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Myths & Legends

All over the world there are extraordinary stories—stories that once upon a time were believed to be true but are today limited to the sphere of ancient myths and legends. The question remains, are those myths and legends stories something that existed in the minds of our ancestors, or were they based on true events? It is true that most of those ancient myths and legends stories appear to the scientific world as fictitious products of vivid imaginations whose goals were purely to explain phenomena beyond their comprehension. Yet is it not arrogant to accuse our ancestors of being uncivilised and ignorant in one breath, then offer them praise and admiration over their monuments, buildings, art, sculptures, and societies in the next? This only proves that our modern society has two contradictory attitudes toward our past.

In this section we will explore some of the most amazing myths and legends from around the world—legends that may hold truths that can unlock the secrets of our ancient origins.

Which is the real Santa Claus? Portrait of Saint Nicholas (BigStockPhoto), Santa Claus with tree and sack (Public Domain), and a modern depiction of Santa Claus.

This Christmas Tell Your Children the Real Santa Claus Story

Lisa Bitel / The Conversation Santa Claus will soon be coming to town, bringing gifts to children. Santa has several aliases, depending on the part of the world you live in. The English call him...
‘Semiramis’ – a modern depiction of the Sumerian goddess Inanna. In charge of fertility, sex, and war, Inanna was one of the most violent goddessess of the ancient world.

Girls Gone Wild: World Mythology’s Most Sexualized, Crazed, and Furiously Violent Goddesses

Myths, legends, and religions tell of gods and goddesses exemplifying all that is good and right in the world. And there are just as many who represent our deepest archetypal sexual desires, taboos,...
Illustration of a Domovoi

Domovoi: Stay on the Good Side of This Mischievous Slavic House Sprite

The Domovoi is a supernatural creature found in Slavic mythology. These are household sprites that attach themselves to a family and serve as their guardian. As benevolent spirits, the Domovoi would...
The samodiva is a type of Bulgarian forest nymph

Samodiva: The Life-Sucking Temptress and Wood Nymph of Bulgarian Folklore

The samodiva (known also as samovila or vila; samodivi or samodivas in plural) is a creature found in Balkan, specifically Bulgarian, folklore. In general, these beings are forest spirits or wood...
Close up of Sobek as represented on a relief from the Temple of Kom Ombo shows Sobek with typical attributes of kingship, including a was-scepter and royal kilt.

Sobek, the Crocodile God Who Sweated the Nile While Creating the World

Sobek, the ancient Egyptian crocodile god of strength and power. His ferocious attributes led Sobek to become a patron of the Egyptian army, a defender of the Pharaoh, and the people of Egypt. The...
The symbol of mythical God Thaumas is the reflective translucence of the sea.

Thaumas and Electra: Unity of the Wonder of the Sea and Sparkling Light Bears Jason’s Tormentors

In Greek mythology, Thaumas is believed to be an ancient sea god and further is regarded to be the personification of the wonders of the sea. Although little is known today about this mysterious sea...
Mayan Gods

How Many Maya Gods Were Worshipped? Hint: There Were Hundreds!

The Maya were a polytheistic people who believed in a multitude of gods and goddesses. The deities of the Maya pantheon governed every aspect of nature and human life and were quite complex...
 Women shaman of Ireland in trance - magic rotates the leaves.

Ancient Women Shaman of Ireland: Goddesses of Prophecy and Omens

The Celtic scholar Nora Chadwick notes that in Irish mythology the prophetess Fedelm tells Queen Medb that she has been in the land of Alba learning the art of the Filidect. Medb asks if she has...
Gothic queen in red dress doing magic

Ancient Women Shaman of Ireland: Healers, Priestesses and Diviners

All around the world many of the oldest ceremonial megalithic sites are associated with women shaman and oracular tradition and prophecy. A good example of this is Napta Playa which was linked to...
A statue of Artemis as the mythological Roman huntress Diana.

Artemis, the Chaste Huntress: You Really Didn’t Want to Mess With This Greek Goddess

The ancient Greek goddess Artemis was many things to many people. A huntress, virgin, midwife, twin, independent woman, protector, plague-bearer…the list goes on and on. Her appearance did not change...
Statue of pirate with eyepatch.

Is This the Real Reason Why Pirates Wore Eyepatches?

Between 1700 and 1725, the Caribbean was a relatively lawless place with numerous merchant ships traversing the high seas with no authorities to protect them. These factors helped to make this period...
Ganesha (Niks Ads / Fotolia)

Deep Mining the Mythology of Ganesha and the Ancient Temple Well

According to Joseph Campbell (1904 – 1987), the famed U.S. American Professor of Literature who wrote extensively about comparative mythology and religion: “Myths express characters and stories that...
A magical sword, in a Fairy Tale fores

Espada de Anibal - The Mystery Behind Hannibal’s Magical Lost Sword

Ancient Origins’ readers were recently delighted with the news that Hannibal’s first battlefield, fought on the river Tagus in Spain in 220 BC has finally been found . But for historian Ricky D...
Tarot card depicting Baphomet, detail

Baphomet: Was the Diabolical Demon Really Worshipped by Knights Templars?

Baphomet is perhaps best-known as the name of a deity supposedly worshipped by the Knights Templars. During the Inquisition of the Templars in the 14th century, the knights were falsely accused of...
Representation of the Knights of Blanik.

The Knights of Blanik Mountain Are Ready to Face the Darkest Hour

The famous Czech legend of the Knights of Blanik tells of an army of knights sleeping in a cave in Blanik, a mountain not far from Prague. It states that the knights will awake and be led by a saint...
Maeve, the Queen of Connacht and her husband Ailill

The Irish Otherworld Lives on with Queen Maeve, Epona, and Halloween

On Knocknarea Mountain, overlooking the Coolera peninsula in Sligo, there is an ancient passage tomb that dominates the landscape. This passage tomb is unique, not only because of its prominence, but...

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