The Myths Portal

1929 Belgian banknote, depicting Ceres, Neptune and caduceus

Myth is a genre of folklore or theology consisting primarily of narratives that play a fundamental role in a society, such as foundational tales or origin myths. For folklorists, historians, philosophers or theologians this is very different from the use of "myth" which simply meaning something that is not true. Instead, the truth value of a myth is not a defining criterion.

Myths are often endorsed by secular and religious authorities and are closely linked to religion or spirituality. Many societies group their myths, legends, and history together, considering myths and legends to be true accounts of their remote past. In particular, creation myths take place in a primordial age when the world had not achieved its later form. Other myths explain how a society's customs, institutions, and taboos were established and sanctified. There is a complex relationship between recital of myths and the enactment of rituals. (Full article...)

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A depiction of Máni and Sól (1895) by Lorenz Frølich

Sól (Old Norse: [ˈsoːl], "Sun") or Sunna (Old High German, and existing as an Old Norse and Icelandic synonym: see Wiktionary sunna, "Sun") is the Sun personified in Germanic mythology. One of the two Old High German Merseburg Incantations, written in the 9th or 10th century CE, attests that Sunna is the sister of Sinthgunt. In Norse mythology, Sól is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson.

In both the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda she is described as the sister of the personified moon, Máni, is the daughter of Mundilfari, is at times referred to as Álfröðull, and is foretold to be killed by a monstrous wolf during the events of Ragnarök, though beforehand she will have given birth to a daughter who continues her mother's course through the heavens. In the Prose Edda, she is additionally described as the wife of Glenr. As a proper noun, Sól appears throughout Old Norse literature. Scholars have produced theories about the development of the goddess from potential Nordic Bronze Age and Proto-Indo-European roots. (Full article...)

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Shiva as Sharabha subduing Narasimha, panel view from Munneswaram temple in Sri Lanka

Sharabha (Sanskrit: शरभ, Śarabha) or Sarabha is an eight-legged part-lion and part-bird deity in Hindu religion, who is described as more powerful than a lion or an elephant, possessing the ability to clear a valley in one jump in Sanskrit literature. In later literature, Sharabha is described as an eight-legged deer.

The Shaiva scriptures narrate that the god Shiva assumed the form of Sharabha to pacify Narasimha - the fierce man-lion avatar of Vishnu worshipped by the Vaishnava sect. This form is popularly known as Sharabheshvara ("Lord Sharabha") or Sharabheshvaramurti. The Vaishnavas refute the portrayal of Narasimha as being destroyed by Shiva-Sharabha and regard Sharabha as a name of Vishnu. Some Vaishnava scriptures suggest that Vishnu assumed the form of the ferocious Gandabherunda bird-animal to combat and killed Sharabha just like the narasimha killed Hiranyakashipu with his nails. (Full article...)

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