Saturday, March 9, 2013

Friday’s Mythological Creature of the Day – Muse

In honor of the International Women’s Day, this article is devoted to Muses, the Greek Goddesses, the benefactors of the arts and the sciences.  Today they are known as the nine sisters, daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (the Titan, personifying Remembrance). They are usually portrayed as young beautiful women, dancing or playing different musical instruments.

Each muse has her own domain and emblem (X / Y below). Their names are:

Calliope (Epic poetry / Writing Tablet, Wind). Fair-voiced. She is the first-born of the Muses, and the most powerful one, associated with the Tarot card of the Hermit. Her Anathemas are the Discordant Sounds.

Clio (Cleio) (History / Scrolls, Pens, Memory, Bards). The Proclaimer associated with the Tarot card of Justice. Her Anathemas are lies, blemishes and injustice.

Erato (Love Poetry / Cithara (a musical instrument like a lyre), Bow and Arrow).  Romantic Love, associated with the Tarot card of the Lovers. Anathemas: Magic used to destroy love.

Euterpe (Song and Elegiac Poetry / Aulos (a musical instrument like a flute). Giver of pleasure associated with the Tarot cards of the Magician and the Fool. Her Anathema is Refusal to Enjoy the Gifts of Life.

Melpomene (Tragedy / Sad Mask of the twin harlequins representing tragedy in theater). The Singer, associated with the Tarot cards of the Chariot, the Moon and the Temperance. Anathema: Frivolity – she prefers those in deep contemplation.

Polyhymnia (Hymns and Pantomime  / Veil, halos, all sacred books, reborn deities, sacred music). She is of Many Hymns, associated with the Tarot card of the High Priestess. Anathemas: Those who use her gifts without honoring their sacred source.

Terpsichore (Dance / Lyre). She is the Whirler, associated with the Tarot cards of Tower, Death or Change. Anathemas: Those who do not help themselves but want others to do for them.

Thalia (Comedy / The Laughing Mask of the twin harlequins representing comedy in the theater). The Flourisher, associated with the Tarot cards of the Chariot, the Sun and the World. Anathemas: Sadness – she cannot abide by those who refuse to enjoy.

Urania (Astronomy / Celestial Globe and Compass of Heavens) The Heavenly One, associated with the Tarot card of the Wheel of Fortune ( Sorry, Vanna White ;-)). Anathemas: Those who do not seek the answers that lie before them.

Some sources reveal that there were only three original muses Melete (Experience), Mnene (Memory, Remembering) and Aoide (Song) who in the beginning were worshiped by twin giants, the Aloadai. They were the ones attributed with the founding of the cult of Muses on Mt. Helikon. A poet Mimnerm proclaimed that there were two sets of muses (the elder ones -- daughters of Uranius (sky) and Gaia (earth) and the younger ones – the daughters of Zeus). But multiple scholars of antiquity, including Hesiod and Homer, agree that the correct number of Muses is nine.
The Muses lived on the mountain Helikon singing and praising all the generations of Gods and Goddesses: Gaia, Chronos, Ocean, Night, Helios, Zeus and his family, thus, connecting past and present. They were believed to know the past and to see the future. But at the same time, they love meddling in the affairs of the humans. They are the benefactors of musicians, writers, artists, bestowing their gifts upon them, inspiring the creative minds, advancing the civilization.
Have you ever thought that the words “muse” and “museum” are related? Indeed, they are! Many Enlightenment figures sought to re-establish a "Cult of the Muses" in the 18th century. A famous Masonic lodge in pre-Revolutionary Paris was called Les Neuf Soeurs ("the nine sisters", that is, the nine Muses) - Voltaire, Benjamin Franklin, Danton, and other influential figures of the time attended it. As a side-effect of this movement the word "museum" (originally, "cult place of the Muses") came to refer to a place for the public display of knowledge. (from Wikipedia)

So, I’d better go and call upon my Muse for inspiration to write the next chapter of the second book about Tessa and her Guardian Angel and Demon. If you haven’t read 2.18 yet, here is the link: 2.18

That’s it for today. Come back soon and spread the word.


Thursday, March 7, 2013


May it be filled with joy, laughter and happiness! Today is ours to celebrate and... every other day too!!!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Friday’s Mythological Creature of the Day – Brownie

Brownies or brounies are mythological creatures from English/Scottish folklore, comparable to the Scandinavian tomte, the Slavic domovoi and the German Heinzelmännchen. The first mentions of Brownies are found in the documents of the 16th century where they are described as small humanoid creatures with wrinkled faces, covered in short brown fur and wearing deep-brown clothes. Brownies are considered to be household creatures, but are also known to live in dead trees and forgotten dilapidated dwellings. Sometimes Brownies become very loyal to a certain family, generation after generation, and move with them from house to house, but typically, they are loyal to the house itself ( you know, like Maesters in Game of Thrones – they were loyal servants of a Castle, no matter which king wannabe claimed its possession at this or that point of time).
Brownies are known to be friendly creatures. When they are treated with respect, appreciation and timely treats (although some sources point that any type of a reward for the job well done could be considered offensive to them), Brownies enjoy helping the families they’ve adopted with running the household. It is considered lucky when a family has a Brownie’s help. Brownies enjoy cleaning the house (I wish I could befriend one to help out with the inevitable spring cleaning ;-)), mending socks quietly at night, washing that tea cup you left in the sink, gathering the clothes you left on the floor and folding it neatly. They pride themselves on running the household in a proper manner and probably giggle quietly and roll their eyes at their adopted family’s inability to handle such seemingly easy pleasurable tasks on their own. Their passion for order and tidiness doesn’t stop by the walls of the house. Brownies are known with helping milking the cows, tending the bees, and harvesting as well. In Scotland, they are also responsible for helping with brewing the perfect ale. Brownies are mostly nocturnal creatures and prefer not to be seen, but some are known to become advisers and a shoulder to lean on in difficult situations to those whom they love.
However, when one offends a Brownie, he might wish to leave the household immediately. Evil pranks, poltergeist-like behavior and cruel mischiefs would be the Brownie’s revenge. The Brownie will go all Boggart at you! ;-) And that’s not a good thing.  (BTW, It’s not like Humphrey Bogart, it’s more like a malevolent creature trying to get you by crawling into your bed and covering your mouth with its clammy hand. Yikes!)
So, next time when you see the Girl Scouts selling cookies, you’d better buy a pack from them. After all, their junior branch is named after these legendary creatures, and your support  will get you some “brownie points” as well.
This is it for today!
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Friday, January 4, 2013

Friday’s Mythological Creature of the Day – Phoenix

Happy New Year! May all your dreams come true in 2013!
I thought it would be appropriate for the first article of the New Year to cover Phoenix (or phenix), a magical bird of the Greek myths that became a universal symbol of renewal and rebirth.
By some sources, Phoenix was first discovered in Ethiopia, but got its name from the Assyrians. Allegedly, Phoenix is a long-lived bird (some sources quote 500 years, some 1460years, and some 12,954 years). It looks similar to an eagle and has marvelous reddish-golden and flaming crimson feathers. Foreseeing its death fast approaching, Phoenix burns himself in its nest covered in aromatic herbs but immediately gets reborn in it.  Another version suggests that Phoenix dies breathing in an aroma of magical herbs, then a new bird gets born in its place and carries the body of its predecessor to Egypt, where the followers of a solar cult burn its body.
Phoenix is one of mythological creatures that are found in a world-wide culture. One can easily trace its relation to an Egyptian Bennu (a bird that created itself from a fire that was burning on a holy tree near a temple of Ra and associated with resurrection and Sun. Bennu is depicted as a heron). A Persian Simurgh or Arabic Angha – a winged , creature resembling a peacock, sometimes  portrayed with a head of a dog and claws of a lion, sometimes with a human female face . There is a great article about it on Wikipedia: A Hindu Garuda (for those of you who follow the show on SyFy “The Lost Girl”, I recommend the article here: It will give you a glimpse on a relationship of Garudas and Nagas).
There are also traces to the Chinese FengHuang, Japanese Ho-Oh and Russian Finist and Firebird (a bird with glowing plumage of red, orange and golden). When I was growing up in Russia, the fairy-tale of the Prince Ivan, the Fire Bird and the Grey Wolf was one of my most favorite ones. Here it is:

Phoenix has been adopted by the early Christianity as a symbol of resurrection as well. It’s also became very popular emblem in heraldry. Both Elizabeth I and Mary, the Queen of Scotts used it as their emblems.
The city of Phoenix in Arizona has it on its flag and seal as well. Originally named Pumpkinville (due to the abundance of large pumpkins, growing along the canals) the city was named Phoenix per the suggestion of Lord Darrel Duppa, “as it described a city born from the ruins of a former Hohokam civilization”.
That is all for today. Come back soon and spread the word.
Happy New Year! Happy new beginnings!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wish you lots of love, health, wealth and happiness in 2013! May all your dreams come true!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

10 Favorite Quotes from the Movie “The Last Holiday"

    (Whispering) This is a secret. When I’m feeling down, tired or plain sick -- I watch the movie “The Last Holiday”. It never fails to put a smile on my face and give a kick in the butt. I love the story, I love the characters; and the movie always manages to pull me back to NOW. The very moment I am in.
Here are my 8 favorite quotes, in no particular order.

1)      You wait and you wait for somethin' big to happen... and then you find out you gon' die.
2)      Next time... we will laugh more, we'll love more; we just won't be so afraid
3) Chef Didier: You and I, we know the secret to life… it's butter.
4)      I would like to be cremated. I spent my whole life in a box. I don't want to be buried in one. Georgia May Byr
5)  “You know how it is. You keep your head down and you hustle and hustle. Then you  look up one day and wonder, “How did I even get here?”
          6) HMO Administrator: The cost of a median cranial debulking surgery is around $340,000. That's without anesthesia You'll want that.
          7) Georgia Byrd: I really wanted to meet you. And I shoulda ate that. I shoulda ate all that stuff. Especially that. Shoulda put my foot in that.
         8) Chief Didier: The start is not nearly as important as the finish.

What would you do if you knew less than a month to live? Would you like to know when you are going to die? What are your “pick-me-up” or inspirational movies? What helps you to relax and get yourself back at a track you’ve chosen for yourself?
This is it for today.
Come back soon and spread the word.
Aglaya Moroz

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday's Mythological Creature of the Day -- Sisyphus

You’ve probably heard an expression “Sisyphean task”, meaning endlessly laborious or futile work. Maybe you even felt like Sisyphus, a character from a Greek myth. You wake up, feed the kids, send them to school, get to the office, work your butt off, run errands, cook dinner for the family, stare at the TV and go to bed. The day passes only to repeat itself tomorrow, again and again. Like Queen Latifah’s character said in the movie “The Last Holiday”: “You know how it is. You keep your head down and you hustle and hustle. Then you look up one day and wonder, “How did I even get here?” If that sounds familiar – Congratulations! Now you can understand how Sisyphus felt after the Greek Gods punished him for trying to outsmart Zeus himself.

After his death and the second and final journey to the Kingdom of the Underworld (more about that later), Sisyphus was made to roll a huge boulder up a steep mountain. Just as he’d reach the top, the massive stone would always roll back down, forcing him to begin again, consigning Sisyphus to an eternity of useless efforts and frustration. That’s why today pointless or interminable activities are sometimes described as Sisyphean.
Have the Gods been unfair to Sisyphus? Was he just an innocent victim? What possibly could he have done to deserve such a horrible fate? Well, innocent he was not…  A deceitful, murderous trickster, who ignored the laws of the people and Gods, yes, he was that, indeed.
See, Sisyphus was a son of Aeolus and Enarete. He was the founder and the first kin of Ephyra, married to a beautiful nymph Merope, who brought him four sons (by the way, some myths also consider Sisyphus to be the birth father of Odysseus, who inherited his father’s wits).Instead of thanking Gods for his fortunes and ruling his lands mercifully, Sisyphus killed travelers and guests, breaking the sacred laws of hospitality. He tattled on Zeus to the river God Asopus of whereabouts of his daughter Aegina, ruining Zeus’s plans for having a good time. He seduced his own niece Tyro, who slayed the children she bore from Sisyphus, once she realized he was planning to use them to dethrone her father. He tricked a Goddess of Death Thanatos and got her chained in the Underworld, and because of that for several years nobody could die.
When Sisyphus finally passed away, and his soul moved to the Underworld like all the other normal souls, somehow he managed to wiggle his way out of the situation. He persuaded Persephone to temporarily free him, so he could punish his wife, who left his dead naked body in the middle of a public square instead of giving him a proper burial (per his own request). Once he got back to the world of living and had a celebratory feast with his wife, happily giggling about the successful implementation of his devious plan, Sisyphus refused to go back and had to be forcibly dragged there by a very irate Hermes.

Check out these resources:
That’s it for today. Come back soon and spread the word!