Category Archives: Mythology

IROQUOIS DEITIES: SIX MORE

2 Iroquois confederacyHere’s a look at six more deities of the various tribes in the Iroquois Confederation.

6. SHAGODIAQDANE – The Iroquois goddess of the summer. She was depicted as an old woman sitting cross-legged in the forest and she sang a song that only birds could hear and their own chirping and singing was considered to be their response to the goddess’ song.

As summer started to turn into autumn the entourage of the evil winter god Tawiskaron began to return. First the winter god’s nephews would race through the forests shooting trees with their ethereal arrows with flint heads, causing the leaves to die and fall from the trees. Continue reading

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INUIT MYTHS: INUURAQ

igloos_450x290It’s been awhile since I’ve covered Inuit myths. I’ve already examined all the major gods and goddesses so here is a look at one of their mythical heroes. For my initial list of Inuit deities click HERE 

INUURAQ – Like many of the heroes in Inuit myths Inuuraq overcomes the disadvantage of being orphaned and goes on to achieve greatness. Inuuraq lived so long ago that it was before the wind and weather god Sila had made war on the giants and reduced them all to three feet tall. (After that the giants were the Inuit version of elves and were called Ishigaq.)

Inuit regionThe chief of Inuuraq’s village had sent his son and two other men off together to hunt caribou. Many days had gone by and the trio were presumed to have fallen into the hands of the roving giants. The chief asked for volunteers to search for his son and the other missing hunters, but only Inuuraq was courageous enough.

As an orphan the young man had no kayak or weapons of his own so he had his grandmother Nengzurluung go to the chief and his wife to tell them that her grandson was brave enough to search for the missing trio but would need a kayak and weapons.

The chief was grateful that at last a volunteer had come forward. He allowed Inuuraq to have the pick of his (the chief’s) boats and weapons. Our hero selected a fine kayak, a bow and arrows and an ulu: a bladed weapon longer than a knife but not quite as long as a sword. (It is the kind of weapon used by the Inuit disemboweling goddess Ululijarnaq.) Continue reading

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CHINESE MYTHS: THE MOON GODDESS CHANG-O AND YI, THE DIVINE ARCHER

Yi the Divine Archer

Yi the Divine Archer

On August 15th the Chinese people offered up gifts to Chang-O, their moon goddess. (Technically they did it in the middle of the 8th Lunar Month of the year but in the modern day August 15th is the substitute date.)

Balladeer’s Blog presents the story of Chang-O, her husband Yi the Divine Archer, and the origin of that ritual.

I.WHAT’S UP WITH YI?  – Yi the Divine Archer from Chinese mythology deserves to be remembered in one breath with some of the other great heroes and monster slayers from belief systems around the world. Most people are only familiar with his feat of shooting down multiple suns that appeared in the sky one day, but this article will provide a light- hearted look at all of his fantastic adventures. 

Yi is Continue reading

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ULULIJARNAQ: THE INUIT DISEMBOWELING GODDESS

igloos_450x290For more entries on the gods and goddesses of Inuit mythology click here: https://glitternight.com/inuit-myth/

ULULIJARNAQ – The disemboweling goddess who lived in Udlormiut, the supercelestial afterlife. Originally Ululijarnaq roamed the Earth in Continue reading

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HAPPY BLOOM’S DAY 2017

jamesjoyceYes, it’s the 16th of June, better known to James Joyce geeks like me as Bloom’s Day. The day is named in honor of Leopold Bloom, the Jewish advertising sales rep and Freemason who is one of the major characters in Joyce’s novel Ulysses. The novel also brings along Stephen Dedalus, the protagonist of his earlier novel Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

For those unfamiliar with this work, Ulysses is Joyce’s stream-of-consciousness novel in which he metaphorically features the events from the Odyssey in a single day – June 16th, 1904, in Dublin. (The day he met Nora Barnacle, the woman he would eventually marry after living together for decades) Bloom represents Ulysses/Odysseus, Stephen represents Telemachus and Leopold’s wife, Molly Bloom, represents Penelope.

The novel is jam-packed with Continue reading

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MAHAKA AND KOTOFETSY: TRICKSTER GODS OF MADAGASCAR

FOR MY MAIN LIST OF GODS FROM MADAGASCAR CLICK HERE

MadagascarMAHAKA & KOTOFETSY – Trickster deities to the Merina people of Madagascar.  Mahaka and Kotofetsy are depicted like Coyote is depicted in Native American myths. In some tales their deceptive nature is applauded and in others condemned.

On occasion Merina people who prided themselves on their own wit and trickery would try to outdo Mahaka and Kotofetsy. In one myth the pair transform themselves into old men to put their adversary at ease, only to trick him out of everything he owns, right down to his clothing. The defeated man runs home naked, pursued by a jeering mob. 

Other myths involving the pair:

Mahaka and Kotofetsy frame a would-be antagonist for sorcery, causing him to be beaten with sticks by his neighbors, who think he has desecrated their loved one’s tomb. Continue reading

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GODS AND GODDESSES OF TUPARI MYTHS

Tupari live near the Rio BrancoBalladeer’s Blog looks at another neglected pantheon of gods and goddesses. The Tupari people live near the Rio Branco in Brazil and though they are far from numerous I find their mythology to be as riveting and full of rich details as the belief systems of any other group.

A striking element of the Tupari belief system is the way in which the word “pod” is used the way “kami” is used in Shinto myths. Pod, like kami, can be used when referring to actual deities but also to lesser supernatural beings, so there is often debate over the exact status of an individual entity in the Tupari’s metaphysical heirarchy.

10. MULHER – The primordial Earth goddess from whom all the other deities descended. In the beginning when there was no life on Earth and no gods in the heavens Mulher existed alone. Her original form was that of an enormous black rock with a very smooth surface, much like Zoroastrian mythology describes the Earth before the evil god Ahriman ruined its pristine perfection. Mulher split open one day like an egg and her first child, the god Valedjad was born amid a stream of blood flowing from Mulher. Again she split open and her second son Vab emerged from within her in a similar blood stream. When earthquakes occur today it is Mulher splitting open again, but no more children are born – rather her blood – lava – flows like the blood from menstruating women.  

9. PATSIARE – The god who separated the Earth and the sky. He then created the poles that support the sky above the Earth the way similar poles support the domed roofs of the Tupari’s houses. In Tupari cosmology the world is shaped like a Continue reading

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