March 2020 Updates and Beast Suggestions

Well, it’s been a crazy year so far, and it’s still early. I sincerely hope you are all well and holding up fine under social distancing/quarantine wherever you are. The coronavirus situation is affecting all of us, in ways we may not have expected. In terms of blogging, my biggest hurdle right now is not being able to access physical books from libraries. That’s pretty minor. It might delay a few of my posts, but I’ll continue to share as well as visiting your blogs to enjoy your wit, wisdom, and artwork in the coming months. I know many of you are facing much more frightening situations. Hopefully, the situation will soon begin to improve, although I’m sure it will leave changes in its wake.

So, switching down to site news: It’s getting close to April, which means I’m getting ready for another Quarterly Bestiary! As always, I’m officially inviting you to suggest beasts you’d like covered in the future, though I’ll be happy to consider suggestions made at any time. I’ve also got one more Sunshine post, which will probably come first because I need a something to brighten my blog right now.

Also, you may have noticed a small change in my last post. I include a list of sources at the end of my posts because I want to be transparent about where I’m getting my information. However, I’ve come to realize that long list is a bit of a pain to scroll through on the way to the “like” and “share” buttons, not to mention the comments. With that in mind, I’ve decided to make the sources section collapsible. I’ve seen hints that this feature doesn’t work on all browsers, however, so I want to ask you how your experience of this new feature has been so far. Is it working? Do you like it? Please tell me if you’ve had any technical difficulties or have any opinions about it so that I can continue to improve!

Siuil a Run: A Song and a Manga Bridging Two Traditions

It’s the week of St. Patrick’s Day, which means it’s time for an Irish-themed post! I’m part Irish and feel a strong connection to that heritage. So every March, I’ll be covering a topic related to Irish mythology, history, or media—or even all three. Erin go bragh!

Follow a thread of story and you never know where you’ll end up. About a year ago, I stumbled on an unusual manga about two characters who blur the black-and-white rules of their world. Siúil a Rún: The Girl from the Other Side is now one of my favorite graphic series, and volume 8 is scheduled for release today, St. Patrick’s Day! What’s Irish Gaelic doing in a manga title? Well, when I went searching for the answer to that question, it led me back to an Irish folk song. On the surface, they’re very different works, but both reflect on the divisions of human conflict versus the bonds that bring us together. This time, I’ll take the proper path, from “Siúil a Rún”, a song of love and war, to a manga that blends European and Japanese mythological influences. Continue reading “Siuil a Run: A Song and a Manga Bridging Two Traditions”

Sunshine Blogger Award from Caz

Sunshine

I am delighted to have received another Sunshine Blogger Award nomination, this time from Caz of mentalhealthfromtheotherside! If you’re looking for a hard-hitting evaluation of the mental health profession with a sharp wit, please stop by Caz’ blog. She writes pieces revealing the challenges and problems in mental hospitals from first-hand experience as well as examining different mental health diagnoses and taking on the myths around them. Not the kind of myths I cover, the kind that hurt. Funny but true, she nominated me around the same time I nominated her on my first Sunshine post! Thank you, Caz. You are an amazing, courageous person and I appreciate you giving me this award! Continue reading “Sunshine Blogger Award from Caz”

Two Major Love Days: Part 2—The Qixi Festival

Welcome to Part 2 of my dive into two of the biggest love days! The original article covered both, but it grew so large that I decided to split it in half. I’ll turn now from Valentine’s Day to the Qīxī Festival of China. Though it may not be as well known in countries where Valentine’s dominates, this love day still has a sizeable following. Like Valentine’s Day, it has experienced some commercialization, but at its heart is a love story that has survived for more than 2, 000 years. I particularly enjoy how its mythology weaves itself around the stars. So let’s take a look at this very different love day and how it has evolved. Continue reading “Two Major Love Days: Part 2—The Qixi Festival”

Two Major Love Days: Part 1—Valentine’s Day

For better or for worse, Valentine’s Day has passed, leaving some with beautiful memories, some with new relationships, and some with cross sighs. I hope yours was one of the better ones! Whether you love it or hate, celebrate it or shun it, Valentine’s Day remains a popular day to celebrate love and romance. If that’s not your thing, you may be glad to have it behind you. However, if you can’t get enough with one love day, there’s more ahead, like White Day! The number of love days that exist around the world is staggering. I’d like to take a look into two of the biggest, starting with that flood of chocolate, greeting cards, and anxiety, Valentine’s Day. Continue reading “Two Major Love Days: Part 1—Valentine’s Day”

Sunshine Blogger Award

Sunshine

Last month, Kacha from Food.for.Thought nominated me for my first Sunshine Blogger Award! I’m a big fan of the Sunshine Blogger Award, so I was thrilled to receive Kacha’s nomination! If you’re not already a dedicated fan, I highly recommend checking out Kacha’s blog, https://journeythroughlife591163021.wordpress.com/. Continue reading “Sunshine Blogger Award”

Red Thread Reblog: Chinese Goblins, Monsters, Spirits, Demons, Ghosts, Immortals, and Gods — Haoheng Chinese Translations

Welcome to Red Thread Reblog, a feature that pairs a post about media inspired by mythology with a post about the mythology shown in the media.

Happy Lunar New Year! Now that we’ve taken a look at The Dragon Warrior, let’s look at the mythology behind it. Haoheng Stone (also known as Eric Stone) is a Chinese-English translator who primary works with human rights-related news articles and government policies. He also runs a blog featuring translations of essays, literature, and political articles from China and Taiwan. I am extremely grateful for these translations as it allows me to read Chinese sources on mythology I would otherwise be unable to access. This article, translated from text by Gan Daofu, discusses the different broad categories of supernatural entities in Chinese mythology. In The Dragon Warrior, Farin fights with guai and yaoguai as well as interacting with shen of various levels. One of the entries also gives insight into the fate of Farin’s grandfather. The book sometimes alternates between Chinese terms and English translations, so to gain a better understanding of the spirit beings of the book, check out the article!

In Traditional Folk Lore and Mythology By: Gan Daofu, Translated By: Eric Stone Source: Article Raw Chinese Text: PasteBin Goblin-monsters Goblin-monster (yaoguai, or yokai in Japanese) is a general term for all supernatural and magical creatures [in Chinese folk lore and mythology] that aren’t gods (shen), immortals (xian), humans, or ghosts (gui), and which have […]

via Chinese Goblins, Monsters, Spirits, Demons, Ghosts, Immortals, and Gods — Haoheng Chinese Translations

Red Thread Reblog: The Dragon Warrior by Katie Zhao – A Love Letter to Diasporic and Immigrant Kids; A Fun Adventure about Dragons, Warriors, and Courage — The Quiet Pond

Welcome to Red Thread Reblog, a feature that pairs a post about media inspired by mythology with a post about the mythology shown in the media.

For the media side, we have a review of The Dragon Warrior from CW of The Quiet Pond! If you haven’t stopped by The Quiet Pond, I highly recommend taking a look. The site features reviews of books by diverse authors, often in the fantasy vein but always looking for empowering #OwnVoices stories. There’s a strong artistic element too. Each member of the team has a magical Pond character avatar who represents them and who become characters in events like the Pondathon reading challenge going on now. Hop over to the Pond to meet Xiaolong, Keeper of Magic, and her friends! I have the Pond to thank for introducing me to The Dragon Warrior, by Katie Zhao. The Lunar New Year, coming up tomorrow, is an important part of this amazing story of…Well, instead of my fan-ramblings, let’s take a look at the review that started it all.

Blurb: As a member of the Jade Society, twelve-year-old Faryn Liu dreams of honoring her family and the gods by becoming a warrior. But the Society has shunned Faryn and her brother Alex ever since their father disappeared years ago, forcing them to train in secret. Then, during an errand into San Francisco, Faryn stumbles […]

via The Dragon Warrior by Katie Zhao – A Love Letter to Diasporic and Immigrant Kids; A Fun Adventure about Dragons, Warriors, and Courage — The Quiet Pond

Quarterly Bestiary: The Firebird: A Unique Gem or Just Another Phoenix?

Welcome to another Quarterly Bestiary! Featuring, once again, images by Bridget Sarsen!

Winter Solstice has passed, and the days begin to lengthen once more. To celebrate the return of the light, what better than a creature of brilliance like the Firebird? I had been thinking of looking into this bright Russian beast for a while. However, when I started researching, I quickly found a frequent confusion between firebirds and phoenixes. I even found websites like this one that calls the Firebird a phoenix, and this one that calls the phoenix a firebird.

So is the Firebird a phoenix? Here is what I found. Continue reading “Quarterly Bestiary: The Firebird: A Unique Gem or Just Another Phoenix?”

New Year’s Update 2020: Quarterly Bestiary, New Feature, and Cats

Hello, 2020! The New Year has arrived. What new projects are you planning? Now, I know you can start new ventures at any time during the year. In fact, I hope you do. But the start of a new year is great for drumming up motivation to renew and change with the calendar. In that spirit, I’ve got a couple of news items! Continue reading “New Year’s Update 2020: Quarterly Bestiary, New Feature, and Cats”