Top Favorite (Male) Characters

It has been a while since I lasted posted anything. School is going to start soon, and I know that it will get harder to make any posts. So for now, I am just going to make a small random posts about male characters that I adore so much. I have a few rules for picking the characters: I will not pick any characters from anything that I have previously mentioned (like manga or anime), that it will come from something that I really enjoy, and it will include characters different media or categories. Let us get started (they are in no order). I will explain why I love these specific characters but I do so assuming you have already read/seen them before because there are SPOILERS.

sassyFrollo-Disney

 I have no way to explain my adoration of the Disney version of Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He has absolutely no redeemable qualities. Purely evil and cruel, he is willing to kill, rape, and destroy for next to no reason. He was not searching for power, he was not trying to gain money, and he did not even have a personal vendetta. Frollo was just villainous and immoral by nature. Maybe it is the idea that most ‘bad guys’ have purpose, but I really loved the fact that he was just the embodiment of sin and was in complete denial. My love for him definitely started when I first heard ‘Hellfire’. I think it may have to do with just how surprisingly horrible he was as a character.

dr-mccoyMcCoy-Live Actor

 I love Star Trek, especially the original series. I adore all the characters, the books, and the concept. I usually hate sci-fi but Star Trek just wins my heart. My very favorite TV character has just got to be the wonderful Dr. Leonard McCoy. The character himself is great, and DeForest Kelly made him perfect with his great acting skills. He is a skeptical pessimist, but this added with all his qualities makes him a lovable antihero. He stays calm in the face of aggression (like when he met Khan), never leaves an injured person behind not even the bad guys, and he is hard working having no charisma, super powers, luck, or battle talents to help him out of tough situations. He relies purely on his talent of hard work and dedication. He is a stubborn Georgian that is southern from his politeness down to how headstrong and motivated he is. Best of all he is the loving and emotion voice for Kirk. He was always there to give advice and support his friends (no matter how much he may have disagreed with Spock). But confound it man, he was a doctor not a boy scout.

ShstmkSLemongrab-Cartoon

 Another character with next to no redeemable qualities. The Earl of Lemongrab is a freak from Adventure Time. He is constantly screaming and has no social skills (to the point that he is a danger to anyone he becomes ‘close’ to). He is constantly angry and tends to be a neat freak, but outside of all the weird negative characteristics you can almost maybe feel a little sorry for the Earl. He is not intentionally mean just really insane. Lemongrab 2 was even a kinder version that wanted to help his people escape their torturous lives. Overall, Lemongrab is generally unhappy because of his loneliness, and he is so cute (outside of the times he ate people or that food from the rat). I really like him.

itachi-akatsuki-naruto-shippuden-30746594-704-576Itachi-Anime

 Now if you do not know why Itachi is so amazing, then you must catch up in ‘Naruto Shippuuden’ before reading this. It is not because of that so call ‘cool’ personality which everyone loved in the beginning (when he was shown as being purely evil I did not like him). It is because of how much of a good guy he was. Itachi was a hero. He sacrificed everything for the protection of the village and his brother. He was willing to become the bad guy, to make his brother loathe him, and to lose everything with no complaints. His death had to be the most surprising and one of the saddest. The fact that he was so loyal and good and yet his life was one of the worst possible outcomes (he even had a terminal illness for goodness sake) is so depressing. He was even one of the people who, though he hardly knew Naruto, really believed in him wholeheartedly. You cannot help but love him.

axelAxel-Video Game

 Another character who sacrifices himself for someone close enough to be family. For a suppose ‘heartless’, he is a very likable person. He struggles to find meaning in his existence (cause if you have no heart what point is there). Even his catch phrase is about that search for meaning. He repeats ‘Got it memorized’ to anyone he meets because he wishes to become immortal through people’s memories (not to become forgotten). Axel/Lea seems to have emotional capacity and to suffer the most. He creates strong bonds of friendships, is able to give up his whole existence for another person, and feels lonely and sad when Roxas is gone.

Yossarian-Book

 Though I did not include Catch 22 in my list of top ten favorite books, it is one that I loved. The entire concept and the meaning it tried to share are fantastic, but I am not going to talk about it’s significance (I am a blogger not  a high school literary professor). I think Yossarian just really stuck to me. Even though it has been years since I read the book, I still think fondly of him. One of the quotes that I still remember was when he was being examined. One man asked “Where were you born?” and Yossarian said “On a battlefield.” And the guy said “No, no. In what state were you born?” Yossarian says “In a state of Innocence.” I just really found that profound and beautiful. He may seem crazy, but there is logic in how he thinks. He does not give in to the whole catch 22, he forces his way into a third option and freedom to protect the independence of his mind.

Hector played by Eric Bana (I disliked the movie, but loved Hector).

Hector played by Eric Bana (I disliked the movie, but loved Hector).

Hector-Mythology (Hero)

Of all the heroes mentioned in Greek history/mythology, I just love Hector. By hero, I do not mean bad or good. It is more about whether or not person is brave and fights in battle. Sure he is not Greek, but in the case of the Trojan War I think it is only fair to point out that the Greeks were the bad guys. Hector is one of my favorite heroes because he fought to protect his people and his family. He was kind of like a martyr, sacrificing himself for all that he cared for. He may have disagreed with the war, but he stayed nine years leading his people through it. He was noble, brave, courageous, and full of valor even the Greeks admired him.

Most of these characters are either really heroic or purely cruel, but most of them are kind of sad. Of course these are not my only favorite characters, there are so many other cartoons and anime and books to love, but this is a pretty good compilation. Anyways, sorry about this simple post.

Which characters do you like?

-Blog Barista

tumblr_mx2ui1Pbo81t24irro1_500

Honest Myth:Brazilian- Boto Cor de Rosa

Today’s legend features one of my favorite folklore from Brazil. The Boto Cor de Rosa is the legend of the pink dolphins in the Amazonian river. There are real dolphins with a pinkish tint (because of the food they eat), and this is the legend of the magical qualities of the dolphins. The dolphins are said to be enchanted shape-shifters that become young beaus at night and seduce women.

The legend goes that Amazon Pink Dolphin becomes attractive young men each evening to go to parties. He looks for parties to go have fun at and pick up young ladies. After seducing them and staying the night together, he disappears and goes back to the river. When they change, the dolphins become very handsome dressing in all white suits. When they become men, they still have traces of their dolphin self. The pink dolphin still have the blowhole on the top of the head. To hide that they always wear white hats similar to zoot-hats.Untitled

The actual story goes that near the river banks lived an indigenous family with an 18 year old daughter Rosita. Everyday she would go down to the river to do chores like wash clothing. One day as she went to collect water, Rosita decided to dive into the river for a swim. As she swam, a young man appeared sitting at the edge of the river. They started to talk, the young man told Rosita that he was a fisherman and after some time she fell in love with him. Together the spent the night.

Every night from then on, they met at the same spot. It began to worry her family, so her father confronted her. Rosita told him that she was in love and wanted to marry a young fisherman. The father agreed and invited the young man to stay the night. The father noticed that the man would leave every morning coming back only in the evening. Yet one fateful night, the dolphin forgot to wake before dawn, so when Rosita woke she found a pink dolphin in her bed. He tried to escape, but the father shot him with a shot gun killing the dolphin. The man never came back, and Rosita began to believe that he left her. Worst of all, she was pregnant. Nine months later, Rosita died giving birth, and the father found that the baby was a pink dolphin. He realized then that the fisherman was the dolphin he killed. From then on all girls were warned to avoid mysterious young men found near the river bank.

Another form of the myth, is that the dolphins were once humans that were cursed. These myths most likely arrived because of off intelligent the dolphins are. They  aid the fishermen in catching fish and are known to use their noses to help those drowning in the river. They have also been called encantados which means enchanted ones. This name is often used for any magical fairy like being that uses their powers to seduce others.

Sometimes the dolphin will seduce young girls just to have sex for a night, but in some cases he can bring her to Encante. The Encante is a paradise palace under the water, but once the person is brought here they are never able to leave.

Check it out: http://www.amazon-indians.org/page19.html

-Blog Barista

She my wanna be careful

She may wanna be careful

Love Lab- by Ruri Miyahara

Untitled

TheBetterCup and I stumbled on this anime about 3 months ago. It is so promising. From its characters to the plot, the cartoon is just likable. I highly recommend it.

-What is the cartoon about?

Love Lab follows the story of the Fujisaki Girls Academy’s student government body. The school is especially pretigious with students who are extremely proper. They all admire the most demure and perfect student, the school president Natsuo Maki. The main character though, Riko Kurahashi, is very a forward tomboy that is also highly regarded for her strength and courage. One day Riko acciddently sees Maki kissing a body pillow and learns the president’s secret that she is not as composed as people believe. She promises to protect the secret and to help Maki learn how to behave during romantic activities. Slowly the others of student government body also get involved.

-Who are the central characters?

love-lab-cast

Eno (top left), Maki (bottom left), Riko (center), Suzune (right), Sayo (farthest right)

Riko Kurahashi is the main character of the series. Very popular among females because of her bold personality, she joins the student council so as to help Maki with love advice. She acts as if she knows a lot about love (though since she is more practical, she really does understand more than Maki), but lied about her previous romantic experiences.

Maki Natsuo is the president of Fujisaki Girls Academy. She is polite, calm, and perfect to the point that most every student and teacher loves her. She is extremely capable and talented, but oddly enough, she fails at anything to do with love. She really wants to learn more about romance, and owns a body pillow called Huggy that she uses to practice with. It is with Riko’s help that she learns about romance, and learns to be able to rely on others for help.

Suzune Tanahashi is the student council secretary. She is small, shy, and easily frightened. At first she tries to avoid and hide from Riko and Maki, but soon joins in their antics. She makes all the paper fans that are used to slap each other with (these slap sticks are a recurring joke, where one character, usually Riko, will hit Maki with the paper when she is being ridiculous like slap stick comedy).

Yuiko Enomoto (Eno) is the former student council president. Eno is a tsundere that holds a small grudge against Maki at first because of Maki’s inability to rely on others. After some time she and her best friend Sayo rejoin the student council. Eno joins as new vice president.

Sayori Mizushima (Sayo) is the former and rejoined student council treasurer. She has a strange and almost wicked personality, but is really very caring. She loves money and becomes greedy with the student council money (which is why she was kicked out of the student council), but joins again later. She is the only girl with a boy friend at the start of the anime.

-How is the Artwork?

The art is super cute with very few flaws or laziness occurring through out the series. They also switch into chibis and exaggerated expressions very easily making it even cuter. I just love how it is drawn.

giphy tumblr_mpp0o8R6wD1qcsnnso1_500 Holding+Hands+Fail+Source+Love+Lab_1ae8cb_4670721 tumblr_mplbdhMZYx1r53yzko1_500 riko_by_setonami-d6e9fca tumblr_mphz7wo5qG1r2pvg2o1_250cmp19115 tumblr_mph7xn2lAL1qfsvizo1_500 comment_DPtD9UtPmJsW8asEWXIpgjmMQfXgs7a5SlLafBz

-What makes the cartoon awesome?

The story is ridiculous, but cute. The characters are more than 2D. They are extremely likable with very prominent personalities, but they are not predictable at all. The way they interact with each other are so enjoyable.Best of all this anime, though focused on girls and love, has male characters. I have seen some anime where girls struggle to fall in love with boys with out any appearing in the anime, but this one does not do that.

-Blog Barista

Could you imagine a Disney princess like Maki. Now that I think about it Charlotte was pretty close.

Could you imagine a Disney princess like Maki. Now that I think about it Charlotte was pretty close.

Honest Myth:Greek- Hades

Hades and Persephone- I  really like this picture, but I do not know who the artist is. If anyone knows, please tell me right away.

Hades and Persephone- I really like this picture, but I do not know who the artist is. If anyone knows, please tell me right away.

Finally we have come to the end of our Mini Marathon, and who else do we end this on other then the very under appreciated Greek God of the Underworld Hades. I say under appreciated, but it is more than just that. He has the short end of all sticks (literally and figuratively). Even now, thousands of years later, Hades will be depicted as a villain in most media that focus on the Greek Gods or Heroes. There is just no escape for Hades from his very shoddy luck.

Hades (or Pluton) is the Lord of the Underworld, God of Riches and the Dead. He was the God of Wealth because gold and minerals come from underground. The name Pluton actually comes from words for wealthy. Though he is the oldest son of Cronus (three sons divided the world into three realms to rule), he gained rule over the worst domain (this domain was dark, depressing, not very loved by the people, often forgotten and feared in a negative way). The story of how they divided the rule will be explained in another post. He is often seen as a large and muscular older male with a full grown beard, the ideal image of a military man. Usually he will be holding a two-pronged pitch fork and be accompanied by Cerberus the Guardian of the Underworld. During the battle with the Titans, each of the three sons of Cronus was given a gift to use in battle. Zeus gained lightening bolts, Poseidon got a Trident, and Hades got the Helmet of Invisibility (even his gift is the quiet less violent one).

Not only did he get the more forgotten realm, the gift that did not allow him to fight in the offensive, and a modern day depiction of evil, but he also had the least amount of temples. People did not want to worship him, mostly since revering him did not promise them they would be judged better. His fairness in assessing souls meant that he would not be bribed with temple worship.

He was fathered by Cronus King of the Titan’s Reign and Rhea the Mother of the Gods. His siblings include Poseidon, Demeter, Hestia, Hera, and Zeus. Hades was the first child to be born, but the last to be vomited back into the world by Cronus. His wife was Persephone, and he had no children (at least some like the Furies are said to be his, but then again they are also said to come from the blood of the castrated Uranus). He had a consort before Persephone, named Leuce. She lived in the underworld till her death. Once she passed, he changed her into a white poplar flower which later became a symbol of Persephone.

Myths with Persephone: 

  • Of course, I like Hades. We all know that most the Gods have a reputation of being terribly flawed (mostly Zeus, he was a tramp), but Hades was one of few to punish people with no reason or do bad deeds. The one time he maybe had questionable morals was the story of how he gained a wife. The story goes that one day Hades, who does not come to the surface often, and has very little networking skills to obtain a wife (mostly since ladies do not like the idea of being Queen to the Underworld), sees and falls in love with Persephone daughter of Demeter. Instead of doing what most Gods seem inclined to do, *cough* Zeus *cough*, he does not just rape her to get over his lust. Instead he decides that he must marry her. So he abducts her as she was picking flowers in the fields of Nysa. When Demeter could not find her daughter, she went into a horrible fit of depression and cursed all the lands to be barren. A famine began and all life began to die. The Gods beseeched her to lift it, but she refused unless she got her duaghter back. Helios Primordial God of the Sun was the only one who saw what Hades had done (he was considered all knowing cause he was the sun). He told the Gods and Demeter, but also confessed that Hades was a worthy consort to her daughter. Anyways, Zeus sent a message to Hades requesting that he return Persephone, but by then she had already eaten the fruit (pomegranate) of the Underworld (so she could not return). They made a deal that she would go to the Earth to be with her mother for 6 months (summer), and stay with her husband for the other 6 (winter). Lots of the time, modern media will portray Persephone as having harbored anger towards her husband, but for the most part they were god spouses. No one ever cheated on the other, and though the underworld may have been depressing, she loved Hades.
  • In another story, a Naiad or water nymph known as Minthe was amazed by Hades’s Golden Chariot. She decided to try and seduce him, but Persephone ended that plot by changing her into a mint plant.
  • Persephone would never cheat on Hades willingly. She and Hades were monogamous, but sadly Zeus, being the tart that he is, was neither that nor was he against sleeping with his own daughter. One night he comes to Persephone disguised as Hades. After this she becomes pregnant with his child Melinoe Nymph of Nightmares and Madness. When Hades found out he tore apart Melinoe’s flesh, an act known as sparagmos.
  • In a third story, Theseus and Pirithous (hotshots who thought they could just do what ever they wanted) decided that they wanted to marry. But it could not be just any women, they had to be daughters of Zeus. So Theseus picked Helen and Pirithous picked Persephone. After kidnapping a child Helen, they ventured down to the Underworld. Unknowing to them, Hades learned of their plans. So he pretended to treat them with hospitality and held a feast for them. When they sat down, snakes coiled around their bodies and trapped them there. Hercules came later and rescued Theseus, but Pirithous had to stay as punishment for attempting to kidnap the Queen Persephone.

Hades was not evil though. He was actually really altruistic and fair. He had a passive role in most conflicts, feeling no need to kill unnecessarily since all life ends at his domain anyways. To maintain balance was his ultimate goal. So as people are born others must die, and once they leave the realm of the surface they can never return (that is balance). So the few times he is seen as angry is when people try to leave the Underworld, living souls try to enter, or those meant to die try to trick death. Heroes (and Heroine since we learned that Psyche was the same) actually entered while ventured into the Underworld. They all usually come out very displeased with what they see (super depressing place). Even Achilles tells Odysseus that he would rather be a poor man working forever then be King of the Underworld. Hercules as entered multiple times, he even came to take Cerberus as a challenge (one of the 12 labors, but Hades lets him as long as he promised not to harm Cerberus). Hades never gets the  chance to get him back for constantly breaking the rules and bringing souls back to life because by the time Hercules dies, he ascends to Olympus.

Hades is both the name of the Ruler of the Underworld and the Underworld itself. He has also been called Plouton, which is how I grew up knowing him. There are many realms in Hades/Underworld and was the place for all souls to go after death whether or not the person was ‘evil’ or ‘good’, but those who were particularly bad and offended the Gods would be sent to Tartarus.  Tartarus was a deep abyss were the most vile souls went. The Elysium also known as Isles of the Blessed is the domain for the souls of those related to the Gods, women that had children with Zeus, and heroes. The Asphodel Meadows was were the souls of ordinary men were sent. The entrance was considered to be at a crater called Avernus. The souls would enter and pay Charon to ferry them across the five rivers (that all connected in the center marshlands also called Styx): Styx river of hate, Phelgethon river of fire (that leads to Tartarus), Acheron river of woes, Cocytus river or lamentation, and Lethe river of oblivion (flowed to the Cave of Hypnos). All of the rivers circle and encompass Hades/Underworld. They all have been personified as well. In one story, Zeus promised the Goddess Styx that all oaths would be done in her name and would have to be followed. This was a reward for siding with the gods against the titans. In another story, Goddess Styx was in love with the God Phelgethon. Yet, his flames consumed her, so her soul was sent to Hades. Hades allowed her to flow as a river, and so she was reunited with Phelgethon. It is also said that near Lethe, the location where souls drink the water to lose memories, was a pool called Mnemsyne which was water that allowed them to remember (but few drank from there). Closer to the center is the palace of Hades and Persephone where the three Judges of the Underworld (Minos, Aeacus, and Rhadamanthus) sat. Past them was the trivium of Hecate where three roads met and each led to one of the three previously mentioned realms. Based on how the three judges assessed the soul, it was sent down the road to where it would stay for eternity.

Hades was a stern but fair ruler, who loved his wife and did not partake in much violence. He presided over funerals, and defended the right for the dead to be buried.

Learn more: http://www.greekmyths-greekmythology.com/myth-of-hades-and-persephone/

-Blog Barista

LOVE HIM

LOVE HIM

Honest Myth:Breton- Ankou

 

I have no idea who the artist is. If anyone knows please tell me so that I can give them credit and thanks.

I have no idea who the artist is. If anyone knows please tell me so that I can give them credit and thanks.

The 12th day of our mini marathon, and our second to last deity of death. I happily introduce Ankou a Celtic/Breton spirit. Ankou is considered a henchman to death. He collects lost souls and protects the graveyards and the souls of the dead. The last person to die (or sometimes the first person to die) in a year, becomes the Ankou for the next year. So basically the Ankou is a special yearly position for a spirit to watch over the graveyards. He can only go to the afterlife after he collects souls for a year.

He is described as being a skeleton or shadow with a hat meant to conceal his face and with a cart meant for collecting the dead. His face is only witnessed by those who have died, and his head is said to rotate 360 degrees because he sees all. Sometimes, he is said to ride in a buggy (not own a cart) pulled by black horses and with two ghostly footmen. He usually uses his buggy to make house calls to those about to die. He acts very much like a psychopomp, bringing the dead to the afterlife. He is followed by a cold wind that causes people to shiver.

The Ankou warned people of impending plagues/diseases by leaving a red mark of death on the doors of families who were infected. This often led to others in the village killing the families, avoiding them entirely, or forcing the families to stay locked in their homes (often starving to death).

For some, the Ankou was an evil spirit who always had room for one more in his cart. He could easily and mercilessly take a person’s life. In Ireland, the Ankou was a fairy, not a ghost, and he was said to never leave empty handed.

There are many stories that involve the Ankou:

In one myth, an Ankou attempted to rip the souls of incorruptible men before their time. An angel became so angry that he gashed out the eyes of the Ankou. Afterwards, all Ankou would have empty eye sockets with a dying light showing through.

In another story, Ankou was said to be Cain son of Adam and Eve. He was cursed to collect souls of the dead as punishment for being the first human to kill.

In one legend, the Ankou was thought to be a barbarous landowner who challenged Death to a gambling game.

A fourth story explains that one day three friends were walking home drunk one night, and they stumble upon an old buggy/cart. Being drunk (and apparently rude and stupid), two of the young men began throwing rocks and shouting provocations. After breaking the cart, the two ran away. The third, feeling guilty over his friends idiocy, searched for a branch to replace the axle and gave his shoelace to tie it all together. The next day, the two friends were found dead, and the third only had a full head of white hair.

In a fifth story, there was a Prince that was petty, jealous, and vindictive. He loved to hunt, and on the Sabbath Day, he hunted a magical white deer. The deer led them to a dark and shadowy figure riding a white horse. The stupid prince challenged the cloaked man. The contest was to catch the magical stag, and the winner would decide the faith of the loser. The stranger won, and he did so very quickly too. The Prince became angry and ordered his men to attack the stranger. The ghostly man only laughed and told the prince that he would have to hunt for the souls of the dead. The figure was Death, and the Prince became the Ankou.

To learn more read here: http://www.frenchentree.com/france-brittany-culture-traditions/DisplayArticle.asp?ID=11292

-Blog Barista

..... why.....

….. why…..

Top Ten Buono Songs

I love Buono. I like all their songs, and as far as J-Pop goes, they were so unique. That is why I am going to list ten songs, my top six, TheBetterCup’s two, their very first song, and their very last. I find them better than most J-pop because it has less of the annoying pop music with nonsensical lyrics and more rockish. They did not need to constantly change their image and always had a live band. I recommend checking out all their songs, but since that is a little to much to ask, here is just a few.

If you do not know them, Buono is a Hello! Project unit consisting of three members (Momoko Tsugunaga, Miyabi Natsuyaki, and Airi Suzuki) all of whom come from other groups. The group was formed to create songs for a popular anime called Shugo! Chara. Yet, they received so much success that they continued to exist after the end of the anime.

In 2012, they released their latest album, and has released nothing since then. No one is sure if they are officially disbanded or not, but they have been removed from the Hello! Project website. It is a little disappointing, but each of the girls seem busy and devoted to each of the primary groups (Berryz Koubou and C-ute).

They personally mean a lot to me. They were my age, they were my childhood, and i emulated them. I really liked them, and really hope that they are not done. I do not plan on giving an explanation for all the videos, but maybe some information. The songs are in no particular order


 

Blog Barista’s Favorites:

Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!

Kiss! Kiss! Kiss! was made in 2008 as the third ending theme of Shugo! Chara.

Natsu Dakara

This was their 12th single released in 2012. The title means ‘Because it is Summer’.

Hoshi no Hitsuji Tachi

This is not a single, but it is so cute. The title means ‘The Sheep in the Stars’. Sheep were (and still are) my favorite animals, so I have always loved the song. It was released in 2008.

Urahara

The title means ‘Underneath’, and the song was released in 2010.

We are Buono

This was released in the same album as Urahara and Kataomoi. The song is supposed to be like there theme song.

Kataomoi

The title means ‘Unrequited Love’.

Mirai Drive

This was released on their latest album in 2012. The title means ‘Future Drive’.


TheBetterCup’s Favorites:

Rottara Rottara

The title means ‘Lot of Love, Lot of Love’. The video is super cute, and 60’s style. The song was the fourth ending of Shugo Chara!!! Doki and was released in 2008.

My Boy

The third ending theme of Shugo Chara!!! Doki, the song was released in 2009. This was there 7th single.


Kokoro no Tamago (FIRST SONG)

Made in 2007, this was the first song and opening of Shugo! Chara. The title means Egg of the Heart, and the entire song has to do with the premise of Shugo!c Chara.

Never Gonna Stop (Ironically their LAST SONG)

This was the last video released for their songs. It was released in 2012, and was used as the ending to a television series.

-Blog Barista

Buono

Honest Myth:European- Grim Reaper

The pictures are from cemeteries, but I am not sure where exactly. They are just really cool and creepy.

fab725d8cfe6b8c9664615dc40cff238

It is day 11 of our Mini Marathon. To be honest, there are a vast amount of deities associated with death, and though we have yet to discuss most of them, I decided to finish this marathon on the thirteenth deity. Many of the ones I did not write about I still plan on discussing at a later time, but for now, we will end the marathon on Friday.

So today’s deity will be the oh so fabulous Grim Reaper!!

The Grim Reaper is more a legend or folklore that personifies death. It does not really connect with any specific culture or religion, but he continues to exist in our modern society. It does not mean that people really believe that this cloaked figure collects people’s souls, but he is the usual depiction of death in media.

1338cf9df648dd48040762165d216201The Grim Reaper is shown as a skeletal figure cloaked in black and carrying a scythe. It is usually believed to be a male, but in retrospect there really exists no way of knowing since it is a skeleton (I know that you could compare his hip bones to figure it out, but I doubt an artist that creates an image of him puts that sort of effort). It is said that his movements are extremely graceful as he seems to glide silently, and he never speaks. Cool Fact: Marvel Universe depicts the Grim Reaper as a female. This makes sense since death is female in the Latin root. So places like Mexico have a female personification. Not that it matters much, because she is just a skeleton in a cloak still, but her cloak is white.

Like most, the Grim Reaper is a psychopomp from folk lore. He comes to earth to collect the souls of those who are meant to die. When it is a person’s time to pass, he appears silently before the person as a harbinger of imminent death, and then disappears just as quickly and silently.

The Grim Reaper began to appear in art and stories around the time of mass deaths (like the plague). He does not have an connection to one religion, he just depicts the on coming of death. His scythe represent the idea that he collects or reaps souls like a human would grain/grass. Agrarian society used scythes in the fall to collect their crops. The harvest represented the time where the land created food but was about to pass into winter and die.

Skulls and skeletons make sense as a symbol of the Grim Reaper. Bones being what remains after a human (or any creature) dies and decays. The black coat though is meant to represent death and mourning. It is meant to seem frightening and ominous, like he can hide in the shadows. He has been seen to hold an hour glass, which represented the limited time of life.

I am not sure if the kiss of death is related with the Grim Reaper, but it kind of interesting to think about that saying.

Many of us have probably heard or seen the Grim Reaper depicted in media of some kind. Maybe in a poem like that of Emily Dickinson The Chariot, or in a cartoon like the Adventures of Billy and Mandy.

Wanna know more? Check this out: http://www.mythicalcreaturesguide.com/page/Grim+Reaper

-Blog Barista

 

it is strange, I found one where he actually looked cool.

it is strange, I found one where he actually looked cool.

Honest Myth:Egyptian- Osiris

44dca6bcc0e46bc12fd31c40e9b49a84Day 10!

If you remember about a week ago, I wrote a post on Anubis and mentioned another Egyptian death god known as Osiris. Identified as the God of the Underworld and Afterlife, he took Anubis’s place in the pantheon during the later time in Egyptian history.

Osiris is depicted as strange skinned man, with pharaoh’s “items”, wrapped like a mummy, and holding a crook and flail. His skin can be either green, color of rebirth,  or black, color of fertility and the color of a mummified corpse. He is dressed as a pharaoh with a pharaoh’s beard and a crown similar to the White Crown of Upper Egypt.  The crown is adorned with ostrich feathers on both sides.

As I mentioned before (Anubis Honest Myth), Osiris became the god of underworld through a myth that depicted his resurrection. This resurrection led to his association with vegetation and the flooding of the Nile (which are cyclical) and because death was considered the rebirth of the soul in the afterlife, he became the God of the Afterlife.

Osiris is the son of Geb the God of Earth and Nut the Goddess of the Sky. His siblings include Isis (sister-wife) Goddess of Marriage, Nephthys Goddess of Lamentation,and Set God of Chaos.

Every myth that involves Osiris also involves death:

In one myth, Set the God of Chaos and Storms, wanting Osiris’s throne, conspires the Queen of Ethiopia to defeat Osiris. They trick him into stepping into a box (being the symbol of the sarcophagi) which they shut, lock, and throw into the Nile. Isis goes searching for him, but finds he has already died. At this point, she uses her father’s spell and gets pregnant before he dies again. Afterwards, she buries his body in the desert. Many years later, Set goes hunting one night and comes across his brother’s dead body. Angry, he shreds his body into many pieces and throws them in many directions. Isis searches for all the pieces and uses a spell known from her father to resurrect him. Yet as she could not find the phallus, she added a golden one instead.  She then gave Anubis Osiris’s body so that he can embalm him. The other gods, impressed with Isis’s devotion, resurrect Osiris (thanks to Anubis, Osiris’s body did not decompose). Horus became the one meant to battle and destroy Set.

It is said that after Anubis measures the heart/soul of one that dies, Horus brings the pure soul to Osiris for purification.

Finally finished. Learn more here: www.egyptartsite.com/osi.html

-Blog Barista

This only happens in anime...

This only happens in anime…

Favorite Books Update: Under Fishbone Clouds

So one of my very first posts had to do with my top ten favorite books. I will leave the link here: http://www.espressocomsaudade.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/books-top-ten-favorites/

f

Under the Fishbone Clouds by Sam Meekings

Anyways, I read a book two months ago that I wanted to write about, but it affected me so deeply that I could not write about it. In June, I went to this used book store and saw this beautiful book that cost $0.50. It was so cheep, and I just loved the front cover. So I bought it and started reading…. Dear goodness this was one of the saddest, most compelling, most beautiful stories I have ever read. I know not everyone will love it as much as I did, but at least pick it up and try it.

The story follows this unnamed Kitchen God from China who has made a deal with the Jade Emperor that he can understand the human heart. If he wins, his soul can finally go to the underworld, and he will reunite with his wife. To understand the human heart, he begins to study the lives of two people beginning from their childhood and into their old age. The story takes place during the Chinese revolution and the up rise of the communist government.

The descriptiveness and vividness is what I most loved about this. It is so detailed and ornate. You really feel like you can smell or feel or taste everything that is described. I really loved the story. By the end, you really begin to feel for the two main characters. I cried, a lot. It made me think about love and life, a lot. I am not sure what the author’s intended reaction was, but I felt so overwhelmed that I could not pick up another serious book for three months. I have been reading really wonderful and fun Star Trek books instead.

Anyways this is definitely one of my favorite books. FYI: it is also considered a magical realism.

13538873Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Another book that I enjoyed this summer was Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore. This is a really fun, imaginative, and creative book. This is like a really modern idea on wizardry and immortality, but in a way where books are the key to magic.

The story revolves around a young man named Clay Jannon who used to work as web designer, but who has recently lost his job to the recession. Not wanting to stay unemployed, he finds this job to be a cashier at a small book store from 6 in the evening to 6 in the morning. He starts to become very curious with the strange rules of the store and the quirky people who come to check out the books. It all feels so very magical even though there is none what so ever. I definitely suggest it.

Update done, Barista Out!

-Blog Barista

Read these books!

Read these books!

Honest Myth:Turkic- Erlik

For day nine of our mini marathon, we are going to inspect a God/Deity that hails from multiple religions and is very hard to find. Erlik can be encountered in Turkic mythology (prior to the rise of Islam), Siberian mythology, and Mongolian Mythology. Basically he can be seen in any of the cultures between Russia and China, or at least that general area. Sadly, he will be the second malevolent death being who deserves to be unappreciated much like our Mayan friend (Ah Puch).

So let us begin from the very start. I want to be able to say everything I know about Erlik, since this is a difficult religion to research, but I need to be able to do this with any reader being able to understand. I doubt most of us have any prior knowledge, but I will try and not over explain unnecessary parts so that those can be their own posts in the future. This East Asian Mythology is very heavily founded on shaman and their mystical abilities to reach the gods. I just want to point that out because their position (against/with to certain gods) is very important.

Ulgan was the second highest entity in the Turkic mythology. He represented Goodness, Abundance, Nature, and Water. He created the Earth and the Heavens and was the patron god of Shamans. Ulgan was more omnipotent then most of the previously mentioned beings, more akin to the Christian God then to the Greek Zeus. Anyways, Erlik was the very first man to be created by Ulgan. One day with the creation of the Earth complete, Ulgan saw a peiec of mud floating in the water that seemed to have human features. So he gave a soul to the mud, and sculpted a body creating Erlik. After assisting Ulgan to create humanity, he turned against him and revolted. Ulgan banished Erlik, for trying to gain more power, to the ninth layer of the Earth where Erlik became God of the Underworld. (Interesting note, Erlik was made of mud. Second interesting note, though this has many similar counter parts to the Christian religion, Erlik was not meant to be a more godly being as he was the first man. This is not unlike Satan who was an angel).

The myth of Erlik’s “revolt” was not as evil and war-like as Satan’s. In the East Asian mythology, Ulgan creates the earth by having mankind slowly bring soil from the ocean’s depths and piling it on the ocean’s surface. As man and gods were creating the land, Erlik stole a piece of land and hid it in his mouth, but it began to grow. Erlik almost choked to death, and spit out the land. This created marshlands/swamps and revealed the plan to Ulgan.

What kind of confuses me is that shamans describe Erlik as a pig face on a man’s body, but Erlik is also said to be the first man so surely he looked like man. I think over time, his evil led to an evolution of the description of his facial characteristics. I mean surely we see this in other stories. Lucifer was an angel who most likely looked like other descriptions of angels (some of which are horrifying but that is for another post), but he changed slowly into our modern being with horns, goat feet, and a tail. In other depictions of Erlik’s appearance, Erlik was shown as bearded older man with thick eyebrows and a mustache, but his body was extremely well-built and ripped.

Erlik has nine daughters and nine sons. His daughter are known as the Dark/Black Girls. They help their father by tempting the shamans with their beauty, so then the shaman can not gain the grace of Ulgan. Erlik also have evil spirits assistants that bring misfortune, disease, ailment, and death to mankind and bring the souls of sinners to the underworld (psychopomps). His nine sons are the God of Darkness, God of Chaos, God of Evil, God of Disaster, God of Defeat, God of Informants (he knows all deeds done by man and can find the wicked), God of Conflict, God of Mining, and God of Bravery. Two of the these Gods do not follow their fathers evil foot steps, mining and courage are good things in society.

As  the God of the Underworld and Judge of the Dead, Erlik is the teacher of sin. He desired sacrifices (probably because he wanted recognition of his power), and if no one gave him those sacrifices, he would go to the graveyards of loved ones and steal the body so as to enslave them. People sacrificed to him out of fear. He also comes to Earth to tempt souls so that he may find those that can be corrupted and drag them to the Underworld.

After Erlik, Ulgan created many more men. Yet, his eighth man, Maidere, was the savior/messenger-god that would come to Earth and teach mankind about sins. When Maidere came to Earth, Erlik killed him which ended the chance for mankind to know the truth. This is why the shamans, who can reach the gods and learn the truth, are so prominent.

In one myth, Maidere made woman out of earth, but he could not give her a soul. So he left to ask Ulgan to give her life, and while he was gone, a dog was left to guard her. Erlik came to earth and bribed the dog with food. The dog let him see the empty doll, and Erlik played seven notes on his flute in her ear. When Maidere came back, he found that woman had a soul, but that she had horrible temperment and was easily corrupted. For the dog’s treason, Maidere punished the entire species to be inferior and mistreated by man. (Now I have two personal problems with this tale. One: it paints women as being inherently bad. Two: It gives an excuse for animal mistreatment. But these are personal problems).

There is a second version of this story. In this tale, Maidere is creating mankind. He leaves, just like before, to get some souls, and just like before, he leaves the dog to guard. When Erlik bribes the dog, he does so with golden hair. He visits the unifinshed person and spits on their body. Maidere returns to find that his creation was ruined. Instead of remaking it or trying again, he does the only sensible thing (at least maybe to a procrastinating high schooler) and turns them inside out. This is why man has liquids in his body.

What I have yet to figure out is whether or not all souls go to his underworld or if the heavens are not just for the pantheon of gods.

I hope that was enjoyable. Read more on Erlik and see a gross picture of him here; http://www.goddesses-and-gods.blogspot.com/2010/01/erlik.html

-Blog Barista

The entire time I wanted to call him Elric...

The entire time I wanted to call him Elric…

 

Sorry no picture. It is hard to find one of him, and he is really ugly. If you really want to see one, check out the link at the bottom.

 

Honest Myth:Etruscan- Orcus

Orcus Mouth in Parco dei Mostri by Herbert List (1952)

Orcus Mouth in Parco dei Mostri by Herbert List (1952)

The eighth day in our Mini Marathon introduces a very cool death deity that originated in the Etruscan society. Orcus is the God of the Underworld (which is conviniently named Orcus) and Punisher of Broken Promises.

Orcus was usually seen as a large, bearded giant. He was associated with the Greek demon Horkos Personification of Oaths and son of Eris the Goddess of Strife. He was mostly worshipped in rural areas of the Roman Empire. When the Greek Pantheon was brought into the Roman religion, Orcus began to be merged with Pluto/Hades. When this occurred though, Orcus was seen as the evil, punishing aspect of the underworld god.

His role was to torment any soul that was evil and broke their oaths. So, I cannot really see him as being evil and bad since he punishes those who do evil (not out of pleasure, but to punish their evil). Anyways, Orcus has an ugly appearance and that lends to his evolution into a role of being the more brutal aspect of Pluto in later Rome. This evolution led to the creation of the words Ogre and Orch which refer to fairy-tale monsters that usually eat human flesh.

In earlier accounts in Rome, he was considered son of Mars (who was believed to be a part of the creation of Rome). Then his appearance changed, and he was depicted as an angel like Eros or Thanatos. This portrayal did not last long, and they opted for his Etruscan appearance again.

As a punisher of those who broke their word, Orcus was extremely scary. He was described as carting men by force into the underworld and imprisoning them. He was often shown as having his mouth open, probably connected to the idea of oaths and promises. Also, like the picture above, his mouth was used as entrance ways probably to the underworld.

To learn more read here: www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Orcus.html

-Blog Barista

Secret Weapon

Secret Weapon

Honest Myth:Mayan- Ah Puch/Kisin

Captain’s Log star date seven. Today we have encountered one of the first mythical death beings to have no indication of kindness or just behavior. Known as Ah Puch, Kisin, and God A, this Mayan deity is the God of  Death, the Underworld, Putrefaction, and Flatulence. We will have to investigate further all his attributes and behaviors before deeming him an outcast in our Kindly Gods of Death Club.

In the Mayan artwork and stories, Kisin has many descriptions for his appearance. He is usually depicted as a dancing skeleton or as a bloated putrefying body with an owl’s head. Decorated in bells, he often wears a death collar/necklace adorned with the eyes (dangling off nerve cords) of the dead. At some points, he was shown to only have a skeleton’s head, but his body featured protruding ribs and sores. He is also seen holding a sacrificial knife in one hand and a cigarette in the other (classy). He is generally shown smirking. *shiver*

34ee9be1f28433b9f978df2b9fd10b12Kisin is Lord if the Underworld, ruling mostly over the ninth level of their ‘hell’ which was the worst and merciless floor. He is deeply associated with owls, who hunts at night. It was believed that if a person heard the screech of an owl, someone near by was soon destined to die. He was also connected to caves because they represented the entrances to the underworld.

During the creation of  the underworld, Kisin killed the god of sky, but he was soon resurrected. So as punishment, Kisin was sentenced to be trapped in the Underworld as it’s ruler. Out of anger and frustration, Kisin often kicks the pillars in his palace causing earthquakes above. He only escapes at night, when he comes to the surface to find his next victim. To avoid death, people were told to howl and scream in pain. Then, Kisin would think that one of his demons had dealt with the victim first.

His own personal psychopomp was an evil bird that carried messages to him about bad tidings and those meant to die. In the underworld, Kisin would burn some of the souls of those considered evil (probably more for enjoyment then for justice), and turn some of the more evil souls into his own demon pets. For fun, he enjoyed hunting doppelgangers that looked like spider monkeys of men destined to die.

In one myth, Kisin destroys the trees that the rain god Chac plants on the planet (because he is a jerk bully).

So in conclusion, Kisin goes against my whole thesis that death gods are kind and under appreciated. But I still believe he is only one of few that contradict that completely.

More of the God of Flatulence: www.allabouthistory.org/mayan-death-god-faq.htm

-Blog Barista

That Smell!!!!!

That Smell!!!!!

Honest Myth:Greek- Thanatos

Sleep and His Half Brother Death by John Waterhouse (1874)

Sleep and His Half Brother Death by John Waterhouse (1874)

This is the sixth day of the Death Deity Mini Marathon. Today I want to talk about one of the more underrated Greek Gods/Daemon. Like all the deities we spoke of thus far and all to come, Thanatos is a death deity that is always spoken about in mythology, but rarely appears in person. Also like all the others, he represents a peaceful and just death, yet he can often be misunderstood as a bad guy or evil (seriously all of the death deities on this list are not appreciated at ALL. I mean lets look at a more recent religion, Azreal is supposed to be a peaceful subordinate of God, but he is so easily twisted into an evil figure that is a murderer). Anyways…

Thanatos is one of my three favorite Greek Gods (Pluto and Eros being the other two), and there is good reason behind my liking him. He is the God of Peaceful Death, which he does with the help of his half brother/twin Hypnos God of Sleep. When the Fates affirmed that the thread of life was cut and it was time for that person to die, Hypnos would make the person fall asleep and Thanatos would lightly touch them killing them instantly. Then he would take their soul to Hades (the Underworld). Other than Hypnos, Thanatos has a large and messed up family. He was born to Nyx Primordial Goddess of Night and, in some myths, his father was Erebos the Personification of Darkness and Shadows (sometimes though he has no father). His siblings includes, but is not limited to: Geras (Old Age), Eris (Strife), Morai (Fates), Nemesis (Punishment), Momus (Blame), Moros (Doom), Oizys (Suffering), Apate (Deception), Charon (the Styx Boatman in Hades), and the Keres (Violent Death). His family was filled with so much anguish that I can kind of understand why he might be followed with a negative view, but no one hated Hypnos, Philotes (Friendship) and Oneiroi (Dream), and they comes from the same flock.

Thanatos like many of the Death Deities (in this case he is a Daemon or demon) was a psychopomp, but his role was easily given to Hermes in Mythology.

He does not appear much in stories, but he has been depicted in art. Usually he is (like most) a strong warrior type man with a beard, and sometimes he takes the more idealistic form of a youth, but in both cases he always has wings like an angel. As time passed, he underwent an image change similar to Eros in that he was depicted as a flying baby/child. He always carries around an upside down torch which represents the end of a life (extinguished life). Poppies and butterflies are associated with him as well. Poppies because of they can cause slumber and then peaceful death and butterflies because they sympolize souls.

There are two big myths that feature Thanatos:

Sisyphus, whose story will one day be told fully in another post, behaved very poorly multiple times like killing guests or having sexual relations with his neice, but one day he went to far and betrayed Zeus (it was BAD). In rage, Zeus ordered Thanatos to bring Sisyphus to Tartarus which is a place like Hell since torture goes on in their (it is for the worst types of people) and confine Sisyphus in chains. When they arrived in Tartarus, Sisyphus asked Thanatos how the chains worked, and as he was demonstrating, Sisyphus trapped him in the shackles. With Thanatos restrained, no mortal could die. Ares, who found that wars would not end and that they lost there sport became infuriated and intervened by setting Thanatos free and capturing Sisyphus.

In this second story, a young Princess named Alcestis came at age to marry, and so her father declared that the first suitor to yoke a lion and bear to a chariot would win her hand. Apollo, who was banished to serve King Admetus, helped Admentus won the contest. He married Alcestis, but forgot to make a sacrifice to Artemis (maybe because she is the goddess of the hunt and he was required to hunt down and domesticate those animals, or because she is Apollo’s sister so he needed to show gratitude) and found his whole bed stuffed with snakes which were meant to kill him. To keep Admentus from dying, Apollo went to Hades and got the Fates drunk so that he could obtain their promise that if anyone volunteered to die in Admentus’s place it would be accepted. As he lay dying though, no one was willing to give up their life except Alcestis. So she was taken by Thanatos to Hades. Hercules, who was a guest at the time, wanted to show gratitude for the hospitality so he went down to Hades and challenged Thanatos to a wrestling dual. Thanatos lost, and Hercules took Alcestis back to earth.

Here is a cute and funny description of Thanatos: www.shmoop.com/thanatos/

-Blog Barista

I die with laughter every time at this part.

I die with laughter every time at this part.

Honest Myth:Japanese- Death Deities

Day Five of our Death God Mini Marathon. The Japanese do not seem to have one official God associated with death. On top of that they have many influences from different religions. So there are many deities related to death, and many are similar to others found in Chinese folklore and Hinduism. Here is a compilation of deities related to death. Most of these deities are Japanese, but some are of other cultures.

King Yama or King Enma

King Enma and his Attendents

King Enma and his Attendents

King Yama is a God of Death and Justice in Japanese Buddhism, Chinese Buddhism, and Hinduism. As Lord of Justice, he watches over purgatory, judging mortals as they enter and sending them to either heaven or hell. He keeps a record of all deeds of all men so that he can sentence them to the appropriate area of hell (or heaven).

In Hindu Mythology, he was said to be the first man (like Adam), and instead of committing incest with his sister, he chose to die instilling the mortality in mankind. He is depicted as a fierce, large man carrying a mace and a noose. In the Chinese Buddhism, he is said to preside over the lives, deaths, and transmigration of the human souls. He also carries a book with a list of all human lives and their expected time of death. When someone is meant to die, he sends monstrous hell guardians to bring them (like a psychopomp) to hell for judgement. He is one of ten kings of hell. In the Japanese mythology, he is usually clothed in red clothing, adorned in human skulls, and holding the mirror of karma (that shows a person’s every deed), and a sword wisdom.

King Yama watches over a purgatory like hell. All beings come here, and stay for a certain amount of time to repent for sins before being granted access to go to heaven. The amount of time is based on their actions on earth, and that also dictates which hell and suffering they go to. This can all be seen in the anime Hoozuki no Reitetsu, which i mentioned in this blog post: http://www.espressocomsaudade.wordpress.com/2014/05/11/hoozuki-no-reitetsu-by-natsumi-eguchi/

Read more about the Great King Yama here: http://www.japanesemythology.wordpress.com/king-yama-lord-of-the-dead-comparing-counterparts-and-cognates-in-central-asia-and-southeast-asia/

Shinigami and Folk Spirits

Shinigami are death spirits that induce a feeling wanting to commit suicide. In some modern works, shinigami are similar to the grim reaper. They are responsible to seeing that a person dies at their time and leads them (as a psychopomp) to hell for judgement. They sit on the boarder between life and death, and they are usually invisible until a person’s time comes.

Other then shinigami, there are spirits in folk religions/countryside legends that perform the same responsibilities and cause acts of suicide. It is said that if someone goes out to attend to someone at night, they must drink a cup of tea before bed or the spirit will visit them. For others, death spirits possess people and lead them into seas, mountains, and railroads to die.

Ox-Head and Horse-Face

Ox-Head and Horse-Face

The Chinese have these two deities called Ox-Head and Horse-Face who are guardians to the gates of hell. Sometimes they are described as psychopomps, and other times they are said to just guard the doors. They can also be found in Hoozuki no Reitetsu.

In the Buddhist religion, the Mara is a demon that also causes humans to want to die. He has three daughters that he used to tempt Buddha: Tanha (Craving), Arati (Boredom), and Raga (Passion). In other stories he has five daughters: attraction, delusion, three poisons, and aversion.

Read more here: http://www.mythicalcreatureslist.com/mythical-creature/Shinigami

Izanami

Searching the Sea Painting, Picture of Izanami by Kobayashi Eitaku (1880)

Searching the Sea Painting, Picture of Izanami by Kobayashi Eitaku (1880)

Izanami is the first Goddess created along with a male god named Izanagi so as to create land and life. Together they were the Gods of Creation, but later (after her own death), she became a Goddess of Death. They were given a heavenly spear decorated in jewels that they used to create the self-forming island to live on. They got married, but Izanami spoke before Izanagi during the marriage ceremony, so when they had their first two children both came out as deformed demons. They remarried, and this time Izanagi spoke first fixing the problem that caused the deformed children (who were put on a boat and sent far far away). They had many children, all of which became the eight great islands of japan, all the deities, and the mountains, rivers, and seas. At one point, Izanami gave birth to the God of Fire, but he was so hot that she burned and died. Izanagi later killed the fire god using the Ten Grasp Sword.

Izanagi decided he would take a journey to the underworld, named Yomi, and get her back (this is like Orpheus, so you can probably guess out this will end). There are two versions of what happened when he found her. One: she hid her face and told him that she could not go home because she had eaten fruit of the underworld (like Persephone). Two: She said she would escape, but that he could not look at her face. Either way, he sneaked a peek at her face and saw that she was a rotting corpse not his beautiful bride. He was so disgusted, that he ran away and abandoned her. She was so mad at him that she sent Shikome, ugly women of the underworld, and Raijin, a God/Demon  of Storms, after him. Izanagi escaped and sealed the entrance of Yomi with a boulder. Izanami was so enraged that she swore to steal 1,000 living beings from Earth a day (creating death), and he challenged back that he would create 1,500 everyday.

Read more about Izanami’s story here: http://www.ancient-mythology.com/japanese/izangi-izanami.php

-Blog Barista

Hahahahahahahahahaah

Hahahahahahahahahaah

Honest Myth:Yoruba- Eshu

Yay, this is our fourth day of the Mini Death Deity Marathon. Today’s mythological character comes from the Yoruba people in Western Africa. Eshu is the God of Death in the Yoruba religion. He plays many roles in the Yoruba ‘pantheon’, but primarily serves as a trickster, the messenger, and psychopomp. He is very similar to the Greek God Hermes (who shares all those responsibilities), and like him is also the protector of travelers and deity to crossroads. He can also be consulted for divination.

Eshu Statue

Eshu Statue

As a God of Chaos, Eshu is often shown tricking gods and mortals alike. Though he can play cruel jokes they are always with good intentions. His trickery is usually meant to lead people into tribulations and temptations so that they can mature and change. He is very cunning and unpredictable, using chaos so as to teach moral lessons. If a misunderstanding occurs between people, which leads to arguments and anger, Eshu is often attributed as the cause of it. In one myth, Eshu baited the sun and the moon into switching position, causing disruption in the cosmic order. His tricky nature also leads to Eshu being the God of Change and Uncertainty. In another myth, Eshu walk down a road wearing a hat that was half red and half black. The villagers who saw him started to argue whether his hat was red or black (because they could only see the color that faced their side of the road). They soon used physical violence when they found that neither agreed on a color for the hat. When he returned he showed them that both sides were right, and that every argument has two perspectives (that every argument does not have a purely right answer and a purely wrong answer). He left them with the warning that being close-minded will make them wrong in the end (and can cause unnecessary problems).

Eshu is the God responsible with being a messager between Earth and the Gods. He actually gained this job through one of his many trickery. In this myth, Eshu stole a yam from the High God’s garden, and used the God’s slippers to leave footprints in the garden soil. When the High God accused him of stealing a yam, Eshu suggested that the High God was the true thief, siting the footprints as his proof. Annoyed by Eshu’s trickery, the High God order Eshu to visit him every night to recount the happenings on Earth. Eshu is said to know all the languages on the earth so he can easily relay messages between beings. He carries all sacrifices from the people and complaints to the Gods.

As a deity of the crossroads, Eshu is kind and protects people on their journeys. This is what attributes his benevolence and caring for man. He can be identified by carrying a cane and smoking a pipe.

The birth of Eshu is an interesting myth. In the Yoruba mythology, each god is identified as having a certain number of paths or ways. These paths are like the different forms or versions of each of teh gods. Eshu has 201 paths, and each path is considered a child of Orunmila, primordial goddess of wisdom. Olorun, one of three manifestations of the Supreme God, and Orunmila wanted to have a child, so they asked Obbatala, father of all people, to help them create the first life. He sculpted a molding of the first man and explained that they must place their hands on the figure and wait 12 months. When twelve months had past, the son was born, and they named him Eshu. Eshu was born with the ability to speak, and he ate everything he could possibly find. When there was no more life on earth, no animals or vegetation, Olorun consulted n oracle that told him to arm himself with a machete. That night, Eshu entered his parents bedroom intending  to eat them. Olorun chased after him and cut Eshu into 200 more pieces, each of which was born a new Eshu. Eshu promised that each of his forms could be consulted for divinations, and he vomited all the life he had in his stomach.

Check it out here: https://sites.google.com/site/theyorubareligiousconcepts/eleggua

-Blog Barista

 

dumbo-gif

Honest Myth:Islamic- Azrael

Winged Figure Seated Upon a Rock by Abbott Handerson Thayer (1849)

Winged Figure Seated Upon a Rock by Abbott Handerson Thayer (1849)

Today’s ‘deity’ of death is an angel that can be found in Islamic texts, Christian texts, Sikh texts, and Jewish texts, but whose name is most common in Islam, the Archangel of Death, Azrael.

Azrael’s name means one who helps god. He was one of the first angels to become an arch angel. When souls were going missing, or not going to heaven after death, God gave Azrael the Word of Death so that he could research the problem. He learned that many souls got reincarnated, and some got lost and became ghosts stuck on earth. Finding this, he was elevated to Archangel and given the duties to direct souls to heaven after death (kind of like a psychopomp). As the angel of Death, he will be the last to die or disappear at the end of existence.

The Jewish have a positive view of Azrael. He is said to be a high ranking angel of God who receives prayers of faithful souls when they finally enter heaven.

In the Christian Bible, Azrael is not seen as canon,  but there was a mention of a scribe name Azra who was elevated to angelic status. Did you know: that the addition of ‘el’ at the end of an angel’s name is the show of angelic status.

The Sikh have a more negative view where they believe that Azrael is only sent to those who do not repent their sins. He kills the sinful, and takes their souls to hell.

Morrocan men have a custom of leaving a single lock of hair on their head so that Azreal can pull their souls from their body and lead them to heaven.

Azrael, the Angel of Death, by Evelyn De Morgan (1881)

Azrael, the Angel of Death, by Evelyn De Morgan (1881)

In the Qur’an, Azrael is known as the Archangel of Death who returns the souls of the dead back to God. He never knows when people are meant to die until God tells him. Azrael’s role is to care for dying so they do not fear death, removed the soul from the body, and then guides them to god. Here he is more then just death, but an angel that follows the will of God. He also comforts those whose loved one died.

In the Islamic texts, Azrael is shown to be a very kind angel. He is patient, soft-spoken, and hardworking, doing his duty obediently. His role includes helping the dying make peace with god, and counseling those grieving for loved ones. He is depicted as having four faces, and four thousand wings. His entire body is covered in eyes and tongues, the exact number of each being the amount of souls on earth. He tracks the souls by writing down the names of souls at birth in a book and erasing them once they die.

Find more here, very interesting to read: http://www.amadan.org/Innomine/Azrael.htm
-Blog Barista
tumblr_lorii6T6O91qbvovho1_500

Honest Myth:Egyptian- Anubis

Today’s God of Death and the Underworld will be from the Ancient Egyptian religion. The next God in our mini marathon is the wonderful Anubis, one of the most ancient Gods in the Egyptian Pantheon who ruled over the Duat (underworld).

Anubis by MelUran on deviantART

Anubis by MelUran on deviantART

Anubis was a male God, with a human body and a jackal’s head. His head was black because that is the color of an embalmed corpse, and the color of rebirth. He has been shown as full human, very rarely though, and once as a full jackal. Jackal’s where the creatures that hunted at the edge of the desert, known as the location of the entrance to the underworld, and the creatures that destroyed grave sites. His familial relations is unknown. His mother has been said to be either Nephthys Goddess of Death/Lament/Night or Bastet Goddess of Love, and his father could be Ra God of the Sun, Set God of Chaos, or (in later times) Osiris. His child is Kebechet the snake Goddess of Embalming. As the soul waits for his/her body to be embalmed, she gives them water.

He had many roles, and those roles evolved considerably through out history, even being replaced at one point by another god. Anubis served initially as the God of the Underworld. By the end of Egyptian Reign Anubis lost his role as the God of the Underworld to Osiris, but he kept all his other roles by then. One of his roles was the protector of graves and cemeteries.

Another one of his roles was that of embalmer. Embalming is the performance of preserving human remains from decomposing. In Ancient Egypt, the Egyptians believed that the dead had to travel to the after life, so the body was preserved so that the soul could return to it and make the journey. He is the God of Embalming and was thought to be present when it occurs. Anubis became connect to embalming since he was associated with death. When Osiris was killed by Set, God of Chaos and sibling to Osiris, Anubis was given his organs as a gift, and he in turn helped Isis, wife of Osiris, to embalm him so that he may live again. Thus, Anubis was credited with the creation of embalming.

Anubis is also the psychopomp of the Egyptian Pantheon. A psychopomp is the spirit or deity whose responsibility is to lead the dead souls to the afterlife. It makes sense that after watching that the proceedings of the embalming went well, he would guide the dead to the underworld. Once he lost his place as the God of the Underworld, Anubis kept his role as the psychopomp. Then he presented the dead souls to Osiris.

Whether he presented the Souls to Osiris or was the Ultimate rule in Duat himself, Anubis always attended the weighing of the heart. Once a person died, their souls would be brought to the underworld, and their hearts would be measured against Ma’at, Goddess of truth, which looked like an ostrich feather. If the heart was light then the feather, the person would pass and would be allowed to go to the afterlife. But if the heart is heavier, then the Anubis would know that the person had been corrupt in life, and he would feed their heart and soul to Ammit (a female demon that was part crocodile, lion, and hippo). This is considered the ultimate death since they would lose their chance to live forever in the afterlife. Anubis was the Guardian of the Scales, and the one who would determine the purity of the person’s heart.

Check out more of Anubis here: http://www.landofpyramids.org/anubis.htm

Find MelUran here: http://meluran.deviantart.com

-Blog Barista

That is how it is DONE

That is how it is DONE

Honest Myth:Norse- Hel

I decided to start today a mini marathon. The marathons always force me to keep up with writing posts, and they give me a theme to go on so I am not too lost. So I will begin the Underworld Gods Mini Marathon. I find it strange, but for most mythologies I am always drawn to the Gods or Goddess of Death and the Underworld. They are always the saddest figures, and usually not very liked (which makes me feel sympathy for them). Most of all, they are consistently shown as being just, since death comes to all men. Anyways, this should be some indication as to the role of  the mythological figure for today. Even if I did not say anything, her name could have been a good hint too.

391px-Hel_(1889)_by_Johannes_GehrtsHel is the Norse of Goddess of the underworld. Usually I would put more pictures of the deity, but as I refuse to scar anyone by mistake, I will not post a picture of Hel. If you really want to see more of her, then Google that (though I recommend NOT doing that). In the less creepy depictions, she is described as having half of her body flesh toned and half with a dark skin tone. The rest varies from weird to out right disturbing. For some, she is said to have her bones on the outside of her body (instead of in it). For others, Hel is thought to have half her body look human and the other half be a blank slate; and in another description, she is said to be half alive and half dead. She has also been depicted as splotchy with dead spots randomly marked on her body. The worst portrayal has Hel’s torso and face described as a living woman and her legs and thighs as being from a corpse (decaying and full of mold). In art, Hel will be dressed usually in black and white and will have a gloomy, fierce expression.

Hel is the daughter of Loki the Trickster God and Angrbooa, a giantess who is said to bring sorrow and grief. She is the youngest of three children. She is also believed to have brought disease into the world when she was born and causes plagues by sweeping the streets of the city. When she used a broom to do so no one would survive, but if she used a rake, some would live. When the three children were born, it was foretold that they would bring disaster to the world. Fenrir the wolf would kill Odin, Jormungandr the serpent would let go of the earth and cause the end of it, and Hel did not really have anything specific; but the gods were certain she would be trouble. Knowing that they would be calamitous, Odin sent the gods to bring them to him at which time he put each of them into far away and secluded places. For Hel, he assigned her the realm of the dead.

As the Goddess of Death and the Underworld (which is also called Hel), Hel presides over those that die of sickness and old age. She has jurisdiction over all nine worlds and judges what should happen to each person that dies (the only dead she does not get are those who died in battle). She gives ‘lodging’ to the dead souls. Her realm is said to be made of large, beautiful mansions full of these macabre things like the sick bed as beds, famine for a knife, and a dish called hunger.

Hel may not be seen in the most positive light, but she is just (she would have brought Baldr back to life if Loki did not mess things up). And she has other qualities too. She is supposed to represent the circle of life. Her body is half and half, because she is the end of life and the beginning of death. She is supposed to signify integrity and honor as she is the completion of life.

If you want to read more then please check this website out: http://www.thaliatook.com/AMGG/hel.php

-Blog Barista

Hypnotic

Hypnotic

Honest Myth:Roman- Pomona and Vertumnus

I always wondered if Italy had myths that were not similar to the Greeks. There are the Etruscan Myths, but that is not very well known. When searching, you are more likely to come across the mythology of Romans because they were such a large part in history. Greek and Roman myths are almost the exact same, and that is because the Roman’s adopted much of their religion. So I am excited when I find a Roman myth that is not considered Greco-Roman. The story of Pomona and Vertumnus is a sweet love story that reminds me of a fairy tale more than mythology. If you are a Harry Potter fan, you may have seen Pomona’s name before as the name of the Professor of herbology. But let me begin by introducing our main characters.

Warning there is a picture that reveals boobs.

Picture of Pomona by Nicolas Fouché (1700)

Picture of Pomona by Nicolas Fouché (1700)

Pomona is the Goddess of Abundance and Fruitfulness. She is the one known for cultivation, and protection of fruit trees. She is actually a wood nymph and part of the Numen (guardian spirits or holy spirits). Pomona is attributed to orchards, knives meant to trim plants, fruit trees, groves, and gardens. She has no Greek counter part and is a perfectly Roman Goddess. Even though she is a Goddess associated with fruit, she is not associated with harvest (which is rare in most mythologies).

Vertumnus is the god of seasons. I would put a picture of him, but the most famous ‘portrait’ is one of him made completely of fruits, and it kind of gives me the creeps. Anyways, Vertumnus is also the God of Plant Growth and Change. He shares some attributes with Pomona in that he is also ascribed to gardens and fruit trees. He has the ability to change his form at will; and though he does not have a Greek equivalent, he does have an Etruscan equivalent.

Pomona and Vertumnus by Abraham Bloemaert (1620)

Pomona and Vertumnus by Abraham Bloemaert (1620)

Pomona was a well beloved goddess who had many suitors requesting her hand in marriage, yet she refused most every man that came to her. Vertimus was also very smitten by the beautiful wood nymph, and seeing her refuse all those men, he devised a clever plan to win her. Disguising himself as an old woman, Vertimus ventured into her garden. She praised the fruits and the trees and warned Pomona of living a life with out a husband (cause you cannot be fruitful with out both a male and female). He compared her to Helen of Troy and Penelope Queen of Ithaca and advice her to accept Vertumnus’s request for marriage because he loves fruits, gardens, and her. The old woman then goes on to say that he is so in love with Pomona that he is losing his ability to do his godly duties, and that she would be cruel to leave him that way comparing her to Anaxarete (whose own story features a young man who is tormented by his love to her). After recounting the story and driving in the advice, he takes off the disguise. The nymph fell in love him and accepted his proposal.

If you would like to read a more detailed version of the myth along with dialogue, then please check it out here: http://www.online-mythology.com/vertumnus_pomona/

-Blog Barista

I am just a little bored lately, I almost look forward to school.... -_-

I am just a little bored lately, I almost look forward to school…. -_-