They were here and might return
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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 scary content. 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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See Ishtar:

See Innana:

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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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Kabeiros, Kabeiroi, Cabiri, Cabeiri, Kabiri, Cabirus, Cabeiri

Kabeiros, Kabeiroi, Cabiri, Cabeiri, Kabiri, Cabirus, Cabeiri | They were here and might return |

In Greek folklore, the Kabeiroi are twin gods or daimones who presided over the orgiastic dances of the mysteries of Samothrake which were performed in honour of the goddesses Demeter, Persephone, and Hekate.

These enigmatic chthonic beings are also famed metal-workers, dwarf-like sons of the god Hephaistos, who served their father at his Lemnian forge.

The accounts of the Samothracian gods, whose names were secret, vary in the number and sexes of the gods, usually between two and four, some of either sex. However, the number of Cabeiri also varied, with some accounts citing four (often a pair of males and a pair of females) of them, and some even more, such as a tribe or whole race of Cabeiri, often presented as all male.

Like their mother Kabeiro, the pair were also sea-divinities, who protected and came to the aid of sailors in distress.

According to Clement the Kabeiroi were three in number, but two of the brothers committed an act of fratricide. The pair later recovered the phallus of Zagreus who had been dismembered by the Titan-gods and established it in the shrine of the Mysteries.

In the Cabiri by Aeschylus, the two gods welcomed the Argonauts to their island and initiated them in a drunken orgy...

The Kabeiroi were closely identified with a number of other korybantic daimones including the Cretan Kouretes, the Trojan Daktyloi, and the Phrygian Kyrbantes.

According to some the Samothrakain Kabeiroi included not only the sons of Hephaistos, but also the Korybantic sons of the god Apollon...


See Hephaistos:

See Apollon:

See Demeter:

See Persephone:

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Erchitu | They were here and might return |

At one time in all countries of Sardinia, it was believed that men had made malvaggi (crime) during the night could be turned into animals and they came around to announce the death.

Generally transformed in Oxen and bellowed three times, before the door of the predestined, to resume human form again at dawn... As such the Erchitu can be considered as a 'wereox'...

The Erchitos can free themselves from their torment only when they encounter someone brave and strong, capable of extinguishing the candles in one puff, or capable of cutting the horns on the head with one precise shot...


See werewolf:

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Leucrota, Leocrocotta, Leucrocotta, Leucrocuta, Leukrokotta

Leucrota, Leocrocotta, Leucrocotta, Leucrocuta, Leukrokotta | They were here and might return |


The leucrota is a a psychotic beast with a borderline sociopathic mindset from the Medieval era.


It is a a composite animal; a cross between a hyena-like luvecerviere beast and lion.


Pliny the Elder (Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire) describes the leucrota as a hyena-like creature, which he calls "the swiftest of all beasts, about the size of an ass, with a stag's haunches, a lion's neck, tail and breast, badger's head, cloven hoof, mouth opening right back to the ears, and ridges of bone in place of rows of teeth—this animal is reported to imitate the voices of human beings."


There is often some confusion between the more wolf like Crocotta and the more lion like Leucrocotta and in some cases the two are looked upon as the same creature. Clearly meant to be two different types of animals, authors of bestiaries often mistook them for one another due to there alleged blood relation, similarity in name and there supposed ability to speak with a human voice.


Though this creature is shrouded in folktales and mystery it is often thought that the hyena may have been the bases for the Leucrota, however most researchers simply dismiss the creature as pure fiction...


The leucrocotta is specifically mentioned in Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (the 2004 first novel by British writer Susanna Clarke), in the chapter "Leucrocota, the Wolf of the Evening", where the titular character names another person in the book as one, as a reference to his personality and lifestyle...


...Vocal mimicry...

Leucrotas speak in voices chosen to lure their target away, where they proceed to feast upon the still living individual...

“...And the man who has been called approaches…but when it has drawn him away from his fellow-workers and has got him alone, it seizes and kills him and then makes a meal of him after luring him on with its call...”






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Azeban, Azban, Asban, Azaban

Azeban, Azban, Asban, Azaban | They were here and might return |

In the folklore of the Native American Tribes (Abenaki and Penobscot)* the Azeban is a trickster figure, Racoon deceives animals and other beings for food or other services...

The Azeban often behaves foolishly or causes trouble for others, but unlike animal tricksters in some other tribes, Azeban is not dangerous or malevolent...

In a tale that explains a raccoon's distinctive mask, the Azeban ate all his grandmother's stored acorns, so she struck him with a fire poker, burning the markings onto his face...


*The traditional homeland of the Abenaki is Wobanakik (Place of the Dawn), what is now called Northern New England and Southern Quebec.


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Charon, Kharon, The ferryman

Charon, Kharon,  The ferryman | They were here and might return |

In ancient Greek , Charon or Kharon, the son of Erebus and Nyx, is the ferryman of Hades who carries souls of the newly deceased across the rivers Styx and Acheron that divided the world of the living from the world of the dead...

A coin to pay Charon for passage, usually an obolus or danake, was sometimes placed in or on the mouth of a dead person.

Some authors say that those who could not pay the fee, or those whose bodies were left unburied, had to wander the shores for one hundred years.

In the catabasis mytheme, heroes — such as Heracles, Orpheus, Aeneas, Dionysus and Psyche — journey to the underworld and return, still alive, conveyed by the boat of Charon...

The Etruscans of central Italy identified him with one of their own underworld daimones who was named Charun after the Greek figure.

He was depicted as an even more repulsive creature with blue-grey skin, a tusked mouth, hooked nose and sometimes serpent-draped arms. His attribute was a large, double-headed mallet...

Living persons who wish to go to the underworld need a golden bough obtained from the Cumaean Sibyl...

Given the fact that they need two trips, Charon charges significantly more... Several Greek and Roman authors wrote about traveling to the Underworld, usually with the assistance of an experienced guide. Dante, for example, wrote The Inferno, and the Aeneid by Virgil also features a trip to the Underworld...

Incidentally, for anyone concerned about paying the ferryman, his going rate in Ancient Greece was an obolus, a silver coin worth a sixth of a drachma. Since Greece has now switched over to the Euro, along with other members of the European Union, Charon would probably accept a Euro coin, and he may be open to other currencies as well.



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See Hades:

See Dionysus:


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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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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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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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Very Interesting:

In passing: The Bonus of Bonuses:

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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, 2015 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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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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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!


See Ra:

See Geb:

See Isis:

See Sekhmet:

See Bastet:

See Nephthys:

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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...

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O Magni!

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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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Erra; Irra

Erra; Irra | They were here and might return |

Erra is the god of war and plagues in the Babylonian folklore (Akkadian in particular), who later became closely associated with the underworld god Nergal.

Erra, known from an 'epos' the eighth century BCE, is an especially war-like and violent god, who is often understood to be a bringer of pestilence. There is some debate, however, regarding the exact nature of his destructive functions...

There is some debate, however, regarding the exact nature of his destructive functions.

Erra is restless and breaks into a soliloquy. He is anxious to fight and campaign, but hesitates through natural inertia. Speaking of himself in the third person...

"Warrior Erra, why do you neglect the field for the city?

"The very beats and creatures hold us in contempt!

"O warrior Erra, we will tell you, thought that we say be offensive to you!

"Ere the whole land outgrows us,

"You must surely hear our words!

The poem of Erra and Ishum (about 1000 BCE)

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Ullr, Ull, Wulþuz, Ollerus, Ullur

Ullr, Ull, Wulþuz, Ollerus, Ullur | They were here and might return |

Ullr is a very old god of the northern lands, in Norse folklore, so old that by the time the Iron Age Norse myths were written down, not much more was known about him except that he was a god of archery, hunting, and the winter.

Ullr's father was an otherwise unknown figure, thought to be a frost-giant, in order to help explain the predilections of his son.

His mother was Sif, so Thor was Ullr's stepfather.

His name (Ull means glory) occurs so frequently as part of Scandinavian place-names that he must have been a much more important deity at one time.

He was shown frequently with skates or skis on his feet, and because of this he has been hailed as the modern god of Skiing.

One story talks about him "crossing water on a magic bone", alluding to crossing the frozen ice on skates.

He was also called god of the Shield, and the shield was referred to as his "ship", which may be a reference to using a shield or shield-shaped board as a sled … or to the ice of winter enveloping the world like a shield...


A powerful god, he took control of Midgard and Asgard every year when Odin snowbirded for the winter.

Ullr sent out the Aurora Borealis to light the sky during the period of the longest nights.     



The Elder or Poetic Edda; commonly known as Saemund's Edda. Edited and translated with introd. and notes by Olive Bray. (1908)   When Odin returned, Ullr retreated. While he had an Alps-top or frozen northlands home, he was also said to have spent his summers with the death goddess Hel.

Some have attempted to equate Ullr with the sky god Tyr, who was the Germanic version of the highest god of the Proto-Indo-Europeans, from whom the Norse and other Germanic peoples are descended...


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See Hel:

See Thor:

See Tyr:

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Mngwa, Nunda

Mngwa, Nunda | They were here and might return |

The Mngwa, which means the strange one, is described as an overly aggressive, unknown, big cat roughly the size of a donkey reported to roam the East African countries of Tanzania and Kenya...

It has creepy yellow eyes, sharp deadly teeth and huge razor like claws.Its fur is a dark grey with black stripes and spots, similar to a nowadays domesticated tabby cat.

Its body is said to sport some hairless spots from victims clutching and ripping patches as they attempted to free themselves.

The natives of the area have known of the Mngwa for centuries but it wasn’t until the 1900’s that the English first became away of this powerful creature sometimes referred to as the great grey ghost.,,

In the 1930’s and 1940’s the Mngwa was commonly referred to by the name of Nunda, but because of two books, written by Gardner Soule, The Mystery Monsters and The Maybe Monsters, along with the help of Bernard Heuvelmans, the name Mngwa is now more frequently used...

Three possibilities come to mind. Assuming that the nunda does indeed exist, as indicated by the physical reality of unidentifiable fur and distinctive footprints, it may conceivably be a wholly unknown species, lurking undetected by science amid Tanzania's dense forests.

Alternatively, it could be an exceptionally large form of aberrantly-patterned leopard...

Thirdly, and perhaps most intriguing of all, is the identity put forward by veteran cryptozoologist Dr Bernard Heuvelmans. He has suggested that the nunda may be an undiscovered giant version of the African golden cat Profelis auratus...

The Mngwa was first mentioned in a Swahili song from the year 1150 which also mentions the Lion (Simba) the Leopard (Nsui) and the Mngwa as three different creatures proof that there is no confusion in the minds of the natives when it comes to the three creatures.

The Nunda, Eater of People is one of the Swahili fairy tales collected by Edward Steere in his 1870 anthology Swahili Tales, as told by the natives of Zanzibar. It is possible that this folktale was also the inspiration for the Nundu, a leopard-like magical creature mentioned in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels...

There is an old, traditional Tanzanian folktale that tells of the Sultan Majnun's youngest son who went seeking a murderous feline monster called the nunda, which had killed his three brothers and many other hapless humans too.

Evidently not the most zoologically-knowledgeable of people, he proceeded to kill several different animals, including a zebra, a rhinoceros, an elephant, a civet, and a giraffe, each time mistakenly assuming that this must be the nunda.

Eventually, however, he encountered the real nunda, lying asleep under the shade of a tree. As large as a donkey, with distinctive brindled fur, huge claws, and enormous teeth, it was a terrifying sight, but the Sultan's son slew it as it slept, and returned home in triumph, having rid his father's kingdom of this malevolent scourge... 

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Mami Wata, Mammy Water

Mami Wata, Mammy Water | They were here and might return |

Mami Wata, a water-spirit, is venerated in West, Central, Southern Africa, and in the African diaspora in the Caribbean and parts of North and South America.

Mami Wata spirits are usually female, but are sometimes male.

Mami Wata is described as having long dark hair, very fair skin and compelling eyes.

The mystical pantheon of Mami Wata deities are often pictured in their most ancient primordial aspects as a mermaid, half-human or either half-fish or half-reptile. Mermaids are not a recent phenomena in African history.

Although she may appear to her devotees (in dreams and visions) as a beautiful mermaid, complete with tail, she is also said to walk the streets of modern African cities in the guise of a gorgeous but elusive woman.

She is interested in all things contemporary: some of her favorite offerings include sweet, imported perfumes, sunglasses and Coca-Cola!!

Nonetheless, the spirit appears to be related to other water spirits (known in Igbo, a language of southeastern Nigeria, as ndi mmili) who have a much longer history on the continent...

As other supernatural beings become absorbed into the figure of Mami Wata, the spirit often takes on characteristics unique to a particular region or culture. In Trinidad and Tobago, for example, Maman Dlo plays the role of guardian of nature, punishing overzealous hunters or woodcutters. She is the lover of Papa Bois, a nature patron...

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The Knights of Ålleberg

The Knights of Ålleberg | They were here and might return |

Legend in Sweden has it that there is a huge cave deep inside Ålleberg Mountain where the 12 Knights of Ålleberg are lying in wait to march forth and save their country...

The last time they were seen is thought to have been at the Battle of Åsle in 1389, when twelve knights in golden suits of armour fought with Queen Margaret's army...

It is said that the entrance to the mountain cave is hard to find. Once, a farmer was taking a load of grain to the market in Falköping.

At the foot of Ållebergs Änne mountain he met a stranger who asked him if he could buy his load. The farmer went with the stranger and they ended up in the mountain cave where the knights lay sleeping, fully clothed and ready for battle.

The farmer bumped into a bridle, which made a noise. The knights woke up and wondered if was time to take up arms.

The man who had bought the load reassured them that they could sleep soundly on...

The legend is a version of the sleeping hero or king in the mountain...


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