Mythological creatures around the world | Humanoid hybrids
Centaurs appear in Greek mythology and have the torso of a human and the body of a horse. They typically live in forests and use bow and arrows as their weapon of choice. They respect and take care of all living creatures and are very skilled at healing, warfare, stargazing and prophecy.
Perseus on Pegasus Slaying Medusa by John Singer Sargent, 1925
The Necromanteion or Nekromanteion was an ancient Greek temple of necromancy devoted to Hades and Persephone. According to tradition, it was located on the banks of the Acheron river in Epirus, near the ancient city of Ephyra.
The ancient Greeks believed that the souls of the dead entered the underworld though subterranean fissures, and that in special cases like this, arrangements could be made to communicate with the dead. This was used as an opportunity to commune with lost loved ones, and also to seek out the future telling skills of the dead.
Visitors wishing to communicate with the dead would have entered the dark chamber and followed specific rituals outlined for the protection from and communication with the dead which would have taken several days. When ready, a priest would usher them deeper inside for a ritual animal sacrifice, and through three gates symbolic of Hades.
Pilgrims expected to see the images of the dead as shadows against the flickering lantern light. These visions may have been enhanced by the special diet recommended in the days before entering the sanctuary, which some have described as including hallucinogens. Interestingly, inside the underground chambers, archaeologists have found mechanical contrivances which may have been used to enhance the appearance of animated dead. After a session with the dead, pilgrims were forbidden to talk about what they learned for fear of Hades claiming their own lives in exchange.
More recently a Greek-American study of towers in the area suggested that the ruins may have been the base of an agricultural tower, and the underground chambers storage areas for water or grain, rather than mystical communication with fortune-telling dead.
At least for now, the place remains officially identified as the Necromanteion, and has been preserved as such.
( T H E T I T A N S )"She [Gaia the Earth] lay with Ouranos (Sky) and bare deep-swirling Okeanos, Koios and Krios and Hyperion and Iapetos, Theia and Rhea, Themis and Mnemosyne and gold-crowned Phoibe and lovely Tethys. After them was born Kronos the wily, youngest and most terrible of her children." - Hesiod(requested by the lovely asriels)
Tile design (Theseus and the Minotaur in the Labyrinth) by Edward Burne-Jones (1833–1898). Pencil, ink and wash.
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
lgFxdQtUgyzs7Q at Google Cultural Institute via Wikimedia