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This is an online encyclopedia containing subjects of mythology and folklore, thus came the title MYTHICAL-FOLK. Mythology and folklore are related as can be seen in the description of the Hindu god Krishna. The name Krishna has various derivations, two of which are prominently associated with this god. The first comes from the Sanskrit krs (to drag, to give pain). In this sense Krishna symbolizes the Kali Yoga, and the Age of Suffering. The second derivation of Krishna is "black," both currently and in the Vedas. It is thought that Krishna originally came from the black Hindu society that the white Aryans conquered. Therefore, he, or whoever was the real person or persons that gradually developed this persona, was from the dasa (servant or slave) caste, and from which evolved two characterizations. One was Krishna, the pre-Aryan hero. Even though he had not been of the brahmin caste, the Brahmins adopted the image of Krishna as a warrior to help enforce their domination over the castes below them.
His second characterization was that of Krishna, the lowly cowherd. This was the persona by which the populace most loved and worshipped him. People loved him as the low-caste cowboy living among a pastoral clan by the river Yamuna because they could identify with his humanity. It was mainly in this latter form, with many tales composing its formation, that Krishna was incorporated into the Hindu pantheon along with many other pre-Aryan deities. As can be seen, throughout the centuries folklore and mythology emerged inseparably into one belief of a god.
As it has been shown, the stories of human men inevitably become so entwined, or interwoven, that the form beliefs of gods. For Plato, who is the first known user of the term mythologia that meant no more than story telling, which were usually about legendary figures. This definition fitted into Greek mythology quite appropriately because the characters in the stories were not just gods, but included a vast numbers of heroes such as the most famous Hercules, Jason, and Theseus. Hercules, for example, may have undertaken the twelve Herculean Labors because of the goddess Hera's animosity toward him, but his superhuman exploits fell short of genuine divinity; his divinity came from the stories told about him and his reception on Mount Olympus by the gods and goddesses, especially Hera with who he reacted his birth and she gave her daughter Hebe to him in marriage.
Even those many of the stories or myths are about supernatural gods and
superhuman beings certain characteristics are advertently seen throughout
them, the human strengths and weakness. These characteristics made the myths
so enduring to the people. The gods and heroes were like themselves, but
overcame adversity or at times failed when confronting it. Krishna was the
admired young warrior whom some used for their own advantage; he also was
the lowly cowboy whom many could identify with. Hercules was the symbol
of strength, the man who performed superhuman feats but also suffered enormous
adversities. There was the god Apollo,
another son of Zeus, who showed his
strength be establishing his oracle at Delphi but had to maintain it against
his brother Hercules who challenged him. Here is shown an exhibition of
rivaling siblings that existed in Grecian times. Among the lovers of Apollo
were both men, or youth, and women, thus indicating homosexuality was present
in Grecian society, if not accepted. The practice was seen in their gods.
So was chastity, as both Apollo's twin sister Artemis
and her sister Athena
remained virgin goddesses. In the society was also incest. Hera, Zeus' final wife, was also his sister.
Currently there are many in the world who do not hold to the premise that god, capitalized or not-makes no difference, made man; for them this premise has became the first part of the question: Did god make man, or did man make god? Based upon the previous discussion of mythology the latter portion of the question seems to hold true. The encyclopedia MYTHICAL-FOLK does not try to definitively answer this question, but it does definitely present evidence that supports the notion that most people in myths and otherwise have portrayed their gods in characterization according to themselves. As the occultist Dion Fortune phrased it: The true nature of the gods, she said, is that of magical images shaped out of the astral plane by mankind's thoughts, and is influenced by the mind. There are several reasons for such a presentation. Two of them are understanding, which hopefully included open-minded awareness, and education.
It is difficult to say which precedes the other, understanding or education; to many the two are inseparable in order to reach a nonjudgmental perception of mythology and history. Historical understanding is definitely included in mythology, for if people characterize their gods according to themselves, then the people themselves are characterized. The observer, the student and reader of mythology, must be trained, or self-trained, to be nonjudgmental; in short, accept everything that he observes as objectively as ones accepts the simple mathematical equation 2 times 2 equals 4. When accepting what one observes as fact, no matter how different it may be from one's own personal beliefs, one can use this observation to gather further information just as the simple mathematical equation can be used to do higher mathematics. Each becomes a steppingstone to something else. As one comes to understand, in the study of mythology there is no room for judgment, as will be shown later. A judgment, considering something wrong or incorrect if it does not agree with one's personal value system, will almost surely hinder the person's understanding and research. Whatever has been done in the past must be accepted as fact. As a classical literature professor once said, "Don't try to put Christianity on the ancient Greeks, it doesn't work." Still one may question or examine the reasons that people held such beliefs, which usually leads to further discovered information.
This further discovered information is another reason for the encyclopedia's presentation of mythology and folklore. The encyclopedia will endeavor to illustrate ways in which others are currently using such information toward self-fulfillment especially in the areas of occultism and mysticism. One example of this is seen in the adoration of the goddess Hecate, the Hellenes emphasized her Crone aspects, but continued to worship her at places where three roads connected, especially in rites of magic, divination, and consulting with the dead. Offerings, particularly on nights of the full moon, were left at roadside shrines built in her honor, especially by those wishing this goddess of prophecy and magic to assist them on journeys. This latter aspect of worship to and petitioning of the goddess is rather interesting when one remembers many Roman Catholics once prayed to St. Christopher for a safe journey when traveling; a particular belief in the help of the supernatural seems to continue throughout the ages.
The study of mythology and folklore also gives one different views on life. For example, when realizing the modern occultist Aleister Crowley, and others, prayed to the Egyptian sun god Re one recognizes that even in current times the belief systems of others vary. What might be sacrilegious within one system might be approved of in another, which does not mean one is right while the other is wrong when both are observed with a nonjudgmental attitude. This also holds true for various aspects found in mythology such as homosexuality and incest found among the Greek gods. It indicates morality among ancient civilizations was different than present morality, these things were more acceptable, or seem to be. By applying the findings of mythological study to oneself, one can broaden one's point of view, which is another objective the encyclopedia wishes to help the visitor accomplish.
Lastly, and perhaps most of all, the MYTHICAL-FOLK hopes to be entertaining.
Knowledge just for its own sake usually does not mean much or do much for
the visitor, but if the visitor finds an idea or practice which he likes
and wants to explore it further or revisit the encyclopedia, then the encyclopedia's
purpose has be fully achieved. Visitors can also ask for further information
on a particular topic or related topics even not yet in the encyclopedia
by using the feedback option.
Finally, the Mystical-Folk, like her sister-site the MYSTICA on the MYSTICA.ORG will be always opened to everyone and forever free.