Archive for the ‘Giants’ Tag

Sedna – Goddess of Sea and Marine Animals (Inuit Mythology)   53 comments

 

Sedna – Goddess of Sea and Marine Animals (Inuit Mythology)

 

 

sedna2Inuit mythology tells of Sedna the goddess of the sea and marine animals, Sedna known also as the “Mother/ Mistress of the Sea,” is the star of what is essentially creation mythology, and the tale of the events that led to her becoming the mighty ruler of the Inuit underworld – Adlivun.

The mythology of Sedna exists in several different forms but they all contain common factors.

Sedna the daughter of Anguta, a creation god, takes the form of a giant, who under the influence of an insatiable hunger attack her parents in a misguided attempt to assuage her raging appetite.

An alternative version alleges that she was so frustrated and unhappy with her father’s choice of men for her to potentially marry that she chooses instead to marry a dog!

783224_5f90_625x1000Still more versions of Sedna mythology portray her as a beautiful young woman living in a village of hunters, and whom despite receiving many eager proposals of marriage from the village’s male hunters, rejects them all. Consequently her disillusioned father hands her over to a new and previously unknown hunter as his wife in exchange for a plentiful supply of fresh fish. Unfortunately for Sedna her newly betrothed hunter-husband proves in reality, to be a mighty bird spirit who resides in a large cliff top nest. He is filled with a great wrath which ultimately leads to his vengeful stirring up of a huge storm designed to destroy both Sedna and her father when Sedna’s remorse-ridden father tries his best to rescue her from the plight he has unwittingly plunged her into.

In another version again, Sedna is the abducted and imprisoned on a floating ice island by a different bird like being. In its absence her father sails valiantly to her rescue in a kayak. Consumed by furious outrage at her escape the bird being, calls up a great sea spirit to assist him in wreaking terrible revenge on Sedna and her father, seeking to drown them both in mighty and violent waves of the like that had never before been seen.

Although the exact nature of the assortment of myths regarding Sedna are many and varied, they all have in common three important points:

1.  Her father tossing her out of the kayak and into the ocean waves.

2. Her father chopping off her fingers when she fights to climb back into it, so that she sinks to the ocean depths, down to the sea bed itself.

20029144_4f3f_625x1000As she does so, what had been her fingers undergo a miraculous transformation into the sea animals that the Inuit regularly hunt – Walruses, Seals and Whales. She is sometimes said to have had her head chopped off or to have grown a tail before her descent to the sea bed.

3. She becomes a mighty sea goddess who commands every mammal of the sea.

Sedna considered a vengeful goddess, is the “Mistress of Life and Death” to the Inuit people because she is their provider. Consequently she is worshiped and prayed to by the hunters who seek to please her so that she will liberate the sea and marine life they rely on for their food supply.

She does so happily if she is treated with due respect and concern. But she also expects that one person be willing to undertake the dangerous journey to her home to relieve the torturous pain she experiences in her hands when she is not respected. If this does not happen, and as a result of her pain and suffering, she in turn punishes the people with a combination of storms, starvation and sickness.


There are many great riches to be found if we are but willing to take a risk and venture deep into the dark, cold places each one of us harbours, and that we fear the most. No matter what illnesses and disabilities we may have the misfortune to experience, or the stupid and thoughtless mistakes we may make in life, we are still worthy of love and respect and have every right to expect, and even demand, that others treat us well.

Sources:

goddessgift.com

wikipedia.org

Giants and Nymphs in Mythology   42 comments

 

Mythological Giants and Nymphs

 

Giants

Giant1Giants can represent powerful natural forces that frighten and threaten humans. In the mythology of the Native AmericanAni_Giant Lakota people, Waziya is a northern giant who blows the winter wind. In some traditions, a giant appears as a symbol of chaos, threatening to disrupt the orderly natural world or social community. 

The word giant comes from the Greek Gigantes (meaning earthborn), a race of huge creatures who were the offspring of Gaia, the earth, and Uranus, the heavens. These giants were half man, half monster, with serpents’ tails instead of legs. Also related were three Cyclopes each with one eye in the middle of the forehead. The three Hundred-Armed giants each had 50 heads and 100 arms and were the jailors of Tartarus, the underworld’s place of punishment.

Giants hurled huge rocks and mountaintops and brandished burning oak trees, in a great battle between themselves and the mighty Hercules, son of Zeus, who won the battle by picking off the giants one by one with his arrows.giant2

Norse mythology says originally there was a chasm, bound on either side by fire and ice. When fire and ice met, they combined to form a giant, named Ymir. Odin  killed Ymir whose blood killed all the frost giants he had created. From his body, Odin created the world and Ygdrasil the World Tree grew.

In native American mythology giants start fights among humans so that in the confusion they can steal the men’s wives. Others steal children, sometimes to eat them.  Tall Man, a giant of the Seminole people, smells bad, while giants in Lakota stories look like oxen.

 Giants Under the Earth

As the giant Enceladus ran from the battlefield, during a struggle with the Greek gods, the goddess Athena smashed him with the island of Sicily. Thereafter, he lay imprisoned under the island, breathing his fiery breath out through the volcano called Etna.

Nymphs

Nymphs_1  

Nymphs are mythological nature spirits that appear as beautiful young women. The word nymph is related to the Greek word for bride. Nymphs are often shown as lovers of gods and heroes or as their mothers. Dionysos had his wild-eyed Mainades and Bakkhai, Artemis was accompanied by a band of huntress nymphs, Poseidon’s court was attended by sea nymphs, and the Olympian court by nymph handmaidens.

Nymphs were female spirits of the natural world, minor goddesses of the forests, rivers, springs, meadows, mountains and seas. They were responsible for designing  the wild beauty of nature, from arranginNymphs_3g and overseeing tFlowerNymphsTreeNymphshe growth of plants, flowers and trees, and the nurturing of wild birds and animals, to the formation of rocky caverns, springs, wetlands and brooks,with which Water nymphs were associated.

                                                                                                                                      Forest nymphs were connected with woods and forests and in particular Oak trees. Another kind lived inside trees and shared in the trees suffering including death when the tree died. Mountain and meadow nymphs were also common.

In Swedish mythology sea nymphs like mermaids were powerful, dangerous beings. Sailors for example were warned to be very careful to avoid them. Nymphs can cause metamorphoses and women can also be changed into nymphs 

                                                    SeaNymph  WaterNymphs

Mythological nymphs are depicted as females who mate with men or women at their own volition and are completely outside male control, the term is often used for women who are perceived as behaving similarly…How Naughty!!! Smile