Friday, April 5, 2013

Myth or Reality?

Today at work we had a book club meeting at lunch and discussed The Scorpio Races, which is loosely based on Celtic mythology about water horses that drag people to their deaths (and it's an AMAZING book, so go read it, NOW, if you haven't already). So naturally we started talking about myths in general, and how similar some are all across the world.

For instance, vampires and werewolves are prevalent in myths and folklore all around the world. My young colleague from Trinidad was saying that vampires are still very much feared today, and that as a teen if she came home after dark her grandmother would make her walk through the front door backwards as this is supposedly something a vampire would not be able to do. They also sprinkle salt all around their houses, which is said to ward them off.

How is it that so many different cultures spread all over the world have these common myths? Is it word of mouth spreading from travelers? Do they all stem from some primal basic human fear, thus the sameness of them? Or did there used to be some truth to these myths before the world became so modern that all the magic faded?

I find it all pretty fascinating, especially since I love vamp and werewolf tales. So, what's your take? Is there some truth in the old tales? Or is it all explained in some rational way?


  1. Like dragons, there had to be something that sparked the first idea of those creatures.

  2. Hi, Alexia. If everything could be explained in some rational way, couldn't that put us writers out of business... Er, I mean, of course the old tales are real! ;)
    Seriously, it is interesting how so many of these myths are eerily similar to one another - even though separated by oceans, various cultures and centuries.


  3. I am glad that there are myths, that way we writers have a host of mythological creatures to base our stories on ;)

    Personally I have never used any of these creatures in my stories.

  4. I think there must be at least a SHRED of basis/truth in all myths. Then someone with an imagination (or lots of fears LOL) magnified and embellished them. :) I definitely have THE SCORPIO RACES on my to-read list. I've heard it's good.

  5. The rational side of me thinks it's all a little silly, but the other side - the superstitious side - thinks it might be true! :)

  6. Hi, Alexia!! Hope you've been well? I've been off-blog for way too long. But, I think I'm with you. I think there's a kernel of truth to all myths. Some of them, I would be fascinated to find that they are true. I still wonder about the Greek Gods, myself... :) Happy writing to you!


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