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30

Egyptian gods were often depicted in therianthrophic – part human, part animal form, to depict the personality of that particular god/ess in a symbolic way. For example, Sekhmet, goddess of ferocious war, was sometimes shown with the head a lioness, as lions are ferocious creatures. Similarly Anubis was shown with a jackal head because the jackal was ...


23

Several reasons The reasons for the associations of goats with Satan vary. Some are quite ancient, while others are of more recent vintage. The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats Sheep are loyal. They follow the Son of God, metaphorically a shepherd. Goats, on the other hand, are disobedient and difficult. When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and ...


21

Their association with Bastet coupled with their general usefulness in day to day life is the reason they were treated as they were Bastet was the goddess of more than just cats, she was also the goddess of fire and pregnant women (an odd combination). Bastet was originally called Mafdet and was the lion headed goddess of judgement, justice, and execution....


18

It's mentioned in the Coffin Texts that only the dead can know the true forms of the gods. (Erik Hornung- Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt.) "None of these images shows the true form of a god, and none can encompass the full richness of his nature–hence the variable iconography of Egyptian gods, which is seldom reduced to a fixed, canonical form. Every ...


13

You can at least find 2 main reasons: Goat gods are pretty old beliefs. You find them in almost every cultures spreading everywhere. Celts have Cernunnos. In norse myth you have Tanngrisnir and Tanngjostr. In roman myth Faunus and Hammon/ In greece Pan. In sumer you have Dumuzid, the Tammuz of the Bible. For what I am aware, as we found cavern drawings of ...


10

You raise a really good point. It is strange that there are no bears in Norse myth. The wolf seems to have really engaged them, perhaps because of the duality of wolf/dog, tame and wild, while the bear to them was totally wild. I wonder if @LocalFluff isn't on to something, because berserks were seen as totally outside society, too unpredicatable and ...


8

Bears do not feature much in Norse mythology, at least when it comes to the stories involving the gods. The one story I can think of which even mentions them is how Gleipnir, the chain that fettered Fenrir, was made: one ingredient was the "sinews of a bear", together with several more fantastic items, such as the breath of a fish. However, they do appear ...


8

As you say, cows are sacred and respected in India. Indeed, a cow is often referred to as Go-Mata, meaning Cow-Mother. There are a pretty high number of reasons why the cow is so sacred. When Brahma created all things in the world, it took the form of a Goddess, who was his daughter. So beautiful was she, that Brahma himself was attracted to her. ...


8

Very good question! In the ancient vedic texts and in Srimad Bhagavatam (composed about 5000 years ago) in particular, there is a mention of the 7 mothers for a human being who are as follows: (1) the original mother, (2) the wife of the teacher or spiritual master, (3) the wife of a brahmana, (4) the king's wife, (5) the cow, (6) the nurse, (7) the ...


7

I would like to add a point. Surely, as answered by Malay, there are many references to different forms of cows playing a major role in various pastimes. However, along with those references and the general quintessential importance of cow-products in India, Gau-mātā (mother cow) is also revered because - She has special importance in the Hindu scriptures. ...


7

In Ovid's Metamorphoses, book III, there is of course the story of the Tyrrhenian pirates that Bacchus turn into dolphins, but it's against their will, and as a punishment for betraying him. Here is a translated extract of their transformation (the narrator at this point is a fisherman called Acoetes): And Bacchus in the midst of all stood crowned with ...


5

Are there any myths or stories about dolphins being humans who chose to return to the sea? I've long suspected that dolphins are the real subjects of Mermaid mythology. And I wouldn't be surprised to stumble across some obscure myths following more specifically along that line of reasoning. Currently, I would just like to present this little tidbit gleaned ...


5

I can't find anything on Demeter at present. Wikipedia seems to be drawing from the Metamorphoses of Antoninus Liberalis, which has no mention of additional divine transformations: Apollo became a hawk, Hermes and ibis, Ares became a fish, the lepidotus, Artemis a cat, Dionysus took the shape of a goat, Heracles a fawn, Hephaestus an ox, and Leto a shrew ...


5

Here is the original Goethe text: http://www.deutschestextarchiv.de/book/view/goethe_werther02_1774?p=24 Man erzaͤhlt von einer edlen Art Pferde, die, wenn ſie ſchroͤklich erhizt und aufgejagt ſind, ſich ſelbſt aus Jnſtinkt eine Ader aufbeiſſen, um ſich zum Athem zu helfen. I would translate it as: “One tells of a type of noble horses, that, when they ...


5

I did some quick searching and found this page recounting a British nursery rhyme, with the oldest version accounted to be: One for sorrow, Two for mirth, Three for a funeral And four for birth. SOURCE: British Bird Lovers referencing Proverbs and Popular Saying of the Seasons by Michael Aislabie Denham The rhyme appears to have several ...


4

According to this Quora answer on the exact same topic: The primary uses, however, remain those that suggest weakness. Thus the early use to mean a girl or woman, which would become the more recent chick. Such chickens also suggest the 'cuteness' and 'fluffiness' of the creature. The first example we have of chicken meaning a coward comes in 1600. ...


4

This is only a partial and working answer until I can look into Cerunnos, Veles, and Shiva. My first inclination is that this is a case of the Texas sharpshooter fallacy. These four gods have associations with those two animals, and so you posit they must be a related. However, there's no telling when these gods developed these characteristics and whether ...


4

Melampus He told his servants to not kill two snakes, and he in turn learned the language of the Animals. When Melampus lived with Neleus, he dwelt outside the town of Pylos, and before his house there stood an oak tree containing a serpent's nest. The old serpents were killed by his servants, and burnt by Melampus himself, who reared the young ones. One ...


4

Animals representations are quite common in Egyptian mythology. Here is a partial list of Ancient Egyptian deities with animal associations and attributes: Lion: Aker Pat Remler: Egyptian Mythology, A to Z. Infobase Publishing, 2010, ISBN 1438131801, pp. 4 & 5. Lion/Hippopotamus/Crocodile: Ammit, the Soul Eater Hart, George (2005). The Routledge ...


4

There is a collection of snow leopard myths on the Snow Leopard Conservancy website: Nepalese Myths Surrounding Snow Leopards (1) Nepalese Myths Surrounding Snow Leopards (2) Tibetan Myths Surrounding Snow Leopards Snow Leopards, Mountain Spirits and Sacred Space in Northern Pakistan The Otter and the Snow Leopard The Four Harmonious Brothers Snow Leopard, ...


3

Cat's weren't exactly worshiped in Egypt, despite what Herodotus wrote. They were slaughtered by the millions to be mummified and serve as messengers to the gods. It's also interesting to note that while the Egyptians gave their pet dogs names, the only name we've seen them give their cats is "Meow" or "Ms. Meow". There were single specific bulls that were ...


3

This sounds to me like a (very exaggerated) description of Python molurus, the Indian python; they will sometimes climb trees and kill by constriction, but I don't think they've ever been known to eat an elephant. I think De Natura Animalium was intended as a natural history book, so even if I'm wrong, I think you're more likely to get to the right answer by ...


3

From the birth myth of Arion, we are told (Pseudo-Apollodorus) that the horse was birthed by Demeter while she was in 'the likeness of a Fury'. We are also told that Despoina is the daughter of Demeter and Horse-Poseidon. Karl Kerenyi noted that she could take on the form of either an ear of grain, or a mare. So it seems that your guess is right.


2

My esteemed brother-in-law just emailed me an answer. He wrote: Shalsheleth Haqabbalah may not be as good as a bona fide dead clock which (assuming it is analog) is exactly correct twice a day, but note Clement of Alexandria in Protrept. I 2, PG VIII, 76a. Although there we see the removal of the heart, the consumption of bile may well be ...


2

That reads to me like an embellished, Western take on the common "fox wife" stories ubiquitous in Japanese folklore. The prototypical version of this theme appears in the 8th century nihon ryōiki (日本霊異記), i.e. Chronicles of Supernatural Tales of Japan. In this tale, the protagonist went out searching for a wife, and found a beautiful girl looking for a ...


2

I think this is a really really great find! I did some research and found nothing. South American myths contains a lot of kinds of Snakes, but this quite new for me. I think we will be waiting for someone reveal some other source. But here is why makes sense to me: I think it's old knowledge for the universal and ancient questions of the "opposites". You ...


1

Bear hibernation was likely perceived as a form of deep sleep, and recent studies have confirmed this: Historically there was a question of whether or not bears truly hibernate since they experience only a modest decline in body temperature (3–5 °C) compared with the much larger decreases (often 32 °C or more) seen in other hibernators. Many ...


1

In Märchen (aka "Fairy Tales"), the Grimms “Kinder und Hausmärchen” (Children’s and Household Tales) include a tale on how God created all animals and selected the wolves to be his hounds (KHM 1857 #148, "Des Herrn und des Teufels Gethier" (The Lord's and the Devil's Creatures). Since God forgot to create the goat, the the devil also wanted to create and ...


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