Category Archives: Mythology

From the Three Graces to the Three Fates to the Three Furies,

Cumaean Sibyl

Cumaean Sibyl by MICHELANGELO BuonarrotiIn ancient times a prophetess who, in a state of ecstasy and under influence of Apollo, prophesized without being consulted. Famous Sibyls are the Cumaean Sibyl and the Erythraean Sibyl, who revealed to Alexander the Great his divine descent.

The Cumaean Sibyl was the earliest of the Sibyls. She was believed to have come from the rest, and resided at Cumae. She owned, according to tradition, nine books of prophecies. When the Roman king Targuin (Tarquinius Priscus) wanted to buy those books he thought the price she asked far too high. The Sibyl threw three books into the fire and doubled the price; this she did again with the next three books, and the king was forced the buy the remaining three books for a price four times as high as the original nine.

The Cumaean Sibyl resided in a still existing dromos at Cumae near Naples, Italy.

Cepheus

CepheusIn Greek mythology, the name of three different people:

  1. The son of the King Belus (1) of Ethiopia. He is the husband of Cassiopeia and father of Andromeda. His wife boasted that she, or her daughter, were more beautiful than the Nereidsand in revenge Poseidon sent a sea monster to plague his lands. He consulted the oracle of Ammon and was told that the problem would end if he exposed his daughter as prey for the monster. His people forced him to comply with the oracle, and he chained Andromeda to a rock by the sea. She was rescued by Perseus who killed the monster and married the girl.
    After his death Cepheus was placed among the stars.
  2. A son of Aleus and Naeara (or Cleobule). He succeeded his father as the ruler of Tegea in Arcadia. Cepheus was the father of twenty sons and two daughters, but nearly all of his sons perished in an expedition they undertook with Heracles. He was one of the Argonauts and is the reputed founder of Caphyae (Bibliotheke I, 9.16; II, 7.3; III, 9.1; ArgonauticaI, 161; Fabulae 14; Guide to Greece VIII, 8.3, 23.3).
  3. One of the participants in the Calydonian Hunt.

by Micha F. Lindemans

Owain

Owain

by Brian Edward Rise

In history he is known as the son of Urien and a prince of Rheged. Eugenius is the Roman equivalent of his name. He, like his father, fought the Northern Angles towards the end of the sixth century. In a churchyard in Penrith is the so-called Giant’s Grave that was regarded for a long time as his and an elegy on his death was composed by the Welsh bard Taliesin.

He later became a hero of Welsh legend. He was pulled into Arthurian saga anachronistically, because he was unknown at the time Culwych and Olwen, which never mentions him, was written. This might be the result of brief allusion to him found in Geoffrey of Monmouth. A Welsh triad names his mother as Modron, originally a Celtic goddess. He is a character in The Dream of Rhonabwy and Owain (or The Lady of the Fountain).

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Gwydion

Gwydion

by Karen Davis

Gwydion, one of the nephews of Math ap Mathonwy, and brother of Arianrhod. He contrived Gilfaethwy’s rape of the maiden Goewin, Math’s foot holder. He did this by starting a war with Pryderi of Dyfed, stealing his pigs, and thus taking Math away on campaign. But he and Gilfaethwy doubled back and Gwydion forced the other women to leave Goewin with Gilfaethwy, who raped her.

When she confessed this to Math, he levied as punishment on his nephews that they spent three years as animals, Gwydion as a stag, a wild sow, and a wolf, breeding each year with his brother Gilfaethwy who was hind, boar, and she-wolf. They produced three offspring, whom Math made human and raised at his court.

Afterward, they were restored to the court. Gwydion raised Arianrhod’s virgin-born son Llew Llaw Gyffes, winning for him his name and arms by tricking his mother, and created a woman out of flowers to marry him. After that woman, Blodeuwedd, betrayed Llew to his death, Gwydion restored him to life and turned her into an owl.

Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid” (Danish: Den lille havfrue) is a fairy tale by the Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen about a young mermaid willing to give up her life in the sea and her identity as a mermaid to gain a human soul and the love of a human prince.

Written originally as a ballet, the tale was first published in 1837 and has been adapted to various media including musical theatre and animated film.

retold by Robert Hoffman

Big out in the ocean, where the water is as blue as the prettiest cornflower, and as clear as crystal, it is very, very deep; so deep, indeed, that no cable could fathom it: many church steeples, piled one upon another, would not reach from the ground beneath to the surface of the water above. There dwell the Sea King and his subjects. We must not imagine that there is nothing at the bottom of the sea but bare yellow sand. No, indeed; the most singular flowers and plants grow there; the leaves and stems of which are so pliant, that the slightest agitation of the water causes them to stir as if they had life.

Fishes, both large and small, glide between the branches, as birds fly among the trees here upon land. In the deepest spot of all, stands the castle of the Sea King. Its walls are built of coral, and the long, gothic windows are of the clearest amber. The roof is formed of shells, that open and close as the water flows over them. Their appearance is very beautiful, for in each lies a glittering pearl, which would be fit for the diadem of a queen.

 

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Kun-lun

by Micha F. Lindemans
Kun LunA mountain range in Western China, believed to be a Taoist paradise. It is one of the ten continents and three islands in Taoist cosmology, and is said to be three (or nine) stories high. Whoever manages to climb to the top gains access to the heavens. It also extends three (or nine) stories below the Earth, thereby connecting the subterranean watery realm of the dead with the realm of the gods.

The first to visit this paradise was King Mu of Zhou. He discovered there the palace of Huang-di and erected a stone memorial. He was then received by the goddess Xi Wang-mu, the Royal Mother of the West, who has her abode in these mountains. The lakes found in the parks of Kun-lun City are plenished by yellow water known as cinnabar (tan). Whoever drinks it becomes immortal.