Atropa belladonna or Atropa bella-donna, commonly known as belladonna or deadly nightshade, is a perennial herbaceous plant in the family Solanaceae, native to Europe, North Africa, Western Asia, and some parts of Canada and the United States. The foliage and berries are extremely toxic, containing tropane alkaloids. These toxins include scopolamine and hyoscyamine, which cause a bizarre delirium and hallucinations, and are also used as pharmaceutical anticholinergics. The drug atropine is derived from the plant.
It has a long history of use as a medicine, cosmetic, and poison. Before the Middle Ages, it was used as an anesthetic for surgery; the ancient Romans used it as a poison (the wife of Emperor Augustus and the wife of Claudius both were rumored to have used it for murder); and, predating this, it was used to make poison-tipped arrows. The genus name Atropa comes from Atropos, one of the three Fates in Greek mythology, and the name "bella donna" is derived from Italian and means "beautiful woman" because the herb was used in eye-drops by women to dilate the pupils of the eyes to make them appear seductive.
A cherry blossom is the flower of any of several trees of genus Prunus, particularly the Japanese Cherry, Prunus serrulata, which is called sakura after the Japanese (桜 or 櫻; さくら). Cherry blossom is speculated to be native to the Himalayas. Currently it is widely distributed, especially in the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere including Europe, West Siberia, South Korea, China, Japan, and the United States. Many of the varieties that have been cultivated for ornamental use do not produce fruit. Edible cherries generally come from cultivars of the related species Prunus avium and Prunus cerasus. Cherry blossom are also closely related to other Prunus trees such as the almond, peach, plum and apricot and more distantly to apples, pears and roses.
Hanami (花見?, lit. "flower viewing") is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers, flowers ("hana") in this case almost always referring to those of the cherry ("sakura") or, less frequently, plum ("ume") trees. From the end of March to early May, sakura bloom all over Japan.
Yae (八重 or やえ), the Japanese word for "doubled" or "multi-layered," often in reference to flowers.
Ibicella lutea (/aɪbɨˈsɛlə ˈluːtiə/; syn. Martynia lutea, Proboscidea lutea) is a species of flowering plant known by the common names devil's claw, unicorn plant, martynia, proboscis flower, and ram's horn. It grows in dry conditions, such as those in desert regions. It is native to South America, but has become established as a non-native species in various semi-arid regions around the world, including Southern Africa and the Central Valley of California. The plant is aromatic, with an unpleasant scent. It produces short, glandular hairs over most of its aerial surfaces and is coated in sticky resin. Insects often become stuck in the slimy exudate and die, but the plant does not have digestive enzymes and does not absorb nutrients from the insects. The plant can be considered protocarnivorous, but it is not carnivorous. The name "devil's claw" comes from the shape of the double-clawed seed pods. The sharp-toothed claws on the pods attach to large animals that brush against them, acting as the plant's method of dispersal.
Hedera, commonly called Ivy (plural ivies), is a genus of 12–15 species of evergreen climbing or ground-creeping woody plants in the family Araliaceae, native to western, central and southern Europe, Macaronesia, northwestern Africa and across central-southern Asia east to Japan and Taiwan.
Phlox (/ˈflɒks/; Greek φλόξ "flame"; plural "phlox" or "phloxes", Greek φλόγες phlóges) is a genus of 67 species of perennial and annual plants in the family Polemoniaceae. They are found mostly in North America (one in Siberia) in diverse habitats from alpine tundra to open woodland and prairie. Some flower in spring, others in summer and fall. Flowers may be pale blue, violet, pink, bright red, or white. Many are fragrant.
Agate /ˈæɡət/ is a cryptocrystalline variety of silica, chiefly chalcedony, characterised by its fineness of grain and brightness of color. Although agates may be found in various kinds of rock, they are classically associated with volcanic rocks and can be common in certain metamorphic rocks.
The stone was given its name by Theophrastus, a Greek philosopher and naturalist, who discovered the stone along the shore line of the river Achates (Greek: Ἀχάτης) sometime between the 4th and 3rd centuries BC. Colorful agates and other chalcedonies were obtained over 3,000 years ago from the Achates River, now called Dirillo, in Sicily.
Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz often used in jewelry. The name comes from the Ancient Greek ἀ a- ("not") and μέθυστος méthystos ("intoxicated"), a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness. The ancient Greeks wore amethyst and made drinking vessels decorated with it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication. It is one of several forms of quartz. Amethyst is a semiprecious stone and is the traditional birthstone for February.
The Greek word "amethystos" may be translated as "not drunken", from Greek a-, "not" + methustos, "intoxicated". Amethyst was considered to be a strong antidote against drunkenness, which is why wine goblets were often carved from it. In his poem "L'Amethyste, ou les Amours de Bacchus et d'Amethyste" (Amethyst or the loves of Bacchus and Amethyste), the French poet Remy Belleau (1528–1577) invented a myth in which Bacchus, the god of intoxication, of wine, and grapes was pursuing a maiden named Amethyste, who refused his affections. Amethyste prayed to the gods to remain chaste, a prayer which the chaste goddess Diana answered, transforming her into a white stone. Humbled by Amethyste's desire to remain chaste, Bacchus poured wine over the stone as an offering, dyeing the crystals purple.
A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituents, such as atoms, molecules or ions, are arranged in a highly ordered microscopic structure, forming a crystal lattice that extends in all directions. In addition, macroscopic single crystals are usually identifiable by their geometrical shape, consisting of flat faces with specific, characteristic orientations.
The scientific study of crystals and crystal formation is known as crystallography. The process of crystal formation via mechanisms of crystal growth is called crystallization or solidification. The word crystal is derived from the Ancient Greek word κρύσταλλος (krustallos), meaning both “ice” and “rock crystal”, from κρύος (kruos), "icy cold, frost".
Examples of large crystals include snowflakes, diamonds, and table salt. Most inorganic solids are not crystals but polycrystals, i.e. many microscopic crystals fused together into a single solid. Examples of polycrystals include most metals, rocks, ceramics, and ice. A third category of solids is amorphous solids, where the atoms have no periodic structure whatsoever. Examples of amorphous solids include glass, wax, and many plastics.
Emerald is a gemstone and a variety of the mineral beryl (Be3Al2(SiO3)6) colored green by trace amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium. Beryl has a hardness of 7.5–8 on the Mohs scale. Most emeralds are highly included, so their toughness (resistance to breakage) is classified as generally poor.
Emerald is regarded as the traditional birthstone for May as well as the traditional gemstone for the astrological signs of Taurus, Gemini, and sometimes Cancer.
Iron is a chemical element with symbol Fe (from Latin: ferrum) and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is by mass the most common element on Earth, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust. Its abundance in rocky planets like Earth is due to its abundant production by fusion in high-mass stars, where the production of nickel-56 (which decays to the most common isotope of iron) is the last nuclear fusion reaction that is exothermic. Consequently, radioactive nickel is the last element to be produced before the violent collapse of a supernova scatters precursor radionuclide of iron into space.
Jarn comes from Old Norse járn, jarn; from Proto-Germanic *īsarną; from Proto-Celtic *īsarno-; from Proto-Indo-European *h₁ésh₂r̥ - all meaning "iron".
Professor Abraham van Helsing is a character from the 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula. Van Helsing is a Dutch doctor with a wide range of interests and accomplishments, partly attested by the string of letters that follows his name: "M.D., D.Ph., D.Litt., etc." The character is best known as a vampire hunter, monster hunter, and the archenemy of Count Dracula.
Ahab is the tyrannical captain of the Pequod who is driven by a monomaniacal desire to kill Moby Dick, the whale that had maimed him off the coast of Japan during a previous whaling voyage. Although he is a Quaker, he seeks revenge in defiance of his religion's well-known pacifism. Ahab's Biblical namesake is the evil idol-worshiping ruler in the Books of Kings.
Alcina is an opera seria by George Frideric Handel. In it, the beautiful Alcina is a sorceress that seduces every knight that lands on her isle, but soon tires of her lovers and changes them into stones, animals, plants, or anything that strikes her fancy.
Bayard (French: Bayard; Italian: Baiardo; Dutch: (Ros) Beiaard) is a magic bay horse in the legends derived from the chansons de geste (a medieval narrative, a type of epic poem that appears at the dawn of French literature), renowned for his spirit, and possessed the supernatural ability to adjust his size to his riders.
A Bandersnatch is a fictional creature from Lewis Carroll's 1872 novel Through the Looking-Glass and 1874 poem "The Hunting of the Snark". Although neither work describes the appearance of a Bandersnatch in great detail, in "The Hunting of the Snark" it has a long neck and snapping jaws, and both works describe it as ferocious and extraordinarily fast. "Through the Looking-Glass" implies that Bandersnatches may be found in the world behind the looking-glass, and in "The Hunting of the Snark", a Bandersnatch is found by a party of adventurers after crossing an ocean. Bandersnatches have appeared in various adaptations of Carroll's works; they have also been used in other authors' works and in other forms of media.
In the "Jabberwocky" poem, the Bandersnatch is described as "Frumious", which is a word invented by the writer, a blend of fuming and furious.
Beatrice "Bice" di Folco Portinari (pronounced Italian: [be.aˈtriːtʃe], 1266–1290) was a Florentine woman who has been commonly identified as the principal inspiration for Dante Alighieri's Vita Nuova, and is also commonly identified with the Beatrice who appears as one of his guides in the Divine Comedy (La Divina Commedia) in the last book, Paradiso, and in the last four cantos of Purgatorio. There she takes over as guide from the Latin poet Virgil because, as a pagan, Virgil cannot enter Paradise and because, being the incarnation of beatific love, as her name implies, it is Beatrice who leads into the Beatific vision.
Scholars have long debated whether the historical Beatrice is properly to be identified with either or both of the Beatrices in Dante's writings. She was apparently the daughter of the banker Folco Portinari, and was married to another banker, Simone dei Bardi. Dante claims to have met a "Beatrice" only twice, on occasions separated by nine years, but was so affected by the meetings that he carried his love for her throughout his life.
The Bicorne, as described in medieval European literature, is a mythological two-horned creature that subsists on kind-hearted and devoted husbands. Her counterpart, the Chichevache, feeds on obedient wives. As befits the rampant chauvinism of the era, the Bicorne was depicted as plump and well-fed, while the Chichevache was malnourished.
Bijan and Manijeh (also Bizhan and Manizheh, Persian بيژن و منيژه - Bīžan-o Manīža) is a love story in Ferdowsi's Shahnameh (Shāh-Nāmeh, The Epic of Kings). Bijan was the son of Giv, a famous Iranian knight during the reign of Kai Khosrow, the Shah of Iran, and Banu Goshasp, the heroine daughter of Rostam. Bijan falls in love with Manijeh, the daughter of Afrasiab, the king of Turan and the greatest enemy of Iran. The tale of his suffering and Manizheh's constancy has been quoted by several other.
A mysterious creature that was rarely spotted but was hunted by many European explorers who travelled to the South Americas. It is said to have a shape that is somewhat a cross between a cat and a dog. One Spanish writer, Martin Del Barco Centenera in ‘Argentina’ 1602, documented the creature as having a precious jewel embedded in its forehead. Many have tried to capture this jewel and have failed. It is said that if one sees the precious jewel on its head and tries to capture it out of greed, the Carbuncle will sense this craving and emit a bright ray of light that blinds the person. That person will not get the jewel. The Carbuncle is excellent at sensing the feelings of others and will attack and blind a person with this ray of light even if they carry in their heart even a small amount of greed for treasure. If one runs away in fear of this beast, he or she too will not obtain the jewel. However if one is content in life and does not wish for wealth, the Carbuncle will sense this and will drop the jewel from its head and peacefully walk away.
Carmilla is a Gothic novella by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. First published in 1872, it tells the story of a young woman's susceptibility to the attentions of a female vampire named Carmilla. Carmilla predates Bram Stoker's Dracula by 25 years, and has been adapted many times for cinema. Carmilla is also Millarca, both anagrams for the original name of the vampire Countess Mircalla Karnstein (Character features in novel).
Coppelius was named after a character of E.T.A Hoffmann's short story "The Sandman", doctor Coppelius.
Coppelius: Fear-instilling, large and malformed man who spoiled the happiness of Nathanael and his siblings in their childhood and may be implicated in the death of Nathanael's father.
The Deep Ones are fictional creatures in the Cthulhu Mythos of H.P. Lovecraft. They made their debut in Lovecraft's 1931 novella "The Shadow Over Innsmouth". They are described as being an ocean-dwelling, as evidenced by their name, race with an affinity for mating with humans. Apparently the deep ones have some command of fish as they entered a contract with the people of Innsmouth to keep the fish plentiful in their area. They also seem to have a supply of gold artifacts of unearthly design.
Esmerelda or La Esmeralda (French: Esméralda), born Agnes, is a fictional character in Victor Hugo's 1831 novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (or Notre Dame de Paris). She is a French Romani girl (near the end of the book, it is revealed that her biological mother was a French woman). She constantly attracts men with her seductive dances, and is rarely seen without her clever goat Djali. She is around 16 years old and has a kind and generous heart.
Ettins were a type of giant that lived in the most northern land of the world of Narnia (which was eventually named Ettinsmoor). They were generally violent and unintelligent and can be described as having either two heads or four arms, but never both.
These creatures were once civilized beings that built ancient cities and bridges around the Wild Lands of the North during the Age of Conquest. However, during the Age of Winter, they started to become uncivilized and violent with stupidity and vicious temperament.
The Hippogriff is a legendary creature that resembles a winged horse with the head and upper body of an eagle, and is described as being born of a mare and a griffin. It was first named and defined by Ludovico Ariosto in the early 16th century in his Orlando Furioso.
Isegrim refers to german dialect Îsengrîn, made out of îsen ‚Iron‘ and grînen ‚growl‘. The wolf is a mythical creature out of the epic Reinardus the Fox. Its chief character is Ysengrimus (Latin) the Wolf, and it describes how his various schemes are overcome by the trickster figure Reinardus the Fox. Isegrim symbolizes power, ruthlessness, greed, grimness, badness, but as well bearishness, which is the reason the devious Fox could trick him again and again.
Sir Isumbras is a medieval metrical romance written in Middle English and found in no fewer than nine manuscripts dating to the fifteenth century. This popular romance must have been circulating in England before 1320, because William of Nassington, in his work Speculum Vitae, which dates from this time, mentions feats of arms and other 'vanities', such as those found in stories of Sir Guy of Warwick, Bevis of Hampton, Octavian and Sir Isumbras. Unlike the other three stories, the Middle English Sir Isumbras is not a translation of an Old French original.
The tale of Sir Isumbras bears many similarities to the legend of Saint Eustace, a popular saint in medieval England. Some sources have classified it categorically as an adaptation of this legend, and point to the fact that Sir Isumbras has been grouped in manuscripts with saints' legends and other religious materials. Others have drawn attention to close parallels in the story of Sir Isumbras, and in other medieval hagiographic works, with tales from Iran and northern India.
Sir Isumbras is an over-proud knight who is offered the choice of happiness in his youth or his old age. He chooses the latter, and falls from his high estate by the will of Providence. He is severely stricken; his possessions, his children and, lastly, his wife, are taken away; and he himself becomes a wanderer. After much privation he trains as a blacksmith, learning to forge anew his armour, and he rides into battle against a sultan. Later, he arrives at the court of the sultan's queen, who proves to be his long-lost wife. He attempts to Christianise the Islamic lands over which he now rules, provoking a rebellion which is then defeated when his children miraculously return to turn the tide of battle.
The Jabberwock is a figure from the nonsense poem Jabberwocky, written by Lewis Caroll in his 1871 novel "Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There", a sequel to "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland". The book tells of Alice's adventures within the back-to-front world of a looking glass.
In an early scene in which she first encounters the chess piece characters White King and White Queen, Alice finds a book written in a seemingly unintelligible language. Realizing that she is traveling through an inverted world, she recognizes that the verse on the pages are written in mirror-writing. She holds a mirror to one of the poems, and reads the reflected verse of "Jabberwocky". She finds the nonsense verse as puzzling as the odd land she has passed into, later revealed as a dream-scape.
"Jabberwocky" is considered one of the greatest nonsense poems written in English. Its playful, whimsical language has given us nonsense words and neologisms such as "galumphing" "mimsy" and "chortle".
Jack the Reaper is a 2011 US horror film written and directed by Kimberly Seilhamer. It stars horror genre icon Tony Todd (Candyman, Final Destination, Hatchet), Sally Kirkland (Double Exposure, Fatal Games), Douglas Tait (Stitch), David Beeler, Chris Bruno, Joel Bryant and Stacey Carino.
Igano Kabamaru (伊賀野カバ丸 Igano Kabamaru, lit. Hippo Mouth of Iga) is a Japanese manga created by Yu Azuki. The eponymous protagonist is a naive young ninja from the Iga province called Kagemaru (absolute shadow), nicknamed Kabamaru (hippo's mouth) for his insatiable appetite. After the death of his strict grandfather and ninja sensei, Kabamaru moves to Tokyo with one of his grandfather’s acquaintances. The plot deals mainly with Kabamaru adjusting to an urban lifestyle after spending a childhood in the mountains and how he finds himself caught up in the rivalry between two private schools.
Igano Kabamaru has been adapted to television and film.
Kage-Maru (影丸, lit. "Pure Shadow") (Kage for short; pronounced KA-géh-MAH-ru, born June 6, 1971, Tokyo, Japan) is a Hagakure Ninja in the SEGA video game series Virtua Fighter.
Kagemaru 「影丸」 is the main antagonist of the first season of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, as well as founder and former chairman of Duel Academy.
The "Kage" portion of his name is derived from the Japanese word "kage" 「影」, meaning "shadow," while the "maru" portion means "circle" or "perfection". Therefore, this character's name could mean "shadow perfection". Another interpretation is "shadow of perfection," perhaps referring to his failed attempt at becoming immortal, or "perfect". "Maru" is also a common end for male Japanese names.
Karna (Sanskrit: कर्ण, IAST transliteration: Karṇa), originally known as Vasusena, is one of the central characters in the Hindu epic Mahābhārata, from ancient India. He was the King of Anga (present day Bhagalpur and Munger). Karna was one of the greatest warrior whose martial exploits are recorded in the Mahābhārata and the only warrior believed to be able to defeat Arjuna in battle, an admiration expressed by Lord Krishna and Bhishma within the body of this work. Karna was the only warrior in the Mahabharata who single handedly successfully conducted Digvijay Yatra,conquering all kings in every direction in order to establish Duryodhana as the emperor of the world and to conduct the Vaishnava sacrifice.
Karna became interested in the art of warfare and approached Dronacharya, an established teacher who taught the Kuru princes. But he refused to take Karna as his student, since Karna was not a Kshatriya. After being refused by Dronacharya, Karna with his brother Shona's help started his own's education and appointed the sun god as his guru. But, Karna wanted to learn advanced skills of archery and hence he decided to learn from Parashurama, Dronacharya's own guru.
As Parshurama only taught to Brahmins, Karna appeared before him as a Brahmin. Parashurama accepted him and trained him to such a point that he declared Karna to be equal to himself in the art of warfare and archery.
King Argan was named after Argan, the protagonist of Le Malade Imaginaire, one famous play by French playwright Molière with dance sequences and musical interludes by Marc-Antoine Charpentier. It premiered on 10 February 1673 at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal in Paris and was originally choreographed by Pierre Beauchamp. The play is also known as "The Hypochondriac", an alternative translation of the French title.
In modern fantasy fiction, a Lich (Dutch lijk and German Leiche, both meaning "corpse") is a type of undead creature. Often such a creature is the result of a transformation, as a powerful magician or king striving for eternal life uses spells or rituals to bind his intellect to his animated corpse and thereby achieve a form of immortality. Liches are depicted as being clearly cadaverous, their bodies desiccated or even completely skeletal. Liches are often depicted as holding power over hordes of lesser undead creatures, using them as soldiers and servants.
The Malebranche ("Evil Claws") are the demons in the Inferno of Dante's Divine Comedy who guard Bolgia Five of the Eighth Circle (Malebolge). They figure in Cantos XXI, XXII, and XXIII. Vulgar and quarrelsome, their duty is to force the corrupt politicians (barrators) to stay under the surface of a boiling lake of pitch.
Oberon (also spelled Auberon) is a king of the fairies in medieval and Renaissance literature. He is best known as a character in William Shakespeare's play, A Midsummer Night's Dream, in which he is Consort to Titania, Queen of the Fairies. Oberon's status as king of the fairies comes from the character of Alberich (Old German for elf king), a sorcerer in the legendary history of the Merovingian dynasty.
Oliver (in Italian: Uliviero or Oliviero), sometimes referred to as Olivier de Vienne or de Gennes, is a fictional knight in the Matter of France chansons de geste, especially the French epic The Song of Roland. In the tradition, he was Roland's closest friend, advisor, and confidant, one of Charlemagne's twelve peers and brother of Aude, Roland's betrothed; and he dies at the Battle of Roncevaux Pass with Roland. Some critics have linked his name to the olive tree, a biblical symbol of divine wisdom. Hauteclere (or Halteclere, or Hauteclaire, literally "High and neat") is the sword of Olivier. It is described as being of burnished steel, with a crystal embedded in a golden hilt.
An orc or ork is one of a race of mythical humanoid creatures, generally described as brutish, aggressive and repulsive. Orc facial features tend toward the grotesque (generally a mixture of ape-like and pig-like), and their skin typically varies from black to grey to green. The orc has its origins in the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings). Orcs are to elves as evil is to good, represented as enemies of light and all that is holy, acceptable, pure and true.
The Peryton is a mythological hybrid animal combining the physical features of a stag and a bird. The Peryton was created and described by Jorge Luis Borges in his Book of Imaginary Beings, using a supposedly long-lost medieval manuscript as a source.
The Peryton is said to have the head, neck, forelegs and antlers of a stag, combined with the plumage, wings and hindquarters of a large bird, although some interpretations portray the Peryton as a deer in all but coloration and bird's wings.
According to Borges, Perytons lived in Atlantis until an earthquake destroyed the civilization and the creatures escaped by flight. A Peryton casts the shadow of a man until it kills one during its lifetime, at which time it starts to cast its own shadow. A Sibyl once prophesied that the Perytons would lead to the downfall of Rome.
Rodan (ラドン Radon) is a fictional Japanese mutated pterosaur introduced in Rodan, a 1956 release from Toho Studios, the company that produced the Godzilla series. Like Godzilla and Anguirus, he is designed after a type of prehistoric reptile (the Japanese name "Radon" is a contraction of "pteRAnoDON"). Radon is usually referred to as "Rodan" in the United States, possibly to avoid confusion with the atomic element Radon; any time his name is written in English in Japan, it is written as Rodan. He is occasionally portrayed as a rival and enemy of Godzilla, but is usually depicted as one of Godzilla's allies, much like Anguirus. Rodan and Anguirus both started out as enemies of Godzilla, which explains the occasional enmity between the creatures and Godzilla himself on the rare occasion that they are pitted against one another.
Sinbad the Sailor was a character in the book One Thousand and One Nights. He travelled on the seas east of Africa and south of Asia and during his voyages throughout them, he had fantastic adventures going to magical places, meeting monsters, and encountering supernatural phenomena.
The Snow Queen is the title character of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Snow Queen (Danish: Snedronningen). She is queen of the snowflakes or "snow bees" and travels about the world with the snow. She abducts Kai, the story's secondary protagonist, and returns him to her palace in Spitsbergen, the land of permafrost. The Snow Queen promises to free the boy if he can spell the word "eternity" (Danish: Evigheden) with pieces of ice.
Treant appear to have been inspired by the talking trees of many of the world's folklores, as well as the Ent from J. R. R. Tolkien's world of Middle Earth. The name "Treant" comes from combining "tree" and "giant," and is usually pronounced tree-ant. Treants are based on Ents from Tolkien's work. The creature was called an ent in the original Dungeons & Dragons, and its name was later changed to treant. Treants are sentient trees with human characteristics. They are typically portrayed as protectors of the forests and antagonists to industrialization and despoiling of nature. They are typically allies of druids and fey, opposing malicious races such as orcs.
The word Sagacious or The wise old man (also called senex, sage or sophos) is an archetype as described by Carl Jung, as well as a classic literary figure, and may be seen as a stock character. The wise old man can be a profound philosopher distinguished for wisdom and sound judgment.
The Wicker Man is a 1973 British mystery horror-musical film directed by Robin Hardy and written by Anthony Shaffer. The film stars Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Diane Cilento, Ingrid Pitt, and Britt Ekland. Paul Giovanni composed the soundtrack. The story was inspired by David Pinner's 1967 novel Ritual and centres on the visit of Police Sergeant Neil Howie to the isolated island of Summerisle, in search of a missing girl. Howie, a devout Christian, is appalled to find that the inhabitants of the island practise a form of Celtic paganism.
Devout Christian Sergeant Howie journeys to the remote Hebridean island, Summerisle, to investigate the disappearance of a young girl, Rowan Morrison. He is disturbed to find the islanders paying homage to the pagan Celtic gods of their ancestors. They practice open copulation in the fields, include children as part of the May Day celebrations, teach children of the phallic association of the maypole, and place frogs in mouths to cure sore throats. The Islanders, including Rowan's mother, attempt to thwart his investigation by claiming that Rowan never existed.
While staying at the Green Man Inn, Howie notices a series of photographs celebrating the annual harvest, each image featuring a young girl as the May Queen. The photograph of the latest celebration is suspiciously missing; the landlord's daughter, Willow, tells him it was broken. She attempts to seduce Howie, but he refuses to have premarital sex, citing his Christian morality and the fact that he is engaged.
After seeing Rowan's burial plot, Howie meets the island leader, Lord Summerisle, grandson of the island's crop-growing champion. The lord's grandfather, a Victorian agronomist, developed strains that would prosper in Scotland's climate. He encouraged the belief that old gods would use the new strains to deliver the islanders from a meager livelihood.
Howie finds the missing harvest photograph, showing Rowan standing amidst empty boxes. His research reveals that when there's a poor harvest, the islanders make a sacrifice to ensure that the next will be bountiful. He comes to the conclusion that Rowan is alive and has been chosen for sacrifice. During the May Day celebration, Howie knocks out and ties up the innkeeper so he can steal his costume (that of Punch, the fool) and infiltrate the parade. When it seems the villagers are about to sacrifice Rowan, he cuts her free and flees with her. They're intercepted by the islanders, whom Rowan merrily returns to.
They reveal Rowan is not the sacrifice - Howie is. He fits the criteria: he came of his own free will, has "the power of a king - representing the law," is a virgin, and is a fool. Despite his protests, he's placed inside a giant wicker man statue, which is then set ablaze while the islanders surround it, singing the Middle English folk-song "Sumer Is Icumen In." As he begins to burn Howie reiterates his earlier protest, recites Psalm 23, and prays to God. He damns the islanders as the wicker man collapses in flames, revealing the setting sun.
Dasher is actually one of the oldest of Santa's reindeer and was born many years ago at the North Pole. Dasher was the lead reindeer until Rudolf came along and is one of the fastest and strongest of Santa's reindeer. Dasher is now the left side leader and is paired next to Dancer at the top of Santa's sleigh, with Rudolf being the lead reindeer. Dasher is said to be the strongest of all of Santa's reindeer, and one of the fastest. Dasher is so good at dashing at short distances that he is said to be a dashing role model for the other 8 reindeer. It is said that the only reindeer to ever beat Dasher in a race was Rudolf, even though Comet has come close a few times.
The Destrier is the best-known war horse of the medieval era. It carried knights in battles, tournaments, and jousts. It was described by contemporary sources as the Great Horse, due to its significance. The word destrier is derived from the Vulgar Latin dextarius, meaning "right-sided" (the same root as our modern dexterous and dexterity). This may refer to it being led by the squire at the knight's right side (or led by the right hand) or to the horse's gait, (possibly leading with the right). While highly prized by knights and men-at-arms, the destrier was not very common. Most knights and mounted men-at-arms rode other war horses, such as coursers and rounceys. These three types of horse were often referred to generically as chargers.
The Easter Bunny (also called the Easter Rabbit or Easter Hare) is depicted as a Leporid bringing Easter eggs. Originating among German Lutherans, the Easter Hare oringinally played the role of a judge, evaluating whether children were good or disobedient in behaviour at the start of the season of Eastertide. The Easter Bunny is sometimes depicted with clothes. In legend, the creature carries colored eggs in his basket, candy and sometimes also toys to the homes of children, and as such shows similarities to Santa Claus or the Christkind, as they both bring gifts to children on the night before their respective holiday.
In architecture, a Gargoyle is a carved stone grotesque, usually made of granite, with a spout designed to convey water from a roof and away from the side of a building thereby preventing rainwater from running down masonry walls and eroding the mortar between. The term originates from the French gargouille, which in English is likely to mean "throat" or is otherwise known as the "gullet".
In traditional belief and fiction, a Ghost (sometimes known as a spectre (British English) or specter (American English), phantom, apparition or spook) is the soul or spirit of a dead person or animal that can appear, in visible form or other manifestation, to the living. Descriptions of the apparition of ghosts vary widely from an invisible presence to translucent or barely visible wispy shapes, to realistic, lifelike visions. The belief in manifestations of the spirits of the dead is widespread, dating back to animism or ancestor worship in pre-literate cultures.
Hina (literally “girl”) is the name of several different goddesses and women in Polynesian mythology. In some traditions, the trickster and culture hero Maui has a wife named Hina, as do the gods Tane and Tangaroa. Hina is often associated with the moon.
Many stories about the goddess Hina, especially in connection with the moon, can be found in chapter 15 (“Hina Myths”) of Martha Beckwith’s Hawaiian Mythology. Hina is mostly described as a very attractive, smart, beautiful, determined young woman pursued by men and other creatures. Hina becomes tired of living in the crowd, flees to the moon, and eventually becomes goddess of it.
For a time, the goddess Hina lived as the wife of Te Tuna, the god of eels. But she grew tired of him and decided to seek love elsewhere. Telling Tuna that she was going to get him some delicious food, Hina left him and went onto land.
Hina went from place to place, seeking a lover. But all the men she met were afraid to take Tuna’s wife, fearing the eel-god’s vengeance. Finally she met Maui, whose mother Taranga urged him to take the goddess as his wife.
When the people round about learned that Maui had taken Hina as his wife, they went to tell Tuna. At first, Tuna didn’t care, but the people annoyed him about it so much that he eventually vowed to win back his wife from Maui.
Along with four companions, Tuna rushed toward Maui’s home, carried by a huge wave. But Maui’s power turned back the wave and left Tuna and his companions beached on the reefs. Maui killed three of Tuna’s companions, while one escaped with a broken leg. Tuna himself Maui spared.
Tuna actually lived in peace in Maui’s home for some time. But one day, Tuna challenged Maui to a duel. Each would take a turn leaping into the others’ body and trying to kill him. If Tuna killed Maui, then Tuna would take his wife back. Tuna’s turn came first: he made himself small and entered Maui’s body. When he came back out, Maui was intact. Now it was Maui’s turn: Maui made himself small and entered Tuna’s body, tearing it apart. Maui cut off Tuna’s head and, at his mother’s suggestion, buried it in a corner of his house.
In time, a shoot sprouted from Tuna’s buried head and grew into a coconut tree. That was how humankind acquired coconuts.
The jack-o'-lantern is a carved, hollowed-out pumpkin made into a lantern. A symbol of Halloween/Samhain, it is a tradition carried over to North America from Ireland and the Scottish Highlands, where the lanterns were originally carved from root vegetables like turnips, beets or mangold.
The story of the Knight of the Swan, or Swan Knight, is a medieval tale about a mysterious rescuer who comes in a swan-drawn boat to defend a damsel, his only condition being that he must never be asked his name.
The earliest versions (preserved in Dolopathos) do not provide specific identity to this knight, but the Old French Crusade cycle of chansons de geste adopted it to make the Swan Knight ("Chevalier au Cygne") the legendary ancestor of Godfrey of Bouillon. The Chevalier au Cygne, also known as Helias, figures as the son of Orient of L'Islefort (or Illefort) and his wife Beatrix in perhaps the most familiar version, which is the one adopted for the late-fourteenth Middle English Cheuelere Assigne. But the mother's name may vary from Beatrix to Elioxe (an echo of Helias) depending on the text, and in a Spanish version, she is called Isomberte.
At a later time, the swan knight Loherangrin was incorporated by the German poet Wolfram von Eschenbach into his Arthurian epic Parzival. A German text, written by Konrad von Würzburg in 1257, also featured a Swan Knight without a name. Wolfram's, Konrad's were used to construct the libretto for Richard Wagner's opera Lohengrin.
Mämmi (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈmæmmi]) is a traditional Finnish Easter dessert. The Swedish name for it is memma. Mämmi is made of water, rye flour, and powdered malted rye, seasoned with dark molasses, salt, and dried powdered Seville orange zest.
Mämmi was first mentioned during the 16th century, in a dissertation (in Latin). It is claimed that it has been eaten in the southwestern region of Finland, ever since the 13th century, when Finland was a part of Roman Catholic Sweden. It is also claimed that it can be traced to medieval Germany. The food fell out of favour in Germany and now remains mainly in Finland and Sweden.
Persians use a very similar food in the Persian New Year which is the first day of spring. The Persian "mämmi" is called samanu and there have been speculations that mämmi originates from the Great Persian Empire.
Originally mämmi was eaten during lent. Its laxative properties were associated with purification and purging. As the dish keeps well for several days, it was also a convenient food for Good Friday, when cooking was against religious custom.
Modern mämmi is mostly mass-produced. It is usually only available during the Easter season.
In Māori mythology, Rongo is a major god, the god of cultivated food, especially the kūmara, a vital food crop. Other food crops cultivated by Māori in traditional times include taro, yams (uwhi), cordyline (tī), and gourds (hue). Because of their tropical origin, most of these crops were difficult to grow except in the far north of New Zealand. Hence the importance of Rongo.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a fictional male reindeer with a glowing red nose, popularly known as "Santa's 9th Reindeer." When depicted, he is the lead reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh on Christmas Eve. The luminosity of his nose is so great that it illuminates the team's path through inclement winter weather.
Rudolph first appeared in a 1939 booklet written by Robert L. May and published by Montgomery Ward.
The story is owned by The Rudolph Company, L.P. and has been adapted in numerous forms including a popular song, a television special and sequels, and a feature film and sequel. Character Arts, LLC manages the licensing for the Rudolph Company, L.P. In many countries, Rudolph has become a figure of Christmas folklore.
Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas and simply "Santa", is a figure with legendary, mythical, historical and folkloric origins who, in many western cultures, is said to bring gifts to the homes of the good children on the night before Christmas, December 24. He accomplishes this feat with the aid of the elves who make the toys in the workshop and the reindeer who pull his sleigh.
A Sea Serpent or sea dragon is a type of sea monster either wholly or partly serpentine.Its found in many mythologies, urban legends, and has been sighted even today, very much like the cryptid "nessie" of scotland. The Bible also mentions to Leviathan and Rahab, from the Hebrew Tanakh, although 'great creatures of the sea' (NIV) are also mentioned in Book of Genesis 1:21. In the Book of Amos 9:3 speaks of a serpent to bite the people who try to hide in the sea from God.
A skrimsl was a subdued serpent monster from Iceland. It was once a predatory creature but the Bishop Gudmund used his powers to bind it to the ocean and not to kill people until Doomsday. Thus it was prophesied that in the future the Skirimsl would be set free and wreak havoc.
In the folklore of the Sami, a Stalo (also Stallu or Stallo) is a large human-like creature who likes to eat people and who therefore is usually in some form of hostilities with a human. Stalos are clumsy and stupid, and thus humans often gain the upper hand over them.
The Tangata Manu (Rapa Nui, "bird-man") is the name given to the winner of a traditional annual festival/competition hosted on Easter Island. The competition is a ritual of the Birdman cult, and the goal is to collect the first sooty tern egg of the season from the islet of Moto Nui by swimming to the islet, collecting the egg, swimming back to Easter Island, and then climbing the sea cliff of Rano Kau to the clifftop village of Orongo.
In Māori mythology, Taniwha (Māori pronunciation: [ˈtanifa]) are beings that live in deep pools in rivers, dark caves, or in the sea, especially in places with dangerous currents or deceptive breakers (giant waves). They may be considered highly respected kaitiaki (protective guardians) of people and places, or in some traditions as dangerous, predatory beings, which for example would kidnap women to have as wives.
The Tarantella dance (meaning Tarantula Spider), originated from Italy. It was believed that doing the dance after being bitten by a spider would cure the one that was poisoned. It is considered unlucky to do the dance alone. Another version was said to have originated from the towns Taranto and Tarantum, where it was believed they danced in order to sweat the venom out of their body. Lycosa Tarantula which is believed to have inspired the dance belong to the Wolf Spider family.
The Waheela is a large, pre-historic wolf that roams Alaska. It is four times the size of a normal wolf and is covered with a beautiful white coat of fur. It can be used as a sideline cryptid, and is extremely dangerous. The waheela is said to be a meter and a half tall at the shoulders, and be built much bulkier than today's North American wolf. Many believe that this could be a living fossil--though still a very large variety--of dire or timber wolf. Sightings have been reported from Nahanni Valley in the Northwest Territories of Canada. It has also been reported in areas of Michigan and Alaska. The waheela is similar to the Shunka Warakin, but inhabits a far more northern habitat. It is also similar to Amarok, a giant wolf from Inuit mythology. It is reported to travel in groups of two or three, and not in large packs as modern wolves do.
A deep sea water monster from the myths of Melanesia.
An ordinary woman gave birth to Walutahanga, a serpent, instead of a human child. The mother quickly hid Walutahanga from her husband to save her life. Unfortunately, the father discovered the serpent, and he cut Walutahanga into eight pieces.
It rained for eight days, and the eight pieces of Walutahanga's bother joined together. She was again whole.
Without a home, she wandered the world. She soon resorted to eating humans, and the surviving members of the village she tormented cut her into eight pieces again. The villagers then cooked her and feasted, except for one woman and her child who refused to eat Walutahanga's remains. Finally, the villagers cast the eight pieces of Walutahanga's bones into the sea.
It showered over eight days, and the pieces of Walutahanga's bother joined together. She was again whole.
Walutahanga, in retaliation, summoned eight huge waves towards the village to crush it. She spared only the woman and child that did not consume her flesh. She made them both food, such as yams, and left them where their village had once stood. She struck fear into the hearts of many, but she became the guardian spirit of a selected few.
The Yule goat is a Scandinavian and Northern European Yule and Christmas symbol and tradition. Its origin may be Germanic pagan, and has existed in many variants during Scandinavian history.
Modern representations of the Yule goat are typically made of straw. The custom of wassailing is sometimes called "going Yule goat" in Scandinavia.
The order Cetacea /sɨˈteɪʃ(i)ə/ includes the marine mammals commonly known as whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Cetus is Latin and is used in biological names to mean 'whale'. Its original meaning, 'large sea animal', was more general. It comes from Ancient Greek κῆτος (kētos), meaning 'whale' or "any huge fish or sea monster". In Greek mythology, the monster Perseus defeated was called Cetus, which is depicted by the constellation of Cetus. Cetology is the branch of marine science associated with the study of cetaceans.
Dunkleosteus (from "[David] Dunkle" + osteus [οστεος, Greek: bone]) is a genus of prehistoric fish existing during the Late Devonian period, about 380–360 million years ago. Some of the species, such as D. terrelli, D. marsaisi, and D. magnificus, are among the largest arthrodire placoderms ever to have lived.
Ornithomimus (/ˌɔrnɨθɵˈmaɪməs/; "bird mimic") is a genus of ornithomimid dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous Period of what is now North America. It is usually classified into two species; the type species, Ornithomimus velox, and a referred species, Ornithomimus edmontonicus.
Ornithomimus was a swift bipedal theropod which fossil evidence indicates was covered in feathers, equipped with a small toothless beaked head that may indicate an omnivorous diet.
Gigantopithecus (from the Ancient Greek γίγας gigas "giant", and πίθηκος pithekos "ape") is an extinct genus of ape that existed from perhaps nine million years to as recently as one hundred thousand years ago, in what is now Nepal, China, India, and Vietnam, placing Gigantopithecus in the same time frame and geographical location as several hominin species. The fossil record suggests that individuals of the species Gigantopithecus blacki were the largest known apes that ever lived, standing up to 3 m (9.8 ft), and weighing up to 540 kg (1,190 lb).
The Plesiosauria (/ˌpliːsi.ɵˈsɔriə/; Greek: πλησίος, plesios, meaning "near to" and Sauria) or plesiosaurs are an order or clade of Mesozoic marine reptiles (marine Sauropsida), belonging to the Sauropterygia.
Plesiosaurs first appeared in the latest Triassic Period, possibly in the Rhaetian stage, about 205 million years ago. They became especially common during the Jurassic Period, thriving until their disappearance due to the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous Period, about 66 million years ago. They had a worldwide oceanic distribution.
Pterosaurs (/ˈtɛrɵsɔr/; meaning "winged lizard") were flying reptiles of the clade or order Pterosauria. They existed from the late Triassic to the end of the Cretaceous Period (228 to 66 million years ago). Pterosaurs are the earliest vertebrates known to have evolved powered flight. Their wings were formed by a membrane of skin, muscle, and other tissues stretching from the ankles to a dramatically lengthened fourth finger. Early species had long, fully toothed jaws and long tails, while later forms had a highly reduced tail, and some lacked teeth.
Theropoda /θɨˈrɒpɵdə/, from Greek meaning "beast feet") are a group of saurischian dinosaurs. Theropods were ancestrally carnivorous, although a number of theropod groups evolved herbivory, omnivory, piscivory, and insectivory. Theropods first appeared during the Carnian age of the late Triassic period 231.4 million years ago (Ma) and included the sole large terrestrial carnivores from the Early Jurassic until at least the close of the Cretaceous, about 66 Ma. In the Jurassic, birds evolved from small specialized coelurosaurian theropods, and are today represented by 10,000 living species.
The Donga River is a river in Nigeria and Cameroon. The river arises from the Mambilla Plateau in southeastern Nigeria, forms part of the international border between Nigeria and Cameroon, and flows northwest to eventually merge with the Benue River in Nigeria. The Donga watershed is 20,000 square kilometres (7,700 sq mi) in area. At its peak, near the Benue the river delivers 1,800 cubic metres (64,000 cu ft) of water per second.
Heilongjiang (Chinese: 黑龙江; pinyin: About this sound Hēilóngjiāng ; Russian: Хэйлунцзян) is a province of the People's Republic of China located in the northeastern part of the country. "Heilongjiang" literally means Black Dragon River, which is the Chinese name for the Amur. The one-character abbreviation is 黑 (pinyin: Hēi).
The double-headed eagle is a common symbol in heraldry and vexillology. It is most commonly associated with the Byzantine Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, the Russian Empire and their successor states. In Byzantine heraldry, the heads represent the dual sovereignty of the Emperor without Empress for total control and power both (secular and religious) and/or dominance of the Byzantine Emperors over both East and West. In the Holy Roman Empire's heraldry, it represented the church and the state. In Russian heraldry, it represented the fact that Russian Emperor ruled over West and East lands of Russian Empire, more precisely Russia and Siberia. Doppeladler is short for Doppelköpfiger Adler, which is the German name for this term.
The Grim Reaper is a psychopomp, or a spirit/god that leads souls of the newly-dead to the afterlife. He is depicted as a skeletal figure in a hooded black robe, wielding a scythe and hourglass. This vision of Death personified as a skeleton began in artworks from the late 14th century, during the time of the Black Plague.
Sirocco, scirocco, /sɪˈrɒkoʊ/, jugo or, rarely, siroc (Catalan: Xaloc, Greek: Σορόκος) is a Mediterranean wind that comes from the Sahara and reaches hurricane speeds in North Africa and Southern Europe. It is derived from the North African Arabic word for south qibli (قبلي) etymologically derived from the word "qibla".
The Scirocco causes dusty dry conditions along the northern coast of Africa, storms in the Mediterranean Sea, and cool wet weather in Europe. The Scirocco's duration may be as short as half a day or may last several days. Many people attribute health problems to the Sirocco either because of the heat and dust along the African coastal regions or because of the cool dampness in Europe. The dust within the Sirocco winds can cause abrasion in mechanical devices and penetrate buildings. Scirocco winds with speeds of up to 100 kilometres per hour are most common during the autumn and the spring. They reach a peak in March and in November when it is very hot, with a maximum speed of about 100 km/h (55 knots).
Combined with a rising tide, Scirocco is a factor responsible for the Acqua Alta phenomenon in the Venetian Lagoon.
In literature and poetry, a shade (translating Greek σκιά, Latin umbra) can be taken to mean the spirit or ghost of a dead person, residing in the underworld. The image of an underworld where the dead live in shadow is common to the Ancient Near East, in Biblical Hebrew expressed by the term tsalmaveth, literally "death-shadow". The Witch of Endor in the First Book of Samuel notably conjures the ghost (owb) of Samuel.
Only select individuals are exempt from the fate of dwelling in shadow after death, ascending to the divine sphere. This is the apotheosis aspired to by kings claiming divinity, and reflected in the veneration of heroes. Plutarch relates how Alexander the Great was inconsolable after the death of Hephaistion up to the moment he received an oracle of Ammon confirming that the deceased was a hero, i.e. enjoyed the status of a divinity.
The tarot is a pack of playing cards (most commonly numbering 78), used from the mid-15th century in various parts of Europe to play a group of card games such as Italian tarocchini and French tarot. From the late 18th century until the present time the tarot has also found use by mystics and occultists in efforts at divination or as a map of mental and spiritual pathways.
The tarot has four suits (which vary by region, being the French suits in Northern Europe, the Latin suits in Southern Europe, and the German suits in Central Europe). Each of these suits has pip cards numbering from ace to ten and four face cards for a total of 14 cards. In addition, the tarot is distinguished by a separate 21-card trump suit and a single card known as the Fool. Depending on the game, the Fool may act as the top trump or may be played to avoid following suit.
Occultists call the trump cards and the Fool "the major arcana" while the ten pip and four court cards in each suit are called minor arcana.
Chariot is the seventh trump or Major Arcana card in most traditional Tarot decks. It is used in game playing as well as in divination.
A powerful, princely figure sits in a swift Chariot, pulled usually by two sphinxes or horses. There is often a black and white motif, for example one of the steeds may be black and the other white. The figure may be crowned or helmeted, and is winged in some representations. He or she may hold a sword or wand, or other masculine symbol.
The Chariot is one of the most complex cards to define. On its most basic level, it implies war, a struggle, and an eventual, hard-won victory; either over enemies, obstacles, nature, the beasts inside you, or to just get what you want. But there is a great deal more to it.
Death (XIII) is the thirteenth trump or Major Arcana card in most traditional Tarot decks. It is used in Tarot, tarock and tarocchi games as well as in divination.
The Death card usually depicts a skeleton, sometimes riding a horse but more often wielding a sickle. Surrounding it are dead and dying people from all classes, including kings, bishops and commoners. The Rider-Waite tarot deck depicts the skeleton carrying a black standard emblazoned with a white flower along with the Crashing Towers from The Moon with The Sun rising behind them in the background. Some decks, such as the Tarot of Marseilles, omit the name from the card.
According to Eden Gray and other authors on the subject, it is unlikely that this card actually represents a physical death. Typically it implies an end, possibly of a relationship or interest, and therefore implies an increased sense of self-awareness - not to be confused with self-consciousness or any kind of self-diminishment.
Devil (XV) is the fifteenth trump or Major Arcana card in most traditional Tarot decks. Many modern Tarot decks portray the Devil as a satyr-like creature, with bird wings, goat horns, a raised right hand, lowered left hand, breasts and a torch on his head and also combines human and animal features.
The Devil card can be interpreted as being bound to indulgence preventing a person from growing or becoming healthy—an example might be alcoholism. On the other hand, however, it can be interpreted as being too calculated, restrained and/or dispassionate and never allowing a rash, wild or ambitious moment.
Though many decks portray a stereotypical Satan figure for this card, it is more representative of bondage to material things than an evil persona. It also indicates an obsession or addiction to fulfilling our own Earthly desires. Should the Devil represent a person, it will most likely be one of money and power, one who is persuasive, aggressive, and controlling. In any case, it is most important that the querent understand the ties that bind are worn freely.
The Emperor is the fourth trump or Major Arcana card in traditional Tarot decks. It is used in game playing as well as in divination.
The Emperor sits on his throne, holding a scepter, accompanied by the heraldic Eagle of the Holy Roman Empire. This is usually on his shield though the heraldic eagle is sometimes a freestanding statue or live bird. He symbolizes the top of the secular hierarchy, the ultimate male ego. The Emperor is the absolute ruler of the world.
The essential features of the design for The Emperor card have changed very little through the centuries. The Emperor sometimes got caught up in the censorship placed on the Papess (High Priestess) and the Pope (Hierophant), as when the Bolognese card makers replaced the Papess (High Priestess), Pope (Hierophant), Empress, and Emperor with four Moors or Turks. In the Minchiate, the first of the two Emperors are assigned number III because of the removal of the Papess (High Priestess) from the deck.
The Emperor symbolizes the desire to rule over one's surroundings, and its appearance in a reading often suggests that the subject needs to accept that some things may not be controllable, and others may not benefit from being controlled.
As with all Tarot cards, multiple meanings are possible. Where the Empress is the Feminine principle, the Emperor is the Masculine. Most individuals will relate to this card in the same way they relate to their own father.
The Empress is the third trump or Major Arcana card in traditional Tarot decks. It is used in Tarot card games as well as divination.
The Empress sits on a throne wearing a starry crown, holding a scepter in one hand. The Scepter is representative of her power over life, her crown has twelve stars representing her dominance over the year, and her throne is in the midst of a field of grain, representative of her dominion over growing things.
Fool or The Jester is one of the 78 cards in a Tarot deck; one of the 22 Trump cards that make up the Major Arcana. The Fool is unnumbered; sometimes represented as 0 (the first) or XXI (the second to last) or XXII (the last) Major Arcana in decks. It is used in divination as well as in game playing.
The Fool is the spirit in search of experience. He represents the mystical cleverness bereft of reason within us, the childlike ability to tune into the inner workings of the world. The sun shining behind him represents the divine nature of the Fool's wisdom and exuberance, holy madness or 'crazy wisdom'. On his back are all the possessions he might need. In his hand there is a flower, showing his appreciation of beauty. He is frequently accompanied by a dog, sometimes seen as his animal desires, sometimes as the call of the "real world", nipping at his heels and distracting him. He is seemingly oblivious that he is walking toward a precipice, apparently about to step off. One of the keys to the card is the paradigm of the precipice, Zero and the sometimes represented oblivious Fool's near-step into the oblivion (The Void) of the jaws of a crocodile, for example, are all mutually informing polysemy within evocations of the iconography of The Fool. The staff is the offset and complement to the void and this in many traditions represents wisdom and renunciation, e.g. 'danda' (Sanskrit) of a Sanyassin, 'danda' (Sanskrit) is also a punctuation mark with the function analogous to a 'full-stop' which is appropriately termed a period in American English. The Fool is both the beginning and the end, neither and otherwise, betwixt and between, liminal.
The number 0 is a perfect significator for the Fool, as it can become anything when he reaches his destination as in the sense of 'joker's wild'. Zero plus anything equals the same thing. Zero times anything equals zero. Zero is nothing, a lack of hard substance, and as such it may reflect a non-issue or lack of cohesiveness for the subject at hand.
The Hanged Man is the twelfth trump or Major Arcana card in most traditional Tarot decks. It is used in game playing as well as in divination.
It depicts a Pittura infamante, a shameful image of a traitor being punished in a manner common at the time for traitors in Italy.
The Hanged Man's symbolism points to divinity, linking it to the Passion in Christianity, especially The Crucifixion; to the narratives of Osiris in Egyptian mythology, and Mithras in Ancient Persian mythology and Roman mythology. In all of these archetypal stories, the destruction of self brings life to humanity; on the card, these are symbolized respectively by the person of the Hanged Man and the living tree from which he hangs bound.
The Hermit is a robed man or monk carrying a lantern, sometimes in hand, sometimes hanging off a staff. A barren landscape. Represented by Virgo, the Hermit is a card of introspection, analysis and, well, virginity. The card indicates, instead, a desire for peace and solitude. Nor is it a time for action, discussion or decisions. It is a time to think, organize, ruminate, and take stock. There may be feelings of frustration and discontent during this time of withdrawal. But such times lead to enlightenment, illumination, clarity.
In regards to people, the Hermit can represent a wise, inspirational person, friend, teacher or therapist, someone the querent usually sees alone, someone the rest of the querent's friends and family may not know about. This is a person who can shine a light on things that were previously mysterious and confusing. They will help the querent understand themselves or find what it is they are seeking.
The Hierophant, in some decks named The Pope, is the fifth trump or Major Arcana card in most traditional Tarot decks. It is used in game playing as well as in divination. In many modern packs, the Hierophant is represented with his right hand raised in what is known esoterically as the blessing or benediction, with two fingers pointing skyward and two pointing down, thus forming a bridge between Heaven and Earth reminiscent of that formed by the body of The Hanged Man. The Hierophant is thus a true “pontiff”, in that he is the builder of the bridge between deity and humanity. The Hierophant is typically male, even in decks that take a feminist view of the Tarot, such as the Motherpeace Tarot. The Hierophant was also known as "The Teacher of Wisdom."
In most iconographic depictions, the Hierophant is seen seated on a throne between two pillars symbolizing Law and Liberty or obedience and disobedience, according to different interpretations. He wears a triple crown, and the keys to Heaven are at his feet. Sometimes he is shown with worshippers, as his alternate title is the Pope or, sometimes, Jupiter. The card is also commonly known as "The High Priest," as a counterpart to "The High Priestess" (which itself is also sometimes known as "The Popess," as counterpart to "The Pope").
The High Priestess is the second trump or Major Arcana card in most traditional Tarot decks. This card is used in game playing as well as in divination. In the first Tarot pack with inscriptions, the 18th-century woodcut Marseilles Tarot, this figure is crowned with the Papal tiara and labelled La Papesse, the Popess, a possible reference to the legend of Pope Joan.
Judgement (XX), or in some decks spelled Judgment, is a Tarot card, part of the Major Arcana suit usually comprising 22 cards.
Very clearly, it is modeled after the Christian Resurrection before the Last Judgement. An angel, possibly Gabriel, is depicted blowing a great trumpet, from which hangs a white flag bearing a red cross, most likely the St George's Cross. A group of humans (man, woman, and child) of grayish complexion stand, arms spread, looking up at the angel in awe. The people are apparently emerging from crypts or graves. There are huge mountains or tidal waves in the background, which almost seem like glaciers as they are so white and blue. These may be a reference to the sea giving up its dead on the day of Judgement, as described in the Book of Revelation.
When Judgement appears in a reading, it is usually interpreted as a signal of an impending Judgement, such as of postponed decisions. As the card symbolizes resurrection, it can also be interpreted to herald the return of individuals from the past. The card also represents the Christian God's promise of life after death. In a reading, especially near the Six of Cups, it may represent a preoccupation with the past, while also suggesting a new beginning and clearing out of the past.
Justice is a Major Arcana Tarot card, numbered either VIII or XI, depending on the deck. This card is used in game playing as well as in divination.
Justice mediates the various claims of right, of morality, of duty. In a world of scarcity, not every claim can be met. Justice, in theory, sets forth a system to judge between the claims. The tarot card is therefore typically closer to the notion of Jurisprudence than to the abstract concept of Justice.
The Justice card is closely connected to High Priestess through its cross sum (the sum of the digits). Unlike the hidden knowledge of the High Priestess, Justice is decided in the open; we are left hoping that our intellect and our intuition take us to the same place.
Justice is also connected to Judgment, Key 20, the ultimate weighting of souls.
The Lovers is the sixth trump or Major Arcana card in most traditional Tarot decks. It is used in game playing as well as in divination. In some traditions, the Lovers represent relationships and choices. Its appearance in a spread indicates some decision about an existing relationship, a temptation of the heart, or a choice of potential partners. Often an aspect of the Querent's life will have to be sacrificed; a bachelor(ette)'s lifestyle may be sacrificed and a relationship gained (or vice versa), or one potential partner may be chosen while another is turned down. Whatever the choice, it should not be made lightly, as the ramifications will be lasting.
The Lovers is associated with the star sign Gemini, and indeed is also known as The Twins in some decks. Other associations are with Air, Mercury, and the Hebrew letter ז (Zayin). The Lovers is associated through its cross sum (the sum of the digits) with The Devil, Key 15. He is often the source of the impulse, or that thing inside of us that responds to it. The Devil's energy is absolutely necessary, absolutely deadly.
The Magician, The Magus, or The Juggler (I) is the first trump or Major Arcana card in most traditional Tarot decks. It is used in game playing as well as in divination. In divination it is considered by some to succeed The Fool card, often numbered 0. In the Magician's right hand is a wand raised towards heaven, the sky or the element æther, while his left hand is pointing to the earth. The Surrealist (Le surréaliste), 1947, is a painting by Victor Brauner. The Juggler provided Brauner with a key prototype for his self-portrait: the Surrealist’s large hat, medieval costume, and the position of his arms all derive from this figure who, like Brauner’s subject, stands behind a table displaying a knife, a goblet, and coins.
The Moon (XVIII) is the eighteenth trump or Major Arcana card in most traditional Tarot decks. It is used in game playing as well as in divination.
According to Waite's The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, the card represents life of the imagination apart from life of the spirit. The dog and wolf are the fears of the natural mind in the presence of that place of exit, when there is only reflected light to guide it. This reference is a key to another form of symbolism. The intellectual light is a mere reflection and beyond it is the unknown mystery which it cannot reveal. It illuminates our animal nature, types of which are represented below—the dog, the wolf, and that which comes up out of the deeps, the nameless and hideous tendency which is lower even than the savage beast. It strives to attain manifestation, symbolized by crawling from the abyss of water to the land, but as a rule it sinks back whence it came. The face of the mind directs a calm gaze upon the unrest below, and the dew of thought falls. The message is: "Peace, be still," and it may be that there shall come a calm upon the animal nature, while the abyss beneath shall cease from giving up form.
The Star (XVII) is the seventeenth trump or Major Arcana card in most traditional Tarot decks. It is used in game playing as well as in divination.
The pool of water refers to the subconscious or the universal. The land refers to the material world. The natural woman or goddess of Nature renews both. The two pitchers represent integration of the two opposite sides of our nature. Usually divined as hope for the future, it may indicate good things to come in the things represented by cards that may be close to the star in a reading layout.
The Star represents a moment of renewed hope, inspiration and discovery. The turmoil of escape from the Devil depicted on the previous trump in the series (The Tower) is over, indicating calm after the storm. It is a breakthrough, a new opportunity to rise to higher state of consciousness. It is the first of 3 cards of increasing light, indicating we may be receiving greater clarity. A higher pathway is becoming visible. We may solve a mystery, discover secrets, or gain ideas in meditation.
The ladder of planets by which we climb the mystical journey is visible in the sky. In the Fool's or Hero's Journey, The Star indicates that we are approaching the goal of enlightenment.
Strength is a Major Arcana Tarot card, and is numbered either XI or VIII, depending on the deck. Historically it was called Fortitude, and in the Thoth Tarot deck it is called Lust. This card is used in game playing as well as in divination.
The Strength card was originally named Fortitude, and accompanies two of the other cardinal virtues in the Major Arcana: Temperance and Justice. The meaning of Fortitude was different from the interpretation of the card: it meant moderation in attitudes toward pain and danger, with neither being avoided at all costs, nor actively wanted.
The older decks had two competing symbolisms: one featured a woman holding or breaking a stone pillar, and the other featured a person, either male or female, subduing a lion. This Tarocchi del Mantegna card (image, left), made in Ferrara around 1470, illustrates both. The modern woman-and-lion symbolism most likely evolved from a merging of the two earlier ones.
Sun (XIX) is a trump card in the tarot deck.
A. E. Waite suggested that this card is associated with attained knowledge. An infant rides a white horse under the anthropomorphized sun, with sunflowers in the background. The child of life holds a red flag, representing the blood of renewal while a smiling sun shines down on him, representing accomplishment. The conscious mind prevails over the fears and illusions of the unconscious. Innocence is renewed through discovery, bringing hope for the future.
Temperance (XIV) is the fourteenth trump or Major Arcana card in most traditional Tarot decks. It is used in game playing as well as in divination.
Temperance is almost invariably depicted as a person pouring liquid from one receptacle into another. Historically, this was a standard symbol of the virtue temperance, one of the cardinal virtues, representing the dilution of wine with water. In many decks, the person is a winged person/angel, usually female or androgynous, and stands with one foot on water and one foot on land.
In addition to its literal meaning of temperance or moderation, the Temperance card is often interpreted as symbolizing the blending or synthesis of opposites. An influential tradition originating with the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn associates Temperance with the astrological sign Sagittarius. It is also commonly associated with the letter ס (Samekh) in the Hebrew alphabet.
In most modern tarot decks, Temperance stands between Death and The Devil. He or she (traditions vary) guides the souls of the dead to judgment.
In some traditions,Temperance does the judging. In those schools, the cups in Temperance’s hands are the functional equivalent of scales, and Temperance, like Maat, an Egyptian goddess of wisdom, judges the soul’s worth before passing it on to the beasts of the underworld. In some stories, Maat both judges the souls against a feather and protects the scale from being tipped by Set. If the soul is heavier than a feather, it will be fed to the eater of souls.
In other traditions, Temperance is the remixing of life, accepting the dead into the underworld, into the blessed lands, and deciding what to send back into the fray. Every atom in our bodies has passed through thousands of forms, and will pass through thousands more. Temperance reminds us of our connection to the greater forces.
Others say that the vessels in the Angel’s hands represent the Golden Crucible of Taoism; the vessel that contains eternal life. Others say it is representative of the head feeding the stomach; unification of the physical and spiritual needs.
Temperance is associated through its cross sum (the sum of the digits) with The Hierophant. The Hierophant (ideally) brings the lessons of the other world into this one in an understandable form; Temperance (among other things) judges how well we have mastered the wisdom of the other worlds.
Even though this card is well lit by a setting sun, it is an underworld card. Observe, for example, the flowers called "IRIS" in the background. These represents the goddess Iris, another messenger goddess who transcends the individual realms.
The red wings of the Angel represent blood, life, and that which transcends the death of the individual.
In the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the Sun in the background conceals a crown. That crown is the ego, who has died and is at the cusp of the adventures of the night.
Some Jungians say that Temperance represents the unconscious, which can guide us, they contend, to a deeper understanding of ourselves. The one foot on the land, the other in the water, represents the unification of the external and internal, conscious and unconscious, realms.
Under these approaches, when Temperance appears, it is a warning or invitation to be prepared for a confrontation with the deepest questions of who we are, who we think we are, and who we will become.
The Tower (XVI) (most common modern name) is the 16th trump or Major Arcana card in most Italian-suited Tarot decks. It is used in game playing as well as in divination.
This card follows immediately after The Devil in all Tarots that contain it, and is associated with sudden, disruptive, and potentially destructive change.
Wheel of Fortune is the tenth trump or Major Arcana card in most Tarot decks. It is used in game playing as well as in divination.
In the Mythopoetic approach, which views the Major Arcana as a journey through life taken by the character of the Fool (the Fool being the first card, or the zero card, of the Major Arcana), the Wheel of Fortune represents the intercession of random chance into the Fool's path. The card represents the forces that can help or hinder the querant suddenly or unpredictably.
The World (XXI) is a trump or Major Arcana card in the tarot deck. It is usually the final card of the Major Arcana or tarot trump sequence.
A naked woman hovers or dances above the Earth holding a staff in each hand, surrounded by a green wreath, being watched by various creatures. In older decks, these are usually a human face or head, a lion, an ox, and an eagle.
The World represents an ending to a cycle of life, a pause in life before the next big cycle beginning with the Fool. The figure is at once male and female, above and below, suspended between the heavens and the earth. It is completeness. It is also said to represent cosmic consciousness; the potential of perfect union with the One Power of the universe. It tells us full happiness is also to give back to the world, sharing what we have learned or gained.
In Both astrology and historical astronomy, the zodiac is a circle of twelve 30° divisions of celestial longitude that are centered upon the ecliptic: the apparent path of the Sun across the celestial sphere over the course of the year. The paths of the Moon and visible planets also remain close to the ecliptic, within the belt of the zodiac, which extends 8-9° north or south of the ecliptic, as measured in celestial latitude. Because the divisions are regular, they do not correspont exactly to the twelve constellations after which they are named.
Historically, these twelve divisions are called signs. Essentially, the zodiac is a celestial coordinate system, or more specifically an ecliptic coordinate system, which takes the ecliptic as the origin of latitude, and the position of the sun at vernal equinox as the origin of longitude.
Aries (♈) (meaning "ram") is the first astrological sign in the Zodiac, spanning the first 30 degrees of celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun transits this constellation between March 21 and April 20 each year. This time duration is exactly the first month of Solar Hejri calendar. Under the sideral zodiac, the sun currently transits Aries from 15 April to 15 May.
Aquarius (♒) is the eleventh astrological sign in the Zodiac, originating from the constellation Aquarius. Under the tropical zodiac, the sun is in Aquarius typically between January 20 and February 18, while under the Sidereal Zodiac, the sun is in Aquarius from approximately February 15 to March 14, depending on leap year.
Cancer (♋) is the fourth astrological sign, which is associated with the constellation Cancer. It spans the 90-120th degree of the zodiac, between 90 and 125.25 degree of celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun transits this area on average between June 22 and July 21, and under the sidereal zodiac, the Sun transits this area between approximately July 16 and August 15.
Capricorn (♑) is the tenth astrological sign in the zodiac, originating from the constellation of Capricornus. It spans the 270–300th degree of the zodiac, corresponding to celestial longitude. Capricorn is ruled by the planet Saturn. Under the tropical zodiac, the sun transits this area from December 22 to January 19 each year, and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun currently transits the constellation of Capricorn from approximately January 15 to February 14.
Leo (♌) is the fifth astrological sign of the zodiac, originating from the constellation of Leo. It spans the 120-150th degree of the Tropical zodiac, between 125.25 and 152.75 degree of celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun transits this area on average between July 23 and August 23 each year, and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun currently transits this area from approximately August 16 to September 15.
Libra (♎) is the seventh astrological sign in the Zodiac. It spans the 180-210th degree fo the zodiac, between 180 and 207.25 degree of celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac, Sun transits this area on average between (northern autumnal equinox) September 23 to October 23, and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun currently transits the constellation of Libra from approximately October 16 to November 15.
Ophiuchus has sometimes been used in sidereal astrology as a thirteenth sign in addition to the twelve signs of the tropical Zodiac, because the eponymous constellation Ophiuchus (Greek: Ὀφιοῦχος "Serpent-bearer") as defined by the 1930 IAU constellation boundaries is situated behind the sun between November 29 and December 17.
The idea appears to have originated in 1970 with Stephen Schmidt's suggestion of a 14-sign zodiac (also including Cetus as a sign). A 13-sign zodiac has been suggested by Walter Berg and by Mark Yazaki in 1995, a suggestion that achieved some popularity in Japan, where Ophiuchus is known as Hebitsukai-Za (へびつかい座?, "The Serpent Bearer").
Mainstream sidereal astrology, notably Hindu astrology, and tropical astrology (including the popular sun sign astrology), use the traditional 12-sign zodiac based on dividing the ecliptic into 12 equal parts rather than the IAU constellation boundaries, and do not regard Ophiuchus as a sign.
There is considerable confusion between the notion of a sign, which is an equal division of the sky into 12 in both the Vedic and the Western systems of astrology, and a constellation, which is a grouping of stars that touches the ecliptic. While Vedic uses a sidereal system based on the stars, that sidereal horoscope is divided evenly into 12 signs which are symbolic of the varying-size constellations they make contact with.
Pisces (♓) is the twelfth astrological sign in the Zodiac, originating from the Pisces constellation. It spans the 330° to 360° of the zodiac, between 332.75° and 360° of celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac the sun transits this area on average between February 20 and March 20, and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun transits this area between approximately March 15 and April 14.
Sagittarius (♐) (Greek: Τοξότης, "Toxotes", Latin: "Sagittarius") is the ninth astrological sign, which is associated with the constellation Sagittarius. It spans the 240–270th degree of the zodiac, between 234.75 and 270 degree of celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac, the sun transits this area on average between November 23 and December 21, and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun currently transits the constellation of Sagittarius from December 16 to January 14. Individuals born during either of these dates, depending on which system of Astrology they choose to follow, may be called Sagittarians.
Scorpio (♏) (Greek: Σκορπιός, Skorpios; Latin: Scorpius) is the eighth astrological sign in the Zodiac. It spans the 210-240th degree of the zodiac, between 207.25 and 234.75 degree of celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac, the sun transits this area on average between October 24 and November 22, and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun currently transits the constellation of Scorpius from approximately November 16 to December 15.
Taurus (♉) is the second astrological sign in the Zodiac. It spans the 30-60th degree of the zodiac, between 27.25 and 54.75 degree of celestial longitude. Under the tropic zodiac, the Sun transits this area on average between April 20 and May 20 each year. Under the sidereal zodiac, the sun currently transits the constellation of Taurus from May 16 to June 15 (approximately). Individuals born during these dates, depending on which system of astrology they subscribe to, may be called Taureans.
Virgo (♍) is the sixth astrological sign in the Zodiac. Virgo is the second-largest constellation. It spans the 150-180th degree of the zodiac between 152.75 and 180 degree of celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun transits this area on average between August 23 and September 22, and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun currently transits the constellation of Virgo from September 17 to October 17.
A Bugbear is a legendary creature or type of hobgoblin comparable to the bogeyman, bogeyman Budy, bugaboo, and other creatures of folklore, all of which were historically used in some cultures to frighten disobedient children. In medieval England, the Bugbear was depicted as a creepy bear that lurked in the woods to scare children; it was described in this manner in an English translation of a 1565 Italian play, The Buggbear.
The Cockatrice is a mythical beast, essentially a two-legged dragon with a rooster's head. Its reputed magical abilities include turning people to stone or killing them by either looking at them—"the death-darting eye of Cockatrice" —touching them, or sometimes breathing on them. Like the head of Medusa, the cockatrice's powers of petrification were thought still active after death.
Hobgoblins seem to be small, hairy little men who—like their close relative, brownies—are often found within human dwellings, doing odd jobs around the house while the family is lost in sleep. Such chores are typically small deeds, like dusting and ironing. Oftentimes, the only compensation necessary in return for these was food. Attempts to give them clothing would often banish them forever, though whether they take offense to such gifts or are simply too proud to work in new clothes differs from teller to teller.
Mermen are mythical male equivalents and counterparts of mermaids – legendary creatures who have the form of a male human from the waist up and are fish-like from the waist down, having scaly fish tails in place of legs. A "merboy" is a young merman. In Greek mythology, mermen were often illustrated to have green seaweed-like hair, a beard, and a trident. In Irish mythology, mermen are described as extremely ugly creatures with pointed green teeth, pig-like eyes, green hair, and a red nose. In Finnish mythology, a merman (vetehinen) is often portrayed as a magical, powerful, handsome, bearded man with the tail of a fish. He can cure illnesses, lift curses and brew potions, but he can also cause unintended harm by becoming too curious about human life. The boto of the Amazon River regions is described according to local lore as taking the form of a human or merman, also known as encantado ("enchanted one" in Portuguese) and with the habit of seducing human women and impregnating them. Chinese mermen were believed to only surface during storms or, in some cases, were believed to have the ability to cause storms. The actions and behavior of mermen can vary wildly depending on the source and time period of the stories. They have been said to sink ships by summoning great storms, but also said to be wise teachers, according to earlier mythology. Mermen, just like mermaids, can lure and attract female humans with their enchantingly beautiful, soft melodic and seductive siren-like singing voices and tones.
The Salamander is an amphibian of the order Urodela which, as with many real creatures, often has been ascribed fantastic qualities by pre-modern authors (as in the allegorical descriptions of animals in medieval bestiaries). In recent times, a legendary salamander was identified as a distinct concept from the real organism. It is most often depicted much like a typical salamander in shape, with a lizard-like form, but it is usually ascribed an affinity with fire (sometimes specifically elemental fire).
The Unicorn is a legendary animal that has been described since antiquity as a beast with a large, pointed, spiraling horn projecting from its forehead. The unicorn was depicted in ancient seals of the Indus Valley Civilization and was mentioned by the ancient Greeks in accounts of natural history by various writers, including Ctesias, Strabo, Pliny the Younger, and Aelian. The Bible also describes an animal, the re'em, which some translations have rendered with the word unicorn. In European folklore, the unicorn is often depicted as a white horselike or goatlike animal with a long horn and cloven hooves (sometimes a goat's beard). In the Middle Ages and Renaissance, it was commonly described as an extremely wild woodland creature, a symbol of purity and grace, which could only be captured by a virgin. In the encyclopedias its horn was said to have the power to render poisoned water potable and to heal sickness. In medieval and Renaissance times, the horn of the narwhal was sometimes sold as unicorn horn.
Zombies are fictional undead creatures regularly encountered in horror and fantasy themed works. They are typically depicted as mindless, reanimated corpses with a hunger for human flesh, and particularly for human brains in some depictions. Although they share their name and some superficial similarities with the zombie from Haitian Vodun, their links to such folklore are unclear. Another similar term is "Wight", used to describe a creature or living sentient being. It is akin to Old High German wiht, meaning a creature or thing.
Familiars found this section don't really have an origin, but their names may have been taken from various characters, objects or concepts. Information found in this section should be taken with a grain of salt, as it is neither completely accurate nor official.
Familiars with common names (such as Mathilda) don't belong in this category, as their origin cannot be determined with certitude.
Galagos also known as bushbabies, bush babies or nagapies (meaning "little night monkeys" in Afrikaans), are small, nocturnal primates native to continental Africa, and make up the family Galagidae (also sometimes called Galagonidae). They are sometimes included as a subfamily within the Lorisidae or Loridae.
According to some accounts, the name "bush baby" comes from either the animal's cries or its appearance. The South African name nagapie comes from the fact that they are almost exclusively seen at night.
Gazer can be attributed to the Beholder, a fictional monster in the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game. It resembles a floating orb of flesh with a large mouth, single central eye, and lots of smaller eyestalks on top with deadly magical powers. The Beholder is among the most classic of all Dungeons & Dragons monsters, appearing in every edition of the game since 1975. Different breeds of beholders have different magic abilities. Beholders are one of the few classic Dungeons & Dragons monsters that Wizards of the Coast claims as Product Identity.
While Gordon also is a common name, Gordon, Imperial Lord may have been named after the Scottish Gordon Clan or after Major-General Charles George Gordon CB (aka Gordon of Khartoum), a British Army Officer and Imperial Administrator best known for his role as commander of British garrison during the Siege of Khartoum, which lasted from March 1884 to January 1885. Gordon was killed when the city was finally overrun by the forces of the Mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad, two days before a British relief force reached the city.
Gorlin was named after the Gorlin Syndrome, also known as Nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome, an inherited medical condition involving defects within multiple body systems such as the skin, nervous system, eyes, endocrine system, and bones.
Kalevan takes from the same name of a character from Finnish mythology. Kalevan Poika is the son of Kaleva, an obscure giant of Finnish folklore. Kalevan Poika is portrayed as a giant hero who can cut down forests and mow down huge meadows.
Kan is named after one of the signs from the Mayan calendar. Each day of the Tzolk'in (260 Day Mayan Calendar) has a Patron Spirit who influences events. Ah-K'in, the Maya shaman-priest, whose title means "Day Keeper", reads the Tzolk'in to identify the baby's character (natal chart) and the personalities and destinies associated with each of the 20 Maya Signs of the Tzolk'in calendar. Kan is known as the "Sovereign Plumed Serpent" and it is this sign that represents the "lizard" or "snake."
Seismo Worm Seismo is a scientific term relating to earthquakes. "of an earthquake; relating to earthquakes." Of Greek origin, the Greek word "Seismos" means earthquake. A seismograph is used to measure severity of earthquakes.
Sulima, Guardsman was named after a Polish coat of arms. It was used by several szlachta families in the times of the Kingdom of Poland and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It was used by Zawisza Czarny, famous Polish Knight, undefeated in numerous tournaments, a symbol of knight virtues. Coat of arms entitled Sulkowski and Radomski families who came to the great importance as princes.
Teculoseh may have taken the name from Tecumseh (/tɛˈkʌmsə/; March 1768 – October 5, 1813), who was a Native American leader of the Shawnee and a large tribal confederacy (known as Tecumseh's Confederacy) which opposed the United States during Tecumseh's War and the War of 1812. Tecumseh has become an iconic folk hero in American, Aboriginal and Canadian history.
Vezat may be named after the French Art Director and Production Designer Bernard Vézat, winner of a César Award in 1989 for his work on the film Camille Claudel. Vézat was also nominated for César Awards, which are to France what the Academy Awards (Oscars) are to the United States, in 1995 and 1998 and for a BAFTA Award in 1988 for the film Jean de Florette.