• Cassandra

    Cassandra is a popular figure and made many appearances in Greek  plays and poems.  Her predicament even inspired a name for a present day problem-  the Cassandra Syndrome.  So who was this lady whose name inspires even today? Cassandra was born a princess of Troy, the daughter of Priam and Hecuba and the fraternal twin sister of Helenus.  She was the most beautiful of their daughters and as such attracted divine attention.  Homer tells a tale that she and her brother Helenus spent the night in Apollo’s temple where the temple snakes licked their ears clean so they were able to hear the future.  Cassandra was a priestess of Apollo…

  • Chernobog

    Also known as Czernobog, he was a dark demonic deity in Slavic mythology. His name means ‘Black God’. Only coming out at night he causes calamity and disaster, bringing bad luck and misfortune wherever he turns. His opposite number is Belobog, the White God of Goodness. Few would pray to such a god but one early passage reveals that people would spit curses into a bowl during feasts to keep him at bay. Little else is known about him. The only historical sources, which are Christian ones, interpret him as a dark, accursed god, but it is questionable how important or malicious he really was. The name is attested only…

  • Arrhichion – Olympic victor even in death

    He was a champion pankratiast (martial art blending boxing and wrestling) in the ancient Olympic Games. He was the winner of the pankration at the 52nd and 53rd Olympiads. Little did he know that the 54th would be his last. His fatal fight was described by the geographer Pausanias and by Philostratus the Younger. Pausanias states: “For when he was contending for the wild olive with the last remaining competitor, whoever he was, the latter got a grip first, and held Arrhachion, hugging him with his legs, and at the same time he squeezed his neck with his hands. Arrhachion dislocated his opponent’s toe, but expired owing to suffocation; but…

  • Jinn

    Tales of the mystical creatures appear in early Arabian and later Islamic mythology. An individual member of the jinn is known as a jinni, djinni, or genie. Throughout the Quran and other Islamic texts they are mentioned frequently. The Quran says that the jinn were created from a smokeless and “scorching fire”, but are also physical in nature, being able to interact in a tactile manner with people and objects and likewise be acted upon. The earliest evidence of the word, can be found in Persian, for the singular Jinni is the Avestic “Jaini”, a wicked (female) spirit. Jaini were among various creatures believe among pre-Zoroastrian peoples of Persia. The…

  • Pukwudgie

    These magical creatures where capable of both good and evil. They where similar to the fairies and gnomes of Europe. They are usually described as being knee-high or even smaller. Their name literally means ‘person of the wilderness’ and are considered to be spirits of the forest. In some traditions, they have a sweet smell and are associated with flowers. Their stories come from Algonquian folklore. They are told throughout the northeastern United States, southeastern Canada, and the Great Lakes region but their stories differ between tribes. In the Ojibwe and other Great Lakes tribes, the pukwudgie (or bagwajinini) is considered a mischievous but basically good-natured creature who plays tricks…