Many have heard of the Philosopher’s Stone, sought after by alchemists throughout history. Roman historian Pliny talks about an object held in similar renown by the Druids, the Druid’s Egg. What was the Druid’s Egg, how was it used and what properties was it believed to hold?
In this modern day, everyone is familiar with Bram Stoker’s tales and the numerous movies and books of the fictional vampire, Dracula. Bram Stoker was part inspired after reading about the Romanian fifteenth century three times ruler of Walachia, Vlad III Tepes, who inherited the nickname Dracula (which he himself used) from his father. There are so many accounts about Vlad’s behaviour towards enemies and traitors, but what is the truth about the real Dracula? Was he a hero or tyrant?
Lupercalia was held every year, on the 15 February in ancient Rome. It took place in the Lupercal, where Romulus and Remus were said to have been nurtured by a she-wolf. The Lupercal contained an altar and a grove sacred to the god Lupercus. Since St. Valentine’s Day is celebrated on 14 February many believe that there is a link between this ancient celebratory ritual and the romance of the latter. What actually happened on Lupercalia and is there a link to Valentine’s Day?
Many of us have seen the Disney movie Mulan, soon to be released as a live action movie. It was based on a legendary female warrior from Chinese history, Hua Mulan, and there is even a crater on Venus named after her. What do we know about this figure and how accurate is the Disney depiction compared with the original tale?
Cortez and his men virtually destroyed the Aztec civilisation and their artefacts. The Spanish melted down other artefacts of gold, so the existence of the Aztec sun stone is a rare look into this civilisation’s beliefs. So, what is the sun stone, how was it discovered and what does it mean?
Witchcraft is as old as religion itself. Even the Bible refers to a necromancer sought by Saul to summon Samuel the Witch of Endor. There has been the Greek Oracle, the Vates of the Celts and other seers. Then there are the ancient medicine men and women, who performed healing (sometimes way beyond their time). But what about Wicca, the most popular pagan movement of modern times. What are the origins of Wicca and can it claim ancient roots?
The mysterious Knights Templar may have been disbanded over 700 years ago, but they have sparked the imagination and left a legacy that still influences popular culture today. They served the poor, assisted pilgrims and despite their humble beginnings, became vastly rich and established banking. Some mysteries, though, remain unsolved.