Charts representing the relationship between masculine and feminine qualities within individuals, and as essential principles. From “Le serpent de la Genèse” (The Serpent of Genesis) Volume 2, by Stanislas de Guaita, 1920. Source: Embassy of the Free Mind
Cynocephaly or “having the head of a dog” is a characteristic found in many mythological and folklore traditions across the world, such as ancient Egypt, India, Greece, and China. These humanoid, dog-headed beings were often described by travelers coming back from far off lands. Images: Saint Christopher by Anonymous, 17th Century | The Egyptian Book of the Dead, 1550 BCE | Kievan Psalter by Unknown, 1397 | Man with dog head by Hartmann Schedel, 1493.
Nure-onna (“wet woman”) is a yokai found in rivers and the ocean. It helps a fellow water monster, the ushi-oni, to hunt humans. It hands the victim a baby that turns into a heavy rock, pulling them into the water where the ushi-oni devours them. Image: Toriyama Sekien, 1776 & Sawaki Suushi, 1737
Abracadabra isn’t just something hokey magicians say at kid’s birthday parties. It’s a genuine incantation to ward off malaria and other ailments, and was used in protection talismans. The origins of the word are theorized to be Hebrew or the magic word abraxas.
Balor was the leader of the Fomorians, a group of demonic beings from Irish Mythology. He was a giant with a poisonous eye wreaked havoc in battle. The eyelid was so heavy, that it took the strength of four warriors from his army to lift it. He was killed with a sling-stone to the eye by his grandson. Image: JFarren on Deviant Art
The mandrake is a mythologized plant with a root that looks like a human figure. The root is poisonous and hallucinogenic, it was once a common anesthetic and potion ingredient. Legends say mandrakes scream and cry when uprooted—killing anyone who hears. So use safe harvesting methods! Image: Ernte eines Alrauns (Medicina antiqua), 1250
A nuppeppo is a wrinkly, featureless yokai with powder-white skin that smells of rotting flesh. It’s a harmless, solitary creature that can be found in deserted towns, graveyards, and temples. Some say eating a nuppeppo will grant eternal youth. Image: Hyakkai Zukkan
Drawing representing balance between masculine and feminine in a chapter about equilibrium from “Le serpent de la Genèse” (The Serpent of Genesis) Volume 2, by Stanislas de Guaita, 1920. Source: Embassy of the Free Mind
In gnostic cosmology, Abraxas is the rooster-headed, serpent-legged god who created the material world. The letters of his name represent the 7 planetary spheres, and he’s often found on magick amulets. He was later demonized by Christians and appears in the Dictionnaire Infernal.
Hyosube is a Japanese yokai, that’s a cousin to the kappa. This child-sized river monster comes out at night and loves to gorge himself on eggplants, sometimes ravaging an entire field. If Hyosube laughs, and you join him, you will die. Image: Bakemono no e
Echidna is a cave dwelling, half-woman, half-snake being. With Typhon, she bore all of Greek Mythology’s most famous monsters: the regenerating Hydra, Cerberus who guards the gates of Hades, the Chimera, the riddle-giving Sphinx, and more. Image: Gabriele Delhey
The Ushi-Oni is a spider-like, ox-headed yokai (supernatural creature) from Japanese folklore who appears on beaches, mountains, forests, swamps, and lakes. They’re savage beasts who spit poison and love to kill and eat humans and livestock. Image: Hyakkai-Zukan