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The Banshee

The Banshee (Bean Si or Bean Sidhe in Irish Gaelic) is above all described as a pale woman, dressed in a long ghostly white dress.
Her hair would then be combed in battle, and her cries (called keenings) would be so heartbreaking that they would pierce all human souls.

Also, the Banshee is by definition a being in pain, which manifests its suffering by real inhuman cries. These screams would be so intense that they would whiten the hair of those who hear them.

In the writings, her cries are portrayed as a clever mix of howls by children, howls of wolves, as well as complaints shouted by women in childbirth. Add to that the cry of the wild goose, and you will have a good idea of ​​the unbearable cacophony of a Banshee howl!

Legend has it that these screams would then announce to those who hear it, the imminent death of a loved one, or someone important. Many people liken it to a figure close to the great grim reaper, with the result that the Banshee only announces death: it never causes it.
The legend also would like that the large Irish families have their own Banshee. This would only announce the future deaths of family members, and in no case that of strangers in this family circle.
Cultural distortions have over time placed the legend of the Banshee in the ranks of myths such as those of fairies, witches or leprechauns. There are also different interpretations depending on the country where you are. Some describe her as a very beautiful woman, while others portray her as an elderly, very thin and painful ugly old lady.

“He had many strange sights to keep him cheerful or to make him sad. I asked him had he ever seen the faeries, and got the reply, ‘Am I not annoyed with them?’ I asked too if he had ever seen the banshee. ‘I have seen it,’ he said, ‘down there by the water, batting the river with its hands.’
― W.B. Yeats, The Celtic Twilight: Faerie and Folklore

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The Phoenix

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The Pheonix is a well known fantastic animal for it’s immortality. Every five hundred years it dies and rises from his/her ashes. He/She is independent and is never tamed. He/She then goes to a high and far mountain top to build itself a nest out of spices and of aromatic herbs. The nest burns for three days until it is left with ashes. A new Pheonix rises then and legend says that it can read human spirits and to see all bad intentions.
The origin of the myth comes from Egypt, more precisely from the city of Heliopolis. At the time was worshiped the Benu, a bird similar to the heron, associated with the solar god Ra. The Benu was the first to emerge from the primordial Ocean, he found himself perched on the first piece of land, a tiny island. Time went off at its first cry. Since that day, the Benu also accompanies the dead in the Hereafter to Osiris.

It is in the 5th century BC that the Greek Herodotus reports, from Heliopolis, the legend of the Benu under the name of phoenix, which means red in Greek. Other symbols will be added over time. Among the Romans, the Phoenix was the symbol of the eternal vital force of the Empire. Certain coins were beset with his effigy. In the Middle Ages, it is one of the emblems of Christ, dead and then resurrected. In Japan, he is the elemental spirit of fire. In all cases and all countries, this creature is the symbol of resurrection and immortality


« Love is a phoenix we do not trap.  » Didier Erasmus


A vampire is a legendary creature which derives its main characteristics from the different folklores and superstitions that have crossed the years. Depending on the continent, country, belief and culture, the vampire is described in a different way. He will be, over the decades, in turn a spirit, a demon, a ghost, a possessed, the caller, the hitter, the visitor, the infamous, the nonicide, the nightmare, the strangler, the chewer … Suffice to say that its description varies greatly from one country to another and evolves over the years. Generally speaking, a vampire is an undead who draws his life force by drinking blood from the living, which keeps him from aging. During the day, he sleeps in a coffin preferably placed in a cemetery (this is his territory). After dark, he wakes up to hunt. It has pointed canines which allow it to bite its victims at the level of the neck to empty them of their blood. The vampire has no reflection in a mirror and can be confused in this way. It is vulnerable to sunlight which can even kill it. But this last point is not universal, since some authors portray it as a being who can live in community during the day.

In some legends, when the creature is in its coffin, it chews the cloths buried with it or practices self-chewing, that is to say, it chews its own flesh. In other legends, the vampire also eats human flesh and excrement. In popular folklore, it is described as a swollen being with purplish skin, because of the blood it consumes. At rest, in his coffin, he can ooze blood through the nose and mouth. But conversely, in literature and cinema, he is portrayed as a pale, pale being. For example, the character Dracula from Bram Stoker is first of all an old man who gets younger with his blood meals.

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In addition, the vampire has a number of abilities that make it strong. He is able to hypnotize his victims, he has the gift of seduction, he can read thoughts, he enjoys extraordinary strength, he is extremely fast, he is endowed with excellent night vision and, finally, he can be changed into an animal, especially a wolf (Romanian legend, because in this country the wolf is considered to be a smuggler of souls) and a bat. You should know that in China, a cat’s coat can shelter a vampire and that in the Balkans, a vampire can transform into a butterfly. The vampire becomes more and more powerful with experience and can resist holy water for example. To protect themselves from it, different methods have been reported throughout myths and peoples. It is said that apotropaic objects, crucifixes, holy water, are used to ward off bad luck and divert evil influences. Likewise, they cannot walk on consecrated ground, such as that of a temple or church, or cross running water. They cannot enter a dwelling without being invited to do so. Vampires are also said to be annoyed by the smell of garlic. In Europe, to protect oneself, one furnished one’s house with branches of rosebush, hawthorn, verbena. In South America, these are the branches of Aloe Vera. In China, to protect themselves from vampires, there were bags of rice on its way, because legend has it that as soon as a vampire crosses a bag of rice, he can not help counting all the grains of rice. He has to count all the grains of rice until the last one. And if his work is not finished at daybreak, he burns on the spot by the sun’s rays.   By definition, a vampire is an undead. We cannot, therefore, kill him since he is already dead. On the other hand, you can give your soul eternal rest using special practices, such as driving a stake in the heart or a nail in the head, dismembering it, burning it …

Most often, the beheaded individual was practiced, especially in Germany and the Slavic countries, where the head was placed between the legs of the dead man. In Europe, the tendons of the dead man's knees were cut to prevent him from rising, or poppy or millet seeds or a sandbag were placed in the grave. Indeed, it was believed that the vampire was forced to count all the seeds as soon as he saw a bag of poppy, millet or rice. Which kept him busy most of the night. Rituals have been reported of nailing the head, body, or clothing of the body to prevent it from rising at night. The gypsies believed that piercing their hearts with a metal bar and placing pieces of iron or hawthorn in their eyes, ears and between their fingers was the best method of preventing a dead person from becoming a vampire. In Romania, the execution of a vampire or "the great repair" as it was called, was to take place at the first light of dawn. A stake had to be planted in the heart all at once, otherwise the vampire could be resurrected.

“Alone. Yes, that’s the key word, the most awful word in the English tongue. Murder doesn’t hold a candle to it and hell is only a poor synonym.”
Stephen King

The Sphinx

The Sphinx is a creature composed of a female bust and a lion body. Depending on places and times, it can also be adorned with eagle wings. It is interesting to note that, depending on the origin that we are considering, we can say either the sphinx or the sphinx. Indeed, among the Greeks, this creature was exclusively female while among the Egyptians, it could be male, female or asexual.
The origin of its name is confused and it is found in several sources: from the ancient Greek Σφίγξ (Sphigx) which means the strangler or from the ancient Egyptian shesepankh which means living statue or even from the Sanskrit sthag which means to conceal.

The version we know the most is the Sphinx presented in Greek mythology. The one who says that this creature would be the sister or the daughter of the Chimera (it depends on the versions) and that it would have been sent by the Gods to punish Thebes. Sitting on a rock of Mount Phicium (or on the ramparts of Thebes), the Sphinx posed to travelers, who passed nearby, an enigma that the Muses had taught him. Those who failed to solve his riddle were immediately killed and devoured. The rest of the time, it ravaged the fields of Boeotia.
The Sphinx was defeated by Oedipus who solved the creature's riddle. Overwhelmed by smarter than she, the Sphinx threw herself from the top of her rock and died.

We all know this riddle:
"Which animal advances on four legs in the morning, on two legs at noon and on three legs in the evening?" "

That was the mainstream version of the Sphinx, the best known.
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In Egyptian mythology, the Sphinx is a complex figure.

First of all, it should be known that the Egyptian sphinx could take several different forms: on a body of a lion without wings, one had a head either of falcon, or of ram, or of human (of pharaoh, more precisely). At first, the sphnix had the function of guardians of the necropolis, preventing the dead from leaving it - this is why there is one at the entrance to the Giza plateau. He was also the symbol of divine strength and justice. Some legends also say that this creature could cause tornadoes of sand destroying the villages which were in its way and its howling punctured the eardrums of the one who heard it. Then, the association of these two animals (lion and man / falcon / ram) symbolized the union of the solar god Ra (by the body of the lion) and the pharaoh. This creature therefore embodied the sovereign power of the king. However, it was not until the New Kingdom (from -1580 to -1085) that the sphinx became the symbol of the god Harmakhis, "Horus in the Horizon", that is to say the god of the dawn and dusk. He is the personification of the royal function of divine origin, the sun lighting and invigorating the world. It was also during this period that the aisles of the temples were populated with sphinxes, still considered to be the protectors of the temples and the dead.
Another interpretation that I like very much is that given by Pliny the Elder who claims that the sphinxes were especially numerous in the regions flooded by the Nile and served to mark the annual height of the waters and the difference of the floods: they would thus were symbols of the power of the waters. To this explanation is attached a figure of a sphinx with the head of a virgin and human hands surmounted by the sacred bird with extended wings, in front of him Osiris with the symbolic hairstyle and in his hand an aged cross (in the shape of a key opening the locks of the canals of the Nile). We sometimes divide the sphinxes into masculine and feminine, the latter being related to the flood season of the Nile which takes place between the sign of Leo and that of Virgo (which would explain the two aspects of the sphinxes). The female sphinxes would be the oldest and would have been replaced then by the male sphinxes which had taken the sense of wisdom, force, perfection. However, I would like to raise one last thing: around the 5th century BC in Greece, the Sphinx was very often associated with funerary art, assimilated to a ravishing demon, a genius of death. Like other hybrid creatures from the Orient (mermaids, griffins), it was imbued with sacred power. At the beginning of the 5th century, on red-figure vases, a new type of iconography appeared: the Sphinx takes its victim to the air, in accordance with the text of Euripides in the Phoenicians. This theme of the funeral transport adopted by the painters made the Sphinx pass from the role of evil demon to that of the protective genius, watching over the dead regaining its original symbolism as protector of the dead. In the Greek tragedy, the Sphinx was more often portrayed as a symbol of death rather than a carnivorous monster. This funeral function was taken up by the painters of vases but also by the stone sculptors and the modelers of terracotta statuettes. The figure of the Sphinx will gradually become a decorative evocation of death and will be frequently used as an ornament on funerary monuments.

“The symbology of the sphinx… is to remind mankind for eternity that he is nothing more than an animal with a brain.” Milton William Cooper

The unicorn

Reputed to be able to live up to a thousand years, it is often portrayed as being a slender white horse, sporting a spiral horn on its forehead ...

The Unicorn, could be translated as "who has only one horn" or unicorn.

Reputedly immortal - well, almost! -, the Unicorn is often presented in the form of a graceful white horse, with similarities to the body of the goat or the deer, with split hooves, whose forehead is adorned with a long, often gilded twisted horn with the property of neutralizing poisons: which allows it to separate the righteous from those who have something to blame themselves for.

Symbol of spiritual fertility embodying the penetration of the divine in the creature, the Unicorn - or Unicorn - is an emblem of chastity, purity of soul, honest and pure love. However, except in exceptional cases, Unicorns avoid frequenting humans: as long as they are not sure of being welcomed; because being fragile and fearful, indifference is enough to hurt them and even banish or kill them. Wild and robust, symbol of power, strength, splendor, beauty, nobility and longevity, she is gifted with the mysterious power to detect the impure. Nevertheless inclined to sacrifice himself for Men if necessary, this mythical creature is reputed to protect the righteous, to bring a great chance, and to carry out the desires of the heart or even sometimes, by working miracles. Legendary, the Unicorn is often depicted in medieval bestiaries (collections of fables) as being a slender white horse, sporting a spiral horn on its forehead, and which can live up to a thousand years. However, her appearance and personality sometimes differ, depending on the region of the world where she is believed to have been seen. Thus, in the West, it is often described as being wild and indomitable; while in the East, it was said that it was a peaceful and gentle animal, which brought good fortune. Legend also says that it was the mount of the gods; and that there were herds of unicorns that lived in the enchanted forest and that sometimes  some allowed themselves to be domesticated by princesses or fairies. Wild and fierce if attacked, the unicorn sometimes gets caught in the trap of love.
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In addition, according to certain accounts, the horn of the Unicorn was reputed to have sometimes healing, sometimes magical properties. An old legend from India says that the unicorn is endowed with a magic power: since its horn separates polluted waters and detects poisons; and that it purifies the water points infested by vermin and snakes. This is undoubtedly why it is said that a unicorn which dipped its horn in a pond of poisoned water immediately purified it; or that the powder of this horn, serving as an antidote, protected against poison and cured many diseases; when sometimes even she could raise the dead. Some legends – no doubt stimulated by greed – even claim that a precious jewel – a ruby, it is said – was hidden under the horn. No wonder many wanted to appropriate it … even if it meant killing the creature to do so; for the unicorn cannot be captured alive without offering fierce resistance: hence its aura of strength and power. Obviously, the Unicorn fought violently for its life and against the wickedness of the men who hunted it and wished to capture it. Nevertheless, various legends say that the Unicorn could be tamed and made docile by the contact of pure love. Thus, various legends say that a pure young woman goes into the woods and sits naked under a tree, to amaze the unicorn by its purity and beauty. Since she is attracted to purity, the Unicorn cannot resist the call of pure love and soon, obediently lays her head on the virgin’s lap. The latter, a traitorous virgin, then sings to put her to sleep; then slips a gold bridle over her head. Once the Unicorn is tamed, the hunters then arise to capture it and unfortunately also, to pierce the side of their spear and shoot it down by greed.

In fact, anyone can approach a Unicorn if they wish. Whether male, female or child. Just get in touch with the Unicorn, for a friendly and disinterested purpose. Unicorns are able to know who can approach them and who they should flee from, since they read in dreams and thoughts. So that's actually why Unicorns are said to be elusive. Because in fact, even if well-intentioned, most humans who try to come into contact with a Unicorn do so with a little ulterior motive: either material - for example, to steal part of them 'themselves, like their "magic horn"; or their horsehair, which says we go into making magic wands -; either spiritual - for example, to prove to other humans their existence; or to request that a wish be fulfilled. Be aware, however, that only those who expect nothing in return and who make contact without ulterior motive, with pure intentions, can gain their trust and thus tame them.

Anyway, it seems that disillusioned by the cruelty and indifference of Man, the Unicorn finally made the choice to leave planet Earth a long time ago. She now lives in a small corner of the universe. But it nevertheless seems that she remains attentive to pure-hearted beings; and that she sometimes agrees to help some of them fulfill their wishes. If I have, in a way, left planet Earth. I remain however very attached to the quality of a relationship, and I sincerely welcome everything to be true in my universe, just as I am ready to share his in all sincerity. This legend may seem childish, utopian or downright illusory, but in each legend there is a basis of truth. Sometimes it takes a little persistence and a lot of love to believe it.

“Sometimes we all need a unicorn to believe in. Sometimes we need a unicorn to believe in us.”
Claudia Bakker

The Chimera


The Chimera is a monster from Greek mythology. She was born from the union between Echidna and Typhon which is the sister of Cerbère, the Sphinx, the harpies and the Hydra of Lerne. She was killed by Bellérophon. The Chimera is a creature composed of a lion, for the front half of its body, a goat, for the rear half, and a snake tail. It is a female monster spitting flames. Some versions speak of a dragon tail, but be aware that among the Greeks, dragons were large divine snakes (such as Python, Ladon or Lernaean Hydra).

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Like the phoenix, the meaning and symbolism of the chimera have changed over time. First of all, the Chimera is made up of 3 animals with strong symbolism, but above all opposite. Thus, if the lion which constitutes it represents, on the one hand, royalty, power, courage, generosity, nobility and strength, on the other hand, it is the symbol of cruelty and ferocity. As for the goat, it can be symbolically compared either to the cow, emblem of the benevolent mother, or to the goat, representing a lecherous and libidinous behavior. And finally, the snake which is an ambivalent symbol among the Greeks of Antiquity since it is guardian of the divine goods (like Python which protected the oracle of Delphes or Ladon which protected the golden apples of the garden of the Hesperides), but it is also attributed a treacherous and cunning character.

When we know that the Chimera was considered a pest: it ravaged the lands of Lycia by fire at the foot of Mount Chimera (currently called Yanartaş), we therefore consider that this monster is a summary of cruelty, lustful thoughts and perfidy. The Chimera therefore represented the vices that the Greeks despised the most.

In the 19th century, the Chimera became a very complex allegory of imaginary, even dreamlike creations, coming from the depths of the unconscious, representing unfulfilled desires, sources of frustrations and later of pain. The chimera gains a dimension: it becomes metaphysical.

And a last one for the road: according to Robert Graves (British poet and novelist of the 19th century), the Chimera is the representation of the 3 ages of a woman and her defeat against Bellérophon, is an allegory of the forfeiture of the matriarchy which had prevailed before the arrival of the Achaean patriarchate. On the one hand, the 3 animals that make up the Chimera represent puberty (the proud and powerful lion), maturity (the maternal and benevolent goat) and menopause (the wise serpent and guardian of knowledge). And on the other hand, we also attributed to these same animals the 3 seasons of the year: spring for the lion, summer for the goat and winter for the snake. The assembly of these three elements of the understanding of time and nature symbolized the passing life, life in its course: the Mother Goddess in her accomplishment. The legend according to which she was killed means the abandonment of her worship and her prerogatives, replaced by those of the new male gods. His capacity to spit fire corresponds to the respect which was due to him and which, if you disobeyed him, would kindle you. The symbol of the serpent is found in the Genesis of the Bible as a feminine and harmful symbol; and in the Christian religion we still give the Virgin the power to dominate her serpent. It is interesting to note that, in ancient times, the snake was the symbol of an age, a time of year, it became a phallic symbol in patriarchal society.

« No man ever freely surrendered a portion of his own liberty for the sake of the public good; such a Chimera appears only in fiction. If it were possible, we would each prefer that the pacts binding others did not bind us; every man sees himself as the center of all the worlds affairs. » Cesare Beccaria

Dragons

Dragons are among the most popular and enduring of the world’s mythological creatures.

Dragon tales are known in many cultures, from the Americas to Europe, and from India to China. They have a long and rich history in many forms and continue to populate our books, films and television shows.

It’s not clear when or where stories of dragons first emerged, but the huge, flying serpents were described at least as early as the age of the ancient Greeks and Sumerians. For much of history dragons were thought of as being like any other mythical animal: sometimes useful and protective, other times harmful and dangerous.

That changed when Christianity spread across the world; dragons took on a decidedly sinister interpretation and came to represent Satan. In medieval times, most people who heard anything about dragons knew them from the Bible, and it’s likely that most Christians at the time believed in the literal existence of dragons. After all, Leviathan — the massive monster described in detail in the Book of Job, chapter 41 — sounds like a dragon:

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« Its back has rows of shields tightly sealed together; each is so close to the next that no air can pass between. They are joined fast to one another; they cling together and cannot be parted. Its snorting throws out flashes of light; its eyes are like the rays of dawn. Flames stream from its mouth; sparks of fire shoot out. Smoke pours from its nostrils as from a boiling pot over burning reeds. Its breath sets coals ablaze, and flames dart from its mouth. »

The belief in dragons was based not just in legend but also in hard evidence, or at least that’s what people thought, long ago. For millennia no one knew what to make of the giant bones that were occasionally unearthed around the globe, and dragons seemed a logical choice for people who had no knowledge of dinosaurs

Though most people can easily picture a dragon, people’s ideas and descriptions of dragons vary dramatically. Some dragons have wings; others don’t. Some dragons can speak or breathe fire; others can’t. Some are only a few feet long; others span miles. Some dragons live in palaces under the ocean, while others can only be found in caves and inside mountains.

As folklorist Carol Rose discusses in her book « Giants, Monsters, & Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend, and Myth » (Norton, 2001), dragons « have composite features from many other beasts, such as the head of an elephant in India, that of a lion or bird of prey in the Middle East, or numerous heads of reptiles such as serpents. Their body color may range from green, red, and black to unusually yellow, blue or white dragons. »

Zoologist Karl Shuker describes a wide variety of dragons in his book « Dragons: A Natural History » (Simon & Schuster, 1995), including giant snakes, hydras, gargoyles and dragon-gods, and the more obscure variants such as basilisks, wyverns and cockatrices. At its root, the is a chameleon — its features adapting to the cultural and literary expectations of the era.

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Dragons continue to capture the public’s imagination in fantasy books and films, appearing in everything from the kid-friendly 2010 film « How to Train Your Dragon, » to the more adult-oriented « Game of Thrones » books and TV series and « The Hobbit » book and movies. The popular role-playing game Advanced Dungeons and Dragons describes more than a dozen varieties of dragons, each with unique personalities, powers and other characteristics (Black dragons, for example, are fond of eels — who knew?).

The word « dragon » comes from the ancient Greek word « draconta, » meaning « to watch, » suggesting that the beast guards treasure, such as mountains of gold coins or gems. But this doesn’t really make sense because a creature as powerful as a dragon surely doesn’t need to pay for anything, right? It’s probably more of a symbolic treasure, not for the hoarding dragon but instead a reward for the brave knights who would vanquish the evil beast.

Dragons are one of the few monsters cast in mythology primarily as a powerful and fearsome opponent to be slain. They don’t simply exist for their own sake; they exist largely as a foil for bold adventurers. Other mythical beasts such as trolls, elves and fairies interact with people (sometimes mischievously, sometimes helpfully) but their main role is not as a combatant.

The Christian church created legends of righteous and godly saints battling and vanquishing Satan in the form of dragons. The most celebrated of these was St. George the Dragon Slayer, who in legend comes upon a town threatened by a terrible dragon. He rescues a fair maiden, protects himself with the sign of the cross, and slays the beast. The town’s citizens, impressed by St. George’s feat of faith and bravery, immediately convert to Christianity.Advertisement

Vanquishing a dragon was not only an important career opportunity for any ambitious saint, knight or hobbit, but according to legend it was also a way to raise armies. As Michael Page and Robert Ingpen note in their « Encyclopedia of Things That Never Were » (Viking Penguin, 1987), « The use of dragon’s teeth provides a simple method of expanding the armed forces of any country. It was first practiced by Cadmus, King of Thebes. First, prepare a piece of ground as though for sowing grain. Next, catch and kill any convenient dragon and draw all its teeth. Sow these in the furrows you have prepared, cover lightly, and stand well away. » Easy, peasy, right?

Scholars believe that the fire-breathing element of dragons came from medieval depictions of the mouth of hell; for example, art by Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch, among others. The entrance to hell was often depicted as a monster’s literal mouth, with the flames and smoke characteristic of Hades belching out. If one believes not only in the literal existence of hell, but also the literal existence of dragons as Satanic, the association is quite logical.

“So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their endings.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Jorogumo (The Whore Spider)

One day a logger was going about his work. Since logging is an exhausting business, seeing as how this was Edo period Japan and the chainsaw hadn’t been invented yet, the man decides to take a short break. He hears the crash of a waterfall nearby, and decides that sitting on the stream bank and watching the waterfall would be a pleasant way to spend his lunch break.

However, no sooner has the man settled himself and unpacked his food than a strange something attaches itself to his foot! Puzzled, the man pulls the stick substance off. He sees that it is something like spider silk. He sticks the stuff to a nearby log. A moment later, the log goes zipping across the stream bank, only to disappear beneath the churning waters of the waterfall. Not a little spooked, our logger decides it’s best to take his lunch break elsewhere and he beats a hasty retreat back into the woods.

Our nameless logger might not know it, but he’s just had an encounter with a Jorogumo, whose name translates to either ‘binding bride’ or ‘whore spider’. Jorogumo are said to come to be when a spider, most often a species of orb-weaver, comes to be 400 years old. On its 400th birthday, the spider gains strange powers and becomes the size of a cow. It can then change its shape to a beautiful woman. It uses this shape and its skill at playing biwa (where it learned to play is a mystery–presumably spiders are all music majors?) to lure victims into its traps, where it then binds their feet and stores them away for later feeding.

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The story told above contains the basics of the typical Jorogumo story. The creatures are often, but not exclusively, associated with waterfalls. Many times they are considered malevolent, but in Kashikobuchi, a Jorogumo is worshiped as a protective spirit who saves people from drowning.

Jorogumo appears in stories from the Edo period. Today, the ‘whore spider’ makes appearances in stories, video games, and anime.

“Real things in the darkness seem no realer than dreams.”
― Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji

Le Gryphon

The griffin appears in, with a lion body, an eagle's head and wings. Throughout its ancient history, this primary form continues to be nuanced by various iconographic contributions, notably in Mesopotamian, Greek and then Roman cultures.

The griffin or grype is a fantastic creature present in several ancient cultures. He appeared to Elam at the end of the 4th millennium BC. AD and in Egypt around 3000 BC. Represented as being half-lion, half-eagle, the griffin was a formidable and formidable predator, largely more powerful than the two animals composing its anatomy. He did have the lion's tail and body, armed with powerful legs, but was eight times the size. Its body had large wings, similar to those of an eagle, but with a force a hundred times greater. He also had the head of a bird of prey equipped with a powerful and sharp beak, with which he could shred the huge prey he captured.

With variations sometimes the griffin will keep from all time the recognizable characteristic of being hieracocephalic (family of mythical creatures of ancient Egypt).

Living in the mountains, it watched the ground from the air before quickly melting on its prey, which could be very large. Legends say that he could capture a horse and its rider, or even a pair of harnessed oxen. In another version, however, it inhabits a desert rich in gold, which it uses to make its nest.

Greek mythology says that Nemesis, the dreaded goddess of vengeance, used a cart pulled by griffins as a means of transport. This creature was so feared and respected that the parts of its body were considered as talismans which made stronger and attracted good fortune.

These greenhouses, as big as bull's horns, turn black on contact with poison. In fact, it was not uncommon in the Middle Ages for mammoth tusks or antelope horns to be sold to wealthy and naive figures as griffin claws.

“Kings of the land and the sky we are; proud gryphons.” Stalker stands, the epitome of pride. Naked and muscular, his wings widen and his feet dig in as if he alone holds down the earth and supports the heavens, keeping the two ever separate.”
― Elizabeth Munro, Wingspan

Kelpies

Kelpies are aquatic beings living in rivers and in Scottish lochs. These watches have the ability to transform and appear to men and children in different ways. They can transform into women or black horses to lure men into the water. Once in the water, the beast drowns its prey. We can’t escape him! One of Scotland’s best known Kelpies is of course the Loch Ness Monster.

A Scottish legend tells the story of the Loch Garve kelpie who lived deep in the water with his wife. He liked to find his element and his damp and cold lair hidden from the eyes of mortals after his travels on earth. However, his wife was not happy to feel this terrible cold constantly at the bottom of the loch, and she trembled endlessly in this miserable and dark lair. At first, the kelpie did not care, but seeing his wife more and more unhappy and fearing that she could leave him, he thought for a long time and went to the ground the next day before turning into a superb black stallion, as most kelpies know how to do. He went to the cottage of a famous human builder and wandered until the man came out. Seeing this handsome black stallion standing in front of him, the man ignored all the warnings about the water horses and climbed on his back. Immediately, he was blocked and unable to get out, the kelpie galloped at full speed towards the log with the terrified man. It plunged into the black, icy waters, its tail beating the surface with a thunderous sound. The builder said a prayer when he saw the dark background approaching the loch, but for some strange reason he did not drown. When they got to the bottom, the kelpie let his rider down to explain the situation to him, and he promised not to harm the builder or his family in return for his services, he would even provide him with as much fish as they needed. Until their death.

The builder accepted the agreement with the kelpie, he built a large and magnificent chimney, more beautiful than any mortal will ever see with his eyes. The large chimney passed through the dark waters to the surface, far from the den of the kelpies. His work finished, he lit a fire which gently warmed the submerged house. When the kelpie saw his wife’s face radiate with happiness, he knew that the human had done his share of the work, and much more.

He took him on his back for the way back through the darkness and the icy waters, and brought him back to his house as if nothing had happened overnight. Indeed, time passes differently in the world of men and that of the fairies. True to his word, the kelpie never forgot the work of the craftsman because he and his family always had fish on their table and lived like kings. As for the kelpie and his wife, even when the log freezes in the middle of winter, there is still to this day a small patch of water that never freezes, thanks to the fire that always burns happily in the lair of the kelpie and his wife

“No mortal ear could have heard the kelpie passing through the night, for the great black hooves of it were as soundless in their stride as feathers falling.”
― Mollie Hunter, The Kelpie’s Pearls

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