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Questions tagged [origins]

For questions about the mythology and folklore behind the creation or existence of a being, object or idea.

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One day blinding stew - fact or fiction

I’ve been hearing a little chat about a ‘one-day blinding stew’ which purportedly causes temporary blindness. Details seem predictably hard to come by although I’ve heard rumours (verbally, can’t ...
Frog's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
92 views

Need help identifying a specific prophetic or cursed book of unknown origin

My mum recently told me about a book that her own mother (my grandmother) mentioned to her when she was a child. Neither of them actually had a physical copy of the book, but I'd like to know if ...
ParadoxPython's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
105 views

Where did the ancient (the ones who fought the Trojans) Greeks believe the world to be?

Atlas holds up the world on his shoulders. On what does he stand? I've heard the ancients depicted the world being supported by 4 elephants which were standing on the back of a turtle. I'm not sure ...
Greg's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
113 views

Mythology of Crete

Are there any mythological beings that are Cretan ,and not Greek .For example the minotaur is set in Crete but a Greek story .Are there any pure Cretan legends or Myths .
dorpendaal's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
244 views

Were Cambions originally the demon offspring of a Succubus and Incubus?

The earliest evidenced appearance of the word "cambion" in the sense of an offspring of two demons is in the 1818 French-Language Dictionnaire Infernal. The 1825 edition of that book has the ...
Orionixe's user avatar
  • 399
2 votes
1 answer
736 views

Folkloric Origins of the Ghost Rider

Marvel's Ghost Rider character always reminded me of tales of the headless horseman for intuitive reasons I was not able to explain, so I always wondered whether there is a connection between this ...
The Ledge's user avatar
  • 123
2 votes
0 answers
104 views

What is the origin of fortune-telling cards with faces divided into four triangles, which were known in Russia in 1850?

In her book Reading Russian Fortunes (Cambridge University Press, 1998), Faith Wigzell refers (p.33) to a type of fortune-telling card deck that reached Russia in 1850, ascribed to Marie Anne ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
192 views

Prior to the 1800s are there any examples of a (preferably mortal) being described as possessing telekinetic abilities in the modern sense?

For the purposes of this question, by telekinesis I mean the generalized ability to pick up and move most objects at will, not the ability to move a particular object under specific circumstances (...
99a99's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
68 views

Ancient prophecies involving alcohol?

Are there any ancient prophecies involving alcohol? I asked this question on Beer, Wine & Spirits SE some two years ago and have not received an answer: Prophecies involving alcohol? When we read ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
  • 2,852
2 votes
2 answers
621 views

Are there any references in mythology/folklore to a concept similar to teleportation?

The earliest mention of teleportation that I can find is a mention of "matter transfer" in 1877, but I'm wondering if there's a concept similar to it in folklore. I found something about ...
cabbage413's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
628 views

The Phoenician Months MTN and P'LT

I'm doing some research into the names of the months in the Phoenician calendar. I have a theory that all but three of the names have ties to the Phoenician pagan practices, but don't have evidence ...
Harel13's user avatar
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8 votes
0 answers
366 views

Is there any folklore in non-European culture that may be an attempt to "explain" similar to changeling myths in Western Europe and Scandinavia?

It has been suggested by some authors that stories of changelings in Scandinavia and western Europe are an attempt by ancient peoples used to try and explain developmental abnormalities in children, ...
user2352714's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
166 views

Need help identifying creature or character

I need help to find the creature or character or tale or whatever linked to the following description: Have a connection: With dreams, like maybe as a bridge. With secrets or maybe contracts? Or the ...
user7715's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
179 views

what was the reason for rape in greek myths and culture

Is the reason gods assaulted women because of Eros? Did gods and mortals alike blame Eros for their act of "passion"?
abir's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
222 views

What is the origin of a common Christmas tree quotation concerning an old Babylonish fable about an evergreen tree?

Searching for "evergreen tree which sprang out of a dead tree stump" gets nearly 3000 hits. The Seed of the Woman and the Power of Darkness - Donbor Syiemlieh - Google Books is an example: &...
Ray Butterworth's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
286 views

Do dragon myths share a common origin?

We can see ancient references to dragon-like creatures in European, Asian and also many other civilizations. Did these civilizations come up with the concept of dragons independently and just ...
Opcode's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
966 views

What is the origin of the Grim Reaper?

The Grim Reaper is well-known as a hooded figure who represents death. This personification is featured in all sorts of modern fiction as well. Where does this character originally come from?
ViviRukisha's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
129 views

What inspired the story of The Sinai Event and what other stories did it inspire?

This is a two-part question: 1: What are the earliest known examples of a group believing in a story that is based on or inspired by the story of The Sinai Event? (The Samaritans are a good example, ...
Certusic's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
842 views

Are there any Dragons myths about dragons being the creators of creation? Supernatural beings -as it were - that created the landscape?

I don't have a link to share, just seems to me that ancient man read the landscape and its spiritual and supernatural significance seems to pivot mostly around Dragon myths.
Matthew Wortman's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
638 views

An ancient source for the myth of Venus' creation of red roses?

I asked a question Literature SE a few days ago, trying to make sense of some of the references in an English poem by William Drummond of Hawthornden. One portion of the poem describes Venus/Aphrodite ...
Tom Hosker's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
2k views

Where did lizardmen come from?

Usually, fantasy creatures are easy to track back to mythology and folklore and there is only a handful I can't trace back. Of course, that can be because they're actually original, but oftentimes I ...
Mephistopheles's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
318 views

The unreadable book: Voynich manuscript?

What are, if any, the most plausible mythical origins and legends surrounding the unreadable book also known as the Voynich manuscript? What do legends, folklore or myths have to say as to what is ...
Ken Graham's user avatar
  • 2,852
6 votes
2 answers
261 views

Are there any older cases of exorcism in other mythology than the Abrahamic religions?

In the Gospel of luke, Jesus exorcises a multitude of demons who call themselves Legion into a herd of pigs which he then drove into a lake. 26 They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is ...
Tom Sol's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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What would St. Michael be considered far as title/rank?

What is the title and rank of St. Michael amongst all the Angels and exactly what is or was his responsibility?
John's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
148 views

How did Santa Claus appear in this world?

My children are very curious as to how Santa Claus appeared. Surely, he could not be born as an ordinary man. I tried to find some story, but most information on the internet is concerned with '...
one_two_three's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
173 views

What is the oldest known religious song/chant?

In most branches of Christianity, there are choirs, solo song or even Christian rockbands. I remember reading that in the case of Christianity most people where illiterate when they started making ...
Tom Sol's user avatar
  • 4,061
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Are there any hunter gatherer gods?

I know gods from the iron and bronze age up till our time but are there any gods back in the day of the hunter gatherers?
Dude's user avatar
  • 27
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is the connection between Poseidon and horses?

Since Poseidon is well known as the god of the God of the sea, storms, earthquakes and horses? What is the connection between Poseidon and horses? As a god of the sea the storms and earthquakes part ...
Tom Sol's user avatar
  • 4,061
2 votes
1 answer
798 views

What is the origin of legend of Alderley Edge?

What is the legend of Alderley Edge, in northern England? Are there other legends, folk tales, from this area?
dorpendaal's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
956 views

Character that created themself?

Is there a character in any mythology or folklore that was notable for having created themselves?
JnBrymn's user avatar
  • 141
1 vote
0 answers
67 views

Do Indians openly adopt and syncretize foreign religions? [closed]

I don't know much about Hinduism and the details of Indian history, but I feel that in India it is very common to nationalize foreign religions, beginning with the indianization of Sumerian deities, ...
Sorb's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
7k views

Where does the idea of counting crows come from?

According to Learn Religions and many astrology websites, the number of crows you see predicts the future: "Seeing just a single crow is considered an omen of bad luck. Finding two crows, however,...
foggy's user avatar
  • 181
9 votes
1 answer
189 views

Are there any old religions/mythologies where people would get tattood to get closer to or for their god?

Most religions today condemn the use of tattoos but Are there any old religions/mythologies where people would get tattood to get closer to or for their god? The majority of Sunni Muslims believe ...
Tom Sol's user avatar
  • 4,061
9 votes
4 answers
1k views

Who was the first Satan like deity/creature/person in mythology?

There are satan/devil representations in other faiths/myths. But who was the first to have a role and background similar to Satan? Since religions sometimes take over traits of the old ones there ...
Tom Sol's user avatar
  • 4,061
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is the origin of these creatures in Appalachian folklore?

My family (for these intents and purposes) comes from the mountains of Appalachian southern Virginia. The older folks told tales of three specific monsters as warning against wayward children ...
goodguy5's user avatar
  • 181
3 votes
1 answer
162 views

Why do so many cultures have a myth of the world being made or remade from water?

In various creation and flood myths the world is said to be remade from water, why would different ancient cultures have this same theme?
Xandra Wolfbane's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
640 views

What is the origin of the akhlut's name?

The akhlut is a creature from Inuit myth, a monstrous wolf that can take the shape of an orca. However, I haven't been able to find this word in any reliable Inuktitut dictionaries (looking for akhlut,...
Draconis's user avatar
  • 1,368
8 votes
1 answer
320 views

How were trolls created in Norse mythology?

Is there a mythical/folklore origin for them? I haven't managed to find any sources on this.
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
137 views

What is the origin, mythical or historical, of the idea that having sex with a god grants power?

I read about this for the first time in "La ultima bruja" (2017), a book about witches. In this book, there's a chapter in which a girl has to have sexual relationships with a Wolf God so He grants ...
J. Maria's user avatar
  • 161
2 votes
0 answers
82 views

What is the origin of the 'Light' as a ghost?

As a ghost (or after death), it is popularly believed that you will see a light and that light will take you to the afterlife. Where, and/or when, does this 'light' emerge in folklore's history?
Andrew Johnson's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
673 views

Which cultures have the concept of a "true" or "secret name?"

A true name, to my limited understanding, is a concept of a name(s)/phrase specific to one person/being that gives the speaker power over the person the true name belongs to. It is a semi-popular ...
Andrew Johnson's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
419 views

Is it possible that the Heracles myths are a compilation of stories from multiple cultures?

About two years ago, I found this Greek Mythology documentary called, "Clash of the Gods." It is a three disk series with ten episodes. They feature Heracles by his Roman name, Hercules, in the ...
Andrew Johnson's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
10k views

Where does the idea that dragons hoard gold come from?

Where does the idea that dragons hoard gold come from? I can't think of many myths of dragons hoarding gold. The closest I come up with is the dragon that guarded the Golden Fleece. And even that's a ...
Andrew Johnson's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
204 views

What does this pendant/symbol mean?

This has been antagonizing me for months. When I asked my mom what this was, she said, apart from a bookmark, it was a Celtic knot. But when I look it up, I get anything but this. What is this? What ...
Andrew Johnson's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
487 views

Where did the notion the moon was made of cheese originate?

We've all at one point or another heard something about the moon being made of cheese- does anyone know where this myth got started?
king of panes's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
412 views

When and why did necromancy became a bad thing?

Talking about Europe and cultures that influenced it... Why and since when was the revival of the dead considered evil? In Greek mythology bringing back a loved one is hard or comes at a price, but ...
Nuloen The Seeker's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
169 views

What is the earliest story of summoning the dead we know of?

This is a followup to: What is the earliest ghost story we know of? In this question, I am looking for stories involving mortals summoning the spirits of the dead from the underworld. The spirits ...
ghost's user avatar
  • 143
9 votes
1 answer
187 views

What is the earliest ghost story we know of?

I am looking for early stories that follow the popular theme of the ghost story: A spirit of the dead appearing amongst the living. Bonus points if there's a haunting involved. I'm only interested in ...
ghost's user avatar
  • 143
10 votes
1 answer
475 views

Origin of "horses that instinctively open a vein with their teeth in order to breathe more freely"

In Goethe's Sorrows of Young Werther (1774), we find this sentence: Man erzählt von einer edlen Art Pferde, die, wenn sie schrecklich erhitzt und aufgejagt sind, sich selbst aus Instinkt eine Ader ...
Quuxplusone's user avatar
13 votes
3 answers
5k views

What are the origins of the snowman?

In many countries where snow falls there is a folk tradition of building snowmen. Almost always male, these temporary statues are usually human in scale, standing 0.5 to 2 metres tall, and made from a ...
user avatar