Zoological Mythology (of 2) Volume I

Zoological Mythology (of 2) Volume I

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Excerpt: ...on which she stands and which represents her foot is so much the larger; therefore when we leave the chariot out of account, and suppose, on the contrary, that she goes on foot, inasmuch as, when walking, she takes up much room, the swan's, or goose's, or duck's foot given to her in the myth of Freya and the legend of Berta is quite suited to her. And seeing, as we have said, that the foot (the myths almost always speak of one foot alone; even the devil is lame, or has only one foot) and the tail of an animal are often substituted for each other in mythology, we can understand how, in a Russian story, 471 the hero who has fallen into a marsh was able to deliver himself by clutching hold of the tail of a duck. This duck being the aurora, and having a wide spreading tail as well as a large foot, the solar hero, or the sun, can easily, by holding on to her, raise himself out of the swamp of night. There is a German story 472 in Pg 254 which the white woman, or the Berta, is transformed into a duck. In another German legend, 473 instead of the swan-footed Berta, we have the Virgin Mary (who, as a maiden, represents the virgin aurora, always pure, even after having given birth to the sun; like the Kunti of the Mahabharatam, who gives birth to Kar as, the child of the sun, and yet is still a virgin. On the other hand, when a good old woman, good woman or Madonna, she generally personifies, in the legends, the moon) who, in the shape of a swan, comes to deliver from the prison of the infidels (the Saracens or Turks, here the black demons, or the darkness of night), and carry off by land and by sea, the young hero whom she protects (the aurora delivers the sun from the night). 474 The same luminous Berta also assumes, in popular German tradition, the form of St Lucia, that is, the saint who, after having been made blind, became the protectress of eyesight. Of the blind or black cow of night is born the luminous cow of morning, the aurora that sees...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 138 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 8mm | 259g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236708261
  • 9781236708267