Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dogs

Today we had a dog trainer come to the house to help us out with the newest member of the family, Fuzz (yep that's his name). Fuzz came to us a foster dog but he soon won over our hearts and we're keeping the little rascal.

Just look at that face, how could you not fall in love.

Because I was all filled up on good dog vibes I decided to focus today's blog on the magical creatures themselves. Dogs certainly do have a prominent place in magic, mythology and folklore around the world. They are almost always connected to the underworld, and can travel between or guard the gates of multiple worlds (probably why they like many other animals can see ghosts). They are considered both lunar and solar creatures, which is all part of this interdimensional duality thing they've got going. They've been the companions of gods and goddesses, witches and demons. Not to mention dog backwards is god which is totally cool.

Cerberus by William Blake.
Perhaps the most famous mythological dog,the three headed Cerberus is the guardian of the Underworld. He was tricked by a few heroes and captured by Herakles but all in all he did a good job keeping the living out of the underworld.

The Norse god Odin flanked by his dogs Geri and Freki who along with his ravens served as his messengers and advisors. By Ludwig Pietsch, 1865.

Hecate with her attribute the black dog by Patricia Ariel.
Hecate was frequently associate with dogs (they were even sacrificed to her but I don't like to think of that). She was the goddess/guardian of the crossroads and held the key to the underworld, so you can already see the connection. She was also the goddess of magic and perhaps this is part of the reason why dogs became associated with witchcraft.

Anubis Waits by jigga133 aka Jason Reeves.
The Egyptian Jackal headed god was associated with mummification and the journey into the afterlife.

Source
The Celtic Cwn Annwfn were a pack of red eared white bodied dogs that hunted throughout the land of mortals as well as the Otherworld.

The Goddess Hel and the dog Gramr by Johannes Gehrts, 1889.
Hel is the goddess of the Underworld and as Cerberus guards the Greek Underworld so does Gramr guard the Norse/Teutonic Underworld.

Diana and her Hunting Dogs beside a Kill by Jan Fyt.
Diana the Roman Goddess of the hunt  and her Greek counterpart Artemis, were frequently portrayed with their canine companions.

T'ien Kou by kizzesama.
A Chinese celestial dog of both creation and destruction, death and life. Again we see the duality of the dog, they permeate the world's mythologies, and are connected the most fascinating mysteries of life.

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