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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.

 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...
Depiction of a vampire.

Older than Dracula: In Search of the English Vampire

By Sam George / The Conversation The story of Count Dracula, as many of us know it, was created by Bram Stoker, an Irishman, in 1897. But most of the action takes place in England, from the moment...
Ninurta

Ninurta: God of War and Agriculture

Ninurta was a Mesopotamian deity associated with war, agriculture, and the scribal arts. He could be thought of as a defender of civilization against chaos. Ninurta was originally revered in southern...
Gaia

Gaia: The Greek Earth Goddess Had No Tolerance for Cruel Family Members

According to the ancient Greeks, Gaia was a primordial deity and the personification of the Earth. In fact, her name can actually be translated to mean ‘land’ or ‘earth’. In Greek mythology, Gaia was...
The Golem: Talmudic Legend of a Clay Beast Created to Protect the Jews

The Golem: Talmudic Legend of a Clay Beast Created to Protect the Jews

The gothic horror novel, Frankenstein , is one of the most well-known stories in which man tries to play god by attempting to manufacture a living being. A similar story, that of the golem, exists in...
‘The Nine Muses - Terpsichore (Dance) (1782) by Johann Heinrich Tischbein.

Terpsichore: The Muse of Dance Who Moved in Time with the Rhythm of the Cosmos

In ancient Greece, nine goddesses were believed to rule over all the major literary and artistic spheres. They were called the Muses. The Muse ruling dance and choral music was Terpsichore. In...
Medusa

The Real Story of Medusa and the Gorgons

The earliest known record about the story of Medusa and the Gorgons can be found in Hesiod’s Theogony . According to this ancient author, the three sisters, Sthenno, Euryale, and Medusa were the...
‘Mermaid’ (1873) by Elisabeth Jerichau-Baumann. Mermaid tales are popular inspirations for the arts around the world

The Bizarre Tales of Four Lesser Known English Mermaids

For thousands of years, shanty tales of half-human, half-marine beings called mermaids, selkies, and finfolk have drifted ashore with sea beaten sailors. They stitch together the mythologies of...

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