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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Water Legends

In Greek mythology, Scylla (pronounced /ˈsɪlə/,sil-uh; Greek: Σκύλλα, Skulla)[1] was a monster that lived on one side of a narrow channel of water, opposite its counterpartCharybdis. The two sides of the strait were within an arrow's range of each other—so close that sailors attempting to avoid Charybdis would pass too close to Scylla and vice versa.

Scylla was a horrible sea monster with six long necks equipped with grisly heads, each of which contained three rows of sharp teeth. Her body consisted of twelve tentacle-like legs and a cat's tail and with four to six dog-heads ringing her waist. She was one of the children of Phorcys and either Hecate, Crataeis,Lamia or Ceto (all of whom may be various names for the same goddess). Some sources, including Stesichorus cite her parents as Triton and Lamia.

Traditionally the strait has been associated with the Strait of Messina between Italyand Sicily, but more recently this theory has been challenged, and the alternative location of Cape Scilla in northwest Greece has been suggested by Tim Severin.[2]

The phrase "between Scylla and Charybdis" (popularly reworded "between a rock and a hard place") has come to mean being in a state where one is between two dangers and moving away from one will cause you to be in danger from the other.



Nils Johan Olsson Blommér
(1816–1853) was a Swedish painter. Blommér's best known works are based on
Norse mythology and folklore.
Näcken och Ägirs döttrar (
The Water-Sprite and Ägir's Daughters)1850.

Water plays an important role in many legends and myths. There are mythological water beings and gods, stories of heroes that have something to do with water, and even stories of isles and continents lost below the surface.



Fosse grim
According to Scandinavian mythology, Fosse grim was a water spirit that played enchanted songs on the violin, luring women and children to drown in lakes and streams. However, in some stories he is depicted as a harmless creature, simply entertaining men, women and children with his songs. According to myth Fosse grim even agreed to live with a human that fell in love with him, but he supposedly left after some time because he could not live away from a water source too long.


Dragon Kings
Dragon Kings were believed by the Chinese to consist of four separate dragons, each of which ruled over one of the four seas in the north, east, south and west. These Dragon Kings could shape-shift to human form, and lived in crystal palaces guarded by shrimps and crabs.

Kappas
Kappas are presumably intelligent water spirits in Japanese mythology. They are monkey-like creatures with saucer-shaped heads, long noses, and a yellowish-green skin. Kappas are said to lure children to the water and pull them under, feeding on their blood. Their main weakness is that their heads are filled with water, and when this is spilled they lose their powers.

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