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Mighty Myth Month: Blub. Blub. Blub.


Oh, to be able to swim underwater without any apparatus or device for breathing, to swim and play in the warm waters, fast as a dolphin, and half as smart. Mermaids live deep in our imaginations, perhaps from our aquatic beginnings. We don’t want to be fish, we just want to live like one.

Have you spotted the trend in myths, legends, and folklore? Something or someone is given an ability to do what a “normal” human cannot. Create fire. Fly. Change. Breathe under water. We don’t like our limitations; but we don’t just sit back and take it. We do something about it! We invent airplanes. We invent SCUBA equipment. And nuclear power plants. And, not only that, but if you just so happen to be a magical creature who can fly, breathe in water, or have other powers, there is always a cost. Usually a really BIG one, such as, um, you don’t have a soul. And that hardly EVER works out!

Mermaids or sirens have beautiful singing voices, but no souls. Their primary function is to lure love-starved sailors to their watery graves. (Maybe they’re working in conjunction with Davey Jones to fill up his locker.) And when they do have heart and soul, it never ends well. Only Disney or Tom Hanks has the power to re-write classic stories so everything ends up rainbows and waterspouts.

But, oh, when I was little, I wanted to be a mermaid. In the summer, at the pool, I would cross my feet together and swim under water for as long as I could, pretending I was a mermaid. I wanted long, beautiful hair, and a heartbreaking singing voice. I wanted a shimmery, iridescent tail and talking dolphins for friends.

Mermaid Barbie

 Well, none of those wishes surfaced, but who wants to be shark bait anyway?MermaidStamp



To read about how mermaids have been used as curious attractions and in stories, go here:


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Mighty Myth Month: Sacred places.

Where do you go when you want sanctuary?


What surrounds you?

What do you see?

How do you block out the world?

What do you smell?

How slowly does your heart beat?

Can you sense that you are better?

All cultures have their sacred meeting places: temples, synagogues, churches, and mosques, of every faith, of every civilization, and lasting over time. But what of our modern sacred places, our places of santuary, where we can go and just be? Or, those places where we routinely gather with like-minded souls with the same singular purpose? C onsider this the next time you go in your room to just listen to music, or go on a hike with friends, or sit under a tree to read a book, or go to a football game. We gather together, and we meditate alone, depending on what we need.

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Mighty Myth Month: Eeek! A spider!

Here's looking at you, Anansi!
Here’s looking at you, Anansi!

Anansi, you old trickster! From the West African area, the Ashanti tribe originated the tales of the most famous spider-god of all, Anansi. Similar to the Coyote in Native American/Central American tales, Anansi is a trickster, a clever fellow who usually gets the best of his foes. (Usually, but not always.)



by Micha F. Lindemans
The Ashanti trickster/culture hero, also called ‘the Spider’. He is the intermediary of the sky god Nyame, his father, on whose command Anansi brings rain to quench the forest fires and determines the borders of oceans and rivers during floods. Later Anansi’s place as representative was usurped by the chameleon. His mother is Asase Ya. Anansi is sometimes regarded as the creator of the sun and the moon and the stars, as well as the one who instituted the succession of day and night. It is also believed that he created the first man, into which Nyame breathed life. A typical trickster, he is crafty, sly, villainous, but he also taught mankind how to sow grain and how to use the shovel on the fields. He set himself up as the first king of the human beings and even managed to marry Nyame’s daughter. He was beaten only in his encounter with the wax girl, to whom he stuck fast, having struck her with his legs when she refused to talk to him. The people then rushed forwards and beat the tricky Anansi.

Anansi is one of the most popular characters in West African mythology.

“Anansi.” Encyclopedia Mythicafrom Encyclopedia Mythica Online.
[Accessed January 23, 2010].

From Anansi’s stories and tales, developed the stories of B’rer Rabbit in the South:

B’rer Rabbit’s tales are an important part of African-American tradition.

These tales are immigrants to the new world, but have taken a character all their own. America has been a land where humor abounds and champions the underdog who often triumphs by his wits and ingenuity.Similar tales of the Trickster Rabbit and Anansi (Spider) are found in African folklore and travelled to the Caribbean and North America along with the slave trade. There have been numerous collection and versions of the B’rer Rabbit tales. They formed the basis of the Gullah – Nancy Tales in the West Indies …(

And I’m guessing Bugs Bunny came from those stories, too. But I’m just guessing.

Bugs Bunny

 I do know that one of my favorite writers, (even though in my opinion spends ways too much time Twittering about his hot,young girlfriend and all the awards he’s given, but hey, he earned them, so tweet on, Mr. Gaiman, tweet on) Neil Gaiman, uses Anansi in both his novels, American Gods and Anansi’s Boys.

 So, everywhere we go, we take our stories with us. It may seem unlikely that a spider-deity can transform into a funny-bunny, but when cultural diffusion, assimilation, and acquisition is at play, anything is possible. Right, Neil? In other words, “What’s up, Doc?”

 Spider Photograph ©2009 Thomas Shahan

For more information about Thomas Shahan’s incredible photography, check this out:

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Mighty Myth Month: Birds of a feather.


“Humans have always shared the world with animals and, as prehistoric cave paintings attest, animals have always exerted an endless fascination over people’s minds. We have hunted animals, worked with them, and even worshipped them.” —The Illustrated Book of Myths, Tales and Legends of the World retold by Neil Philip.

Queztzalcoatl is the Mayan bird/serpent god who started off as “perfect good.” He was so good, in fact, his brother, Tezcatlipoca, was rather put off by his sibling’s insufferable righteousness. Long story short, Queztzalcoatl ends up in the Land of the Dead, and returning to create mankind out of his bones and blood. He helps them navigate their way through learning how to grow maize, polish jade, weave, and become great artisans.

Then it was time to go;  humans needed to fend for themselves. This is one of the most perfect explanations for a deity’s absence I have ever read. “You can do it, folks! Promise! I have given you all the tools you will need to build a happy, peaceful existence for yourself!”

But…if he returns, does it signal the end of the world, or another renewal?

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Mighty Myth Month: In the loop.


infinite potential

What goes around, comes around.

Circles, rings, and spheres encompass us all.  The dog will circle his bedding before he lies down. We spin around, we measure in degrees of 360, we affect change in concentric patterns. The ring will go on the finger to seal a promise of fidelity. The crop circles will be seen from vantage points before mankind had the technology to witness them. And, at one time, we were afraid of falling off the edge.

 As if.

Rings signal to the world, “Hey–look! I am connected to another soul!” Or, “Hey, look at me! I’ve got too much corn and need to trample it down in artistic mega-scale patterns!” But perhaps, “Hey, Martians! The landing strip is over here!” is the best reason for a circle. Crop circle, anyway.



Other things come in circles, too: fairy rings, Stonehenge, circles of life, and of course,  pi.

Or pie.

pi = 3.14159265



P.S. My ring says “infinite potential” on it, stamped in the silver. It reminds me that anything is possible.

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