How might people around the world find comfort and protection in mythological and mythical beliefs within their culture?
Are there mythical and spiritual beings from ancient cultures around the world that allegedly protect us from all harm? In this piece, we will explore several mythologies throughout different eras in history. We ask you to imagine and let your mind wonder, and you could make us happier if you can draw them as you envisualize them and send them to us! Let us also ask ourselves a few questions: How can we learn from them? What are some key takeaways we can benefit from in today’s world? Who they are and what do they represent? And most importantly, what do they remind us of during these times. This piece collects 6 of these mythical and spiritual beings, showcasing how they look, what their key characteristics are, and what they can represent to us today. Allow this collection to spark your curiosity, and let it be the starting point to your exploration.
Yakshas gods hold a place of special importance in the Jain religion (rooted in India). According to Jainism, Yakshas were appointed by God Indra, the Lord of Heaven, to protect the Jain Tirthankars. That is why Yakshas are also called the protective gods. Their objective is to protect and provide service to Indra, the king of the divine. They are known for their wealth and valor. Being brave and courageous they are defenders of the forests and mountains and therefore worshiped as warriors and protectors. The takeaway from these gods is that they show appreciation and respect to those warriors who are fighting and protecting on the frontline of this pandemic.
Our embodiment of Yakshas today is firstly our healthcare workers, frontliners, essential workers, and our soldiers.
Amabie is a legendary Japanese mermaid who emerges from the sea and prophesies either an abundant harvest or an epidemic. She is described as a mermaid-like creature with long hair, a beak, and 3 legs, she made several predictions related to bountiful harvests and, before disappearing back into the sea. Today Amabie is resurfacing across Japan, her image is spreading all over social media, holding hope to those who share Amabie’s depiction into paintings, illustrations, sketches, and even embroidered on fabric. This creature is sparking hope creatively, bringing people together for the greater good, helping to end the current pandemic.
A takeaway we can all benefit from is to find hope in the little things and expressing them creatively.
Hygieia was the goddess of good health, cleanliness, and hygiene in the Greek mythology. As the daughter of Apollon, the god of healing and diseases, she was often depicted as a young woman feeding a large snake that was wrapped around her body. Hygieia is mainly the goddess of physical health, but her function also includes mental health. Greece has been praised for their quick and effective reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic, and a crucial factor to such a successful reaction is the respect Greeks have for health, a value that has been inherited by their ancestors.
Our key takeaway from the goddess of health is a constant reminder of how hygiene and cleanliness of the physical body and the mental state is of high importance since ancient times. Goddess Hygieia has saved hundreds if not thousands of lives, even after centuries pasing, simply by personifying the value of diet and hygiene which is key to health maintenance and disease prevention.
By Rafia Bin Suluiman
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