Mermaids and unicorns
The world folklore there are many stories about poluzhenschina, poluryba, seductive inhabitant of sea depths origins of these legends date back to ancient Babylon Why do they have survived to this day. Maybe right modern psychologists who claim that this image symbolizes sexual desire, leading to self-destruction. These days, people tend to deny the existence of mermaids, as well as unicorns These mythical creatures, with the body of a horse or other animal, but not necessarily with a single horn, often mentioned in the tales and legends of it only by human imagination they entered into folklore .
On a warm summer's day in 1890, William Monroe teacher strolling along the beach in the Scottish Keytness County Suddenly rock protruding from the sea, he saw a creature resembling a sitting naked woman Had Monroe knew that the swim to the rock is extremely dangerous, then he not there would be no doubt that he was watching the woman, but there was something in all this country, and he began to look closely lower part of the body was under water, but Monroe saw bare arms, combing her long, shiny brown hair a few minutes of being It slipped off the rock into the sea and out of sight
After much internal vibrations after 12 years Monroe sent a note to the London "Times" In the letter he very carefully and coldly described the creation of a "head was covered with hair above the color (brown), slightly darker on top, bulging forehead, his face puffy, her cheeks rosy, blue eyes, mouth and lips natural form, similar to human teeth, I could not see, because his mouth was closed, his chest and abdomen, hands and fingers of the same size as that of an adult representative of the human race, then, as it is being used their fingers (combing), it does not imply the presence of membranes, but about that I'm not sure "
Monroe said that although other credible people claimed to have seen the creature, he he did not believe it until I saw it myself and saw convinced that this creature was a mermaid, he hoped that his letter might help validate "the existence of the phenomenon, there is still little known to naturalists, or reduce the skepticism of those who are always ready to challenge all that is unable to comprehend"
It is quite logical letter that belief in mermaids was not the prerogative of the men going crazy with boredom and abstinence in the long ocean journeys fact mermaid as dragons - a symbol almost universal mention of them can be found in the folklore of all countries of the world, and if there is no sea, her house becomes a river or a lake seems that, as in the case of the dragon, the appearance of a mermaid is associated with a symbolic expression of some internal needs of men
Unattainable seductress, sexy and voluptuous, and at the same time cold and elusive Her eternal youth and beauty, magic voice and the art of seduction lured into a trap helpless sailors in the interpretation of modern psychologists, it is a symbol of the confusion of sexual desire and death, desire of a man is completely forgotten, even knowing that it means self-destruction
For legends about mermaids hiding a series of romantic dreams and the pursuit of the ideal - the woman is not available, unlike the mortals on the very spot where Monroe took this "amazing story" previously occurred even more amazing incident Local legend has it that one day a mermaid he gave a certain young man gold, silver and diamonds, collected it on the wreck he took the gifts, but some jewelry he gave his girlfriend, but, what is worse, he has not met with a mermaid promised many times, which caused her jealousy and anger once she swam to his boat and sent her to a nearby cave, saying that there are all ever lost in the Gulf of treasures at that moment he fell asleep
Waking up, he found chained to a rock gold chains so that he could reach only a pile of diamonds at the entrance to the cave And though he now had treasures and a mermaid, to carry out his wishes, while he remained a prisoner. He was trapped by its own greed.
It is well known that the mermaid cruel revenge being betrayed or somehow offended. The source of these representations of mermaids are probably the sexual fantasies of men of rebellious creation, obsessed with the performance of only their own desires. According to some legends, the mermaid - a fallen angel, which serves as food the flesh of the living. Singing and the wonderful music it lures sailors to their network. (Here, the image is mixed with the siren.) If that happens rarely, a way to attract does not work, it relies on the unique smell of his body, which can not resist any man. Having caught and having lulled his victim, she tears it into pieces with sharp green teeth.
Under less severe legend, mermaids and newts living in the underwater kingdom, among the many treasures. Their sacrifices they took to him. So sailors say mermaid bad omen. This means that who saw her soon drown in the sea.
It seems that the roots of legends about mermaids back to the powerful Babylonian deity associated with the sun and the moon. God Oan-ness of the sun was a human body, his crown was made of the fish head and mantle of fish scales. Gradually it replaced the god Ea, already poluryba-half-human, and we can assume that the emergence of myths about the newts associated with it. Goddess of the moon Atargartis, poluzhenschina-poluryba, was the forerunner of the mermaids. The Babylonians believed that the sun and moon complete their daily journey through the heavens, they are immersed in the sea. And it seemed natural that the sun and moon gods must have a suitable body for life under water and out of it. Unusual body of the gods - the union of man and fish, and the ability to dive into the unknown depths of the ocean - it was added mystery. Mermaids have inherited these qualities. Maybe a mirror with which they are often depicted, symbolizing the moon affects the tides and thus increases the power of the mermaids. Apparently, communication with these gods, endowed with an exceptional time in the pre-Christian power, increased the people's faith in the legends about mermaids.
Other direct predecessors mermaids - newts in Greek mythology. Tritons could induce calm or storm, and their bodies, like the mermaids, consisted of two parts - one is human, the other - the fish. Although the sirens in Greek mythology were poluzhenschina-half-birds, they, like the mermaids, the wonderful singing of luring people to himself. When the Greek hero Odysseus was trying to pass them, he plugged the ears of his sailors with wax, and tied himself to the mast to resist the temptation of singing.
Indian River nymphs had a human face, but a lot in common with them mermaids. They skillfully played the lute and, of course, were extremely beautiful and seductive. Irregular and looking for new victories, they never avenged the men and tried to bring joy.
With the establishment of Christianity, a new theme in the legends about mermaids: they were described as being passionately wishes to receive the soul. Christians believed that the mermaid can find the soul, only promising to leave the sea and the dream to go back ever, and live on land. This led to the mermaid cruel internal conflict, as for being, which is only half a man, such a life is impossible.
Known touching and sad story, dating back to the VI century, the mermaid every day to visit the monk brotherhood of St. Jonah on a small island near Scotland. She prayed for the soul, and the monk prayed with her, to give her the strength to leave the sea. Although the mermaid fell in love with a monk passionately and really wanted to have a soul, she was unable to bring the sea. And in the end, weeping bitterly, she left the island forever. They say that the tears shed by it turned into pebbles, and is still the gray-green stones on the coast of Iona called "mermaid's tears."
Seals with their sleek body and behavior of certain features resembling human, for a long time been associated with mermaids. Many scientists believe that the stories about mermaids are based on the impressions of fleeting encounters with seals. The legends about mermaids seal usually appears as their constant companion. There is a story about how one day a fisherman stunned and skinned seal, and then threw him, still alive, back into the sea. Taking pity on the animal, mermaid went in search of the skin. But she caught a fellow of the fisherman, and she died from too long exposure to the air. And then, in gratitude for her bravery, seals always accompany steel mermaids.
In Scandinavia, Scotland and Ireland, there are many legends about people who are forced to live in the sea in the form of a seal, and only sometimes on the beach turns into a man. Some thought that the seals - fallen angels, others felt their souls of drowned persons or victims imposed curse. In some Irish families there was a belief that the ancestors of humans were seals. In Asia Minor, the whole nation tied its appearance with the episode described in Greek mythology. Sea nymph turned into a seal to avoid the obsessive attention of the son of Zeus, however, it was too late, since shortly after his conversion gave birth to a son named Focus - "seal". Fokoytsy proud of their descent from the sea nymphs, and their coins decorated with images of the seal.
These two creatures - mermaids and sea nymphs - have much in common, and so many legends is quite impossible to understand who they are. Both love to sing and dance and have the gift of prophecy. There are stories of how sea nymphs and mermaids, loving person, living on the banks for years to come. Many believed that each mermaid has a crown, without which it can not return to the sea. And if a man will be able to steal it and hide, then he can marry a mermaid; but if she ever finds her crown, then immediately disappear with her in waves. Similarly, a man can marry a sea nymph, but for this he must steal and hide it a second, "a seal" the skin. there are many legends about it. Following an ancient tradition of Highlanders - one of many. Man passionately loved the beautiful sea nymph, stole the skin and | carefully hid. Then they got married, they had children, and all! We were very happy, but one day one of the sons found hidden skin and showed it to his mother. Without a moment's hesitation, she put it on and happily jumped into the sea, leaving their children forever.
It is said that in 1403 the mermaid has penetrated into the river through the ruined dam near Edam, Holland, and was caught. Her fate was different from the usual fate of the captured mermaids. The subsequent 15 years she has lived in Haarlem, learned to spin and obey his mistress. After his death she was buried according to Christian tradition.
In some areas, the legends about mermaids live long enough. In 1895, the inhabitants of the Welsh port of Milford Haven still believed that mermaids or sea fairies, regularly visited by the town weekly fair. They get to the city by way of underwater quickly buy everything you need (tortoiseshell combs for the hair, and the like) and go to the next day of the trade fair.
However, the most popular stories about mermaids were among the sailors. Previously skeptical, Christopher Columbus noted during his first trip, he saw three mermaids frolicking in the sea off the coast of Guiana. During the long months of voyages sailors suffered from boredom and sexual frustration, and maybe that's why regularly seen mermaids. Perhaps this is due to the sexual fantasies of marine mammals such as seals graceful or even absurd dugongs and seals, it began to seem beautiful poluzhenschina? Who knows?
The famous English explorer Henry Hudson describes his encounter with a mermaid like an ordinary case. In his diary for June 15, 1625 the following entry is found: "One of the team looked over the side and saw a mermaid. Top of the navel her chest and back were as a woman ... very white skin and falling down black hair. When she dived, they saw her tail, like a dolphin's tail brown, mottled with spots like a mackerel. " In Russia, mermaids were "tall, pale and sad"; and wrote about them in Thailand, and in Scotland. There, in May 1658 in the River Dee estuary were seen mermaids, and "Aberdeen Almanac" promised the travelers that they "definitely will see a flock of lovely mermaids, amazingly beautiful creatures."
As rumors about mermaids multiplied, began to appear inevitable in such cases of forgery. They are usually produced by combining the upper part of the monkey with a fish tail. One of them may have made in the XVII century, it was shown at the exhibition of fakes, held by the British Museum in London in 1961. Most of these so-called mermaids were extremely ugly, but cause permanent interest.
In one edition of 1717 there is an image of a mermaid supposedly authentic. Signature: "It seems the siren monster caught on the coast of Borneo, in the administrative district of Amboyna. At a length of 1.5 meters, physique like an eel. Having lived on the land for 4 days and seven hours in a barrel with water. Periodically make sounds resembling a mouse squeak. Proposed clams, crabs and lobsters have not gone ... "
Mermaid interested even Peter I. He appealed to the Danish colonial priest Francois Valentin, who wrote on this topic. The latter could add a little, but described another mermaid from Amboyny. She saw more than 50 witnesses, when she frolicked with his friend. The priest was convinced of the veracity of the stories about mermaids. "If all the world any stories and trustworthy - he wrote - that, in particular these. The fact that some do not believe in them, does not mean anything; there will always be people who deny the existence of cities such as Constantinople, Rome, Cairo, just because they did not have to see them. "
Although it was assumed that the mermaid cruel and depraved, the sailors were confident in their tenderness and purity. The desire to catch a mermaid and may leave themselves for all sorts of fun was so large that the sailors everywhere saw their heroine's erotic dreams. One writer once said: "The fact that the human imagination from the ocean depths has created these beautiful, mysterious and dangerous sea goddess, was, of course, to answer some basic human needs."
Almost everywhere in Europe in the Middle Ages, cathedrals and churches were decorated with carved stone or carved wooden mermaid. But since the middle of the XIX century more enlightened belief in them has weakened. When steamers replaced sailing ships and sea travel became much shorter, the sailors became less and less to talk about what they tempted, seduced or teased siren. However, the mermaid had not been completely forgotten. In 1900, in the north of Scotland landowner Alexander Gunn
again I met one of them. When he and his dog tried to rescue stuck in the crevice of a sheep, then he looked up and locked eyes with his elbows on the nearby reef mermaid. She had wavy golden-red hair, green eyes and arched eyebrows arch. She was extremely good. It's hard to say who was struck more - he, a mermaid or a dog. However, the first gave vent to his feelings of the dog. Cheekbones and tail between his legs, she ran after the farmer's back. Gunn saw the mermaid scared, but still more than angry. Later, he told his friend: "What I saw - the truth. I actually met a mermaid. "
After 50 years, walking in the same place, the two girls ran into a mermaid, left stranded tide. According to the description, it was like the one that met Hanna. Shortly thereafter, in a completely different part of the world, to a rather meager list of meetings with the mermaids in the XX century it has been added to another. It was January 3, 1957, when the traveler Eric de Bishop was sailing on his model of the reconstructed ancient Polynesian raft from Tahiti to Chile. In the book "Tahiti Nui", published two years later, he says that the watch suddenly behaved very strangely. The sailor began to prove to all that he saw strange creature that jump out of the water onto the deck. Balancing on the tail, the creature with hair, like the finest algae, fell in front of him. Touching the intruder, the sailor was in response to a strike that sprawled on the deck, and the creature disappeared in the waves. As a sailor hands was shining fish scales, de BBC Shop doubted the veracity of the story - a meeting with a mermaid really happened. In 1961, four years later, the Isle of Man Tourism company held a "week of fishing" and offered a prize to the person who catches a mermaid living in the Irish Sea. Immediately there were some reports of red-haired nymphs frolicking in the waves. Despite this, no one was caught. Irish mermaid proved as elusive as their sisters in the past.
Of course, now very few people can honestly say that they really believe in the existence of mermaids. Nevertheless, some have found a mermaid pseudoreal. Legends about them are so common and fascinating that the mermaid, like dragons - creations of the human subconscious - become a symbol. The same thing happened with a unicorn.
This mythical creature in principle can be any animal, but it must necessarily have a single long horn. As is the case with the dragons, the appearance and behavior of the Unicorn varies depending on the area in which legends. Sometimes he looks like at the same time on several animals, or can be some very specific animal - a horse, a goat or even a snake. In the West describe the wild animals who love solitude. It is believed that it is impossible to tame. In China, it is peaceful and gentle creature that brings good luck. Like other mythical creatures, unicorn symbolizes the set of phenomena and concepts. The only horn is a symbol of masculinity and royal power, in some cases, it is a symbol of purity. With horn and the female body, unicorn combines features of both sexes. With its Chinese name "ki-lin" means "male-female". Mix in one being opposed to each other male and female points to the fact that the unicorn was a symbol of reconciliation and other opposites. The idea of the harmony of opposing forces was an important part of the worldview of the ancient magicians and alchemists, so in the history of magic unicorn plays an important role.
For the first time in the West, the unicorn was mentioned in a book about India, the Greek historian Ctesias in 398 BC. e. That's part of the description: "In India, found a kind of wild asses the size of a horse, and even more. The body is white, his eyes dark blue, head -Dark red. Of forehead a horn sticks out about a meter in length. " It seems that Ctesias was based on guesswork and stories of travelers. In this case, the unicorn - a mixture of a rhinoceros, some antelope and wild ass. The book also says that at the end of the horn is pointed at the base of it is white in the middle - black and purple ends. Perhaps Ctesias just saw a vessel, painted in such a way and made of horns, because Indian rulers are usually drunk from such horns. He also wrote that the horn is the perfect antidote and drinking from a horn are protected from seizure and poisoning. Prior to modern times, people believed in this horn property. Rich and powerful people pay through the nose for blood vessels, presumably made from the horn of a unicorn.
Pharmacists often said that in their arsenal of therapeutic drug has a unicorn's horn. Sometimes attributed to him the ability to raise the dead. Even in the XVII and XVIII centuries alicorn - a powder made from the horn of the unicorn, it has been included in the list of drugs produced by the English Royal Physical Society. Mad cost of medicines included in many sayings. Pharmacists explained the high prices that unicorns live in India and it is necessary to carry out the powder.
In 1641, the French Marquis wrote that travel in London on display in the Tower saw a unicorn's horn. It was the property of Queen Elizabeth I, which cost about 40 000 pounds. Marquis wanted to check the authenticity of the horn. For this purpose it was necessary to wrap it in silk and put in the fire. If a real horn, - he claimed the Marquis, - the silk does not burn. Fortunately, the presence of the guards are not allowed to carry out this experiment Marquis.
The cleaning properties of the horns are described in the famous medieval legend. Many animals in the twilight gather at the pond. But the water is poisoned, and they can not drink it. Soon comes the unicorn, he puts the horn into the water, and the poison disappears. The Christian interpretation of the horn symbolizes the cross, and the water - worldly sins.
Another famous and symbolic medieval legend - that i like hunting for unicorns. Unicorn - a wild creature, the size of a goat. He is too fast and agile hunter. It can catch only a young virgin, sitting alone in the woods under a tree. Drawn by the scent of chastity, unicorn approaches and puts his head on her lap. Virgin tenderly stroking his horn until the unicorn will not fall asleep. Then she cuts off the horn and calling the hunters with dogs. The sexual symbolism of this story is clear and often played up in an erotic culture. However, there is the Christian interpretation of this legend. Virgin - The Virgin Mary, the unicorn - Christ and the horn symbolizes the unity of the Father and the Son. Christ sacrificed for the salvation of sinful world.
Some naturalists believed that a unicorn can be derived artificially. And in March 1933, it happened. The American biologist Dr. Franklin Dove operated on at the University of Maine-day Ayrshire calf. He transplanted in the frontal part of the fetal calf horns on top of each other, suggesting that during the growth they unite in a single horn, like a unicorn. As a result of this successful experiment appeared horned bull. He was not like the medieval description of unicorns, that the efforts of the courtiers gained literary subtlety and elegance of fine horses. But his behavior is different from normal bulls. Maybe once before people such as Franklin Dove, brought such a creature, having the properties which distinguish it from the two-horned fellow? And perhaps these beings were the source of the origin of the first legends? Or was much more prosaic, and the prototype of the Unicorn was an ordinary rhinoceros - Indian or African? Or maybe all the same unicorn, mystical and magical creature - a product solely of the human imagination?