Before venturing into the land of myth, I’m happy to announce that Ronda Tutt is the winner of my giveaway during the New Year’s Eve Blog Hop and will receive a $15 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble, plus a copy of my paranormal/time travel romance, WEATHERING ROCK. Congratulations, Ronda!
The Grand Prize winners should be posted later today on Carrie Ann Ryan’s Blog Hop Page here. As always, Carrie Ann did a great job organizing for all of us. I hope everyone had fun. I love a good hop and making new friends!
If you happen to be a new subscriber to my blog (thanks to everyone who signed up, liked my page on Facebook and gave WEATHERING ROCK a ‘like’ on Amazon…those made me a happy camper :D), every Monday I share information about a creature or subject from myth. Today, I’m visiting one of my all-time favorites, the unicorn.
Poets, minstrels, writers and artists have all immortalized these majestic beasts. I’ve loved them since I was a little girl, enchanted by their gracefulness, noble spirit, and ties to heraldry. So what is it about the unicorn that causes so many to fall in love with them? Perhaps, their unique combination of purity and power.
Although gentle by nature, unicorns were not to be trifled with and would react fiercely when a situation demanded. In medieval times they were aggressively hunted due to the magical properties of their horn. This included the ability to purify water or bring healing with a single touch. Given the value of a unicorn horn which was often crushed and ground into medicines, it’s no wonder they shied from humans. With one exception:
Unicorns were intrinsically drawn to the purity of virgins. According to legend, if a virgin girl sat beneath a tree, a unicorn would lie down beside her and place its head in her lap, attracted by her virtue. But it isn’t only innocence and chastity that are linked to the unicorn. Throughout time, it has been associated with the season of spring, the pure white light of the moon, honesty, and even religion.
Look for the unicorn in the Bible and you’ll find several mentions, especially in older translations. In some versions when God gives Adam the task of naming all that he sees, the unicorn is the first animal he names, forever setting it above all others. It appears several times throughout the Old Testament making many think that the unicorn, like other animals, simply passed into extinction. Still others believe it took to the water and evolved into the narwhal, a single-horned artic-water whale known as ‘the unicorn of the sea.’
According to the lyrics of The Unicorn Song by the Irish Rovers, the unicorn perished through its own folly. When Noah led the animals onto his ark, two by two, the unicorns were too busy frolicking in the rain to follow. Left behind because of their foolishness, the floodwaters swept them away.
Whatever became of this noble animal, its legend continues today. Perhaps the most poetic representation of all, the constellation Monoceros which shares the night sky with Orion the Hunter, is more commonly called ‘the unicorn.’ How befitting that this beautiful mythical creature has been given a place among the stars.
Do you have any specific memories of unicorns in books, movies, songs or art? Please share!