A World of Myths & Legends

     Writing stories steeped in ancient myths & legends are a passion of mine. Recently, I have been asked so many questions about where my ideas come from that I thought it should merit its own page on the website.

 

Myths & Legends From Around the World

 

Ireland

 

 

Dagda (the “good god” or “skillful father god”) – The “good” part of his name refers, not to a moral standpoint, but more to his skill and expertise in all things. He is associated with the magical cauldron from the Otherworld that fed all those who sat at it, except cowards and liars. He also has a club, which has a rough end that kills anyone it touches and a smooth end that brought them back to life, and a harp that played the three strains of music (sleeping, laughing, and weeping), but also brought forth the seasons. He is the god of abundance and fertility. It is his function to fertilize the earth goddesses, and why legends tell of his sexual prowess and over-endowed manhood repeatedly.

 

 

Brighid (Daughter of Dagda) -  A goddess of Inspiration. It was thought, in some legends that the Dagda had three daughters all named Brighid. Other legends speak of the “triple goddess aspect” of Brighid because she is considered the goddess of poetry (and psychic divination), smithcraft (as well as, the craft of magic), and healing (including herbalism and midwives). She is also associated with fire (and the forge) and cattle (a protector of  all animals).


 

When her son, Ruadan was killed in battle her wail of lament became know as keening.

 

 Morrigan (The Phantom Queen) Often depicted with the huge black wings of a crow. She is the goddess of war, of battle, of fury; a bringer of fear and panic, and a prophet—especially when the prophecy speaks of doom or bloodshed. Yet, as the Dagda (the skillful father god) found out to his joy, she also sported a lusty and vigorous sexuality, abundantly willing to share her pleasures with those she deemed worthy, but vicious and unforgiving when spurned.

 

The goddess of the killing rage—one grisly tale recounts how, to whip the warriors of the Tuatha De Danann into a battle frenzy, she slaughtered one of their enemies and filled her hands with his blood, which she then dispersed among her own heroes. A baptism of blood, not for the fainthearted.


 

Naturally, the time of year most sacred to this terrible figure can only e Samhain—the festival of death. The tradition upholds this, for one of the most powerful stories of Irish lore, in which the Phantom Queen enjoys a passionate tryst with the Dagda while standing astride the Unshin River in County Sligo, is set on this sacred day. [excerpts from “Magic of the Celtic Gods and Goddesses” by McColman and Hinds]

 

Badhe – (pronounced “Bav”) Closely associated with the Morrigan, she is one of ancient Ireland’s war furies. Her name means “scald crow” and she was often envisioned as a carrion bird screaming over the battlefield, inciting warriors to provide more meat for her hungry beak. She was also a prophet of doom. [excerpts from “The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore” by Monaghan]

 

Her power on the battlefield is psychological; Badhe doesn’t actually fight on behalf of devotees. Instead, she terrifies, intimidates, and confuses their enemies with her presence.  She may manifest as a woman or a crow and has been seen as a huge crow riding a battle horse. Her appearance in the form of a crow is a harbinger of death. If she manifests as a woman, she may be powerful and beautiful or hag-like and terrifying. [excerpts from “Encyclopedia of spirits” by Illes]

 

 

Amadan – May be the most dreaded of all Sidhe (Shee). He is a shape-shifter. To be touched by Amadan is to be felled by a stroke. Amadan’s stroke is no mild stroke; inevitably it is severe, devastatingly debilitating and resists all manner of healing.

      Amadan injures through touch; his presence alone does not cause harm. His attack doesn’t derive from a casual, careless brush against someone; instead he reaches out and deliberately touches someone, who is then immediately seized with a sudden stroke.

JAPAN

Daikoku - Lord of wealth, food and worldy success, Daikoku pounds out money with his golden mallet. He is the kami of good fortune and abundant harvest, as well as, the guardian of the kitchen. Daikoku is one of the Seven Spirits of Good Fortune and is associated with those, like myself, that are born in the Year of the Rat. He is said to manifest as an always smiling, big, friendly man. Daikoku will appear wearing traditional Japanese robes with a loaded sack over his left shoulder. In his right hand is his golden mallet, which he will shake at those he wishes to bless with luck and prosperity.

Kuchisake-Onna - Her legend may date back as early as 794-1185, but this is subject to debate. In life, she was the beautiful wife or concubine of a very jealous samurai. Doubting her fidelity, he reacted violently, slitting her mouth from ear to ear and then taunting her with the words, "Who will think you're beautiful now?" His words went to her heart and kept her from resting in peace. Her ghost roams on foggy, misty nights and will eventually flag down a passing motorist. When they stop, she asks them, "Do you think I'm beautiful?" At the same time she whips off her mask exposing her horribly disfigured face. If the person panics and runs she will chase them. If she catches her victim, she will attack them with a sharp instrument inflicting injuries similar to her own or killing them.

Bali

Rangda - Queen of witches and lady of the night, she is the goddess of occult power, fertility, and death. Rangda is an angry spirit. She has tusks; big, prominent teeth; and long, pendulous striped breasts. fire spews from her tongue and she has wild, disheveled hair and long claws.