e:myth

Looking For Evidence of The Great Flood – Was it Real, or Just a Myth? Part II

Great Floods or Deluge stories cross time and boundaries, and are part of many religious and cultural histories. But why do these stories feature in so many societies? Are these tales simple myths, or do they indicate a single, worldwide cataclysm that affected all of humanity? 

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DEMETER: I sent you to Hades so you could be stronger and now you are, so come back.

PERSEPHONE: No.

DEMETER: What! You dare defy me? Wilful child.

PERSEPHONE: I am no child. I am a ruler and Hades himself quivers before me. I bring the Erinyes to their knees. I am become an arrow, poised in flight. Save your threats, Mother, I quite like winter, it is as cold as me -

—  Venetta O., excerpt of “I AM BECOME THE DARK”
There’s always someone who secretly believes in myths and legends; or at least parts of them. Those are the people who will look beyond the obvious and see things in this world that are truly wonderful… But they won’t say anything, even if they do. Because the rest of us who view the world as logical and scientific wouldn’t see the truth if it was posted up on a billboard.
—  Aprilynne Pike, Wings
2

 Modern Mythology: Grim Reaper

The Grim Reaper is the personification of Death and is a common figure across many cultures. In some cases, the Grim Reaper is said to have caused the death of it’s victim to collect their soul. Her arrival is unexpected and, most often, unwanted, like a thunderstorm. She wears misfortune on her sleeve and walks with a skip in her step. Sometimes on colder days she buries herself in her cloak and lets the thick, black fabric drag behind her on the ground in the dirt, in the rain, in the snow. On slow days it saddens her that the humans cannot see her and she sits in on their conversations and sneaks into movie theaters. Very soon her sense of loneliness turns to boredom and she regrets ever having sat down in the first place. Clumsy as she is, she misplaces her scythe and spends hours retracing her steps until she finds it. It’s too heavy a thing for her fragile arms and she’d prefer not to have it at all. The sound is grating as she carves deep gashes into the concrete behind her.

Nine Worlds of Norse Mythology.

Norse Cosmology contains ‘Nine Homeworlds’ (Níu Heimar in Old Norse) in which all beings reside. These worlds are centered on the World Tree, Yggdrasil, which lies at the centre of the Cosmos. Each of these Nine Worlds is the homeland of various classes of beings that are part of Norse and Germanic mythology. Travel between the worlds are described in myths, where gods and other beings sometimes interact directly with humans.

Upper level
Asgard / Ásgarðr / Aesir – Land of the Aesir Gods and Goddesses
Vanaheim / Vanaheimr / Vanir – Land of the Vanir Gods and Goddesses
Alfheim / Álfheimr / Álfar – Land of the Light Elves
Middle Level / Middle Earth
Midgard / Miðgarðr / Menn – Land of Humanity
Jotunheim / Jötunheimr / Jötnar – Land of the Giants
Svartalfheim / Svartálfaheimr / Dvergar – Land of the Dark Elves
(Nidavellir – Land of the Dwarves)
Lower Level
Muspelheim / Muspellsheimr – Primordial Land of Fire
Niflheim / Niflheimr – Primordial place of Ice and Fog, Land of the Dead
(Hel / Helheimr / Náir – Land of the Dead, Home of the Goddess Hel)

Asgard / Ásgarðr / Aesir – Land of the Aesir Gods and Goddesses
High in the sky lies Asgard, home to the Aesir, the sky gods. Asgard was also the home of Odin’s Valhalla and Freya’s Fólkvangr, where brave Viking warriors would go after death. Home of Urdarbrunnr, the Well of Fate, guarded by the Norns.
Vanaheim / Vanaheimr / Vanir – Land of the Vanir Gods and Goddesses
A mysterious place, home of the Vanir Earth Gods.  Home of Njord, Freya and Freyr, who came to live in Asgard after the Aesir-Vanir war.
Alfheim / Álfheimr / Álfar – Land of the Light Elves
Next to Asgard in the heavens was Alfheim, home to beautiful Elves, the Gods of nature and fertility. Alfheim was ruled by Freyr.
Midgard / Miðgarðr / Menn – Land of Humanity
Home of mankind, also known as ‘Middle Earth’. Midgard was connected to Asgard by Bifrost, the Rainbow Bridge.
Jotunheim / Jötunheimr / Jötnar – Land of the Giants
Home of the Jotuns (giants), enemies of the Aesir. Jotunheim was mostly rocks, wilderness and dense forests. Loki came from Jotunheim, later to live in Asgard. Home of Mímisbrunnr, the Well of Wisdom, guarded by Mimir.
Svartalfheim / Svartálfaheimr / Dvergar – Land of the Dark Elves
Deep in the underground lived the hideous dark Elves, known to cause trouble to humans such as causing nightmares. They could not be touched by the Sun, otherwise they would turn to stone.
Nidavellir – Land of the Dwarves
Similar to Svartalfheim was Nidavellir, where dwarves lived in caves underground. Ruled by Hreidmar, the dwarves were masters of craftsmanship and gave presents to the Aesir, such as Thor’s hammer and Odin’s spear. 
Muspelheim / Muspellsheimr – Primordial Land of Fire
Muspelheim was a burning hot place created in the far south. It was home to the fire giants, fire demons, and the giant Surt, enemy to the Aesir.
Niflheim / Niflheimr – Primordial place of Ice and Fog, Land of the Dead
The lowest of the Nine Worlds, this land of ice and mist was located in the northern region of Ginnungagap. The oldest of three wells, Hvergelmir (‘Roaring Kettle’), was located here, which was the source of all cold rivers and the origin of all living things.
Hel / Helheimr / Náir – Land of the Dead, Home of the Goddess Hel
Home of the Goddess Hel, daughter of Loki. When humans were not accepted to Valhalla or Fólkvangr, they came to Hel’s hall Elivdnir.

5 creepy urban legends that have some truth behind them:

1.) Kidney Theft

This particular story comes from New Orleans, and talks about travelers waking up in baths of ice, only discover that their kidneys have been removed and they are left with an open wound. It originally began with a man meeting a beautiful woman at a bar and drinking with her. At the end of the night, he went back to her apartment and suffered a terrible fate. The woman drugged him and he woke up the next day with severe back pain. In agony, he went to the hospital where doctors were shocked to find that his kidney had been completely removed. These incidents certainly sound gruesome, and like something out of a horror film, but they have happened in real life many times: Criminals will target healthy subjects and drug them, remove their organs, and sell them on the black market. It could happen to anyone at anytime, and remains a terrifying reality for the dozens of victims.

2.) The Green Man

This truth behind this tale is a rather sad one. ‘The Green Man’ is an urban legend that is popular in Pennsylvania. During the 1930s, reports of a faceless monster came into the local police, and they began searching the streets for this supposed creature. Witnesses ran to the authorities whenever they saw this man, who would wander the streets with a limp and mutter incoherent words. It turned out, that the “creature” was in fact an innocent man with a severe facial disfigurement. His name was Raymond Robinson, and his injury was caused by an electrocution when he was younger. The accident caused his skin to glow with a green hue, hence his nickname.

3.) The Killer in the Back Seat

Legend has it, that once a woman was driving late at night, when she noticed a man signalling to her in her mirror. The driver kept flashing his lights at her, and started to tail gait her vehicle. The woman carried on driving, despite her fears, and the man eventually stopped following her. When she got home, she realised he was trying to warn her of a hooded figure hiding in her back seat holding a machete. Although this tale has been used in many horror films, it’s thought to be based on a true story. In 1964, a New York police officer was almost killed by an escaped murderer hiding in the back seat of his patrol car. When the killer struck, he shot him dead, narrowly escaping his own death. A similar event happened in Chicago, when a man sneaked into a woman’s vehicle while she was paying for her petrol. He then raped and murdered her.

4.) Murderous Surgeon

The idea of someone with years of professional medical training being a murderous psychopath is something that chills many to the bone. One gruesome campfire ghost story is that of a murderous surgeon, who would purposefully botch operations and mutilate his patients. This story is slightly exaggerated, but has happened several times. Such killers are known as ‘Angels of Death’ [LINK]  and will inject their suffering patients with a cocktail of drugs to murder them. These cases are not uncommon, and the perpetrators are often seemingly normal doctors and nurses.

5.) The Bunny Man

In 1904, residents of a small town in Virginia went to the government and demanded that all close-by mental asylums should be shut down. The government listened to their complaints, and decided to transport hundreds of patients to a more secure facility. During the transportation, several prisoners escaped and ran off into the woods. One version of the tale, tells of a trail of rabbit corpses leading into clearing. The police followed this bloody trail and found one of the prisoners hanging from a tree near a tunnel with a note around his lifeless body reading: “You’ll never catch me, no matter how hard you try. Signed- The Bunny Man”. Local folklore claims that if you walk under this “Bunny Man Bridge” at midnight, he will grab you and hang you from the entrance of the tunnel. Other versions claim he murders you with a chainsaw. Although this tale is far-fetched, there is some truth behind it: In 1970, two incidents of a man in a rabbit costume threatening people with an axe emerged in Virginia. These incidents were never followed up by police, as they thought of it as a prank, but it is nevertheless deeply disturbing.

I.
REMEMBER WHEN YOU LOVED ME?
NEITHER DO I, SWEETHEART.
LISTEN TO YOUR PRETTY MOUTH SING.


II.
A MOCKINGBIRD, I CALLED YOU.
ALWAYS CHANGED YOUR TUNE TO
FIT THE SCREAMS. HOW DOES
YOUR CHRIPING SOUND WHEN
YOU ARE THE ONE SCREAMING NOW?


III.
LET THEIR BLOOD BE ON YOUR HANDS.
I HAVE ALWAYS KILLED FOR YOU.
FATHER. BROTHER. SELF. CHILDREN.


IV.
NO ONE COULD WANT SOMETHING
SO TERRIBLE, BUT THEN AGAIN,
I WANTED YOU. BROKEN BEAST OF A
MAN.
WHO WILL LOVE YOU NOW?
—  Venetta O., “RIBS AND OTHER DIVINE THINGS”