What are some mythological creautres you'd like to see more of in stories?
//Here you go! It got long. Side note; be very careful when you’re writing about something that might be culturally sensitive. Included are sometimes deities and other folklore that should be treated with respect. It is advised that you go look these up! Their mythology is really cool.
Psychopomp - Psychopomps are creatures in many religions whose responsibility is to escort newly deceased souls from Earth to the afterlife. Their role is not to judge the deceased, but simply to provide safe passage.
Doppelgänger - In fiction and folklore, a doppelgängeris a look-alike or double of a living person, sometimes portrayed as a paranormal phenomenon, and in some traditions as a harbinger of bad luck. In other traditions and stories, they recognize one’s ‘double-goer’ as an evil twin.
Yōkai - Yōkai are a class of supernatural monsters, spirits and demons in Japanese folklore.
Jinn - Jinn also romanized as djinn or anglicized as genies (with the more broad meaning of demons), are supernatural creatures in early Arabian and later Islamic mythology and theology.
Gnome - A gnomeis a diminutive spirit in Renaissance magic and alchemy, first introduced by Paracelsus in the 16th century and later adopted by more recent authors including those of modern fantasy literature. Its characteristics have been reinterpreted to suit the needs of various story tellers, but it is typically said to be a small humanoid that lives underground.
Nkisi - Nkisi or Nkishi are spirits, or an object that a spirit inhabits. It is frequently applied to a variety of objects used throughout the Congo Basin in Central Africa that are believed to contain spiritual powers or spirits.
Silkies - Silkies are female spirits clothed in silk. Although usually helpful and valued, performing chores and guarding houses against harmful intruders, they can also be mischievous, leaving houses they inhabit in disarray.
Selkies - Selkies are said to live as seals in the sea but shed their skin to become human on land.
Alicorn - The name for a winged unicorn
Centaur - A head and torso of a human with the body of a horse.
Onocentaur - A head and torso of a human with the body of a donkey.
Naga - A head and torso of a human with the body of a snake.
Cyclops - Often depicted as giants with one eye.
Skin walker - people with the supernatural ability to turn into any animal they desire. To do so, however, they first must be wearing a pelt of the specific animal.
Nagual - A human being who has the power to magically turn themselves into animal forms, most commonly donkeys, turkeys, and dogs, but can also transform into more powerful jaguars and pumas.
Werehyenas, werecats, weredogs, etc.
Kitsune - Foxes that have the ability to shape shift into men or women. They are a type of Yōkai and often have great abilities/power.
Wulver - The wulver kept to itself and was not aggressive if left in peace. Unlike most werewolves the Wulver is not a shapeshifter and is not, nor was it ever, a human being.
Huli Jing - A fox spirit. In Chinese mythology, it is believed that all things are capable of acquiring human forms, magical powers, and immortality, provided that they receive sufficient energy, in such forms as human breath or essence from the moon and the sun.
Kumiho - Deriving from ancient Chinese myths and folklores, a fox that lives a thousand years turns into a kumiho. They often feed on the heart and liver of those they seduce.
Barghest - In Northern English folklore, the Barghest or Barguest , is a mythical monstrous black dog with huge teeth and claws.
Nguruvilu - A water fox spirit with a long body much like a snake’s.
Will-o-wisp - Often described as a little orb of light or ghost light.
Oni - Depictions of oni vary widely but usually portray them as hideous, gigantic ogre-like creatures with sharp claws, wild hair, and two long horns growing from their heads. They are humanoid for the most part, but occasionally, they are shown with unnatural features such as odd numbers of eyes or extra fingers and toes. Their skin may be any number of colors, but red and blue are particularly common.
Inugami - A dog-spirit created, worshiped, and employed by a family via sorcery.
Bakeneko - A shape-shifting cat.
Futakuchi-onna - The two-mouthed woman.
Kappa - A famous water monster with a water-filled head and a love of cucumbers.
Kasa-obake - A possessed paper umbrella monster.
Jiangshi - Chinese mythology, known as the hopping vampire.
Nekomata - A cat yokai.
Rokurokubi – A person, usually female, whose neck can stretch indefinitely.
Tsukumogami - Tsukumogami are animate household objects.
Brownie - Benevolent household spirit.
A cambion is most often depicted as the offspring of an incubus or succubus and a human.
Changeling - Humanoid child (fairy, elf, troll, etc.) substituted for a kidnapped human child
Cat Sidhe/Cat sìth - Fairy cat, but also commonly believed to be a witch that could turn into a cat nine times.
Dhampir - Human/vampire hybrid.
There’s a lot more mythological creatures and creatures of folklore than this, but I was up late on this and I’ve decided it’s long enough.
This word gets overused so much in the animal behavior world lately (thank you soooooo much Cesar Milan, Parelli’s, etc etc etc…). Even I probably throw it around because we’re all just so used to hearing it, seeing it, and saying it now - but it is being used wrong. It has been used to package animal training into a way that is simple, effective (for the wrong reasons!), and most importantly feeds the human ego. My horse literally tried to kick me out of her paddock today, but I still say she is NOT “dominant” - that would be a complete misnomer, and a huge oversimplification of what is really going on here.
Social dynamics among animals are not as simple as “I am in charge always!” the way lots of gimmick-peddling fad-trainers would like to tell us. The word “dynamic” is literally defined as a state of constant change, activity, or progress. Every day, every minute, animals are interacting and the group dynamic is evolving accordingly. Just like people! No one horse is “in charge” just because they were born a “lead horse” or “dominant horse”. There is no innate gene or personality trait that dictates which horse is the boss. It’s how they all behave in relation to each other and their environment at any given time.
Ok. So if a horse who likes to guard her food with bared teeth, shove people over with her shoulders, kick at anyone who sets foot in her paddock, rear in response to lead rope cues, and is persistent in all this despite constant training and correction isn’t “dominant”… what the heck is going on here?
She’s smart. Well, street-smart, as horses go, because there are different kinds of “smart”. She has a good sense of self preservation, and strong primal instincts. It’s not that she feels the innate, god-given right to be the boss. It’s that she knows someone has to be, and if she as a 2-year-old can kick my ass then I sure as hell won’t keep her safe when pumas descend on us! Some horses, even from a very early age, don’t feel the need to double check our abilities as herd-guardian this often. In a barn that’s great - we like our horses to trust us. In the wild, well. Those are the horses the pumas would make off with in the night.
So she’s not “dominant”. She’s not trying to “dominate” me, and she doesn’t want me to “dominate” her. What she is doing is checking to see that I am competent, and that she is safe. It’s not a demand for power, it’s a question. “Can you handle this? Because I’m pretty sure pumas are worse.” “Are you suuuure you’re worthy of controlling the resources? Because if I can steal them from you so can pumas.” “Forget pumas - that other horse from that other paddock might come eat all our hay. He’s bigger than BOTH OF US! How will you address this if elected???”
I am the Hilary Clinton to her Bernie-obsession. Deep down she knows I’m the most practical option, but she really really wants to cling to her jaded millennial skepticism and engage in pointless rebellion by just not voting (or, you know, by biting me even though all I did was fill her water bucket). Smacking her, waving sticks, being a Republican - this will only teach such a horse that I am one more threat that she should be aware of. And with no allies left, this is how horses start to shut down under the pressure of actually being their own keeper (as they see it) 24/7.
So what does work? A consistent routine of care so she knows food and shelter are available, simple training with positive reinforcement to help her feel successful, obedience exercises like in-hand work and basic lunging, and simple corrections when she displays these aggressive “check-ins” (I use backing her up or a few steps of side pass as a correction, getting her to move her feet and give me space) have done wonders to improve her behavior.
Most important is PATIENCE. These are deeply rooted primal instincts, and again, she is smart. I can’t just tell a horse like this anything - I have to convince her.