celtic in europe

Creatures From Around The World


My Favorite Mythology/Folklore and Cryptid monsters collected by Country/Continent.


MEDIEVAL EUROPEAN MYTHOLOGY / FOLKLORE (Book of Imaginary Creatures, Heraldry, Alchemy, Medieval Bestiary, Roma, Left-Over European)

The Muscaliet is so hot it will inflate everything it touches into a burning column of fire. Entire forests burn away when they find their way into earthly forests.

A Bao A Qu / Barometz or Vegetable Lamb / Basilisk / Cagrino or Chagrin / Carbuncle / Catoblepas / Echeneis or Remora / Flaga / Goblin / Gold-Digging Ant or Formica Aurum / Hypnalis / Ichneumon or Hydrus / Imp / Incubus / Leontophone / Leucrotta or Crocotta / Muscaliet / Myrmecoleon or Antlion / Nependis / Nightmare or Mare / Odontotyrannos / Pard / Peryton / Salamander / Scitalis or Scytale / Seps / Succubus / Undine / Will o Wisp / Wyvern / Yale or Centicore / Ziphius

Abarimon / Aspidochelone / Bicorn / Blemmyes / Bonnacon / Cerastes / Chichevache / Cockatrice / Cynocephaly / Haermorrhois or Blood-Letter / Indus Worm / Keythong / Musimon / Onocentaur / Panotti / Parandrus / Sandman / Wild Hunt / Ypotryll / Zitiron

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GREEK MYTHOLOGY (Ancient Greek/Roman Mythology)

Nemean Lions (named Golden Lion or War Lion in Mythika) are powerful hunters with very tough skin which is almost impossible to pierce with normal weapons. Their manes are covered with arrows and the weapons from their victims.

Akheilos / Amphisbaena / Anteros / Argus / Cacus / Centaur / Cerberus / Charon / Charybdis / Chimera / Chrysaor / Dactyl / Echidna / Empusa / Erinyes or Fury / Faun or Satyr / Gorgon or Medusa / Harpy / Hekatonkheires or  Hundred-Handed One / Hippocampus / Hydra / Kampe / Karkinos or Cancer / Ketos or Cetus / Ladon / Lamia / Lampad / Makhai or War Daemon / Minotaur / Narcissus / Nemean Lion / Nosoi or Pandora Box / Phobetor / Scylla / Sphinx / Thriae

Aegipan or Capricorn / Aetos or Caucasian Bird / Antaeus / Arachne / Celedon / Circe / Cyclops / Dryad / Erote or Cupid / Erymanthian Boar or Dire Boar / Eurynomos / Gegenees / Geryon / Graeae or Stygian Hag / Griffon or Griffin / Khalkotauroi / Maenad / Mormo / Pytho or Delphyne / Scorpios / Skolopendra / Spartoi / Stymphalian Bird / Symplegades or Planctae / Talos or Bronze Colossus / Teumessian Fox / Triton / Typhon / Zelus

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NORSE MYTHOLOGY (Ancient Norse Mythology)

Fenrir are said to be ancestors of all canine species, and in Mythika they are among the most powerful, only Cerberi stand a chance. Their skin is riddled with ice crystals and their breath is cold as winter.

Berserker / Draugr / Fafnir / Fenrir or Fenris / Hraesvelgr / Jormungandr / Jotunn or Frost Giant / Nidhogg / Svartalfar or Dark Elf / Troll / Valkyrie

Alberich / Dwarf / Elf / Hell / Hrimfaxi / Naglfar / Ratatoskr / Skinfaxi / Ymir

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CELTIC MYTHOLOGY / WESTERN EUROPE MEDIEVAL MYTHS (English, Welsh, Manx, Scottish, Irish, Breton and Arthurian)

Tatty Bogle are evil animated Scarecrows which can control birds and animate objects they touch. It is said that they are created by evil Hags which use the hearts of humans and the soul of a bogeyman to animate them.

Afanc or Addanc / Alp-Luachra or Joint Eater / Ankou / Awd Goggie / Banshee / Barghest or Black Dog / Boobrie / Brobinyak / Brollachan / Brucha / Buggane / Cirein Croin / Cu Sith / Cwn Annwn / Dullahan or Headless Horseman / Fachen / Fear Liath or Grey Man / Fomorian / Gancanagh / Grindylow / It / Jack-in-Irons / Kelpie / Knucker / Lavellan / Leanan Sidhe / Marool / Muirdris / Nuckelavee / Phooka or Pucca / Questing Beast / Rawhead or Bloody Bones / Redcap or Dunter / Shellycoat / Sianach / Sluagh / Spriggan / Springheel or Spring-Heeled Jack / Stray Sod / Tatty Bogle / Water Leaper or Llamhigyn Y Dwr / Wizard’s Shackle or Burach Bhadi

Arkan Sonney / Black Annis / Bluecap / Bodach / Boobach or Bugaboo / Bugbear / Cat Sidhe / Cath Palug / Ceffyl Dwr / Clurichaun / Curnunnos / Dobhar-Chu / Far Darrig / Fear Dorcha / Fear Gorta / Gwyllion / Kilmoullis / Leprechaun / Lunantishee / Ly Erg

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NORTHERN EUROPE MEDIEVAL MYTHS (Germanic, Scandinavian, German, Norwegian, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Dutch, Belgian and Danish)

Osschaart are bizarre constructs made by the Jack-in-Irons. Osschaarts dangerous aura’s increase gravity and they can animate and control the chains that form most of their bodies.  

Ajatar / Alraune / Buckrider / Colorobetch / Doppelganger or Fetch / Erlking or Erlkonig / Gloson or Gravso / Gulon / Horerczy / Hrokkall / Ice Worm or Lagarfljot Worm / Iku-Turso / Kraken / Land Wight or Landvaettir / Osschaart / Pesta / Swamfisk / Valravn or Vilderavn

Askafroa / Baldanders / Fossegrim or Nakken / Helhest / Hrosshvalur / Huldra / Kludde or Aufhocker / Kobold / Lorelei / Mandragora or Mandrake / Nachtkrapp / Norn / Otso / Skotumodir / Snow Queen / Traicousse / Vatnagedda / Waldgeist

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EASTERN EUROPE MEDIEVAL MYTHS (Slavic, Russian, Polish, Romanian, Slovenian, Lithuanian and Serbian)

Combining the most feral features of both wolves and dragons the Zburator is a nocturnal hunting dragon that unlike most other dragons hunt in packs, they mostly hunt for other dragons.

Aitvaras / Bagiennik / Bauk / Bukavac / Fext / Hala or Ala / Karzelek / Kikimora / Leshy or Leshii / Lich / Moroi or Vampire / Nocnitsa or Night Hag / Planetnik or Demon Storm / Poludnica or Lady Midday / Shtriga / Veela or Vila / Vodyanoi or Vodnik / Zburator / Zirnitra / Zlatorog or Goldhorn / Zmey or Gorynych

Abaasy / Alkonost / Baba Yaga / Balaur / Bolotnik / Domovoi / Drekavac / Ebajalg / Indrik / Likho / Nosferatu / Ovinnik / Psoglav / Rusalka / Sarkany / Tculo / Ziburinis

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SOUTHERN EUROPE MEDIEVAL MYTHS (Spanish, Basque, Maltese, Sardinian, Italian, French, Swiss, Austria, Cyprus and Medieval Greek)

Every year the scales on a Cuelebre’s body become harder, until after a 1000 years they reach Adamantium hardness, once they reach this age they are almost impossible to destroy with normal weapons and most spells will simply bounce of their shimmering iron scales.

Aatxe / Agrippa / Barbegazi / Butatsch-Cun-Ilgs / Codrille / Cuelebre / Erchitu / Gargoyle or Gargouille / Gaueko / Hellequin / Kaw Kaw / Lou Carcolh / Marabbecca / Nuberu / Peluda / Pyrausta or Pyrallis / Stella / Tarasque / Trenti / Vrykolakas

Aerico / Caladrius / Drac / Krampus / Tartalo / Vouivre

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NATIVE AMERICAN FOLKLORE AND MYTHOLOGY (Inuit, Canadian, Navajo, Cherokee, and other such Tribal American)

Psonen are beautiful, but ice-cold bird monsters that are said to be related to the Phoenix. They mostly serve the Snow Queen as aerial mounts. They summon cold weather wherever they go.

Acheri / Ahkiyyini / Akhlut / Amikuk / Aniwye / Awahondo / Baykok / Binaye-Ahani / Delgeth or Thelgeth / Djieien / Ewah / Gaasyendietha or Meteor Dragon / Haietlik or Lightning Serpent / Mahaha / Mishibizhiw or Underwater Panther / Nalusa Falaya / Nida / Oniate / Piasa / Psonen / Pukwudgie / Qalupalik / Rougarou or Werewolf / Skinwalker / Tlanusi / Tsenahale / Utlunta or Spearfinger / Wendigo or Windigo / Yeitso

Adlet / Agloolik / Amarok / Amhuluk / Aziwugum / Baxbakwala / Cervitaur / Fastachee / Hinqumemen or Engulfer / Ijiraq / Ishigaq / Isitoq / Kokogiak or Qupqugiaq / Raven Mocker / Thunderbird / Tizheruk / Tupilaq / Ugjuknarpak

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CENTRAL AMERICAN MYTHOLOGY / FOLKLORE (Aztec, Mayan, Mexican)

The Reptilian Xhumpedzkin are famous for the lethal headaches they cause with their psychic aura’s. They feed on other creatures shadows.

Ahuizotl / Camazotz / Cipactli / Lechuza / Nagual / Xhumpedzkin

Camulatz / Chaneque / Huay Chivo / Quetzalcoatl / Tezcatlipoca

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SOUTH AMERICAN MYTHOLOGY / FOLKLORE / CRYPTIDS (Brazilian, Chilean, Paraguay, Colombia, Venezuela, Patagonian, Surinam and Argentina)  

Cherufe are the voice, will and mobility of a living volcano. They can take any shape they like but are always formed from lava and magma. Inside their volcanic homes these elementals are invincible, only outside the volcano the creature can be slain. 

Abuhuku / Alicanto / Caleuche or Ghost Ship / Candileja / Cherufe / Chon Chon / Cuero / Curupira / Eintykara / Encantado / Inulpamahuida / Invunche / Kayeri / Mapinguari / Minhocao / Nguruvilu / Peuchen / Succarath / Tuyango

Anhanga / Ao Ao / Boitata / Bush Dai Dai / Camahueto / Capelobo / Colo Colo / Cuca / El Tunche / Huallepen / Kori / Yacuruna

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AFRICAN FOLKLORE AND CRYPTIDS (Central and South African Countries)

The Migas in Mythika kinda resembles the LOTRing’s Watcher in the Water. Swamp Octopi with more than twenty tentacles, fighting one of these aberrations is like fighting an entire army of tentacles.

Aigamuxa / Asanbosam or Sasabonsam / Bouda or Werehyena / Cagn or Mantis / Dingonek / Eloko or Biloko / Emela Ntouka / Gbahali / Impundulu or Lightning Bird / Intulo / Jba Fofi / Kongamato / Lukwata / Lunwaba / Mbielu Mbielu / Migas / Mngwa or Nunda / Nandi Bear or Chemosit / Popobawa / Umdhlebi / Ya-Te-Veo

Abada / Adze / Anansi / Aziza / Chipfalamfula / Emere / Gambo / Grootslang / Jengu / Kwamang-A / Mokele-Mbembe / Ngoubou / Nguma-Monene / Ninki Nanka / Olitiau / Rompo / Yehwe Zogbanu

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EGYPTIAN MYTHOLOGY (Ancient Egyptian Mythology)

Sak are strange, wingless Griffons with a beautiful lotus flower on the end of their tails. This lotus flower releases a calming fragrance which takes away aggression in its victims. Sak love the flesh of Unicorns and other equine creatures.

Ammit or Devourer / Khepri / Petsuchos / Sak / Salawa or Set Animal

Axex / Heqet / Mummy / Phoenix or Firebird / Serket / Serpopard

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LEVANTINE FOLKLORE, RELIGION, MYTHOLOGY ( Arabian, Persian, Iran, Iraq, Turkish, Sumerian, Mesopotamian, Akkadian and Middle East)

The centaur-like Urmahlullu combines the best features of the lion and a humanoid. They are the perfect hunters and both gentle and evil variants exist.

Aghash or Evil Eye / Asag / Asdeev / Bushyasta / Caspilly / Devalpa / Druj Nasu / Dybbuk / Fulad-Zereh / Ghul or Ghoul / Girtablilu or Aqrabuamelu / Golem / Ifrit or Efreet / Jidra / Karkadann / Manticore / Miraj or Almiraj / Ouktazaun / Roc or Rukh / Sandwalker / Shadhavar or Siranis / Tiamat / Urmahlullu / Zaratan

Anzu / Arzshenk / Asena / Djinn / Ghawwas / Humbaba / Lilith / Palis / Pazuzu

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HINDU BELIEFS (Hindu Religion, Buddhism)

Raktavija are masters in blood magic, they can animate and harden their own demonic blood into shields, armor and weapons. To refill their lost blood they simply drain other creatures dry of theirs.

Juggernaut / Rakshasa / Raktavija / Virabhadra / Vish Kanya or Poison Girl / Vritra 

Airavata / Apaosha / Garuda / Makara / Naga 

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JAPANESE MYTHOLOGY AND FOLKLORE (Yokai, Japanese Stories)

Oh, can I keep it? Keukegen look like fuzzy, innocent creatures made entirely from hairs, in reality they spread horrid itching diseases and in the worst case a victim will scratch its own skin off.

Akaname or Filth Licker / Ashinaga-Jin / Bakekujira or Ghost Whale / Baku / Dorotabo / Enenra / Gashadokuro / Harionago / Heikegani / Isonade / Ittan-Momen / Jinmenju / Jorogumo / Jubokko or Vampire Tree / Kamaitachi or Sickle Weasel / Kappa / Keukegen / Kurage-no-Hinotama / Muramasa Blade / Namazu / Nekomata or Bakeneko / Nogitsune or Kumiho / Nurikabe / Omukade / Otoroshi / Raiju or Thunder Beast / Rokurokubi / Sagari / Sazae-Oni / Tenaga-Jin / Tengu / Tenome / Tera-Tsutsuki / Tesso / Tsuchigumo / Umibozu or Sea Bonze / Wanyudo / Yuki-Onna or Snow Maiden

Akashita / Ame-Onna / Hahakigami / Hannya / Hyakume / Jinshin Mushi / Kamikiri / Kasa Obake / Kasha / Katsura-Otoko / Kirin or Qilin / Kitsune / Mekurabe / Nodeppo / Nue / Nure-Onna / Oni / Shachihoko / Suiko / Tanuki / Yanagi-Baba

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CHINESE MYTHOLOGY AND FOLKLORE (China, Chinese Stories)

Xiao or Hsigo are kleptomaniac pests, they steal for the act of stealing and even attack other creatures to rob them of their possessions, especially gemstones and golden coins are wanted by the little thieves. Their leaders are called Ahools and they combine baboons with bat features.

Dijiang / Gaki or Preta / Kun Peng / Shen or Chan / Taotie / Terra-Cotta Warrior / Xiao or Hsigo / Xing Tian / Zhenniao

Azure Dragon / Bai Ze / Byakko / Dragon Turtle / Feng Huang / Genbu / Nian / Pixiu / Zheng

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POLYNESIAN MYTHOLOGY AND FOLKLORE (Philippines, Indonesia, Melanesian, Malaysian, Solomon Islands and Vietnam)

Terrifying aberrations, the Kurita use their many arms for swift locomotion, grabbing their victims along the way, they can eat and move at the same time without much trouble.

Abaia / Abere / Adaro / Bakunawa / Batibat or Bangungot / Berbalang / Bonguru / Con Rit / Dalaketnon / Jenglot / Kurita / Mambabarang / Nuno / Orang Minyak / Polong / Pua Tu Tahi / Sigbin / Tikbalang / Tiyanak

Ahool / Anggitay / Aswang or Manananggalen / Babi Ngepet / Banaspati / Berberoka / Bungisngis / Gawigawen / Genderuwo / Imoogi or Imugi / Kapre / Pelesit / Sarangay / Siyokoy / Tiburones / Toyol / Veo

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AUSTRALIAN MYTHOLOGY, CRYPTIDS AND FOLKLORE (Australian, Aboriginal and New Zealand)

Tiddalik suck up water and spit it at great force at their prey, putting them off balance and turning them into easy prey to swallow. There are also jungle variants of the Tiddalik which shoot with poisonous water and which look like giant mutant poison-arrow frogs, they can climb in trees as well.

Burrunjor / Dheeyabery / Drop Bear / Mokoi / Muldjewangk / Nargun / Papinijuwari / Punga / Taniwha / Whowie / Tiddalik / Wulgaru / Yara-Ma-Yha-Who

Bunyip / Mimi / Minka Bird

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FEARSOME CRITTERS (North American Lumberjack Stories, Cryptids)

Argopelters live high up in the treetops where they use their bizarre tentacle-like arms as whips, they also use them to throw wood-splinters which hit their enemies like bullets, often instantly killing their prey.

Argopelter / Cactus Cat / Hidebehind / Hodag

Hoop Snake / Jackalope / Moskitto / Roperite / Splinter Cat / Squonk

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LEFTOVERS (Modern Cryptids, Caribbean, Biblical, Himalayan, Dante’s Inferno and Alien Sightings)

Rat Kings are bizarre beasts which appear like a swarm of rats which tails are all tangled together into an impossible situation. These swarms of rats have a single mind and their diseased aura will cause the pest into any creature that lives close by.

Apocalypse Locust / Chupacabra / Death Worm / Gray or Dover Demon / Mad Gasser / Morgawr / Mothman / Ooze / Rat King / Tooth Fairy / Wolpertinger / Zombie

Beelzebub / Behemoth / Bloody Mary / Boo Hag / Cecaelia / Gowrow / Gremlin / Grendel / Guardian Angel / Horseman of Death / Horseman of Famine / Horseman of Pestilence / Horseman of War / Jack-O-Lantern / Jersey Devil / Leraje / Leviathan / Lusca / Poltergeist / Reptilian or Lizardman / Tree Octopus / Tulpa / Yeti or Abominable Snowman


EDIT: While most of my follower probably already know the descriptions underneath the pictures are from my own project Mythika, they aren’t 100% like the real myth. The collected groups are from the real myths. Though I made a much better version here: https://myth-lord.tumblr.com/post/160584821204/creatures-from-around-the-world-2


ALL PICTURES FOUND ON GOOGLE-PICTURES, CREDITS TO ALL THE ARTISTS, NOT MY WORK!

Cat Folklore & Superstition

Cats, particularly black cats, have played many roles in folklore in cultures across the world.

Folklore

In Egypt, cats were considered scared and were worshipped; jewellery in hieroglyphics were also dedicated to cats. Bastet was known as the Goddess of cats, protection, stealth and independence. She bestowed the gifts of joy, beauty and grace. Cats were so revered that a person killing a cat, even accidentally, was put to death. This sacred animal was so important to the Egyptian society and religion, that after the cat’s death, its body was mummified and buried in a special cemetery.

In Celtic countries, cats played a role in mythology and folklore. In Ireland, and across the celtic world, the skin of a wild cat was worn by warriors, to invoke the avenging and protective power of the gods. The cat was associated with the Goddess, so it was considered feminine. The cat was also a totem animal amongst many clans, particularly Scottish. They believed that cats were guardians of the of the gates to the Otherworld, guardians of their treasures and also bring to the people the wholeness, as a spiritual link between humans and the universe. However, black cats in Celtic lore were considered evil, and were sacrificed.

In Norse mythology, cats are sacred to Freyja, the goddess of love and beauty, one of the original fertility goddesses of the region. Freyja is viewed as the protector of the weak, healer, granter of magic and source of love and peace. The chariot of Freyja is drawn by two large cats, other cats were also associated with this kind and loving goddess. As cats are sacred to Freyja, farmers would leave out precious milk for them, to ensure that she blessed their harvest

Fairy Cat - Cat Sìth

It is a creature from Celtic mythology, said to resemble a large black cat with a white spot on its breast. Legend has it that the spectral cat haunts the Scottish highlands. Some common folklore suggested that the Cat Sìth was not a fairy, but a witch that could transform into a cat nine times. If one of these witches chose to go back into their cat form for the ninth time, they would remain a cat for the rest of their lives. It is believed by some that this is how the idea of a cat having nine lives originated.

The people of the Scottish Highlands did not trust the Cat Sìth. They believed that it could steal a person’s soul before it was claimed by the Gods by passing over a corpse before burial; therefore watches called the Feill Fadalach (Late Wake) were performed night and day to keep the Cat Sìth away from a corpse before burial. Methods of “distraction” such as games of leaping and wrestling, catnip, riddles, and music would be employed to keep the Cat Sìth away from the room in which the corpse lay. In addition, there were no fires where the body lay, as it was legend that the Cat Sìth was attracted to the warmth.

On Samhain, it was believed that a Cat Sìth would bless any house that left a saucer of milk out for it to drink, but those houses that did not let out a saucer of milk would be cursed into having all of their cows’ milk dry.

Werecat

The transformation to either a domestic cat, a tiger, a lion, a lynx, or any other type, including some that are purely mythical felines.

European folklore usually depicts werecats who transform into domestic cats. Some European werecats became giant domestic cats or panthers. They are generally deemed to be witches, even though they may have no magical ability other than self-transformation. During the witch trials, the official Church doctrine stated that all shapeshifters, including werewolves, were witches whether they were male or female.

African legends describe people who turn into lions or leopards. In the case of leopards, this is often because the creature is really a leopard god or goddess masquerading as a human. When these gods mate with humans, offspring can be produced, and these children sometimes grow up to be shapeshifters; those who do not transform may instead have other powers. In reference to werecats who turn into lions, the ability is often associated with royalty. Such a being may have been a king or queen in a former life, or may be destined for leadership in this life. This quality can be seen in the lions of Tsavo, which were reputed to be kings in lion shape, attempting to repel the invading Europeans by stopping their railroad due to attacks on humans.

Mainland Asian werecats usually become tigers. In India, the weretiger is often a dangerous sorcerer, portrayed as a menace to livestock, who might at any time turn to man-eating. Chinese legends often describe weretigers as the victims of either a hereditary curse or a vindictive ghost. In Thailand, a tiger that eats many humans may become a weretiger. There are also other types of weretigers, such as sorcerers with great powers who can change their form to become animals. In both Indonesia and Malaysia there is another kind of weretiger, known as Harimau jadian. The power of transformation is regarded as due to inheritance, to the use of spells, to fasting and willpower, to the use of charms, etc. Save when it is hungry or has just cause for revenge, it is not hostile to man; in fact, it is said to take its animal form only at night and to guard the plantations from wild pigs.

The foremost were-animal in pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures was the were-jaguar.  It was associated with the veneration of the jaguar, with priests and shamans among the various peoples who followed this tradition wearing the skins of jaguars to “become” a were-jaguar. Among the Aztecs,  an entire class of specialised warriors who dressed in the jaguar skins were called “jaguar warriors" or "jaguar knights”. Depictions of the jaguar and the were-jaguar are among the most common motifs among the artifacts of the ancient Mesoamerican civilisations. The balams (magicians) of Yucatán were said to guard the maize fields in animal form.

Superstitions

  • Traits associated with cats include cleverness, unpredictability, healing and witchcraft, since in ancient times it was believed that witches took the form of their cats at night.
  • A kitten born in may will be a witches cat.
  • Dreaming of a cat is sometimes regarded as a sign of bad luck in the future. 
  • If a sailor was approached by the ship’s cat it meant good luck, but if the cat only came halfway, it meant bad luck would befall the sailor.
  • In Normandy, seeing a tortoiseshell cat foretold death by accident.
  • The French believed that if a girl tread on a cat’s tail, she would not find a husband before a year is out
  • To end even one of a cat’s 9 lives was to risk being haunted by that particular cat for the rest of the murderer’s life.
  • If you drown a cat, you will fall victim to a drowning.
  • To kill a cat brings 17 years of bad luck.
  • When the pupil of a cat’s eye broadens, there will be rain.
  • A strange black cat on your porch brings prosperity.
  • A cat sneezing is a good omen for everyone who hears it.
  • Occult powers are often attributed to cats. It is said that they also have the power of hypnotism. A cat with three different hues in its coat protect one against fire and fever.
  • When cats rush about wildly, clawing at curtains and cushions, it means that wind is coming.

Bear (Spirit Animal)

The bear is worshipped as a totem animal (zoolatry) across many cultures, and commonly shows strength and confidence. The spirit provides strong grounding forces.

In Siberia, the name used to designate women shamans is the same as the word “bear”. In Northern America, in the Inuit tradition, the bear spirit animal is also connected to the shamanic tradition and women.

For the Inuit people, the bear is a strong power or totem animal. In some beliefs, it is said that if an Inuit hunter accepts to be eaten by a bear, he may reincarnate as a shaman and carry the spirit of this animal. The polar bear is considered as the “Wise Teacher” as it shows how to survive in harsh conditions.

There was a practice of bear-dressing across the vikings (berserkers) and ancient Greeks (cult of Artemis). Bears are a symbol of warriors in Celtic traditions.

  • The bear spirit is of great support during times of hardship and provides courage to face challenges.
  • The spirit can encourage a leadership role.
  • The bear also symbolises motherhood.
  • The bear spirit teaches patience.
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Kieran Tierney Song, Celtic 3-3 Man City 28/09/16

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Just Can’t Get Enough, Celtic 3-3 Man City 28/09/16

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Outlander is back, so it seems only fitting to do a Scottish themed FRIDAY FASHION FACT! Nothing is more instantly associated with Scotland than a tartan kilt. There are a lot of myths surrounding the history of this national fashion, so lets set the fact straight.

In about the 8th Century BCE, the pre-Celtic Hallstatt culture of central Europe created a simplistic check-patterned fabric. As the Celtic culture developed, so did their tartans, and when they spread to Scotland, their fabrics went with them. The earliest known tartan in Scotland was the 3rd century Falkirk Tartan, a simple gingham-like check pattern which is still very common today, particularly in menswear. The pattern took several more centuries to develop into what we now think of as tartan. It wasn’t until the late 16th Century that the pattern became popular across Scotland.

Many people believe that this is when clan tartans began. While this is incorrect, it is an understandable mistake. Towns and villages would have a very limited number of fabric makers, possibly just one, and these fabric makers would each create their own distinct tartans. Since families tended to stay in the same area for generation upon generation, they would wear the same few tartans. It was more a matter of limited access to different tartans, instead of “official” clan tartans. Additionally, tartans from the same region tended to have the same color scheme, due to the natural dyes available in those regions. Therefore, it was often possible to identify where a person came from based on the colors of their tartan.

The first big turning point in the history of tartan was when Scotland and England officially unified at the beginning of the 18th Century. There was some extremely bad blood between England and Scotland, to say the very least (which, evidenced by the recent election, still remains to this day), but the tension was amplified by the fact that Parliament had dethroned the Stuart House, and placed the Hanover House as monarchs. The Jacobites, who supported the Stuarts, rebelled repeatedly for decades in an attempt to restore the throne. The Jacobites and their supporters proudly sported tartan. In an attempt to squash their cause, the government instated the Dress Act of 1746, which banned tartan completely, with the exception of the British Highland Regiments’ uniforms. Eventually, for a variety of reasons, the Jacobite Rebellions ended, and with the persuasion of the Highland Society of London, the Dress Act was repealed in 1782.

The second big turning point for tartan was during the Romantic Era, beginning in the 1820s. It was dubbed Romantic for a reason, as the poets, novelists, and artists began romanticizing history. Sir Walter Scott wrote about the Jacobites, and King George IV visited Scotland, then had his portrait painted in full Highland Dress. Shortly before this time, in 1815, the Highland Society of London began to put together an official registration of clan tartans- the start of official clan tartans. Tartan officially became a craze when in 1848, Queen Victoria purchased Balmoral Castle. Scottish fashion swept the nation, and the pattern remains stylish to this day.

As for kilts, to put it very simply, they began in the 16th Century as a large piece of fabric draped over the shoulder. It was so long, that soon men began to wrap the long end around their waist. This was known as a “belted plaid.” It was often in tartan, but not always. Basically, the kilt was developed and perfected from there. The pleats were added to make the garment more polished, and less bulky. So sorry, Braveheart fans, but William Wallace never wore a kilt.

Want to learn more about the history of tartan and kilts? Check out these books:

Scottish National Dress and Tartan, by Stuart Reid

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Tartan, by Iain Zaczek

Have a question about fashion history that you want answered in the next FRIDAY FASHION FACT? Just click the ASK button at the top of the page!

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Come on you Bhoys in Green, Celtic vs Man City 28/09/16

Rabbit’s Foot

A rabbit’s foot is considered a lucky talisman. This belief is held by individuals in a great number of places around the world, including Europe, China, Africa, and North and South America. It is likely this belief existed in Europe since 600 BC amongst the Celtic people.

Some cultures say the rabbit’s foot is actually the foot of a dead witch who was killed while in her familiar form.

The donor rabbit must possess certain attributes, have been killed in a particular place, killed by a particular method, or by a person possessing particular attributes.

E.g.

  • First, not any foot from a rabbit will do: it is the left hind foot of a rabbit that is useful as a charm.
  • Second, not any left hind foot of a rabbit will do; the rabbit must have been shot or otherwise captured in a cemetery.
  • Third, at least according to some sources, not any left hind foot of a rabbit shot in a cemetery will do: the phase of the moon is also important. Some authorities say that the rabbit must be taken in the full moon, while others hold instead that the rabbit must be taken in the new moon. Some sources say instead that the rabbit must be taken on a Friday, or a rainy Friday, or Friday the 13th. Some sources say that the rabbit should be shot with a silver bullet, while others say that the foot must be cut off while the rabbit is still alive.

Another characteristic of the rabbit that probably made it such a widespread symbol of luck is its well-known and prodigious breeding habits.