Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Incan Pantheon

The Inca were a people that lived in Peru and many other parts of South America.  They were ruled by a royal class of emperors.  Their language was called Quechua.  They had many gods/goddesses but their emperor encouraged the worship of the Sun God, Inti, as the main god.  Their empire expanded from the years of 1438 to 1533.  Their last emperor was Atahualpa, who was killed by the Spanish Conquistador Francisco Pizarro.

According to wikpedia their main gods/goddesses were:

  • Viracocha (also Pachacamac) – Created all living things
  • Apu Illapu – Rain God, prayed to when they need rain
  • Ayar Cachi – Hot-tempered God, causes earthquakes
  • Illapa – Goddess of lightning and thunder (also Yakumama water goddess)
  • Inti – sun god and patron deity of the holy city of Cuzco (home of the sun)
  • Kuychi – Rainbow God, connected with fertility
  • Mama Kilya – Wife of Inti, called Moon Mother
  • Mama Occlo – Wisdom to civilize the people, taught women to weave cloth, and build houses
  • Manco Cápac – known for his courage and sent to earth to become first king of the Incas, taught people how to grow plants, make weapons, work together, share resources, and worship the Gods
  • Pachamama – The Goddess of earth and wife of Viracocha, people give her offerings of coca leafs and beer and pray to her for major agricultural occasions
  • Qochamama – Goddess of the sea
  • Sachamama– Means Mother Tree, goddess in the shape of a snake with two heads
  • Yakumama – Means mother Water, represented as a snake, when she came to earth she transformed into a great river (also Illapa)

By Rita Jean Moran (www.thelibrarykids.com)






Mayan Mythology

The Mayans were a people that inhabited the Yucatan Peninsula that is now part of Mexico.  The Maya also inhabited the countries of Guatemala, Belize, northern El Salvador and western Honduras.  They consisted of several city-states ruled by kings.  I had visited the ancient city of Tulum years ago and found out that the Maya still exist in Mexico.  They never disappeared as some have suggested.  They still live in villages and wear traditional clothing.  The ruins of Tulum included an observatory, evidence of Mayan advancements in Math, and the history of the human sacifice as well.

Per Wikipedia, some of their main gods included the following:

  • Ahau Chamahez A god of medicine and good health.
  • Bacab *L* [god N Old god of the interior of the earth and of thunder, sky-carrier, fourfold.

  • Chac *L* The god of Storms, enemy of Camazotz
  • Itzamna The founder of the Maya culture, he taught his people to grow maize and [[Theobroma cacao], as well as writing, calendars, and medicine. Once mentioned as the father of the Bakabs. Connected to Kinich Ahau and Hunab Ku.
  • Ixchel *L* [goddess O] Jaguar goddess of midwifery and medicine.
  • Kukulkán The plumed serpent. A Mayan aspect of the Mesoamerican traditional God Quetzalcoatl.
  • Yaluk One of four Mopan 'Grandfathers' of the earth and chief lightning god.

There are many other gods/goddesses that are listed in the sources below.  Please click the links for further information.

Here are a few pictures (over 20 years old) that I took at Tulum:

By Rita Jean Moran (www.thelibrarykids.com)





Aztec Pantheon

The Aztecs were a people that settled in Tenochtitlan, Mexico (now part of Mexico City, Mexico).  Their last emperor was Moctezuma II who was captured and killed in 1520, by being stoned to death by his own people, during the time of arrival of Spanish Conquistador, Hernes Cortes.  During Moctezuma's reign, the Aztec empire reached its zenith through warfare and expansion.  The Aztecs, including Moctezuma II, believed Cortes was a god and was in fact the return of Quetzalcoatl.  According to wikipedia:

In his Historia, Bernal Díaz del Castillo states that on July 1, 1520, the Spanish forced Moctezuma to appear on the balcony of his palace, appealing to his countrymen to retreat. The people were appalled by their emperor's complicity and pelted him with rocks and darts. He died a short time after that. Bernal Díaz gives this account:
"Barely was [the emperor's speech to his subjects] finished when a sudden shower of stones and darts descended. Our men who had been shielding Montezuma had momentarily neglected their duty when they saw the attack cease while he spoke to his chiefs. Montezuma was hit by three stones, one on the head, one on the arm, and one on the leg; and though they begged him to have his wounds dressed and eat some food and spoke very kindly to him, he refused. Then quite unexpectedly we were told that he was dead."
Cortés similarly reported that Moctezuma was stabbed by his countrymen. On the other hand, the indigenous accounts claim that he was killed by the Spanish prior to their leaving the city. Some modern scholars, prefer the indigenous accounts over the Spanish ones. They surmise that the Spanish killed Moctezuma once his inability to pacify the Aztec people had made him useless

Many of the children and relatives of Moctezuma II either died of smallpox or were killed.  However, many lived and married Spanish partners and were given land as their estate by the Spanish. 

Before the Spanish came, the Aztecs had a rich mythology of over 100 gods and goddesses, as well as some mythological creatures.  Unfortunately, they also believed in human sacrifice to these gods.  Here are some of their main gods listed in wikipedia:

There were Serpent gods of old:

  • Chicomecoatl
  • Cihuacoatl
  • Coatlicue
  • Mixcoatl
  • Xiuhcoatl
There were younger gods who ruled the elements of nature and life:

  • Acolnahuacatl, or Acolmiztli - a god of the underworld, Mictlan
  • Acuecucyoicihuati (see Chalchiuhtlicue)
  • Amimitl - god of lakes and fishers
  • Atlacamani - goddess of oceanic storms such as hurricanes
  • Atlacoya - goddess of drought
  • Atlatonan (also Atlatonin) - goddess of the coast
  • Atlaua - water god
  • Ayauhteotl - goddess of mist, fog, vanity and fame
  • Camaxtli - god of hunting, war, fate and fire
  • Centeotl (see Cinteotl)
  • Chalchiuhtlatonal - god of water
  • Chalchiuhtecolotl - a night owl god
  • Chalchiuhtlicue (also Chalciuhtlicue, or Chalchihuitlicue) (She of the Jade Skirt). (Sometimes Acuecucyoticihuati) - the goddess of lakes and streams, and also of birth; consort of Tlaloc.
  • Chalchiuhtotolin (Precious Night Turkey) - god of pestilence and mystery
  • Chalmecatecuchtlz - a god of the underworld, Mictlan and sacrifices
  • Chalmecatl the underworld, Mictlan and the north
  • Chantico - the goddess of hearth fires, personal treasure, and volcanoes
  • Chicomecoatl (also Chalchiuhcihuatl, Chiccomeccatl, or Xilonen) - goddess of new maize and produce, wife of Cinteotl.
  • Chicomexochtli - a patron of artists
  • Chiconahui - a domestic fertility goddess
  • Chiconahuiehecatl - associated with creation
  • Cihuacoatl (also Chihucoatl or Ciucoatl) (Woman Serpent) - an aspect of Ilamatecuhtli and consort of Quetzalcoatl
  • Cinteotl (also Centeotl or Centeocihuatl) - the principal maize god, son of Tlazolteotl
  • Cipactonal- god of astrology and the calendar
  • Citlalatonac (see Ometeotl)
  • Citlalicue - a creator of the stars
  • Coatlicue (She of the Serpent Skirt) - legendary mother of Coyolxauhqui, the Centzon Huitzahua, and Huitzilopochtli
  • Cochimetl (also Coccochimetl) - god of commerce, bartering, and merchants
  • Coyolxauhqui- legendary sister of Huitzilopochtli, associated with the moon, possibly patroness of the Milky Way
  • Cuaxolotl - a goddess of the hearth
  • Ehecatl (also Ehecatl-Quetzalcoatl) - the god of the Wind and creator of the earth, heavens, and the present race of humanity. As god of the west, one of the skybearers
  • Huehuecoyotl (also Ueuecoyotl) - a trickster god of indulgence and pranks. A shapeshifter, associated with drums and the coyote
  • Huehueteotl (also Ueueteotl, Xiuhtecuhtli, Xiutechuhtli) - an ancient god of the hearth, the fire of life. Associated with the pole star and the north, and serves as a skybearer
  • Huitzilopochtli (also Mextli, Mexitl, Uitzilopochtli) - the supreme god of Tenochtitlan, patron of war, fire and the sun
  • Huixtocihuatl (also Uixtochihuatl) - a goddess of salt and saltwater
  • Ilamatecuhtli (also Cihuacoatl or Quilaztli) - aged goddess of the earth, death, and the Milky Way. Her roar signalled war
  • Itztlacoliuhqui - god of stone, obsidian, coldness hardness, and castigation. Aspect of Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli. Also known as Ixquimilli.
  • Itzli - god of sacrifice and stone knives.
  • Itzpapalotl - Queen of Tomoanchan and one of the Cihuateteo (night demons) and tzitzimime (star demons)
  • Ixtlilton - the god of healing, dancing, festivals and games. Brother of Xochipilli.
  • Macuilcozcacuauhtli (five vulture) - one of the Ahuiateteo (gods of excess)
  • Macuilcuetzpalin (five lizard) - one of the Ahuiateteo (gods of excess)
  • Macuilmalinalli (five grass) - one of the Ahuiateteo (gods of excess)
  • Macuiltochtli (five rabbit) - one of the Ahuiateteo (gods of excess)
  • Macuilxochitl (five flower) - the god of games and gambling, and chief of the Ahuiateteo (gods of excess)
  • Malinalxochitl - sorceress and goddess of snakes, scorpions and insects of the desert
  • Matlalcueitl (also Matlalcueje) - goddess of rainfall and singing. Identified with Chalchiuhtlicue.
  • Mayahuel (also Mayahual, or Mayouel) - the goddess of maguey, and by extension, alcohol
  • Metztli (also Metztli, Tecuciztecatl, Tecciztecatl)- lowly god of worms who failed to sacrifice himself to become the sun, and became the moon instead, his face darkened by a rabbit.
  • Mextli - a god of war and storms
  • Mictecacihuatl(also Mictlancihuatl) - goddess of death and Lady of Mictlan, the underworld
  • Mictlantecuhtli (also Mictlantecuhtzi, or Tzontemoc) - the god of death and Lord of Mictlan, also as god of the south, one of the skybearers
  • Mixcoatl (cloud serpent) - god of hunting, war, and the Milky Way. An aspect of Tezcatlpoca and father of Quetzalcoatl
  • Nanahuatzin (also Nana, Nanautzin, or Nanauatzin) - lowly god who sacrificed himself to become sun god Tonatiuh
  • Omacatl (see Tezcatlipoca)
  • Omecihuatl (see Ometeotl)
  • Ometecuhtli (see Ometeotl)
  • Ometeotl (also Citlatonac or Ometecuhtli (male) and Omecihuatl (female)) - the god(s) of duality, pregenator(s) of souls and lord/lady of heaven
  • Ometotchtli (two rabbit) - drunken rabbit god, leader of the Centzon Totochtin
  • Opochtli - left-handed god of trapping, hunting and fishing
  • Oxomoco - goddess of astrology and the calendar
  • Patecatl - the god of medicine, husband of Mayahuel
  • Paynal - the messenger to Huitzilopochtli
  • Quetzalcoatl (also Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli) (quetzal-feathered serpent) - creator god and patron of rulership, priests and merchants. Associated with Ehecatl as the divine wind
  • Quilaztli (see Ilamatecuhtli)
  • Tecciztecatl (see Mextli)
  • Temazcalteci (also Temaxcaltechi) - goddess of bathing and sweatbaths
  • Teoyaomicqui (also Teoyaomiqui)- the god of dead warriors
  • Tepeyollotl - (The jaguar form of Tezcatlipoca) god of the heart of the mountain, associated with jaguars, echoes, and earthquakes
  • Tepoztecatl (also Tezcatzontecatl) - god of pulque and rabbits
  • Teteoinnan - mother of the gods
  • Tezcatlipoca (also Omacatl, Titlacauan) - omnipotent god of rulers, sorcerers and warriors; night, death, discord, conflict, temptation and change. A sinister rival to Quetzalcoatl. Can appear as a jaguar.
  • Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli- destructive god of the morning star (Venus), dawn, and of the east. One of the skybearers
  • Tlaloc (also Nuhualpilli) - the great and ancient provider and god of rain, fertility and lightning
  • Tlaltecuhtli - goddess of earth, associated with difficult births
  • Tlazolteotl(also Tlaelquani, Tlazolteotli)- the goddess of purification from filth, disease or excess
  • Tloquenahuaque - a creator god or ruler
  • Toci (also Temazcalteci) - grandmother goddess, heart of the earth and mother of the gods. Associated with midwives and war
  • Tonacatecuhtli - the aged creator and provider of food and patron of conceptions
  • Tonacacihuatl - consort of Tonacatecuhtli
  • Tonantzin- a mother goddess
  • Tonatiuh - a sun god and heavenly warrior, associated with eagles and with the Maya
  • Tzitzmitl- aged grandmother goddess
  • Xilonen - the goddess of young maize
  • Xipe Totec - the god of the seasons, seed germination and renewal, considered the patron of goldworkers
  • Xiuhcoatl (fire serpent or turquoise serpent) - embodiment of the sun's rays and emblem of Xiuhtecuhtli Xiuhtecuhtli -(also called Huehueteotl)
  • Xochipilli - the young god of feasting, painting, dancing, games, and writing. Associated with Macuilxochitl and Cinteotl
  • Xochiquetzal- goddess of love, beauty, female sexuality, prostitutes, flowers, pleasure, craft, weaving, and young mothers
  • Xocotl - star god associated with fire
  • Xolotl - canine companion of Quetzalcoatl and god of twins, sickness and deformity. Accompanies the dead to Mictlan
  • Yacatecuhtli (also Yactecuhtli) - the god of merchants and travellers
The Aztecs had legendary creatures and heroes just like all of the other mythologies and legends around the world.  They had older gods and then younger gods as well.  They also had stories of previous ages of the Earth that ended in catastrophies such as floods or fires or wars.  Today, we are living in the 5th age.  Before the Aztecs settled in Tenochtitlan, there was a civilation called the Toltecs that were there before them and had passed on some of their mythology to the Aztecs.

By Rita Jean Moran (www.thelibrarykids.com)









Monday, May 21, 2012


Herbs can be grown in your garden or in an indoor pot.  They can be used to flavor foods or they can be used as medicine.  You must be very careful when working with herbs so that you know what you are doing.  Typically herbs used for flavoring of foods include dill, oregano, basil, parsely, rosemary, thyme, tarragon and many others depending on the culture.

Herbs such as rosemary, garlic, comfrey, tea tree, lavendar and many others can be used for medicinal purposes.  Before modern medicine provided many pharamceuticals, herbs were used by doctors to treat ailments.  Remember my post on Hippocrates?  He used many herbs to heal and make people feel better.

It probably isn't a good idea to mix herbs with modern medicine so you must always be aware and careful with what you eat or take in.  Also, overdosing on herbs can be done and some herbs are quite poisonous such as Belladonna.

But herbs can be a wonderful addition to the diet to flavor foods and drink as teas and help aid digestion.  Cremes, salves, shampoos, and lotions made from herbs are very popular as well.  The wise women and wise men all around the world worked with herbs to heal and help many people.  The useage of herbs for food and medicine has come back strongly in today's day and age.

By Rita Jean Moran (www.thelibrarykids.com)




http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Basil-Basilico-Ocimum_basilicum-albahaca.jpg (creative commons licensed by Castielli)

Smudge Stick

A smudge stick is generally a dried bundle of herbs.  It usually consists of white sage.  Smudging consists of lighting this bundle and using the smoke to cleanse and purify an individual or the environment.  It is an important part of many Native American ceremonies/rituals as well as some new age rituals.  I would not advise children to do this, so don't try this at home kids.  Here is an interesting embedded video regarding smudging.

By Rita Jean Moran (www.thelibrarykids.com)



DubFx - An Interesting and Talented Street Performer

Some people absolutely amaze me with their talent.  I found a musician named Dub Fx on the internet who created his own unique style and music with an electronic device.  He travels with his girlfriend, Flower Fairy, and they perform live and sell CDs online.  Here are some of his videos:

Celtic Pantheon

The Celts were a people who lived all over Europe, including Germany, Spain, France, England, and Ireland.  They had their own language and their own mythologies and legends. Today, most of Celtic lore comes from Ireland.  The Irish Cycles include 4 major time periods from the time of the ancient gods to the last kings of Ireland.  Celtic mythology is also rich in stories of giants and little people.  The main gods/goddesses of the Irish Celts are the following:

Dagda - Leader of the Gods
The Morrigan - A Triple Battle Goddess
Lugh/Lug- Ancient God King
Brigid - Dagda's Daughter
Epona - Goddess of Horses
Nuada - Ancient God King
Goibniu - Smith of the Gods
Mananna Mac Lir- God of the Sea
Dian Cecht - God of Medicine

Other Celtic people such as the Welsh and the Gaels, have their own names for their gods/goddesses.  Gaelic people used a script called Ogham to record their myths.  The Irish didn't have many of their myths recorded until after the arrival of Christianity.  Druids known as Bards would sing the history of ancient Ireland from generation to generation.  This is how they preserved their history.

By Rita Jean Moran (www.thelibrarykids.com)






http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Druids,_in_the_early_morning_glow_of_the_sun.jpg (creative commons licensed by Andrew Dunn)



Hinduism is a very old religion that is from India.  They have 330 million gods/goddesses and many stories of heroes and ancient wars.  Tales of giants and little people and serpent people are abundant in Hinduism. Even more interesting are the stories of sophisticated weaonry and flying craft in the ancient vedic texts.  According to wikipedia:

Hinduism is the predominant religion of the Indian subcontinent, and one of its indigenous religions. Hinduism includes Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Śrauta among numerous other traditions. It also includes historical groups, for example the Kapalikas. Among other practices and philosophies, Hinduism includes a wide spectrum of laws and prescriptions of "daily morality" based on the notion of karma, dharma, and societal norms. Hinduism is a conglomeration of distinct intellectual or philosophical points of view, rather than a rigid common set of beliefs.
Hinduism is formed of diverse traditions and has no single founder Among its direct roots is the historical Vedic religion of Iron Age India and, as such, Hinduism is often called the "oldest living religion"or the "oldest living major religion" in the world.
One orthodox classification of Hindu texts is to divide into Śruti ("revealed") and Smrit ("remembered") texts. These texts discuss theology, philosophy, mythology, rituals and temple building among other topics. Major scriptures include the Vedas, Upanishads, Purāṇas, Mahābhārata, Rāmāyaṇa, Bhagavad Gītā and Āgamas.
Hinduism, with about one billion followers, is the world's third largest religion, after Christianity and Islam.

Some of the main deities of Hinduism are:

Shiva - The Destroyer and Creator of Worlds
Vishnu - The God of Protection and the Preserver
Brahma - The Father God
Kali - The Mother Goddess of War and Death
Parvati - The wife of Shiva
Lakshmi - The wife of Vishnu
Surya - The Sun God
Ganesh - The God of Writing
Varuna - The God of the Ocean
Kubera - The God of Wealth
Krishna - God of Love

A Vimana is a flying ship in ancient Hindu texts.

By Rita Jean Moran (www.thelibrarykids.com)



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Shiva_Bangalore_.jpg (creative commons licensed by Kalyan Kumar)



The Sumerian Pantheon

Ancient Sumer consisted of several city-states in what is now Iraq.  They are one of the oldest civilizations known and they possibly pre-date ancient Egypt.  Their writing consisted of Cuneiform that was inscribed in clay tablets.  It is the Library of Ashurbanipal that helped researchers understand the mythologies of ancient Sumer.  The Sumerian religion influenced Mesopotamian mythology and influenced the later civilizations of the Hurrians, Akkadians, Babylonians and Assyrians. The pantheon consisted of the following gods/goddess called the Anunnaki:

Enlil - God of the Air
Ninlil - Goddess of the Air
Nanna - God of the Moon
Ningal - Wife of Nanna
Inanna - Goddess of Love and War
Utu - God of the Sun
Enki - God of the Water
Ninhursag - Goddess of the Earth
An- Sky Father of the Heavens
Ki - Sky Mother and wife of An
Ereshkigal - Goddess of the Underworld
Ninurta - God of War
Nammu or Tiamat - The Mother Goddess who gave birth to the gods/goddesses

By Rita Jean Moran (www.thelibrarykids.com)



Friday, May 18, 2012

Underground Cities

An underground city is a linked set of subterranean spaces carved out for living or usage by a large group of individuals.  There are modern and ancient underground cities all over the world.  Some are for the public and others are private for the government of military.

Some of the largest ancient underground cities exist in Turkey.  According to wikipedia:

Derinkuyu Underground City is an ancient multi-level underground city in the Derinkuyu district in Nevşehir Province, Turkey. With its eleven floors extending to a depth of approximately 85 m, it was large enough to shelter tens of thousands of people together with their livestock and food stores. It is the largest excavated underground city in Turkey and is part of a network of several underground complexes found across Cappadocia.
It was opened to visitors in 1969 and to date, only ten percent of the underground city is accessible to tourists.

Winery in the underground city of Turkey

The underground city at Derinkuyu could be closed from the inside with large stone doors. The complex has a total 11 floors, though many floors have not been excavated. Each floor could be closed off separately.
The city could accommodate between 35,000 and 50,000 people and had all the usual amenities found in other underground complexes across Cappadocia, such as wine and oil presses, stables, cellars, storage rooms, refectories, and chapels. Unique to the Derinkuyu complex and located on the second floor is a spacious room with a barrel vaulted ceiling. It has been reported that this room was used as a religious school and the rooms to the left were studies.
Between the third and fourth levels is a vertical staircase. This passage way leads to a cruciform church on the lowest level.
The large 55 m ventilation shaft appears to have been used as a well. The shaft also provided water to both the villagers above and, if the outside world was not accessible, to those in hiding.

By Rita Jean Moran (www.thelibrarykids.com)



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ville_souterraine_(Bonaventure_m%C3%A9tro,_Montr%C3%A9al).jpg (creative commons licensed by Montrealais)



Collecting PostCards

A fairly inexpensive hobby one can do is collect postcards. They are relatively cheap and usually have very good photography or images that capture a great landmark of natural landscape.  When you travel you can purchase one or you can request friends and family to send you a postcard when they travel.

You can even purchase old postcards online throug ebay or at garage sales and find some very intersting old postcards from before you were born.  Some of them have messages written on them because they were sent throug the mail.

Before you know it, you'll have quite a collection. 

By Rita Jean Moran (www.thelibrarykids.com)



Egyptian Pantheon

The land and culture of ancient Egypt goes back thousands of years.  Ancient Egypt was able to sustain a bloodline dynasty for over 6,000 years and probably as far back as 42,000 years.  The last pharaoh of Egypt was Caesarion who was the son of Cleopatra and Caesar.  Egypt fell to the Romans and then to the Arabs.  The Coptics are considered to be the remnants of some of the ancient Egyptians. 

Today Egypt has a population of about 82 million people.  Some of the ancient architecture of ancient Egypt is still around and being preserved.  The ancient pantheons of Egypt had different names for their gods/goddesses depending on the location and time of ancient Egypt.  Around 6,000 years ago, Egypt was divided into two kingdoms (lower and upper Egypt) when it was united by Pharaoh Scorpion (Narmer). 

Here is a list of some of the major gods/goddesses of ancient Egypt:

Isis - Mother of the dynasty, wife of Osiris, mother of Horus, Goddess of Magic
Osiris - God of the Dead and God of the Crops, Lord of Sirius, Father of Horus
Horus - God of Egypt, Fought Set for his Kingdom
Set - God of the Desert, Murdered Osiris
Anubis - Half- Brother of Horus
Geb - God of the Earth, Father of Osiris, Set, Nephthys and Isis
Nephthys - Sister of Isis
Nut - Sky Goddess and Sister-wife of Geb, Mother of Osiris, Set, Nephthys and Isis

By Rita Jean Moran (www.thelibrarykids.com)



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:All_Gizah_Pyramids.jpg (creative commons licensed by Ricardo Liberato)

Nordic Mythology

The Nordics are a group of people in Northern Europe that include the ancient Vikings.  Generally Nordic countries include Sweden (9 million), Norway (5 million), Finland (5 million), Greenland (56,000), Iceland (320,000), parts of Northern Germany (81 million in Germany) and Denmark (5 million).  The Nordics have travelled all over the world, including to the Americas.  They also have a rich collection of ancient mythology and legends and include a pantheon of gods and goddesses as well.  Many of the ancient myths have been recorded in poetic form in the Poetic Edda.  The Nordic pantheon included gods divided into multiple groups and multiple worlds.  The pantheon includes the following gods/goddesses:

Odin - Father of the Gods
Baldr - The son of Odin who was killed
Freyr - God of Fertility
Freyja - Goddess of Fertility
Frigg - Wife of Odin, Mother of Baldr
Loki - Trickster God
Thor - God of Thunder
Tyr - God of War
Ve - Brother of Odin
Villi - Brother of Odin

There are many other Nordic gods and goddesses.

By Rita Jean Moran (www.thelibrarykids.com)











Greek Mythology

Greece is a Europeon country that is ancient.  Greece has a rich collection of mythology and legends.  Some of the famous ancient Greek poet historians include Homer and Hesiod.  These two men recorded many of the ancient myths of Greece.  Ancient Rome (Italy) adopted the mythology of ancient Greece and just changed the names of the gods and goddesses.

Today, the population of Greece is around 11 million people.  Ancient Greece is considered the cradle of Western Civilization.  It was the birthplace of democracy, major scientific and mathematical principles, the Olympics, and Western literature.

There were many gods and goddesses of Greece including multiple generations of gods/goddesses, but the main pantheon of  ancient gods and goddessess of Greece known as the Olympians were:

Zeus- Father of the Gods
Poseidon - God of the Sea and Earthquakes
Ares- God of War
Apollo - God of Music and Medicine
Hermes - Messenger of the gods
Hephaestus- God of Black Smiths
Hera - Goddess of Marriage and wife of Zeus
Artemis- Goddess of the Hunt and sister of Apollo
Athena - Goddess of War and the Crafts
Aphrodite - Goddess of Love
Demeter - Goddess of the Earth and Crops
Hestia -Goddess of the Hearth replaced by Dionysus the God of Wine

By Rita Jean Moran (www.thelibrarykids.com)





Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mystery of Coral Castle Solved?

A man named Wally Wallington in Flint, Michigan believes he has figured out how Ed Leedskalnin created Coral Castle.  Wally has over 35 years of construction experience and he doesn't believe that Ed had any magical powers or any special knowledge, but rather that he used simple methods based on engineering.  In fact, Wally has proven his theories to some degree by moving several stones weighing tons in his backyard and he is building his own stonehenge.

His site is:


I found him through the following embedded video:

By Rita Jean Moran (www.thelibrarykids.com)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Japanese Mythology

The country or islands of Japan were unified about 1400 years ago under the Yamato Clan.  Japan has a population of about 128 million people and is one of the most homogenious countries in the world.  The traditional religion of Japan is Shintoism.   It involves the honoring of the ancestors.  There are Shinto Priests and Priestessess which is a common thing for all older religions.

Shintoism involves the worship of Kami, or divine forces of nature.  Shinto worshippers believe in the Kami of every thing.  There are over 8 million gods and goddesses in the Japanese pantheon, but the major ancient gods and goddesses of Shintoism are as follows:

  • Izanagi was the first god of the earth who created the world.  He was the father of Amaterasu, Tsuki-yomi, and Susano.

  • Izanami was the wife of Izanagi and the Goddess of the Earth.

  • Kagu-Zuchi was the fire god.  He was the last child of Izangi and Izanami.

  • Amaterasu was the Sun Goddess and Ruler of Heaven.

  • Tsuki-yomi was the God of the Moon and brother of Amatersau.

  • Susano was the Storm God and brother of Amaterasu.

  • Wakahiru-me was the younger sister of Amaterasu and Goddess of the Rising Sun.

  • Kusa-nada-hime was the Rice Paddy Princess and wife of Susano.

  • O-Kuni-Nushi was the God of Medicine and Sorcery and he was the son of Susano.

  • Ame-no-Oshido-Mimi was the Son of Amaterasu who refused to go to Earth because it was too full of problems.

  • Ninigi was the grandson of Amaterasu who finally went to Earth to reign.

  • Kono-Hana-Sukuya-Himi was the daugher of a mountain god and wife of Ninigi.

  • Takami-Musubi was one of Amaterasu's chief assistants.

  • Amo-No-Uzume was a solar deity and Goddess of the Dawn.

  • Inari was a Rice God and God of Prosperity.

  • Ryujin was the God of the Ocean.

As with all mythologies, there are stories of heroes and wars and catastrophes.  The emperors were of "royal blood" meaning they were descended from a god or goddess.  In Japan, the royal family is descended from Amaterasu.  The dragon is also a prominent figure in Japan.

By Rita Jean Moran (www.thelibrarykids.com)


Japanese Gods and Myths by Chartwell Books



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Yasaka-jinja_01.jpg (creative commons licensed by Nikita)

Chinese Mythology

China has over a billion people in its country today.  China was united from a collection of independent cities around 2,000 years ago by an emperor named Yin Zheng (now called Qin Shi Huangdi).  He tried to make the whole country uniform by having the people use the same money, measuring system, language and clothes.  He made every one wear black clothes.

There are many different stories from ancient Chinese mythology.  The dragon figure is prominent in Chinese lore.  There are six seperate origin stories, a story of divine warfare between the gods, a flood myth, a catastrophe by fire, a drought myth and myths of gods handing down knowledge to the human race.

The following are 17 of the gods and goddesses of ancient China:

  • Yu Huang Da Di- The Jade Emperor who was superior to all and attended to all the affairs of heaven.  He organized the universe.

  • Nuwa and Fuxi- Nuwa was part woman and dragon.  Fuxi was part man and dragon.  Nuwa became lonely and created humans.  Fuxi was the first teacher.  He taught humans how to survive.

  • Sun Wukong was the God of Mischief.   He was king of a band of monkeys.  He caused so much trouble that a band was placed on his head to keep him in line.

  • Guanyin is the Goddess of Mercy.

  • Zhong Kui was the God of Healing.

  • Niu Lang was called Ox Boy.  He fell in love with the Goddess of Weaving, Zhi Nu. 

  • Guan Gong was the God of War

  • Xi Wang Mu was the Goddess of Immortality.

  • Lei Shen was the God of Thunder.

  • Dian Mu was the Goddess of Lightning.

  • Huang Di was the God of Law and Order.

  • Cai Shen was the God of Wealth.

  • Hong Shen was the God of the Southern Seas.

  • Menshen are the Gods of Peaceful Sleep.

There are also many stories of emperors, sages and heroes.  The story of the Eight Immortals is very interesting.

The Eight Immortals are eight "Chinese" saints.  They fight against evil and protect humans as they go on their journeys.  Their names are as follows:

  • Immortal Woman He (He Xiangu),
  • Royal Uncle Cao (Cao Guojiu),
  • Iron-Crutch Li (Tieguai Li),
  • Lan Caihe,
  • Lü Dongbin, leader;
  • Philosopher Han Xiang (Han Xiang Zi),
  • Elder Zhang Guo (Zhang Guo Lao), and
  • Han Zhongli (Zhongli Quan).

There are many other ancient Chinese gods and goddesses and some of the names vary from source to source.  There are other stories of Chinese folklore used to teach lessons in Chinese society.

By Rita Jean Moran (www.thelibrarykids.com)


Chinese Myths by Anne Birrel

The Gods and Goddesses of Ancient China by Leonard Everett Fisher



(Creative Commons Licensed by Author: Splitbrain)



Thursday, May 10, 2012


Geography is the science of studying the land, the people, and the landscape of the Earth.  Many people don't know or remember too much about other countries, let alone rivers or mountains.  I read a helpful tip about Mr. Bill Gates regarding geography in a children's book.  It said that he had a map of the world that he looked at every day to help him remember the names of countries. 

I've found that if you've read or heard a story about a place or its people or saw a picture, you will remember more about it.  I hope to tell little stories about people and places around the world to help you remember more about geography.  As I've said in my books, there is always something to learn.  If you are able to get a map next to your computer or some other handy place, you can refer to it often and it will help you remember people, places and geography, as well.

By Rita Jean Moran (www.thelibrarykids.com)


Picture Source:

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Old Farmer's Almanac

Many farmers relied on a book called The Old Farmer's Almanac to help them decide when to plant their crops.  The book gave weather data from the following years and made predictions on what the weather would be like for the upcoming year.  It listed moon cycles as well as some old wive's tales used to advise planting times during certain moon cycles.  Now the almanac is online.  Here is a link to The Old Farmer's Almanac for Kids and one for the main page:



By Rita Jean Moran (www.thelibrarykids.com)

Source for Pictures: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Sun_by_the_Atmospheric_Imaging_Assembly_of_NASA%27s_Solar_Dynamics_Observatory_-_20100819.jpg


Creative Commons License by Attribution: Christian Fischer

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Short Story #2

Here is another one of my made up bed time stories. It deals with a girl who has a food allergy.

Kate and Her Forest Friends Make Pizza

By Rita Jean Moran

            Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Kate.  She had many friends in the forest.  She played with Owl, Deer, Robin, Squirrel, Raccoon, Mouse, Frog, and Rabbit.  They would play hide and seek, tag, treasure hunt and many other games.  One day they decided to have a party to celebrate Kate’s birthday.  They all wanted to order a pizza, but Kate was allergic to milk products.  She could not have pizza with cheese on it because it made it hard for her to breathe and it hurt her stomach.  She didn't mind if her friends had the pizza, though.  The group sat down and tried to figure out what they would have on their pizza.
            “What should we put on the pizza? asked Kate.
            “How about some nuts?” asked Squirrel.
            “How about some greens?” asked Deer.
            “How about some worms?” asked Robin.
            “Ewwww,” said Kate.
            “I love worms,” said Frog.
            “How about some mushrooms?” asked Owl.
            “How about some garbage?” asked Raccoon.
            “How about some cheese?” asked Mouse.
            “How about some marigolds?” asked Rabbit.

            Kate looked at all her friends.  They had such different tastes for food, that she did not know what to do.  She sat and thought and thought.
            “Well?” asked Owl.
            “I think we should get a cheese pizza and everyone could put whatever they want on their slice,” said Kate.
            “Excellent idea,” said Raccoon.
            “Lovely idea,” said Deer.
            “Fantastic,” said Squirrel.
            “Yummy,” said Rabbit.
            “I love it,” said Robin.
            “Superb,” said Frog.
            “I just want cheese,” said Mouse.
            “Then that is what we shall do,” said Kate.
            "But what will you have Kate?" asked Owl.
            "I can't have the cheese on the pizza," said Kate.
The group sat a moment and thought.
            "What if we make our own pizza with soy cheese?" asked Mouse.
The group looked at Kate.
            " I can have soy cheese, that would be great," said Kate.
           "Then soy cheese it is," said Owl.

So Kate made 3 large soy cheese pizzas and everyone put their toppings on their own slices and Kate was very happy and so were all her forest friends.

The End.

By Rita Jean Moran (www.thelibrarykids.com)

Source for Picture:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Israeli_Pizza_w_Corn_BRiboa_3124.jpg

Short Story #1

I used to make up little stories that I would tell my kids to help them fall asleep. Here is one of them:

The Fish and the Water Snake

By Rita Jean Moran

                Once upon a time, there was a clown fish named Timmy.  Timmy was a wee lad fishy growing up in the big blue sea.   He hung out with his mom and dad and the others in the school of fish.  Timmy was  generally a normal child fish except for one thing.  Timmy had a water snake as a friend.  The water snake’s name was Shari.   Now ordinarily, fish don’t hang out with water snakes, but in this case Shari was very special to Timmy.  Shari was kind, smart, and fun.  She loved to explore the deep blue ocean and the top of the water.  Most fish were very afraid to go to the top of the water because it was hard to breathe once they were out of water.  But Shari knew how to breathe out of the water and Timmy would hold his breath.
            One day, Shari came darting through the waves to find Timmy.  Timmy saw her coming fast and furiously in the distance.
            “Timmy!  Timmy!” she exclaimed, “You’ve got to come with me and see something so fantastic, it’s too hard to explain,”
            “What?  Fantastic?  Too hard to explain?” asked Timmy.
            “Yes, come quick.  Follow me,” said Shari.
            Timmy told his parents he was going for a swim with Shari and would be right back.  They told him he had to bring their older friend, Captain Bill with.  Captain Bill was a 100 year-old sea turtle that hung around the same reef that the fish lived in. 
            “I’ll bring Captain Bill, with,” said Timmy.
            Timmy got Captain Bill to come with.  He and Timmy followed Shari through the deep blue sea and up and up until they were at the top of the water.
            “I can’t go up there too long, it’s hard to breathe,” said Timmy.
            “You can peak out of the water for just a bit and gulp water when you need to breathe,” said Shari, “but you have to see this.”
            Captain Bill, Shari and Timmy popped their heads out of the water and looked up and over and saw something very strange.  It was brown and green and yellow and pink.  It was moving in different directions.  It was tall and short.  It was wide and skinny.
            “What is that?” asked Timmy.
            “Ah, I know what it is,” said Captain Bill.
            “Can you tell Timmy and me,” asked Shari.
            “Of course,” replied Captain Bill, “it’s a beach with what we call people.”
            “Beach?  People?” asked Timmy.
            “Yes.  People are land dwellers.  I’ve seen them before.  That’s a little girl building a sand castle.  The little ones love the sand very much.  The older ones like to sit in the sun.”
            “What do they do?” asked Shari.
            “They live like us.  They have families and friends and good times and bad times,” said Captain Bill.
            “I see,” said Timmy, “People are land dwellers.”
            “Yes, people are land dwellers.  But they will swim in the water when they want to.  They love to play in the water just as much as we do,” said Captain Bill.
            “Want to see something really cool?” asked Shari.
            “Sure,” said Timmy.
            Shari dove down to the bottom of the water and found an old gold coin.  She picked it up and brought it over to the little girl’s sand castle and put it on top when the little girl was looking the other way.  Then Shari swam back to Timmy and Captain Bill.
            “Watch,” said Shari.
            The group watched as the little girl turned to find the gold coin.  She looked it over and got up and started yelling and jumping up and down until her mother ran over to see what the commotion was about.
            “See how excited they get about old things?” laughed Shari.
            Captain Bill and Timmy giggled. 
            “It’s just an old round thing,” laughed Timmy.
            “Have you seen enough?” asked Captain Bill.
            Timmy and Shari nodded.
            “Let’s go home,” said Captain Bill.
            Timmy, Shari and Captain Bill swam home and back to their families.

The End.

By Rita Jean Moran (www.thelibrarykids.com)

Source for Picture:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Amphiprion_ocellaris_%28Clown_anemonefish%29_in_Heteractis_magnifica_%28Sea_anemone%29.jpg

Creative Commons Licensed and Released for Usage by Nhobgood Nick Hobgood

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Fibonacci Series

The Fibonacci Series is a series of numbers that starts with 0 and 1.  The following numbers in the series are calculated by adding the previous two numbers.  The series is as follows;

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34,.....

The series is named after Leonardo of Pisa who was also known as Fibonacci.  The series describes  prominent patterns in nature.

Fibonacci sequences appear in biological settings,in two consecutive Fibonacci numbers, such as branching in trees, arrangement of leaves on a stem, the fruitlets of a pineapple, the flowering of artichoke, an uncurling fern and the arrangement of a pine cone. In addition, numerous poorly substantiated claims of Fibonacci numbers or golden sections in nature are found in popular sources, e.g., relating to the breeding of rabbits, the seeds on a sunflower, the spirals of shells, and the curve of waves. The Fibonacci numbers are also found in the family tree of honeybees.


By Rita Jean Moran (www.thelibrarykids.com)