Posts Tagged With: Greek mythology

Gods of the Ancient Greeks

Gods of the Ancient Greeks

 

The ancient Greeks honored a wide variety of gods, and many are still worshiped today by Hellenic Pagans. For the Greeks, much like many other ancient cultures, the deities were a part of daily life, not merely something to be chatted with in times of need. Here are some of the best-known gods and goddesses of the Greek pantheon.

•Aphrodite, Goddess of Love

Aphrodite was a goddess of love and romance. She was honored by the ancient Greeks, and is still celebrated by many modern Pagans. According to legend, she was born fully formed from the white sea form that arose when the god Uranus was castrated. She came ashore on the island of Cyprus, and later was married off by Zeus to Hephaistos, the deformed craftsman of Olympus. A festival was held regularly to honor Aphrodite, appropriately called the Aphrodisiac. At her temple in Corinth, revelers often paid tribute to Aphrodite by having rambunctious sex with her priestesses.

•Ares, God of War

Ares was a Greek god of war, and son of Zeus by his wife Hera. He was known not only for his own exploits in battle, but also for getting involved in disputes between others. Furthermore, he often served as an agent of justice.

•Artemis, the Huntress

Artemis was a Greek goddess of the hunt, and like her twin brother Apollo possessed a wide variety of attributes. Some Pagans still honor her today because of her connection to times of female transition. Artemis was the Greek goddess of both hunting and childbirth. She protected women in labor, but also brought them death and sickness. Numerous cults dedicated to Artemis sprouted up around the Greek world, most of which were connected to women’s mysteries, such as childbirth, puberty, and motherhood.

•Athena, the Warrior Goddess

As a goddess of war, Athena often shows up in Greek legend to assist various heroes — Heracles, Odysseus and Jason all got a helping hand from Athena. In classical myth, Athena never took any lovers, and was often revered as Athena the Virgin, or Athena Parthenos. Although technically, Athena is a warrior goddess, she is not the same sort of war god that Ares is. While Ares goes to war with frenzy and chaos, Athena is the goddess who helps warriors make wise choices that will eventually lead to victory.

•Demeter, Dark Mother of the Harvest

Perhaps the best known of all the harvest mythologies is the story of Demeter and Persephone. Demeter was a goddess of grain and of the harvest in ancient Greece. Her daughter, Persephone, caught the eye of Hades, god of the underworld.By the time she finally recovered her daughter, Persephone had eaten six pomegranate seeds, and so was doomed to spend six months of the year in the underworld.

•Eros, God of Passion and Lust

Ever wonder where the word “erotic” comes from? Well, it has a lot to do with Eros, the Greek god of and lust. Often described as a son of Aphrodite by her lover Ares, the god of war, Eros was a Greek god of lust and primal sexual desire. In fact, the word erotic comes from his name. He is personified in all kinds of love and lust — heterosexual and homosexual — and was worshipped at the center of a fertility cult that honored both Eros and Aphrodite together.

•Gaia, the Earth Mother

Gaia was known as the life force from which all other beings sprang, including the earth, the sea and the mountains. A prominent figure in Greek mythology, Gaia is also honored by many Wiccans and Pagans today. Gaia herself caused life to spring forth from the earth, and is also the name given to the magical energy that makes certain locations sacred.

•Hades, Ruler of the Underworld

Hades was the Greek god of the underworld. Because he’s unable to get out much, and doesn’t get to spend a lot of time with those who are still living, Hades focuses on increasing the underworld’s population levels whenever he can. Let’s look at some of his legends and mythology, and see why this ancient god is still important today.

•Hecate, Goddess of Magic and Sorcery

Hecate has a long history as a goddess, from her days in pre-Olympian times to the present. As a goddess of childbirth, she was often invoked for rites of puberty, and in some cases watched over maidens who were beginning to menstruate. Eventually, Hecate evolved to become a goddess of magic and sorcery. She was venerated as a mother goddess, and during the Ptolemaic period in Alexandria was elevated to her position as goddess of ghosts and the spirit world.

•Hera, Goddess of Marriage

Hera is known as the first of Greek goddesses. As wife of Zeus, she’s the leading lady of all the Olympians. Despite her husband’s philandering ways — or perhaps because of them — she is the guardian of marriage and the sanctity of the home. She was known to fly into jealous tirades, and wasn’t above using her husband’s illegitimate offspring as weapons against their own mothers. Hera also played a crucial role in the story of the Trojan War.

•Hestia, Guardian of Hearth and Home

Many cultures have a goddess of hearth and domesticity, and the Greeks were no exception. Hestia was the deity who watched over the home fires, and offered sanctuary and protection to strangers. She was honored with the first offering at any sacrifice made in the home. On a public level, Hestia’s flame was never allowed to burn out. The local town hall served as a shrine for her — and any time a new settlement was formed, settlers would take a flame from their old village to the new one.

•Nemesis, Goddess of Retribution

Nemesis was a Greek goddess of revenge and retribution. In particular, she was invoked against those whose hubris and arrogance got the better of them, and served as a force of divine reckoning. Originally, she was a deity who simply doled out what people had coming to them, whether good or bad.

•Pan, the Goat-Legged Fertility God

In Greek legend and mythology, Pan is known as a rustic and wild god of the forest. He is associated with the animals that live in the woods, as well as with the sheep and goats in the fields.

•Priapus, God of Lust and Fertility

Priapus is best known for his huge and constantly erect phallus, but he was also considered a god of protection. According to legend, before his birth, Hera cursed Priapus with impotence as payback for Aphrodite’s involvement in the whole Helen of Troy fiasco. Doomed to spend his life ugly and unloved, Priapus was tossed down to earth when the other gods refused to let him live on Mount Olympus. He was seen as a protector deity in rural areas. In fact, statues of Priapus were often adorned with warnings, threatening trespassers, male and female alike, with acts of sexual violence as punishment.

•Zeus, Ruler of Olympus

Zeus is the ruler of all the gods in the Greek pantheon, as well as the distributor of justice and law. He was honored every four years with a great celebration at Mt. Olympus. Although he is married to Here, Zeus is well known for his philandering ways. Today, many Hellenic Pagans still honor him as ruler of Olympus.

 

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Herb of the Day for November 16th – Belladonna

Herb of the Day

Belladonna


Its scientific name derives from Atropos, one of the Fates in Greek mythology, who held the shears to cut the thread of human life.                                                                                                                                                               

Medicinal Uses: Belladonna has a sedative, anticholinergic (an agent that blocks parasympathetic nerve impulses) and spasmolytic effects on the gastrointestinal tract. The leaves applied externally are used as a treatment and possible cure for cancer. Treats nervous congestion, suppresses the action of smooth muscles, and is helpful for kidney pains, and colitis. During the Parthian Wars it was said to have been used to poison the troops of Marcus Antonius. In the 16th century, herbalists laid moistened leaves on the head to induce sleep. Small doses to allay cardiac palpitation was administered by applying a plaster to the region of the heart. Atropine is used today to dilate eyes prior to eye surgery, and for certain eye exams.

Magickal uses: Belladonna is ruled by Saturn and is considered feminine. It is the plant of Hecate, Bellona and Circe. Encourages astral projection and produces visions. Belladonna is used in funeral rituals to aspurge the circle, helping the deceased to let go and move forward.

Properties: Antispasmodic, diuretic, anodynic, narcotic, sedative, anodynic, calmative, relaxant, mydriatic. Contains various alkaloids, such as  hyoscyamine and scopolamine, belladonnine, atrosin and  atropine. Acts through the central nervous system. Small, minute doses stimulate, large doses paralyze and can result in fatality. Atropine is a powerful nerve poison.

Growth: Atropa belladonna is a poisonous plant with reddish flowers and shining black berries. It is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It is naturalized in the eastern United States. It is found in meadows, forests and waste places.   Belladonna grows to a height of five feet with a much branched lax, purplish colored stem. The leaves are a dull, darkish green, oval and pointed, of unequal size being 3 to 10 inches long. The lower leaves are solitary, the upper in alternate pairs on opposite side of the stem, one leaf of each pair being much larger than the other. They are pale green on the underside with prominent veins; mid-rib is depressed on the upper surface. Dingy purple-brown to purple bell-shaped flowers, about 1-inch long, dangle in the axils of the leaves; corolla has 5 large teeth or lobes, slightly refracted; the 5-cleft calyx clings to the berry. The smooth berries contain several seeds and follow the flower, turning from green to a jewel-like black and ripen in September.

This herb can could cause death or other serious consequences. Its use is not recommended without professional medical guidance. Every part of the plant is extremely poisonous.
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Author: Crick
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Deity of the Day for October 17th – Gaia, the Great Mother

Deity of the Day

 

Gaia

 

Gaia (“land” or “earth”, also spelled Ge or Gaea) in Greek mythology embodies the fertility of the Earth. Behind particular aspects of the three-fold goddess, stands the pre-Indo-European Great Mother, a nurturing goddess of death and birth, who was venerated from Neolithic times in the ancient Near East and the Aegean cultural sphere, as far as Malta and the Etruscan lands. Some anthropologists and members of certain religions believe the same divine spirit appeared under many names. These names are said to include Demeter (Roman Ceres) the “mother”, Persephone the “daughter” or Hecate the “crone.” She could be identified as Rhea. In Anatolia (modern Turkey) she was Cybele. The Greeks never forgot that her ancient home was Crete, where she had always been worshipped as Potnia Theron, the “Mistress of the Animals” or simply Potnia.

The coming of the Olympian gods with immigrants into the Aegean during the 2nd millennium BCE, and the sometimes violent struggle to supplant Gaia, inform Greek mythology with its characteristic tension. Echoes of Gaia’s power lingered into the mythology of classical Greece, where her roles were divided among Zeus’ consort Hera, Apollo’s twin and consort Artemis, and Athena.

Unlike Zeus, a roving nomad god of the open sky, Gaia was manifest in enclosed spaces: the house, the courtyard, the womb, the cave. Her sacred animals are the snake, the lunar bull, the pig, and bees. In her hand the narcotic poppy may be transmuted to a pomegranate. Though she is complete in herself, the Triple Goddess often takes a male consort.

She was the daughter of Chaos, or according to another version Aether and Hemera, and the mother of Uranus (also her husband), Ourea and Pontus. Uranus and Pontus were born of Gaia alone, without a father.

Only a distant echo of Gaia’s primal power is to be found in her Roman equivalent, Magna Mater, who was most strongly identified by Romans with Cybele.

 

Gaia in Mythology

With Uranus, Gaia had three sets of children: one-hundred armed giants called Hecatonchires and one-eyed giants called Cyclopes were the youngest, and significantly later, the Titans. Occasionally, the Erinyes were considered a fourth set of children by Gaia and Uranus.

Uranus hid the (Hecatonchires) and the Cyclopes in Tartarus so that they would not see the light, rejoicing in this evil doing. This caused pain to Gaia (Tartarus was her bowels) so she created grey flint (or adamantine) and shaped a great sickle and gathered together Cronus and his brothers to ask them to obey her. Only Cronus was willing to do the deed, so Gaia gave him the sickle and set him in ambush. Cronus jumped out and lopped off his father’s testicles, casting them behind him. From his blood on the Earth came forth the Gigantes, Erinyes and Meliae. From the testicles of Uranus in the sea came forth Aphrodite. For this, Uranus called his sons Titans, meaning “strainers” for they strained and did presumptuously a fearful deed, for which vengeance would come afterwards.

After Uranus’ castration, Gaia gave birth to Echidna and (sometimes) Typhon by Tartarus. By Pontus, Gaia birthed Nereus, Thaumas, Phorcys, Ceto and Eurybia.

As Uranus had been deposed by his son, Cronus, so was Cronus destined to be overthrown by his son. To prevent this, he swallowed his children as soon as they were born. Gaia gave Cronus’ wife, Rhea the idea to save the last child, Zeus, by giving Cronus a stone wrapped up like a baby. Gaia then raised Zeus (according to some versions of the story), who eventually rescued his brothers and sisters, eaten by Cronus, as well as releasing the Cyclopes, Hecatonchires and Gigantes from Tartarus. Together, Zeus and his allies overthrew Cronus.

When Apollo killed Gaia’s child, Python, she punished him by sending him to King Admetus as a shepherd for nine years.

Zeus hid one lover, Elara, from Hera by hiding her under the earth. His son by Elara, the giant Tityas, is therefore sometimes said to be a son of Gaia, the earth goddess, and Elara.

Gaia made Aristaeus immortal.

Gaia was the original deity behind the Oracle at Delphi. She passed her powers on to, depending on the source: Poseidon, Apollo or Themis.

Source:

Facts-Index.com

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Deity of the Day for August 26th is Athena

Deity of the Day

Athena

The Greek Goddess

Areas of Influence: Athena Goddess of war and wisdom

Unlike the war God Ares, she was not known for her brutality and bullying behavior. She was more of a strategist and a diplomat and was called upon to mediate in several disputes and wars amongst the Gods.

This Greek Goddess was also associated with domestic crafts.

In Greek mythology she taught Prometheus architecture, astrology, mathematics, medicine and navigation. She is credited with the invention of spinning, weaving, the plough and rake.

She is the Patron Goddess of the city of Athens where her most famous statue is situated in the Parthenon.

Athena assisted many of the Greek heroes in their quests including Perseus, Hercules and Jason.

Goddess Athena’s Family: This Goddess had a very unusual birth as she sprung fully grown from the head of her father, Zeus. Her pregnant mother, Metis a nymph, was swallowed whole by her father. This was because like his father before him he feared that his position would be usurped by one of his children.

Athena the Greek Goddess was Zeus’s favorite child, he entrusted her with his shield the Aegis.

She had lots of half brothers and sister’s including: Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Hephaaestus, Hebe, Hermes, Persephone, the Fates, the Graces, the Muses, Tityus. The number would be even greater if I included all of the children from her father’s affairs with mortals.

She herself never married. There are several myths where Athena defends her virginity when she receives unwelcome male attention. This is why the temple dedicated to her is called the Parthenon as the word means temple of the virgin in Greek.

Despite being a virgin she had a child named Erichthonius. He was born after a failed rape attempt when his father’s seed fell upon the fertile earth.

Strengths: Rational, intelligent, a powerful defender and arbitrator.

Weaknesses: Too ruled by her head and out of touch with her emotions and femine side. Unapproachable and lacking in compassion.

Roman Equivalent: Minerva

Athena’s Symbols

The Archetypal female Warrior, she is usually depicted wearing a helmet and a goat skin breastplate known as the aegis. On the breastplate she mounted the terrifying head of the Goddess Medusa.

This Greek Goddess was referred to as the Goddess with bright eyes. Some scholars suggest that this supports the theory that in earlier times she was also a storm and lightening Goddess. For pictures of Athena please follow this link

Sacred animals: Snakes form part of her famous statue.

Sacred birds: The owl is linked with Athena the Greek Goddess as it represents wisdom and watchfulness.

Mulberry, oak and olive trees.

Athena The Greek Goddess’s Archetypes

The Warrior:

This Archetype represents physical strength, and the ability to protect and fight for your rights and those of of others.

The shadow side of the Warrior reflects the need to win at all costs, abandoning ethical principals to prove your supremacy.

The Greek Goddess main Archetype is that of the female Warrior. This is illustrated by her role of patron and defender of Athens. She also became involved in the war against the giants and the siege of Troy.

The Teacher/ Inventor:

The Teacher and Inventor communicates knowledge, experience and wisdom.

In it’s shadow aspect, the Teacher may manipulate and mislead their students by indoctrinating them with negative beliefs and destructive behaviours.

In Greek mythology this Goddess is the protector and advisor of the heroes Hercules, Perseus and Ulysses.

As an Inventor this Goddess teaches mankind how to spin and weave, however it is in this role that we see her need to control her “students” and she will not allow anyone to surpass her accomplishments.

 

How to Work With These Archetypes.

The Warrior:

If you are drawn to work with this Goddess you may require her Warrior spirit to help you to stand up for your rights and set firm personnal boundaries. This Goddess can be a great stereotype to work with if you want to take control in your life, and wish to no longer play the role of the victim.

You may also wish to call upon this Goddess to champion the cause of others.

Conversely this Goddess may appeal to you if you have a very strong sense of self and are proud of the victories you have achieved. The shadow side of this Goddess may be asking you to reflect honestly on the cost of these victories. Have they been at the expense of others or your principles?

The Teacher/ Inventor:

This Archetype may suggest a love of passing on wisdom and learning to others.

This Goddess wise counsel can also be called upon to help you see a way through any present difficulties or to help you to master a new skill.

The shadow aspect of this stereotype is also a reminder that whenever we find ourselves in a teaching or mentoring role we must aim to be a positive role model, encouraging others to reach their full potential.

 

Source:
Goddess-Guide.com

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Deity of the Day for Aug. 25th – The Fates

Deity of the Day

 

The Fates

 

The Fates were three female deities who shaped people’s lives. In particular, they determined how long a man or woman would live. Although a number of cultures held the notion of three goddesses who influenced human destiny, the Fates were most closely identified with Greek mythology.

The Greek image of the Fates developed over time. The poet Homer * , credited with composing the Iliad and the Odyssey, spoke of Fate as a single force, perhaps simply the will of the gods. Another poet, Hesiod * , portrayed the Fates as three old women. They were called the Keres, which means “those who cut off,” or the Moirai, “those who allot.” They may have originated as goddesses who were present at the birth of each child to determine the course of the child’s future life.

deity god or goddess destiny future or fate of an individual or thing

allot to assign a portion or share

The parentage of the Fates is something of a mystery. Hesiod described them as daughters of Nyx, or night, but he also said that they were the children of Zeus, the chief of the gods, and Themis, the goddess of justice. The Fates had power over Zeus and the gods, and many ancient authors, including the Roman poet Virgil * , stressed that even the king of the gods had to accept the decisions of the Fates. Occasionally, however, fate could be manipulated. One myth says that Apollo * tricked the Fates into letting his friend Admetus live beyond his assigned lifetime. Apollo got the Fates drunk, and they agreed to accept the death of a substitute in place of Admetus.

Hesiod called the Fates Clotho (“the spinner”), Lachesis (“the allotter”), and Atropos (“the unavoidable”). In time, the name Clotho, with its reference to spinning thread, became the basis for images of the three Fates as controlling the thread of each person’s life. Clotho spun the thread, Lachesis measured it out, and Átropos cut it with a pair of shears to end the life span. Literary and artistic works often portray the Fates performing these tasks.

manipulate to influence or control in a clever or underhanded way

The Romans called the Fates Parcae, “those who bring forth the child.” Their names were Nona, Decuma, and Morta. Nona and Decuma were originally goddesses of childbirth, but the Romans adopted the Greek concept of the three weavers of Fate and in Greek mythology, the Fates were three goddesses who shaped people’s lives. They determined how long a man or woman would live.

added a third goddess to complete the triad. In addition, they sometimes referred to fate or destiny as a single goddess known as Fortuna.

triad group of three

A triad of goddesses linked with human destiny appears in various forms in mythology In addition to the Moirai, the Greeks recognized a triad of goddesses called the Horae, who were associated with the goddess Aphrodite

 

* . Their names were Eunomia (Order), Dike (Destiny), and Irene (Peace.) The Norse * called their three Fates the Norns: Urth, the past; Verthandi, the present; and Skuld, the future. Sometimes the Norns were referred to as the Weird Sisters, from the Norse word wyrd, meaning “fate.” The Celts * had a triad of war goddesses, collectively known as the Morrigan, who determined the fate of soldiers in battle. The image of a triple goddess may be linked to very ancient worship of a moon goddess in three forms: a maiden (the new moon), a mature woman (the full moon), and a crone (the old moon).
Source:

Myths Encyclopedia

 

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Herb of the Day for July 5th – Belladonna

Herb of the Day

Belladonna

Deadly nightshade, Devil’s Herb, Naughty Man’s Cherries                                       
 
Its scientific name derives from Atropos, one of the Fates in Greek mythology, who held the shears to cut the thread of human life.   
                                                                                                                                                            
Medicinal Uses: Belladonna has a sedative, anticholinergic (an agent that blocks parasympathetic nerve impulses) and spasmolytic effects on the gastrointestinal tract. The leaves applied externally are used as a treatment and possible cure for cancer. Treats nervous congestion, suppresses the action of smooth muscles, and is helpful for kidney pains, and colitis. During the Parthian Wars it was said to have been used to poison the troops of Marcus Antonius. In the 16th century, herbalists laid moistened leaves on the head to induce sleep. Small doses to allay cardiac palpitation was administered by applying a plaster to the region of the heart. Atropine is used today to dilate eyes prior to eye surgery, and for certain eye exams.

Magickal uses: Belladonna is ruled by Saturn and is considered feminine. It is the plant of Hecate, Bellona and Circe. Encourages astral projection and produces visions. Belladonna is used in funeral rituals to aspurge the circle, helping the deceased to let go and move forward.

Properties: Antispasmodic, diuretic, anodynic, narcotic, sedative, anodynic, calmative, relaxant, mydriatic. Contains various alkaloids, such as  hyoscyamine and scopolamine, belladonnine, atrosin and  atropine. Acts through the central nervous system. Small, minute doses stimulate, large doses paralyze and can result in fatality. Atropine is a powerful nerve poison.

Growth: Atropa belladonna is a poisonous plant with reddish flowers and shining black berries. It is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It is naturalized in the eastern United States. It is found in meadows, forests and waste places.   Belladonna grows to a height of five feet with a much branched lax, purplish colored stem. The leaves are a dull, darkish green, oval and pointed, of unequal size being 3 to 10 inches long. The lower leaves are solitary, the upper in alternate pairs on opposite side of the stem, one leaf of each pair being much larger than the other. They are pale green on the underside with prominent veins; mid-rib is depressed on the upper surface. Dingy purple-brown to purple bell-shaped flowers, about 1-inch long, dangle in the axils of the leaves; corolla has 5 large teeth or lobes, slightly refracted; the 5-cleft calyx clings to the berry. The smooth berries contain several seeds and follow the flower, turning from green to a jewel-like black and ripen in September.

This herb can could cause death or other serious consequences. Its use is not recommended without professional medical guidance. Every part of the plant is extremely poisonous.
Source:
Author: Crick
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Deity of the Day for June 15th – The Greek God Pan

Witchy Comments & Graphics

Deity of the Day

The Greek God Pan

Pan was the Greek patron deity of shepherds and hunting. Also because he played the pan flute he was seen as also having some influence over music of the time. In paintings, mosaics and statues of the time Pan was depicted as having a body that was half human and half goat with the goat portion of his body being from the waist down with a set of goat horns on his head.

Rather then living on Mount Olympus as most of the other gods of Greek mythology did Pan was envisioned as living in the wilds of the forest. In Greek mythology there is more then one version that accounts for the parentage of Pan, so exactly how he came into being is unclear. In most of the myths that account for Pans origins he is depicted as being the son of Hermes and a nymph while some accounts have him being the son of Zeus.

Other more rare mythological accounts of Pans parentage place him as being one of the sons of Cronus the Titan who was defeated by the Olympians. While his lineage is unclear one thing that is clear is that Pan by virtue of the fact that he is a nature god was one of the earliest god figures to be portrayed in ancient Greek mythology.

Pan was most recognized by the Arcadians who were a mountain people that urban Greeks held in disdain and viewed as being the “hillbilly’s or hicks” of their time. The Arcadians subsisted by herding and hunting and looked to Pan for assistance in both of these endeavors.

The music that Pan played on his flute was considered to be magical and was thought to have the effect of instilling great emotion both positive and negative in its listeners. In fact, Pan with his music is credited in Greek mythology as being the decisive factor in the Battle of Marathon when his music caused the enemies of the Athenians to panic.

The myth that accounts for the creation of the pan flute that he played tells of Pan chasing the beautiful nymph Syrinx to the banks of the River Ladon where he finally caught up with her. Syrinx called to the water nymphs for help and to rescue her from being violated by Pan they turned her into river reeds.

When the wind blew through the reeds that she had been turned into her voice could be heard in the beautiful sounds that were produced. Pan was also seen by ancient Greeks as having super charged sexual powers and in much of the artwork that depicted him he was featured with an erection.

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Whispering Woods Dragon Lore Course – Lesson Seven

Whispering Woods Dragon Lore Course
A History of European Dragons
Lesson Seven

In the mythology of the western world, dragons were thought to abduct maidens, wreak havoc on the populace, steal gold and destroy villages. Unlike its counterpart in the East, Western dragons were seen as symbols of destruction and evil. This could be related to the un-due influence that the Christian invasion has had on the Western mind set where everything is seen as good versus evil.

Heraldic: The Heraldic is probably the most well known western Dragon. The Heraldic has dangerous fangs, four legs complete with claws, and a ridge of sharp spines that run from its head to its tail tip.

Guivre: The Guivre was both legless and wingless, and appeared somewhat serpent-like in appearance. Its head had horns and its jaw was bearded. It favored any location near water.
European: These types of dragons are found in the pages of early Greek, Roman, Norse, and medieval legends. They had wings, two or four legs, and depending on the type color can vary. They were believed to breathe fire. Sadly, many Europeans considered the dragon to be evil and malevolent, however, the Greeks held the idea of the Dragon as a Guardian Serpent.

Some examples of these dragons are:

Fafnir: A Norse dragon who was guardian of the treasure later known as the Nibelung hoard.
Hydra: Some argue that Hyrda was a dragon, others argue not. Hydra had several heads, the center one was said to be immortal. (When one of the hydra’s heads was cut off two grew in its place) It was said to haunt the marshes of Lerna near Argos. The destruction of the hydra was one of the twelve labors of Hercules.

Wyvern: The Wyvern was a feared Dragon of Britain, for the Europeans believed it to be evil and vicious. It had a coiling trunk that had a pair of birds-type legs which were tucked beneath its wings.

Tatzlwyrm: A winged, fire-breathing dragon.
Apocalyptic beast – (Biblical, Most likely Middle East). This is a creature mentioned in the Book of Revelation in the Bible. It has two horns, speaks like a dragon, and bears the mystical number of the devil.

Cecrops ~ {Greek} the mythical founder of Athens; first king of Attica; represented as half human, half dragon; credited with inventing writing and establishing marriage and burial customs. .

Draco (Greek). Draco is a constellation in the north containing the star of the north pole of the ecliptic. Legend states this constellation was named after the Athenian statesman and lawgiver Draco or Dracon.

Fafnir (Norse mythology) a dragon and guardian of the treasure later known as the Nibelung hoard.

Hydra (Greek mythology) A gigantic monster resembling a dragon with several heads (usually nine, though the number varies), the center one of which is immortal. It is said to haunt the marshes of Lerna near Argos.

The destruction of the hydra was one of the 12 labors of Hercules. When one of the hydra’s heads was cut off two grew in its place.

Leviathan (Bible, Job ix, 13 and Isa. xxvii, 1) A Hebrew name for a sea monster. It was also a dragon of turmoil which contested against God.

Tatzlwyrm (Germanic legend) it was said to be a winged, fire-breathing dragon monster.
Wyvern (U.K.) A winged, two-legged dragon with a barbed tail. The wyvern often appears on heraldic shields and symbolizes guardianship.

Jormungand (Norse Legend) The world serpent that dwelled at the bottom of the sea,and that encircled the whole world.

It was to rise against the gods at Ragnarok, helping the Fenris Wolf and Surt,and the other enemies of the gods, to destroy both Asgard and Midgard.

Dragon Symbols:

Wales is symbolized by a red dragon. In the Mabinogion the tale of Lludd and Llewelys speaks of the struggle between this red dragon and the white dragon.

It was long ago in the days of the Saxon invasions that this story takes place and it is no wonder that the white dragon is the invader, the Saxons, come to battle the red. As the symbolic struggle comes to a close, the two opposing dragons become drunk with mead.      It is in this drunken state that they are both buried in a large stone coffin and placed to rest in the center of the island of Britain.

The story goes that so long as the pair remains buried beneath Oxford the island will be protected from invasion.

Saint George is known as a Martyr and the Patron Saint of England. He was originally a Roman Calvary officer who was known for his courage in war. He was a mighty site on his white war-horse.

He eventually converted to Christianity, and to show the people that Christians did not have to be meek, he sought out to fight a dragon that was destroying the area around Cappadocia.

The people of the town tried to calm the beast with sacrifices of their best sheep. This worked for a while, but then the dragon attacked again. The poor people had to give up what they thought would rid the animal of their town: a virgin princess. George killed the dragon with the lance he had in his hand while charging with his huge steed.

Because of this heroic deed, other Christian Knights sought out to save damsels in distress from dragons, and this is how dragons eventually got slaughtered into being just a myth.

Quiz:

1. Leviathan is a _________ name for winged, fire-breathing dragon monster.
2. Wales is symbolized by a ____   _______.
3. Fafnir is a _______ dragon.
4. Wyvern is a winged, ___ – ______ dragon with a barbed tail.
5. Many Europeans considered the dragon to be ____ and ________.
6. Jormungand is the _____   _______.   7. Hydra is said to haunt the marshes of ______ near Argos.

Source:

Author & Researcher

Crick

Website: Whispering Woods

Crick also offers an online ezine which is located at Black Hen E-Zine

 

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