#FolkloreThursday: Mythical items I would love to own

Hi, all. Welcome to another Folklore Thursday post. I love these posts.

This week I’ve been looking up items from myth and folklore that I would love to own, either because they just sound really cool or they would help me in life. I present this list to you for your enjoyment.

1. Valshamr, Freyja’s Falcon Cloak (Norse)

Who wouldn’t want a cloak that allowed them to turn into a Falcon and fly? I’ve always had this whimsical dream that if I ended up in a fantasy novel/world, I would end up being a falconer (who just so happens to be a witch) so having a cloak which would allow me to turn into a falcon seems like a good alternative.

2. Senji Ryakketsu (Japanese)

Senji Ryakketsu is a book from the Heian period of Japan, it contains useful divinations for things like finding lost things and how to go about life. I am pretty sure everyone could do with having a copy. I definitely would. If it could tell me where half of the things I own are, I would be very appreciative.

3. The Crock and Dish of Rhygenydd Ysgolhaig (Welsh)

One of the Thirteen Treasures of the Island of Britain from Medieval Welsh folklore, the Crock and Dish is one of my favourite mythological items. Whatever food you might want to have appears in the Crock and Dish. I love food. I would love to have whatever food I wanted on tap. I would probably get incredibly fat but for the sake of having pancakes ready and waiting whenever I might want to eat them, I think I could handle it.

4. The Chariot of Morgan Mwynfawr (Welsh)

Another one of the Thirteen Treasures, Morgan Mwynfawr’s Chariot will take the rider wherever they wish to go, there is no location it cannot reach. No more paying for planes, trains, taxis, petrol. No more getting lost unless you wanted to. It’s perfect.

5. The Sandman’s Sand (Scandinavian/European)

Sand which, when sprinkled on the eyelids, brings good dreams. It just seems like a sweet thing to have access to.

6. Skatert-Samobranka (Russian)

A magic tablecloth! Ignoring the fact that if you say magic words, all of the food and drink you like will appear because we already have the Crock and Dish for that, the magic tablecloth gets rid of crumbs and plates and mess. I am not a fan of washing up so this sounds like the ideal item for me.

So, there you have it. My somewhat silly choices. I would like to think that most of them are practical.

If you could have any item from mythology or folklore, what would you choose and why? Do you approve of my choices? Have I squandered away all my chances at glory by picking things which will enable me to be lazy? You decide. Let me know in the comments if you are so inclined.

Happy Thursday!

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#FolkloreThursday: The Cryptozoologist Chronicles – the Moon Rabbit

Ah, #FolkloreThursday, how I love you.

What would my Folklore Thursday posts be if they didn’t contain any cryptozoology? Or at least, slight cryptozoology. If you’re new to the term, it is the study of and search for creatures that are not proven to exist – the Loch Ness monster, for example. For the purposes of this blog, I will be writing about/exploring/sharing cool creatures from folklore under the title ‘The Cryptozoologist Chronicles’. I am incredibly excited.


The Moon Rabbit

A lot of mythic creatures and stories originated when man looked up into the sky – so many stories have come from the celestial bodies that we can see from the earth and the Moon Rabbit is no exception. The Moon Rabbit, in its most basic form, is an outline on the moon in the shape of a rabbit. We make shapes from the clouds and the stars all the time, so why not the shadows caused by the craters and textures on the moon?

It is found in a number of different mythologies including both those originating in Asia and Native American folktales. It’s widely believed that the shadow next to the rabbit is a mortar and pestle but what each nationality can’t agree on is what the rabbit is grinding down.

In the Buddhist narrative, the shadow on the moon is not the rabbit itself but its portrait painted by Śakra/Sakka King of the Devas, after the rabbit offered its own meat to Sakka when he posed as a beggar. The rabbit showed its virtue in its selfless offering, so Sakka squeezed the essence from a mountain to immortalise his image in the sky. The Aztecs also believed that the Moon Rabbit was a virtuous and selfless being, offering itself this time as food to Quetzalcoatl. Quetzalcoatl, humbled by the rabbit’s intended sacrifice, took it to visit the moon, imprinting its image there so all could remember its generosity.

A Cree story depicts the rabbit riding a crane to the moon, its weight stretching the crane’s legs to the long form we know of today.

The Japanese and Korean versions of the tale lean heavily on the Buddhist story, with the exception that the rabbit is taken back to the moon to live, and while there he pounds out rice cake on his mortar and pestle.

However, in Chinese mythology the Moon Rabbit is known as the Jade Rabbit, and is a rabbit who lives on the moon with the goddess Chang’e. The rabbit grinds out elixirs of immortality for her. It is said that Chang’e sent the Jade Rabbit down to China when it was facing a plague to cure each family that suffered, asking nothing in return but the occasional item of clothing.

Not content with simply being a figure from a story, the Moon Rabbit also came up as a conversation point during the American moon landing. I adore this little detail.

Houston: Among the large headlines concerning Apollo this morning, there’s one asking that you watch for a lovely girl with a big rabbit. An ancient legend says a beautiful Chinese girl called Chang-o has been living there for 4000 years. It seems she was banished to the Moon because she stole the pill of immortality from her husband. You might also look for her companion, a large Chinese rabbit, who is easy to spot since he is always standing on his hind feet in the shade of a cinnamon tree. The name of the rabbit is not reported.

Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin: Okay. We’ll keep a close eye out for the bunny girl.

I love rabbits, I love the moon, so of course I love the Moon Rabbit. The fact it spans so many cultures is just a bonus. Have you heard any more tales about the Moon Rabbit? Did you know about it before this post? Let me know in the comments. :)

Happy Thursday!