Awards, Mythological Creature Archive

The ‘Cryptid Cora’ Blogger Award- #cryptidcora, Nominations-Halloween edition, October 2018 and the ‘Al没 demon’ from Assyrian Mythology 馃摎.

IMG_2324What is the Cryptid Cora Blogger Award?

Based off of the model of the Sunshine Blogger award, The ‘Cryptid Cora’ Blogger Award is a peer recognition ‘nod of excellence,’ and exercise…executed by writerly bloggers to other writerly bloggers who are creative, positive and inspiring…while also very doing their due diligence in blasting cryptozoological characters towards the greater blogging community. These writers who are nominated, shoot straight into our imaginations and into our hearts. The purpose of this award is for idea generating, inspiration and friendship building. I’m a fantasy writer, and so I found this exercise very useful, and hopefully you will too.

Once nominated (and if you accept the ‘award’), the bloggers are required to:

1) Write a post in which they thank their nominating blogger for voting for them and link back to their blog.

2) Answer the 13 questions asked by the person who nominated you. The questions will be about an unusual cryptid found in an obscure book or on a run-of-the-mill folklore site…whatever. Pick one that interests you. Wikipedia is useful here too, of course. Remember to source the best you can with in the paragraph. This creature comes from Sumerian Mythology…etc. Creatures from long lost cultures are a plus and have a rich, hopefully well documented culture to pull from! Please include pictures of the creatures which can be found by searching the creatures name and looking under the images tab.. and be sure to photo credit the images as well, please.

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Photo by Tookapic on Pexels.com

3) “Pay’聽your good creature ideas forward by nominating 5 other blogs specifically with Cryptozoological themes or writing themes. Writing bloggers or cryptid loving blogs will benefit from this exercise the most, it seems. Gamers, programmers, and illustrators too. Heck, visual artists…you get the idea. Also, if you receive a nomination, it means that your nominator loves what you are doing and that is a really cool thing. Congratulations! Be proud! You can Nominate your bloggers via Twitter if you’d like, using the hashtag, #CryptidCora, with a link back to your post…(if they use social media.)

4) Give your bloggers the same 13 questions to answer…you can just recycle the same ones that I used, please. It’s the easiest and most uniform way to organize this mass of information that will be coming in. All cryptids are public domain and are for idea generating as this is the point of the exercise. Your cryptid WILL BE USED IN THE MYTHOLOGICAL ARCHIVE by AR Jung. Don’t post a precious, secret cryptid that will appear on your upcoming comic strip or in your award winning screenplay to us….someone viewing this material could very well be inspired to write a short story or develop a protagonist off of this exercise…for their very own upcoming debut novel! So be smart about the character you choose to showcase. I will be talking about an Assyrian Demon as my cryptid here today. It’s Halloween, what can I say? I usually am drawn to kind, benevolent characters but a demon seems appropriate, given this holiday season.

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Photo by Toni Cuenca on Pexels.com

5) Notify your nominees, through the contact page on their blogs… display the rules as well as The “Cryptid Cora’ Award logo in your new post. Remember, this is suppose to be fun! This is suppose to be thought provoking. 馃檪 The BEST entries will be eligible (with the authors permission of course,) for publication in a #CryptidCora anthology.

Happy Halloween 2018! Please use hashtag #CryptidCora in your blog title, so that we all can easily find your creature for continued inspiration long past Halloween. #CryptidCora will nominate 5 new bloggers each month to keep ideas coming. Consider Cora your spark…your short term muse…that push you needed to get to writing again. She’s elusive. You need to feed her and coax her out . She’s that beautiful thing we call imagination and that’s why we love him/her/it/them, so.

My nominations for October 2018- Congrats!

MG Book Village

My side of the laundry room

Not another book blogger

Generation Exorcist

The Rising Phoenix Review

 

My Answers, examples and writing prompt

1.) What is your character called?聽 (Please fill in the blank.) Mythological Creature ‘The ________,’ a (choose from Malevolent or benevolent)____ being, from _______ (list the culture it is from.)

Example:聽Mythological Creature, ‘The聽Al没,’ a malevolent leprous demon from ancient Assyria.

2.) What is the general background, written in your own words?

Example: According to Wikipedia,聽In Assyrian mythology (Also listed as Akkadian which was the language of Assyria and Babylonia in Mesopotamia. Additionally listed as Sumerian mythology.), Al没 is a vengeful spirit of the Utukku that goes to the underworld of Kur. The demon has no mouth, lips or ears, which is horrifying. It roams the earth at night and scares people while they sleep. If you were to become possessed by the Al没 you would become unconscious and would fall into a coma. Similar creatures are the Mara, and the Incubus, which explain sleep paralysis, or at least did in Akkadian and Sumerian mythology. The Al没 is associated with other demons like Gallu and Lilu.

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Photo Credit: http://nataliejonesportfolio.blogspot.com/2012_02_01_archive.html

3.) Are there any pop culture references to the creature? So that you can reference how this creature has been referenced, recycled and depicted in the recent past, so that you can do something fresh and new with it?

Example: The Al没 is found in the ‘Monster in My Pocket #113,’ video game. Monster in My Pocket produced trading cards, comic books, books, toys, a board game, a video game, and an animated special, along with music, clothing, kites, stickers, and various other items. The Alu-demon was used in Dungeons & Dragons as well.聽In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the Alu-demon is a female demon, the result of a succubus mating with a human.

Stephen Herbert Langdon (1876 鈥 May 19, 1937) was an American-born British Assyriologist and cites a translation of a cuneiform script in his book Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia,聽describing this creature as androgynous, evil and suffocating. You can read the translation on Wikipedia here.

4.) Do you have Images of the creature, sited with a photo credit?聽

Example:

alu
Photo Credit: http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Alu-fiend

5.) What is the dilemma? A Universal need has not been met in your character’s life.聽 What does He or She need or want at the beginning of the story?聽

Example: The聽Al没 has been feeling incredibly lonely lately but has been generally unwilling to meet someone half way for a relationship to build. Her name is Allie Swanson, and she is sitting at a coffee shop in NYC, drinking her favorite warm drink, prepping for the briefing later. She is a cut throat lawyer. High powered and extremely successful. She wants desperately to post her picture to the dating app she is looking at online but is afraid. In walks her best friend and orders a Chai latte.

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Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com

6.) How could your character change or overcome his or her dilemma over the course of your story?聽

Example: Allie Swanson works on a case trying to prove the innocence of a woman who was accused of murder. The woman’s brother is attractive and kind. He is supportive and intelligent. Allie Swanson is an immortal being whom is no stranger to dark deeds, but is so used to pretending to be something she’s not, she doesn’t quite know how not to fake being a human being, accept when it comes to James. The accused’s brother. Allie wants to be herself with him. Will he accept her sordid past? Will she better herself for love? When she is able to prove the sister’s innocence, she finds that she is appalled by what actually took place and finds that she loves humans and wants to work to protect them.

7.) What are some Comparison Films or books that this piece reminds you of?

Example: This piece on Allie could be HANCOCK meets A TIME TO KILL, perhaps with less of a racial focus, but more on the unjustified and immoral killing of children.

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Photo Credit: http://www.comicbookandmoviereviews.com/2011/03/handcock.html

8.) Who is your audience?

Example: Adults because of the subject matter.

9.) Why did you pick this cryptid?

Example: I picked this creature because I am following a list of Mythological creatures and it was the next one that caught my eye. I liked it because I am fascinated by ancient cultures and their belief systems.

10.) Could you create a quick writing prompt related to your creature and the above scenario?

Example: The Alu is lonely and needs companionship because she is losing faith in humanity and her killer instinct is coming back from the depths of her soul. She had suppressed her desires by seeing a psychiatrist for years who taught her to see humans as enlightened beings who could help move forward the agenda of her choosing. The psychiatrist helped her to form an agenda that was perhaps a little self serving but was ultimately benevolent. What was that agenda? Why has she become so lonely?

11.) What is your name? (Twitter handle or Blogger name is fine.)

Example: AR JUNG

12.) How will you use your character now that he or she is a bit more fleshed out?

Example: I will probably not use this character as the criminal case that I proposed would take some legal knowledge and I am not interested in writing about crime and punishment. I would watch this movie or read this book though. It could be quirky or serious. The fact that her character is so ancient and that she has come to a place in her personal journey of wanting to choose love, is a pretty great trope, but this one is just weird enough to hold my interest.

13.) What kind of writer are you? i.e., blogger, fantasy, true crime….?

Example: I write Middle Grade Fantasy.

 

The Questions

1.) What is your character called?
2.) What is the general background, written in your own words?
3.) Are there any pop culture references to the creature?
4.) Do you have Images of the creature, sited with a photo credit?
5.) What is the dilemma? A Universal need has not been met in your character’s life. What does He or She need or want at the beginning of the story?
6.) How could your character change or overcome his or her dilemma over the course of your story?
7.) What are some Comparison Films or books that this piece reminds you of?
8.) Who is your audience?
9.) Why did you pick this cryptid?
10.) Could you create a quick writing prompt related to your creature and the above scenario?
11.) What is your name? (Twitter handle or Blogger name is fine.)
12.) How will you use your character now that he or she is a bit more flushed out?
13.) What kind of writer are you? i.e., blogger, fantasy, true crime….?

 

If you find this article fun and interesting and you decide to expand on this story -let me know how it continues in the comment section below, or contact me at arjungwriter@gmail.com and as usual鈥appy writing!

 

Mythological Creature Archive

Mythical Creature, ‘the Alp-luachra,’ a tapeworm like, ‘food stealer,’ from Celtic Mythology and writing prompt

 

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Photo Credit: http://pinterest.com/pin/143622675588947964/

According to abookofcreatures, these fairies are far removed from the cleaned up and sanitized Victorian ideal we are used to.

In the world of cryptozoology, there exist both beautiful fairies, but also ugly fairies, which can be cruel, vile, and parasitic.

The Alp-luachra are one of these.

Native to Ireland, where it can be found all across the island, the alp-luachra is a small, newt-like creature not unlike Ireland鈥檚 native smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris).

Any similarities with the non-cryptid counterpart end here, however. The smooth newt is a harmless inhabitant of local ponds, while the Alp-luachra lives off 鈥渢he Pith or Quintessence of what the Man eats,鈥 as Robert Kirk puts it in Secret Commonwealth of Fairies.

Infestation is simple enough. Anyone asleep outdoors is at risk. Especially those asleep near the water’s edge. Alp-luachras slip into the open mouths of sleepers, and from there work their way into the stomach. The entire process is painless, and hosts are never aware of their slimy new occupants. That is, until the symptoms manifest themselves: pain in their sides as the alp-luachras make themselves comfortable, and increasing, insatiable hunger. The alp-luachras eat the food ingested by their hosts, growing larger inside them until their wriggling becomes unbearable; meanwhile, their hosts waste away, becoming gaunt and emaciated.

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Photo Credit: https://www.deviantart.com/necrovivrea/art/Bestiary-Alp-luachra-691868310

In the span of a few years, the unfortunate victim eventually dies of starvation, and the alp-luachras move out to find new victims.
As the alp-luachra鈥檚 metaphysical state prevents it from being seen by physicians, it must be tricked into leaving the body by other means. Inhaling the strong fragrance of savory food can coax them to come out, as can eating very salty food. Once outside the body, the alp-luachra can be licked to cure burns, if you can find a way to catch it! This will be very difficult since they are hard to see even to those with a trained magical eye.

According to warriorsofmyth,聽the Alp-Luachra is entirely invisible. Invisible on all spectrums, and involuntarily so. It has no true physical appearance. In addition, it is capable of rendering the mouth and gullet totally numb, so as to make resisting it even harder.
And once it’s safely down in one’s gut, it can breathe easily, capable of resisting the stomach’s acidic fluids with no difficulty or harm to itself. Not to mention, due to its feeding on the greater portion of what its host intakes, it is an excellent agent of weight loss in bigger beings, and or preventing weight gain in smaller beings.

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Photo Credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/423619908671542157/?lp=true

In Douglas Hyde’s collection of folk tales, Beside the Fire, a farmer, who was starving from an Alp-luachra, was eventually rid of the fairy. He was instructed to eat large amounts of salted meat and, when he could eat no more, lie still with his mouth open just above the surface of a stream. After having been driven to thirst by the salt, the offspring of the Alp-luachra, and eventually the Alp-luachra mother herself, jumped into the water. Hence, to rid one’s self of an Alp-Luachra, one should eat a large quantity of salt beef, without drinking anything, and then lay by a running stream with mouth wide open; after a long wait, the Alp-Luachra will become thirsty, and will jump into the stream to drink.

 

Writing Prompt

You are a exterminator in the magical realm and the Alp-luachra have been a notoriously elusive species for your crew for centuries. You have the desire to be the best in your field and set out to develop a salt/ host rehydration pill in your private laboratory. It is sterile there and you have a gaggle of Alp-luachra taken from the bodies of the victims, which you have taken care of for scientific testing purposes. This is a heinous beast, you would never keep them thriving if it wasn’t for the research. The Alp-luachra is a small creature but mighty and the infestations have grown so common, and so pervasive that you decide it is time to release your remedy to the masses. You have a pharmaceutical company that you have partnered with and are ready for launch, but on this cloudy, overcast day in October…your pills are missing…all of them.

Who doesn’t want the Alp-luachra to be eradicated? Who is behind this evil plot to ruin you professionally?

If you find this article fun and interesting and you decide to expand on this story -let me know how it continues in the comment section below, and as usual鈥appy writing!

 

 

 

Mythological Creature Archive

Mythological Creature, ‘the Aloja,’ a sometimes benevolent, female shapeshifter, from Catalonia- with writing prompt

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Photo Credit: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiK3Y-2u-_bAhXBjlQKHbkKA5wQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tumblr.com%2Ftagged%2Fcatalan-mythology&psig=AOvVaw3zxPsvwkqaDoI2IX_QIN8Y&ust=1530038421042556

In Catalan mythology, an Aloja, also known as a dona d’aigua, a goja or a paitida…is a female cryptid, living in places of fresh water. These “water-women” are said to be able to shapeshift into blackbirds.

According to the legend found on Wikivisually,聽 these women are not immortal, but can live for thousands of years, retaining their youth.

Water-women symbolize the fertility and the life-giving virtues of water. They are said to possess oneiric beauty.

They appear as small and innocent women, with a high self-esteem and sometimes very prideful of their beauty. They are good women and try to bring wealth and well-being to the areas they live in. Water-women are nocturnal; have shimmering gold or red hair, and emerald or deep blue eyes. They wear fine, rich clothes; and enjoy viewing their reflections in lakes on full-moon nights. Some of them are said to have beautiful wings of various colors. Many are said to carry magic wands carved from hazel, which is considered to be the only wood capable of casting spells. 鉁

 

There are many legends about romance and marriage between water-women and humans; in order to marry a water-woman, a human must agree to the water-woman’s conditions. Often, one of the conditions is that the husband cannot reveal that his wife is an Aloja. If he does, the water-woman leaves him and disappears with his fortune. However, it is also said that the water-woman will still comb her children’s hair and dress them every morning.
Aloja are purported to knowingly avoid any relations with humans, though this is not always possible.

When contact with humans does occur, it often turns out ill for the humans. It is said that the lakes where the Aloja bathe, can boil in anger if a stranger enters there. In Majorca, the most famous water-woman is known as Maria Enganxa.

According to tradition, she lives inside all of the wells and cisterns and takes all of the children that pass near them with her hook. She is not a kind Aloja.
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Writing Prompt

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Photo Credit: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-E3X8yWV-0ic/Tin2Zq08p9I/AAAAAAAAApE/6ft3EaEWLGY/s1600/emilycrowley_aloja.jpg

Catalan myths and legends are passed down for generations, of course, as part of that region’s popular culture.聽In Catalonia those characters that are invoked to induce fear in children for practical purposes, for example to avoid speaking to strangers or leaving home alone are called Espantamainades (Espantachiquillos).

At the anthropological level, sometimes these are manifestations of the fears of the unknown and inexplicable in nature. Some are local representations related to those figures also existing in other cultures, such as witches, Goblins and the bogeyman. Others are purely local variations, such as Marraco the peasant and the Dips.

The Aloja is a local representation. She can be a “good guy,” or a “bad guy,” but always is beautiful, vain and territorial.

Your writing prompt is this, you are in Majorca, or Mallorca, which is the largest island in the Balearic Islands, and are part of Spain; located in the Mediterranean.
The capital of the island, Palma, is also the capital of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands. The Balearic Islands have been an autonomous region of Spain since 1983.

You find yourself on a hike, past a lovely freshwater lake. It’s picturesque, with black water birds flying in a circular pattern, just inches above the water. You stop to watch their dancing. Suddenly they shapeshift into many Alojes and seem to be fighting amongst themselves. You hear the most beautiful, alpha Aloja say;

“I’ve had enough of your clumsiness, you are not to leave here again, because I can’t trust your judgement.”

…and then you see him…a love struck human man, with a camera around his neck…a journalist type. His face is set in a way that makes him seem years younger than he probably is. He looks forlorn…and then sullen as the group of women continue to ignore him. He leaves and you continue watching. The Aloja who is seemingly in trouble…for reasons that are unimaginable, is put into a bird cage and hung high in a tree…you watch in wonder as the caged black bird flaps it’s beautiful wings…trying to free itself of the cage.

What did she do, and who is the human man, who is so sullen?

You get the impression, that the Aloja is in severe danger…but why? Your skin prickles and you see the alpha pointing her hazel wand at the caged bird. What happens next?

If you find this article fun and interesting and you decide to expand on this story -let me know how it continues in the comment section below, and as usual鈥appy writing!

Mythological Creature Archive

Mythical Creature, “the Al-mi’raj,” a horned rabbit from Arabic poetry- with writing prompt

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Photo Credit; http://semirealistic.deviantart.com/art/Al-mi-raj-500705173

Also checkout Jackalope, Wolpertinger, and Lepus Cornutus but the Al-mi’raj or Almiraj (Arabic: 丕賱賲毓乇丕噩 al-mi’raj) is known as a mythical beast from Arabic poetry, said to live on a mysterious island called Jez卯rat al-Tennyn within the confines of the Indian Ocean. I couldn’t find much about this island…but there is a perfume, which I found interesting and is called聽Jez卯rat al-Tennyn.

According to Wikipedia, Al-mi’raj is a large, harmlesslookingyellow rabbit with a single, 2-foot-long, black, spiraling horn protruding from its forehead, much like that of a unicorn.

Despite its docile appearance, Al-Mir’aj is actually a ferociously territorial predator known to be able to kill animals and people many times its size…with just a few stabs of its horn.

It also has an immense appetite and can devour living things several times its size without effort. Al-Mir’aj frightens other animals.

The people of the Jez卯rat al-Tennyn island were so terrified of the Al-Mi’raj eating them and their livestock that they would turn to witches to ward them away as soon as they heard the Miraj was near. It was reported that only a true witch would charm the Miraj, rendering it harmless so the people could remove it from the area.

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Photo Credit; http://centuriespast.tumblr.com/page/617

It is possible this myth originates from observations of the effects of any one of several diseases in rabbits that can create horn-like growths upon the bodies of animals, most commonly Fibromatosis and Papillomatosis (SPV).
Papillomatosis is the result of a virus infecting the skin, causing a large, red, swelling growth on the skin of the subject. These red marks may have appeared to be where horns broke off or were shed. Fibromatosis is a similar virus which infects the skin and causes the flesh of the rabbit to mat with hair, hardening into long, hard horn-like protrusions. Both diseases could account for the appearance of wild, fierce (with pain) rabbits with “horns” as infected specimens have been found, catalogued and are well documented.

In Pop culture

List compiled by Wikipedia

  • Al-Mi’raj has been occasionally featured in video and role-playing games.
  • Al-Mi’raj has been adapted into Dungeons & Dragons, as part of the 1st edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Fiend Folio.
  • An enemy in the Dragon Quest Series (銈€儷銉熴儵銉笺偢 … arumir膩ji), first appearing in Dragon Quest III, where it is a low-level monster with a sleep attack used to render players helpless while it attacks. In U.S. it has usually been renamed to “Spiked Hare,” but its name is preserved in the Game Boy Color version. Unlike the normal legendary Miraj, this Mi’raj is purple with a white horn and white cheeks. Its standard treasure is a gold and a Leather Hat. In Dragon Quest VIII, it carries Medicinal Herbs and Bunny Tails.
  • According to lore, at the base of a unicorn’s horn is a ruby red jewel that is the concentrated essence of its power. With this in mind, it is possible that Ryo-Ohki from Tenchi Muyo! could be a reference to Al-Mi’raj, albeit dehorned and thus not dangerous to humanity.
  • Getting closer to the original mythology, the Devil Bunny game series by Cheapass Games is a game about horned, super-intelligent carnivorous evil rabbits that spend their time attempting world domination via an assortment of silly means and tormenting the Humans.
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Photo Credit; http://lyekka.deviantart.com/art/Al-Miraj-Ambush-332479209

– In Episode 10 of the anime game, Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? the first floor of the mid level contains multiple white rabbits that walk on two legs. Two of the main characters Lilly and Welf claim that they are the protagonist Bell Cranel due to the matching red eyes and white hair. The rabbits are then identified as al-mi’raj by Bell before being interrupted as the rabbits attack.

  • – The behavior of General Woundwort, the antagonist of Watership Down, and the Killer Rabbit from Monty Python and the Holy Grail might have been inspired by Al-mi’raj.
  • In the animated short “Red” (2010) the little wolf-boy protects Red from an Al-Mir’aj that can grow to a monstrous size, and kills it.
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh Breakers of Shadow booster pack has released a card based on this mythical creature called Al-Lumi’raj.
  • The game Rage of Bahamut (and subsequently the Shadowverse CCG which is based on it) contains a character called Moon Al-Mir’aj, a humanoid rabbit with a black horn called Ramina.
  • In the Donald Duck story Mythological Menagerie, written and drawn by Don Rosa, Donald tries to fool Huey, Dewey and Louie by painting a rabbit yellow and attaching a horn to it, but the nephews identify it as a the Mi’Raj.

img_0050Writing Prompt-

The Mi’raj, the American Jackalope, the Wolpertingers and the Lepus Cornutus are all the same animal in this prompt. SPVirus or no, that isn’t the concern of this writing prompt. Let’s look at the parable of The four blind men and the elephant, to get a sense of what this prompt is asking you to do.

(Adapted from David A. Horner) According to everystudent.com, there is a popular analogy used to illustrate how all religions are valid in their ways of describing God, the universe or the creator.

Theological professors especially love this philosophic analogy, because it equalizes all religions, making them “omni-true” in their description of the God force.

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Photo Credit; http://unita-n.deviantart.com/art/Mi-Raj-sketch-310643074

The parable goes like this: there are four blind men who discover an elephant. Since the men have never encountered an elephant before, they grope about, seeking to understand and describe this new phenomenon.

One grasps the trunk and concludes it is a snake. Another explores one of the elephant’s legs and describes it as a tree. A third finds the elephant’s tail and announces that it is a rope. And the fourth blind man, after discovering the elephant’s side, concludes that it is, after all, a wall, a leather wall..at that!

Each in his blindness…describes the same animal: an elephant. Yet each describes the same thing in a radically different way.

According to many, and I love this sooo much…this is analogous to the different religions of the world — they are describing the same thing in radically different ways. Thus one should conclude that no individual religion has a corner on truth, but that all should be viewed as essentially equally valid.

The Mi’raj is not documented as being a benevolent, kind creature…but let’s make it one, because who is to say that it is not?

Your writing prompt is this…looking at different cultures, races, and religions, there are many legends and mythological stories which attempt to explain natural phenomena. Explain the rabbit with a horn. This is a character development prompt. Who is he or she? Why is he seen in so many cultures? If he is a divine, or at least “good,” creature…what does he bring to the cosmic, moral table?

If you find this article fun and interesting and you decide to expand on this story -let me know how it continues in the comment section below, and as usual鈥appy writing!

Mythological Creature Archive

Mythical Creature, ‘The Akkorokamui,’ a Japanese ‘Kami,’ and benevolent octopus spirit- with writing prompt

Akkorokamui

Photo Credit: http://www.havenartgallery.com/akkorokamui/

Kami (绁) is a Japanese word for the spirits worshipped in the Shintoreligion. According to Wikipedia, they can be elements of the landscape, forces of nature, and beings, as well as qualities that these beings express. They can also be the spirits of the venerated dead. Many Kami are considered the ancient ancestors of entire clans. Traditionally, great or sensational leaders like the Emperor could became Kami.

Shintoism

According to the BBC, the nature of Shinto as a faith should not be misunderstood. ‘Shinto.’ is often called the ‘Japanese religion’, and has had a major influence on Japanese culture and values for over 2000 years. But some writers think that Shinto is more than just a religion – it’s no more or less than the Japanese way of looking at the world.
Because ritual rather than belief is at the heart of Shinto, Japanese people don’t usually think of Shinto specifically as a religion – it’s simply an aspect of Japanese life. This has enabled Shinto to coexist happily with Buddhism for centuries.
Shinto is involved in every aspect of Japanese culture: It touches ethics, politics, family life and social structures, artistic life (particularly drama and poetry) and sporting life (Sumo wrestling), as well as spiritual life.

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Photo Credit: http://powerlisting.wikia.com/wiki/Akkorokamui_Physiology

Many events that would be secular in the West involve a brief Shinto ritual in Japan – for example, the construction of a new building would involve a Shinto ceremony.
Although most Japanese follow many Shinto traditions throughout life, they actually regard themselves as being devoted to their community’s local shrine and Kami, rather than to a countrywide religion.
So many Japanese don’t think that they are practicing Shinto nor are followers of the Shinto religion, even though what they do is what constitutes actual Shintoism, rather than theological or academic Shinto.

The Akkorokamui

Akkorokamui (銈€儍銈炽儹銈儬銈,) according to cryptidzwikia, is a gigantic part-human-part-octopus monster from the Ainu ancestors as well as Shinto folklore. This is a creature which lurks in the Funka Bay in Hokkaid艒, Japan, and has been sighted in several other locations including Taiwan and Korea for hundreds of years.

According to the Shinto mythology, this creature is human-like and contains a bright red color. The 19th century account by John Batchelor confirms this. His book, free here, The Ainu and Their Folklore, provide many details of the creature. It states that it was 120 meters in length. The book specifies that the red color of the Akkorokamui a striking red, seemingly 鈥渓ikened to the color of the reflection of the setting sun upon water.”

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Photo Credit: http://yokai.com/akkorokamui/

The Akkorokamui is also characteristically described with the ability to self-amputate, like several octopus species, and regenerate limbs. This characteristic manifests in the belief in Shinto that Akkorokamui has healing powers. Consequently, it is believed among followers that giving offerings to Akkorokamui will heal ailments of the body, in particular, disfigurements and broken limbs.

Once, spirits cursed Rebunge, a villager of Abuta Toyoura, with destruction of his town. They sent a part-spider-part-human creature, Yaoshikepu (銉ゃ偑銈枫偙銉), to fulfill the curse. Yaoshikepu caused rampant destruction throughout the town, slaughtering so many that the streets were filled with crimson blood. After hearing the townsfolk tremble with fear, the sea kami, Repunkamui, transformed Yaoshikepu into an octopus, and cast her into the sea.
After Yaoshikepu was cast into the sea, she began to grow, eventually beginning to consume larger prey, such as whales and ships. One day, Akkorokamui gobbled up a boat full of fishermen. In her stomach, they called for help. Hearing the cries, Repunkamui poisoned Akkorokamui, causing her great pain. As Akkorokamui hollered in agony, the fishermen escaped. However, Akkorokamui learned to harness the venom, using it to attack her prey. In a 1800s sighting, John Batchelor stated that as the monster attacked the ship, it 鈥渆mitted a dark fluid which has a very powerful and noxious odor,” confirming the myth鈥檚 truth! :))
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Writing Prompt- The healing powers of the Akkorokamui

According to livescience聽 Octopuses (this is the correct plural for octopus)聽 have three hearts and blue blood; they squirt ink to deter predators; and being boneless, they can squeeze into (or out of) tight spaces. They are quite intelligent and have been observed using tools.

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Photo Credit: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/akkorokamui-bibo.html

The Akkorokamui is a sacred beast. A healing sage. What is bigger or more sensational than that? A creature that still has all of the attributes of the sea creature, but is holy and benevolent?

Your writing prompt is; The Akkorokamui is living directly off of the coast of where you live. How do I know? You’ve sensed him. You are also Kami, and important, influential and dominant in the region. Who are you? (This will take research, because regions in Japan have specific dominant Kami.)

You find yourself in cahoots with Akkorokamui since there is a new spirit in town causing all matters of ill to the people. What is your special strength that can aid or hinder the Akkorokamui? Do you find yourself a conduit for good or for evil?

Or, what is more likely…do you find yourself living in the grey area, and why?

If you find this article fun and interesting and you decide to expand on this story -let me know how it continues in the comment section below, and as usual鈥appy writing!