A - Z of Mythological Creatures ('Just B')
I hail thee all...(I’m trying to
talk like some ancient warrior from some mythological tale)...you know, like Achilles or Hercules or someone...
When I wrote on the ‘A’ part of Mythological creatures, I didn’t think I was gonna go as far as I did. I didn’t plan to, really. But even as I’m about to start with ‘B’ there’s music blaring in my loud speakers (probably driving my neighbours nuts too!); music from the great Kasabian and it’s so killing me, taking me to heights...that song Fire! I have no words for it.
Kasabian Songs To Get You In The Mood
For some reason, not unrelated to the music penetrating my creative subconscious platform, I know that I’m going to do more pages than the last one (5 pages). And I know that I’ll be only able to do just ‘B’, much unlike I planned.
These were the female devotees of the Roman god, Bacchus - god of wine and ecstasy. I mean, what more can I say? A god of wine and ecstasy who has female devotees; what else do you think they are gonna do all day! C’mon!
Anyway, here’s how it goes with the Bacchae. They have these orgiastic rites (which is another word for really wild party) where they dance like mad, vibrating like crazy and all, I’m guessing with their harps and cymbals – you know, whatever counts for their rock band in those days. And they keep going hard like this till the spirit of Bacchus possesses them.
The thing is, the Bacchae are the roman version of an older cult called the Maenads of the Greeks. It’s a lot more interesting to talk about that, trust me. But that will by till I get to ‘M’. Sorry.
This is one of the immortal steeds (the other being Xanthus) of the great Greek warrior, Achilles. These steeds were said to possess the ability to speak, as well as the gift of prophecy. However, the Erinys, who are also known as The Furies or Kindly Ones (a misnomer) took away both abilities from them, so as not to be able to warn Achilles of his impending doom in the Trojan War; as well as not to be able to share any godly secrets with mere mortals.
If you ask me, Balius (and Xanthus) sucks, really! An immortal steed that can’t talk or give prophecy or anything? What’s so special or immortal about that! Absolutely nothing, that’s what!
Ordinarily speaking, a banshee is a fairy woman. Its origins are from ancient Irish/Celtic folklore. The thing with the Banshee is that she can wail like mad – I mean cry, like a lamentation. And whenever the Banshee cries like this it, it can only mean one thing – and trust me, you don’t wanna know what. I mean it’s sad as hell. Humph! Okay, fine, if you hear the Banshee crying then it means that someone in your family is gonna die. There, now you have it. You made me say it!
It’s bad luck to hear the Banshee cry. No kidding.
We are hardly ever told of male banshees; banshees are almost always female. Don’t ask me why. I guess the idea of male fairies crying their eyes out all the time never appealed to the gods back in the day. Lol.
Seriously though, the Banshee are said to only foretell death, and are never the cause of it. But I say, hell no. It does look mighty suspicious to me if someone drops dead not long after they cry. But that’s just me talking, forget it. I’m not blaming the Banshee or anything. I’m just saying, that’s all.
The Banshee are also said to have long flowing black hair, and pale cheeks, you know always walking around with a sad ol’face. And O yes! Their eyes are always red as hell. You know, by reason of the fact that they cry their eyes out all the damn time.
No one can really say for sure if they’re pretty or anything. But one thing’s for sure, they’re always dopey-faced and weepy as hell, ‘cause they always know about the death of someone, and it saddens the hell out of them. Imagine that - perpetually carrying the burden that comes with the knowledge of someone’s impending death, and not being able to do a damn thing about it. If that doesn’t make you wanna break down and cry your eyes out, nothing will. No kidding!
I’m a madman, really! A name like Baphomet kills me. It sounds so evil. And I like evil things. No, that didn’t come out right. I’ll scratch what I just said, except that it rather looks funny now that I look at it. So I’ll leave it. I’m having a ball writing this – you can’t imagine.
Anyway, Baphomet as a concept has always intrigued me, because it calls to remembrance the Knights Templar. I love stories about the Knights. So the stuff about Baphomet is that no one knows for sure the origin of the name. A lot of scholars have made their assumptions, none of them worthy of note, anyway. But the word appeared as the name of a pagan idol in trial transcripts of the Inquisition of the Knights Templar in the early 1300s. However in the 19th century the term became linked to a ‘Sabbatic’ goat image drawn by one Eliphas Lѐvi (a French occultist and magician)
One could write a whole book on the Knights Templar and their inquisitions into Baphomet. However, it was said that Baphomet was a form that the devil took so that the Knights Templar could worship him in disguise. If one studies the image of the Baphomet, one might tend to agree with that notion.
I’m I the only one thinking, what’s with all the grand mystery names, huh? Anyway, there’s nothing that mysterious about the Barometz. At least not like Baphomet – I can’t get over that one. Barometz is just a half-plant, half-animal creature for pete’s sake. What’s impressive about that? Nothing, nada, zilch, that’s what! If I had my way I would completely not talk about the Barometz, no kidding! But what a minute...I’m the writer ain’t I...sure, It’s up to me. It’s ALL up to me, for heaven’s sake! I’m a madman, I really am.
You know what makes it worse talking about this creature, Barometz? If it had to be a half-plant, half-animal, why not some interesting animal? Like a lion, or snake, or a frigging unicorn for pete’s sake, after all it is myth that we’re talking here! But it had to be a half sheep. A bah bah bah have you any frigging wool sheep! And speaking of wool, the medieval people thought that a plant couldn’t just start bearing wool out of nowhere, that at some point in the beginning of the ages, that there was a plant that actually bore a sheep, being the Barometz. And so you get the cotton from the plant-sheep. Dumb, huh? I know. But it was the medieval ages; they always came up with dumb stuff like that.
I’ve known about Basilisks from way back, even as a kid. But I never put much interest in them, beyond the natural fear we kids harboured for monsters from stories. Recently though, Basilisk always calls me to remember Harry Potter: The Chamber of Secrets. The monster that Harry Potter pierced its mouth through with a sword sent to him by a Phoenix (magical bird) – yeah right! Like an 11 year old boy would stand and battle a Basilisk, much less pierce it through with a sword. Harry Potter should have peed in his pants. That would have been more realistic. Hilarious, yes, but realistic nonetheless. That stuff with Harry Potter piercing the Basilisk killed me.
There I go yapping away. Gimme a topic like Mythological Creatures and I’ll keep going on and on. I can’t help myself. I’m like a frigging train running without a break, no kidding. I gotta go get me a drink, though...
(Interval for a drink)
Hey, I’m back. Sorry, I had to catch my breath. My mind is racing like a madman. Trying to conjure up the right words for the Basilisk – one of the most frightening creatures in all of mythology!
Originally, Basilisks were described to be giant snake-like monsters with large stingers on their tails. However, later stories started describing them as having the head of a chicken, the body of a reptile and still with the stinger on its tail. So I guess J.K. Rowling decided to combine a little bit of each description for her version of the Basilisk. Hers was a full-giant snake, with chicken’s crown on its head. Smart woman.
The madman stuff about a Basilisk is that its glance is deadly. So deadly it can kill a man, animal and even split rocks by a mere glance. Of course, I don’t know how a rock glances at it, but when the rock does, it shatters into pieces. It really does. It is even said that if the Basilisk glances at itself, like in a mirror it’ll die. So here’s the thing that’s gonna blow you away: the only thing immune to the glance of a Basilisk – even the Basilisk itself is not immune from its glance - I mean the only thing in the entire world that can withstand the mighty glance of a Basilisk is the great and terrible..........(musical fanfare plays).............weasel. Only the weasel can withstand the Basilisk. Yeah I know, disappointing. I thought so, too. Until I found out how the Weasel did it. So how does the little weasel do this...how? I’m sure you’re wondering. So I’m going to tell you; only if you say your pretty-please...so are you?
Okay, I heard you. Lol. The weasel withstands the Basilisk by no other means other than by its urine. Yeah, you read that. The weasel’s piss is a killer to the Basilisk. But that’s one thing with magical tales, right. Mighty creatures always have these little, tiny weakness. Check Achilles’ heel. Check even the Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy (played by Judy Garland, the Talented) pours water on the Witch of the West and she melts. That stuff killed me as kid. That’s how it always is with these tales. Watch the Mighty Ol’ Basilisk running or rather slithering the hell away from the little Weasel. It’s hilarious. And all the Weasel does is scurry into the hiding place of the Basilisk, take a piss there and boom! The Basilisk dies. But the sad part is, the weasel dies too (the smell of his own damn piss suffocates him, too). A brave soldier if you ask me. It’s like in the damn movies when someone opens a grenade or some stupid explosive and jumps right in the midst of his enemies, all the while screaming, “DIEEEEEEEEEEEEE! YOU SONS OF BI#@*?” as the frame is depicted in slow motion, right before the whole place blows up into smithereens. Gawd! The movies can kill you, no kidding.
A lot of stuff have been said and written about the Basilisk; I could go on for days. But worthy of note is that Leonardo Da Vinci in his renowned notebooks said that the Basilisk had the ability not only to kill with its gaze, but also the ability to turn people into herbs and plants by fixing his gaze on them until they get all withered up. That’s still killing to me!
A eulogy to the Weasel (A Poem)
We hail thee, Good ol’ soldier, Weasel
He ventured forth in courage into the lair of the Terrible.
He made it not, but with himself took the life of the Horrible.
If tis not courage...where lies bravery?
For he took himself a portion with the Beast.
And with a piss did he slay the Wicked One.
He did not fear a glance, yea a deadly gaze did not he flee away from.
But with the liquid of his privates did he utterly demolish the Serpent;
And with the liquor of his loins he vanquished the Behemoth.
We hail thee, Good ol’ soldier, Weasel!
Just 'B' to be concluded...