An Apsara is a female spirit of the clouds and waters in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. English translations of the word “Apsara” include “nymph,” “celestial nymph,” and “celestial maiden.”
Apsaras are beautiful, supernatural female beings. They are youthful and elegant, and superb in the art of dancing. They are often the wives of the Gandharvas, the court musicians of Indra. They dance to the music made by the Gandharvas, usually in the palaces of the gods, entertain and sometimes seduce gods and men.
As caretakers of fallen heroes, they may be compared to the valkyries of Norse mythology. As ethereal beings who inhabit the skies, and are often depicted taking flight, or at service of a god, they may be compared to angels.
Champagne Bottle Dancer: 1904
The Beguiling of Merlin, Edward Burne-Jones, 1872 and 1877
The Lady of the Lake, “Viviane”, learns her magic from Merlin, who becomes enamored of her. She refuses to give him her love until he has taught her all his secrets, after which she uses her power to trap him either in the trunk of a tree.
In what is sometimes called the Post-Vulgate Merlin, Excalibur was given to Arthur by the Lady of the Lake sometime after he began to reign. She calls the sword “Excalibur, that is as to say as Cut-steel.”
Belgian coalminers in a lift, circa 1900
Neptune with his trident, surrounded by newts. Illustration by Robinet Testard circa 1400
“The fully articulated human skeleton in a velvet-lined coffin with three panels showing the course of life, one end with attributes of the arts, the other with attributes of war, the cover with the journey in the footsteps of the Angel of Death, surrounded by the faces of infants alternately laughing and crying.”
Psychopomps are creatures or spirits in many religions whose responsibility is to escort newly deceased souls to the afterlife.
Common examples would be the Grim Reaper, Anubis, Charon, or the Valkyries
Priam’s Treasure is a cache of gold and other artifacts discovered by classical archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann. Schliemann claimed the site to be that of ancient Troy, and assigned the artifacts to the Homeric king Priam.
Olive Oatman (1837 – March 20, 1903) was a woman from Illinois whose family was killed in 1851 when she was fourteen in today’s Arizona by a Native American tribe, possibly the Tolkepayas (Western Yavapai), who captured and enslaved her and her sister and later sold them to the Mohave people. After several years with the Mohave, during which her sister died of hunger, she returned to the white world, five years after being carried off.
Both Olive and her sister were tattooed on their chins and arms in keeping with the tribal custom for those who were tribal members. Olive later claimed that she was tattooed to mark her as a slave of the Mohaves, but this is inconsistent with the Mohave tradition in which such marks were given only to their own people to ensure that they would have a good afterlife.
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