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15

There are a few different accounts, detailed here: She was the half sister of none other than King Arthur himself, the daughter of King Gorlois and Igraine (Arthur's mother). She was most likely the aunt of Mordred, though one or two accounts give her as his mother. She was one of nine sisters living in the land of Avalon (of course), who had magical, ...


14

TL;DR This belief doesn't come from a myth. It first appeared in The Wizard of Oz. I think the first time this belief was stated was in The Wizard of Oz rather than in any myths. The belief probably comes from older myths/customs surrounding witches that were drawn upon to create this idea for the Wizard of Oz. Water used to find witches. This took 2 forms. ...


5

All the sources I've looked at do indeed say that iron repels fairies, and horseshoes, nails and shears have all been used to keep travellers and the newborn safe. There are many theories as to why this might be so, but my own opinion is that iron is a human artifact, so it would be "culture" as opposed to "nature". It's also another form of magic, since ...


5

As a follow-up to my (almost) namesake @Thom . And to @Spencer It is not specifically stated that they burn in water they are only afeared to cross it. Tim O 'Shanter's poem says Ah, Tam! ah, Tam! thou'll get thy fairin! In hell they'll roast thee like a herrin! In vain thy Kate awaits thy comin! Kate soon will be a woefu' woman! Now, do thy ...


5

Insofar as the earliest native British traditions go, at least, it doesn't seem so. Looking through some early Welsh texts (Culhwch ac Olwen, Pa Gur, the Trioedd Ynys Prydein, the Beddau stanzas, a couple mentions in poetry), I can't find anything that suggests Bedwyr possessed magical abilities. The closest thing of relevance I saw was in CaO, when Cai ...


4

You're thinking about the Iroquois. There is a widespread belief, first started by missionaries to illustrate the savagery of the natives, that the Iroquois would torture and eat the hearts of their captives. As the stories go, Iroquois braves torture prisoners to see who can endure for a long time without fear, and then eat their hearts in order to inherit ...


4

What are the special powers of a unicorn's horn? Many stories of unicorns refer to the magical properties of their horns, a claim first made by a Greek physician named Ctesias nearly 2,000 years ago. The first mention of the therapeutic properties of unicorn’s horn is thought to have been by Ctesias, a Greek physician from Cnidus, who flourished in the ...


4

It's always hard to prove a negative but I'm gonna try. The bible is full of verses explicitly telling the reader that magic, sorcery, necromancy or divination is not allowed and should not be practiced by the faithful as well as urging them to do something about it. There is a site called openbible in which you can search for specific keywords in the ...


3

When you say 4 elements I assume you mean the Aristotelian elements: earth, water, fire and air. Aristotle also posited a fifth element: aether. from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_element#Greece In his On Generation and Corruption,[22][23] Aristotle related each of the four elements to two of the four sensible qualities: Fire is both hot ...


3

Frazer is the source of the formal definition so far as I know. From his Golden Bough: IF we analyse the principles of thought on which magic is based, they will probably be found to resolve themselves into two: first, that like produces like, or that an effect resembles its cause; and, second, that things which have once been in contact with each other ...


2

I would say Argo was not self aware. Instead, Zeus “... spoke through the wood taken from one of his Dodonian oaks, as stated in the first book of the Argonautica (Apollonius of Rhodes, 2009), when a talking beam that Athena had made from a Dodonian oak and fitted in the middle of Argo’s keel, spoke with a terrible voice that frightened the Argonauts.” - ...


2

I suggest you take a look at Nails for the dead: a polysemic account of an ancient funerary practice by Silvia Alfayé. The paper focuses on the use of nails in Roman funerary practices, but in section 3 she offers a nice overview on the ritual/magical uses of nails in general, including the inscribed bronze nails you are asking about, which she describes as: ...


2

Leprechauns aren't a great option in that they're highly location dependent. Of course if your story is entirely set in Ireland that's no problem, but if you want to be anywhere else, no leprechauns. Their gold is not magical, it's treasure buried during an ancient war that they happen to know the location of. All you need to do is dig at the bottom of the ...


2

This is a story thread in Robert Burns's poem 'Tam O'Shanter' from 1791. Tam is spirited safely by his mare Maggie to a bridge, and the pursuing witches cannot follow him across the water.


2

From the introduction of THE DEPICTION OF MAGIC IN RABBINIC TEXTS: THE RABBINIC AND THE GREEK CONCEPT OF MAGIC:


2

This typically falls under the field of pseudo-science, although there have been rigorous, empirical attempts to validate the supernatural (all have failed.) However, these inquiries themselves have formed a type of modern mythology. Some highlights: Franz Mesmer (1734-1815) was a doctor who used a form of scientific method in an attempt to confirm a form ...


2

Here is another time Apollo was made mortal. After Zeus found out Apollo possessed the full gift of prophesy, he asked him which woman would give birth to the kid that would over throw him as king. Apollo backed away and said, "No can tell pops." Zeus got so angry, he was made mortal. The next time Apollo was made mortal, Asclepius (as a demigod) brought ...


2

Well this is not a full list and some things might be from modern fiction, but... Healing. Curing diseases and sealing deadly wounds. Not sure if Excaliburs' sheath was made from it?... Apothecaries often used things they called unicorn horns. If they truly were using narwal teeth (no medicinal effect) or just some other considerably cheaper placebo is ...


1

My overall sense is a general association with life, generation, and regeneration as a phallic symbol—it's not by chance that unicorns are associated with virgins! When you look at the at the Domenichino "maiden & unicorn", you may note that it is not entirely un-erotic: There are many unreliable sources to be found online, but, as I recall, ...


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