Kitsune: Hey foxy lady

The kitsune Kuzunoha. Note the shadow of a fox...

Image via Wikipedia

The beautiful fox-shifter maiden of Japanese lore is the ‘kitsune.’ Legend has it in Japan that female foxes can turn into lovely women of particular grace. Sometimes you see a male kitsune. Not often.

Also, the fox-spirit’s tail shoots fire. How cool? Very cool.

To turn into a human, the fox has to put a human skull on her head, turn around and bow to the Big Dipper (or whatever they call it in Japan). If she does it without the skull falling off, presto-change-o.

Fox maidens don’t have a clear modus operandi. Sometimes, they punish bad people, sometimes they do mischievous tricks, sometimes they attract and captivate men sexually, in a kind of energy vampirism. And sometimes they fall in love and marry a human man, regretfully leaving him when their true nature is revealed. Their human offspring are supposed to have long lives, intelligence, and magic.

Kitsune are associated with Inari, the Japanese fox god of rice.

Hey, you know back when I said kappa are possibly the only demons with sushi named after them? Kitsune don’t have sushi, but their patron god, Inari, has inari sushi, rice in a sweet package of deep fried tofu (Kappa maki is better, trust me). But kitsune have kitsune udon and kitsune soba, noodles topped with deep fried tofu, which they are supposed to really love.

You can get possessed by kitsune, but only if you’re a girl. The kitsune enters your body through the breast or my sneaking under your fingernails. Symptoms of fox possession, or ‘kitsune-tsuki’ include hearing a fox spirit speaking inside your head and getting a craving for red beans and rice (not the southern U.S. dish, just the beans. Also the rice).

Sources

The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters
The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters

by Rosemary Ellen Guiley
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitsune

Werewolf warrior: Thiess of Livonia

1722 German woodcut of a werewolf transforming.

Image via Wikipedia

In 1692, in the Northern European country of Livonia (now part of Estonia), the Catholic Inquisition put an 80-year-old man named Theiss on trial for idolatry and superstitious beliefs.

Those beliefs: that he was a werewolf. Well, not really that he was a werewolf. The problem was really that he was a werewolf and he said he was going to heaven.

According to Theiss, he and a bunch of other Livonian guys turned into wolves and descended into hell three times a year, to fight witches to maintain a good harvest for the countryside. Theiss claimed that witches, lead by a guy named Skeistan, did their best to screw up the food stocks by stealing seed grain and taking it to hell to keep crops from growing. If Theiss and the others didn’t fight to get the seed back, the crops would suffer, and so would other food stocks, including the fish catch.

Theiss claimed his werewolves were the hounds of God, doing the work of good against the evil witches. The judges were totally shocked by his claims… not of being a werewolf, but that being a werewolf wasn’t a bad thing. No matter how hard they tried, they couldn’t get him to say that he’d signed a pact with the devil.

So they sentenced him to ten lashes (A slap on the wrist, really), and let him go about his business.

Sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Werewolf
The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters
The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters

by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

Bouda: The were-hyenas of North Africa

The Spotted Hyena, Crocuta crocuta, inhabits m...

Image via Wikipedia

These were-hyenas come from the Berbers of North Africa. They use magical potions to shape-shift into the feral dogs during the night. While in canine form, they can still speak in human voices. So if you’re out in the desert and you hear someone calling you from outside the tent, you might want to consider checking to see if they’re sleeping beside you before you rush outside to see what’s wrong.

Now, what I want to know is this. If you’re a were-hyena, do you then just shift back at sunrise and go to your day job? What if you’re really tired from running around all night?

Sources

The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters
The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters

by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

New species of predator born in North America

Zombie month countdown

Two days until October is Zombie Month! I’m so excited I can hardly eat a bite.

Scientists discover new species of predator has been established in North America

Wolf stocks have become so low that some wolves have been cross-breeding with coyotes. The result is a bigger, stronger coyote that can take down a deer. Scientists with no imagination have named the species the “Coywolf.” More from Discovery channel.

I think there are some intriguing were- possibilities here. But that name, it’s got to go.