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The Cat Came Back: A More Than Mythical History – Part I

The Cat Came Back: A More Than Mythical History – Part I

Cats have been on the human scene for 9,000 years. We came out of the caves, and they were there with us. Ever since, cats have been immortalized in art. They have been painted in fresco, sculpted in...
A Drink Fit for Goddesses: Beer and Mankind in Ancient Mythology

A Drink Fit for Goddesses: Beer and Mankind in Ancient Mythology

It is widely known these days that beer is one of the oldest beverages human beings have ever produced. Beer-related items and activities familiar to us today can be traced back to the ancient world...
A 19th-century interpretation of Charon's crossing by Alexander Litovchenko.

Charon, Son of Night and Shadow, Ferrier of the Dead

In days of old, the dead were buried with a silver coin (the shiner the better) so that the souls of the faithful departed could pay the toll to the deathless demon ferryman of the underworld: Charon...
A depiction of the Norse goddess Sif.

The Story of Sif, Powerful Wife of Norse God Thor

The warrior god Thor is well known from Old Norse literature. He has become a popular cultural icon, but his wife seems to be largely forgotten these days. However, Sif was once recognized as an...
Lugh of the Long-Arm: The Martial and Sovereign Reach of Lugh Lama-fada

Lugh of the Long-Arm: The Martial and Sovereign Reach of Lugh Lama-fada

One of the most prominent characters of Irish mythology and literature, Lugh Lama-fada, served as the High King of Ireland for 20 years before his unfortunate death at the hands of the sons of...
Budai figurine

The Laughing Buddha: The Eccentric Monk, God of Plenty and Patron of Bartenders

Siddhartha Gautama, known as the Buddha, was born in 6 BC, in what is now modern Nepal. He lived the comfortable life of a young prince until one day he ventured out into the world and was confronted...
Deriv; Wayang kulit figure, representing Semar (CC BY-SA 3.0) and Mask of Semar for traditional Javanese theater performance (CC BY-SA 3.0), and sarong from Java, c. 1880.

Semar: The Fallen God and Divine Jester of Indonesian Mythology

Semar is probably one of the oldest characters in Indonesian mythology who was said to not have been derived from Hindu mythology. He was made famous by performances of Wayang (Shadow Puppets) in the...
A Celtic knotwork border, high cross, and knot symbol.

Ancient Signs of Pride and Power: Unravelling the Secrets Behind Irish and Celtic Symbols

The ancient Celts believed their symbols and signs held amazing and meaningful powers which could influence their lives. Bards and storytellers have carried on the stories and meanings behind Celtic...
Manannán mac Lir sculpture by John Sutton at Gortmore, Magilligan, County Londonderry (2014).

Manannan Mac Lir: God of the Sea and Guardian of the Afterlife

Manannan mac Lir is likely the most prominent sea deity of Irish mythology and literature. With his sea-borne chariot, affiliation with horses and cloak of invisibility, he guards the otherworld and...
Illustration of a Celtic warrior woman by RottenRagamuffin

The Woman Behind the Man: Celtic Warrior Scathach, Teacher of Warriors

The most notorious warrior from Irish mythology, akin in many ways to the great Greek warrior Achilles, the intense tales of Cú Chulainn's life and battles were really only possible because of one...
Gods and the creative and destructive power of fire.

Thieves of Fire in Ancient Mythology: Divine Creation and Destruction in the Hands of Man

From ancient times and even to this day, people consider fire one of the basic elements of the universe. Interpretations of fire in ancient mythologies vary greatly, with fire viewed as a creative...
Thor and the Midgard Serpent, Emil Doepler painting.

Slithering Through the Stories of Ancient Snake Deities: Serpent Gods of Ancient Mythology

Serpent and their symbols are found in the myths and legends of countless cultures around the world. These animals often have a negative connotation, but not always. There are even cases of snake...
Pegasus

Pegasus: The Majestic White Horse of Olympus

Pegasus is the majestic flying horse found in Greek mythology. This creature is traditionally depicted as a pure white horse with wings. The father of Pegasus is said to be the god of the sea,...
"Loki's Brood" (1905) by Emil Doepler.

Going to Hel and Back: The Travel to Helheim Where a Goddess of Darkness Reigned

By far, Loki’s most well-known children are the ones he had with the giantess Angurboda. These include the wolf Fenrir, the Midgard Serpent Jormugandr, and the goddess Hel. Legends say that the...
How Europeans saw the Garden of Eden in the Middle Ages. Painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553)

Was the Garden of Eden a Real Place?

Mention the Garden of Eden to a group of friends and you are likely to get as many suggestions on its true location as people you ask, plus a fair number who will deny that it was ever a real place...
A Tale of Two Brigids: a Celtic Goddess and a Christian Saint

A Tale of Two Brigids: a Celtic Goddess and a Christian Saint

There are churches dedicated to Saint Brigid in many parts of the world. With time, she became one of the most important icons of the Catholic Church. However, it is still uncertain if she was a real...

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