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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.

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...
More than a Goddess of Love: The Many Other Aspects of Aphrodite

More than a Goddess of Love: The Many Other Aspects of Aphrodite

The Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, has a very distinctive image in classical arts. In 458 BCE, the playwright Aeschylus, in his play Agamemnon , used the name of Aphrodite to denote “beauty, charm...
Jure Grando and The First Documented Case of Vampirism in Europe

Jure Grando and The First Documented Case of Vampirism in Europe

In the English-speaking world today, vampires are perhaps most famously associated with the region of Transylvania in Romania, thanks to Bram Stoker’s Gothic horror novel, Dracula . Nevertheless,...
The Origins of the Faeries: Changes in Conscious Perception – Part II

The Origins of the Faeries: Changes in Conscious Perception – Part II

The faeries appear in folklore from all over the world as metaphysical beings, who, given the right conditions, are able to interact with the physical world. They’re known by many names but there is...
The Elusive Egyptian Hall of Records and Hopi Lessons of Death and Rebirth

The Elusive Egyptian Hall of Records and Hopi Lessons of Death and Rebirth

The constellation of Orion is not wearing a belt. Instead, I think the middle star represents his navel. Medical scientists are just now finding out all the powers of the navel, the umbilical cord,...
Stay Out of the Water: Does a Prehistoric Shark Still Live in the Ocean?

Stay Out of the Water: Does a Prehistoric Shark Still Live in the Ocean?

There is said to be a shark that is scarier than the one from the movie Jaws which is as large as the biggest whale. But this isn’t a monster from a sci-fi movie, it’s real. This kind of shark lived...
The Dangerous Danaids: Meet 49 of the Most Murderous Royals in Greek Myth

The Dangerous Danaids: Meet 49 of the Most Murderous Royals in Greek Myth

The ancient Greeks had no problem painting their mythological women as murderesses. Among the most lethal ladies were the Danaids, the fifty daughters of a king whose crimes condemned them to...
Deriv; Statue of the Fallen Angel and The Hell, Inferno Canto 34, circa 1301

Devils or Angels? Defining the Dark Entities of Christianity’s Past

Devil or angel? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. The concept of demons is an old one, harking back to the confiscation of pagan nature deities by the Roman Empire, which turned them into something more...
Dažbog (Deriv). Infrared image showing a portion of the Milky Way.

The Mysterious Mix of Myth and Sky Observations in Serbian Folk Astronomy

Serbia is one of the Balkan countries that was influenced by many wars. However, even after centuries of very tense events, memory of the traditions from the first inhabitants has survived. Astronomy...
Selkies, gems of sea mythology by Gwillieth / DeviantArt

Legends of the Selkies, Hidden Gems of Sea Mythology

Amorous, affectionate and affable, Selkies are the hidden gems of sea mythology. Gentle souls who prefer dancing in the moonlight over luring sailors to their death, Selkies are often overlooked by...
Artwork of a dragon for the Durian-Project of the Blender Foundation

Dragons: Exploring the Ancient Origins of the Mythical Beasts

One of the most popular and persistent characters of the human mythos is that of the dragon. Whether it is a gold hoarding serpent or fire-breathing giant, dragons continue to fascinate and entertain...
Solar deity bronze relief, Deriv.

Those Who Once Reigned: Experts Name Famous and Forgotten Ancient Gods

Ancient Origins asked experts to weigh in on the topic of ancient deities. Some ancient gods get all the attention - but which gods are largely forgotten… and why? The following is their views on...
“Agneta & the Sea King” by John Bauer.

When the Church Bells Ring: Themes and Proclivities of the Danish Folktale "Agnete and the Merman"

Fascination with the Danish ballad Agnete og Havmanden , or "Agnete and the Merman", has long been prominent in the Scandinavian countries. In spite of arguments over origin and dating, the poem has...
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...
An artistic representation of a Telchine.

No Rest for the Wicked: The Role of the Telchines in the Myths of Greece and Rome

Magicians, artists and craftsmen, the Telchines are the proverbial jacks-of-all-trades - yet they are also atypical masters of all. Considered by most ancient authors to be malevolent daimons of the...
“Full moon rising over Mount Shasta, as seen from northern valley.”

Mount Shasta: Inner Earth Realms and History of the Lava Beds

There are legends all over the world, found in every culture, which populate caves with spirits and supernatural guardians who dwell in a subterranean realm hidden just beneath surface of our own...
Dragon Sculpture, China.

The Bird and the Serpent: From the Neolithic Goddesses to Ancient Chinese Symbols of Nobility and Benevolence

Victorian art critic, John Ruskin, in his book Proserpina , calls himself “the gentle and happy scholar of flowers”. A large part of his work is an attempt to connect nature, art and society. To...
The Legend of Atlantis: Between Ancient Ruins and a Philosopher’s Tale

The Legend of Atlantis: Between Ancient Ruins and a Philosopher’s Tale

Atlantis is many things to many people. To some, it is a fictional island and city that a philosopher with a vivid imagination invented to illustrate a moral point, and nothing more. To others, it is...
The Slavic Star Goddess Zorya, Guardian of the Doomsday Hound and Servant of the Sun God

The Slavic Star Goddess Zorya, Guardian of the Doomsday Hound and Servant of the Sun God

Slavic mythology is one of the less appreciated of all the ancient folklore traditions. The myths grew in the hearts of the tribes of a great civilization, and in the minds of people whose lives were...
The Native American Legend of the Sleeping Giant and the Whiteman

The Native American Legend of the Sleeping Giant and the Whiteman

Not very long ago, a Native American tribe known as the Ojibwa tribe roamed the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada. They were much loved by the powerful god, Nanabozho, who was very...
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...
Bradshaw rock paintings found in the north-west Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Australian Aborigine Creation Stories: Rainbow Serpent and Emus in the Stars

Down under all is still and dark, the spirits of the Earth are sleeping. It is the Dreamtime. There are many different Dreamtime stories that vary from region to region and from people to people...

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