S Is For: Sylph

Sylph

Name: Sylph/Sylphid

Origin: Alchemy (Europe)

Type: Elemental (Air)

Story:

Sylphs are one of the four elemental spirits, representing the air/wind. Sylphs are often invisible and move quickly but are thought to be humanoid in form. They are often compared to angels and fairies. Oddly they generally glide, not fly. Like all elementals it is considered a guardian of nature. The other three elementals are Gnomes (Earth), Nymphs (Water), and Salamanders (Fire).

R Is For: Rakshasa

Rakshasa

Name: Rakshasa

Origin: India (Hinduism / Buddhism)

Type: Demon/ Evil Spirit

Story:

Rakshasa are usually shown as ugly and violent, and are also rather large creatures (roughly the size of a hill). They have twin vampire-esque fangs and venomous nails. Rakshasa tend to act rather barbarically, usually devouring all they can get a hold of be it animal or human flesh. The creatures also have the ability to fly and change their shape and size when they please. Over all Rakshasa are a more demonic version of a vampire, meant purely to torment human beings.

Q Is For: Qilin

Qilin

Name: Qilin

Origin: China

Type: Mythical Beast

Story:

The Qilin has different forms depending on what legend you go by, but generally has at least one horn, hooves, blue or green scaly skin, and the face of a dragon. Generally this is equivalent to the European Unicorn. Having a life span of at least 2,000 years, the Qilin is a symbol of longevity and prosperity. It is a more secluded animal, only appearing during the time of a great emperor or the birth/death of a prominent sage. It brings happiness to the few who possess the ability to see the Qilin. Some of these sightings portray the Qilin in the same mannerism as the stork of Western mythology, bringing heavenly children down to earth. Overall the Qilin is a peaceful being, not harming even grass when it walks. Some other abilities include flight, walking upon water, and purification of natural places such as rivers. Some lore even state the Qilin is a sort of reaper, protecting the spirits of the dead from evil and leading them to the afterlife.

P Is For: Python

Python

Name: Python

Origin: Greece

Type: Serpent / Dragon

Story:

Python was the child of the titan Gaia, placed in the swamp of Delphi to guard the Oracle. It is said to have grow so vast that it could encircle the entire city. The goddess Hera soon grew jealous of Leto, a titan who became close to Zeus. Hera commanded Python to seek out Leto and destroy her, but Poseidon found out and hid Leto beneath the oceans waves. Apollo the sun god, and son of Leto, tracked down Python and killed her with his arrows. Where Python’s body lay was soon turned into the site for the Oracle of Delphi. Apollo also founded the Pythian games in honor of his victory. In another story Apollo wished to take over the shrine at Delphi and killed Python who stood in his way.

O Is For: Ouroboros

Ouroboros

Name: Ouroboros / Uroboros

Origin: Egypt

Type: Serpent

Story:

The Ouroboros is a serpent devouring its own tail. It is the symbol of all existence. It was first depicted by Cleopatra in her alchemy text. Most form a single ring, the original having the phrase “Hen To Pan” in the middle. This means “One Is The All”. It is one single being, a serpent, but demonstrates every pattern of nature. Life unto death, birth, seasons, water cycles, you name it and it can be explained through this symbol. By devouring its tail it is giving itself life while dying at the same time. Cleopatra’s depicted the serpent as half black and half white, demonstrating both day and night and making the polarities of the symbol more obvious. This creature is a symbol seen throughout many other mythical serpents such as the previously mentioned Jörmungandr and tomorrow’s creature, Python.

N Is For: Nemean Lion

Nemean Lion

Name: Nemean Lion

Origin: Greece

Type: Mythical Beast

Story:

There are two main tales about where the Nemean Lion came from. One tells of the lion once living on the moon until the goddess Selene threw him to Earth. The other is that Echidna mated with her son Orthos, giving birth to the Nemean Lion. The lion was said to be nearly invincible, no mortal weapon could kill the beast. When the demi-god Hercules was given his twelve tasks of heroism, the lion became his first. Once reaching the Nemean Plains, Hercules stumbled into the lion’s cave.

The cave lay empty but soon a mighty roar sounded from behind Hercules. As he turned he saw the lion charging for him. Quickly, Hercules fired some of his arrows but to no avail. They would not pierce the Nemean Lion’s skin. With the lion almost upon him, Hercules grabbed his club that was forged from an olive tree he once tore up. The pair began to struggle in combat, Hercules soon realizing the club could not harm the lion. With the beast about to close its jaws upon the demi-gods head, Hercules turned to his supernatural strength and was able to grapple with the lion, wrestling it to death.

M Is For: Mammon

Mammon

Name: Mammon

Origin: Middle-East (Judaism)

Type: Fallen Angel / Demon

Story:

Mammon is one of the great princes of Hell, having fallen with Lucifer (Satan). He is the ruler of wealth and greed. He was once worshiped as a god of prosperity, a king of materialism. Greed is one of the seven deadly sins, and Mammon’s counterpart in heaven is the angel of charity. The church used Mammon to gain mass amounts of wealth from peasants who feared having too many possession, thinking Mammon would come after their soul.