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Myths and Legends.
© Eileen Holland
Scorpion connects with the Serpent through the Dragon."
- Dion Fortune
May dragons bring
and guard your treasures
May they banish darkness
and enlighten you
May female dragons grant
you inner power
May the Dragon Queen
neutralize your enemies
May Dragon Spirits
give you power over
May weather dragons
bring rain at your
May Ti'amat effect the
changes you command
May Ishtar grant you
May Ishtar grant you
teaches us that humans and dinosaurs never coexisted. I wonder if I am the only one who
wonders if an unknown convergence of the two somewhere in Eurasia is not responsible for
the dragon myths that stretch from Ireland to Japan.
- Other names for
dragons include wyrm, wurm and firedrake
- Sacred to:
Anantaboga, King of
Underworld Dragons - Ao, the Four Dragon Kings - Dahaka - Godi - Goru - Fafnir -
Illuyankas, the Dragon - Irnini - Ishhara - Ishtar - Lung-Wang, the Dragon Kings - Medea,
the Dragon Queen - Nidhogger - Ryujin, the
- Dragon King -
Tiamat, Dragoness of Chaos - Vahagn Visapakal, Dragon-Choker - Vritra
- Individual dragons
known to us from mythology include:
- Long / Lung, from
hundred-headed oracular serpent of Greek mythology who guarded the Golden Apples of the
Sun in the Garden of the
Hesperides. He was slain by Hercules.
- Raja Naga, King of
the Sea Serpents, largest of the ocean dragons in Malaysian mythology.
Tiamat, or Leviathan,
the five-headed dragon goddess of Mesopotamian mythology. She was instrumental in
- Babylonian myths of
- Benzaitin, Japanese
goddess of love and happiness, was sometimes depicted riding a dragon.
- The magical rowan
tree of Irish legend was guarded by a dragon.
An unsleeping dragon
guarded the Golden Fleece, which Jason and his Argonauts sought. Medea overcame this
dragon by sprinkling sleep drops in his eyes.
- Dragons are usually
depicted with wings in the West, while Eastern dragons are generally wingless and move or
fly by magical means.
- Dragons symbolize
yang, the male principal, in Tao.
- Dragons are not
considered evil in China, where they symbolize: mystery - originality - the active principle
- There are five kinds
of Chinese dragons:
1. Imperial dragons,
with five claws. The others all have four claws.
2. Celestial dragons,
who guard the heavenly abode of dieties
3. Dragon spirits, who
rule wind, rain and cause floods
4. Earth dragons, who
clear rivers and deepen oceans
- Glass was once
believed to be solidified dragon breath.
- Green dragons:
- White dragons:
Gold was believed to be formed of their congealed breath
- Purple dragons:
Rock crystal was believed formed of their spittle
- Sea dragons:
Sacred to Hung Sheng, the Holy One, who protects fishing vessels
fire-breathing dragons =
dragons as sea serpents
flying dragons = Air
(thanks to: John/Draco)
South: Fafnir, Fire
East: Sairys, Air
West: Naelyan, Water
Language of Flowers:
Dragon Plant = Snare
For: earth energy -
Plant: bistort, dragon's blood
Can be positive or
Portent of prosperity -
enlightener of darkness
Believed to produce
rain, in China
The Chinese assign
dragons the following correspondences:
element: fire; wood
part of the body:
WHEEL OF THE
Midsummer bonfire drives away the dragon that causes disease.
©Eileen Holland - www.open-sesame.com
"Dread Fairy King,
I sacrifice before you,
How nobly do you stand!
You have filled up my house.
You have brought me a wife when I had not one,
Instead of daughters you have given me sons.
You have shown me the ways of right,
You have given me many children."
Are fairies real?
I have never
seen a fairy so I don't believe in them. But I know people who do, people whose opinions I
respect. This may be an urban thing on my part, because any fairies brave enough to show
up wouldn't last long where I live. The popular notion of fairies is that they are cute or
sexy creatures you'd like to have around. I can't bear cuteness in any form so I imagine
fairies as Elementals, a kind of djinn. I think they'd probably be nasty if you disturbed
them and would be best left alone. I think nymphs are more interesting
Do you believe in fairies? Don't let
my grouchy disbelief spoil your enjoyment of them.
Mythology gives us lots of information about fairies.
These are some of their supposed qualities and attributes:
- May be male or female, helpful
- Have powers of magic and
- Wear green clothes
- Move swiftly
- Live on hills, in woody dells,
underwater, or in the Otherworld
- Can turn invisible, or blend so
closely into the forest as to seem invisible
- Are immortal
- Cause fog and tempests
- May be winged and fly
- May be tiny, or child-sized
- Live on fruit
- Play tricks
- Brawl with each other
- Possess gold
- Bestow gifts - Fairy gifts
include the cauldron of plenty, the wand of intelligence, and the tree of knowledge
- Steal babies and replace them
- War with insects and reptiles
- Borrow household items from
- Enjoy music, dancing and making
- Enchant humans and beguile them
into the fairy realm
- Are associated with certain
plants, trees and places
- Sometimes take human lovers
- Can breed with humans
- Create artifacts, such as shoes
- The Little People are said to be
the dispossessed early tribes of the British Isles. They faded away into uninhabited
places, growing smaller and smaller with time as they were forgotten and passed into
- The Tuatha de Danann, People of
the Goddess Dana, ruled Ireland before the Milesian invasion. They were driven underground
where they became the Daoine Sidhe fairies.
theories hold that fairies are:
- Supernatural beings
- Fallen angels trapped on earth
- Spirits of the dead
- Elementals/Nature spirits
- Old god/esses who have been
neglected, lost their powers and dwindled away
- Fairies are the Little People,
the good folk who live in woody dells. Names for them include: faery - faerie - fatae -
fa'ae - fairye - sidhe - sith - fee - fay - fae - fayerie - fair folk - verry folk -
feriers - ferishers - farisees - wee folk - green men - greenies - greencoaties - green
children - gremlins - good neighbors - good people - grey neighbors - pixies - piskies -
sprites - tamlane - tammerlane - tom-lin - tom of lyn
- Elves, gnomes, sprites, goblins,
hobgoblins, nymphs, merfolk, trolls, leprechauns, etc. are considered types of fairies in
- Knowing a fairy's true name
gives you power over it, so fairies are said to guard their real names very closely.
Nevertheless, individual fairies known to us from mythology include:
- Aeval, Fairy Queen of the
- Aillen MacModha, who sets Tara
ablaze every year
- Caer, a beautiful fairy who
lived as a swan
- Clethrad, an alder fairy
- Donagh, Finvarra's beautiful
- Finvarra, fairy king of the
Daoine Sidhe. He is known for his skill at chess and for abducting brides-to-be. Spanish
wine is a suitable offering got him.
- Ghillie Dhu, a Scottish fairy
who wears moss and leaves, lives in birch thickets.
- Heliconian, a willow fairy
- Melia, an ash or quince fairy
- Melwas, the fairy king of the
Summer Land who abducted Guenivere
- O'Donoghue, king of the Lough
Lean fairies in Ireland
- Summer, beautiful queen of the
Elves of Light. Her presence melts Winter away.
- Urisk, a lonely male Scottish
fairy who is found near pools
- Wichtlein, a German mine fairy
- the Asparas/Apsaras, fig tree
- the Caryatids, nut tree fairies
- the Dryads, oak tree fairies
- the Luantishees, blackthorn
- Literary fairies include Queen
Mab, Puck, Titania, Tinkerbell, Tammerlane, Mustardseed and Oberon.
- Fairy Goddesses: Aine of
Knockaine - Airmed - Eri - Morgan le Fay (Morgan the Fairy)
- Fairy Gods: Credne, the fairy
goldsmith - Goibnie, the fairy blacksmith - Lichtar, the fairy carpenter
Little People from cultures around the world. UPDATED
Fairies: PLANT LORE UPDATED
The fairy godmother is a stock
character of fairy tales. She appears alone or in a group to bestow gifts, usually on
newborns. Sometimes she acts like a guardian angel.
Fatae, one of the names for fairies,
derives from Fata/Fatae, the Fates. This Roman Triple Goddess appeared at the birth of
kings and notables to decree the child's destiny. The archetype is much older, going back
at least as far as Egypt where the Seven Hathors appeared upon the birth of a child to
bestow gifts and divine its fate.
"There are other forms of
life as well as ours whose sphere of evolution impinges upon the earth. In the realm of
folk-lore we constantly meet with the idea of intercourse between the human and the fairy
kingdoms; of the marriage of a human being with a fairy spouse, or the theft of a child by
the fairies, an impish changeling being left in its place. We shall be rash if we assume
that an extensive body of folk-belief is entirely without foundation in fact."
THE FAIRY KINGDOM
Fairyland, also called Elfland or Tir
Nan Og, is an enchanted place where fairies live in an organized community. It may be
thought of as an alternate or parallel universe, a place where time stands still and there
is no sickness or death. The fairy kingdom is said to be a hilltop one, but invisible, or
composed of magnificent underground cities. Fairy kings and queens rule there.
Humans who enter the fairy realm
cannot leave once the door closes behind them. Those who do leave may find that years have
passed on earth during what was, for them, but minutes in the fairy kingdom.
FAIRY MAGIC Element: Air (airy fairy) Color: green Metal:
iron repels fairies For: enchantment - gifts
- flower magic - tempests - raising magic mists
WHEEL OF THE FAERY YEAR
Festival of river nymphs and water
fairies, a dangerous day for swimming.
April 30/May 1 - Beltane/May Day
Fairies ride out from their hills to
celebrate Beltaine on May Eve
Fairy hills and dwellings are
revealed on this day.
Doors open between our world and the
Another day when it is possible to
catch a glimpse of fairyland.
Festival of the blackthorn fairies.
©Eileen Holland - www.open-sesame.com
- Other names:
- Merddin - Myrrdin - Emrys -
Ambrosius - Rof Breoht Woden, Bright Strength of Woden
Powerful Druid wizard, counselor to three High Kings; key figure in the Arthurian legends.
Merlin was a bard, seer, prophet, magician and political advisor. He was a magical
child with an unnatural birth, the son of a virgin and a demon. He inherited magical
abilities from his father and learned the Craft from a mage named Bleise. Christian myths
say that Merlin was baptized.
was brought as a boy before King Vortigern, the usurper, who sought to sacrifice a
fatherless child upon the Salisbury Plain to stop the nightly destruction of the fortress
he was trying to build. Merlin saved his own life by revealing the source of the problem,
two dragons that fought nocturnal battles in a subterranean pool. He directed digging
beneath the construction site which unearthed two dragons, one red and one white, who
immediately started fighting. Merlin began to prophecy, using the dragons' battle to
foresee the outcome of the Saxon/Briton wars. He also predicted the death of the king as
well as that of the Old Religion, telling Vortigern and his druids:
"And Janus shall never have priests again. His door will be shut and
remain concealed in Ariadne's crannies." As
Chief Druid Merlin served first King Ambrosius, later his brother Uther Pendragon, helping
them to overthrow Vortigern. Uther fell madly in love with Igraine, Duchess of Cornwall, a
married woman. Merlin did not approve but made a deal with Uther to use magic to ensure
his seduction of her, provided he was given the child they would conceive that night.
Merlin transformed Uther into the likeness of the Duke of Cornwall, enabling him to walk
right into the seagirt fortress of Tintagel and bed Igraine, who took him for her husband.
The duke was killed in battle by Uther's men while he lay abed with Igraine, enabling him
to later make her his queen.
Uther kept his bargain with Merlin, handing the infant Arthur over to him. Merlin arranged
foster parents for the boy but visited him periodically throughout his childhood, molding
him. This arrangement saved Arthur's life and Merlin later made him king and helped him to
unite England. When first he saw Guinevere, Merlin predicted she would break Arthur's
Legendary feats ascribed to Merlin include construction of the Round Table and placing the
sword in the stone. He is said to have changed himself into a fish and swum beneath the
sea, to have designed Camelot and built it in one night. Merlin was once believed
responsible for erecting Stonehenge, also called the Giants' Dance, by using magic to
transport the stones from Ireland.
There are several myths concerning Merlin's death, which is usually believed to have been
brought about by his fatal attraction to Nimuë/Viviene, the Lady of the Lake. He saw her
dancing in a wood and was instantly besotted with her. The attraction was not mutual and
the aged Merlin stalked her, made a fool of himself over her, agreed to teach her magic
but promised never to use magic on her.
played along until she had obtained all his knowledge, then used his own spells to bind
him to her and beguiled him in Brécéliande Forest beneath a flowering whitethorn tree. Nimuë circled him nine times dragging her veil behind her, making her spell nine
times, then bound him to a stone. Or trapped him in an enchanted forest. Or imprisoned him
in a crystal cave. Or in a tower of air.
Another myth tells how Merlin accidentally sat in Galahad's chair at the Round Table, a
seat reserved for the purest of knights, and was instantly swallowed up by the earth. The
gentlest version of the legend has Merlin simply choosing to return to the Otherworld,
Nimuë the nurse and companion of his old age and final journey, to whom he bequeathed all
- Sacred Animal:
- as an old man with long
white hair and beard, wearing robes and a pointed hat - as a strong, handsome, magical
- Invoke Merlin for:
- wisdom - psychic work -
magic - passion - protection - spells - advice - prophecy - influence - manipulation -
magical power - temporal power - wise counsel - shape-shifting - protecting the land -
enchanted sleep - harmony with the environment - sensitivity to unseen powers and natural
forces - shaping future events - connectedness with the Old Gods
- Invoke Merlin where the wind
can be heard rustling in the leaves of trees.