ITZCOLIUHQUI

Agustus 1, 2011 at 11:17 am (Uncategorized) ()

The Twisted Obsidian One, the God of the Curved Obsidian Blade. God of darkness and destruction. Blinded and cast down from the heavens, Itzcoliuhqui strikes out randomly at his victims.

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HUITZILOPOCHTLI

Agustus 1, 2011 at 11:17 am (Uncategorized) ()

God of war, son of Coatlicue. Principal god of the Aztecs. When Coatlicue became pregnant with Huitzilopochtli, her daughter Coyolxauhqui incited her brothers, the Centzon Huitznahua (the Four Hundred Stars) to destroy Coatlicue, because her pregnancy brought disgrace on the family. Still in the womb, Huitzilopochtli swore to defend his mother and immediately on being born put on battle armor and war paint. After defeating the Four Hundred Stars, Huitzilopochtli slew his sister and cast her down the hill at Templo Mayor where her body broke to pieces on striking the bottom. Priests at Templo Mayor killed prisoners in the same way, these sacrifices being replicas of mythical events designed to keep the daily battle between day and night and the birth of the God of War ever in the minds of the people. Often considered synonomous with QUETZALCOATL.

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EUEUCOYOTL

Agustus 1, 2011 at 11:16 am (Uncategorized) ()

The Old, Old Coyote. Associated with gaiety and sex. A god of spontaneity, of ostentatious ornament, of unexpected pleasure and sorrow. A trickster and troublemaker. Considered unlucky.

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CINTEOTL

Agustus 1, 2011 at 11:16 am (Uncategorized) ()

The corn god, the giver of food, god of fertility and regeneration. Cinteotl is protected by the rain gods Tlaloc and Chalchihuitlcue.

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COATLICUE

Agustus 1, 2011 at 11:15 am (Uncategorized) ()

Earth monster. In the darkness and chaos before the Creation, the female Earth Monster swam in the waters of the earth devouring all that she saw. Wehn the gods Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca decided to impose form upon the Earth, they changed themselves into serpents and struggled with the Earth Monster until they broke her in two. Coatlicue’s lower part then rose to form the heavens and her upper part descended to form the earth. Coatlicue has an endless, ravenous appetite for human hearts and will not bear fruit unless given human blood.

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CHALCHIHUITLCUE

Agustus 1, 2011 at 11:14 am (Uncategorized) ()

Lady Precious Green, wife of Tlaloc. Goddess of storms and water. Personification of youthful beauty, vitality and violence. In some illustrations she is shown holding the head of Tlazolteotl, the goddess of the witches, between her legs. Chalchihuitlcue is the whirlpool, the wind on the waters, all young and growing things, the beginning of life and creation.

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THE CONQUEST BY THE GODS

Agustus 1, 2011 at 11:08 am (Uncategorized) (, )

The Conquest by the Gods

The Tuatha De Danann was the third group to invade Ireland. This third conquest is one of the most mysterious and probably most important of the all the invasions.

The Tuatha De Danann, Children of Danu, is remembered today as the gods of Ireland. There is also evidence to support that they were also the old gods of the greater Celtic community in prehistoric Europe. They were also direct descendants of Nemed, who had left Ireland and settled in the northern islands of Greece. There they had learnt the arts of druidism in which they had become very skilled.

They had fought on the side of the Athenians against the Philistines and had amazed everyone with their feats of magic, but eventually the Philistines became to great to overcome and the Tuatha De Danann fled.

Among the possessions they took with them there were four sacred objects: the Lia Fail, a stone which uttered a shriek at the inauguration of a rightful king; the invincible sword of Lugh; the deadly sword of Nuada and the ever-plentiful cauldron of the Dagda.

First the landed in Scotland but the land was so bleak that the life of the exiles was harsh, so the Tuatha De decided to claim the land they believed was rightfully theirs, Ireland.

They landed in secret at the festival of Beltain (1 May), the most sacred of all Celtic feasts. Once everyone had landed the boats were burnt so that, no matter what, they couldn’t run.

They conjured a darkness around themselves and moved about the country unnoticed. At Connacht they surprised the Fir Bolg into battle.

There were many fierce battles until the Fir Bolg admitted defeat. The Fir Bolg who survived the battles fled to islands on the coast. The final battle between the Tuatha De and the Fir Bolg is known as the First Battle of Moytura.

The Tuatha De could not claim Ireland yet, for the Fomorians still lived on Ireland and had their own claim to voice. This battle is told in the tale of the Second Battle of Moytura.

The Second Battle of Moytura

In the First Battle of Moytura the king of the Fir Bolg was slain and Nuada, the king of the Tuatha De, was severely injured when his arm was cut off at the shoulder. Diancecht the physician fashioned him an arm of silver to replace the one he lost. Unfortunately the law of the Tuatha De states that a king must be whole and unblemished, so Nuada lost his throne to a man named Eochaid Bres or Eochaid the Beautiful. Eochaid’s mother was of the Tuatha De but his father was a Fomorian, their chief. Eochaid knew nothing of this and was brought up by the Tuatha De.

When he was made king a wedding was arranged between him and Tailltiu, the widow of the dead Fir Bolg king. At the same time a marriage between Cian, son of Diancecht the physician, and Ethne, daughter of the great Fomorian warrior Balor.

Bres was made king on the condition that if the people were not happy with his rule he would abdicate.

It was not long before he began to favour the Fomorians and began to oppress the Tuatha De. Eventually the Tuatha De rebelled and reminded Bres of the condition. He agreed but begged to remain for seven years.

His request was granted and he used this time to gather the forces of the Fomorians to destroy the Tuatha De. It was during this time that he learnt who his father was, when his mother took him to the Fomorians and their chief acknowledged him.

It was also during this time that Nuada was healed. The skin around the false arm began to fester and so Nuada sent for Miach, another son of Diancecht, who was known to have great powers of healing. Miach examined Nuada and called for the flesh arm to be found. It was found and was put in place of the silver arm. Miach chanted, “Let this be joined sinew to sinew and nerve to nerve so that there is movement and feeling in every joint.” Nuada was healed in three days.

Diancecht became so jealous of Miach’s healing powers that he hit his son in the head with his sword. Miach was able to heal himself. Diancecht struck him again cut him to the bone and again Miach healed himself. Again Diancecht struck, this time to the brain and again he struck, destroying Miach brains too badly that even his powers were defeated. This was not the end for Miach’s powers though. When he was buried 365 herbs grew from his grave. His sister Airmid gathered them and sorted them, but again Diancecht’s jealousy got the better of him and he mixed them up. If it had not been for Diancecht’s jealousy the cure for every illness would be known.

As Nuada was healed, he was reinstated as king of the Tuatha De Danann. To celebrate this he held a feast at Tara. During the feast the doorkeeper saw a company approach led by a fair, young warrior in regal robes.

“Who are you and what is your purpose here?” asked the doorkeeper.

“Lugh Long Arm is here to see the king. Son of Cian, son of Diancecht and of Ethne, daughter of Balor. Tell the king that I am here to see him and that I can help him.”

“What do you practise? No one can enter Tara without qualifications.”

“Questions me doorkeeper, I am a carpenter,” Luch Long Arm said.

“We have no need of a carpenter, Luchta is our carpenter,” the doorkeeper replied.

“Questions me doorkeeper, I am a smith.”

“We have a smith, we have no need of another.”

“I am a champion warrior,” Luch said.

“Ogma is our champion and we have more warriors of our own.”

“I am skilled in playing the harp.”

“We have a harpist,” the doorkeeper replied.

“I am a strategist.”

“We have them.”

“I am a historian and a poet.”

“We have one.”

“I am skilled in the arts of sorcery.”

“We have the most powerful druids in all the land.”

“I am a physician,” Lugh said.

“Daincecht is our physician,” the doorkeeper replied.

“I am a cupbearer.”

“We have plenty.”

“I am a metalworker.”

“Credne is our metalworker,” the doorkeeper replied.

“Then go and ask the king if he has anyone who has all these skills and learning. If he has I will not enter.”

In response to this message from his doorkeeper, Nuada sent his best chess-player to test Lugh’s mental skills. Lugh defeated him easily. The king invited him into Tara and gave him the seat reserved for the wisest of them all.

Ogma was eager to prove his strength to the newcomer. He picked up on the flagstones of the palace. He heaved it through a wall and threw it right outside the fort. In response to this challenge Lugh picked up the stone and threw it back inside and in an instant he repaired the damage to the wall.

Nuada knew that Lugh was a true champion and he made him responsible for Ireland’s defence against the Formorians.

A great conference took place as he Tuatha De Danann tried to decide what to do about the Fomorians. Under Lugh’s leadership everyone agreed to use what skill they had to help in the fight against the Fomorians. Lugh, the Dagda and Ogma agreed to go to the three warrior goddesses and to learn from them how the battle should be planned. The Dagda met the Morrigan at Samain and he persuaded her to reveal the Fomorians’ plans and to fight on the side of the Tuatha De.

It took the full seven years to prepare for the battle and by the end the Tuatha De were still not quite ready so the Dagda went to the Fomorians to seek a truce to gain more time.

Knowing that Dagda loved porridge, the Fomorians made a large amount and poured it into a huge cauldron sized pit. They threatened the Dagda with death if he did not finish every last scarp because they did not want to be accused of not being hospitable. They spoke with such sincerity that the Dagda seized his ladle, which was big enough for a man and a woman to lie in, and finished every scrap of porridge even using his fingers to scrape the bottom of the pit. He as so full that he fell asleep and the Fomorians laughed at him. When he awoke and left he could hardly walk because his stomach was the size of a cauldron. He leaned on his weapon, a great-wheeled club that as he walked left a track so deep and enduring that it served as a boundary mark for the province.

The Fomorians mocked him but the Dagda had done what he had set out to do and the Tuatha De had the time they needed to complete their preparations.

The Tuatha De decided that Lugh was to valuable to be lost in the battle so when the army assembled he was surrounded by nine of his warriors. He was in charge of strategy but he would not fight in the battle.

On the eve of Samain the to armies met with champions facing each other in single combat. Mostly the Tuatha De was victorious but occasionally a Fomorian was victorious. The Fomorians noticed that unlike their injured the Tuatha De Danann’s injured were well and ready to fight the following day and that their weapons were mended. They sent a spy, Ruadan, to find out the Tuatha De’s secret.

He went into the Tuatha De’s camp and found Goibniu, the smith; Luchta, the carpenter and Credne the metalworker working as a powerful team to mend the weapons. He saw how Diancecht and his sons cast spells over a well and when the wounded and the dead where thrown into its waters they were healed and restored to life. Ruadan grew angry and he attacked Goibniu with his spear. Goibniu removed the spear and sent it into Ruadan and sent him to die among his own people.

His mission was not a complete failure though, because with his dying breath he told the Fomorians about the well and that night they went and filled it with stones.

Now the two armies battled each other and as they confronted one another the Fomorians saw a shining figure at the front of the Tuatha De. Lugh had escaped his guards and was now inciting the Tuatha De to victory.

The battle was fast a furious with people falling on both sides. Then Balor, the king of the Fomorians, killed Nuada Silver Arm and so Lugh fought to the front of the line to confront his grandfather.

Balor was also known as Balor Evil Eye because once, when his father’s druids had been brewing an evil potion, some of the fumes from the brew had wafted into his eye and the poison from the charm had entered it. One glance from the now poisonous eye could destroy armies.

As Lugh confronted his grandfather he shouted a challenge so Balor ordered his eye to be opened so that he could see him. Four men holding wooden pegs were used to lift the heavy lid covering the evil eye.

Before the eye was half open Lugh used his slingshot to cast a stone at the eye. It passed through the eye and carried it to the back of his head where it killed 27 Fomorians standing there.

With Balor dead, the Tuatha De fought with renewed vigour and with the help of the warrior goddesses they drove the Fomorians into the sea and Bres fled with them.

When the battle was over, there were more dead than could be counted. It is said that the standing stones on the plain of Carrowmore, near Sligo, mark the graves of those who died in the Second Battle of Moytura.

With the land free of the Fomorians and the Tuatha De restored to their former positions the Morrigan, war goddess of Ireland, climbed to the mountain tops to chant victory to all those in the land.

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THE CONQUEST BY NEMED

Agustus 1, 2011 at 11:07 am (Uncategorized) (, )

The Conquest of Nemed

This takes place at the beginning, before Ireland was Ireland, when it was inhabited only by a tribe known as the Fomorians. Their name is translated from Celtic to mean ‘those who live under the sea’.

Nemed and his people left Greece to make the westward journey, looking for a new home. They left in thirty-four oared boats with thirty people in each. Thirty years before Nemed and his followers left for Ireland a plague swept through the land leaving much of Ireland desolate.

The journey was going well with calm seas and favourable winds, until a golden tower was sighted. It had smooth yellow walls that glistened in the seas mist and it was so tall that its top was lost in the clouds.

The fleet rowed towards it, hoping to find treasure, but the sea around it surged with treacherous currents that capsized some of the fleet and drove the rest into the jagged rocks. Only Nemed’s boat survived, but most of those travelling with him drowned.

The survivors sailed away from there and came to the shores of Ireland. Here they settled.

But their troubles were not over. Twelve days after they landed Macha, Nemed’s wife, was the first to die of the plague that was still ravaging Ireland.

The Fomorians also wanted to settle Ireland but Nemed and his men were to strong and made them work as slaves. They built two great forts and carved out twelve fields from the forested land. They were not the only things changing the look of the landscape. Natural causes were also making changes. Four mighty cloudbursts created four great lakes (that can still be seen today).

While Nemed lived the Fomorians were under his control. In three battles he lost many men but he subdued them nonetheless. That was until he too died of the plague that still lurked in dark corners of Ireland.

Now the Fomorians saw their chance to turn the tables on the Children of Nemed. Without Nemed his children were defeated.

The Fomorians were cruel and harsh. Every year at the festival of Samain (Today’s Halloween – 1 November) the Children of Nemed were forced to give up two-thirds of their corn, two-thirds of their mil produce and two-thirds of their new born infants.

The Children of Nemed sent messengers to Greece, asking for assistance. Many people set sail from Greece, including druids and druidesses and many vicious animals.

The fleet laid siege to the king of the Fomorians, Conann, in his glass tower, until he was forced to battle the army.

First the druids and druidesses of each army battled, but they were evenly matched, countering every spell the others cast. Then the warriors battled and many men were lost but eventually the Children of Nemed were victorious.

However Conann was still safe in his tower, so the Children of Nemed let loose the vicious animals – wolves and poisonous pigs – and most people fled, but Conann was still safe.

Then, Fergus, con of Nemed, challenged Conann to single combat and so Conann was killed.

But this was not the end as more Fomorians arrived and as they left their ships the Children of Nemed were waiting for them and fierce fights broke out, so filled with battle fury was everyone that no one noticed a tidal wave headed towards them. It was higher than the tower itself and moving faster than any hawk and it broke over the people fighting there on the beach killing all but thirty Children of Nemed and a boatload of the Fomorians.

After this the Children of Nemed couldn’t settle down, being in constant fear for their lives. Eventually they scattered, some returning to Greece and others to Britain. Except for the Formorians, Ireland was empty again for another 200 years.

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LOKI’S OFFSPRING

Agustus 1, 2011 at 11:05 am (Uncategorized) (, )

Loki’s Offspring

When Loki thought it was safe to return he was leading a strange eight legged horse called Sleipnir. Loki gave Sleipnir to Odin and said: “Sleipnir is unlike any other horse for he is my offspring. No horse will be able to keep pace with Sleipnir. He will bear you over the sea and through air, and to the land of the dead and back.”

As was promised Sleipnir never failed his new master Odin, but not all of Loki’s offspring were like him.

One would have to know that Loki was half giant himself, to understand why he had three children by a giantess. The first child is the Fenrir, it is ordained that at the end of the world he will devour Odin. The second child is the Midgard serpent, and the third is none other than the mistress of death herself – Hel.

When Odin came to realize that these children were loose in the world, he had them brought to him. Odin had the Midgard serpant thrown into the sea, but the serpent was so vast that it encircled the world and bit it’s own tail. Odin banished Hel to Niflheim, the Land of the Dead, and gave her power over all those who die of illness and old-age.

Even though Odin the All-Fathner had managed two of Loki’s children Fenrir was not so easily undone. Only the god Tyr was brave enough to feed this monstrosity, but even he could see that when Fenrir was fullt grown it would do terrible harm. The gods decided to create a strong chain that could not be broken and tie Fenrir up. With one mighty kick Fenrir broke it’s bonds and was free. Finally Odin swallowed his pride and asked the dwarfs for help, they agreed and mad a fetter called Gleipnir. Gleipnir was silky and soft to the touch, Gleipnir was made of special ingredients: the soundlessness of a cat’s footfall, a woman’s beard, the roots of a mountain, the sinews of a bear, a fishes breath and the spittle of a bird. The gods took Fenrir to a lonely isolated island and challenged it to break Gleipnir. Fenrir sensed a trap, so the wolf agreed only if one of the gods was brave enough to place his hand in his mouth, as a token of good faith. Tyr was the only god brave enough and so he thrust his hand into Fenrir’s fearsome jaws. So the gods bound the giant wolf with the silken fetter, and when he kicked it only tightened. Enraged by it’s captivity Fenrir clamped it’s jaws shut and bit off the god Tyr’s right hand. Even though the gods knew that it was ordained that a time would come when Fenrir would break free and bring with it death and destruction for all, the gods refused to kill it. The gods said : “What must be, will be.

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LOKI AND THE BUILDER

Agustus 1, 2011 at 11:04 am (Uncategorized) (, )

Loki and the Builder

The gods home, Asgard, had no wall around it to protects the gods against their enemies. This fact troubled the gods greatly, so when a strange horseman came to Asgrad offering to build a great wall the gods were pleased.

“This will be a great wall” said the stranger, “a true monument to your greatness. In eighteen months from now it will be complete and all your worries will be for naught.”

“What is your price Horseman?” asked Odin the All-Father.

“I will accept nothing less than the beautiful goddess Freyja as my wife,” replied the stranger, “As well as the sun and moon.”

Naturally the gods were furious at the strangers impertinence, to think they would barter of Freyja for mere building work, let alone the sun and moon. By this time Freyja was weeping tears of gold.

However Loki, also known as Loki the Trickster, had an idea.

He turned to the stranger and said: “If you are able to complete the wall in six months you have a bargain.” The stranger considered his options, once more looking upon the beautiful Freyja, gold tears making shinning trails down her cheeks and said,

” I’ll agree only if my horse is allowed to help me.”

The gods looked at Loki in astonishment, ‘What were you thinking?’ they asked.

“Have no fear,” said Loki grinning,” In six months he will only be able to build half a wall, the bargain will be incomplete, and we will have half a wall for free.”

The gods applauded Loki’s cunning and all were pleased.

However, the stranger worked long and hard during the winter, striving to complete the great wall on time, with the help of his horse he managed to quarry the stone for a massive wall around Asgard.

As summer approached disaster stared the gods in the face for the stranger, against all odds, had almost completed the wall.

Odin the All-Father turned to Loki, “Do something Loki,” he said, “We cannot allow our Freyja to marry this man, he must be a giant in disguise, and if we give up the sun and moon life will be scarcely worth living. You got us into this mess Trickster, so you must get us out!”

Loki thought for awhile and finally he had an answer, “Without his horse he won’t be able to haul the stones to complete the wall.”

Loki was a god who was able to change his shape, so that night he transformed himself into a beautiful mare and lured away the stranger’s horse. When the stranger realized what had happened he became enraged and his disguise fell away. The stranger was a giant, one of the gods foe’s. The gods called on Thor, the god of thunder and lightning. With his mighty hammer, Miollnir, Thor struck the giant with a thunderclap on his head.

That is the end of the story about the giant, but not the end of Loki’s.

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