Skip to content

Category: folklore

The Origins of Urban Fantasy in the Literature of Classical Antiquity

Posted in Classics, Culture, fairy tales, fantasy, Fiction, folklore, folkloric motifs, genre fiction, mythology, Paranormal Fantasy, Storytelling, symbolism, and Urban Fantasy

The Ancient Origins of Urban Fantasy I wonder how many readers of Urban Fantasy fiction, or any fantasy literature, know how ancient its origins are? In a previous post I suggested the genre began in the 1980s – nurtured by the writer and editor Terri Windling and inspired by…

The Medusa Myth and Its Meaning: the Real Story of Medusa

Posted in anthropology, Culture, feminism, folklore, folkloric motifs, medusa, mythology, symbolism, and Truth

Medusa, Monstrosity, and the Patriarchy The real story of Medusa may not be what you think it is. I remember reading the story of Medusa, or at least one version of it, in my father’s edition of Bullfinch’s Mythology when I was a child. I glanced over the story again when…

Who Was John Barleycorn? An Ancient Mystery Uncovered

Posted in anthropology, folklore, folkloric motifs, mythology, and Truth

It Begins with a Song…or Does It? I’d like to share with you the curious and disturbing facts I uncovered while digging into the fertile soils of history, myth, folklore and custom in an attempt to find a long-buried secret: an answer to the question, who was John Barleycorn? You…

What do Myths Mean? 7 Ways to Understand Myths & Mythology

Posted in anthropology, folklore, mythology, and Truth

Complimentary and Contradictory Ideas about Myth As someone who reads and thinks about these things a good deal, I’m aware of several approaches to understanding myths and mythology. But is there a universal answer to the question, “What do myths mean?” Sometimes these various ways of understanding and interpreting…

Child Abandonment Stories in Folklore and Fairy Tales

Posted in abandonment, anthropology, childhood, fairy tales, folklore, folkloric motifs, mythology, and the armless maiden

The Contemporary Relevance of Folkloric Traditions I’d like to write about child abandonment stories. It’s something that’s been on my mind recently. Partly for personal reasons I won’t go into here, and partly reflecting on the fate of thousands of solitary refugee children who find themselves separated from…