Saturday, June 11, 2011

Anatomy of a myth





An interesting myth I wanted to talk about today is the one of Sirens. Sirens in ancient Greece were Half women half birds. They had enchanting voices and sang to sailors to attract them to rocky coast were they would die.




Later, the representation of the sirens changed to half woman half fish, and they were then called mermaid but still had the same attributes, beautiful voices, singing songs to attracts men into their underwater world, forgetting that these men couldn't breath there. Note that here, the men would die not because of a will to kill them, but because of their ignorance.




Hans Christen Andersen has written the most famous mermaid tale: "The little mermaid", which also gave the little mermaid some human attributes of love and compassion,....but still no soul. To acquire a soul, she must agree to give up an almost immortality.
In African myths, Mami wata ( mother water)  is also often represented as a half woman half fish or snake.




It is in african mythology that she has the most deep and complete representation and attributes.  She is a powerful goddess, she has the spiritual power to heal, make wealthy and so on. When she choose a man to take underwater, if she decides  to release him, the man can return to his life, and will usually grow wealthier, healthier with deepest spiritual understanding of the world.

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