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Archive for 'legends'

Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland #travel

I’ve always wanted to visit the Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim, Northern Island. It is a mysterious place, full of myths and legends about Finn McCool an Irish giant who was at war with a Scottish giant called Benandonner. Some quick thinking by Finn McCool’s wife saved the day and the Scottish giant retreated back to Scotland. Here is a video showing the story of the two giants.

Giants Causeway Visitors Centre – The Myth of Finn McCool from The Pond Studio on Vimeo.

While I adored the legend about giants, the truth is more scientific with the hexagonal stones formed after a volcanic eruption millions of years ago. Scientists say there were three distinct eruptions, which formed the Lower, Middle and Upper Basalts.

It is a fascinating place to explore and I enjoyed exploring the rock formations.

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A fascinating place to visit, especially if you pick a quiet time without many tourists.

Twelve Facts (?) About Werewolves

1. Legends of werewolves have been with us since Greek times and even earlier.

2. European folk law in particular is full of tales of men shifting to wolves.

3. In one of the legends, Ovid (Metamorphoses) served human flesh to Zeus. In punishment, he was changed to a wolf.

4. Lycanthropy is a mental illness where a patient believes they have transformed into a wolf.

5. Curved fingernails, red hair, eyebrows that meet, hair that grows beneath the skin are all signs of a werewolf.

6. Werewolves have superhuman strength but are vulnerable to silver bullets.

7. The vulnerability to silver only appears in tales after 1935.

8. Werewolves are very active during a full moon.

9. In some tales, a special salve is rubbed over the body and this transforms a man to werewolf.

10. Some werewolves transform after donning a wolf skin or a wolf skin belt.

11. If a werewolf bites a human, the human will become a werewolf. This method of turning is a modern invention and does not appear in early legends.

12. Many of our recent thoughts/perceptions are due to Hollywood movies and popular novels, and they bear little relation to the old legends.

Today kicks off my Lone Wolf tour. My first stop is at Book Junkie. I hope you’ll pop over and visit. Don’t forget – every time you comment on one of my Lone Wolf VBT posts you’ll go into a draw to win a $20 Amazon gift card.

What do you think about werewolves? Do you have any tidbits to add to my werewolf list?

Myths & Legends: Seeking Kokopelli

I’m blogging over at Access Romance today where I’m talking about myths and legends and my story Seeking Kokopelli. Here’s the link to Access Romance.

Fishing up New Zealand.

I enjoy some of the Maori myths and legends. This one, telling of Maui and the birth of New Zealand, is one of my favorites. As with all legends, there are a few variations.

Maui was a demi-god who possessed magical powers. Not all his family knew of his magical powers, and he used this to his advantage.

One day, he hid in the bottom of his brothers’ boat in order to go out fishing with them. Once out at sea, Maui was discovered by his brothers, however they weren’t able to take him back to shore because Maui made use of his magic powers and made the shoreline seem farther away than it was in reality.

The brothers continued rowing, and once they were far out into the ocean Maui dropped his magic fishhook over the side of the waka (canoe). After a while he felt a strong tug on the line. This seemed to be too strong a tug to be any ordinary fish, and Maui called to his brothers for assistance.

After much straining and physical effort, up surfaced Te Ika a Maui (the fish of Maui), known today as the North Island of New Zealand. Maui told his brothers that the Gods might be angry about this, and he asked them to wait while he went to placate the Gods.

However, once Maui had gone his brothers began to argue about the ownership of this new land. They took out their weapons and started pounding away at the catch. The blows on the land created the many mountains and valleys of the North Island today.

The South Island is known as Te Waka a Maui (the waka of Maui). Stewart Island, which lies at the very bottom of New Zealand, is known as Te Punga a Maui (Maui’s anchor), as it was the anchor holding Maui’s waka as he pulled in the giant fish.

So, there you have it – the story of the origin of New Zealand.

Do you have a favorite myth or legend?

Today it’s my turn to blog at The Danger Zone. Check out my post about my adventures in Rwanda while viewing the mountain gorillas.