The Mystery of the Unicorn
: The Unicorn is one of the most mysterious of all animals. It has been
glorified in folk tales, songs, poems, and stories for centuries; and it
remains one of the great "unsolved mysteries" of the world. Despite the widely
held belief in its existence, it has not been seen in centuries ; and the
popular Eastern image from Chinese folklore is very different from the
familiar Western image of a white horse-like creature. The only consistent
fact is that a Unicorn has a single horn in the middle of its forehead. For
true believers, the fact that it no longer exists only adds to the mystique;
placing it in the same realm as the dinosaurs, the mammoth, and possibly such
unknown creatures as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. Others believe the
Unicorn still exists in remote regions and can be discovered only by those of
exceptional virtue and honesty. In the meantime, we can marvel at its beauty
and pay tribute to its unique place in the culture and history of the world.
The Eastern Unicorn:
The Unicorn has existed in Chinese mythology for
thousands of years. It appears in many different forms, but the most familiar
is a beast with the body of a deer, the tail of an ox, the hooves of a horse,
and a single short horn growing out of the middle of its forehead. The hair on
its back is five-colored to represent the five sacred Chinese colors: red,
yellow, blue, white, and black. The hair on its belly is yellow. In some
accounts, it has green scales like a dragon. The Chinese Unicorn is known as
Kilin (pronounced chee-lin), which is a combination of both Ki, the male
Unicorn, and Lin, the female Unicorn. It is careful not to tread on even the
tiniest living thing and will eat only plant life that is no longer living. It
lives for 1,000 years. The Kilin is said to spring from the earth and is
revered as one of the four superior animals of good omen (together with the
phoenix, the dragon, and the tortoise) that foretell future events and
represent the basic elements of life...
The mermaid and merman legends
begin with the worship of gods as have many mythologies. This information has
been divided into three different categories to help save time in your browsing
and to establish simple guidelines to see different periods in the mythology of
mermaids. The earliest representations and descriptions of these now well known
creatures can be traced back as far as the eighth century BC. .
three stages of mermaid mythology: Merfolk as Gods
:- a look at the birth of the mermaid mythology and how it began as pagan water
deities and supernatural female water beings. Merfolk and Christianity :- the role of the mermaid mythology changed significantly with the growth of the
Chirstian Church, this is a look at how and why the myth survived when so many
other pagan deities didn't and what the new role of the mermaid was. Merfolk and the
Rise of Science:- for a long time the mermaid was believed to have existed
even by educated men, with the rise of science and the Enlightenment the tides
turned back to try and disprove the existence of such a creature as the mermaid.
This being done the role of mermaids changed yet again.
were known to worship a sea-god called Oannes, or Ea. Oannes was
reputed to have risen from the Erythrean Sea and taught to man the arts and
sciences. In the Louvre today can be seen an eighth century wall-scene depicting
Oannes as a merman, with the fish-like tail and the upper body of a man.
Syrians and the Philistines
were also known to have worshipped a
Semitic mermaid moon-goddess. The Syrians called her Atargatis while the
Philistines knew her as Derceto. It is not unusual or surprising that
this moon-goddess was depicted as a mermaid as the tides ebbed and flowed with
the moon then as it does now and this was incorporated into the god-like
personifications that we find in their art and the ancient literature. Atargatis
is one of the first recorded mermaids and the legend says that her child
Semiramis was a normal human and because of this Atargatis was ashamed and
killed her lover. Abandoning the infant she became wholly a fish...
Introduction: Are dragons and serpents merely fabrications of
the boundless human imagination, or do they represent something of great
spiritual significance for all cultures?
Many are the fabulous beasts created in the stories by human kind. For thousands
of years, we have told of fantastic creatures of supernatural powers, some of
the forces of good and others of the forces of evil. But of all these
sensational monsters, none has slithered into as many of man's legends than
dragons and serpents.
Dragons and serpents vary in description according to culture, although many
striking features are retained throughout the written, oral and artistic
traditions of the world. They are usually depicted as gigantic snake-like
reptiles, with a long, sinuous body armoured in either green, blue or red
scales. The head is typically massive, with a broad mouth full of enormous,
sharp teeth and a long, forked tongue. The snout is long and sometimes horned;
the eyes are usually very large and cold. Often, these creatures possess long
ears and a frilled neck, resembling either a crest of feathers or webbed skin.
The body itself is usually decorated with an array of small, triangular spines
extending from the head down the back to the long, barbed tail. Dragons normally
posses four, short limbs with long claws, although some serpents have no legs at
all. In some cultures, dragons are also equipped with enormous, bat-like wings;
in others, they have the ability to breathe fire. They can live in mountains,
caves, seas, lakes and even the heavens.
The Dragon of the Orient:
Just as their appearances differ from culture to culture, dragons and serpents
represent many contrasting ideas for different groups of people. Dragons are
perhaps most well recognised in Chinese tradition. The Chinese recognised the
dragon as one of the four sacred creatures to contain all elements of yin and
yang - dark and light - in addition to the Phoenix, the Unicorn and the Turtle.
The Chief of all scaly creatures, the dragon symbolised wisdom, strength,
goodness and the element Water.
From time to time, if you're paying attention to such things or just happen to be in the right place at the right time, you may hear a story that is weird even by weirdness standards. Some years ago, on a pleasant summer evening over a campfire at a state park in South Dakota, a ranger told me that a couple camping there had once made a very strange complaint. They reported, to all appearances seriously, that a strange animal had come tearing into their recreational vehicle and done extensive damage before fleeing. It looked, they said, like something half human and half horse. The ranger didn't tell me if they used the word 'centaur,' butthen he hadn't talked with them personally.
This was just a story that had circulated for some time among park employees. No names and specific dates were attached to it. It was really no more than a local legend. There was no way to know if it was or was not based on an actual claim or incident of some sort. Nonetheless, it was undeniably interesting, and it was good for a chilling sensation down the spine. Too Strange to Believe? Once in a great while stories like this rise into print. Buried somewhere in my files is a short article from a small British Fortean magazine recounting rumors of centaur sightings in rural England. I don't recall that anything was particularly documented or compelling, but if people can see merbeings, asthey used to think they could, I suppose sightings (however one chooses to define that word) of centaurs are at least theoretically possible. If one separates experience from event, which I believe is often the wise course when one hears extraordinary personal claims, centaurs may be experienced, that is, may seem real in memory and testimony, if unprovable elsewhere.In the same way, reports of fairy encounters may seem compelling when they come from persons who to every appearance are sincere and sane, but they ought not to persuade us that we share the world with such entities. Some things seem to be there only as long as you are experiencing them, when they have the resonance even if not the substance of reality, and then they're gone,waiting to. ...