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Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

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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 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 appear to the scientific world to be 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.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: A History of Monsters, from Werewolves to Hippogriffs

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: A History of Monsters, from Werewolves to Hippogriffs

The latest instalment in the Harry Potter franchise, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them , sees wizard Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) entering New York in 1926, smuggling a briefcase full of...
The Mythology of Nut, Mother of Gods

The Mythology of Nut, Mother of Gods

One of the oldest goddesses in Egyptian mythology is Nut, the goddess of the sky ( nut means ‘sky’ in the ancient Egyptian language). It was believed that that the sky is, in fact, a star-covered...
The legend of The Hell House College of St Mary’s

The legend of The Hell House College of St Mary’s

Hell House College is the nickname given to St. Mary’s College in Ilchester, Maryland (The college is also sometimes referred to as ‘Creepy College’). This college was originally set up as a Roman...
Twins, Kings and Horses: Symbols of the Divine Twins in Ancient Mythology

Twins, Kings and Horses: Symbols of the Divine Twins in Ancient Mythology

The ancient figures of the “Divine Twins” are recognizable throughout the world with minor variations of the same themes. They are usually depicted as the sons of the Sky God, or even having dual...
Features The Return of the Crusader by Karl Friedrich Lessing, and an illustration from Jack the Giant Killer

Tom Hickathrift - the Crusader who became Jack the Giant Killer

Many of you will be familiar with the legend or fairy-tale of Jack the Giant Killer and, in England, the popular Christmas pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk . But, Jack is a relatively recent...
The Legend of the Blair Witch: Myths that Created an Infamous Curse

The Legend of the Blair Witch: Myths that Created an Infamous Curse

When most people hear about the Blair witch, images come to mind of a horror film which was released in 1999 with a very low production budget. The movie was directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo...
Deliver Us From Evil: How Ancient People Protected Their Houses from Bad Spirits and Bad Luck?

Deliver Us From Evil: How Ancient People Protected Their Houses from Bad Spirits and Bad Luck?

Some people say it is not real, but try to tell them that bad spirits just entered their houses. They will feel insane and try to ignore it, but the unpleasant feeling will stay. In this case people...
Ancient Secrets Come into Sight: The Pineal Gland, Pine Cone Symbolism, and the Third Eye

Ancient Secrets Come into Sight: The Pineal Gland, Pine Cone Symbolism, and the Third Eye

There is an enigmatic gland which seems to be hidden away in the human brain that has fascinated people for centuries. Depictions of pine cones and sacred eyes have been linked to this mysterious...
How the Ancient World Invoked the Dead to Help the Living

How the Ancient World Invoked the Dead to Help the Living

Though it may seem as if Halloween is a modern con trick designed to get us spending our hard-earned cash on an American celebration, this is not the case. In fact, dressing up, knocking on neighbors...
Legends of Mount Shasta: “The Abode of the Devil” Part 3 – Prehistoric Traditions of Giants and Mysterious Beings, Part Two

Legends of Mount Shasta: “The Abode of the Devil” Part 3 – Prehistoric Traditions of Giants and Mysterious Beings, Part Two

[Read Part I] When I began to research the J.C. Brown mystery, I suspected that if any element of Brown’s story was true, there might be something in the historical record–or prehistoric lore of the...
Mount Shasta, Photograph © Dustin Naef 2016

Legends of Mount Shasta: “The Abode of the Devil” Part 3 – Prehistoric Traditions of Giants and Mysterious Beings, Part One

There are countless Native American legends describing prehistoric giants, flood myths, lost civilizations, cataclysms, the star people, and other mysterious beings who belonged to some remote and...
The Marriage of the Sky and the Sea: Visayan Creation Myths

The Marriage of the Sky and the Sea: Visayan Creation Myths

Although there are different versions of the Visayan creation myth, they are similar in characters, conflicts and resolutions. The way the story was narrated and its different subsequent retellings...
Dogs, Ancient and Modern: A Mythological History

Dogs, Ancient and Modern: A Mythological History

Dogs have been with us since the first stargazer cast an eye to the heavens. Were dogs up there, too -- in the stars? The answer is yes. In ancient times the dog star guided and guarded, just as its...
Illustration of a Witch.

Who Was the Mysterious Aradia - Italian Goddess or Wicked Witch?

The line between goddess and witch or witch and saint is very thin in ancient history. One example of this confusion is the legendary story of Aradia – a woman whose life has been explored in neo-...
Rauðskinna: The Famous Icelandic Book of Black Magic

Rauðskinna: The Famous Icelandic Book of Black Magic

Rauðskinna is a legendary book that was more terrifying than most of the black magic documents ever produced. It was so dark, that most people could not believe it was written by a Christian bishop...
The Ascension of Sleipnir: The Mythological Origins of Odin's Steed

The Ascension of Sleipnir: The Mythological Origins of Odin's Steed

Seven-headed monsters, one-eyed giants and blood-born winged horses are all shocking representations of the ways in which the well-known creatures of ancient Greek and Roman mythology transcend the...
The Tale of Ivan Tsarevich, the Firebird, and the Grey Wolf

The Tale of Ivan Tsarevich, the Firebird, and the Grey Wolf

Ivan Tsarevich is a placeholder of sorts for the male protagonist of many famous Russian folk, myths and legends (Ivan is one of the most common names in Russia). Sometimes Ivan is the son of a...
Legends of Mount Shasta: The Abode of the Devil Part 2 – Castle Crags: Fortress of Giants

Legends of Mount Shasta: The Abode of the Devil Part 2 – Castle Crags: Fortress of Giants

“When the Wa-Gas first arrived on this continent they handed down the traditions to us that it was inhabited by a giant race of people when they first came. These giants were represented by the Wa-...
The Pyramid Complex and the Hopi: Creation Myth Sheds Light on Building Plan

The Pyramid Complex and the Hopi: Creation Myth Sheds Light on Building Plan

The Egyptians did not build the pyramids. No one living in the area can tell you; who built them, why they were built, when they were built, how they were built or why the pyramids at the complex...
The Mythical Dilmun and The Island of the Dead

The Mythical Dilmun and The Island of the Dead

In Sumerian mythology, the mythical Dilmun was known as the bright and pure land, a paradise where sickness and death did not exist. The land of Dilmun was filled with divinely ordained and abundant...
The Nine Worlds of Norse Mythology

The Nine Worlds of Norse Mythology

Modern heathenism has been fascinated by the concept of the Nine Worlds of Norse mythology and readily provides the names of these worlds and their meanings. Academics are equally guilty. Whereas...
She Brings Bad News: The Scary Slavic Household Spirit Called Kikimora

She Brings Bad News: The Scary Slavic Household Spirit Called Kikimora

Some spirits are thought to be dangerous even by people who don't necessarily believe in them. One of the scariest creatures in world mythologies is the spirit from the Slavic culture known as...
Legends of Mount Shasta: “The Abode of the Devil” Part I – The Legend of J.C. Brown

Legends of Mount Shasta: “The Abode of the Devil” Part I – The Legend of J.C. Brown

Many of Mount Shasta’s strangest tales have yet to be told. Ancient Native American legends speak of a fallen race of prehistoric giants who once inhabited the Pacific Coast of North America...
Rusalka: The Mythical Slavic Mermaid

Rusalka: The Mythical Slavic Mermaid

In Slavic mythology, a rusalka (plural: rusalki) is something akin to the Celtic mermaids or the Greek sirens. In short, rusalki are beautiful young women who dwell in bodies of water and enjoy...

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