Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

This was supposed to be written by TheBetterCup, but she is a little to busy to do so. We got this book recently (if about 3 months ago counts as recent), but we know that the book is fairly popular and well known by this point. Anyways, Nimona is a great fantasy comic book with an unique art style and story line, that we feel lots of people can enjoy.

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The story is a mix of sci-fi and fantasy (which is TheBetterCup’s favorite genres) and focuses on a story of a super-villain who meets a young girl who wants to be his side kick. The super-villain, a mad-scientist, isn’t all bad though, he just plays the part given to him and was actually a knight once. But the titular character, Nimona is a young shape-shifter who doesn’t seem to operate on the same moral code has him. Together they learn a lot about each other, the meaning of god and evil (and what that means about a person), and the types of institutions that affect a person’s ‘morality’.

The story is fun and actually really hard to put down. It also does a great job of showing the grey-area of reality and morality. Its extremely funny, and the characters are really lovable even though its not a very long book that has time for characterization (but the author does a great job anyways). I love how the story took a twist in the end, and completely ended in a way that at least I didn’t see coming. I just wish that the characters could have been together longer, but I hope that their lessons in life at least made sure that they were happy.

Well I hope you guys check it out (if you hadn’t already),

-Blog Barista

Birdmen by Tanabe Yellow


birdmen-6842905I only started reading this a week ago, and it took me about 2 days to catch up to the most recent chapter. I am only making a post about it now because I finally got a little time to do something that was not for school. Right now, I should be tutoring and technically I should be finishing an essay I was working on for a class, but I would much rather take 30-ish minutes to do this instead.

This is an amazing manga, and I am enjoying about every aspect of it. It is a sci-fi, shonen, slice of life manga. The story is about Eishi Karasuma. He is a pessimistic but lonely 15 year old. One day he decides to skip class with his only friend is Miksada Kamoda (a youthful but sweet fourteen year old who is often mistaken to be part of gangs). While out they meet an energetic girl (she is pretty basic) named Tsubame and her friend Rei (a rich pretty boy). While in the bus, they get in a bus accident that nearly cost them their lives. But low and behold they are saved by a mysterious winged boy, and of course their lives change drastically.

The art is beautiful, especially when it involves the mysterious winged birdman, and I love the characters. I feel like the story is not as easy to predict as most other stories tend to be, and I am so grateful for that. It feels funny one moment, and then the story gets dramatically darker as the small details add up. This has a tad bit of magic mixed with action and basic life problems, all the while being super science like. I am so excited to continue reading this, and I hope TheBetterCup picks it up soon so I have someone to fangirl of it.

I hope you guys check it out,

-Blog Barista

Recent Book Reviews

b4Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami

This was a collection of 24 short stories, most of which were fun and enjoyable. For the most part, I read through this weekly and didn’t feel bored or compelled to stop. Like most of Murakami’s works, it has a surrealistic (full of magic) and mundane quality to the lives of the characters. The stories ranged from dealing with deaths, to sex, to marriage, and identities. My only problem is that I wish I understood the meanings for some of the characters and their stories (like why did this happen or what does it mean that that happened). My favorite of the short stories were A Poor Aunt’s Story, A Perfect Day for Kangaroo’s, Tony Takitani, Chance Traveler, and Shinagawa Monkey (my least favorite is the one about the Ice Man). Reading these felt like having a night-full of many dreams where you always wake up before you get a definitive ending.

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Zipporah, Wife of Moses by Marek Halter

This follows the story of Moses from the perspective of the wife Zipporah, a Cushite and daughter of Jethro (high priest of the Midianites). Most of the story is the author’s creation (things that aren’t mentioned specifically in the bible such as the really mean sister of Zipporah or how involved Zipporah was in getting Moses to listen to God). It was a really interesting twist on the biblical story and it gave many of the characters a little more depth then what some one may be used to. Personally the author’s writing was shit, but oh well. Also I felt that a man writing a sex scene from a woman’s perspective felt kind of ridiculous (but again oh well). I liked it and plan on reading the other two books from this trilogy.

 

b3The Trouble with Magic by Madelyn Alt

Maggie O’Neill; an extremely annoying, preachy, full of herself and equally as closed minded young woman, loses her job (from what seems like a lack of hard-work) and instead gets a job working in an antique shop owned by a nice Wiccan woman. Very quickly into the story (maybe even less than forty pages in and during Maggie’s first day at her new job) Felicity (the Wiccan woman) becomes suspect of her sister’s murder. The main character feels hypocritical and most of the characters are under developed (even for a short mystery novel). It is written completely in first person (which is hard to do well so you can only imagine that this was poorly done) and felt like an amateurs fanfiction (trust me though there are a lot of fanfic better than this). The story line had potential, but was rushed in the beginning and slow in the end. I really couldn’t finish the book to be honest and would never recommend it to any one. Though I say all this I still think that it may not be all that bad, and maybe some one else will find it better book than I did.

b1Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West by Stephen E. Ambrose

This is a historical nonfiction book (I really like these sort of things) that focuses on the story of Lewis and Clark’s expedition west (mostly from Lewis’s perspective). At times the story was a little boring, mostly cause the author added to much of his opinion and unneeded flowery words. But I really did like the book and by the end really felt for Lewis. Once the book got to the actual expedition, the story got way more interesting and for the most part I liked it (still every now and again I may have stopped and cared less for the book, but that may just be because nonfiction can be boring at times when politics and such get explained). As far as nonfiction go, this one is not my absolute favorite but I would reread it.

b6Neverwhere by Niel Gaiman

I LOVE THIS BOOK! It has to be one of my new favorites; a mix of urban fantasy and amazing adventure. Richard Mayhew is a young businessman living a dull life, with a dull job and a dull relationship. One day, while out on a date with his fiance, he does one kind deed to a stranger and his entire life gets turned upside down. He enters a bizarre world below London called Neverwhere and gets involved in a new and wonderful adventure. The characters are well written and well developed. The story is amazing and I can’t think of any complaints. I recommend anyone to try this wonderful book. If you aren’t into reading, then try the audiobook. Niel Gaiman reads it in the audiobook and his voice acting is fantastic and really brings life to each of the characters.

b5Left Behind Series by  Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins

I read all thirteen of the books in this series during the summer. I actually really enjoyed it, even though I still have some complaints. The story focuses on a pilot named Rayford Steele and his other friends during the Apocalypse (of Biblical proportions). The books were fun to read for the most part (especially the first half) and their are a lot of characters being presented. My only problem is that the story got boring by the end. Since the characters knew they would win in the end (Jesus would defeat the Devil) and the Devil was not as scary as he should have been, it just kind of felt like ‘what’s the point of fighting or making an effort’ no matter what they still will win and still go to heaven. That was my biggest complaint.

 

 

Hope you guys had a great day.

-Blog Barista

Magical Girls (who are not quite magical girls)

The post for today is one on a bunch of anime I watched recently that seem to fit that magical genre with out being exactly like magical girls. Some have magical boys involved, and most have really unique twists to the basic story line. I didn’t like most of them to be honest, but they were fun to watch.

When Supernatural Battles Became Common Place by Kota Nozomi

screenFor this anime, I watched about four of the episodes. I really liked the art and concept, and I loved the characters (even if they were a little bit on the basic side). For most people, this anime is great in the first half and the second half tends to be either hit or miss. I really liked it though, and felt that it really was a unique story.

The anime is about the five members of the Senko High School’s Literature Club and the class president; each of which have superpowers that awaken in the first episode. Their superpowers become a part of their day to day menial lives until they get mixed into battling others with similar powers.

The main protagonist is Jurai Ando, the only young man in the literature club and a big ‘chuunibyou’ (which means eighth grader syndrome and is someone who still acts like a child, so basically a big nerd). He is the most excited for the powers that he and his friends get. Because of his nerdiness, he is a great leader and strategist. The only problem is: he got the worst magical power. The “Dark and Dark” is a cold and useless black flame that he can light in his hands and that does about nothing. The other five main characters are all females with much more useful powers such as creating and destroying existence, stopping/speeding up/slowing down time, controlling five elements, and so much more.
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Show by Rock by Geechs

73674lThis anime was a completely different kind of magic. I really went ham with this one and watched almost all of the episodes with out stopping. Its not that this is the best anime on this list, but I enjoyed how ridiculously funny this anime was. The art is extra adorable and I love the characters (for the most part), especially the males from Shingam Crimsonz who are the comic relief for the whole story. The concept was also pretty unique. This was based off of a rhythm video game that had these little three dimensional animal creatures playing the instruments. The anime did a great job incorporating this aspect, making the game story line and the anime story mesh well, and even found away to make something so ridiculous kind of good.

The story is about Cyan Hijirikawa. She is a freshman in high school who loves music and wishes to join the music club (but is way to shy to do so). One night, while playing a rhythm game (*wink wink*), she gets sucked into her smart phone. She ends up in this world called Midi City, where music is almost everyone’s passion. She learns that she is meant to help protect that world from dark monsters and then through a series of events joins a lower (moslty unknown) agency. As a part of the Plasmagica band, she and her new found friends perform together in the music scene while discovering the secrets surrounding the world’s problems and how to get Cyan home.

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The Rolling Girls by Yosuke Miyagi

Rolling☆Girls_Haruhichan.com-Visual-02I saw the concept art for this anime about a year ago and was super excited to check it out, but sadly it was my least favorite. Its an interesting idea, but I felt that the first episode kind of struggled to get my attention and make me want to continue. Weirdly enough, I honestly felt put off by the color scheme too.

This anime is set 10 years after the “Great Tokyo War” in Japan. The country is now split up into city-states and constantly fight each other. The vigilantes who fought in the war became hired as ‘warriors’ that representing their city-states in territorial disputes. The main character Nozomi decides to travel around Japan fulfilling requests and searching for heart-shaped jewels, that can make a person possesses unlimited power.

I think the only thing I can say about this anime is that out of all of the ones listed here, it has the BEST fight scenes! I mean, they are really well made and extra bad-ass and still very girly.

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Gatchaman Crowds by Toshiya Ono

a32d4b90c43b863b2c25c72febea11e1The final series has to be the coolest one on here. The art is cute and pretty basic (like a shoujo) but with bad-ass cg robots mixed in. It felt like a good mix of kawaii and awesome. I really liked the story line as well. It has the basics needed for a magical girl, but also really sci-fi like at the same time. The characters were so so though. the main character is overly optimistic and basic, but her weird quirk with stationary and never being very surprised with how life works makes her likable. And then the other characters are mixed with some weirdos (that I loved) and some that I didn’t (that little panda -_-).

The series is about a group of teens (and some aliens) who have been recruited as Gatchamen (warriors who fight other aliens with special robot suits powered by their souls).

The newest member is the main character, Hajime Ichinose, a 16 year old, quirky, high school girl. She usually disobeys orders and despite seeming irresponsible, her unique point of view helps her be successful.

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Well guys, that is about it!

-Blog Barista

 

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Kira Kira PUNCH

 

Sweet Manga

Ok guys so I have a few more manga that I wanted to share. The very first one was actually supposed to be for the Halloween special that never happened (I read so many creepy and shitty manga that I just gave up on the idea), and the second one is just one that I found by mistake and really liked. I read both of them to completion (Dr. Hitomi’s Infirmary may be on going but I have yet to check), and I really loved the stories and the characters so I hope you all do too.

Screenshot_2015-10-27-19-07-00Dr. Hitomi’s Infirmary- by Shake O

This manga was so much fun to read. I am so certain that this would be the best manga to read for growing little girls (at least for the most part, there may be some inappropriate stuff mixed in so be warned for that). Its basically a story of young girls going through puberty and having to accept themselves and each story has a lesson. It is a series that follows Hitomi, a cyclops that works as a nurse at a school. Each of the stories is about one of the students who come to her for help with their pubescent problems. All of the kids that come for help are monsters (like ghosts) with problems with their growing bodies. Its a fun read and really cute too. I love the drawing style so much and most of all I love the characters (especially Hitomi and Mr. Tatara, her really handsome childhood friend and a science teacher in the same school. I hope they get together!).

Screenshot_2015-10-26-01-20-34Tenohira Size by Tendou Kirin

This is an extremely endearing and adorable manga that will touch on heart strings you didn’t think existed. Its super simple and only has 8 chapters, but definitely a story worth looking into. The story focuses on the Onishi family, a single mother and her three children, and their daily lives after their father moved out. As may be expected, they are really poor and the mom has to take on two jobs and the kids have to go through their feelings of betrayal from the dad. I really loved the kids and the mom and all the other characters they befriended. The art is also simple and really quaint.

I hope you guys are having a great Holiday Season!

-Blog Barista

Dangan Tenshi Fan Club by One

screensThis is another manga written by ONE and drawn by Murata Yuusuke, and just like One Punch Man this manga is wonderful. The story is a comedy one-shot that follows a young man new to the school. He accidentally finds out the secret of a classmate, a girl who fights monsters with mechanical weapons. She is observed and supported during her fights by her fan club, composed of male members of her class, but has no idea that there is anyone who knows her secrete. The young man helps the fan-club help her and give her the confidence she needs to continue fighting.

For such a small one-shot, the characters are well written and extremely interesting. The story really is a unique take on magical girls, and ONE is just a great writer. He has a great imagination and really takes cliches to the next level. I highly recommend this manga.

Sorry about how short this post is, but I really feel like this manga is worth checking out. Go now go!

-Blog Barista

Hongdo- by Snowy Owl

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I have been reading lots of manga this semester, and let me tell you, I read a lot of stupid shit. I mean I read some stuff that I really regret and can’t understand how any person could possibly like (trust me it was really bad). BUUUUTTTT, I have also found some really awesome manga that I plan on continuing for quite some time. Usually most of these manga I don’t continue (except if its one of my favorites), but this is one of the manga I plan to keep reading.

Screenshot_2015-10-26-01-18-37Hongdo is a manhwa (I think its Korean), that focuses on the story of Hong Do Yi. The world has both humans and non-humans and even some people with supernatural powers. Those people are sorcerers that can smell and hear what normal people can’t (they can see and interact with the non-human ghosts, demons, and gods).

Hong Do is a powerful sorcerer who is the bastard son of a great general (governor?). The story focuses on his journey after he abandoned his job as an Imperial sorcerer, in search for the mysterious Crow,  and is hunted down by bounty hunters. During his search, he learns of a dangerous plot that threatens the world.

Screenshot_2015-10-24-23-53-08There is not much else that I can say. The story only has about 8 chapters translated so far, and a lot of the story is still left as a mystery (and can be confusing because of the way its translated), but overall this is AWESOME. The art is amazing and the story is unique and great!!! I really enjoy this manwha and am excited each time for a new chapter. Hong Do is a great antihero and so far the characters he meets are also well rounded. The very first chapter focuses on a great Guardian River God whose ‘body’ (the river) gets mutilated by humans and his attempted to get vengeance for his family. Its so beautiful.

 

I feel like its a little hard to describe this better, but trust me. Just give it a try and you may see that you like it.

-Blog Barista

Manga/Manhwa/Manhua Review: Fun Compilation

It has been a long while since I last updated, and I think I will try and do something special for Halloween. For now I just wanted to do a couple of quick posts on some things so as to have something come out. I haven’t been reading a lot of manga lately (because of school), but I still try and find some time. So here are some that I am currently reading (or in the case of Majo to Yajuu, finished reading), and my opinions on them.

100Majo to Yajuu by Fujio Ai

So we are starting with a manga that I actually read sometime in the end of summer, before school actually started. I wanted to talk about it sooner, but did not have enough manga to fill in a post with. Anyways, It turns out better this way cause it is October and this one matches well with Halloween.

The story focuses on a lonely lion who falls in love with a kind human girl. Each day he asks a witch to grant his wish to change a part of himself until he becomes fully human. I don’t want to ruin the end, but the manga poses the problem of whether it is worth losing yourself in order to have someone love you.

This is a one-shot so it is fairly short read, but it was an enjoyable story and concept. I really liked the art style, though it is not really aesthetically pleasing. It has a mystical quality to it, and that really brings out the story well.

10One Punch Man by One (illustrated by Yusuke Murata)

The second manga is one the both the BetterCup and I recommend highly. This started off as a poorly drawn web-comic, and soon blew up into an amazing anime and manga featured in Shonen Jump.

The story focuses on Saitama, an extremely strong hero, who defends the the fictional Japanese metropolis of City Z from an epidemic of monsters with only one punch.  However, due to his overwhelming strength, Saitama has become bored with his life and constantly looks for an opponent who can help him gain back that thrill he experienced in his first fight. He meets new friends, makes enemies, and gains his own disciple, the cyborg Genos. Later he joins the Heroes Association to try and gain fame for his hard work (though no one sees that it is him doing all these amazing things) struggling to gain respect. Most people look down on him due to his plain physical appearance, and some accuse him of being a counterfeit hero. Only a small number of individuals recognize his incredible talent and humility towards others (the bad guys always seem to notice, but die before they can say anything).

Wow if ever there was manga I wish I started sooner, it was One Punch Man. This is an amazing manga and anime. The art is amazing, the fight scenes are epic (even in the manga it is extremely dynamic), and the concept is so original and funny (with awesome characters).

10Lookism by Park Tae Joon

This third one is actually a manhwa from Korea. It is fun and wonderful, while also pointing out how we can tend to be a little more focused on appearances then we should (I am guilty of liking the protagonist more when he is handsome).

Park Hyung Suk is overweight and unattractive. He is constantly bullied and abused by other students and then takes his frustrations out on his hardworking mother. When she finally realizes that he is struggling, she pulls together enough to send him to another school. One morning, he wakes up to find a great miracle has happened, and he is able to live as someone handsome.

Over the course of the manhwa, lots of characters grow and come to realize that handsome or ugly, a person’s physical appearance has nothing to do with who they are inside. Park Hyung meets many great people and changes lives of many students as he learns and deepens his own understanding of what is important in life.

10Mosspaca Advertising Department by Old Xian, Tan Jiu

This fourth one is another that I am so very happy that I could find. It is incredibly funny and so enjoyable though it feels confusing at times. This one is a manhua from China and it is drawn so incredibly!

The story follows a trio of artists at the Mosspaca Advertising Department. There the personifications of Old Xian and Tan Jiu (the actual artists of the manhua) and their supervisor interact with various entrepreneurs and create commercials/advertisements for their products. Sometimes there are random stories mixed in.

There is no coherent story line, and at first you will feel like you were just thrown in with no information to go off of. But this is a gag comic, and it does its job well.

10Otoko Issho

This last one, that I am leaving you with, is a strange and some what sweet love story. I am still not too sure how I feel about it, but I will continue reading it. The art is pretty and light, and the story feels mostly the same way (airy). The only thing that makes me dislike it, is that the main male was in love with the protagonist’s grandmother before falling in love with her. But I think if you go in not worrying about that, its still a good story.

This manga is about Tsugumi Dozono, a woman in her late 30s/early 40s who works at a large electronics company in Tokyo. One day, after her grandmother passes away, Tsugumi Dozono decides to live in her grandmother’s house while working from home, but finds a strange man in the house named is Jun Kaieda, a professor at a woman’s university that is around 50. They live together and slowly fall in love.

 

Well there you go,

-BlogBarista

All Magical Girls EVER

All Magical Girls EVER

Honest Myth:Greek- Centaurs

Lapiths and Centaurs by Rubens, Peter Paul (1577-1640). I found this painting so funny

Lapiths and Centaurs by Rubens, Peter Paul (1577-1640).
I found this painting so funny

It has been quite a while since I lasted posted. I planned on writing a post based on the books I read over the summer, but I ended up reading 13 books from one series (so I didn’t have enough to talk about). Anyways, it has been about a month since school started up again, and I am actually taking a class in Ancient Greek and Roman Religion. It is a mix of classics, religion, and anthropology and does not focus much on mythology, but I really enjoy the class. Knowing I would be a little busy, I decided to pick a fairly safe culture for myths (not as much research needed).

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A statue of a female Centaur abducting a man (if you know who the artist is please tell me).

Centaurs are creatures with the upper body of a human being and the lower body of a horse. They were wild, savage, lustful, and usually they are depicted as men (this changed later on).

They were born from the linage of Ixion and Nephele. Ixion was the king of Lapiths and son if Ares God of War. He married Dia daughter of Deioneus. Ixion refused to pay the bride price, so Deioneus took his horses for his own. For revenge, Ixion invited Deioneus to a lavish dinner and pushed him into a bed of coal, becoming the first man to commit murder of kin. Because of this horrible act, Ixion became insane and polluted, and all the princes of near by kingdoms refused to perform the rituals to purify him. Zeus took pity on him and cleansed him on his sin, and then invited him to Olympus for a great meal. But Ixion was not grateful and lusted after Hera Queen of the Gods and Goddess of Marriage (the wife of Zeus, so technically Ixion was extremely disrespectful to his host). Zeus, angered and wanting to proof of Ixion’s contempt, created Nephele out of clouds in the shape of Hera. Ixion coaxed and slept with Nephele (thinking it was Hera), and she became pregnant with Centauros (an ugly, deformed human like man that mated with Magnesian mares on Mt. Pelion) the father of the Centaurs. Zeus was angered and cast him from Mt. Olympus, struck him with a thunderbolt, and bound him to a burning solar wheel in Tartarus for eternity.

Nephele later had twins with King Athamas, Helle and Phrixus. He later divorced her and married Ino (who hated the twins and burned all the seeds so food would not grow). When farmers feared a famine, they went to an oracle, and Ino payed them to say that only sacrifices of the twins. Right before their execution, Nephele sent a golden ram to take them away. They were told not to look down, but Helle did not listen and she fell to her death. Phrixus lived and was taken to another kingdom. That ram later became the Golden Fleece that Jason would rather take it.

Ixion also had a son name Piritheus with Dia, who later became the King of the Lapiths. On the day of his marriage to Hippodamia, the Centaurs became drunk and attempted to steal the women and children. Piritheus and Theseus led the Lapiths into a great battle known as the Centauromachy and succeeded in protecting them from abduction.

Hope you enjoyed this story, and sorry for how small the post is. Check out more here: www.pantheon.org/articles/i/ixion.html

-Blog Barista

Honest Myth:Greek- Astraios

Astraios is the Greek Titan of the Stars, Planets, and of the Dusk (the time when the stars become visible).

His parents are Crius, a Titan connected to the constellation and the one who measures years (who was banished into Tartarus after the war between Gods and Titans), and Eurybia, a minor sea female Titan. He then married Eos, female Titan of the Dawn. Together they had many children including the Anemoi (Four Gods of the Winds and Cardinal Directions), Phosphorus God of the Morning Star (now known as Venus), Hesperus God of the Evening Star (also Venus) and the Gods of the Wandering Stars: Phainon (God of the planet now called Saturn), Phaethon (God of the planet now called Jupiter), Pyroeis God of the Midnight Star (now known as Mars), and Stilbon (God of the planet now called Mercury). Sometimes Astrea, the Goddess of Innocence and Purity, is also included as their children because she is connected to the constellation Virgo.

Either Astraios or Hesperus by Anton Raphael Mengs , 1765.

Either Astraios or Hesperus by Anton Raphael Mengs , 1765.

Astraios also has two brothers. Pallas is the Titan of War and husband of the Goddess Styx. Their children are Zelus (Glory), Nike (Victory), Kratos (Power), and Bia (Force). Astraios’s second brother is Perses, Titan of Destruction. His wife is Asteria, Goddess of Nocturnal Oracles and Falling Stars. Their child was Hectate a great Goddess of Crossroads and Sorcery.

Anyways, I could not find a specific story, but here is the family connections. I hope you enjoyed!

-Blog Barista

Feeling nostalgic

Feeling nostalgic

Honest Myth:Greek- Anemoi

Zephyrus Abducts Chloris by Henrietta Rae.

Zephyrus Abducts Chloris by Henrietta Rae.

I felt so bad for missing so much time this summer for making posts, so now I may be compensating. 😀 I just really wanted to get out a bunch of them for as long as I could, and have been planning some other posts as well. So this is the last one for today, but it also seems to be the longest one. Anyways, I also wish I had some beautiful art work of all four of the Anemoi, but sadly only two could be found.

Anemoi are the Greek Gods of the Winds and of the Cardinal Directions. They are also associated with the coming of different seasons. The Anemoi are sons of Eos, the female Titan of Dawn, and Astraios, Titan of the Stars and Planets (I thought he sounded so cool, and have an amazing picture of him. I know TheBetterCup likes Zephyrus, but she is going to love Astraios. So, I am thinking I will have another post on him soon).

The Anemoi are usually depicted as men with wings, as actual gust of winds, or as wind in the shape of stallions. Each wind tends to be slightly different, but the majority are young, winged males (not always Boreas though, may be because he is harsher and is a bearded man). They are often depicted as stallions that sweep down on mares and produce the swiftest horses.

Boreas Abducts Oreithyia by

Boreas Abducts Oreithyia by Giovanni Franceso Romanelli.

The four Anemoi are:

  1. Boreas, the God of the North Wind. He is the bringer of the harsh, cold winter winds. He is very strong, and has a violent temper. he lives in the cold northern mountains of Thrake. His breath chills the air for the winter. He kidnapped Oreithyia, an Athenian Princess, and married her. Together they had a daughter named Khione, Goddess of Snow, and two purple winged sons called the Boreades.
  2. Notos, the God of the South Wind. He is the bringer of the wet, humid summer storms. He lived in Aithiopia, the southern most realm, and was feared for he could destroy crops.
  3. Eurus, the God of the East Wind. He is the bringer of the crisp, warm autumn winds. He lived near the palace of Helios in the far East (since he was the God of the Sun and it rises in the East).
  4. Zephyrus, the God of the West Wind. He is the bringer of the gentle, fresh spring winds. He is also the most popular wind. He is married to Iris (which I talked about in another blog post). Before Iris, he had loved many other divine beings including: Podarge, a harpy, Hyacinthus, Apollo’s lover and a story for another day, and Chloris, nymph of spring and flowers. Zephyrus abducted Chloris and had a daughter named Karpos, nymph or Goddess of Fruit. When ever a god transformed a human being into a flower or plant, Chloris aided in creating the plant (such as Adonis or Naricissus or even Hyacinthus). Zephyrus also served Eros, because Eros had saved him from possibly fighting Apollo.

I hope you enjoyed!

-Blog Barista

Me and all foods...

Me and all foods…

Honest Myth:Chinese- Nu Gua

So, I actually found this goddess while pinning pictures on my mythology pinterest board. I loved this picture and started searching up Nu Gua (also known as Nu Kua or Nu Wa).

I am not sure who the artist is, but if you know please tell me.

I am not sure who the artist is, but if you know please tell me. I find this picture to be extremely beautiful.

Nu Gua is usually depicted as a young woman, with a human head and the lower body of a dragon/snake. I have seen some pictures/artwork where she is all human, but I have also seen some where she is entirely a snake with a woman’s head. Personally, I prefer the version where she has the upper body of human female.

Nu Gua is a creator Goddess, and she is credited with making the first humans from yellow earth after heaven and Earth had been separated. At first, she hand sculpted each person, but found that it was taking much to long. To shorten the task, Nu Gua took a rope, dipped it into mud, and begun swinging the rope above her head. The mud flung all around her, and splashes that occurred became the peasantry. Those that she had sculpted were the noble men.

She is also the Goddess that intermediates between man and woman, granting them children, and instituting marriage. After doing so, she married Fu Shi (Fu Xi) a cultural hero. He too is depicted with a snake body and human head. When ever he and Nu Gua are shown together, there bodies are intertwined (since they represent first union/Patriarch and Matriarch). He is her husband and brother.

She is said to be one of the Three Augusts or three  spirits that helped bring civilization to man. I am not to sure who the other two are, but I suspect Fu Xi may be one of them.

Nu Gua also seemed to save the universe. In the story, she helped restore the universe after Gong Gong, a Chinese sea demon who caused a great flood and smashed his head against a mountain a pillar holding up the sky, had destroyed it. This caused many problems such as the tearing of the sky, throwing the four cardinal points off balance, and release of the black dragon (who was water and thus the essence of the flood). Nu Gua took melted colored stones and used them to stitch together the sky (this referencing the different colors that the sky takes on). The five colored stones also helped create seasons. Then she had to cut the legs of a turtle to use as pillars for supporting the cardinal points. She later also destroyed the black dragon.

Her symbol is the compass which also represents the Earth.

I hope you enjoyed!

-Blog Barista

Check it out:

Edited by Grimal, Pierre. Larousse World Mythology. London: The Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited, 1965, pp. 285-288. Print.

This had to have made you smile!

This had to have made you smile!

Honest Myth:Celtic- Sulis

I really needed a picture, but could not find any paintings of Sulis. I picked this cause it gave a good 'Celtic' style vibe, but I have no idea who the author or subject is. If anyone knows please tell me.

I really needed a picture, but could not find any paintings of Sulis. I picked this cause it gave a good ‘Celtic’ style vibe. The art piece is called Innocence by Takato Yamamoto, a truly amazing artist.

I have been trying to keep the posts diverse, and not do too much of the same cultures (like I seemed to have been doing in the latest months). So here is a little information on an interesting goddess.

Sulis is the Celtic Goddess of hot springs and baths, especially of hot springs found at Bath, Somerset (England). Because of her connection to hot springs, Sulis is also connected to to healing waters and thus, medicine. She oversees the sacred wells and springs. These give healing and other blessings to those who pray at them. Not only can she cure people when worshiped, she can also curse others as punishment. This gave her the ability to witness oaths, catch thieves, and find objects that were lost.

She is often depicted as a young woman with bright orange hair and light pale green tinted dress, that represents the color of bath waters.

Through her name, many scholars associate her with the sun.

Sulis has also been known as the Goddess of Decisions and merged with Minerva/Athena when Romans and Celtics converged. Some symbols of Sulis include sun rays, eyes, and antlers.

Hope you enjoyed!

-Blog Barista

This site gave some incite (punny!) on Minerva in Celtic mythology: http://www.druidry.org/library/gods-goddesses/minerva

Here is a picture of the hot springs in Bath

Here is a picture of the hot springs in Bath

Honest Myth:Mbuti- Khonvum

Mythology from African cultures as where as myths from eastern European cultures tend to be the hardest ones to find more information on. I just so happen to find this God, and I really liked his role with sun light and wanted to share.

I could not find any pictures of him, sorry. I found this stockphoto, and it reminded me of  a cartoon I watched as a kid, and I figure it was cute addition.

I could not find any pictures of him, sorry. I found this stockphoto, and it reminded me of a cartoon I watched as a kid, and I figure it was cute addition.

Khonvum is the creation god in the Bambuti/Mbuti mythology of the Pygmy people in the Congos. He is believed to have created man from clay, creating different races by using different different clay colors.

Khonvum is a great god of hunt as well. He made the animals meant for hunting for man to be able to get food.

He is depicted wielding a bow of two intertwined snakes that appear to humans as a rainbow. After each sunset, he collects fragments of stars into his satchel. He then throws those pieces into the sun so as to revitalize its brilliance for the next day (this is meant to explain why the sun becomes dim at night).

To contact mankind, he will either send Gor, the God of Thunder who looks like an elephant, or he will send a chameleon (I am not sure if he changes form into one or if they are his messengers).

Hope you enjoyed!

-Blog Barista

I have been using this book a lot lately. Its real large and very helpful: Edited by Grimal, Pierre. Larousse World Mythology. London: The Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited, 1965. Print.

Just a cute gif for you.

Just a cute gif for you.

Honest Myth:Aztec- The Five Suns

The story I am about to tell you is extremely confusing, and I will do my best to organize it so it can be understood.

Who are the players?

  • Ometeotl is the Dual God representing every side, both man/woman and good/bad and darkness/light and so on…
  • Cipactli is a giant serpent who carried the universe on her body.
  • Tezcatlipoca is the God of the North, Temptation, Jaguars (sometimes tigers, but I think that is just a translation difference), Sorcery, and Discord. He was the chosen god, meant to become the sun.
  •  Huizilopochtli is the God of the South, Sun, War, and Human Sacrifice. He wages war with the stars each day and night.
  • Xipe Totec is the God of the West, and Life-Death-Rebirth. He was one of the four original gods (cardinal directions).
  • Tlaloc is the God Rain, Fertility, and Water. He remarried after his first wife left him.
  • Chalchiuhtlicue is the Goddess of Water, and her name is ‘she of the jade skirt’. She is a loving Goddess.
  • Quetzalcoatl is the God of the East, Light, Mercy, Mankind, and Justice. He seems to be the yin to Tezcatlipoca’s yang, meaning they are both opposites and similar, enemies at times and friends.
  • Xochiquetzal is the Goddess of Beauty, Female Sexuality, Childbirth, and Weaving/Embroidery. She was Tlaloc’s first wife.
  • Tecucizlecatl is the son of Tlaloc and Chalchiuhtlicue.
  • Tzitzimimeh are female deities of the stars. They are often described as demons.
  • Itzpapalotl is the warrior Goddess of the Moon.
Water Deity (Chalchihuitlicue), 15th–early 16th century. Photo from www.METmuseum.org

Water Deity (Chalchihuitlicue), 15th–early 16th century. Photo from http://www.METmuseum.org

Story:

In the begining there was nothing, but Ometeotl created him/herself. Now with the ability to create and destroy, Ometeotl gave birth to four gods: Tezcatlipoca, Huizilopochtli, Quetzalcoatl, and Xipe Totec. The four cardinal gods began to create beings, but each creature was lost in the void and swallowed by Cipacti. The Gods waged a great battle against her (in which she ate the foot of Tezcatlipoca), and tore her body into many pieced. He head became the thirteen heavens, her tail the underworld, her body the Earth, her eyes the caves, her hair the plants, and her mouth the river. With her destruction many other gods were also made. Now with the universe set up, a sun was needed, but to create one a god had to be sacrificed.

  • First Sun – Four Jaguars
    • Tezcatlipoca became the first sun, but because of his missing foot he was to weak. This caused him to only become half a sun. The gods then used ash to create giants and fed them acorns. The sun lasted 676 days, Quetzalcoatl began to fight with Tezcatlipoca. He knocked the sun out if the sky, and in anger, Tezcatlipoca became a jaguar killing all the life on the Earth.
  • Second Sun – Four Winds
    • Quetzalcoatl then became the sun and created humans who lived on pinon nuts. The sun lasted 364 years, but soon the people became corrupt. They stopped worshiping the Gods, and in anger, Tezcatlipoca turned the humans into monkeys as punishment, Quetzalcoatl loved his humans, even when being insubordinate, and thus he was very angry with what Tezcatlipoca had done. Upset, he sent a great hurricane which killed those living in Earth.
  • Third Sun – Four Rains
    • With both of the great gods obviously unable to remain civil with each other when given the chance to be the sun, Tlaloc became the next sun. This sun lasted 312 years, but Tezcatlipoca was jealous. Unhappy that he did not get the role he was chosen for, he seduced Xochiqutzal (some say she was kidnapped and forced to marry him). Tlaloc became depressed and was so hurt he stopped all the rain from falling on to the Earth. The people begged for the drought to end, and in anger, he sent down rain of fire. This killed most of the people, and some others were transformed into birds.
  • Fourth Sun – Four Waters
    • Tlaloc stepped down as the sun, and Chalchiutlicue (Tlaloc’s second wife and/or sister) became the new sun. Man was recreated, this time from the ash left from the fire rain, and the sun lasted 676 years. But of course it had to end, and there are two stories as to how:
      • Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca were jealous of no longer being the sun. Together they struck her down, and as she fell so did water, flooding the Earth.
      • Tezcatlipoca was jealous of no longer being the sun, so he declared that Chalchiuhtlicue’s love for man was false. This hurt her, for her love of mankind was genuine, and she began to weep flooding the Earth.
    • Many died, and others became fish.
  • Fifth Sun – Four Earthquakes
    • The world was left in darkness and the Gods had to pick a new sun. Tecucizlecatl was young and strong, so he was the chosen candidate. But when it came time to jump into the sacrificial fire, he became cowardly. Nanahuatzin, a humble God, stepped in with out fear, and the Gods approving of his dedication rejoiced. But Tecucizlecatl, ashamed and angry (for he want to be immortalized as the sun), jumped in afterwards. Now there were two suns in the sky, and the world began to die by the heat. The Gods threw a rabbit at Tecucizlecatl’s face causing him to dim and become the moon. But Nanahuatzin was not moving, still burning the Earth below. Each god made a sacrifice of their own blood to create the winds to move him around the Earth. 
    • Quezalcoatl then went to the underworld and took the bones of his dead beloved humans. Dipping them in his own blood, he resurrected them into man.
    • The Tzitzimitl were jealous of the sun, and each night, they battle along side Itzpapalotl against Huitzilopochtli. Each night they advance (thus the stars and moon become brighter) and each day they fall back (thus the sun is brighter).
    • This sun is said to one day be destroyed by an earthquake. It is our sun now.

I hope you enjoyed!

-Blog Barista

Check it out:

Edited by Grimal, Pierre. Larousse World Mythology. London: The Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited, 1965, pp. 462-463. Print.

Hohohohohohohohohohohoho

Hohohohohohohohohohohoho

Honest Myth:Norse- Heimdallr

Heimdallr is the god of light (his name means he who darts bright beams) and the guardian of the gods and their stronghold Asgard. He is described as one of the Aesir gods (one clan or family of gods) and is ever-vigilant, requiring less sleep than a bird. He is extremely handsome with golden teeth and skin ‘the whitest of the Gods’ because his skin is fair and pale. Heimdallr is attested as possessing foreknowledge, and the keenest eyesight and hearing. He can see a hundred miles around him, by night as well as by day, and his hearing is so accurate that he can even hear the grass grow.

He is sometimes said to be fathered by Odin, but at times he is also said to have no father. He was birthed by nine mothers who were all sisters. It is not certain whether they are the nine daughters of Aegir (the sea jotunn, jotunn being a race of people similar to gods or like titans in greek mythology). The only reason there is uncertainty is because the names do match up between both groups of seven sisters.

Heimdallr and Gjallr by 1895 illustration by Lorenz Frølich

Heimdallr and Gjallar made in 1895 by Lorenz Frølich

Born at the end of the world, he is the watchman of Asgard guarding the Bifrost, the rainbow bridge that leads to Asgard, and the entrance to the gods. His duty is to sound Gjallar, a loud horn that can be heard from heaven to earth and all the way to the lower world, if any intruders try to forcibly enter Asgard. He watches out for the begining of Ragnorak, and warns the gods of the Giant’s approach. He will fight Loki to the death (both will kill each other). He and Loki seem to be enemies, having fought before. Loki represents darkness, and thus it is the conflict of light and dark. They both contrast in their loyalties as well. Heimdallr is extremely loyal and disciplined god that never moves from his watch post. While Loki, who makes fun of Heimdallr lot in life, is only loyal to himself and chaotic. In one story, he retrieves the Brisingamen (necklace of Freyja, a great Vanir, a second clan or family of gods, Goddess) from Loki, who stole it, and battles each other as seals so as to get it.

He lives in Himinbjorg, a fortress located where the Bifrost and heaven meet, and owns a horse named Gulltopr with a golden mane. Heimdall is often associated with the ram.

He has also been called Rig (“ruler”) and created the three races of mankind: the serfs/slaves/Thrall, peasants/freemen/Karl, and warriors/nobleman/Jarl. Rig, disguised as a traveler, approached a lowly dwelling of an old couple, Ai and Edda (great-grandfather and great-grandmother respectively). They gave him coarse food and a place in the bed between them to sleep. He stayed three nights and gave them good advice. Nine months later, Edda bore an ugly son named Thrall. He was black-haired with rough skin, and thick fingers. He had a body of someone who did manual labor with swollen knuckles, short nails, a bent back, and great strength. Thrall married a wife who was equally ugly with crooked legs, sunburned body and a large nose. Together they had many kids including Noisy, Roughneck, Lazy, Fatty, and Beanpole. From them came all the thrall, the oppressed and enslaved laborers. Rig then went to a warm home of an industrious couple, Afi and Amma (grandfather and grandmother respectively). They fed him good food, and he slept between them. They also worked quite a lot, spinning thread and preparing the loom. He stayed three days with them and gave good advice. Nine months later, Amma gave birth to a bright-eyed son named Karl. Karl married a woman named Snor (daughter-in-law), and together they had many children including boys Husbandman, Smith, Prettyface, Maiden, and Capable. From them came all the karl, farmers and free peasants. Lastly, Rig entered a third splendid home of a great couple named Fadir and Modir (father and mother respectively). His wealthy hosts fed him great meals, and he slept between them as well. He stayed three days and gave good advice. Nine months later, Modir gave birth to a handsome son, named Jarl. He was skilled with the bow, spear, and sword. Rig returned once Jarl reached manhood and instructed his chosen son to fight and seize and distribute wealth. he married Erna (lively), a beautiful noblewoman, and they had 12 sons. These sons learned magic and became almost godly. From them came all the jarl, the warriors and noble class.

Hope you all enjoyed!

-Blog Barista

Check it out:

Edited by Grimal, Pierre. Larousse World Mythology. London: The Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited, 1965, pp. 380-382. Print.

 

'Go!!!' and check out more if you enjoyed this. :D

😀

Honest Myth:Arabian/Islamic- The Tale of the Trader and the Jinni

For this one, I was not sure how to categorize it. This is a story in the One Thousand and One Nights so I put it as Arabian, but it also mentions Allah quite a lot so I included Islam. Anyways, here is the story.

One Thousand and One Nights. Not sure who the artist is. Please tell me if you know.

One Thousand and One Nights. Not sure who the artist is. Please tell me if you know.

One day, a wealthy merchant traveling through many towns stopped to eat breakfast in a garden. After eating a date, he threw the pit onto the ground and a great ifrit (infernal Jinni that are  known for being cunning and being able to fly) appeared with a sword in his hand. He told the merchant that he had to kill him for murdering his son with the date pit. The merchant tried to say that it was an accident, but the Jinni would not listen. So, the merchant begged that the Jinni not kill him till the New Year, and in that time he would fix everything to make sure that he leaves with no dept and with his family well looked after. The Jinni accepted, since the merchant made an oath to Allah that he would come back. On New Years day, after finishing what he needed, the merchant went to the garden and sat waiting. As he sobbed in fear, a Shaykh (honorific title for scholars of Islamic sciences) walked by. the old man had a gazelle with him and asked the merchant why he was weeping. The merchant shared his story and the old man stayed with him talking. After some time, a second Shakyh with two grey hounds appeared, and he too decided to stay with the merchant. Again, a third Shakyh appeared with a she-mule, and the same occurred with him. Finally, the Jinni appeared ready to kill the merchant. the first Shakyh asked the Jinni, “If I tell you the story of my gazelle and it amazes you, then give me 1/3 of this man’s blood.” And the Jinni agreed. The man told his story: He married his cousin, but she was unable to have children. So he got a concubine that bore him a beautiful boy. After many years, he left to work for a year and on his return his concubine and son were gone. His wife, who practiced dark magic, had turned them into a heifer and a calf, but lied that they had passed. When the Great Festival for Allah came around, he asked his herdsman to bring in a fat heifer for sacrifice. He brought in the concubine who cried and wept. The Shakyh refused to kill the crying cow, but the wife insisted, and it had no meat  just skin and bones. So he asked the herdsman to bring a calf, and the son was brought out. The calf ran to him and began weeping. Again, he refused to kill it, and again the wife insisted. this time (regretting the heifer), the man put his foot down and told teh herdsman to take the calf home. Once home, the herdsman’s daughter began to laugh and cry, “Why do you bring a strange man into our home?” she asked. And she explained who the calf was to her father (since she also practiced dark magic). The herdsman told his master, and the girl changed the calf back in exchange for the son’s hand in marriage and the ability to turn the evil step mother into a gazelle (for she feared she would target her next for seeing through her magic). After many years, the girl died and the son left to travel. now the old man traveled with his gazelle in search of his son. The Jinni was amazed and accepted that 1/3 of the merchant was the first Shakyh’s. The second Shakyh asked for the same opportunity and promised that his story was more amazing. His story went like this: He and his two brothers each owned a shop. Both elder brothers chose to sell their shops to travel and make more money. Each time they did, they would come back broke, and he would give them money to start over. For 6 years, they tried to persuade him to travel with them. Finally, he accepted, but found that both brothers had squandered all their money. So he gave them his, and they were off. While traveling, he was able to make 10 times more money, but they became broke quickly. He also found a ragged maiden who asked him to marry her (which he did). His brothers, jealous of his money and his new wife, decided to kill them. But the wife (who was a Jinni) flew away with her husband. She told him, she was a believer of Allah and felt compelled to marry and be with him, and now she had to kill his brothers. He begged her not to, so instead she flew him home. After fixing his store, he came home to find two grey hounds and knew instantly that they were his brothers. His wife explained that her sister had cast the spell for her, and that after 10 years she would be able to change them back for him. And so that now he was traveling to his sister-in-law’s home to change his brothers back to men. Again the Jinni was amazed and awarded the second old man a third  of the merchants blood. The third asked for the same chance and his story went thus: After traveling for a year, he came home to find his wife in bed with a slave. When she saw her husband, she cast a spell that changed him into a dog. He ran from the home and wandered until he came upon a butcher who fed him and took him in. The butcher’s daughter yelled, “Why do you bring a strange man before me?” Then she explained to her father the story of the dog (it seems these witch/magic ladies just know). She quickly changed him back into a man and taught him how to cast the same smell onto his wife. And as she slept, he changed her into a mule. And again the Jinni was amazed. Having given away all of the merchant, he could no longer kill him, and he was saved.

Hope you enjoyed!

-Blog Barista

*squeal of joy*

*squeal of joy*

Check it out here:

Translated by Burton, R. Francis. Tales from Arabian Nights. New York: Fall River press, 2012, pp. 21-31. Print.

Honest Myth:Italian- The Daughter of the Sun

sunHere is the third myth, its Italian folklore.

A king and queen waited ages trying to have a child, and finally once able they went to an astrologer to learn its faith. They were told that the baby would be born a woman, and that she was destined to bear the child of the sun before her twentieth birth day. Learning this, they locked her in a tower (best idea obviously) that was extremely high with only a window at the top, so that not even the sun could reach her at the bottom. They locked her in their with a nurse maid (who would raise her) and the nurse maid’s daughter (who was the same age as the princess). One day when the two girls were almost twenty, wondering what the outside is like, the nurse’s daughter suggested they stack chairs to reach the window. When the sun saw the Princess, he fell deeply in love and sent beams down to her and impregnated her. Afraid, the nurse took the new baby (after it was born) and left it in a bean patch. The king and queen released their daughter at her 20th birthday and never found out.

The neighboring king went hunting one day and found the baby in the bean patch. He took in the girl and raised her along with his own baby boy. The children fell in love once they grew older, and the king (against their marriage) sent the girl to live alone in a cabin. As soon as she was gone, he betrothed his son to a girl of royalty. Sugared almonds and a message of the wedding were sent to all people in the kingdom. When the messenger knocked on the cabin, she answered the door with out a head (as she was brushing her hair and had left it on the dresser).Replacing her head, she invited the messenger into her home and began preparing a gift for the newly weds. She commanded the oven to open (and it did) and commanded the wood to go into the oven (which it did). When the food was done, she went into the oven to fetch it, and came out with a pie. No one believed the messenger, but the bride was jealous. She said she was also able to do those things. So the groom told her to demonstrate. None of the commands were successful and half way into the oven, she burned to death. The prince took another bride, and again a messenger was sent to tell the news to all. When they got to the girl’s cottage, she came through the wall and greeted them (since the door could not open). She commanded the skillet to heat up on the top of the stove and then stuck her fingers into the oil, turning them into fried fish. Wrapping them up (with her new fingers), she gave them as a gift to the newly weds. Again the bride was jealous and again she died in the attempt. The prince took a third bride and the messenger was sent to the cabin. When they came by, the girl was taking a stroll in the spiderwebs. She commanded a knife to go to her, and used it to cut off her ear. Pulling it, she pulled out a long roll of golden lace from her head. Again no one believed the messenger, and again the the jealous bride died attempting the same magic. The prince was so in love with the girl, that he began to become very sick, and no one could cure him. A sorceress told them the only cure was to feed him pap made from barley that was made, sown, grown, and reaped all within an hour. the frantic king went to the magical girl for help, and she made the pap as requested. She gave it to the son, who spit it up and hit her face with the pap. In anger, she said, ” You dare spit in the face of the Sun’s daughter and granddaughter of a king.” Astonished, the king allowed her to marry his son, and after that day she lost all her magic.

Hope you enjoyed,

-Blog Barista

Calvino, Halo. Italian Folk Tales. New York: Harcourt Brace Jouanovich, 1980, pp. 269-272. Print.

1100

Honest Myth:Japanese- The Spirit of the Peony

So here is the second myth. Its simple, but kind of sad and pretty in a way. I really liked it, and I hope you all do as well.

jesus_buddha

Princess Aya was arranged to marry the second son of Lord Ako. One night the Princess walked through her great garden with her handmaids. She lingered near her favorite peony bed, and while sniffing them, she tripped. A handsome man, with a robe embroidered with peonies, caught her from hitting the floor, but he vanished before she could thank him. Princess Aya quickly became sick, and the handmaid told the king it was because the Princess was in love with the samurai. Each night great performers tried to cheer up the Princess, and each night the young samurai would appear, listening and watching the celebration. One night the King sent Mika Hiogo to lay hidden in the peonies. When the samurai appeared, Hiogo grabbed the samurai. A cloud emanated from the man causing Hiogo to become dizzy and pass out. When he woke, he held a large peony instead of a man. The Princess took the peony and put it by her bed. Each day, the flower grew bigger, and the girl became healthier. Finally, the wedding took place, and at that hour the peony suddenly died.

Hope you enjoyed,

-Blog Barista

So Kewt

So Kewt

I got this myth from a book:

Davis, F. Hadland. Myths and Legends of Japan. New York: Dover Publication Inc., 1992, pp. 171-173. Print.

Honest Myth:Buddhism/Christianity- Three Temptations

Hello everyone. Sorry for how long it has been since the last post. I hoped that as summer came along I would get the time to do more, but sadly I had to take classes this summer and have been unable to. So today, I have chosen to post up many myths that I looked up lately. I hope you enjoy the variation in these. Sadly, there is no correlation or theme between them though.

This first post is just a comparison between Jesus and Buddha, and their trials that tested them before reaching their divine levels.

I saw this picture on the cover of a book called: I See Buddha in Jesus-Years in Kashmir . But I am not sure who the artist is. Please tell me if you know.

I saw this picture on the cover of a book called: I See Buddha in Jesus-Years in Kashmir . But I am not sure who the artist is. Please tell me if you know.

  • Jesus

1. Stone to Bread (Desire of the body)- Jesus was brought into the wilderness (a desert) by the Spirit. He was there to meditate and ponder over what God wanted of him. There he fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, and the Devil came to him and told him that as the son of God, he could easily change the stone to bread, ending his plight. Jesus then responded, “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

2. On Top of the Temple (Fear)- The Devil then brought Jesus to the top of a temple in the Holy City, and told him to throw himself off the pinnacle to prove himself the son of God, for ‘He shall give his angels charge over thee (Jesus), to keep thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.’ (Basically, Jesus would always be saved, because God had told the angels to protect him). Jesus responds saying, “You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”

3. Top of the Mountain (Cultural)- Satan then brings Jesus to the top of a mountain where all the Kingdoms could be seen. He promised to him (Jesus) that if Jesus worshiped him (Satan), then he would get the world. Jesus refused saying, “Get away! The Lord, your God, shall you worship him and him alone you serve.” Satan tempts Jesus with the power to rule the Earth and over throw the Romans. He gives him a chance to rule and do the things he wants to for the Earth, but in a way where he goes against God (or at least that is my interpretation).

These temptations occurred before Jesus was baptized.

  • Buddha

1. Daughters (Desire of the Body)- Mara, the demon who personifies unwholesome impulses and death of spiritual life, sent his three daughters (Tanha=Desire, Aarath=Aversion, and Raga=Passion) to Buddha. Mara usually tempts humans by making the mundane alluring so that they forget to practice their spiritual duties. His daughters attempted to seduce Gautama with their feminine wiles. Coming in many forms and guises, they danced and sang, but Gautama told them that he was beyond temptation of the body and they should return to their father.

2. Army (Fear)- Mara then threatened Buddha with a vast army. He planned to strike him with his army, and Siddhartha, unmoved, said, “Mere numbers do not make the strength of the army. The sun can outshine a myriad of glow worms. If wisdom is the source of power, a single hero can defeat countless soldiers.” The army advanced (with monstrous beings that have lion heads, rhino horns, wearing human skulls, and so on).  Mara tried to frighten him with earth shaking, uprooting trees, and devastating villages, but arrows became flowers when shot at him and light aura around him became his shield. In fear, the army ran.

3. Duty (Cultural)- As a last attempt, Mara then tried to tempt Buddha with his varna duty. Buddha was born to the Hindu community, where dharma (meaning social duty in Hindi and truth in Buddhism) is so important that it makes up a major part of achieving Moksha (freedom from Samsara). Your duty to society is based on which social order you were born into. Mara tempted to guilt Buddha by telling him that he failed his family and society by leaving and not doing his duty as a prince (leader), a father, a son, and a husband. (Dharma is a little more complicated than this, but I think this is good for now, just to understand a little). But Buddha continued to meditate and ignored Mara knowing this was not Truth.

This occurred during his meditation and before his enlightenment.

Here are some sites to check out:

http://www.epistle.us/articles/jesustemptation.html

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/lob/lob21.htm

Hope you enjoyed this!

-Blog Barista

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