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Huginn and Muninn

Huginn and Muninn | They were here and might return |
Huginn ("thought") and his sidekick, Muninn ("memory"), are not gods in Norse folklore; they aren’t even angels...

They are ravens with symbolic names, and the pets of a powerful Odin...

Each morning Odin sends forth these raven and they fly over the earth.

At night they return and sit on his shoulders to tell him what they heard and saw.

Odin relied heavily on these winged masters to act as his eyes and ears over the great domain he ruled...

The Eddic poem Grímnismál describes them thus, from the perspective of Odin:

Hugin and Munin
Fly every day
Over all the world;
I worry for Hugin
That he might not return,
But I worry more for Munin...


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They were here and might return
Journeying the realms of virtu-reality where wo-man strives to decipher the conundrum........Note that: 1) may contain content inappropriate or scary for children. 2)In my ken, all beings thought of being gods are entities from other dimensions with supernatural powers way beyond regular human capacity. This made many people who experienced their presence misconcept them as gods, demi-gods, and.....Things are going to change when proportion of us evolves into 'luminous'
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Pegasus, Pegasos

Pegasus, Pegasos | They were here and might return |


The famous immortal, winged horse which sprang forth from the neck of Medousa when she was beheaded by the hero Perseus...


Pegasus is amongst the very few of so-called epic creatures which are NON-evil....

 Pegasos was tamed by Bellerophon, a Korinthian hero, who rode him into battle against the fire-breathing Khimaira

The horse was also placed amongst the stars as a constellation, whose rising marked the arrival of the warmer weather of spring and seasonal rainstorms...

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Tugarin Zmeyevich, Zmey Tugarin, Zmey Tugaretin, Zmeishche Tugarishche

Tugarin Zmeyevich, Zmey Tugarin, Zmey Tugaretin, Zmeishche Tugarishche | They were here and might return |

Tugarin Zmey is a creature which personifies evil and cruelty and has a dragon-like nature; originates from East Slavic lore...


Tugarin Zmeyevich is best known from a bylina* about his duel with Alyosha Popovich**, which comes in many different versions.


When the two approach each other in a field, Tugarin is hissing like a snake and his horse is neighing like a beast. Tugarin's torso is covered with fiery snakes.


It appears that Tugarin represents the element of fire, which he uses in different forms as a weapon. He threatens to strangle Alyosha Popovich with smoke, throw fiery sparks at him, scorch him with fire, and shoot charred logs at him.


It also appears that Tugarin represents the element of water, because their duel usually takes place near the Safat River.


At the same time, Tugarin is also a dragon. He is flying in the sky flapping his paper-like wings, which fail him when it rains.


Alyosha Popovich wins the duel, cuts Tugarin's body into pieces and scatters them across the field...


Tugarin Zmeyevich is a chtonical character of an ancient dragon-fighting mythos, related to Zmey Gorynych, Fiery Dragon, etc.


In Kievan Rus, Tugarin Zmeyevich became a symbol of paganism and wild steppes full of dangers.



*Bylina (or Bylyna) is a traditional East Slavic oral epic narrative poem. 


 **Alyosha Popovich is a folk hero of Kievan Rus, a bogatyr (i.e., a medieval knight-errant). He is the youngest of the three main bogatyrs, the other two being Dobrynya Nikitich and Ilya Muromets. All three are represented together at Viktor Vasnetsov's famous painting Bogatyrs.


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Kothar-wa-Khasis, Kothar, Kathar-Wa-Hasis, Kothar-u-Khasis, Kathar-Wa-Hassis, Kusorhasisu

Kothar-wa-Khasis, Kothar, Kathar-Wa-Hasis, Kothar-u-Khasis, Kathar-Wa-Hassis,  Kusorhasisu | They were here and might return |

Kothar-wa-Khasis (“skill-and-cunning”),  ancient West Semitic god of crafts, equivalent of the Greek god Hephaestus.

Kothar was responsible for supplying the gods with weapons and for building and furnishing their palaces.

During the earlier part of the 2nd millennium bc, Kothar’s forge was believed to be on the biblical Caphtor (probably Crete), though later, during the period of Egyptian domination of Syria and Palestine, he was identified with the Egyptian god Ptah, patron of craftsmen, and his forge was thus located at Memphis in Egypt.

According to Phoenician tradition, Kothar was also the patron of magic and inventor of magical incantations; in addition, he was believed to have been the first poet...

Kothar-wa-Khasis made the wonderful bow for Aqhat and built Baal's palace. He also made Baal's maces...

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Allocamelus, Ass-camel

Allocamelus, Ass-camel | They were here and might return |

The allocamelus is an heraldic monster described as having the head of an donkey and a body with a camel’s hump; it’s sometimes called an “ass-camel” in the heraldic literature...

 It is the legendary representation of the llama.

There doesn’t seem to be a default posture for the allocamelus; the illustration shows an allocamelus statant...

A drawing made in 1558 from Holland shows the animal being towed away by a man. The creature is almost twice the height of the man possibly being 8ft tall.

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Sea Bishop, Bishop-Fish

Sea Bishop, Bishop-Fish | They were here and might return |

The sea bishop or bishop-fish is a type of sea monster reported in the 16th century.

According to legend, it was taken to the King of Poland, who wished to keep it. It was also shown to a group of Catholic bishops, to whom the bishop-fish gestured, appealing to be released.

They granted its wish, at which point it made the sign of the cross and disappeared into the sea.

Another was supposedly captured in the ocean near Germany in 1531.

It refused to eat and died after three days. It was described and pictured in the fourth volume of Conrad Gesner's famous Historiae animalium.

Whereas many of the animals documented in Historia Annimalium have been identified the Bishop Fish remains a mystery.

It has been suggested that it may have been some sort of beach squid.

The Bishop Fish was believed to be the inspiration for the Gill Man in the 1954 b-movieCreature from the Black Lagoon.

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Keto, Kētō, Ceto,Crataeis, Krataiis,Trienus

Keto, Kētō, Ceto,Crataeis, Krataiis,Trienus | They were here and might return |

In Greek lore, Keto, The daughter of Gaia and Pontus, is a marine goddess who personifies the dangers and horrors of the sea.


She consorted the sea-god Phorkys, and produced the Gorgons (a brood of awful monsters):Ekhidna (the Viper), Skylla (the Crab), Ladon (the Dragon), the Graia (the Grey), and the Gorgones (the Terrible Ones)...


Keto/Krataiis not to be confused with the goddess Hekate, a divinity whose power extended over the sea. There was also a Krataiis river in the territory of the Brutti, near the Straits of Messina in Italy.


Keto also should not be confused with the minor Oceanid also named Ceto — who appears in Hesiod's Theogony as a separate character from Ceto the daughter of Pontus and Gaia — or with various mythological beings referred to as ketos (plural ketea); this is a general term for "sea monster" in Ancient Greek...



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Alpan, Alpanu, Alpnu, Apan

Alpan, Alpanu, Alpnu, Apan | They were here and might return |

Alpan is an Etruscan goddess about whom not much is known. She is probably one of theLasas (winged female guardians of graves with Underworld connections; sometimes collectively called the Bellarie (sng. Bellaria)

Alpan the Queen of the Underworld or leader of the Lasas, and, like Lasa Herself, Alpan is sometimes shown carrying an alabastron, or perfume-jar.


Her name means "Gift" or "Offering", with "Willingness" implied; perhaps on this basis, and the fact that She is usually portrayed free of clothing, She is sometimes called a Love-goddess.

Additionally, others call Alpan a goddess of Springtime, and in some depictions she is shown holding bouquets of flowers or leaves.

She seems to have survived into 19th century Tuscany as the fairy Alpena, who was also called La Bellaria (which probably translates to "Beautiful One of the Air"), a sprite of the air and light who is the goddess of flowers, spring and beauty, associated with the sky, clouds, and rainbow.

Alpan has been tentatively linked with Harmonia, Concordia, and Persephone.

Alpan is sometimes depicted wearing loose cloak and sandals and usually bedecked with jewellary.

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Otso, Ohto, Kontio, Metsän kuningas, the king of the forest, Mesikämmen, Honey-Paw of the Mountains, the Honey-Eater, Golden Light-Foot, the Forest-Apple, the Pride of the Thicket, the Fur-robed Fo...

Otso, Ohto, Kontio, Metsän kuningas, the king of the forest, Mesikämmen, Honey-Paw of the Mountains, the Honey-Eater, Golden Light-Foot, the Forest-Apple, the Pride of the Thicket, the Fur-robed Fo... | They were here and might return |

Where was the bear born?

Where was the beast made?

By the moon, with the day,

on the shoulders of the Plough

Then lowered on silver chains,

let down on golden cords

In Finish lore, Otso is spirit of the bear...

In Finland a bear is thought to be an intelligent and soulful creature. It is no ordinary animal but some sort of human being living in a forest. It can count at least to nine and it can understand the language of man.


Otso, the bear was born on the shoulders of Otava, in the regions of the sun and moon, and ‘nursed by a goddess of the woodlands in a cradle swung by bands of gold between the bending branches of budding fir-trees.


His nurse would not give him teeth and claws until he had promised never to engage in bloody strife, or deeds of violence. Otso, however, does not always keep his pledge, and accordingly the hunters of Finland find it comparatively easy to reconcile their consciences to his destruction.


In Finnish tradition women had a special relationship with bears. It was imagined that bears were looking for a chance to reincarnate through women. Because of this belief women were supposed to stay far away from a dead bear during a bear's funeral feast. It was commonly believed that bears would not attack a person they recognised as a female.


Some sub-traditions considered the bear to be a relative who had fled the community and been transmogrified by the power of the forest...



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Talos, Talon, Talôs

Talos, Talon, Talôs | They were here and might return |

In the Greek folklore Talos, the Guardian of Crete, is the first 'bionic' ‘robot-like’ creature on earth...


It is said that Talos was bull-headed and was forged by Hephaestus for King Minos, with the help of the Cyclopes. However, some argue that Talos was given by Zeus to Europa when he carried her off to Crete.

"Talos is said to be created from a petition from Zeus to Hephaestus , to protect Europa from persons who would want to kidnap her."


Talos is a name which, according to ancient descriptions, is related directly to Zeus...On the Greek island of Crete, Zeus was also called Talios, and in the ancient Greek dialect ‘Talos’ was the name of the Sun...


Alternatively Talos could be figured as a sacred bull. His bronze nature suggested that he may have been a survivor from the Age of Bronze, a descendant of the brazen race that sprang from meliae "ash-tree nymphs" according to Argonautica...


Since Talos was a bronze man, his blood was lead, which they believed was a divine fluid (ichor), identical to that what runs in the veins of the gods. Talos' single vein was leading from his neck through his body to one of his heels, which was closed by a bronze nail or a bronze peg or a pin/membrane. 


Talos' purpose was to run from his seat in Phaestos around the island three times a day and to throw rocks at any foreign ship coming to Crete without permission. When people from Sardinia tried to invade Crete, Talos made himself glow in the fire and he kept everyone in a fiery embrace with a wild grimace. This led to the term "sardonic grin."


Talos managed to defeat the enemies of Crete for many years, until his time finally came. Of course a bronze “robot” could not be killed by arrows or other weapons, as it was invulnerable, nor could it succumb to old age. Talos was killed by trickery. The legendary ship Argo, bearing Jason, Medea and the Argonauts, had a perilous journey past the Hellespont.

On reaching the south coast of Crete, the Argonauts wanted to beach the ship, rest and obtain supplies. Let’s not forget that they had already been to Colchis, where Jason stole the Golden Fleece with the aid of the witch Medea, the daughter of King Aetes of Colchis.

On leaving, he took with him both the fleece and his beloved Medea. The tale tells that Medea was the niece of Pasiphae, the wife of Minos, i.e. the queen of Minoan Crete, which may be why they chose Crete as a stopping-place on their legendary voyage.

On approaching the shore, however, they were faced with the bronze giant, who hurled rocks at them. The ship was in danger of sinking when Medea took over. She went to the side of the ship and began to talk to Talos. Chanting spells and promising him eternal life, she deceived the guileless Talos and persuaded him to remove the bronze peg from his ankle. All his “blood” ran out onto the ground and he fell lifeless.

There is a second, very similar version, in which Medea looked Talos deep in the eyes and used her magic to drive him mad. As he ran up and down in a frenzy, he struck his vulnerable point, the bronze peg snapped and he fell dead.

Addition in the Suda

The Suda tells that Talos who had been made by Hephaestus, was in possession of the Sardinians, and that when they refused to hand over the brazen man to Minos , Talos leapt into a fire, clasping them to his breast and killing them with their mouths open. From this, the Suda tells, comes the expression "sardonic laugh", which is seen in those who laugh at their own or other's troubles.

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Clare's curator insight, January 2, 1:01 PM

This is a couple of years old, but I suppose that doesn't make much different given the subject matter!  It turned up on my newsfeed and I was drawn in.  Talos is a pretty good name, is it not?

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Huldra, Hulder, Hulla

Huldra, Hulder, Hulla | They were here and might return |

Huldra is a seductive wood fairy or nymph of Norway that has the tail of an animal...

The word "huldra" in Norwegian means "hidden" or "covered" and the huldra is adept at hiding her fox or cow's tail and hollow back. The tail will show even when the Huldra put on long dresses to mix with mortals...

The Huldra usually appears as a beautiful woman dressed in the clothes of a common farm maiden.

The huldra can be a good or bad entity depending on the situation and storyteller.

She has been know to grant favors to those who treat her with respect and politeness, but is not so nice to those who don't.

They could kidnap men but also be kidnapped by them. In one story a man comes across an hulder on his farm and throws steel on her, which weakens her and allows him to catch her.

He than forces her to marry him and takes her to his village where he marries her in the church. The man, however, is unkind to her and constantly insulting her.

One day he insults her when she calls him in for dinner while he's out at the smithy so she goes down and grabs the red hot horseshoe he's trying to forge and bends it with her hands.

She than warns him that she could do the same to him, and from then on he is nice to her... (Kone av huldreætt)


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Amber Clyde's curator insight, August 30, 8:17 PM

Test of software.

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Girra, Girru, Gerra

Girra, Girru, Gerra | They were here and might return |

Girru, the son of Anu and Šala, according to the first-millennium incantation series Maqlû, tablet II, lines 136-7, is the light and fire god in the Akkadian folklore and the Sumerian Gibil's counterpart. 

Girra would accompany Mesopotamians in their daily lives and as a refiner of metals he is also the patron of metallurgists... Girra demonstrated the ability to mix copper and tin...

He was also praised in the context of construction due to his significance in the process of brick making...

Girra was equally feared for his potential as destructive fire. He was responsible for the burning of fields...The Old Babylonian tale of Girra and Elamatum describes the fire-god as an exalted champion of the gods. He fights on their behalf against the so-called ferocious evil witch of Elam...

Girra was syncretised with the younger god Nuska, another deity of fire and light. Girra and Nuska represented together the two aspects of the planet Mercury as morning and evening star, before Mercury was identified with Nabu alone ...Sometimes Girra is indistinguishable from Nuska....

on a separate note, it is argued that Girra is equated with Erra...

Also, unsurprisingly, Girra was also closely associated with Šamaš..

Girra is said to be invoked to destroy evil... He is used to conveying sorcerers to the netherworld...

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In passing: The Bonus of Bonuses:

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Ninhursag, Ninkharsag, Queen of the Mountain, Lady of bearth, Nintu, Ninmenna, Ninmah, Ninmug, Ninzinak, Ninsigsig, Ninbahar, Nindim, Belet-ili

Ninhursag, Ninkharsag, Queen of the Mountain, Lady of bearth, Nintu, Ninmenna, Ninmah, Ninmug,  Ninzinak, Ninsigsig, Ninbahar, Nindim, Belet-ili | They were here and might return |

Ninhursag, the 'Queen of the Mountain', is the Sumerian earth and mother-goddess, and a goddess of fertility...

She is the consort of the supreme god Enki (and is as such identified with Damgalnunna).

Ninhursag is one of the oldest members of the Sumerian pantheon and has prestigious titles such as 'mother of gods' and 'mother of all children'. She is also called Nintu, "lady of bearth", and Ki, the earth.

She was the tutelary deity of the Sumerian rulers, who styled themselves "children of Ninhursag"...

Being one of the oldest of the Mesopotamian gods, Ninhursag both subsumed the characteristics of similar beings was later herself subsumed by the fertility goddess Inanna/Ishtar...

Ninhursag is typically depicted wearing a horned head-dress and tiered skirt, often with bow cases at her shoulders, and not infrequently carries a mace or baton surmounted by an omega motif or a derivation, sometimes accompanied by a lion cub on a leash...

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Tefnut, Tfnt, Tefenet, Lady of the Flames

Tefnut,  Tfnt, Tefenet, Lady of the Flames | They were here and might return |

In Ancient Egyptian folklore, Tefnut, transliterated tfnt (tefenet), a daughter of the solar god Atum-Ra, is a goddess of moisture, moist air, dew and rain.

She is the sister and consort of the air god Shu and the mother of Geb and Nut.

Tefnut's grandchildren were Osiris, Isis, Set and Nephthys. Alongside her father, brother, children and grandchildren, she is a member of the Ennead of Heliopolis.

Her name is literally translated as "That Water".

Tefnut is also associated with Ra’s eyes, sometimes with the lunar eye and sometimes with the solar eye. As the protector of the sun god, she acquired the titles “Lady of the Flames”. Such role, she shared with several other goddesses including Sekhmet, Bast, Isis, Hathor, Mut, Wadjet, Isis and Nekhbet.

Of the Ennead deities, she is the first one to be attached to a female nature, as other gods were believed to have a duality in nature...

However, with Atenism's emphasis upon Akhenaten and Nefertiti as Shu and Tefnut, and thus as the divine children of the Aten, a "true" monotheism is not present... Ra, Shu, Tefnut, Thoth, Ptah, Hathor, and several other deities figure prominently in texts of Atenism, and the King and Queen, in particular, identified themselves with the deities Shu and Tefnut, respectively. Amen was targeted by the main prophet of the cult, the king, likely _not_ in Year 6 of the reign (as has been traditionally proposed), but more likely in the very _late_ years of the reign (possibly as late as years 16-17), dues to the somewhat limited damage to names and figures of Amen/Mut/Khons, the erasure of the word "gods," and the personification of 'ma'at' on existent monuments....

-- Katherine Griffis-Greenberg

In one story, Tefnut apparently had a falling out with the god Ra and high-tailed it into the deserts of Nubia in Upper Egypt.

But just leaving in a rage, wasn't enough. She decided to show just how much power she held and took with her all of her water and moisture. As a result of this, Lower Egypt dried out and fell into drought.

But simply drying up Egypt in her wake wasn't enough. After taking on the brave appearance of a lioness she went on a killing spree. No man or god was safe from this angry cat!


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Liluri | They were here and might return |

In the lore of the Levant, little is known about Liluri, the ancient Syrian mountain goddess, consort of the weather god Manuzi...

It has been said that bulls were sacrificed to both of them...

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The Post Image is adapted from the following link whereby you can order the Oil on Canvas (The Goddess Art of Jonathon Earl Bowser*)


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Lorelei, Loreley

Lorelei, Loreley | They were here and might return |

According to German legend, there was once a beautiful young maiden, named Lorelei, who threw herself headlong into the river in despair over a faithless lover.

Upon her death she was transformed into a siren and could from that time on be heard singing on a rock along the Rhine River, near St. Goar.

Her hypnotic music lured sailors to their death. The legend is based on an echoing rock with that name near Sankt Goarshausen, Germany...

I'm looking in vain for the reason,
That I am so sad and distressed;
A tale known for many a season,
Does not allow me to rest.

Cool is the air in the twilight
And quietly flows the Rhine;
The mountain glows with a highlight,
From the evening sun's last shine.

The fairest of maiden's reposing,
So wonderfully up there.
Her golden jewelry disclosing,
She's combing her golden hair.

She combs it with a comb of gold
And meanwhile is singing a song;
A melody strangely bold
And unbelievably strong.

The bargeman in his small craft
Is seized with longings and sighs.
He sees not the rocks fore and aft,
He looks only at her and the skies.

It looks like the waves are flinging,
Both man and boat to their end;
That was what with her singing,
The Lorelei did intend.

Lore Ley from Heinrich Heine


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Heryshaf, Hershef, Herishef, Herysaf, Heryshef, Terrible Face, Terrible Face, Arsaphes, Harsaphes, Ruler of the Riverbanks

Heryshaf, Hershef, Herishef, Herysaf, Heryshef, Terrible Face, Terrible Face, Arsaphes, Harsaphes, Ruler of the Riverbanks | They were here and might return |

Heryshaf (Heri-shef, 'he who is on his lake') is an ancient ram-god whose cult was centered in Middle Egypt at Herakleopolis Magna (now Ihnasiyyah al-Madinah)...

Heryshaf is a fertility god and said to have emerged from the primordial waters. He is depicted as a ram or as a human with a ram's head. His feet rested on earth but his head was in the sky where his right eye was the sun and his left eye was the moon.

Heryshaf is sometimes depicted with four heads.

He is often seen to be the personification of the souls of Osiris and Ra. The Greeks equated Hershef with Herakles.

Chapter 175 of the Book of the Dead associates the lake of Herakleopolis with the blood of Osiris which he lost as the result of an injury incurred by wearing the heavy royal crown. It also explains why blood plays an important role in the rituals of Harsaphes, who had an offering and purification cult near the lake; it is the blood of Seth that poured from his nose when he bowed before Osiris, and which was buried by Re in the ground...

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Noppera-bō | They were here and might return |

A lazy fisherman who decided to fish in the imperial koi ponds near the Heian-kyō palace.

Despite being warned by his wife about the pond being sacred and near a graveyard, the fisherman went anyway.

On his way to the pond, he is warned by another fisherman not to go there, but he again ignores the warning.

Once at the spot, he is met by a beautifull young woman (Noppera-bō ) who pleads with him not to fish in the pond. He ignores her and, to his horror, she wipes her face off.

Rushing home to hide, he is confronted by what seems to be his wife, who chastises him for his wickedness before wiping off her facial features as well...

Noppera-bō or faceless ghost, is a Japanese legendary creature.

Noppera-bo are apparently harmless. They do nothing more than scare the ever-loving crap out of unsuspecting people. As for why they do this, well, their motives are unclear.

They often appear initially in human form, often as someone who is familiar to their potential victim.

Once they’ve ingratiated themselves to the victim, or otherwise attracted their attention, they then go full horror act on the poor person..


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Fukurokuju, Fukurokujin

Fukurokuju, Fukurokujin | They were here and might return |

Fukurokuju is the Shinto god of wealth, happiness, and longevity in Japanese lore...

Fukurokuju is a personification of the southern polar star and he is often confused with Jurōjin (another god of Taoist origin and member of the Seven Lucky gods).  The two are said to inhabit the same body, but to represent different manifestations of the same celestial body

The bald and bearded Fukurokuju has long whiskers and unusually elongated forehead . He is typically shown in the customary garments of a Chinese scholar and holding a cane with a scroll attached to it.

He may also have a tortoise or crane near him (both creatures are icons of longevity in China and Japan). He is also sometimes with a black deer.

Fukurokuju was not always included in the earliest representations of the seven in Japan. He was instead replaced by Kichijōten (goddess of fortune, beauty, and merit)...


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Ox-Head and Horse-Face

Ox-Head and Horse-Face | They were here and might return |

In Chinese lore, Horse Face and Ox Head are two creatures depicted over and over again in the hell scrolls....

"Each is firmly bound and tightly tied,

Shackled by both ropes and cords.

The slightest move brings on the Red-hair demons,
The Black-face demons,
With long spears and sharp swords;
The Bull-head demons
The Horse-face demons
With iron spikes and bronze gavels,
They strike till faces contort and blood flows down;
But the cries to Earth and Heaven find no response.
So it is that man should not betray his own conscience,
For gods are knowing; whom will they overlook?
Vice and virtue will get their due in the end -
A matter of payment early or late."

From the Chinese classical novel  "The journey to the West"...

In 'Journey to the West', Ox-Head and Horse-Face are sent to capture Sun Wukong, but he overpowers them and scares them away.

He then breaks into the Underworld and crosses out the names of himself and his primate followers from the record of living souls, hence granting immortality to himself and his followers.

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Sól, Sol, Sunna, Sun, Gull

Sól, Sol, Sunna, Sun, Gull | They were here and might return |

In Norse lore, Sol is the sun goddess, daughter of Mundilfari. She is married to Glen. Some argue that Sól is the mother and Sunna is her daughter....

Sol rides through the sky in a chariot pulled by the horses Alsvid ("all swift") and Arvak ("early riser"). Below their shoulder-blades the gods inserted iron-cold bellows to keep them cool.

She is chased during the daytime by the wolf Skoll who tries to devour her, just like her brother Mani is chased by the wolf Hati at night.

It was believed that during solar eclipses the sun was in danger of being eaten by Skoll. Both wolves are the offspring of the giantess Hrodvitnir who lives in the Iron Wood. Eventually, the wolf will catch her. The goddess Svalin stands in front of the sun and shields the earth from the full intensity of its heat...

At Ragnarok, the foretold "Twilight of the gods" or end of the world, it is believed the Sol will finally be swallowed by Skoll. When the world is destroyed, a new world shall be born, a world of peace and love, and the Sun's bright daughter shall outshine her mother.

Note: In Norse realm, the Sun is female while the Moon is male.


See Skinfaxi and Hrímfaxi:

See Shapash:

See Helios:

See Amaterasu:

See Ra:

See Almaqah:

See Hebat:

See Inti:

See Belisama:

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Jinmenju, Ninmenj

Jinmenju, Ninmenj | They were here and might return |

Jinmenju is the human-face tree...

Legend has it that the Jinmenju grows "in remote mountain valleys in China."...

The jinmenju's fruit appear to be "human heads. The faces are always smiling or laughing, even as they fall from their branch."...

It is said that if the fruit laughs too heartily, it falls from the tree.

The legend of the Jinmenju comes from China, and was passed onto Japan where it was considered to be a yokai due to its peculiar nature. There are also stories of trees bearing human-faced fruit from India and Persia, usually with the faces of beautiful girls.


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Fylgjur | They were here and might return |

Remember the cats, ravens, and other familiar spirits who are often the companions of witches in Scandinavian folktales?

These are fylgjur (pronounced “FILG-yur”) in the plural and fylgja (pronounced “FILG-ya”) in the singular.

Fylgjur usually appear in the form of an animal and commonly appear during sleep, but the sagas relate that they could appear while a person is awake as well, and that seeing one's fylgja is an omen of one's impending death. However, when fylgjur appear in the form of women, they are then supposedly guardian spirits for people or clans

In a sense, this helping spirit can be seen as the totem of a single person rather than of a group.

Fylgja literally translates as “follower,” but, as often as not, it’s depicted as travelingahead of its owner, arriving at the intended destination before its owner or appearing in the dreams of someone who will meet the owner the following day.

Intriguingly, the term is also applied to the afterbirth, but the connection is mysterious and unclear.

Golther describes the Fylgja or “Folgerin” (Following being) as an inherent feature of man, his soul, which becomes visible to its bearer only at the moment of his death, but in some rare cases during his life-time, too.

It is said to adopt the features of the person himself, if it does not show itself in the shape of an animal, which reflects his nature. Thus a child may be accompanied by a bird, while a warrior might have a wolf or a bear at his side.

Eventually, however, that spirit changed into a female protector, a goddess of fate, watching over one individual man or his whole kin.

The Fylgja is an attendant spirit whose well-being is intimately tied to that of its owner – for example, if the fylgja dies, its owner dies, too. Its character and form are closely connected to the character of its owner; a person of noble birth might have a bear fylgja, a savage and violent person, a wolf, or a gluttonous person, a pig.

The noun Fylgja (feminine singular) is derived from the verb Fylgja. This has various meanings:

  • to follow
  • to accompany
  • to belong
  • to help
  • support
  • align
  • need
  • keep inside
  • have
  • to follow as a concubine

As a noun, it is translated as:

  • support
  • help
  • (female) companion
  • guardian spirit
  • protective spirit
  • follower

Further on the animal Fylgja

The animal fylgja motif is sometimes blended with the húgr-motif. [Húgr (masculine singular) means “intent”, “desire”, “thought”, “soul”, “heart” and seems to have been a part of the human soul that could move outside of the body in animal shape]. 

Manna hugir ["the intents of men"] sometimes replace the term manna fylgjor [the “followers” of men] and usually then appear in the shape of wolves. Wolves, being associated with fierce passion and desire (or greed and hunger) are closely connected to the húgr. The other animals appear as manna fylgjor...

The Woman Fylgja

When it comes to the woman fylgja, they are also known by many other names such as:

Ófridarfylgja, óvinarfylgja, kynfylgja, ættarfylgja,[“unpeace-follower”, “enemy-follower”, “friend-follower”, “clan-follower” - describing what kind of fylgja she is] and fylgjukona draumkona, dís, spádís and hamingja[follower-woman, dream-woman, goddess, prophecy-goddess, shape-walker].

The animal and the woman fylgja share a name and one common function: They may appear to others before her human person arrives, thus warning others of her human`s approach.

Different sources describe the woman fylgja differently. In the förnaldarsögur, she is usually described as a dís [goddess]. This choice of words I [Else Mundal] see as an example of a conscious attempt to make the stories appear more archaic.

In the king sagas, the dominant way of describing a woman fylgja is by the word hamingja [shape-walker]...

The Relationship between the Woman Fylgja and the Dísir

We have seen that the woman fylgja often is called dís in the sources.

It seems obvious that we have to do with the same female entity both where she is called fylgja and where she is called dís, but the worddís is not necessarily connected to the woman fylgja.

...the woman fylgja belongs to the same category as the nornir and thevalkyrjur. Dís is a common name for all the supernatural female entities...

The word is also used for its poetical value. If one is to make a distinction between the woman fylgjur and the dísir, it is that the worddís has a wider meaning.

The noun dís (pl.dísir) is etymologically connected to the Old Indian dhisanas – used to describe female goddesses of fertility

The word also exists in the Germanic languages. Old Saxon: ides, Old High German: itis, Old English:ides.

According to Folke Ström, the dísir, nornir and valkyrjur have an inner connection, whereas the womanfylgja stands outside. She originates in conceptions about the soul and thus has a different origin than thedísir although they sometimes are blended.

Adding to these, there are more unspecialized dísir who could be defined as protective spirits of particular clans, a blending between the dís and the animal fylgja.

Several scholars (especially Turville-Petre and Anne Holtsmark) emphasize the difference between thedísir, who were the objects of cultic worship, and the other female entities, who apparently were not.

Others, such as Ström to a certain degree, (but making an exception out of the fylgjur) and P.A.Munch, argue that they are all called dísir and that they were all worshipped together as dísir.

They seem to separate the dísir from the fylgjur by saying that the former were deities worshipped in a cultic setting, while the latter were connected to the souls of people and thus more related to the animal fylgja...


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Capricornus, Capricorn, See-Goat

Capricornus, Capricorn, See-Goat | They were here and might return |

The representation of CAPRICORNUS, The Sea-Goat or Goat-Fish, as a creature with the head and body of a goat and the tail of a fish, may well have originated from Assyro-Babylonian depictions of their god of wisdon Oannes, who was half-man, half-fish...

Images of the creature represented by Capricornus, often with the head and body of a goat and the tail of a fish (a sea-goat), have been found in 3000 B.C.E. year-old Babylonian tablets. Recognition of the constellation is probably even older...

In Greek folklore, the constellation is sometimes identified as Amalthea, the goat that suckled the infant Zeus after his mother, Rhea, saved him from being devoured by his father, Cronos...

The goat's broken horn was transformed into the cornucopia or horn of plenty. 

Capricornus is also sometimes identified as Pan, the god with a goat's head, who saved himself from the monster Typhon by giving himself a fish's tail and diving into a river...

The best explanation of the Capricorn goat comes from the Capricorn zodiac sign myth that was discovered in the writings known as the Scriptures of Delphi...Basically the sea goats came from the first sea goat, Pricus, who was created by the god Cronos.

The legend goes that eventually all the sea goats made their way inevitably to land where they became the four-legged goats that we know today, leaving Pricus as the sole sea goat and the figure in Capricorn tales. This, naturally, explains why there are no sea goats today...


Capricornus (The Sea Goat) Constellation — Location: Zodiac constellation, visible in both hemispheres; Coordinates: Right Ascension: 21h; Declination: -20; Source: Ancient, Babylonian and Greek folklore. 


See Rhea:

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Šala, Shala, The Ear of Grain

Šala, Shala,  The Ear of Grain | They were here and might return |

Šala, consort of the storm god Adad in the Sumerian folklore, is probably of non-Mesopotamian origin. The name Šala (with a long vowel in the first syllable) has no clear Akkadian or other Semitic etymology. The name may derive from the Hurrian šāla, 'daughter'...

The Standard Babylonian astronomical text Mul-Apin equates the constellation "The Furrow" (Virgo) with "Šala, the ear of grain" (Mul-Apin, Tablet I line 52)...The brightest star in Virgo is still known today as Spica (L. "ear of grain").

Šala's genealogy is unclear. In god lists she is equated with Medimša (the traditional wife of Iškur) and four other Sumerian goddesses...  

Šala carries a double-headed mace-scimitar embellished with lion heads and is believed to be a patron of power over crop fertility.

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Magni | They were here and might return |

Magni (meaning mighty), the god of Strength in Norse folklore, has been following in the footsteps of his father Thor, god of Thunder, in ways that go beyond Norse mythos.

As champions of humans and defenders against the forces of evil, Magni and Thor were considered more important and popular than the other gods who resided in Asgard.

Magni is one of three siblings that Thor and his mistress the giantess Jarnsaxa bore.

Thor and his family were members of the Aesir (sky gods) and resided in Asgard - the realm or "heaven" of Norse sky gods - ruled by the principal god (and Magni's grandfather) Odin.

The Aesir were usually at odds with the Vanir (Earth Gods). This tension often resulted in conflicts with human in the middle of it.

In his early years, Magni set himself apart by saving his own father from certain death. Thor had defeated a stone Giant, yet was trapped under the crushing weight of this beast's leg.

The other gods couldn't release him. Thus, fearing the end was near, Thor sent for Magni to say his farewell.

However, Magni wasn't ready to say farewell to his dad. Instead, he assessed the situation and boasted:" I could've clobbered this beast, if you called for me earlier." With that, Magni pulverized the rock leg into pebbles and freed his father.

That was at the age of three, and from that moment on, he became known as the god of Strength...

Later, the Aesirs and the Vanir led by Loki (another devious trickster god of fame and infamy) went into all-out war.

According to Norse folklore, the battle will eventually result in what is called Ragnarok in which gods and humanity were to be affected by a war of "Armageddon" style proportions.

Oddly enough, this doomsday was prophesized and the gods knew who would live or die.

In this case, the prophesy tells of a victory by the forces of good (Aesir) in which Magni and Modi (god of wrath) lead them to victory...

It is argued however that Magni and Modi are not gods at all...

> Poetic Edda:

  Magni is mentioned among the survivors of Ragnarök in the Poetic Edda Vafþrúðnismál...

Magni, along with his father, has accomplished something else, lately; he has found new life in the modern mythology of the Marvel Universe...

Supportive Resources:

Interesting on passing:

O Magni!

The Hilarius Bonus:

See Thor:

See Odin:


See Loki:

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Thor. “I will counsel thee: row thy boat hither. Let us cease quarrelling; come and meet Magni's father.”

Odin. “Leave thou the river; crossing shall be refused thee.”

Thor. “Show me the way, since thou wilt not ferry me.”

Odin. “That is a small thing to refuse. It is a long way to go: a while to the stock, and another to the stone, then keep to the left hand till thou reach Verland. There will Fjörgyn meet her son Thor, and she will tell him the highway to Odin's land.”

Thor. “Shall I get there to-day?”

Odin. “With toil and trouble thou wilt get there about sunrise, as I think.”

Thor. “Our talk shall be short, since thou answerest with mockery. I will reward thee for refusing passage, if we two meet again.”

Odin. “Go thy way, where all the fiends may take thee.”

Excerpted from The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Edda, Vol. 1, by Winifred Faraday

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Pap-nigin-gara, Panigara

Pap-nigin-gara, Panigara | They were here and might return |

Panigara (lord of the boundary stone) is the Akkadian and Babylonian god of war, syncretised with Ninurta.


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