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maiden noted for her splendid hair. The goddess Minerva being enraged with her,
changed her hair into snakes, and endowed her with the terrible power of changing
anyone into stone who looked at her. She was slain by Perseus who succeeded in cutting
off her head while looking at its reflection in the shield. From her blood sprang
Chrysaor and Pegasus.
Megaera: Gr. Myth. One of the three Furies.
Meleager: Gr. Myth. Son of Althea, Queen of Calydon. He was one of the Argonauts,
and he slew the wila boar of Calydon. After the Calydonian hunt, he slew his uncles.
Althea, enraged at this, thrust the brand into the fire, as it was foretold at his birth that
his life would last no longer than this brand, and thus killed him. Meleager was in love
with Atlanta. Vide Amber.
Meleagrides: Gr. Myth. The sisters of Meleager, who were turned into guinea-hens.
Melicertes: Gr. Myth. Son of mo. After he was thrown into the sea by his mother, he
became the sea-god Palaemon.
Melon: In Turkestan the "throat" of a melon must be cut before it is fit to eat. (Because
the Qor’an says, it is unlawful to eat an animal before its throat is cut). (SCHUYLER,
Vol. II, p. 29)
Melons planted on Ascension Day grow well (North Germany, WUTTKE, p. 21).
Melpomene: Gr. Myth. The Muse of Tragedy.
M lusine: According to a French legend M lusine, a fairy, was the ancestress of many
noble families. She appears occassionally to give them warning of some approaching
catastrophe. (HARTLAND, Science of Fairy Tales).
". . . f e que les romans de chevalerie et les l gendes du Poitou repr sentent comme
l’aIeule et la protectrice de la maison de Lusignan."–Petit Larousse illustr , p. 1456. cf.
White Lady, Death Warnings.
Meluzina: Bohemian Folk-lore. The spirit of the winds.
Memory: If you want to commit anything to memory, put the hook containing the passage
under the pillow before going to sleep. (Silesia, Hesse, Tyrol-WUTTKE, p. 186;
Denmark, ANDERSEN, Fairy Tales (Little Tuk).
Menstruation: According to the Talmud, if a woman at the beginning of her period passes
between two men, she thereby kills one of them; if she passes between them
towards the end of her period, she only causes them to quarrel violently. (J. BEIGEL,
Die Medizin der Talmudisten, Leipzig and Berlin, 1885, p. 1593).
In Syria, a woman who has her courses may neither salt nor pickle, for the people think
that whatever she salted or pickled would not keep. (FRAZER, G.B., Vol III, p. 225,

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Mythology Encyclopedia 144

Moulach, or the girl with the hairy hand." (STEWART, p. 144; DALYELL, Dark Sup., p.
May: Vide Emerald.
Mayflower: Mayflowers must not be brought inside a house, lest there be a death in the
family. (Gt. Britain)
Maypole: Imparts fertilizing influence over both women and cattle as well as vegetation.
(ELWORTHY, E.E., p. 62; Ethnologie du Bengale, p. 84. See SIR J. G. FRAZER,
Golden Bough, Vol. II, pp. 9-456).
May Queen: It is superstitiously believed that the girl chosen to be the May Queen will
not live another year. (Gt. Britain).
If you are waking call me early, call me early mother dear,
For I would see the sun rise upon the glad New Year,
It is the last New Year that I shall ever see,
Then you may lay me low i’ the mould and think no more of me."
–TENNYSON, May Queen
Maziqim: It is the Jewish equivalent of a doniovoy or a brownie.
Meal: In some parts of Austria and Germany, when a storm is raging the people open a
window and throw out a handful of meal, saying to the wind, "There, that’s for you,
stop!" (FRAZER, G.B., Vol. I, p. 127, note).
Measurement: If a corpse cannot immediately be disposed of, the best course is to
measure it carefully, and then no malignant Bhut can occupy it. (CROOKE, P.R.I., Vol.
II, p. 76; Ethnologie du Bengale, p. 69.) Vide Shadow.
Meat: Warts can be cured by rubbing them with a piece of raw meat and then burying
the meat.
Cholera may be detected by throwing up a piece of raw meat in the air.
Medea: Class. Myth. A female magician who brought back to life Acson, her father-inlaw,
by means of her magic arts. According to some legends she was in the habit of
boiling old people in a large cauldron, under the pretence of making them young again.
When her husband abandoned her, she revenged herself by killing her children.
Medicine Bottle: If empty medicine bottles be sold, you will want them filled again for
yourself. (LEAN, Vol. II, p. 182; F.L.R.,i).
Medus: Gr. Myth. Son of Aegeus and step-brother of Theseus.
Medusa: Gr. Myth. The only one of the Gorgons who was mortal. She was a beautiful

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Mythology Encyclopedia 143

–New York.
A marriage is foretold by the blossoming of an apple tree in autumn. (Lower Saxony,
WUTTKE, p. 35). Vide Bed, Bridal clothes, Chemise, Cradle, Magpie, Field, True,
Wreath, Garter, Last Piece, Myrtle, Needle, Pear tree, Plough, Purple, Wedding, Stones
Mars: Gr. Myth. The god of War, in which character he is also regarded as a protector
of the fields against hostile aliens, and as a leader of military colonists. The Romans
considered him to be the father of Romulus.
Marsyas: Gr. Myth. A young Phrygian flute-player who defied Apollo in this art. The
Muses declared the god to be the victor, and, as a punishment, Marsyas was tied to a
tree and was flayed alive.
Martin: It is unlucky to kill a martin (Gt. Britain).
Martins forewarn miseries and unnatural wars by fighting against one another.
(ALEXANDER Ross, Arcana Microcosmi, p. 219.)
Martin, St.: Vide Small-pox, Sudden Death.
Martu: Babyl. Myth. Another name for Adad.
Marut: They were the storm winds of Vedic mythology, who tear asunder the forest
kings, and make the rocks asunder, and assume the form of new-born babes.
M rt: Like Har t, it was the Armaic personification of rebellion.
Mas n: In the Himalayas this term is used to designate cemetery spectres. It is the
ghost of a child, or a low-caste man, probably an oilman. (CROOKE, P.R., Vol. I, p.
261; Ethnologie du Bengale, p. 100).
Masubi: Shinto Relig. The god of growth. (W. G. ASTON, Shinto, p. 172).
Match: To light three cigarettes (or in fact, three of anything) from the same match is
considered unlucky; one of the persons will die a sudden death. (Gt. Britain).
Materialization : In modern spiritualism it means the act of taking or assuming a material
Matmate: In the East Indies these are the spirits of ancestors, which are worshipped as
guardian spirits or household gods. (FRAZER, G.B., Vol. II, p. 463).
Mathew, Father: He was well-known as the Apostle of Temperance.
Maug Moulach: The house of Tulloch Gorms in Scotland used to be haunted by Maug

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Mythology Encyclopedia 142

35; YULE & BURNELL, Glossary (Hobson Jobson), p 72.)
"Olha c pelos mares do Oriente
As infinitas ilhas espalhadas
* * * *
Aqui as aureas aves, que nao decem
Nunca a terra, e so mortas aparecem."
–CAM ES, Os Lusiada, x, 132
Englished by Burton:
"Here see o’er oriental seas bespread
Infinite island-groups and alwhere strewed
* * * *
Here dwell the golden fowls, whose home is air,
And never earthward save in death may fare."
cf. Chakora.
Mara: The nightmare-ghosts of Slavic and Teutonic mythology. They are the souls of
living beings, mostly women, which leave their bodies by night, and visit sleepers for
the purpose of tormenting them by sitting astride their chests. They usually make
entrance either through a key-hole or through a knot-hole. The soles of their feet are
flat and their eyebrows meet. They torment not only human beings, but also domestic
animals, draining them of milk and sucking their blood.
"The incubus which we call the mare."
–BACON, Sylva (1626).
The ten chief Sins came,
Maras, mighty ones, Angels of evil."
–E. ARNOLD, Light of Asia, VI, xix1
Mardanu-’l-ghaib: Same as Rij lu-’l-ghaib
Marduk: Babyl. Myth. Originally the god of the city of Babylon, but later he became the
official head of the pantheon. He is distinctly a solar god. His consort was Sarpanitum.
Margyr: "Sea-monster"; the name of a water-spirit in Iceland.
Marichi Deva: Buddhist Myth. "The personification of light, offspring of Brahma" (EITEL,
Handbook of Chinese Buddhism).
Marid: They are the most powerful demons of Arabic demonology. (LANE, A.S.M.A., p.
Marriage: The English superstition is:
"Change your name and not the letter;
You change for worse and not for better."
"Marry in Lent,
Live to repent."

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Man: A person weighs more fasting than after a meal.
The Jews maintained that man has three natures: body, soul and spirit. Diogenes
Laertes calls the three natures body, phren and thumos; and the Romans called them:
manes, anima and umbra. (Dr. BREWER, R.H.)
Mandrake: A kind of plant. It was believed to cry and groan like a child when pulled out
by the roots. The fruit, when eaten by women, was supposed to promote conception. It
is still the subject of many superstitions. In Persia it is said to cure barrenness.
(PLOSS, Das Weib, Vol. I, P. 535)
"I, last night, lay all alone
On the ground to hear the mandrake groan."
–BEN JONSON, Masque of Queens.
Whoever hears the mandrake cry must die. (HAZLITT, P. 385).
Manes: Rom. Myth. The deified souls of the departed ancestors as beneficent spirits;
opposed to Larva and Lemures. They were gods of the lower world.
"Let eternal fame
Attend thy manes and preserve thy name."
–POPE, Thebais (1703).
Mania: St. Vitus cures dancing mania.
Manito, Manitu: Among the Algonquin Indians it is one of the powers or spirits which
dominate the forces of nature
Mantalini: A charlatan who professed to restore the dead to life.
Mantle: A boy brought to King Arthur’s court a mantle which no one could wear who
was unfaithful in love, false in domestic life, or treacherous to the king. If any such
attempted to put it on, it puckered up, or hung slouchingly, or tumbled to pieces.
(PERCY: Reliques) The same boy brought the Brawn’s Head.
cf. Florimel’s Girdle, Water of Jealousy, Canace’s Mirror, Grotto of Ephesus.
Manucodiata: A bird resembling the swallow found in the Molucca Islands. It has no
feet, and though its body is no bigger than that of a swallow, the span of its wings is
equal to that of an eagle. These birds never approach the earth, but the female lays
her eggs on the back of the male, and hatches them in her own breast. They live on
the dew of heaven, and eat neither animal nor vegetable food.
"In these hands (Moluccas) onlie is found the bird, which the Portingales call Passaros
de Sot, that is Foule of the Sunne, the Italians call it Manu codiatas, and the Latinists
Paradiseas, by us called Paradice birdes, for ye beauty of their feathers which passe al
other birds these birds are never seene alive, but being dead they are found vpon the
hand; they ffie, as it is said, alwaies into the Sunne, and keepe themselves continually
in the ayre . . for they have neither feet nor wings, but onely head and bodie, and the
most part tayle "-(LINsCHoTEN, Discours of Voyages into ye Easte and Weste Indies,

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guests; if on the north, bad luck; if on the south, some remarkable event. (SCHUYLER,
Vol, II, p. 30).
Among the Chinese, a magpie is a bird of good omen. (DOOLITTLE, Vol. II, p. 327). It
is unlucky to kill a magpie (Ethnologie du Bengale, p. 112; ABBOTT, p. 110.)
"One for sorrow, two for mirth, Three for a wedding, four for a birth."
–Lincolnshire Proverb
To have a magpie perch on your house shows stability of the house. (LEAN, Vol. II, p.
16; F.L.R., I, 8).
Alexander Ross tells us the battle between the Italians and the French, in which the
former were overthrown, in the reign of Charles VIII, was foretold by a skirmish
between magpies and jackdaws.
–Arcana Microcosmi (Appendix, 219).
Vide Pierides.
Mahomet’s Coffin: This is said to be suspended in mid-air between heaven and earth.
Mahu: The fiend prince that urges to theft.
Maia: Gr. Myth. Daughter of Atlas, mother of Mercury. The eldest and most beautiful of
the Pleiades
Rom. Relig. An ancient goddess, consort of Vulcan.
Maid: To dream of obtaining a maid denotes joy, but weeping and sorrow if you dream
you are taking her away by force.
Maize: Plant maize when your stomach is full, and see to it that your dibble is thick; this
will swell the ear of the maize. (SKEAT, M.M., p.217; FRAZER, G.B2., Vol. I, p. 35).
Mala’ikat ar-rahma: Muham. Myth. The Angels of compassion. Vide Azrdil.
Mala’ikat al-adhab: Muham. Myth. The angels of punishments.
Malat: An ancient Hindu deity. (DUNCAN FORBES).
Malik: Muham. Myth. A terrible angel who guards over hell. He is assisted by Sbires
(q.v.), of whom there are eighteen.
Malit y nos: Welsh Folk-lore A particular kind of nightfiend.
M mdo: In India it is the ghost of a Mohammedan; it is of an extremely malevolent
type. (Ethnologie du Bengale, p. 100.)
Mamony: "Wild women." The Dive eny (q.v.) are called by this name in Poland.

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Macbeth: Macbeth could not be killed by anyone who was born of a woman.
(Shakespeare, Macbeth, viii.)
Machus: Gr. Myth. A god of the rivers, father of To.
Madness: It is lucky to live in the same house with a madman. (Gt. Britain, India,
Germany, Greece: LAWSON, p. 397).
Among the Zulus madmen are supposed to be entered into by some departed spirit.
(CALLAWAY, Rel. of the Amazulu, p. 147; TYLOR, P.C. Vol. II, p. 118: RIDER HAGGARD,
Nada the Lily, p. 58); the same belief is prevalent in Polynesia (ELLIS,
Polynesian Researches, Vol. I, pp. 363, 395; Vol. II, pp. 193, 274; TYLOR, P.C. Vol. II,
p. 117), in East Africa and among the Barongos etc. (CASALIS, Basutos, p. 247; BURTON,
Cent. Africa, Vol. II, pp. 320, 354).
If you are bitten by a mad dog, take the dog’s liver, burn it to charcoal, powder it and
eat it with bread and butter. (STRACKERJAN, Vol. I, p. 81).
If women step on egg-shells, they will go mad. (Japan. GRIFFIS, M.E. p. 469).
Dogs will go mad if they eat of the afterbirth of mares. (STRACKERJAN, Vol. I, p. 49).
If hair be set on fire, you will go mad. (Japan, GRIFFIS, M.E. p. 468).
The saints Dymphna and Fillian cure madness.
Maenad: Class. Relig. A nymph attendant upon Dionysus.
Maelstrom: A whirlpool off the west coast of Norway. It was formerly believed that a
spirit dwelt in it and sucked in all vessels which ventured near his dwelling.
Magnetic Islands: In several books there is mention of a magnetic island in some
unknown sea where ships are wrecked. (cf. LANE, Thousand and one Nights, Vol. I,
pp. 161, 217, Vol. III, p. 78; HEINRIcH VON WALDECK, Herzog Ernst’s von Bayern
Erhohung etc., p. 65; LUDLOW, Popular Epics of Middle Ages, p. 221; SIR JOHN
MAUNDEVILLE, Voiage and Travaile.)
Magog: Vide Gog.
Magpie: In Lancashire it is an omen of ill luck to see two magpies flying together.
When magpies chatter, it denotes that you will see strangers.
To see one magpie is unlucky, to see two denotes merri-ment, or a marriage, to see
three, a successful journey, four, good news, five, company.
It is unlucky to see magpies (BASSETT, p. 275).
Magpies chattering on the house-top predict the coming of a friend and relatives from
abroad (Macedonia, ABBOTT, p. 110).
Magpies shot during the Twelve Nights and burnt to powder, prevent fever. (KtHN UND
SCHWARTZ, p. 412).
If a magpie be shot in March and nailed on inside the cow-shed, it will stop the flies
coming in. (STRACKERJAN, Vol. I, p. 67).
Among the Kirghiz, if a magpie be seen on the west it means a journey; if on the east,

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Mythology Encyclopedia 138

before the god a dish of human flesh in order to test his divinity. Zeus turned him into awolf; or in other versions, struck him dead by lightning. Lycanthropy: (Gr. lukos "wolf " anthropos "man "). In ancient and medival times wizardswere supposed to have the power of changing themselves at will into wolves, hears,
tigers and the like. This metamorphosis could also be brought about by means of donning
certain belts, or by rubbing the body with certain ointments, or merely by incantations.
(Cf. O’DONNELL, Werewolves; S. BARING GOULD, Book of Werewolves;
GRIMM, Deutsche Mythologie; LEUBUSCHER, W hrwolfe, Dic. Rel. Ethics, s.v.
The werewolf not only existed in the imagination of our forefathers, but is firmlybelieved in in many countries to the present day. The Bereserker of the Scandinavians,
the Loup-garous of the French, the Fox of the Chinese and the Japanese, theW hrw lfe of the Teutonic races, the Were-Tigers of the Indians and the Malays are allvariations of our own werewolves. In reality it is a kind of insanity in which the patientimagines himself to be a wolf or some other wild animal. Vide Werewolves, Lou-garou.
"Persons accused of the crime of Lycanthropy."–SCOTT, Demonology (1830). Lycus: Gr. Myth. A king of Thebes, husband of Dirce, who rescued Antiope fromEpopeus. Lyderhorn : A mountain near Bergen (Norway); this was supposed to have been a popular
resort of the Norwegian witches. (LEHMANN, A.Z., p. 112.) cf. Blocksberg, Hecla,
Brocken, etc. Lyesovic: "Wood king." In Russian folklore this is a forestspirit. He looks very much likea man, but his hairy body betrays him. He has long hair and a green beard; he hasonly one eye and lacks eyebrows; he can change his size at will and often transformshimself into animals. Lyesyj : Same as Lyesovic. Lynceus: Gr. Myth. Husband of Hypermnestra, one of the Argonauts. He had suchwonderfully sharp eyes, that he could see through a millstone, or look right down intothe depth of the earth, and discover the treasures that were there. M Mabisalira: Among the Nyanj as of Nyassaland in Africa this is a professional witch-
finder, generally a wonan. Maboya: Among the Caribs it is a demon, hater of all light, who seeks to devour thesun and the moon. cf. Rahu, Metu, Aracho.

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Diarmaid inspired masterless love by his beauty spot.
An Irish superstition is that, if a lover will run a hair of the object beloved through the
fleshy part of a dead man’s leg, the person from whom the hair was taken will go mad
with love.
It is a Basque superstition that yellow hair in a man is irresistible with women; hence
every woman who set eyes on Ezkabi Fidel, the golden haired, fell in love with him.
(For various love potions see Ethnologie du Bengale, p. 144; HOVORKA & KRONFELD,
Vergleichende Volksmedizin, Vol. II, p. 179.) Vide Salt, Cracking, Shoe, Urine,
Perspiration, Menstruation, Blood, Flower, Frog, Chemise.
Lucifer: The angel who rebelled against God; the Devil.
"Know then that after Lucifer from heaven
fell with his flaming legions through the deep
Into his place . .
–MILTON, Paradise Lost, Bk. VII, 131.
Luck Penny: Such a coin kept on the person brings good luck. It can be obtained from
the Devil himself.
(On the method of obtaining one, vide WUTTKE, p. 177.)
Lucina: Gr. Myth. The goddess who presided over childbirth, said by some to be the
daughter of Jupiter and Juno; by others, Juno herself.
Lucky Finds: It is extremely lucky to find the following things: horseshoes, bones, teeth,
egg-shells and fourleaved clovers; this last should be sewn inside the lining of one’s
clothes. (Silesia.–WuTTKE, p. 96.)
Lu Dung Bin: Chin. Myth. The third of the eight Immortals.
(Chin. Volksmarchen, p. 69.)
Lug, Lugh: Celt. Myth. The Gaelic sun-god who aided the Tuatha De Danann to overthrow
the Fomors. He was the son of Diancecht and Balor.
Lugal-banda: Babyl. Myth. An ancient sun-god of the violent type. The word signifies
"mighty king." He and his consort Nin-Sun were worshipped in Erech.
Lumbago: To cure lumbago tie a skein of silk round the loins next the skin. (LEAN, Vol.
II, p. 505) ; or a violin string round your waist.
Lusignan: An ancient illustrious feudal family whose ancestress, according to a legend,
was the fairy M lusine. (HARTLAND, Sc. of Fairy Tales; Petit Larousse, p. 1436.)
Lutin: The Kobolds (q.v.) of French superstition.
Lycaon: Gr. Myth. An Arcadian king who, when Zeus came in disguise to him, set

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Looking round: It is unlucky to look round at night. (STRACKERJAN, Vol. II, P. 20.)
Never look round when a ghost speaks to you; if you do so, the ghost will immediately
break your neck. (Bengal.) Vide Beehive.
Loom: If silver has been stolen from the house, the loom will be heard working in the
dead of the night. (Jutland)
(For other superstitions connected with the loom, vide WIKMAN, Die Magie des
Lorelei: In the Rhine district of Germany there is a belief that this is a Nixie or water-
spirit, who entices mariners to destruction. She is represented as sitting on the Lorelei
rocks, singing enchantingly and combing her hair with a golden comb.
Ich glaube die Wellen verschlingen,
Am Ende Schiffer und Kahn;
Und das hat mit ihrem Singen
Die Lorelei gethan."–HEINE, Lorelei.
cf. Siren, Nixie, Alrinach, Jal Pari, Bugarik.
Lost Goods: The saints Elain and Ethelbert lead to the recovery of lost goods.
Lot’s Wife: She is said to have been turned into a pillar of salt. Vide Wahela.
Loup-garou: In France the werewolves (q.v.) are called bv this name.
"Le peuple des campagnes appelait loup-garou on lycanthrope un sorcier qui, travesti
en loup, courait les champs pendant la nuit. Sa peau etait a 1′epreuve de la balle, a
moins que celle-ci n’eut ete benite dans la chapelle de Saint-Hubert, patron des chasseurs,
qui le tireur ne portat sur lui du trefle a quatre feuilles, etc. Cette croyance
ridicule disparalt aujourd’hui de plus en plus."–Petit Larousse illustre, P. 569,
Lourdes: The water from the spring at Lourdes cures all diseases. (Roman Catholic.)
Louse: Lice on the bodies of children signify good luck. (STRACKERJAN, Vol. II, P.
A louse taken from the body of a beggar and put into the hollow of an aching tooth
instantly cures the pain. (STRACKERJAN, Vol. I, P. 85.)
In Lauenbiirg, a cross made of thorns is tied round a dog’s neck to protect him from
lice. (BASTIAN, Der Mensch, vol. II, p. 116 note.)
Living lice on a corpse indicate the death of another member of the family. (Alsace.LAMBS,
P. 33.)
Love: According to the Greeks a cestus worn by women inspired love; hence Aphrodite
was irresistible on account of her cestus.
It is a West Highland superstition that a beauty spot cannot be resisted; hence

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