All  
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...
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...
Nachzehrers: The Shroud Eating Vampires of Germanic Folklore

Nachzehrers: The Shroud Eating Vampires of Germanic Folklore

The nachzehrer, also known as a shroud eater, is a type of German vampire which features prominently in the folklore of Germany’s northern region. According to legend, it needed to devour both its...
Bringing the Secret Story of Shadows to Light

Bringing the Secret Story of Shadows to Light

Mythology regarding the forces of light and the forces of darkness has a long history of debate. However, there is a faction which has not been discussed so much. This is the story of shadows. In...
An image of the god Soma and its representations.

The Secret Substance Soma: Bringing Human Beings Closer to the Gods

Soma is both the name of a god and a substance that is found in Hindu mythology. As a deity, Soma is one of the most important gods in the Rigveda . Soma is also considered to be a primeval being,...
The Icelandic Kvöldvaka: Cultural Phenomenon in the Twilight Hours

The Icelandic Kvöldvaka: Cultural Phenomenon in the Twilight Hours

Iceland’s strong love of literature is a source of amazement to many people. In an era of declining book sales around the world, this small North Atlantic island continues to publish and sell more...
Horses as Symbols of Power in History and Mythology

Horses as Symbols of Power in History and Mythology

There are many hypotheses regarding history of the domestication of the horse. Horses first appeared in Paleolithic cave art around 30,000 BC. These were wild horses that were hunted for their meat...
Lilith: Ancient Demon, Dark Deity or Sex Goddess?

Lilith: Ancient Demon, Dark Deity or Sensual Goddess?

In some sources she's described as a demon, in others she is an icon who became one of the darkest deities of the pagans. Lilith is one of the oldest known female spirits of the world. Her roots come...
Huldufolk: Supernatural Creatures Hiding in Iceland

Huldufolk: Supernatural Creatures Hiding in Iceland

In Icelandic folklore, the Huldufólk (meaning hidden people ) are like elves. These beings are also said to be very similar to human beings, and live in little houses in the rocks. Although the...
The Appealing Adonis Who Enthralled Many Ancient Civilizations

The Appealing Adonis Who Enthralled Many Ancient Civilizations

In Greek mythology, Adonis is declared as an extremely good looking man. This character is best known as being one of Aphrodite’s lovers. Although the figure of Adonis and the myth surrounding him...
The Fiji Mermaid: What Was the Abominable Creature and Why Was It So Popular?

The Fiji Mermaid: What Was the Abominable Creature and Why Was It So Popular?

The Fiji (also spelled as ‘Feejee’) mermaid was a sideshow that gained popularity during the 19th century. The original Fiji Mermaid was displayed in 1842 by P.T. Barnum, an American showman and...
From the Gisla Saga: When Eyjólfur and his men attacked Gísli in overwhelming numbers, Gísli’s wife Auður stood by his side, armed with a club.

Gunnhild, A Misidentified Bog Body and the Mother of Kings in Norse Sagas

Gunnhild, known also as Gunnhild Gormsdóttir or Gunnhild konungamóðir (meaning ‘mother of kings’), is a character who is found in a number of Norse sagas. In these stories, Gunnhild is depicted as...

Pages