On the shores of Lake Nemi there was a temple of Diana unique from other divine sanctuaries, in that the priest role was typically held by an escaped slave.
The legend goes, a runaway Slave of Rome might escape his master by serving as a priest of Diana, the Goddess of the Hunt, in her Lake Nemi temple. But to earn the office of priest, he must first kill his predecessor in single combat. And to keep it, he must remain ever vigilant of the next slave looking for freedom.
Also known as the Mysteres and The Invisibles. Lwa comes from the French word Les Lois meaning The Laws.
The Lwa are spirits, intermediaries for the Supreme Creator Bondye (from French Bon Dieu, meaning Good God.)
Each Lwa is distinct with a unique personality. They have their own likes and dislikes, their own sacred rhythms, sigils, objects, colours, songs and dances.
They belong to families or nanchons (nations), which are similar to pantheons.
For example the Rada family come from the West African kingdom of Dahomey (which is now in the country Benin), whereas the Kongo family comes from the Congo region of Central Africa.
Unlike other intermediary beings, such as angels, Lwa are not prayed to. They are summoned into a perisyle (ritual space) by either a hounagn/mambo (priest/priestess) or a bokor/caplata (male witch/female witch) and served.
During the ritual, the Lwa will mount (possess) one of the participants. The mounted ritualist is called a horse, and is ridden by the visiting Lwa. This process can sometimes appear violent with horses flailing and convulsing. It has been likened to when Evangelists are filled with the Holy Spirit, but depending on the rider there is the risk of self-harm.
Once mounted, the horse's demeanour and speech will take on the characteristics of the rider. The ritualist in charge will identify the Lew and give them objects they're associated with,, such as a cane and pipe for the Lwa Legba.
During their visit, the Lwa is served and given offerings, they may give help or advice before departing.
A Latin word meaning breastplate, Lorica is a type of prayer recited for protection. It comes from the early Christian monastic tradition, though some lorica may have older pagan roots and resemble charms used by pagans.
Brigit Bé Bithmaith / Brigit's Lorica (9th century) Irish
Fáeth Fiada / St Patrick's Breastplate (5th-8th century) Irish
Lorica of St Fursey (7th century) Irish
Alexander's Breastplate (10th -14th century) Welsh
Lorica of Gildas / Lorica of Loding
Lorica of Columba / Lorica of Mugron
Aldhelm’s Lorica (1st century) Saxon [Riddle]
An afterlife location, roughly translated to the field of reeds. It is similar to the Elysium fields in classic Greco-Roman mythology. Osirus is said to live there.
Located east of where the sun rises, Aalu is an archipelago of islands covered in reeds. Those whose hearts are judged favourably during the weighing of the heart are allowed to begin their journey to Aalu--a paradise where they may remain for all eternity.
But the weighing of the heart is only the first obstacle one must past in order to reach Aalu. The path is filled with perils and one must pass through many gates, each one guarded by dangerous demons.
Nerite is most commonly found among sailor folklore. He is the only son of Nereus and Doris, and brother to 50 sister (the Nereids). Nerite is an extremely attractive and charming youth, which unfortunately lead to him being turned into a shellfish.
There are two version of how the beautiful Nerite was turned into a shellfish.
In the first, the goddess of love herself, Aphrodyte fell for him. Prior to her ascension to Olympian, she lived in the sea where she became close with Nerite. When it came time for her to go, she asked Nerite to join her in Olympus. The only son of Nereus, wishing to stay with his family, refused. Not used to rejection, Aphrodite offered him wings if he'd come, but again he declined. So she did what any self-respecting love goddess does when spurned--turned him into a shellfish.
The second version, Nerites has again attracted the affection of a powerful god, but this time it is the God of the sea Posedion, and the love is reciprocated. Nerites became of of Posedion's charioteer and his quickness won the admiration of the sea's creatures. Unfortuntely, his beauty and athleticism also attracted the attention of Helios (personification of the sun). Helios wanted Nerite to be with him, and when his advances were spurned, turned him into a shellfish
Circles are believed to have protective properties because they lack corners. Corners are considered to be a type of thin place. where energy, supernatural entities, and people might pass through. By it's very nature therefore, circles serve as the perfect trap.
Celtic folklore: If you want to trap a druid, put him in a round room.
A term for supernatural thresholds. Thin places are an area where the veil of our reality are well....thin. It is believed energy, spirits, and sometimes people, can pass through these weakened areas and enter the bordering realm. Thin places can found where two parts meet, such as corners, a fork in a river, crossroads, and doorways.
Ascalabus son of Misme (also known as Abas son of Metaneira) was changed by the Greek goddess Demeter into a lizard.
While searching for her daughter Persephone in Attica, Demeter came to the small thatched roof cottage of an old peasant woman named Misme. Misme offered the goddess a sweet barley drink of barley (pennyroyal and barley groats), and Demeter accepted.
It was all going well until Misme's son Ascalabus mocked the goddess for drinking so much, so quick. He laughed at her and ordered for a cask to be brought up. In response to his rudeness, Demeter threw what remained of her drink in his face and turned the boy into a lizard.
Antoninus Liberalis (2 CE) Metamorphoses, Greek
Ovid (1 BCE - 1 CE) Metamorphoses, Latin/Roman
Abaeus is a surname of Apollo's. It's derived from the town of Abae in Phocis, where the god had a pretty rad temple.
"My suitor was the river Achelous,
who took three forms to ask me of my father:
a rambling bull once, then a writhing snake
of gleaming colors, then again a man
with ox-like face: and from his beard's dark shadows
stream upon stream of water tumbled down.
Such was my suitor"
~ Deianeira, Sophocles, The Trachinia
Achelous, god of fresh water, prince of all rivers, deity of the Achelous river, son of Gaia and Oceanus and father of the sirens. Often portrayed as a man-faced bull, sometimes with a serpent-like body. He is described as having long hair wreathed with reeds and has been depicted as both old and in his prime.
An important deity, invoked in prayers, sacrifices and oaths, Acheleous ran into trouble when Hercules became his rival for love.
Achelous sought to marry Deianira, daughter of the king of Calydon and famed beauty. But he wasn't the only suitor. To determine who would become Deianira's husband, The king held a contest of strength which attracted the attention of Hercules. During the match, Hercules broke off one of Archelous' horns (which later became the legendary cornucopia/horn of plenty) forcing him to surrender.
From Virgil's The Aeneid, Achates was the best friend of the Trojan Hero Aeneas.
Achates is renown for his loyalty and being a faithful companion.
Acestes was the son of a Trojan woman Egesta, and a Sicilian river deity named Crimisus.
When the Trojans refused to pay thanks to Poseidon and Apollo, whom helped them with their wall. The gods punished Troy by sending monsters to infest the city and devour it's citizens.
Egesta's father feared for his daughter's safety. He sent her to Sicily where she met the river god Crimisus and conceived the hero Acestes.
In Virgil's epic, The Aeneid, Jupiter shows favour to Acestes during a a trial of skill by setting aflame the arrow Acestes had shot.
Acestes went on to become one of the founders the Sicilian city of Segesta.
Absyrtus was a Colchian prince (modern day Georgia), grandson of Helios (sun god), and a younger brother of Medea--a sorceress who married the Greek hero Jason.
Apsyrtus had golden armour and a golden shield that reflected the sun's rays. To look upon him in his gear could cause eye pain. His weapon was a quivering spear and he drove the golden cart of his grandfather Helios. During the brother's war (between his father and uncle) he fought bravely on the frontline.
He was murdered by his own sister, Medea in the town of Tomi (Romania). In order to escape her father, Medea killed Absyrtus, sliced him up and scattered his pieces on the road. She'd hoped this would slow down her father, as he'd need to collect all the parts of his son in order to give a proper burial.
Welsh village located in the south-west on Isle of Anglesey. Former capital of the Kingdom of Gwynedd. Aberffraw (Aberffro in Welsh) is where Branwen ferch Llŷr (daughter of the Welsh Sea god) and Matholch (an Irish King) were married. During the wedding festivities, Branwen's half-brother, Efnysien maimed Matholwch's horses prompting the events described in the Mabinogi's second branch.
An ABCs of Gods, Myths, and Superstitions.