leaves whirl through the air. Shrieking and wailing, a host of spirits often accompany her on her way.

Being a somewhat secretive lady, (in spite of all the din she makes,) she sweeps away all traces of herself with a broom made of silver birch (what are brooms for anyway?).

She can also fly through the air in the same manner.

Basilisks and Cockatrices

The basilisk and cockatrice were often confused with each other, as they are both dragon-like creatures. All who behold the eyes of the basilisk fall dead on the spot. Because it destroys all shrubs, both by direct contact and by breathing upon them, and also burns up grass and fractures stones, it is generally found in barren deserts. The cockatrice is very similar, although only the cockerel can withstand its withering glare.

Basilisks were created when an animal hatched from an egg laid by a cock in a dung heap and incubated by a toad. Such a feat was obviously of profound value in sorcery and, in 1474, in a celebrated trial in Basle, a cockerel was executed on the capital charge of having laid an egg which might have hatched into a basilisk. The cockerel was legally represented and denied any wrong-doing. However, it was unsuccessful in its defense and it, together with its egg, was burned to death with full legal solemnity.

An obvious way to counteract the basilisk's fatal stare was to hold up a mirror, whereupon the creature would slay itself. Apparently, this technique was put to good use in Warsaw in 1857 when a condemned prisoner named John Faurer volunteered to deal with a basilisk by approaching it wearing a leather suit festooned with mirrors. This operation was witnessed by over 2000 onlookers.

BASILISCO

This is a snake possessing a cockerel's head, hatched from the egg "Llolloy", laid by a red rooster or ancient hen. From this egg hatches a worm that creeps about like a lizard usually living in stables until the time of its transformation into Basilisco. It can also live in caves showing only its head to its victim who is then struck dead by its gaze. If it only sees a part of the victim that part is paralyzed for ever.

At night, while uttering barely discernible whistles, Basilisco enters homes and sucks breath and phlegm from the sleeping inhabitants. The victim develops a dry cough and starts to waste away becoming a shriveled skeleton. Basilisco will not leave a home until all the family has been dealt with.

The Brownie

The Scottish Brownie formed a class of being distinct in habit and disposition from the freakish and mischievous elves. He was meagre, shaggy, and wild in his appearance. Thus Cleland, in his satire against the Highlanders, compares them to

“Faunes, or Brownies, if ye will,
Or Satyres come from Atlas Hill.”

In the day-time he lurked in remote recesses of the old houses which he delighted to haunt, and in the night sedulously employed himself in discharging any laborious task which he thought might be acceptable to the family to whose service he had devoted himself. But the Brownie does not drudge from the hope of recompense. On the contrary, so delicate is his attachment that the offer of reward, but particularly of food, infallibly occasions his disappearance for ever. It is told of a Brownie, who haunted a border family now extinct, that the lady having fallen unexpectedly ill, and the servant, who was ordered to ride to Jedburgh for the sage-femme, showing no great alertness in setting out, the familiar spirit slipped on the greatcoat of the lingering domestic, rode to the town on the laird’s best horse, and returned with the midwife en croupe. During the short space of his absence, the Tweed, which they must necessarily ford, rose to a dangerous height. Brownie, who transported his charge with all the rapidity of the ghostly lover of Lenore, was not to be stopped by the obstacle. He plunged in with the terrified old lady, and landed her in safety where her services were wanted. Having put the horse into the stable (where it was afterwards found in a woful plight), he proceeded to the room of the servant, whose duty he had discharged, and finding him just in the act of drawing on his boots, he administered to him a most merciless drubbing with his own horsewhip. Such an important service excited the gratitude of the laird, who, understanding that Brownie had been heard to express a wish to have a green coat, ordered a vestment of the colour to be made, and left in his haunts. Brownie took away the green coat, but was never seen more. We may suppose that, tired of his domestic drudgery, he went in his new livery to join the fairies.

The last Brownie known in Ettrick Forest resided in Bodsbeck, a wild and solitary spot, near the head of Moffat Water, where he exercised his functions undisturbed, till the scrupulous devotion of an old lady induced her to “hire him away,” as it was termed, by placing in his haunt a porringer of milk and a piece of money. After receiving this hint to depart, he was heard the whole night to howl and cry, “Farewell to bonnie Bodsbeck!” which he was compelled to abandon for ever.

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RE:~A-B-C~
(Date Posted:02/20/2009 01:21 AM)

THE CAPTIVE OF THE SEA NYMPH CALYPSO

Odysseus was the captive of the sea nymph Calypso on his long journey back to his native land. Her name means "I will conceal" and probably relates to the time when she was a major goddess. Her father was the titan Atlas. She lived on an island called Ogygia that was so beautiful the gods themselves were stunned by it. Calypso, too, was famous for her beauty and the beauty of her braided hair. Briefly, here is the story of her time with Odysseus:

Odysseus' ships were destroyed by the gods because his men had slaughtered the cattle of Helios. Since Odysseus himself had not taken part in the slaughter he was spared. He held onto the keel of his ship for nine days till he reached the island of Ogygia. There the sea nymph Calypso tended his wounds and fell and in love with him. She offered him her home, her love and ageless immortality but Odysseus declined. He wanted to return to his wife Penelope and his own kingdom as soon as possible. The Calypso would not accept his rejection and kept her with him for seven years hoping he would change his mind. During that time they had two children - Odysseus apparently deciding to make the best of things.

Athena, Odysseus' patron goddess, finally persuaded Zeus to free him. Zeus sent Hermes to tell Calypso it was time for Odysseus to leave. Calypso regretfully agreed. She gave Odysseus an ax and other tools to make a raft, and she supplied him with food, water and "a fair wind at his back" for his trip.

Soon after leaving Ogygia Odysseus' raft was sunk by Poseidon.

The author of the Odyssey is not the same person as the author of the Iliad, even though both are called Homer. For one thing, the books were written 200 years apart. Today, many people believe that the Homer of the Odyssey was a woman. The Greeks are well known for their misogyny yet there are many strong women who play important roles in the Odyssey: Athena, Calypso, Circe, Scylla, Charybdis and Penelope. In fact, the large number of powerful goddesses in Greek mythology have led to the theory that early Greek culture was female-dominated.

The sea nymph Calypso was probably also a fertility goddess. Many times in the Odyssey and other works the authors refer to Calypso's arching caverns. Homer pointedly says that this is where she and Odysseus made love.

Daphne, like the sea nymph Calypso, has her own interesting love story.

CALEUCHE

This sailing ship is seen glowing in the fog. Aboard, there is dancing and music of unsurpassed beauty. It can travel at great speed above or below the water. In its voyages through the waterways of Chiloé it is crewed by shipwrecked sailors and those lured away by the enchanting music. It can suddenly disappear from view leaving behind a rumbling of chains and the echoes of a captivating melody.

In this strange ship are witches who support the businesses of those who have made contracts with them. It is said that such merchants start with little but soon become rich and important businessmen.
The ship possesses the power to transform unfortunates into animals or inert objects such as a tree-trunk with a crew of seals.

Some believe that this myth may have its origin in a Dutch pirate ship Calanche captained by Vicente Vaneucht that once troubled these waters.


CAMAHUETO

This young bull is similar to a unicorn, his skin like quicksilver with a short golden horn ("cacho") glowing in the moonlight.

Those that have seen him say he is lithe, agile and very beautiful. He is born and lives in watery grottoes or in marshy lakes. Here he grows towards adulthood. At the age of 25 he migrates towards the sea. In making this journey he wreaks havoc with vegetation and crops. When someone discovers this happening he looks for a "Machi" or wizard who will lasso Camahueto with a length of kelp and lead him peacefully to the water. Only those who understand the magic can handle Camahueto. At full moon they can catch him and pull out his horn converting him into a docile calf. In reward for his services the Machi receives money or herbs and the horn of Camahueto.

Shavings from the horn are said to have medicinal powers and are used to prepare magic ointments that can cure skin diseases, rheumatism, anemia and other conditions. However an excess of this powder can make the patient "encamahuetado", a madness similar to schizophrenia, in which the sufferer develops spots, red eyes and froth at the mouth.

Chiloé: Mythology
Since earliest times the inhabitants of Chiloé recognized the primal forces of good and bad. The cyclical interplay of these opposites is depicted as a fundamental battle between the ocean and the land personified by the mythical reptiles CAI-CAI y TEN-TEN. Myth relates that for thousands of years all of Chiloé belonged to one body of land united to the American continent. The apparition of CAI-CAI, in the form of a snake initiated the battle. CAI-CAI caused the waters to rise rapidly inundating lowlands, valleys and hills, burying the inhabitants beneath the waves. As the waters threatened to cover everything, the protector TEN-TEN appeared, launching an attack upon his enemy and raising the land out of the sea to save its inhabitants. TEN-TEN helped people reach high ground, giving some men the power of flight and transforming others into birds. CAI-CAI found it impossible to cover the hilltops with his waters. The rains stopped and the waters receded. This great fight was repeated through aeons, eventually little survived it. Animals were transformed to rocks, people that did not reach high ground became fishes or seals. Valleys became channels or inlets between the islands and hills and mountains became islands forming an archipelago of incredible beauty.

CYRENE

Most of the nymphs in mythology are more or less anonymous but Cyrene played an important role and mixed with the famous gods of the time. Cyrene was a fresh water nymph or naiad whose parents were Hypseus (a mortal) and Chlidanope (a naiad). Cyrene was not interested in household tasks like weaving and spinning but instead loved to hunt. She would spend all day and half the night hunting. Once Apollo saw her wrestling with a lion. He immediately fell in love with her and called his friend Cheiron the centaur to ask about her. Cheiron knew that Apollo was already determined to seduce Cyrene, as he had seduced many of the other nymphs in mythology. He told Apollo that Cyrene would live in a golden palace and bare important offspring.

Apollo took Cyrene away in his golden chariot and brought her to Libya. Aphrodite met them there and bedded them without delay. Apollo granted Cyrene long life and a rich and fertile kingdom. Nine months later she gave birth to Aristaeus.

Aristaeus became a bee keeper and went to live at Tempe in Arcadia. There all his bees died and Aristaeus could not discover the cause. Saddened, he went to a deep pool of the river Peneius and called to his mother. Surrounded by her friends, the famous nymphs of mythology, Cyrene heard him. She sent Arethusa to poke her head above the water and invite him down to her kingdom. Once there, Aristaeus told his mother about the dead bees and asked her advice. Cyrene said that Aristaeus must consult Proteus, a wise prophet that the nymphs of mythology greatly respected. Proteus, however, would not willingly volunteer any information. Instead Aristaeus must capture him and hold him in fetters (ancient handcuffs). Proteus had the power to change his form and would assume many terrible shapes to frighten Aristaeus, but Aristaeus must hold onto him. In the end Proteus would surrender.

Aristaeus journeyed to the cave were Proteus took his midday rest and waited for him. When Proteus appeared and settled down to sleep Aristaeus put the fetters on him and held as tightly as he could. Proteus assumed the form of fire, then flood, then a lion but Aristaeus held on. Proteus, giving up, assumed his human form and asked what Aristaeus wanted from him. Aristaeus asked about his dead bees and Proteus told him that he was being punished for inadvertently causing the death of Eurydice (from the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice).

Returning to Cyrene's palace, Aristaeus told his mother what Proteus had said. She advised him to sacrifice four bulls and four cows to the Dryads (forest nymphs in mythology and the friends of Eurydice). He was to leave the bodies on the ground for nine days and then return early in the morning.

Aristaeus did as Cyrene had said and on the ninth day saw that some bees had started a new colony in the body of one of the dead animals. He put the bees into a hive and taught men this new method of raising a swarm. Since that time he has been honored as Zeus by the people of Arcadia.

The Origin of "The Centaur"

By Anthony Francis

Centaur Origins - What is a centaur, anyway?

The centaur probably began as a horse totem of a tribe of early Greeks in prehistory. The earliest drawings of hippocentaurs (a kind of demon given human form, or kallikantzaroi, in ancient Greek myth) show men wearing fetishes of hindquarters of horses joined to their waists. These hobby-horse fetishes, common (in varying form) to European crop and fertility rituals, only later became depictions of human torsos joined to actual horse bodies. The hypothesis that the centaur represents a terrified tribal reinterpretation of a horse and rider is probably without merit.

The Greek love for the horse led to the ennoblement of the centaur in myth and legend (the only version of the kallikantzaroi to be so honored). The Centaur Chiron was known for his wisdom and healing abilities. Other centaurs did not fare so well in myth: Nessus was killed by Hercules for trying to rape (variously) his wife or a woman under his charge, and other centaurs were renowned for their weakness for drink. The centauromachy - the depiction of one or more of the fights between humans and centaurs in myth - became a popular feature of Greek art. The centaur was also used by some writers to symbolize man's dual nature as an intellectual creature (the human half) which was also an physical animal (the horse half).

In the Medieval period, the centaur fared more poorly, often becoming a demonic image. Nevertheless, the centaur remained a popular character in art, no doubt due to the vast influence of Greek art and literature on Western culture.

In modern times, the centaur has reappeared in art and literature, especially in the genre of fantasy. C.S. Lewis' The Narnian Chronicles and Piers Anthony's Xanth series have prominent centaur characters. Science fiction has used the character as well; John Varley's Titan, Wizard, Demon series, Jack Chalker's Wellworld series, Walter Jon William's Knight Moves, Elf Sternberg's The Journal Entries series, and my own (as yet unpublished, gripe, gripe) homo centauris all feature prominent centaur characters.


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