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 ...
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 all ...
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. ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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. ...
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 ...
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. ...
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 ...
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 ...
Animals representations are quite common in Egyptian mythology. Here is a partial list of Ancient Egyptian deities with animal associations and attributes:
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 ...
There are certainly tales where humans are turned into rats. The Aarne-Thompson motif index, which categorizes fairytale tropes, includes one for “Transformation: man to rodent” (with the identifying number being D117). Sublistings include rats and mice. If you read through motif indexes from different countries, you may find some collectors who list ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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, ...
There is a Dutch folktale about a hunter who waits for a giant hare. Here is a tentative translation:
A hunter once had heard rumors about an extraordinarily large hare, which every
night around midnight came to a certain field in the region, and some strawlers claimed the animal
was bulletproof: no one could hit this giant hare.
One night, the hunter
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 ...
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 ...
Leviticus is mentioned as a source on the scapegoat as noted by @Obie 2.0.
Then Aaron shall offer the goat on which the lot for the LORD fell,
and make it a sin offering. 10"But the goat on which the lot for the
scapegoat fell shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make
atonement upon it, to send it into the wilderness as the scapegoat.
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. It runs ...
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 ...
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.
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 ...
According to Indian mythology,the demon Vritra( an indian dragon) representing drought is enemy of Indra (the king of gods and god of rain). Indra rides elephant named Airavata. So elephant representing Indra and dragon representing vritra are enemies.
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 ...
Out of interest of spreading information, I'm copying here the answer I wrote yesterday to this question on Judaism.SE, with a few alterations:
A possible answer:
Maimonides on the mishnah states that this was done as part of worship of Baalim. The city of Baalbek, which was originally a Baal center of worship, eventually became a center of Bacchus (Dionysus ...
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 ...