The nuckelavee is a fearsome sea monster found on Scotland’s Northern Isles that, when on land, has been described as humanoid rider fused with a horse, skinless with black blood coursing through yellow veins. Its breath wilts crops and is responsible for epidemics and drought. Image: michael221 on Deviant Art CC-BY-SA
Ephippas is a demon found in The Testament of Solomon that assumes the form of a hellish wind that destroys everything in its path. Solomon uses his magic ring to trap him in a flask, and forces him to help build his temple, and imprison the demon Abezithbod. Image: H.J. Ford, 1913
Images from Mundus Symbolicus (Symbolic World) by Filippo Picinelli, 1687. The book attempted to be a comprehensive encyclopedia of symbols for use in decoding creation. Source: archive.org
Figure 12 from Hermaphrodite Child of the Sun and Moon by Johann Augustin Brunnhofer (1752). From Mike Brenner’s translation on levity.com: “The snake eating its own tail represents the solid White and Red Stones. These first harden and solidify the virgin Milk, and then transform into a Salamander who lives in the Fire. The Fire furnishes the Salamander with the energy for its continued evolution.
The flying dragon, now fallen to Earth, breathes fire, which devours all metals, transmuting them into Silver or Gold.
The cross designates the Attraction Field of the Astral Fire whose vibrations color the Salamander Venusian yellow, Martian Citrine-Red, and blood-red. This is the Fire of eternal Youth through multiplication, experienced by many.”
Image source: Embassy of the Free Mind
The Hellmouth is an entrance to hell that manifests as the open jaws of an infernal beast. Depictions of Hellmouths were common during the Middle Ages and Renaissance in manuscripts, and even as dramatic mechanical set pieces in theatrical productions.
- Detail of The Mouth of Hell, from the Book of Hours of Catherine of Cleves, 1440
- Vision de l’Enfer (Vision of Hell), from Les Visions du chevalier Tondal, 1475
- Ludolf of Saxony, Inferno, from Speculum Humanae Salvationis, 1455
- Lambert of Saint-Omer, Liber Floridu, 1250 – 1275
- Detail of Jugement Dernier – Damnés (Last Judgement – The Damned Souls), 1492
Baba Yaga is a witch from Slavic folklore known for her hut that stands on chicken legs, ugly features, and penchant for eating children. She’s appeared in hundreds of folktales, in many roles, and sometimes as three Baba Yaga sisters. Images: Ivan Bilibin
In this image, from Hermaphrodite Child of the Sun and Moon by Johann Augustin Brunnhofer (1752), the green lion represents the “blossoming of life”. The lion grows by devouring Mercury, which it excretes “as thick as tar”. Above the circle is the symbolic hermaphrodite. Source: Embassy of the Free Mind
Translation of Hermaphrodite Child of the Sun and Moon from levity.com
The Baku is an entity from Japanese mythology that eats nightmares. If you have a bad dream, call out to the Baku when you wake up. But don’t do it lightly, because if your nightmare leaves it hungry, it may eat your hopes and desires as well. Image: LACMA
Drawing of Dr. Peebles’ Demonism of the Ages burning, from the book Demonism of the Ages by Dr. Peebles (1904). Source: Wellcome Library
In Chinese mythology, Ox-Head and Horse-Face are guardians of the Underworld, and act as the equivalent to the Angel of Death. They capture and escort human souls to be judged in the courts of Hell, and are messengers of the king of Hell, Yanluo Wang. Images by Jnzl on Flickr