!mythings

Spring Time Legends & Lore

Hare

The Easter Bunny is of German origin. He shows up in 16th century literature as a deliverer of eggs, in his own way a springtime St. Nicholas bent on rewarding the good.

In Celtic mythology and folklore the hare has links to the mysterious Otherworld of the supernatural.

The Celts believed that the goddess Eostre’s favourite animal and attendant spirit was the hare.

Many Buddhist and Hindu texts describe the hare as a creature of fire, but not just any fire, the same consuming sacrificial fire of the phoenix, then to rise again out of the ashes.

To the Romans, the hare is an emblem of fertility, abundance, sexuality, lust, rampant growth and excess.

Eggs

Eggs have forever been associated with spring time. Ancient Egyptians, Persians, Romans, Gauls, and Chinese all embraced the egg as a symbol of the universe. 

Druids buried eggs dyed red, the color of menstrual blood, in freshly plowed fields to draw the goddess of spring from her slumber and to ensure abundance and fertility for the year.  

In Egypt and Persia eggs were decorated at the beginning of the year. The decorated eggs were exchanged at the equinox, the eggs symbolizing creation and fertility. 

Early humans thought the return of the sun from winter darkness was an annual miracle, and saw the egg as a natural wonder and proof of the renewal of life.

As Christianity spread, the egg was adopted as a symbol of Christ’s resurrection from the tomb. Hardboiled eggs were dyed red in memory of Christ’s blood, then given to children as a talisman to preserve their health over the ensuing twelve months.  

Pace eggs are kept year-round in British households for luck.

The protective qualities of the scarlet-dyed egg are still invoked in parts of Europe to guard fields and vineyards from lightning and hail, one is usually buried on the property for that purpose

According to European superstition, once an egg is consumed, its shell must be broken up lest a witch use it to gain power over the person who ate from it. A witch might also make a boat from an intact shell, then set sail in it and wreck ships at sea. Discarded eggshells should never be burned because doing so will cause the hens to cease to lay. 

Spring Deities

Anglo-Saxons worshiped Eostre, the moon Goddess of spring and fertility. 

The Druids worshiped Blodeuwedd, the Goddess of fertility, magick, and dawn.

In Roman mythology, Flora is the goddess of flowers and of the season of spring.

The Ancient Greek goddess Persephone is associated with spring.  

The celtic Goddess Brigit is honored at the festival of Imbolc which celebrates the first stirrings of Spring.

Freya is the Nordic fertility Goddess associated with spring growth and flowers. 

Spring Flora

Clover and other three-leaved plants were once considered spring gifts from the fairies to protect us and bring us luck.

Easter Lilies symbolize purity and spring time.

Other Wives tales

An old wives tale says  a wind that blows on Easter Day will continue to blow throughout the year, and that a shower of rain promises a good crop of grass but little hay. 

Children born on Easter Day are deemed especially fortunate. Those born on Good Friday, however, are doomed to be unlucky. 

References: motherearthliving.com, snopes.com, irishabroad.com, druidicdawn.org


May the moon light your path!

Moonlight Academy

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People have been critically analyzing myths for a long time, so let’s take a look at some different approaches!

SNAKE LORE OF AUSTRALIA.

***
THE HOOP SNAKE. (March 15, 1890)

The following question, says a correspondent of the Scientific American, in still being asked: “Is there such a thing as a hoop snake, and has anybody ever seen one, or a specimen of one?” The way the hoop snake is said to move about is thus: It takes its tail in its month, coils itself in an ellipse, and moves around like a hoop. There are many persons who uphold the existence of the hoop snake, yet all reports and declarations that have been advanced in its favour have all proved to be totally unreliable. The anatomy of a snake alone is sufficient to prove that hoop like progression is impossible. The hoop snake has never been described by any naturalist in any standard work on reptiles, and no museum nor collection in the world contains a specimen of it. It exists only in the minds of the ignorant and unscientific, and it must be classed with ghosts, mermaids, winged snakes, sea serpents, and fishhooked-tailed fishing snakes.

***
COW MILIKING SNAKES. (October 2, 1910)

An old country belief, usually called a superstition, has been justified by a very curious experience near Chipping Norton. A Mrs. Rice, residing near the village of Oddington, Gloucestershire, keeps two cows, which, although in perfect condition, were recently not giving a proper supply of milk. Her cowman, going into the meadow one day, found one of the cows lying down quite contentedly, while two large grass snakes were sucking at her udders.

***
SOME SNAKE YARN. (August 13, 1921)

Putting all jokes aside, did you ever hear of a hoop snake? Drovers [livestock drivers] and other overlanders in the early days often spent hours at the entrance to the old Cloncurry suspension bridge, when Coppermine Creek was a banker [river that reaches to the top of the banks], watching the antics of these reptiles. Averaging a length of nearly 5ft, the hoop snake originally received its name on account of its peculiar methods of propulsion. By, inserting its tail in its mouth, and wriggling to a perpendicular attitude in the form of a hoop, it is enabled to cover the ground with no little velocity. As above stated, the drovers coming down from the Gulf and Territory country generally found the time lag very heavily on their hands after the usual initial “spree,” writes J.T.K. in the Brisbane “Courier.” Squatting on their haunches near the entrance of the bridge, few, if any of them, were averse to “backing their fancy” [placing a bet] as the various hoop snakes endeavored to negotiate the swinging spans of the bridge. Money passed hands very freely, and curses were loud and deep when one of the leading snakes, possessing more velocity than sense, rolled from the bridge and hit the water below. These races were quite a regular feature of the ‘Curry in the good old days, but I am since given to understand that snake racing has has been banned by the local Council, at the instance of a representative body of churchmen, who held that such an amusement was nothing more or less than a pastime of the devil.

***
SNAKES THAT FLY IN THE NIGHT. (January 27, 1917)

Recent paragraphs in The Observer about the discovery of what was at first thought to be a winged snake, have called forth from our Green’s Plains correspondent the following effusion:—Some diversity of opinion has recently been expressed among correspondents of The Observer whether another correspondent really killed a winged snake, as he asserted, or was merely the victim of an optical illusion with a lizard. Now, although not for one moment doubting that it was either a snake or a lizard that was killed, or maybe both, I would like to say right here and now, that the first correspondent, unless his veracity has been of long standing and firmly established, made a serious mistake in killing the reptile off his own bat, without having first shown it to a friend, or friends, whose testimony might have been very useful just now. This shows how very careful one should be. There cannot be the slightest doubt about this having been a belated specimen of the winged snake aerial fleet.

These reptiles were very numerous and popular in the early days of the province, when distances were largely marked by distant grog shanties, and events simply by what happened—those far-away days when the native cat and the locust were sworn enemies of the pioneer, and sought his blood or crop by day or night. It was then in the gloaming that he listened for the whirl of the white-winged serpents, as they came in flocks to chase the  marauders back into the gathering night, for these fireless flying serpents were very partial to locust and wild catty. And yet they were generally understood to be labelled “not dangerous” unless they hit something. There was, of course, an occasional overgrown specimen which might not be quite so handy or harmless about the place. For instance, there is the backblocker [one who lives in the outback], who, coming home in the dusk, saw and fired at, what he took to be a wild turkey flying low, and found when it landed almost in the door of his little grey home in the bush that it was a broken-winged and very indignant snake.

They both spent a wildly wakeful night. Another early pioneer, gun in hand, in broad daylight, saw rapidly approaching overhead, and mostly all head, some remarkable monster, which he would have mistaken for an aeroplane had those innovations been about in those days. As the whirring wings passed overhead, he shut his eyes and fired, and brought down a most fearsome-looking creature with the head of a shark and the slimy winged body of a snake, which on closer inspection it proved to be. The serpent had evidently undertaken—for a wager maybe, or maybe only for a meal—to swallow a full-grown lizard of the Jewish persuasion, and had succeeded in getting the brute down all but the head, which was unusually large, and ornamented with frills and whiskers, some of which had apparently caught in the snake’s teeth, and so in all probability saved both their heads.

And this is the only authentic local instance of a lizard flying, although there is not the slightest doubt that they could do so if they wanted to. The lizard is, how ever, more of a ground bird, and seems quite content to make haste slowly; and as in the case mentioned, only flies by compulsion. But there can be no doubt that now, as in the days of old, there are and were flying serpents, and The Observer correspondent who made the discovery, or  rediscovery, need not be in the least discouraged, as it is a highly creditable one, and must prove interesting to science and other denominations.

***
A FEARSOME REPTILE.  (October 28, 1909)
The Whip Snake of North America.


One of the most terrifying reptiles in the whole world is the “whip” or “hoop” snake (genus Masticophis), found in North America. An account of it reads like a piece of clever fiction, but, nevertheless, the whip snake is very real, and one of the earth’s most real dangers— that is, to one whose lot it happens to be in life to live in a portion of the country where there are deep swamps or thick woods or wild rough hillsides. This is the whip snake’s choice of a world to live in, and there he is peaceable enough.

If you happen to invade it, he will creep away, if possible, and fight only as a last resort. He will even lie so snug that you may step over him scatheless a dozen times— if only you do not step on him.

You may see him sometimes basking on a log or bare rock, blinking at the sun, and looking as inert and harmless as a fallen twig. He is long and slim, rarely under four or over six feet in length. His back is dull dead brown, his belly reddish ocher, with brown lights. He has a mouthful of sharp teeth, but no fangs; but at the tip of the tail you see a suspicious-looking horny spur, for all the world like a cock’s spur, but somewhat sharper.

So he creeps and blinks away the spring and early summer, feeding on frogs, mice, berries, and small birds and their eggs. Nobody sees him unless they hunt him, and then only by rare good luck. By-and-by, however, midsummer arrives, and dries up the marshes and woodland pools, the hill streams run low or fail altogether, and the negroes and hunters begin to say apprehensively : “Better be keerful ; time for hoop snake to come whirling out de water, an’ crazy mad at that.”

Soon you hear weird tales indeed. In this midsummer madness the creature curls itself till the horned tail rests just on the back of its head, and then with a terrific jerk flings itself into the country road or open woodland. A succession of these vicious springs are its mode of progression, and woe betide whatsoever may cross its path. The name whip snake, hoop snake, or cartwheel snake, as it is called in different localities, comes from its habit of locomotion on these mad midsummer forages.

Vision is impossible, yet in some way the creature immediately discerns a living presence, and strikes madly at it, fling its barbed tail almost its own length in front of its head. There is a poison gland at the root of the spur, full of venom so swift, so subtle, that it has no antidote.

A horse struck by it falls shivering and groaning, bathed in cold sweat, and dies within the hour. Near cattle either run bellowing into the nearest thicket in foaming frenzy, or drop in their tracks as though shot. A dog dies with the quick rigours of strychnine poisoning, then fall into merciful insensibility that runs rapidly into death.

Luckily, however, the snake misses oftener than it strikes. In that case it makes no second attack, but whirls away in search of new victims. It cannot strike sideways, but is so full of fight it will turn squarely on its course to deliver a straight-out blow.

Few things are more awesome than on a lonesome moonlit country road to encounter one of these wheels of vengeance.

The full moon of August is the whip snake’s usual season for its mad frolic ; but sometimes it runs amuck by daylight. Once a group in front of a roadside smithy were horror-struck at sight of a tremendous fellow whirling down hill at them with a speed and force of a thunderbolt. They were three men, with a tethered horse, in the midst, of them. Almost before they could drew breath the snake was upon them. It struck madly at the animal, which reared, plunged backwards, and broke rein just in time.

Instead of it, the snake struck the sapling to which it had been tied, and with such force that the horn penetrated the bark and held the reptile prisoner. The smith immediately smashed its head with a blow of his hammer, flung it away, and set about putting a shoe on the lucky beast which had had so narrow an escape.

By the time the shoe was in place the sapling began to wilt. By morning it was as black and dead as though hard frost had touched it. In fact, whenever a tree suddenly and unaccountably dies, the countryfolk will tell you that it has been stung by a whip snake; — “Spare Moments.”


From— The Week (Brisbane, Qld. : 1876 - 1934) 15 March 1890, The Sunday Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1903 - 1910) 2 October 1910, The Shoalhaven News and South Coast Districts Advertiser (Shoalhaven, New South Wales, Australia) 13 August 1921, Observer (Adelaide, SA : 1905 - 1931) 27 January 1917 & Cobram Courier (Vic. : 1888 - 1954) 28 October 1909. Trove. National Library of Australia.



anonymous asked:

Had a CNA tell me that being raised vegan causes harm because meat gives children important immune system building blocks, nutrients that can only be replaced with artificial supplements that pale in comparison to the real thing, prevents heart disease, and that they've seen vegans come into the hospital with organ failure because of their diet. This all sounds like bullshit to me, but I can't refute it. What do you think?

That is absolute bullshit, and I’ve never heard anything like that before. I’m actually pretty astounded that a CNA would say something like that. So thank you for your ask.

There is something I’ve learned over the years. Just because someone is certified in something, or they have a degree, it doesn’t mean their word is infallible. Especially if other people who are certified and knowledgeable refute those statements (not speaking about myself, but other doctors who recommend plant-based diets).

I’ve gone to a certified dietician, who herself was vegan, and recommended vegan diets for those who wanted to be healthier. She was employed by Arizona State University. You don’t employ a dietician who recommends a diet that will result in organ failure. That’s ridiculous.

ASU even has a page on their site for recommending students to eat more fruits and vegetables. Not about eating more meat and dairy. Again, they don’t seem to be worried about causing the deaths of their students by recommending eating more plant-based foods.

Here are a couple resources from vegan dieticians or dietician organizations:

Ginny Kisch Messina, MPH, RD

Valerie Rosser, BSc, RD, PDt

Virginia Messina, MPH, RD

“Healthy Eating Guidelines for Vegans” from the Dieticians of Canada

There’s even a website for where you can find doctors who eat a plant-based diet. Clearly, those doctors aren’t concerned about organ failure or “immune system building blocks” from their diets. (I’ve never heard that phrase before so I’m not sure what it means, they may have been talking about the structure of protein and how plant-proteins are supposedly deficient, but that’s been debunked.)

And as far as raising kids to be vegan, ask yourself: what kind of foods do you find in the baby isle? Are infant foods made up of ham and cheese and beef? Fish and chicken and eggs? Or is it all sauces made of fruits and vegetables?

More and more people are raising their children vegan, and you never hear about all the healthy, happy, veggie-eating kids. You hear about the extremely rare situation of parents starving their kids into malnutrition - and then veganism is blamed for it. When the fact of the matter is, doctors specifically tell parents to feed their kids fruits and vegetables because it’s healthy for them.

And as for supplements paling to the “real thing?” We all take supplements, whether we know it or not. No matter what diets we have. Packaged foods, especially cereals and milks of every kind, are fortified with vitamins and minerals. Every meat-eater eats B12 supplements created in a lab - they just obtain it through animal feed via the cow or chicken or pig they just ate, rather than directly from the source. Sometimes the B12 is injected right into the animals because they can’t obtain B12 from plants any more than we can because of modern agricultural methods.

So your CNA doesn’t understand the basics of how we obtain nutrition in our foods, and that’s understandable. Being a certified nursing assistant does not make someone an expert in nutrition. My only concern is that they are repeating misleading (or just plain false) information, and presenting it as medical advice.

One last thought. It has been well-documented that eating less meat prevents heart disease. I’m also curious as to what specific organs they say will fail on a vegan diet, since no organ I know of relies on saturated fats and cholesterol to function.

Thank you for your question, and I hope this helped refute some of those (rather bizarre) statements.