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Mermaids

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Mermaids

Postby Witch13 » Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:20 pm

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Mermaids are female spirits of the sea, with an enchanting voice and rare beauty:)
Often in folklore sailors fall in love with them and sometimes its the other way around. They live in underwater kingdoms of pearly floors and amber walls.
Their song is said to be so beautifull that you lose yourself in it.
But Mermaids are not only beautifull they powefull too, creating storms and sinking ships.
In magic, mermaids are symbols of alluring beauty, transformation and great power.
lets talk about mermaid magic:)
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Re: Mermaids

Postby Melindrose » Fri Nov 19, 2010 2:48 pm

here are some facts from various pages.

The original source for this can be found here: http://mermaidssecrets.webs.com/mermaidhistory.htm

Ancient Near East

The first known mermaid stories appeared in Assyria, ca. 1000 BC. The goddess Atargatis, mother of Assyrian queen Semiramis, loved a mortal shepherd and unintentionally killed him. Ashamed, she jumped into a lake to take the form of a fish, but the waters would not conceal her divine beauty. Thereafter, she took the form of a mermaid—human above the waist, fish below—though the earliest representations of Atargatis showed her as a fish with a human head and legs, similar to the Babylonian Ea. The Greeks recognized Atargatis under the name Derketo. Prior to 546 BC, the Milesian philosopher Anaximander proposed that mankind had sprung from an aquatic species of animal. He thought that humans, with their extended infancy, could not have survived otherwise. This idea reappeared as the aquatic ape hypothesis in the twentieth century.[citation needed]

A popular Greek legend turns Alexander the Great's sister, Thessalonike, into a mermaid after she died.[1] She lived, it was said, in the Aegean and when she encountered a ship, she asked its sailors only one question: "Is King Alexander alive?" (Greek: "Ζει ο Βασιλιάς Αλέξανδρος;"), to which the correct answer was: "He lives and reigns and conquers the world" (Greek: "Ζει και βασιλεύει και τον κόσμο κυριεύει"). This answer pleased her so she calmed the waters and wish the ship farewell. Any other answer would spur her into a rage. She would raise a terrible storm, with certain doom for the ship and every sailor on board.[2][3]

Lucian of Samosata in Syria (2nd century AD) in De Dea Syria ("Concerning the Syrian Goddess") wrote of the Syrian temples he had visited:

"Among them - Now that is the traditional story among them concerning the temple. But other men swear that Semiramis of Babylonia, whose deeds are many in Asia, also founded this site, and not for Hera Atargatis but for her own Mother, whose name was Derketo"
"I saw the likeness of Derketo in Phoenicia, a strange marvel. It is woman for half its length, but the other half, from thighs to feet, stretched out in a fish's tail. But the image in the Holy City is entirely a woman, and the grounds for their account are not very clear. They consider fishes to be sacred, and they never eat them; and though they eat all other fowls, they do not eat the dove, for she is holy so they believe. And these things are done, they believe, because of Derketo and Semiramis, the first because Derketo has the shape of a fish, and the other because ultimately Semiramis turned into a dove. Well, I may grant that the temple was a work of Semiramis perhaps; but that it belongs to Derketo I do not believe in any way. For among the Egyptians, some people do not eat fish, and that is not done to honor Derketo."[4]
Arabian Nights
The One Thousand and One Nights includes several tales featuring "Sea People", such as Djullanar the Sea-girl. Unlike the depiction in other mythologies, these are anatomically identical to land-bound humans, differing only in their ability to breathe and live underwater. They can (and do) interbreed with land humans, the children of such unions sharing in the ability to live underwater.

In another Arabian Nights tale, "Abdullah the Fisherman and Abdullah the Merman", the protagonist Abdullah the Fisherman gains the ability to breathe underwater and discovers an underwater submarine society that is portrayed as an inverted reflection of society on land, in that the underwater society follows a form of primitive communism where concepts like money and clothing do not exist. Other Arabian Nights tales deal with lost ancient technologies, advanced ancient civilizations that went astray, and catastrophes which overwhelmed them.[5]

In "The Adventures of Bulukiya", the protagonist Bulukiya's quest for the herb of immortality leads him to explore the seas, where he encounters societies of mermaids.[6] "Julnar the Sea-Born and Her Son King Badr Basim of Persia" is yet another Arabian Nights tale about mermaids. When sailors come the mermaids sing, and some men are led straight to their doom. If they follow the mermaids' lovely and beautiful voices, they do not know what they are doing or where they're going.

British Isles

Mermaids were noted in British folklore as unlucky omens – both foretelling disaster and provoking it.[7] Several variants of the ballad Sir Patrick Spens depict a mermaid speaking to the doomed ships; in some, she tells them they will never see land again, and in others, she claims they are near shore, which they are wise enough to know means the same thing. They can also be a sign of rough weather.[8]

Some mermaids were described as monstrous in size, up to 2,000 feet (610 m).[7]

Mermaids could also swim up rivers to freshwater lakes. One day, in a lake near his house, the Laird of Lorntie went to aid a woman he thought drowning; a servant of his pulled him back, warning that it was a mermaid, and the mermaid screamed after that she would have killed him if it were not for his servant.[9]

On occasion, mermaids could be more beneficent, teaching humans cures for disease.[10]

Some tales raised the question of whether mermaids had immortal souls answering in the negative.[11] The figure of Lí Ban appears as a sanctified mermaid, but she was a human being transformed into a mermaid; after three centuries, when Christianity had come to Ireland, she came to be baptized.[12]

Mermen were noted as wilder and uglier than mermaids, but they were described as having little interest in humans.[13]

In Scottish mythology, there is a mermaid called the ceasg or "maid of the wave".[14]

Warsaw Mermaid

The mermaid, or syrenka, is the symbol of Warsaw.[15] Images of a mermaid symbolized Warsaw on its crest since the middle of the 14th century.[16] Several legends associate Triton of mythology with the city, which may have been the mermaid association's origin.[17]
[edit] Other

Among the Neo-Taíno nations of the Caribbean the mermaid is called Aycayia.[18][19] Her attributes relate to the goddess Jagua, and the hibiscus flower of the majagua tree Hibiscus tiliaceus.[20] In the modern Caribbean the mermaid is found as Haitian Vodou Lwa La Sirene (literally, 'the mermaid') who is lwa of wealth and beauty and the orisha Yemaya. Examples from other cultures are the Mami Wata of West and Central Africa, the Jengu of Cameroon, the Merrow of Ireland and Scotland, the Rusalkas of Russia and Ukraine, the Iara from Brazil and the Greek Oceanids, Nereids, and Naiads. One freshwater mermaid-like creature from European folklore is Melusine, who is sometimes depicted with two fish tails, and other times with the lower body of a serpent. It is said in Japan that eating the flesh of a ningyo can grant unaging immortality. In some European legends mermaids are said to be unlucky.[citation needed]

Mermaids and mermen are also characters of Philippine folklore, where they are locally known as sirena and siyokoy, respectively.[21] The Javanese people believe that the southern beach in Java is a home of Javanese mermaid queen Nyi Roro Kidul.
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Re: Mermaids

Postby Witch13 » Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:28 pm

Mermaids are symbols of beauty and allure. And their energy can be incorporated in spells.
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Re: Mermaids

Postby Melindrose » Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:29 pm

And what about the underwater cities that are dated to before there was a civilization that would have that sort of city. Check out: http://www.history.com/shows/ancient-aliens
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Re: Mermaids

Postby JuniperBerry » Fri Nov 19, 2010 8:16 pm

The Dugong is a species of animal that may have spawned the first myths of merpeople, along with the belief in ocean deities.

Dugongs

It's easy to imagine early man spotting one of these creatures and believeing that they were 'people' of the sea. The skeleton of a dungong is somewhat similar to ours, and if found on a beach, a creative mind could easily think it a skeleton of a sea person.


Skeleton


Of course, I also think the soul recognizes unusual things. That if praying to a god while at sea, and seeing a Dugong (which looks humanoid) immediately after, it's easy to imagine it as a sign or a meaning. I think the gods talk to us and reach us in ways that have meaning for us, that we will feel even if others look at us like we're crazy. But it's also good to recognize that merpeople don't exist, the dugong isn't a god, and that the spiritual is fluid and not to be taken literally.
The Gods we worship write their names on our faces; be sure of that. A person will worship something, have no doubt about that. We may think our tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of our hearts, but it will out. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson



As believers in the folk-religion we are studying, we seek after mysteries that expand the scope of our gods and our understanding of them, not reductionist theories that reduce them to manageable and socially productive "functions".

-Our Troth
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Re: Mermaids

Postby Witch13 » Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:39 am

When a witch believes in fairies and ghosts, why is it so hard to believe in mermaids?
People make fun of witches, saying magic isnt real so of all the people we witches should at least keep a second thought on what might exist out there.
Maybe mermaids arent real but there are people who believe in them.
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Re: Mermaids

Postby JuniperBerry » Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:54 am

Witch13 wrote:When a witch believes in fairies and ghosts, why is it so hard to believe in mermaids?


I believe in Wights, but I don't believe them to actually be small little men that have managed to go unseen for centuries. I think it's a spiritual being that I can neither see nor truly comprehend. If anyone showed me a picture of a supposed Wight I would automatically disbelieve it and find the reasons why I should. Not because I don't have faith or I'm closed-minded, but because I know that a corporeal form is not the nature of the Wight.

People make fun of witches, saying magic isnt real so of all the people we witches should at least keep a second thought on what might exist out there.


The purpose of paganism, and any religion, is to understand our world and the purpose of god and ourselves. In just the last century we have made tremendous leaps in understanding science and our Uinverse. We shouldn't even use the word magic anymore, IMO, we should bring paganism to modernity, where it always longed to be, and study metaphysics and quantam mechanics. These are the things our ancestors would be doing whether pagan or christian.

Maybe mermaids arent real but there are people who believe in them.


A good example is the heart. It's understood spiritually as an organ of love and desire, we say it breaks, that it's full, that it aches. We imagine it looks like this '<3'. In reality, the heart is an ugly organ that pumps blood. Same with fairies, dwarfs, wights, elves. We understand them spiritually to be cute little pixies hopping from flower to flower, but in reality we don't know what they are, but have an idea that there some unseen essence of living nature. You have to be able to make that distinction. There's nothing wrong with believing in the incomprehendable, or the divine but you have to make an effort to understand the spiritual and natural reality. Time and time again people think that to find the 'magical' or 'spiritual' they have to look outside our everyday world. It's our everyday world that is magical and spiritual. Sure, a dugong is probably the mermaid and is metaphorically that ugly, blood-pumping heart, but someone, somewhere may have had a spiritual moment in which the dugong was present and now the dugong has become the mermaid (or this <3). It's representative of a spiritual event, not spiritual in and of itself.

People can go out in the ocean and sit and wait to see an actual mermaid, hoping to have some sort of spiritual awakening or moment...and they miss the 'real' mermaid...the dove that lands and looks at you funny, the cloud that crosses across the sunset- any event that would have touched your soul meaningfully. That is what a mermaid ( as metaphor) is. And the same goes with fairies. If your sitting in the woods waiting to see a little, winged girl you'll miss the deer grazing behind you, the whisper of the leaves, the true 'fairy'.
The Gods we worship write their names on our faces; be sure of that. A person will worship something, have no doubt about that. We may think our tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of our hearts, but it will out. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson



As believers in the folk-religion we are studying, we seek after mysteries that expand the scope of our gods and our understanding of them, not reductionist theories that reduce them to manageable and socially productive "functions".

-Our Troth
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Re: Mermaids

Postby Melindrose » Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:03 pm

::darkmood:: I never said that the photos on the sight were real but who's to say that mermaids aren't or weren't real? If you watched the episodes with an open mind, it suggests that maybe there were actually mer-people; why else would so many different cultures around the world have stories dating back to when they had no contact with each other.
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Re: Mermaids

Postby JuniperBerry » Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:52 pm

Here's an analogy to this. (I wish I could upload the full thing) A man plays a violin in the subway for 45 minutes, hardly anyone notices him, and he only makes 32 dollars. Turns out it was a social experiment. The man was Josh Bell, world renowned violinist, playing one of the hardest compositions known. Most of the people on the Subway would normally pay $100 per ticket to see him play. What the experiment showed was that people will ignore beauty in an unexpected environment and context.

They expected Josh Bell to be a "mermaid". People don't recognize beauty, lessons, meaning, impact and spiritual value in things outside of the perceptions they have of them and their environment. The physical form of a mermaid isn't important. Her physical reality isn't important. People need to look at the myths of the mermaid and find how it applies to the worldview of their beliefs.

For instance, Norse mythology also has dragon myths. Through intellectual study we have come to fnd the basis for these myths, and develop an understanding that our ancestors probably already had living in that mythology every day. Dragons were developed according to the North view of heroism and fame. A man could NOT inherit his father's gold or assests. It was shameful for a son to take what he didn't earn, and he was expected to earn his own fortune and name. This created a mythology about grave robbing. An ancestor was said to curse those who stole the grave goods, the gods were said to turn their backs on a grave robber. Eventually, through story-telling, this concept became romanticized into the dragon's treasure.

SO, as a heathen, believing in dragons isn't important to me. The lessons I have learned are, though, and they are how to conform to a heathen worldview and how to honor my gods and ancestors, to take pride in who I am, to be self-sufficient, to earn my way and make my own good reputation. In this way I am heathen. In this way I am walking with the gods.

What would a mermaid myth tell you about what was important to you and your gods? What is the social impact underneath it all? How were you expected to honor deity and what was the world-view? I posted a topic on Sleeping Beauty and the original saga behidn the tale, even. That original saga has reconstructive value as well because in it we see the importance of honor, revenge, social class etc. All the things that made up a heathen world-view in accordance with the beliefs in their gods.
The Gods we worship write their names on our faces; be sure of that. A person will worship something, have no doubt about that. We may think our tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of our hearts, but it will out. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson



As believers in the folk-religion we are studying, we seek after mysteries that expand the scope of our gods and our understanding of them, not reductionist theories that reduce them to manageable and socially productive "functions".

-Our Troth
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Re: Mermaids

Postby shadowx » Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:59 pm

With relevance to treating myths as what they are: myths and using their teachings i think it is a valid tool.

For example using "mermaid" energy in spells. This doesnt mean a mermaid is real, spiritually or physically, however what it does is give the weaver a set of traits that this energy has. For example mermaid energy would be:
Water based
Feminine
In tune with nature
In tune with tides/the moon
Welcoming
Gentle
Probably involve ties with sea plants and their supposed energies


With regards to dragons they would be masculine, pure power, fire, loyal, "good", strong, firm, a force to be reckoned with but with respect. Dragons dont exist of course, nor does "dragon" energy, however... A person invoking what they believe is dragon energy would have energy with those qualities purely because THEY made the energy that way, the dragons are irrelevant, it is the caster.
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Re: Mermaids

Postby Traumwandlerin » Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:15 pm

This forum is an intelligent place already, shadow. Of course intelligence is gaussian, and so it's here ;) (don't take this as a statement of any of the people involved in this thread, haven't read enough to do so). Everyone has it's unique way of processing with those things. Your approach is known to be scientif and analytic, that's fine, other people use different approaches, don't blame them. JuniperBerry, you for an example use the mythological approach and as far as I can judge this, you do this with expertise. This is not my approach though, but I really value it :) So shadow, I really think this is not a matter of intelligence but a matter of approach, so don't insult people. Shadow, you are obviously not into folklore and mythology, so why even look in this subsection if you can't bring enough tolerance with you?

Also Shadow, you can make a difference with telling people the limits of their belief without saying they are stupid. You can say them the ways how this will not work and leave it open to others to think about ways how it cold work for themselves. Cause you can only say why you think or science think this will not work, you can't say with science things are not real only because you don't know how. About 200 hundred years ago people would have laughed about relativity and quantum mechanics, because people couldn't imagine that. If you use the scientific approach do it right. Just state what you know and nothing more. You know mermaids could not have bread due to the evolution theory? Know it's only a theory and one that is often misunderstood. You ask why no one tells stories about the mermens and children? Because noone is interested in them, cause they were only spotted by horny sailors :p

So scientific approach: Tell why you think the theory of the existence of the mermaids is wrong, tell the limits of your mental model.For example:
I really don't believe those exist, because they are quite huge and were spotted by seamen but never by all those observing cameras? Even though it's said they even live in rivers and not only the deep sea? This really raises doubt in myself. I can't believe they have a real physically existance, cause I can't imagine any theory how they could have developing. What were their ancestors? Do they relate to the homo sapiens? When did they both split up or was it a parallel evolution? I can't say anything about their reality in any other planes. Maybe they are some spirits or maybe it's some archetype who lingers in the soul of lonely seamen. They definately have an origin and it would be interesting to know more about it. But I highly doubt we will find a corpse someday ;)
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Re: Mermaids

Postby Starwitch » Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:33 am

You guys are free to talk about Mermaids on this forum. That's the whole point of having a "Folklore and Myths" forum.

I removed the insulting posts so you can continue talking about mermaids. If something in this thread doesn't make total sense it's because part of the conversation was removed.

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Re: Mermaids

Postby unbreakablespirit » Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:27 pm

Thank you StarWitch.

I believe mermaids exist, yes, they are also mythical creatures often used in fairy tails such as 'Peter Pan', 'Harry Potter' ext. but, if mermaids are so unthinkable then answer this, who can be so creative enough that way back in time when thinking about the mixture of animals [Such as the liger, Tiger/Lion] was so 'outrageous'? If someone way back then mentioned something about men/woman living under water with gills and a tail the would think they've gone mad! Obviously no one in say anything about them unless if they truly believed in them so very long ago when rumor first came out. BUt then again I'm not saying there ARE real, I'm just saying I believe.
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Re: Mermaids

Postby WhiteOne » Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:35 am

I love the image of the mermaid-- partially because I was a young child when "The Little Mermaid" came out--but also because mermaid embodies the qualities I see in the sea. ( I will be using the terms "sea" and "ocean" interchangeably, because things like "sea stars" and "sea lions" live in the ocean as well--)
I have never lived away from the ocean. The closest I have lived was across the street and the farthest away was 15 miles.
The see is a paradoxical place. On one hand we have the birth of terrestrial beings coming from the ocean, and its plethora of mystery (the ocean is still very unknown to us--they have even discovered ecosystems that live independently from sunshine down there.) On the other hand, the ocean is a violent and destructive place. It overturns boats and drowns people. I live on the Pacific where it is cold and constantly crashing.
Mermaids are the embodiment of our wish to join the violent unknown. They are also distinctly feminine, just like (in my opinion)the ocean--which is also associated with the moon who controls the tides and is also often viewed as feminine due to the association of the menstrual cycle with the lunar cycle.
I also like the myth of Selkies. The Mermaid will remain one of those mythological beings which is definitely alive in my mind, just as the desire to swim among the sea anemones in the wild sea will always be alive as well.
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Re: Mermaids

Postby ScarlettRose » Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:05 pm

This is super interesting (:
I love mermaids & do believe in them! :D
Breathing in I feel gratitude; Breathing out I give thanks.
Breathing in I feel joyful; Breathing out I celebrate.
Breathing in I know compassion; Breathing I am compassion.
Breathing in I feel loved; Breathing out I offer love.
Breathing in I am still; Breathing out I am at peace.
Om.
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