70 days left→ Witches"I myself have seen this woman draw the stars from the sky; she diverts the course of a fast-flowing river with her incantations; her voice makes the earth gape, it lures the spirits from the tombs, send the bones tumbling from the dying pyre. At her behest, the sad clouds scatter; at her behest, snow falls from a summer’s sky."
Banshee or Bean Sidhe according to most interpretations is not an evil being but a female spirit or fairy who advertises with its moaning the death of the listener or any of their relatives or friends. The legend originated in Ireland, has been rooted in Celtic folklore since the eighth century. Etymologically “Bean Sidhe” comes from the Gaelic and means “Fairy of the Spirit” or “Fairy of the Hill”, however, over time its use throughout the United Kingdom led to the anglicized “banshee”.
The story of the banshee began as a fairy woman keening at the death of important personages. Banshees were said to appear for particular Irish families, though which families made it onto this list varied depending on who was telling the story. Stories of banshees were also prevalent in the West Highlands of Scotland.
Although not always seen, her mourning call is heard, usually at night when someone is about to die and usually around woods. The banshee may also appear in a variety of other forms, such as that of a hooded crow, stoat, hare and weasel - animals associated in Ireland with witchcraft.
MYTHIC POETRY series:
There is nothing between us.[“Medusa” — Sylvia Plath]
Painted terracotta head from a statue of a worshipper
From the Sanctuary of Apollo at Phrangissa, Tamassos, Cyprus
c. 600 BC
This head is in true Cypriot style with an Assyrian type beard, wide open eyes, a severe expression and prominent nose. A number of other male heads have Assyrian style beards like this one - hardly surprising as Cyprus was under Assyrian control from about 707-612 BC. The tallest of these large-scale terracotta statues discovered so far measures 260 cm in height and comes from the same site as this head: the Sanctuary of Apollo at Phrangissa, Tamassos on the island of Cyprus.
The first large-scale statues of terracotta in Cypriot style are recorded from the island of Samos in the middle of the seventh century BC. They were first produced in Cyprus in the later seventh century BC. The statues continued to be made into the sixth century, though production had ceased by about 550 BC when sculpture in stone became more popular. The city of Salamis may have led the way in the creation and diffusion of this terracotta art to other parts of the island, but finds from the site at Tamassos are impressive.
All Cypriot large-scale terracotta statues were assembled from several separate pieces made by different techniques. Bodies were thrown on a potter’s wheel; those of larger figures were made in two parts and assembled after firing. Legs were hollow and either handmade or made of clay coils; sometimes legs were wheel-made. Arms were either handmade and solid or wheel-made and hollow. Heads were normally hollow and turned on a wheel or made of coils; the faces were moulded. Accessories such as jewellery and beards were added and facial features formed. The figure was painted as required before being fired.
Source: British Museum
“Her gods and men call Aphrodite, and Aphrogeneia (the foam-born) because she grew amid the foam.” -Hesiod, Theogony 176.
A few depictions of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, in ancient Greek pottery.
Aphrodite on a swan (detail). Tondo from an Attic white-ground red-figured kylix. From tomb F43 in Kameiros (Rhodes). Pistoxenos Painter, circa 460 BC. Courtesy of the British Museum, GR 1869.10-7.77. Photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen.
mythology meme: [3/8] myths, legends, and stories
↳ the kidnapping of iðunn
This particular story is from the Prose Edda; more specifically, it’s found in the book Skáldskaparmál (‘language of poetry’), which is presented in the form of a dialogue between Ægir, a sea giant, and Bragi, the god of poetry.
One day, Loki the trickster is trying to chase a large eagle away with a pole, but after whacking it, he gets stuck to the bird and is carried higher and higher into the sky. Loki begs the eagle, who is actually the ice giant Þjazi in disguise, to release him. Þjazi does so, on the condition that Loki will lure Iðunn, the goddess of youth, out of the gates of Asgard so that Þjazi can kidnap her. Loki agrees and later fulfils his promise by telling Iðunn that there are interesting apples in a certain forest, and that she should want to bring her own with to compare. Intrigued, Iðunn goes with him, and eagle-shaped Þjazi snatches the goddess between his claws and flies away.
The Æsir start to wither and grow old without Iðunn’s youth apples and they figure Loki has something to do with her disappearance. The Æsir tell him he has to bring her back, or there’ll be dire consequences. Loki gets Freyja to lend him her ‘falcon shape’, and off he goes. He finds Iðunn and turns her into a nut to carry her back home. However, Þjazi notices his prisoner has gone missing, and chases the disguised Loki. The Æsir notice the two birds coming from afar and they build a large fire by the walls of Asgard; the falcon manages to evade the fire, but the eagle is unable to stop and flies straight into the flames.
The Ibo Landing myth – there are two myths and one reality…
Ibo captives, African captives of the Ibo [ethnic group, also spelled “Igbo”], when they were brought to the New World, they refused to live in slavery. There are accounts of them having walked into the water, and then on top of the water all the way back to Africa, you know, rather than live in slavery in chains. There are also myths of them having flown from the water, flown all the way back to Africa. And then there is the story – the truth or the myth – of them walking into the water and drowning themselves in front of the captors.
I was able, in my research [for “Daughters of the Dust”], to read some of the accounts from the sailors who were on the ship when supposedly it happened, and a lot of the shipmates, the sailors or other crew members, they had nervous breakdowns watching this. Watching the Ibo men and women and children in shackles, walking into the water and holding themselves under the water until they in fact drowned.
And then interestingly enough, in my research, I found that almost every Sea Island has a little inlet, or a little area where the people say, “This is Ibo Landing. This is where it happened. This is where this thing really happened.” And so, why is it that on every little island – and there are so many places – people say, “This is actually Ibo Landing”? It’s because that message is so strong, so powerful, so sustaining to the tradition of resistance, by any means possible, that every Gullah community embraces this myth. So I learned that myth is very important in the struggle to maintain a sense of self and to move forward into the future.
because we need reminding
7 Villains - [3/7] Sea Witch from The Little Mermaid
“Big fat eels played in the mud, showing their ugly yellow stomachs. Here the witch had built her house out of the bones of drowned sailors, and there she sat letting a big ugly toad eat out of her mouth, as human beings sometimes let a canary eat sugar candy out of theirs. The ugly eels she called her little chickens, and held them close to her spongy chest.
‘I know what you want,’ she cackled. ‘And it is stupid of you. But you shall have your wish, for it will bring you misery, little princess.’ ”
Drawings by wonderful and very talented Ninidu