Tag Archives: mythology

Unicorn! Seen One Lately?

unicornMy husband met a unicorn last week.

He was impressed enough to take pictures.

He says he doesn’t believe in unicorns. He has a degree in physics, thank you! However, everyone who sees his pictures says “unicorn.” White, blue-eyed–what else could it be? No horn? They hide their horn, except in moonlight. I’m guessing that more people know that than understand what goes on in a particle accelerator.

JonUnicorns have been part of mythology since 400 BC when Ctesias describes them as living in India. Aristotle disputed his description and added his own. Although unicorns were never part of Greek mythology, they were included in Greek books of natural history. They are mentioned in the Hebrew Bible–repeatedly. Marco Polo claims to have seen one. The King of Scotland, James I, supposed brought one with him when he assumed the English throne. It has remained a part of the royal coat of arms ever since. The Simpsons televisions show includes an episode with a unicorn. My granddaughter has adopted a stuffed one that she sleeps with, pink sparkles and all.

Unicorn paintingWho cares?

Evidently everyone from Ctesias to my granddaughter.

More to the point, this is a blog about the power of stories, and without stories, we wouldn’t have unicorns!

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Filed under Animal Stories, Fantasy, Legend, Old Storytelling Traditions, stories, Uncategorized, Why Stories?

Story Quote #10 (Joseph Campbell, Give Me A Break!!)

Jcflogo“All of the great mythologies and much of the mythic story-telling of the world are from the male point of view. When I was writing The Hero with a Thousand Faces and wanted to bring female heroes in, I had to go to the fairy tales. These were told by women to children, you know, and you get a different perspective. It was the men who got involved in spinning most of the great myths. The women were too busy; they had too damn much to do to sit around thinking about stories.” —Joseph Campbell

This is also the excuse that is often given for why there are few great women painters or composers before the 20th Century. We were too busy fixing dinner!

Fairy tales? I assume Mr. Campbell never thought to ask his mother, aunts, grandmother, etc. about his own family stories. Most families have a foundation myth, a story about how they came to be where they are, and those stories are largely preserved /retold by women.

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Filed under fairytale, Family Stories, History, Old Storytelling Traditions, Story Quote, Uncategorized