May242012

i’ve been awful about posting lately

But that’s because real life got in the way and i was honestly just too stressed out by the time the weekend came around to feel up to any kind of responsible obligation. And now my books are all packed up for my move in the next few months. I wanted to catch up with season 2 before the next season started, but it looks like the planned hiatus i was gonna take when i did is happening now. I’ll be back once i get settled into my new space. In the meantime, enjoy what i’ve gotten up so far or read up on one of the recommended books(i highly suggest through the faerie glass).

March262012

Ogre and Batibat

Ogre

Ogres are large—but not quite giant—creatures who feast on humans. As men they are usually very hairy, and are always very muscular and strong.

further reading:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogre

Giants, Monsters, and Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend, and Myth by Carol Rose

Batibat

In the Philippines, the batibat is a form of tree spirit, usually manifesting as a large woman. They do not often come into contact with people unless the tree in which they live is cut down and used for building. The Batibat will then live in the holes in the wood used to build houses. If a person sleeps near the post in which the batibat now lives, she will sit on his chest and suffocate them. To awaken from this nightmare, one can bite their thumb or wiggle their toes.

It is interesting to note that this general description of a woman sitting on your chest and suffocating you has come up before in cultures all around the world. The succubus myth itself ties into this, but we know it now—in the West at least—as old hag syndrome, or the night hag.

further reading:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batibat

March192012

uh…sorry guys

i forgot to post anything this weekend because mass effect 3 took over my life.  i’ll be back next weekend with more.

March112012

Boraro and Gama-Sennin

Boraro

Boraro are forest spirits of the upper Amazon. They appear as large, pale, hairy-chested, incredibly well-endowed men. Like a lot of other forest spirits, when they manifest corporeally, they have no knees and their feet face backwards. So if you’re ever attacked by a boraro(or some other forest spirit), knock them over and run like hell because it takes quite a while to stand back up with no knees and backwards feet.

further reading:

http://www.godchecker.com/BORARO

Gama-Sennin

Sennin is a Japanese word “borrowed” from the Chinese word xian that means immortal. Sennin is often used in character names; gama-sennin was a Japanese toad immortal based on the Chinese myth of Liu Hai.

Further reading:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sennin

March52012

Selkie and Bunyip

Selkie

Selkies are a kind of shape-shifting fae similar to mermaids, who live in the sea. They are said to live particularly in the waters around the Orkney and Shetland Islands in Scotland, but also other islands in the Northeastern Atlantic and Norwegian Sea. Selkies wear a seal skin when they are at home in the water. If they choose to come ashore in human form they must remove their seal skin. Like all fae they are preternaturally beautiful and often take human spouses. But these marriages always last only briefly, long enough to produce a child before the selkie returns to the sea, never to return, often taking the child with them.

One famous tale of a selkie marriage says that the woman came ashore, whereupon a man finds her seal skin and hides it, preventing her from ever leaving and forcing her to be his wife. They had a child and one day the child finds what she takes for an old leather coat in a trunk or a cabinet. The child asks its mother why father has an old leather coat hidden away. Having finally found her seal skin, the selkie dons her coat and returns to the sea.

Selkie men are equally attractive and often take to the land to seduce unhappy or unsatisfied women, unmarried and married alike. One tale tells of the selkie king taking a human wife who bears him a son. He has prophesied to her that one day he will take his son with him back to the sea where a seal hunter will kill the both of them. Not believing his vision, the woman marries him and events happen as foretold. But what the selkie king had left out was that the seal hunter was the woman’s new lover.

further reading:

Through the Faerie Glass by Kenny Klein

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selkie

http://www.orkneyjar.com/folklore/selkiefolk/

Bunyip

Bunyips are water-dwelling creatures from Australia. Descriptions vary from a cat-like creature to a maned serpent-like being, but they all conclude that the animal is very large and semi-aquatic, preferring the water but coming onto the shore at times.

1848 drawing of an Aboriginal carving

The Aborigine believe the bunyip is a dreamtime spirit punishing those who do wrong by devouring them and will avoid water sources where bunyip have been reported. As Europeans began to settle the country, they also reported sightings of the animal, lending credence to the possibility that the bunyip may be a cryptozoological creature and not a mystical being.

Either way, Australia has embraced the animal and added it(in several artistic expressions) on a stamp.

further reading:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bunyip

http://www.skepdic.com/bunyips.html

Giants, Monsters, and Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend, and Myth by Carol Rose

February292012

Leanan sídhe and Cyclops

Leanan sídhe

Leanan sidhe are parasitic dark muses. Beautiful in appearance they will take human lovers, often met(not always by chance) near water. Being more beautiful than any mortal woman(or less often, man), the lowly artist who has retreated to the woods in search of inspiration is happy to fall in love with the leanan sidhe. The leanan sidhe gives inspiration, talent, and success to the human. But like all fae gifts, they do not come without a price and are always a trade. In exchange for inspiration, the leanan sidhe drains the life from her(or his) human lover. They always die young or are driven insane.

further reading:

http://grovesofannwyn.tripod.com/TypesOf.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leanan_s%C3%ADdhe

Cyclops

The cyclopes were giants with a single eye in the center of their foreheads.

The original cyclopes were spawned from the union of Uranus and Gaia, and were Brontes—thunderer, Steropes—flasher, and Arges—brightener. Uranus despised all of his children, and locked them away deep inside the earth. The titan Cronus freed them during his battle against his father, Uranus. But just as Uranus had feared his children would overthrow him, Cronus feared the same. The one of his offspring his wife spirited away, Zeus released the cyclopes from Tartarus, where Cronus had imprisoned them. Zeus’ actions were not altruistic, for the cyclopes were inventive folk and Zeus wanted their help. Disillusioned by their exile to hell, they aided Zeus in his war against the titans by supplying him with his thunderbolts, his brother Hades with his helmet of invisibility, and his other brother Poseidon with his trident. With these weapons, the Olympians were able to successfully defeat the titans. In gratitude for their assistance, Zeus let the cyclopes live on Olympus as his guards and attendants to Hephaestus. Until Apollo killed them. Apollo’s son, Asclepius—god of healing—rose a human from death. Zeus struck him down with his thunderbolt. Apollo, angry about the loss of his son, killed the three cyclopes who had forged the bolts.

The second generation of cyclopes were born to Poseidon. It’s this group that the most famous cyclops was part of: Polyphemus. Polyphemus lived in Sicily where he and the other cyclopes tended flocks of sheep. During his long trek back home, Odysseus landed on Sicily. Polyphemus trapped Odysseus and a group of his men in a cave when he led his sheep into the cavern for the night and blocked the entrance with a boulder. Upon discovering he had men in the cave as well, Polyphemus ate a few of them. The next night, Odysseus tricked Polyphemus into drinking himself into a stupor. Odysseus and his men blinded Polyphemus with a red hot stick.

In an attempt to keep the men inside the cave while he let his sheep out to pasture every morning, Polyphemus would run his hand over the coats over each animal as it left. Odysseus and his men bound themselves to the underside of the sheep and were let outside the cave undetected. But not for long, Polyphemus realized he had been fooled. As Odysseus sailed off, Polyphemus threw boulders toward him and cried for Poseidon to avenge his wounds.

Of course, modern scholars and scientists don’t believe cyclopes ever existed and that they were a myth created to explain the discoveries of mastodon skulls, which viewed from the front appear to have one large eye socket in the center of their heads. This is of course actually the nasal cavity and the eye sockets are located on the sides of the head.

further reading:

http://www.pantheon.org/articles/c/cyclopes.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclops

Classical Mythology: A Guide to the Mythical World of the Greeks and Romans by William Hansen

The Encyclopedia of Mythology: Gods, Heroes, and Legends of the Greeks and Romans by Eric Flaum

February272012

Domovoi and Mongolian Death Worm

Domovoi

Domovye(the plural form) are Russian house spirits who watch over the home and those who live within. They appear to look like small, old men, with varying degrees of hair covering their faces and bodies. They can also take on the appearance of the master of the house, performing chores in his guise.

They are, characteristic of nearly all fae, mischievous by nature as well. But as long as it is treated well, with respect, and not neglected or taken advantage of they will return the kindness. A domovoi could be appeased by leaving out food, particular salted bread.

His behavior could also foretell the future, pulling hair to warn of a dangerous man, howling if trouble was on the way, showing himself would signify death, and laughing would obviously mean good things were coming.

further reading:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domovoi

http://englishrussia.com/2009/07/29/russian-folklore-spirits-domovoy-video/

http://www.pantheon.org/articles/d/domovoi.html

Mongolian Death Worm

The Mongolian death worm is the first fae that isn’t a fae, not really at least, it’s actually a cryptozoological creature. It’s a large, fat segmented worm about 4-5 feet in length and a dark red color. It burrows into the sands of the Gobi Desert leaving it’s multi-spiked tailout of the ground. Any unfortunate souls who stumble across it will be electrocuted by its touch. If the worm buries itself tail down, it will spit poison or acid from it’s mouth so toxic that it kills almost instantly.

further reading:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongolian_death_worm

February222012

Brownie and Baku

Brownie

Brownies were three foot tall elfin figures who would attach themselves to a household, or a specific person in a household. They dressed all in brown, though were rarely seen. At night, they would gladly finish any chores left undone at the end of the day. Giving money for their work was considered insulting, but one was expected to leave gifts for them; milk, honey, and sweet cakes were among their favorites.

While they enjoyed doing chores, if they felt they were being taken advantage of their attitude would change. They would become mischievous pranksters tormenting the people in the house. If this transformation occurred, they were now called boggarts.

further reading:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brownie_%28folklore%29

http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/tfm/tfm130.htm

Baku

The Japanese baku originates in Chinese folklore. It had the trunk of an elephant(or a tapir), legs of a tiger, the body of a horse, the tail of an ox, and the head of a lion. The baku was a shy creature who would devour nightmares to ensure a pleasant morning. To call the baku, one only had to say “devour them, o baku.”

further reading:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baku_%28spirit%29

February192012

Tesso and Nain Rouge

Tesso

The tesso is less a race and more an individual, transformed by anger and a drive for vengeance.

Unlike most other fae, this one is tied to a specific location and person; a monk named Raigo at the Mii-Dera monastery.

In the late Heian Dynasty, the Emporer Shirakawa found himself heirless so he went to the Mii-Dera monastery to have the monks pray for a child. In return for his constant prayers, Shirakawa promised Raigo one desire. When his son, Taruhito, was born, Shirakwa returned to fulfill his promise. Raigo asked for a monastery of his own where he could teach new monks.

The notorious rivals of the Enriyaku-ji monastery used their political influence to ensure that Raigo’s monastery was never built. In anger, Raigo went on a hunger strike that ended up killing him. But as Raigo died, Tesso was created.

Tesso lorded over the rats of the land and with his rodent army, assaulted the Enriyaku-ji monastery, destroying everything they came across.

further reading:

http://totaljapandemonium.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/the-yokai-files-raigotesso-the-iron-rat/

Nain Rouge

The nain rouge, or red dwarf(or gnome) originates from the Normandy region of France. He was said to haunt standing stones and dolmens, the scratches on these stones often attributed to him. His nails bore long feline-like claws and was said to have satyr legs.

It now seems to live in Detroit where his appearance is thought of as a harbinger of doom.

further reading:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nain_Rouge

February12012

Season 1 Recap

One entry to cover some of the fae who do have real world roots, but not enough information to write an individiual post.

Djieiene

Seneca Indian mythological creature in the form of a giant spider.

Goblin

A kind of elf-like creature, not very attractive, who worked as slaves to witches or sorcerers. Now though, the term goblin is applied more liberally to malicious faeries.

further reading:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goblin

Redcap

A malevolent type of dwarf who resides mostly in ruined castles. They earn their name by their prominent red caps, dyed with the blood of their victims.

further reading:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redcap

Kirin

A kind of Japanese(qi’lin in Chinese) unicorn. The have either a single horn or a pair of antlers, with the head of a dragon and the body of a deer covered in scales, hooves of a horse, and the tail of ox. In art they often seem to be on fire.

further reading:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qilin

Lightning Bird

The lightning bird exists in the South African tribes, namely the Zulu, Pondo, and Xhosa. A human sized black and white bird, sometimes said to have colorful iridescent feathers. They conjured lightning with their wings and talons. They were known to transform into men and seduce women, who they then killed. The only way to defeat a lightning bird, or impundulu, is to attack at the precise moment they strike lightning. Their eggs and fat are sought after to create cures for diseases.

further reading:

http://www.mythicalcreatureslist.com/mythical-creature/Impundulu

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightning_Bird

Landvaettir

Protection spirits of the land. In Iceland you were to remove the dragon-prow of your ship before landing so as not to frighten away the land wight.

further reading:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landv%C3%A6ttir

Norns

The Norns were the guardians of fate and destiny. The three main Norns lived at the base of the world tree Yggdrasil, gathering water from the Well of Urd(well of fate) to nourish the tree every day. These three were named Urd, Verdandi, and Skuld. There were many other Norns, both malevolent and benevolent, who were responsible for bad and good acts respectively.

The main Norns are similar to the Greek Moirae and the Roman Parcae, both known in English as Fates.

further reading:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norns

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moirai

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parcae

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